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live on the trunks

Could i say, (a) Many mushrooms live on the trunks. (b) Many mushrooms live on the tree trunks. (c) The mushrooms grow on dead and rotting trunks. (d) Many mushrooms are living / growing on the tree trunks.Read More...
Yes to all.Read More...

from / by/with

Which are correct, (a) He buys meat with / from / by a butcher. (b) He buys the meat with a butcher.Read More...
"He buys meat from a butcher." However, if the meat has already been mentioned -- if this is not a generalization or if this is the second mention of "meat" -- then the sentence would be: "He buys the meat from a butcher."Read More...

'still' vs. 'yet'

This question has been sent in by Rogerio. Hi!I would like to know the difference between "still" and "yet" in interrogative , negative and affirmative.Read More...
"Still" is used to express that a situation continues to exist from the past to the present without change. It comes in the middle of the sentence. It can be used in affirmative, negative, and interrogative sentences: "¢ It was cold yesterday. It is still cold today. We still need to wear coats. "¢ I could play the piano when I was a child. I can still play the piano. "¢ Even though Hattie turned out the light at 10:30, she was still awake at midnight. "¢ I loved you last year, I still love...Read More...

walk across / at / go through the desert

Which ones are acceptable? How to correct? (a)Two people go to desert and take a ride. (Is there are one complete sentence?) (b)They walk at the desert and ride a camel. (c)They go through the desert by riding camels. (d)They go to the desert to have a ride. (e)They go to desert and ride the camels. (f)They go to the desert with riding a camel. (g)The people who live on/in the desert ride camels. (h)The people who want to across the desert can ride the camel. (i)The men are in the desert...Read More...
Some of these sentences may or may not be OK in the corrections. Some of them – especially those with articles – might be different from one another in different contexts. But here goes: (a)Two people go to desert and take a ride. (Is there are one complete sentence?) OK grammatically, but not idiomatically. ("Take a ride" does not usually mean a ride in a camel on a desert.) (b)They walk at the desert and ride a camel. They walk IN the desert and ride CAMELS. (c)They go through the desert...Read More...

a nail in/ into/ on the wall

This question has been sent in by Vincent. Which preposition is correct? He is hammering a nail in / into / on the wall.Read More...
Because the nail is moving from outside the wall to inside the wall: "¢ He is hammering the nail INTO the wall. "In the wall" would be inside the wall: "¢ Shh! The room is bugged! There are microphones in the wall. "On the wall" would be at a surface on the outside of the wall: "¢ The pictures are hanging on the wall. RachelRead More...

go down in smoke

Dear experts, Could you comment on the expressions GO DOWN IN SMOKE / GO UP IN SMOKE. Thank you, YuriRead More...
"Go up in smoke," or "go up in flames," means, literally, to be completely destroyed by fire, as in these examples from the New York Times: "¢ Two weeks ago, he won the pole at Michigan and led 81 of the first 89 laps before the engine in his Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet went up in smoke . Published: July 3, 2004 "¢ At the touch of a button, the entire system for extracting, transporting and refining oil would go up in smoke . May 21, 2005 _______ Figuratively, "go up in smoke" refers to...Read More...

modals again - 'must' vs. 'be to'

Dear Rachel, thank you for your answer! In one of multipmle choice tests the students were asked to choose the following: We ___________ ship the goods in May. a must b are to c have d need I think, a,b, c can be chosen, it depends on the situation. Am I right or not, would you help me, please?Read More...
"C" and "D" are not correct because of the form of the auxiliaries – they are "have TO" and "need TO." Out of context, the sentence is not so clear. You are correct that "A" or "B" would work. But the contexts in which this sentence would be found could vary: Situation 1: A: Sweetie Pie stores called. They need the goods right away! B: But we won't be finished manufacturing them until June! A: Well, it's April now. Work overtime if you have to. We MUST ship the goods in May or we'll lose the...Read More...

will in before-clause

Transfer students must have completed one full-time semester at Clemson University before they will be considered for University scholarships. I think 'will be considered' should be changed to 'are considered' in the above sentence. What do you think? _________________ Thank you very much for your reply.Read More...
Yes, if this were a "future" event and only a future event, "will" would not be appropriate. This "before"- clause, however, isn't only about the future; the verb, although it's in the passive, carries the force of volition (willingness). The volition isn't on the part of the transfer students; it's on the part of the (understood) agent of the verb "consider," namely, the people who award University scholarships. The sentence means, in effect, --Transfer students must have completed one...Read More...

modals - 'must' vs. 'be to'

