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Azar on reduced clauses

(Here's the last word from Betty Azar about "reduced adverb clauses.") Also, I think it's important to recognize that teaching modifying participial phrases as "reductions of clauses" is basically only a pedagogical means of demonstrating the meaning of such phrases. Rather than saying they are "reduced," one might more accurately say they are what you might call "equivalent structures" -- two structures with equivalent meanings. It's just that in teaching, one takes the known, in this case...Read More...

Reduced adverb clause (#3)

This is the third and last of the questions posed to Betty Azar by a teacher of ESL. 3) What governs the use of "having + past participle"? For instance, the sentence "He decided to paint his house because he found a small hole on the ceiling" could be reduced to "Finding a small hole on the ceiling, he decided to paint his house" but I don't think "They decided to get married because they won the lottery" can be reduced to "Winning the lottery, they decided to get married." It sounds much...Read More...

"Far and away"

Dear experts, Could you possibly provide definition for FAR AND AWAY as used in these specific contexts: 1. Although there are scores of guests, there are also days when everyone else in the house is out and away and she writes a melancholy note on loneliness. 2. The 'loft' is out and away from the house which allows for your privacy. In the loft is a private bath, full sized bed, decorated in country primitive style. Thank you, YuriRead More...

"On the contrary" vs. "to the contrary"

Dear native speaking experts, Would you agree that the following expressions share only ONE meaning in common and can be differentiated as follows (YES/NO?): on the contrary to the contrary on the contrary - 1. in opposition to what might be expected: She did not exult in her rival's fall, but, on the contrary, commiserated her. 2. on the other hand: People used to say that a Broadway musical was written for musical slobs. Mr. Sondheim, on the contrary, assumes that you have heard some Ravel...Read More...

Semantic relevance of article: "Ring the bell" or "ring a bell"?

Dear experts, Would you confirm that the use of article is relevant for discriminating the expressions below, or are they freely interchangeable in their respective contexts: ring a bell ring the bell ring a bell - (coll.) sound familiar; remind of smth.: The name of the company rang a bell. One of my neighbors worked for them during the war. ring the bell - (coll.) 1. (also: ring bells) be met with approval; be a complete success: The Vice President's speeches ring the bell with certain...Read More...

"Put it on the line" and "Put money on the line"

Dear experts, Both expressions below deal with money matters: put it on the line put money on the line You fellows always PUT IT ON THE LINE for me every pay day. The California government is PUTTING MONEY ON THE LINE to get a fleet of steam cars on the road. Could you comment on the difference in their respective meaning. Thank you, YuriRead More...

Reduced adverb clauses (#2)

Here is the second of three questions put to Betty Azar by a teacher of ESL. Betty responded briefly, then referred each question to the Grammar Exchange team for a more detailed answer. That answer will be posted tomorrow. 2) Can adverb clauses with "although" be reduced? Take for example, "The student decided to drop the class although he needed the credits." I've found one textbook that says this can be reduced to "Although needing these credits, the student decided to cut class."...Read More...

Active & passive voice

Hello, Am I right in the following : 1) There was a fire at the hotel last night = passive 2) The hotel was on fire last night. - active Thank you very much. RickyRead More...

Reduced adverb clauses (#1)

This is the first of three questions about reduced adverb clauses submitted to the Grammar Exchange team by a teacher. Each of the questions was answered briefly by Betty Azar, then they were answered more in detail by Marilyn. Although these exchanges were not posted on the newsgroup, we feel that they will be of interest to the members. Here is the first question, with its responses: 1) "She decided to quit school after she got married." can be reduced to "After getting married, she...Read More...

"On a level" vs. "on the level"

Dear experts, Would you confirm that the article is semantically valid in differentiating the expressions below which have only TWO meanings in common: on a level on the level on a level - 1. of the same hight: She'd only brogue heels on her feet; and her shoulders were just about on a level with his. 2. of the same rank or quality: He has 'come back' with such certainty that he must of necessity be regarded as on a level with all the other big men. on the level - 1. in a position where the...Read More...

