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"fun", comparative form?

1. It's important to keep a promise. 2. It's fun to play tennis. Looking at the two sentences above, we can see both "important" and "fun" are adjectives. What are the comparative and superlative forms of "fun"? Since it's a short adjective with a single short vowel, it should be, according to the general rule, funner and funnest, as in "redder, reddest", but I don't think they are standard usage yet. Then "more fun" and "the most fun" would be acceptable? AppleRead More...

"Responsible' + infinitive, or + 'for' and gerund?

This question has been sent in by J. Ebert. Someone edited my copy. I took issue. Version 1: The board is responsible to determine the budget. Version 2: The board is responsible for determining the budget. _______ Question 1: Which is correct? Both seem grammatically correct to me. Question 2: If both are grammatically correct, should one be preferred, or is it purely a matter of personal choice? Question 3: If one should be preferred, why?Read More...

'While' and 'although'

Hello, As I was browsing earlier today in a forum on another site about the English language, a posting caught my attention. The discussion regards the possibility of using "while", with the meaning of "although", in the following sentences: 1 - The street is wet while it hasn't been raining 2 - While it hasn't been raining, the street is wet I find both sentences a bit strange (the second seems a little better – I can't explain why!) I know the conjunction "while" can be equivalent to...Read More...

'Will finish' or 'will have finished'?

This question was sent in by Sehoon. By the time I go to bed tonight, I ___ my work for the day. a. will finish b. have finished c. will have finished d. finish ---->Answer Key is "c. will have finished." Is "will" also correct if "will" express willingness? Thank you very much, Have a good day!Read More...

We or They?

When asked "How are your family?" in an email, can you reply "We are fine"? Or is it more proper and natural to say "They are fine"? Apple.Read More...

'Percentage is' or 'percentage are'

I wonder whether the "Answer Key" is correct or not. 1. What percentage of the people in the world (is, are) illiterate? ---> Answer Key is "is". I think "are" is correct. Am I wrong?Read More...

such that, such as

Can the following three sentences mean the same? Are they all grammatically acceptable? If so, any difference? 1. Let students read such books as will promote their motives for studying. 2. Let students read such books that will promote their motives for studying. 3. Let students read those books which/that will promote their motives for studying. AppleRead More...

Sports teams (e.g. 'the Tigers'): 'is' or 'are'?

This question was originally sent in by Hogel as a follow-up to "The Beatles was/were." Hello, teachers! Please help me again with this. What about sports teams, social clubs, etc? Is the same rule working? 1. Chances are the Tigers [are] going to lose the game. 2. The Good Boys [are] going to have a presidential election tomorrow. 3. Good Friends [are] going to participate in the event. Thank you very much. Best Regards.Read More...

'Between A and B,' or 'Between A to B'

I saw a sentence like the following. It wasn't written by a native speaker. I wondered if "to" should be "and". Or are they both acceptable. The class can be anywhere between 8 to 30. Apple.Read More...

'Just ' and 'only'

Are "just" and "only" interchangeable? Hi, Two days ago, one of my students, Julia, said something that I found a bit puzzling (and somewhat aggravating too!) I had always assumed that when it's possible to use "only" in a sentence, the adverb "just" is also (maybe not always but most of the times) a valid option. Julia told me, however, that when she was speaking to an American lady the other day, the erudite nitpicker frowned upon the use of "just" in a certain sentence. The sentence was...Read More...

"worry" and "be worried"

Thank you always for your information and help. I have a question. What would be the difference between "begin to worry" and " begin to be worried"? Personally I tend to say "I began to worry" instead of "I began to be worried". I would say "I'm worried" instead of "I worry". Google search yields 45400 instances of "begin or began to worry" while only 462 hits are found for "begin or began to be worried". But there are 86800 instances of "she or he worries" and 44300 examples of "she or he...Read More...

Gerund or participle

Hello, teachers! - I saw a video clip of [your, you] singing, provided by your manager. In this sentence, which is the correct choice? I thought 'singing' was a gerund, so both were correct, but someone says it is a participle and 'your' is incorrect. Is she right? Is it possible for a video clip, not "you", to sing? Thank you very much. Best Regards.Read More...

