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lie down on the job

Dear experts, Is it LIE or LAY DOWN ON THE JOB: After a few months of obediently pressing the right buttons, they get tired of the whole business and lie down on the job. Instead of quitting outright, they ask for more money and commence to ˜lay down' on the job and get impudent. Thank you, YuriRead More...
It's true that "lie down" is correct for this expression, although you hear "lay down" (incorrectly) very, very often. "Lie / lay / lain" are the principal parts of the intransitive verb. "Lay / laid / laid" are the principal parts of the transitive verb. (But you knew that!) Here's an interesting and amusing article on "lie" and "lay," which are often confused in English. http://www.uexpress.com/coveringthecourts/index.html?uc_full_date=20010513 RachelRead More...

and (or) or

* Which is correct: a) Choose from a, b and c: b) Choose from a, b or c: I think that (a) is the correct one. If we want to use (or) we can say: Choose a, b or c: Please give me your openion in this question.Read More...
I have no problems with a) Choose from a, b and c In mathematics, when a set is composed of 3 elements (a,b,c), I think it's read a, b and c. The main justification for the prevalence of "or" in test circumstances is that many times it's assumed that only one answer is correct, thus if you choose a you can't also choose b.Read More...

that OR so that

Hello. A friend wanted to define the word "damage" so he defined it as follows: damage: to destroy something that can't be used again. I think that the sentece isn't correct in this way and that we should add "so" before "that" to make it correct. The sentence thus will be like this: damage: to destroy something so that it can't be used again. My friend says that there is no difference between his sentence and mine especially that he used "again" at the end of the sentence. Please tell us...Read More...
BTW, damage doesn't mean "destroy," just "impair," or "affect." ------- transitive verb : to do or cause damage to : HURT, INJURE, IMPAIR <rehabilitation centers for men damaged by war> <damaged his case by overstating it> <frost severe enough to damage fruit trees> intransitive verb : to become damaged <a sturdy cloth that does not damage easily> synonym see INJURE Merriam-Webster Dictionary (unabridged) ----------Read More...

any other

Dear Rachel & Marilyn , Would you please tell me if anything wrong with the following sentence ? - She doesn't read any other newspaper . ** If there is any mistake , please tell me why ? . Thank you very much . SayedRead More...
Yes, "another" does go in front of a singular count noun. However, when "any" is used, the "an-" part of "another" is not. "Does not need any" means "does not need even one.". "Another" means "one," of a kind or class already established. "Any" takes the place of "an-" in "any other person, man, woman, child, car, boat, tree," etc. _______ "Any other" is also used with noncount nouns: She didn't give me any other information, advice, newss. I didn't see any other meat, butter, milk, etc. in...Read More...

Until

* Is the following sentece correct: She had never used a robot until I bought her one. or should it be like this: She didn't use a robot until I had bought her one. Thanks a lot.Read More...
IMO, the preference in English is to use the past perfect in the main (sentence). Thus, even though the 2nd variant is workable, it's not the most frequent, as in the subordinate the past perfect is preferably simplified to simple past. Check "tense simplification" in Swan, Modern English Usage. Also, you may want to look at the examples here: http://www.englishpage.com/verbpage/pastperfect.htmlRead More...

'knowledge' - what verbs and quantity expressions go with it?

This sentence has been sent in by Vincent. Can i say, (a) I gain / improve / got / increase knowledge. (b) I improve a piece / peices of knowledge. (c) I got plenty of / few / a few of knowledge.Read More...
(This material is from Oxford Collocations*) These are some verbs that go with "knowledge": "¢ acquire, gain, have, demonstrate, flaunt, parade, show, show off, test, apply ... The job gave her the chance to apply the knowledge she had acquired at university. ...share... The barman was happy to share his knowledge of wine with us. ...spread... The volunteers' task is to spread knowledge of how to prevent the disease ...broaden, extend, improve, increase, deny. He denied all knowledge of what...Read More...

conditional

1-I want the paternity test done. If he was my father I could be in line for some real money when he dies. 2-I want the paternity test done. If he were my father I could be in line for some real money when he dies. 3-I want the paternity test done. If he is my father I could be in line for some real money when he dies. Which is correct? I thought that the conditional with the simple past tense (second type, 1st and 2nd sentences) could only be used if the condition was impossible, or at...Read More...
You are correct, Navi. Only the third sentence is correct if there is a possibility that the man is your father. Native speakers often do use "if I (he, it, etc.) were," in trying to be super-correct, but that's not right. The first sentence might, though, be used if the father is dead: "I want the paternity test done. I never knew my father and he died last week. If he was my father, I could be in line for some real money when he dies." The second sentence could only be used if indeed, the...Read More...

wink

Hi. Please check the following sentence: * I haven't slept a wink, ...........? What is the question tag here? Is it : have I? {as the regular rule says} or haven't I? {considering wink as a negative word}Read More...
I haven't slept a wink, have I ? "Have I" is the tag ending that goes with "I haven't." "Wink" is just a plain old noun, in an idiomatic expression, "have not slept a wink." It doesn't cause anything to happen to the verb. RachelRead More...

