All Forum Topics

past perfect tense

Dear All, Please take a look at the following : " We feel the terms of his probation will make up for anything that the jury HAD taken from us." Q : Is the other 'past event'of the past perfect tense = before the judge gave out the terms of the probation ie ".... the jury had taken from us before the judge gave ...terms of the probation." Q : Would the present perfect tense still convey the same meaning ie "... that the jury HAS taken from us." Many thanks. RickyRead More...

important that

Hi, In sentences of the type It + be + "urgency" adjective + that + rest of the noun clause, isn't it necessary to use the subjunctive form? Such as in, "It's important for me that everything be clear". Or is it also equally acceptable to say, "It's important for me that everything is clear". Does it make any difference if we leave out the prepositional phrase "for me"? When a sentence has this introductory "It", inversion of the parts is also possible, so that the noun clause comes first,...Read More...

reveal + reflexive pronoun + infinitive

Hi, I have a doubt about the verb "reveal", concerning the possibility of the structure "reveal" + reflexive pronoun + infinitive. Google searches have confirmed that the occurrence of the structure is widespread. My question is, is it actually good English? For example, would it be okay to say something like, "The illiteracy situation in Brazil is better, the percentage revealing itself to be lower" According to educated usage, 1 - Is the part "revealing itself to be" correct? 2 - Is the...Read More...

relative word "that" with a comma

English Grammar by Betty Azar (p.281) says "When commas are necessary, the pronoun that may not be used (only who, whom, which, whose, where, and when may be used) This is how I had understood relative words, until I saw the following sentence in the September issue of Reader's Digest. Honeybees die because their stings have special barbs, attached to a poison sac, that lodge so firmly in the victim's skin that when the bee flies off, both sing and sac, together with a large part of the...Read More...

"same" as an adjective

In sentence (1) "red" is an adjective. In sentences (2)and (3), is "same" adjective? If so, why does (3) sound wrong without "the" before "same"? (1)I have a red bag. She has a bag too. It is red. (2)She has a bag. It is the same bag ( as she had last night, or as the one I have) (3)I have a bag. She has a bag too. They are same. AppleRead More...

potato chips

I'm wondering why "potato chips" is countable. My take on count and non-count nouns is whether the noun in question still retains its function and characteristic even when broken in small pieces. If yes, it's uncountable. If no, it's countable. A pen is countable and chalk is uncountable in this theory. According to Longman's dictionary of contemporary English, "chip" is a small piece broken off something. To me, potato chips are still potato chips when broken into smaller pieces. I know...Read More...

'Move up'? 'Increased my level'? 'Stepped up'? 'Made progress'?

Hello I'd like to ask how to express in this situation. If move to a higher level B from C, are there some sentences which can be used? 1) I leveled up from C to B. 2) I increased the level from C to B. 3) I stepped up the level from C to B. 4) I improved the level from C to B. 5) I made progress from the level C to B. I'd be glad to have better sentences. Thank you.Read More...

Tense with 'until recently'

Hello, teachers! Would you please tell me which tense is correct? 1. Until recently he [considered, has considered, had considered] himself a Democrat. 2. Until recently the civil war [was, has been, had been] largely unreported in the press. 3. Until recently, study of the use of interferon [was, has been, had been] restricted by its limited availability in pure form. Thank you very much. Best regards.Read More...

Noun Clause

Dear all, Here is a question in the exercise book of my school. Johnny told me _______ he was sick and _______ he would have one day off. (A)X, that (B) X, X (C) that, X (D)so, that The given answer is (A). Can anyone explain why (A) is the answer to the question? Thanks a lot for your patience!Read More...

The public are...?

I heard a sentence something like this: The public are getting fed up with their government. Is it possible to say "the public are" instead of "the public is"? The person speaking had a British accent, so perhaps this is the British way? HowardRead More...

animal groups

There are certain ways of counting animals; a pride of lions, a pack of wolves, a school of fish, a flight of birds, a drove of cattle, a troop of chimpanzees, etc. Sometimes the group name is interchangeable, although one is sometimes preferred over the other. For sheep, both "a herd of" and "a flock of" are used, although " a flock of" is preferred, according to the Google search. For elephants, "a herd of " is the norm, not "a flock of ". The size of the group, the size of the animals...Read More...