'That,' 'who' and 'whom'

Here is a multiple choice question as to the relative pronouns. The answer key says (1) that is correct. Why aren't whom and who acceptable? He is not the coward ( ) he was ten years ago. 1.that 2.who 3. when 4. whom AppleRead More...

'Who' as a noun

Hello, Is it possible for the relative pronoun "who", which normally requires an antecedent noun/pronoun, to be used independently, or do we need to say "he who / the one who / the person who, as in: 1 - Who thinks he knows it all is deluded 2 - Beware who thinks he knows it all 3 - The most untrustworthy person is who thinks he knows it all 4 - Seeking the wisdom of who thinks he knows it all can lead to trouble The sentences sound uncommon, if a little old-fashioned, but relatively okay to...Read More...

'To freak' vs. 'to freak out'

Hello, teachers! Would you please tell me the difference in meaning between these two sentences? 1. The dog freaked the boy out. 2. The dog freaked the boy. Thank you very much. Best Regards.Read More...

'To chase' vs. 'to chase after'

Hello, teachers! Would you please tell me the difference in meaning between these two sentences? 1. The dog chased after the boy around the house. 2. The dog chased the boy around the house. Thank you very much. Best Regards.Read More...

Expletive subject and true subject: 'it is you that is' or 'is it you that are'?

From the following two sentences: 1). It is you that are crazy. 2). It is you that is crazy. It seems to me that sentence (1) is the correct one. However, if the sentence is changed to: 3). It is not you that are crazy. 4). It is not you that is crazy. Now, it seems to me that sentence (4) is the correct one. Is my understanding correct here?Read More...

'One' or 'it'

I know the basic usage of "one" and "it", but in the following situation, which is correct? You need a quarter to buy a drink or something but you don't have one, so you're asking a friend next to you to spare you a quarter. A: If you have a quarter, could you lend me one? B: If you have a quarter, could you lend it to me? C: If you have a quarter, can I borrow one? D: If you have a quarter, can I borrow it? I have an impression "one" is better, unless both the speaker and the listener...Read More...

Do we need 'it' or not?

Hello, teachers! - The event still hurts to think about [it]. Do we need 'it' or not? A native speaker says we need it, but IMHT it isn't necessary, as in "That is too heavy to lift [it]." What do you think of my thought? Thank you very much. Best Regards.Read More...

That [be] the last time + 'will'

Hello, teachers! Would you please tell me which tense is best? 1. If you do this again, it will be the last time I [forgive, will forgive, am forgiving] you. 2. This is the last time we [are, will be, will have been] together before you move to Tokyo. Let's make the most of it. Thank you very much. Best Regards.Read More...

the perfect continuous

Hello I'd like to ask about the perfect tense. If you want to talk about the action which began in the past and is still continuing, you will use the present perfect continuous. However, sometimes the present perfect simple seems to be used for the same situation. Would you take a look at the following sentences? 1) It has been raining hard since last night. 2) It has rained hard since last night. Instead of 1) do you use 2)? Here is another sentence. 3) Mary was angry because she had waited...Read More...

'Harder than,' 'more than,' 'better than'

Hello I'd like to ask about how to use "more". Would you take a look at the following sentences? 1) If I had studied harder, I could have passed the exam. 2) If I had studied more, I could have passed the exam. Can I use "more" instead of " harder"? If so, do they express the same meaning? Thank you.Read More...

It won't be long before + "will"

Hello, teachers! Would you please tell me which is better, with or without 'will'? - It won't be long before we [will] suffer from a shortage of water. Thank you very much. Best Regards.Read More...

Long since

What is the function of "since" in (1)? (1)They have long since disappeared I'm fine with the meaning. It's not a conjunction as in "I haven't seen her since last week". Apple .Read More...

It looks like rain.

What is the part of speech of"rain" in the following sentence (1)? (1) It looks like rain. Is it a noun? AppleRead More...
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