Could you give me some information about the modals 'to be' and 'must'? What is the difference between the following sentences; You must type this letter and You are to type this letter? Maybe, one of the sentences isn` t correct? Thank you in advance, AnnaRead More...
Both sentences are correct. "Must" can express an order to someone, as in your first sentence. "Be to" can indicate to someone that s/he is required or expected to do something. In both cases, the sentences are spoken by someone in a superior position to someone in a lower position, here, obviously, a boss. The meanings are quite unfriendly if they are indeed spoken by a boss to his/her inferior! RachelRead More...

have a bird

Dear experts, Could you comment on the expressions HAVE A BIRD, HAVE A CANARY as in: When I told my daughter she was grounded, she had a bird... began screaming and crying. Honeyfeather sat on the chair waiting to hear what her punishment was to be. Her father would probably dismiss it as a childish high spirits but her mother was going to have a canary. Thank you, YuriRead More...
The expressions are similar. In fact, I would have said they could be used interchangeably, with the meaning of reacting angrily. However, in your first sentence, "have a canary" does not quite seem to fit. Maybe "have a bird" is used when a person is not in a position to do anything about a situation. "Have a canary" seems to be used when the person normally does have control over a situation? If this is true, then in the second sentence, "have a bird" would not fit. Anyway, I found these...Read More...

had/simple past

Dear teachers, Is the following sentence correct? I will come there and verify whether what you HAD said is true. Aneeth PrabhakarRead More...
The natural way to say the idea is --I will come there and verify whether what you said [at some time in the past] is true The past perfect might be used if there has been a past situation in the discourse and a previous utterance on the part of the addressee. Even then, a speaker would probably use the simple past "said." MarilynRead More...

'fill in' and 'fill up'

This question was sent in by Vincent. Can i say, (a) I have to fill in / up the form. (b) My car is running out of petrol. I have to fill in / up.Read More...
In summary: a) I have to fill in the form. b) I have to fill it up. _______ For a) "fill out" is often the same as "fill in" when referring to a form or an application. (It is not a given choice, though, in this question.) English is sometimes strange. "Fill in" and "fill out" often mean the same thing. So do "burn up" and "burn down." So do "flammable" and "inflammable." RachelRead More...

Possessive noun or noun as adjective: 'student' + 'responsibilities'

Dear Rachel & Marilyn . Would you please tell me whether the following expression is correct or wrong ? - students responsibilities . If it's wrong , would you please tell me why ?. N.B : You know that when two nouns come together the first noun works as an adjective to the second noun . But , in this case , can the first noun be plural as in the mentioned expression or it should be singular as an adjective ? For example : We say " an apple tree " . Here , " an apple " is a singular noun...Read More...
There are several valuabe postings on this Newsgroup about this topic. Do a search for "possessive" under "find" at the top of this chart. To see another one of the best, click on: https://thegrammarexchange.infopop.cc/eve/forums/a/t.../635101054#635101054 RachelRead More...

The bag has no wheel / wheels

Can i say, (a) The bag has no wheel / wheels.Read More...
Suitcases are often referred to as "bags," so "The bag has no wheels" would be perfect. If an item is supposed to have only one wheel -- say, for example, a wheelbarrow -- you'd probably say: We can't use this junky wheelbarrow. It doesn't even have a wheel! OR This wheelbarrow doesn't have a wheel. OR This wheelbarrow has no wheel. RachelRead More...

'clothes' or 'clothing'

This question has been sent in by Vincent. Which is correct? (a) Mother is ironing our clothes / clothing. What is the difference in meaning?Read More...
Yes, "clothing" is too general a word for this sentence. "Clothing" is something more abstract that the clothes that you have or wear or are in your house. Here are several examples of "clothing," from Google: "¢ Haburi.com - Designer clothing for men and women from names such as: Versace and DKNY. Hartt Apparel - Selection of Carhartt and general clothing for men, ... dmoz.org/Shopping/ clothing / "¢ Designers of technical outdoor clothing for skiing, climbing, snowboarding, paddling,...Read More...

About the date (2)

i know we can say,"The first of July" same as 1 July. It is also same as number 1(first),21(twenty-first),31(thirty-first). But, how about others? Mind to show me how do we say in other number in date? Mind to list down?Read More...
(a) 10th August = The tenth of August OR August tenth 11th August = The eleventh of August OR August eleventh 12th August = The twelfth of August or August twelfth 13th August = The thirteenth of August or August thirteenth 14th August = The fourteenth of August or August fourteenth 15th August = The fifteenth of August or August fifteenth 16th August = The sixteenth of August or August sixteenth 17th August = The seventeenth of August or August seventeenth 18th August = The eighteenth of...Read More...

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...
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