'speak French' or 'speak IN French'

Hello I'd like to check which is correct. 1) Can I speak French at the meeting? 2) Can I speak in French at the meeting? Shoud I put "in" or are both correct? And one more question: Is 3) OK? 3) Can I use French at the meeting? Thank you. LinaRead More...

present perfect in a dependent clause expressing future idea

Present perfect used in the dependent clause of a sentence expressing a future idea. We normally teach that, if you have a sentence with an independent and a dependent clause expressing future ideas, the verb in the independent clause shows future time and the verb in the dependent clause is expressed using a present time form. --> Tomorrow, when she [gets] here, I ['ll leave] immediately. However, sometimes we can use present perfect in the dependent clause. --> You ['ll feel] much...Read More...

the expression of gratitude

Hello I'd like to ask about the expression of gratitude. 1) You've been very kind to me. I cannot thank you too much. Is this expression Ok? Is " too much " correct? If it's not, would you tell me the right way? Thank you. LinaRead More...

Past perfect and chronological sequencing

Past perfect and simple past for sequenced actions in the past. Normally, grammar books teach that, when we have two events in the past, and one is completed before the next one occurs, the event that occurs first in time is expressed using past perfect, and the one that occurs closest to present time is expressed using simple past: --> He [had already finished] by the time she [arrived]. However, in some instances, the event that occurs earliest is expressed in simple past, and the...Read More...

Backshift or not

Hello, teachers! Please help me with this! 1. He realized that he [forgot, had forgotten] the dentist's appointment. 2. He realized that he [forgot, had forgotten] about the promise. Would you please tell me which tense is correct? Some people say that "had forgotten" is the only correct choice in both sentences. I agree with them that "had forgotten" is more common, but I think "forgot" is also correct when we say that he forgot and didn't meet the appointment or keep the promise while the...Read More...

Tense in the because-clause

Hello, teachers! Would you please tell me which tense is correct? The tenses in bold are the ones that, teachers in an edu-TV say, are correct. 1. She is sad as she [is, was ] dismissed. [I agree with the teacher.] 2. She was sad as she [was, had been ] dismissed. 3. Last night she looked sad since she [ was, had been ] fired. [I think #2 and #3 has the same structure and meaning. However, the teachers say different ways. Which is correct? Are both OK, or is only the past perfect OK?] 4. He...Read More...

The simple past or past perfect

Hello, teachers! Would you please tell me which tense is correct? I think both are OK with the same meaning. Am I correct? 1. She told me proudly that she [earned, had earned] $120,000 last year. 2. She told me outright that she couldn't forget that I [dumped, had dumped] her. Thank you very much. Best Regards.Read More...

for x to

Hi, Should I use "for" or "to", in sentences such as _____ me, the best option is ... It sounds / seems very strange ______ me I think "for" is slightly better than "to" in the first one and "to" is better in the second one, but I'm not sure! Prepositions are indeed an eternal challenge ! By the way, a challenge for me, or a challenge to me? Oh God... ...A challenge... I think "for me" sounds better here, like, "They're very difficult for me", "It's difficult for me / It's a challenge for me...Read More...

For/to me

This was originally posted by Gisele at 11:11 P.M. September 24 Hi again, In the following pairs, are both options possible and do they mean the same? Pair 1: (a) This is important for me (b) This is important to me Pair 2: (a) It is important for me to understand this (b) It is important to me to understand this Pair 3: (a) For me, this is a matter of great importance (b) To me, this is a matter of great importance Thanks, GiseleRead More...

neither...nor I

Hello, I have some doubts related to verb agreement when we use the neither-nor construction. I have read all kinds of conflicting information about the topic and I'm very confused! I'm especially interested in the case when the first person singular subject pronoun "I" is the second item. In fact, this is another point that is not clear to me - the need / lack of need to use "I" in the second position. For example, what is the correct agreement in a sentence like, "Neither ... nor I < be...Read More...

Relative pronoun in complement use

Todays' third question relates to relative pronouns which are used as complements. In an effort to understand this, I refered to A COMPREHENSIVE GRAMMAR OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE (1985) by Quirk et al. But the explanations seem to be contradictory and confusing (probably because of my lack of understading). The followings are their explanations; 1. In page 367, Note b. Which can have a personal noun phrase as its antecedent when the head is a complement with the role of characterization. ex)...Read More...

Guilty or not?

This question has been sent in by Ender . Which one is correct or do they mean the same? a) in the trial, he was found not guilty b) in the trial, he was not found guiltyRead More...

"do " and "can" + "understand" or "know"

"to understand" and "to know" have a semantic similarity. But we say "Do you understand ?" and "Can you understand?" although "can you" version is used less frequently. One tenth of "Do you understand" in Google search. On the other hand, we say "Do you know something?" but we almost never say " Can you know something?". I'm wondering how to explain this fact to students. Any help or advice would be appreciated. Thank you always. Apple.Read More...
×
×
×
×