omission of the subject pronoun in a relative clause

I've known that the omission of the subjective relative pronoun is uncommon. But it's also possible in case of the sentence begining with THERE IS / ARE~~ . (e.g. there was a farmer had a dog...) I wonder if the following is right, and so, why is the relative omitted? This is a new trend in the education in the USA has appeared among parents anxious to give their children a head start in the increasing competition for better jobs and better lives.Read More...
The omission of the subject pronoun in a relative clause is not standard. It is called "nonstandard" by some references. The line Howdy gave us and similar lines like it, are often the first lines of jokes. _______ Interestingly and fortuitously, this very subject has been the subject of a most enlightening discussion between Chuncan Feng and Marilyn. And in fact, this very discussion is the first item that comes up on Ask when you putin "subject prononoun omitted from relative clause." I am...Read More...

follow-up to PUT THE LID ON

Dear experts, As regards my previous query concerning the expressions PUT THE LID ON / TAKE THE LID OFF will it be right to assume that they may express opposite meanings when substituted in: sexual development may have been arrested and unable to grow naturally in an environment that tended to PUT THE LID ON / TAKE THE LID OFF those things. At the same time NO antonymous substitution is possible in the context such as: I sympathized with Master Jimmie's desire, but I very promptly PUT THE...Read More...
' Only PUT THE LID ON can be used here, because of "but."Read More...

hear / listen a joke

Can i say, (a) The boys laugh after hearing / listening the jokes. (b) The boys laugh after hearing / listening to the jokes.Read More...
Can i say, (a) The boys laugh after hearing / listening the jokes. (b) The boys laugh after hearing / listening to the jokes _______ You'd probably say, "The boys laughed after hearing the jokes." _______ It would be possible to say, "The boys laughed after listening to the jokes," but in that case, the boys would have to be prepared to hear the jokes, to set themselves up for it. If you listen to something, you are trying to hear it. _______ These definitions are from the American Heritage...Read More...

on / in /at/ by the field?

Which ones are acceptable? (a) He plays football on / in / at/ by the field. Is there any other acceptable preposition?Read More...
No, we wouldn't mind answering your question! We enjoy answering the questions you send in. We are trying hard to keep up with you! Actually, there are times and places it's possible to use "in" or "at" in your sentence. Google shows 229 instances of "play football in the field," like this: "¢ Our young friends are not eager to go and play football in the field or take up athletics. They are very much interested in watching love stories and other ...Read More...

take a lesson with/from/ somebody

Which ones are acceptable? (a) He is taking a lesson from / with his coach. (b) He have tennis lessons with his coach. (c) He learn the lessons from his badminton coach.Read More...
Not correct, unless she writes some lessons (assignments) under the direction of her coach, which isn't very likely. MarilynRead More...

During the last summer?

Can i use the sentence in this way: (a) We go camping last summer. (b) We go camping during the last summer.Read More...
The example sentences are not English. The main verb in a clause has to be marked for tense. English verbs have a present tense and a past tense. The present tense is not used for past actions or states. With past time expressions, the verb in a sentence must be in a past tense form, not a present tense form. The correct past tense form for the verb "go" is "went." The sentences should be (a) We went camping last summer (b) We went camping during last summer If you make the noun "summer"...Read More...

Reference to / With reference to ..

Dear Rachel & marilyn, Would you please tell me whether both of the following expressions are correct ? . 1- Reference to your letter ... 2- With reference to your letter ... ** If any of them is wrong , please tell me why ? *** Also please tell me , when I want to mention date of that letter , Shall I say for example : - dated on 1/4/2006 OR - dated 1/4/2006 . Would you please write the correct expression in full . Thank you very much for your kind and great help . SayedRead More...
I prefer In reference to your letter dated 1/30/2004 (or of January 30, 2004) but "with" is also valid, and a bit more prevalent in Yahoo searches, it seems. Check this link: Guide to Basic Business Letters http://esl.about.com/cs/onthejobenglish/a/a_basbletter.htmRead More...

pseudo antonyms?

Dear experts, Would you agree that PUT THE LID ON SOMETHING and TAKE THE LID OFF SOMETHING are not antonymous in meaning: put the lid on something – (also: put the tin lid on something) 1. spoil or cause a plan, an activity, etc. to end: When he came out pointblank one morning with a request to go with us as cabin boy... I sympathized with Master Jimmie's desire, but I very promptly put the lid on his hopes. 2. suppress or ˜clamp down on' smth.: I would say their sexual development may have...Read More...
I agree that they are antonyms in their proper/direct/straight interpretation and that they are less than that in their figurative interpretation.Read More...

putting on the gloves

Dear experts, Could you provide definition for the phrase PUT ON THE GLOVES as in: This was the day Newt Gingrich put on the gloves against Lyndon Johnson. Newt scored a clean knockout over the late president in the Medicare championship bout. When you have the guts to debate the issues on merit instead of intolerance, I'm ready to put on the gloves. Thank you, Yuri P.S. As regards my previous query concerning the expressions PUT THE LID ON / TAKE THE LID OFF will it be right to assume that...Read More...
this is put on the FIGHTING/BOXING gloves, get ready for the fight, and enter the fray ... all figurative in many cases, say fighting over ideas, ideologies, etc.Read More...

About the date

I know that the correct way to write the date as below: (a) 25 July 2006 or 25th July 2006 (b) July 25, 2006 or July 25th, 2006 by the way, how do i spell out the word ?Read More...
There needs to be a comma after the name of the month: UK English: "”25 July, 2006 "”25th July, 2006 US English: "”July 25, 2006 "”July 25, 2006 The full spelling is "”The twenty-fifth of July, two thousand sixRead More...
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