All Forum Topics

People who ITmight be appropriate for you...?

I wonder what the part of the speech of "it" in the sample sentence (1) and whether the sentence structure changes without "it". I vaguely remember this being discussed some time back in this Newsgroup. But I don't remember when and where. (1) You know, ma'am, we really don't have a lot of people who it might be appropriate for you to choose. Is the sentence correct without "it"? If not, can you tell me why? The sentence (1) can be separated as in (2)and (3) (2) We really don't have a lot of...Read More...

Money orders

Dear experts, Are the following terms used in the USA: POST-OFFICE ORDER, POSTAL MONEY ORDER, POSTAL ORDER and if so, could you comment on the difference in their meanings (if any). Thank you, YuriRead More...

On getting mad

Dear experts, Accept my profound thanks and the very best New Year wishes! Would you confirm my assumption that the expresssions MAD AT SOMETHING and MAD ON SOMETHING can each cover only ONE meaning of the phrase MAD ABOUT SOMETHING which however covers both their meanings: mad at something - (coll.) very angry about smth.: Didn't General Cass get mad at Hull's cowardice, and break his sword? mad on something - (coll.) very enthusiastic about smth.; excessively interested in smth.: I'm just...Read More...

Functions of "unawares"

In the following examples, what is the function of "unawares"? I'm fine with the meaning. "Professor, suppose I have a hot story and the guy I'm after won't talk to me on the phone. Do I climb into his window and try to catch him unawares?" ----The Essence of American Humor, Art Buchwald. Thank you. appleRead More...

Cleft? Adjective clause?

Is the following sentence correction OK? Childhood was considered an unimportant phase of which there was no need to keep any recordRead More...

"Traveler's check" "traveler's checks"?

Is "traveler's check" usually used as a singular or a plural? Which preposition sounds most natural? 1. Can I pay by/in/with/ traveler's check? 2. Can I pay by/in/with/ traveler's checks? appleRead More...

"Of" + determiners

1. other types of (the) measurement 2. many years of (the) experience 3. measurement of (the) satisfaction 4. measurement of the boy's satisfaction Why does 'the' not fit in 1 & 2?... at least I don't think they do. and how do they compare with 3 & 4. ThanksRead More...

What about it?

Dear experts, Would you concede that the expressions below are NOT interchangeable in any of their meanings: what about it what about that what about it - 1. is used as an expression of annoyance: Martha said: 'That boy is wearing a green coat.' Ian answered: 'What about it?' 2. is used as an inquiry as to the course of action: Your head keeper says we must have two guns apiece. Now - what about it? 3. (euph.) is used as an invitation to make love: The woman giggled... 'Come on, what about...Read More...

Literal vs. metaphorical: expressions with "wink"

Dear experts, Can both expressions give someone A wink give someone THE wink be used both literally and figuratively, for according to a dictionary: give someone a wink – wink at smb. in order to give a private signal of some kind: ˜I'll never believe there was anything between him and Mum...' ˜Don't make me laugh,' Vic said, giving Tom a wink. give someone the wink – (fig.) let a person know smth. quietly; give smb. a hint: I'll give you the wink when it's safe to come in. Thank you, YurRead More...

Inversion after "than"?

I know that in most cases, there is no inversion of subject and verb after "than." For example: Tom is taller than I (am). Jan reads faster than I (read). or Jan reads faster than I (do). However, there are some sentences in which we do need to invert the subject and verb after "than." For example: The infants of humans are more helpless than are those of most other animals. Are there rules about when we need to invert the subject and verb after "than"? In the above examples, are there...Read More...

Not in it!

Dear experts, could you comment on the phrase NOT IN IT as used here: Have you seen his new BMW? - The old Opel isn't in it! Is this expression current? Thank you, YuriRead More...

Parentheses

1. My voicemail box, and 70,000 other boxes in Austin, is down until tomorrow. 2. My voice mail box and 70,000 other boxes in Austin are down until tomorrow. What are the differences between the above two? Can parenthetical verb phrases be added? _____Read More...

As

(1) As virtually all the nation's 50 busiest airports are, New York's were built for an age of propellers. (2) New York's were built for an age of propellers, as virtually all the nation's 50 busiest airports are. Can the (2) be written as (1)?Read More...

Taking stands

Dear experts, 1. Would you agree that the expressions below are interchangeable in only ONE and not both meanings (simple YES/NO would be fine): take a stand on something take the stand on something take a stand on something - (also: take one\'s stand on something) adopt a firm position concerning smth.; assert one\'s point of view: He sent a selection of newspaper pieces to the authorities with the request that they take a stand on the matter. take the stand on something - 1. vouch for...Read More...

Tense sequence or conditional ?

Dear all, Please take a look at the following sentence : "The article reported that Britain's most famous museums and art galleries might lose their government grants unless they MANAGED to attract more visitors from ethnic minorities and low-income families." Question : Is it 'managed'( past tense ) because the writer is following the "tense sequence" or because it is "conditional" ( in that the museums and galleries have not attracted more visitors from the ethnic minorities and low-income...Read More...

Prepositional phrases in appositives

The net is filled up with saying that appositives are nouns. Quirk and Greenbaum[1] made an interesting observation: Prepositional phrases may thus be non-appositive or appositive, and in either function, they can be restrictive or non-restrictive: This book on grammar (non-appositive, restrictive) This book, on grammar(non-appositive, non-restrictive) The issue of students grants(appositive, restrictive) The issue, of student grants(appositive, non-restrictive) I am interested in seeing...Read More...

Cause-effect

What is the difference between 1 and 2? 1. About twice a month, having accumulated enough evidence , the police would feel obliged to stage a raid. 2. About twice a month, on having accumulated enough evidence, the police would feel obliged to stage a raid.Read More...

Part of speech of "Come"

Consider the sentences below: Come Christmas morning, some women will find more than a little sparkle beneath the Christmas tree. Come Christmas Eve, he will visit four churches between 4 and 11 pm to participate in services. I wonder what is the part of speech of come in these situations.Read More...

May you stay longer?

Hi - I was looking at the older postings and came across the one below (page 11). Goodbye, George. May you and John be together forever. How can "may you" be explained? We tell our students, when discussing modals, that "may you" does not exist. We use ""May/Can I?" and "Could/Can/Would/Will you?" Is it incorrect to say the following? (permisison or possibility) 1. May you come to the party tonight? 2. May you sing with us? 3. May she stay? 4. May they leave their bags here? ThanksRead More...

Gerund vs. Infinitive?

Dear experts, Would you confirm that the use of gerund or infinitive in the sentences below is not random (i.e. gerund and infinitive are not interchangeable there) without detriment to the meaning: regret doing something regret to do something regret doing something - feel sorry to have done smth.: I don't regret leaving my last job at all. regret to do something - be sorry that one must do smth.: Dr. Wimpole regrets to say that he cannot answer readers' letters. remember doing something...Read More...

Meaning of "keep its peace"?

Dear experts, When the expression KEEP ITS PEACE is used with reference to a country does it refer to keeping peace inside the country or to refrainig from warfare, or both meanings may be possible? What about: Mr. Izetbegovic keeps convincing the public that the rejection of the Belgrade agreement was his great victory, since Bosnia has kept its peace. Thank you, YuriRead More...

Dated or current euphemism: "on one's way"?

Dear experts, Is the euphemistic expression ON ONE'S WAY familiar to contemporary speakers: on one's way - pregnant (also: on the way): The party is gone, fellow Hector, she is gone; she is two months on her way. Thank you, YuriRead More...
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