All Forum Topics

"Worked" or "have worked"

Finest Bank, the firm I worked for the last seven years, was sold at year-end and mergered with another financial institution. Is it okay to use 'have worked' instead? Is there any difference in meaning? thanksRead More...

Direction and place names

Hello, Would you please tell me which is the correct expression? 1-1. Robert lives in a flat in South/south London. 1-2. Robert lives in a flat in Southern/southern London. 1-3. Robert lives in a flat in the southern London. 1-4. Robert lives in a flat in the south of London. 2-1. Robert lives in an apartment in South/south France. 2-2. Robert lives in an apartment in Southern/southern France. 2-3. Robert lives in an apartment in the southern France. 2-4. Robert lives in an apartment in the...Read More...

"Live to"

Hello, Would you please tell me if these sentences make sense? 1. Can I live [to be one hundred, to one hundred, until (I'm) one hundred]? 2. [An old man says to his grandson leaving a long journey.] Can I live [to see you again, until I see you again]? 3. Can I live to see the church finished building? It has been building since I was fourteen, but people say that there is another 30 years left to complete the church/construction. Thank you very much.Read More...

Articles

A: You have only yourself to blame for the broken window! B: But it was Tom who talked me into playing the soccer in the first place. Is the expression 'playing the soccer' correct? Is 'the' necessary here? Be sure to clean them with damp cloth. I think 'damp cloth' should be 'a damp cloth'. I don't know whether I'm wrong or the sentence. thanksRead More...

"Just now"

My school grammar has taught me that "just now" indicates a very near past and so the tense should be a past, not present perfect. Thus sentences (1)(2) are possible. (1) Jane has just finished the work. (2) Jane finished the work just now. My question: Is it acceptable (looks so to me) to add "now" at the end of (1) forming (3)Jane has just finished the work now. If this is acceptable, what's the difference between (1) and (3)? I mean actual time-wise. Suppose Jane finished the work 2...Read More...

Exclamations with "how"

There are two ways to make an exclamation sentence with "how" from a sentence like "I love him.", aren't there? 1)How much I love him! 2)How I love him! Are there any differences in meaning between them?Read More...

Adjective + "as/though"

Hello, Would you please tell me if these are correct? 1. Though he is poor, he is quite happy. 2. Poor though he is, he is quite happy. 3. (As) Poor as he is, he is quite happy. 4. Being poor, he is quite happy. 5. Though being poor, he is quite happy. 6. Though poor, he is quite happy. Thank you very much.Read More...

"Continuously," "continually"

I don't seem to see the difference between continuously and continually . In many instances they are safely interchangeable, I suppose, but if you show me some cases where these two are not interchangeable I may see the picture more clearly. Thank you. appleRead More...

Present Simple or Present Continuous

Hi All, Which of the following two are correct? 1)We leave Zurich next Friday. 2) We are leaving Zurich next Friday. I thought that one uses the Present Continuous with a future meaning for arrangements. an expalantion would be appreciated.The Present Simple for the future is used for timetables etc. ThanksRead More...

"Will" in if-clauses

In the following sentence written by Malcom X, I am puzzled by the "will" in 'if' clause. It must not indicate future as future "will" is not allowed to be used in time and conditional clauses. But, in this case, I don't know what the "will" means. Please kindly help. Quote: If the Americal black man will start thinking about his human rights, and then start thinking of himself as part of one of the world's great peoples, he will see he has a case for the United Nations.Read More...

"Can" and "may"

- *(The)* Bamboo is the fastest growing plant there is. Bamboo shoots *may/can* grow up to 90 centimeters a day! This plant reaches its highest, which is 40 meters, in just a few months. [3] Another question! What is the difference when we use 'may' or 'can'? HogelRead More...

Definite article or not for generalization?

Hello, I'd like to ask you some questions. Would you please help me? [1] I've learned that when we generalize a species, we use 'the' like the following sentences. Here, I'd like to know if these sentence are well-formed. - The rose has been appreciated for its fragrance and beauty since ancient times. - The rose is the most popular and widely cultivated garden flower in the world. [2] Some days ago, I saw the following sentence in a book, and the book says that in this case, we generally...Read More...

"No man but would.."?

How does the verb phrase, would recognize, fit in the sentence 1? 1. There is no man but would recognise that he was beautifulRead More...

"Where" as contrastive subordinator?

Is where introducing a contrast or place? 1. Where once the union had acquiesced to the prejudices of its English-speaking members by supporting the imposition of an alien tax on immigrant workers, after 1897 the United Mine Workers made a determined effort to enlist Italian and Slavs in its ranks.Read More...

"If only because"

Does "if only because" introduce hypothesis or cause? It's a memorable experience, if only because it is so frustrating.Read More...

"If not more so"

1. The use of chemical pesticides in this country is as extensive as it was ten years ago, if not more so . What is the role of "if not more so" in 1?Read More...

Negatives in questions

Hello All, Could someone please tell me the difference between the following two sentences. Do you not understand what I am saying? Don't you understand what I am saying? I am sure it is a simple explanation but I feel unsure about it. Thnxs a lotRead More...

Appositive or complement or participial phrase?

Please look at the sentence (1). (1) The truth is that newborns arrive in a presocial state, ready and eager for contact. Although I'm fine with the meaning, I'm not sure what syntactical role the phrase in bold plays. Is it a complement to the verb "arrive" or could it be an appositive to "a presocial state"? Is it technically possible to say it's a reduced form of a participial phrase with "being" before "ready" omitted? appleRead More...

"Not until ---"

The following two sentences are said to have same meaning; A) Not until the meeting was half over did Alice came. B) Alice didn't come until the meeing was half over. I wonder if Alice actually showed up both in A and B sentences. Please kindly let me know. Thanks.Read More...

Present perfect tense

Dear all, Please take a look at the following sentences : A) I've taught teenagers who didn't know how to write. B) I've taught teenagers who do not know how to write. Am I right in saying that in (A)the teenagers started off not knowing how to write but now they do. In (B), the teenagers started off not knowing how to write and they still do not know how to write. Also, are both sentences natural ie how native speakers would say ? Many thanks. RickyRead More...

"Are you," or have you been," with "these days"

"Take a look at the question an interviewer asks Bob Dole in TIME magazine. (1) What else are you up to these days? Now, how would the sentence sound different if it were "What else have you been up to these day?" Is there a particular reason the interviewer used the present tense rather than a present perfect? My non-native guess is that the question is strongly focused on Dole's present interest and activities rather than those in the near past time frame. Am I anywhere close? appleRead More...

Coordination of adjectives

Which one of the following is acceptable? 1. Their ancient and nearly forgotten language 2. Their ancient, nearly forgotten languageRead More...

Reputation of/Reputation for

Which one of the following is preferred? 1. It had a reputation of being haunted house. 2. It had a reputation for being haunted house.Read More...

Infinitives to split or not to split?

Hi all: The perennial question in English Can the infinitives in English be split or not? I was taught not to; however, I have Ed Good's book: A Grammer of you and I (....ooops me) He argues that infinitives can be split and cites numerous examples from well known authours. Ok what's the state of the consensus about split infinitives among English teachers/grammar experts? Thanks! xavierRead More...
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