All Forum Topics

"Much"

Can you use "much" in affirmative statements? Ex: I have much milk (sugar).Read More...

No infinitive after convince?

I have been taught that one of the differences between "to persuade" and "to convince" is that persuade may be followed by an infinitive, whereas convince never is. Although I don't know the reasons behind it, I do agree with this rule as I usually see convince followed by an of phrase or a that clause. I sometimes see people break this rule. For example: But others soon caught on to his talent and convinced him to go into business for himself... (Detroit News) ...it was this view and his...Read More...

Something about "help"

The use of non-finite verb following "to help" has been something I've never been able to explain. It seems to me that they can be devided into 3 categories. a: to help someone do something Ex: Heat waves are important precisely because they help us understand everyday conditions that always affect the society but are difficult to see. b: to help someone to do something Ex: Heat waves are important precisely because they help us to understand everyday conditions that always affect the...Read More...

"Tired" or "more tired"?

I'm using "Fundamentals of English Grammar", 3rd edition, and I'm stumped by a question in the workbook -- Practice 19, p. 181, #5. The official answer is "The longer I look at a computer screen, the more tired my eyes get." I agree this looks and sounds better than "the tireder", but all my dictionaries show "tired" as one syllable, and one-syllable ajectives are supposed to use -er, rather than more ___. Is there an exception I've forgotten here? Or this this evidence that "tired" is...Read More...

Does "fully" modify "his"?

In the sentenece "The responsibility is fully his", does "fully" modify "his"? If so, is "his" here an adjective? I thought adverbs modify verbs and adjectives, and "his" is a pronoun. Must be an embarassingly elementary question but... Thank you. KenRead More...

Comma and "which"

Do we need to put comma before "which" in the following sentence? The Shanghai Museum has paid $4.5 million to retrieve a calligraphic collection which experts termed the most significant event in cultural relics preservation since communist China was founded in 1949.Read More...

'Off' -- adjective or adverb?

Hello.I'm a Japanese English learner. When I was looking up the word 'off' in a dictionary, I got a question. So please get me out of trouble. The dictionary said that when we say 'She is off today, this 'off' is adverb. But when we say 'My guess was off," the dictionary said this 'off' was adjective. Why is this difference? These two words are the same. Please give me the correct answer. I'm so anxious to know!Read More...

"Bring" and "take"

Hello, Which of the following are correct? And some explanation would be appreciated. I had to bring my daughter to school. I had to take my daughter to school. Thanks for the help.Read More...

On the topic of "a whole nother"

I read a former question regarding the usage of "whole nother." I have a theory on this phenomenon. I believe that the construction of "another" almost sounds like article ("a") plus noun ("nother") Even though we consciously KNOW that these are not two separate words, perhaps our tongues forget this fact. (I thought of this when listening to a Pink Floyd lyric: All in all we're just a (beat) nother brick in the wall." The break between the two letters would make a non English speaker...Read More...

The difference: "was in" a place or "went to" a place?

Hello, Please could I have the difference explained between these two sentences: 1) I was in Geneva last week. 2) I went to Geneva last week. The meaning is the same, but how/when do we use them? Thank-you.Read More...

Infinitive with or without "to"?

Hello, A student of mine asked about the follwing sentence: All you need to do is fill out the necessary information and bring it back to me. She is wondering why she can't use the infinitive form "to fill out" in this sentence. My opinion is that "fill out the necessary information and bring it back to me" is functioning as a command within this sentence, in which case the infinitive would not be appropriate. Is that the best explanation, or is there a better one? Thanks!Read More...

Word order of 'probably' and 'isn't'

I have two questions. First,which is correct? 1. She's probably not going to be ... 2. She probably isn't going to be ... It was written to be like the sentences in the Answer key of 'Fundamentals of Emglish Grammar work book'. One -> I'm probably not going to ... another -> They probably aren't going to ... another -> She probably isn't going to ... Which one is correct? Second, are the meanings of the following sentences different? 1. Maybe he will come to class. 2. Maybe he come...Read More...

Present Perfect

Hello, Would like some clarification. I am told that you cannot say :- I have been tired. It should be:- I was tired./ I am tired. Why can't we use the Present Perfect? Thank - you.Read More...

"Design" vs. "designing"

A student of mine asked me a question about this sentence: The architect presented the board with the ____________ of the proposed additions to the factory. The answer should be "design," but one of the choices was "designing." The student wants to know why "designing" cannot be used as a noun in this sentence. I was really stumped because it would seem that "designing" would fit there as a noun, but it just doesn't sound right. Any thoughts?Read More...

"Food" vs. "foods"

I am wondering if there is a rule for using the word "food" as a count or non-count noun. In the example below, why is food singular in all the sentence except the last one? Is it because only specific "foods" out of the general category "food" are problematic? People have different attitudes toward food. Some are adventurous and some are not. Adventurous people are willing to try new different food. There are those who are vegetarians or allergic to certain types of food. These people would...Read More...

"Bodily" or "body" as adjective

I notice on the new crime scene investigation TV shows that they refer to "bodily fluids" and "body parts." Why the different adjectives? Could they be interchanged to "body fluids" and "bodily parts"? HowardRead More...

But / However

Hi All, I need some explanation. what is the difference between "but" and "however" ? in the following sentence for example: I learnt French easily, but I didn't like my teacher. I learnt French easily. However, I didn't like my teacher. Some explanation would be welcomed..ThanksRead More...

Usage of "also"

I'm not sure of the more conventional of them. He, also his friend is coming, isn't he? He, also his friend is coming, aren't they?Read More...

"In THAT case" or "In THIS case"?

The difference between this/that is sometimes tricky for us non-natives. "Heat the water to 100 degree C. In (that/ this) temperature water starts to boil" Somehow, I have the impression that if you choose "that", it is an objective anaphora or backward reference to the word "temperature" which have mentioned before. Whereas "this temperature" could mean that the writer more strongly focused upon what he is about to write in the new sentence than "that temperature". Am I imagining things? I...Read More...

"Are you tired vs. "aren't you tired"?

My colleague and I were wondering about the difference between these two questions: Are you tired of eating out? Aren't you tired of eating out? The person asking either of these questions is looking for the same information from both (whether the person is tired of eating out), so why do we sometimes use "not" in these kinds of questions?Read More...

If....past tense/unless....past tense

Does the following sentence has the same structure and rules as the "if...past tense" rules? Nobody wants to fly with that small airlines unless one is willing to endure the pain of being made to wait for a long time only to be told that no seat was available and one had to wait for the next available flight.Read More...

Word order in noun clauses

Of these two senteces which one is correct ? and why? To me the first one sounds correct. (1) Can you tell me how much is it? (2) Can you tell me hom much it is? The 2nd one is the way in which it is written in the book and I am not quite sure.Read More...
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