"Not" in the main clause

The following pairs look like they have similar sentence constructions, but some take "not" in the main clause and others don't. I wonder why. Of the two (3)and (4), I have been told (4) is more frequently used, but (3) is a good sentence as well. What is the difference between the two? The same with (7) and (8)? (1)I guess he won't come. (good.) (2)*I don't guess he will come.( bad? I'm not sure.) (3)I think he won't come.( good.) (4)I don't think he will come. (good.) (5)I hope he won't...Read More...

"Arrive in" or "arrive at"

soheilbiglary
I know the difference between "arrive in" and "arrive at," but which one is more correct for such a big airport like Heathrow in Britain or J.F.Kennedy in the U.S.A and even Frank- fort in Germany? Some how they look like a city with transportation. When I was listening to a Video-Casette of Headway book, which is now one of the best in our country, I heard "arrive in Heathrow" so please make it clear for me. Soheil BiglaryRead More...

"In" -- necessary or not in second phrase

I found the following sentence(1) on p. 96 in the Reader's Digest, 2003, Oct. (1) This little sprig is a cutting from a 3000-year-old olive tree. Probably the oldest one in Europe, maybe the world Is another "in" not necessary before "the world"?. If the answer is no, or either is acceptable, what's the difference? Thank you. appleRead More...

"Join" and "Join with "

Hello, I'm confused whenever I use "join + somebody" and "join with + somebody". For example, He joined with me a club. He joined a club with me. What's different? Thanks RachelRead More...

Relative pronouns: "which" or "who," and "that"

Hi, today I have a question. If the antecedent is with a superlative or an other word of exclusive or comprehensive meaning, such as 'all', 'only', 'any', '-thing' etc, it is often used not with 'which' but with 'that': This is the most most beautiful picture THAT I have ever seen. I will tell you everything THAT I know about him. Here, they are used obeying the rule of it. But I have found the exceptions... * The most abominable din and confusion which it is possible for a reasonable person...Read More...

Status quo

Is it correct to say: " We are in the same status quo." Thank you for your help. CyrusRead More...

Simple past or past progressive

Hello, Which of the following is used when I question someone about the scene of the robbery. How many robbers went into the bank? How many robbers were going into the bank? Thanks a lot.Read More...

"provided (that)"

We can say: "I can't bake a cake unless I get some flour. " We should say: "I can bake a cake provided that I get some flour" I hope someone can explain what the rule is for not being able to say: "I can't bake a cake provided I can't get flour." I think it has something to do with a requirement or proviso, but I'm in difficulty figuring out the precise rule. Thanks!Read More...

"The media" - it x they

To college educated native speakers, does one of these sentences sound better than the other? The media was wrong and it did not apologize. The media was wrong and they did not apologize. Thanks GiseleRead More...

"The same" + ???

Hello! I have a question about grammar; is the following sentence grammatically wrong? "I live in the same building with some native workers" instead of "I live in the same building as some native workers." Thank you in advance. OznelRead More...

Concept of (the) world

A student of mine recently produced the following sentence: "Regarding the average citizen, if the television, the radio or newspapers do not forge his concept of world , what will do that?" Is the phrase "concept of world" appropriate, or would it be better to include the definite article before the noun "world" - "concept of the world"? If both are correct, which one sounds better? Thanks. Gisele São Paulo, BrazilRead More...

Future tenses -- differences?

Hello, What is the difference in the following sentences please : a) We are having a grammar lesson next Friday. b) We will be having a grammar lesson next Friday. c) We will have a grammar lesson next Friday. Also, are they all grammatically correct ? Many thanks. RickyRead More...

"Whose" as relative pronoun

I have a doubt concerning the usage of "whose". After the noun which the relative pronoun refers to is mentioned, I believe it is possible to use the personal pronoun "it", in reference to the same noun; at any rate I think I have seen sentences (in supposedly reliable sources) where this kind of structure happens. However, pondering on the question, I´m now not so sure - using a personal pronoun would seem to be wrong; it sounds like a repetitive reference to the noun being qualified.Read More...

"To" + verb or "of" + -ing"

Hello, What rule is applied to choosing between "to" and "of-ing" in the pairs? What is the difference between each sentence in the following pairs? (1)That is the way to understand it. (2)That is the way of understanding it. (3)I have the responsibility to do the job. (4)I have the responsibility of doing the job. (5)He has the ability to finish the work in time. (6)He has the ability of finishing the work in time. appleRead More...
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