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per capita

1. the per capita disposable income of urban residents 2. the disposable income per capita of urban residents Which one of the two phrases above is correct? Thanks!😛Read More...
Hi, Ruifeng, Both seem to be correct, but (1) might be more usual. Notice that in this site both noun phrases are used even within the same section:Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Relative pronouns

Can you tell me (why/what/which/how)you choose the car for What is the correct choice ?Read More...
Hi, Ahmed55, The title is misleading because, although all four words can introduce relative clauses, in the context of an embedded question those wh- words can only be interrogative adverbs/pronouns/determiners: - Why do you choose the car? - What do you choose the car for? - Which car do you choose? - How do you choose the car? As you can see above, combined with the preposition "for" only "what" is possible, and this also applies to the embedded question: - Can you tell me what you choose...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

ambiguity

ayman
Hi, teachers I'd like to know your opinion concerning this sentence which I found in an outside book: "While on holiday, the thieves broke into our neighbour's flat." The Author of the book asked about "who was on holiday". I think there's some ambiguity as "While on holiday" may refer to 1- the thieves __ 2- the speaker 3- the neighbour I think it's ambiguous as in "dangling modifiers". What do you think?Read More...
The same thought here, bro. Thanks 🌹Read More...
Last Reply By ayman · First Unread Post

second hand

What exactly does 'second hand coffee' mean? Can the phrase 'second hand' be used to describe something of low quality? Thanks😛Read More...
Hi, Ruifeng, "second hand" means "used," and I don't think anyone would like to buy or consume coffee that has already been used. Are you sure the context does not include some other noun after "coffee," for example "machine"?Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

respected vs respectable

I came across this sentence and I wonder which is the right answer My friend is very polite. He comes from a (respectable/respected) family. Really all people respect them. I've read all related posts, on this topic, here in the forum, which really helped me understand that respected = being respected respectable= worthy of respect whether or not respected However, when I came across the above sentence, I felt that both are correct! So can anyone help me know and understand which answer is...Read More...
ThanksRead More...
Last Reply By Rasha Assem · First Unread Post

Neptune is the planet the farthest from the Sun. Is this wrong?

My native friend says 'Neptune is the planet farthest from the Sun.' is right while 'Neptune is the planet the farthest from the Sun.' is not right. However, she and her about 10 native American family members and friends - some of them teach English couldn't explain why. Could any native English speaker explain plausible reason other than 'we just don't say that.'? Thank you~~Read More...
Dear Mr. Gustavo, thank you so much for your clear answer! My friends also thank you a lot! Native friends said the sentence was wrong because it's too wordy - the and the. But some people argued 'wordy' doesn't mean it's grammatically wrong. Now, thanks to you, we could defeat their argument! I realized learning a language is endless and learned a lot this time. This type of topic was not explained in grammar books. Thank you again for your in-depth knowledge and kindness!Read More...
Last Reply By y2k · First Unread Post

half of the staff (is - are)

Hello. Could you please help me? Which one is correct? Half of the staff in my school (is - are) under the age of 40. Thank you.Read More...
Hi, Ahmed Imam, Both are correct. American English follows the singular pattern. British English follows the plural pattern. See: https://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/staffRead More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

Lay verb doubt

Hello. I can't seem to figure out which verb is the correct one in this sentence: A- He has never imagined that behind her eyes lay something so traumatic. B- He has never imagined that behind her eyes lied something so traumatic. Thank you for your help and time.Read More...
Hello, Mokas, "Lay" and "lied" are the past-tense forms of different verbs that are spelled alike. "Lied" means "told untruths." Does that help you to decide? https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lieRead More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Question about Compound Subordinate Phrase!

Hey, I have a quick question about this sentence: "When I joined the softball league this spring, and I walked onto the hot pitch from the bustling street, I knew something important: It was the start of the season" I am basically using a compound subordinate clause in the beginning of the sentence, but I am not sure how to punctuate it correctly. Should I remove the comma before the "and I walked..."- or is it fine as is (Or do I need to do something else entirely!) Thanks a lot everybody!Read More...
Hi, Trig1968, I don't think that comma is necessary, but it isn't wrong, either. Alternatively, you can say: "When I joined the softball league this spring and walked onto the hot pitch from the bustling street, I knew something important: it was the start of the season." (No capital for "It.") However, I still find some inconsistency between the action of joining the league (which actually seems to be a previous, more embracing event) and more specific and simultaneous actions like walking...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Ahmed was left (to dream - dreaming) about his new life as a teacher.

Hello. Which verb form is correct? Ahmed was left (to dream - dreaming) about his new life as a teacher. Thank you.Read More...
Thank you, Gustavo, for clarifying that. Ahmed_btm sent me an e-mail pointing out the same thing. I apologize for misreading the answer choices. It had seemed to me that the choices followed "to," whereas "to" was only part of the first answer choice, as if the choices had been "(dreaming -- to dream)" or as if Ahmed Imam Attia's question had been more clearly presented, as follows: Ahmed was left ______ about his new life as a teacher. a) to dream b) dreaming Indeed, when the question is...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

a small nose and a small mouth

Can one say a. He had a small nose and mouth. instead of b. He had a small nose and a small mouth. ? Can one say c. He had a small nose and ears. instead of d. He had a small nose and small ears. ? Many thanks.Read More...
Hi, Azz, Yes, one can. Example (a) is ambiguous, though. In addition to (b), it can mean: "He had a mouth and small nose." No, one can't. The determiner phrase cannot be headed by both "a" and the zero/null article. But "a small nose" is a determiner phrase, and " a ears " is ungrammatical. Therefore, "ears" must be a separate determiner phrase headed by the null article. Example (c) is unambiguous and is equivalent in meaning to this: "He had ears and a small nose." Here are some trees...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

How to parse the predicative

Hi, there ~ If I want to express that "he has come back and now he is on the phone;the person he is talking to is his mom" can I say: He is back on the phone talking to his mother. If it works,how do you parse this sentence? (the predicative is very complicated.)Read More...
You've made a great point, David. I like your analysis very much. I have to say I had inadvertently anticipated that alternative parsing when I said at the end of my latest post: I think my analysis would be more plausible if the verb in -ing denoted a state, or a secondary action, and could perhaps be set off by a comma and be placed in front position. (6a) He is back on the phone , trying to strike a conversation with his mother after so many months in silence. (Here the participial clause...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Relative pronouns

Let's go somewhere ....we can enjoy ourselves and have fun That or when is acceptable here?Read More...
Hi, Ahmed55, This is a good question. "somewhere" (just like "everywhere," "nowhere," and "anywhere") is a pronoun, and has the distinctive feature of combining the noun "place" with the relative adverb "where." Your sentence could be expanded to: - Let's go to some place where we can enjoy ourselves and have fun. However, when you use "somewhere" the relative "where" is included and therefore not needed: - Let's go somewhere we can enjoy ourselves and have fun. ( when would be wrong, but...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

That or what

Tell me all ....... you know about this boyRead More...
Ahmed, I agree with both Hussein and David. I would like to point out that if we omit the word "all", both "what" and "that" make sense, but they would mean different things. 8: Tell me what you know about this boy. This conveys the same meaning as the examples David and Hussein presented, which is a request for detailed information about the boy. 9: Tell me that you know about this boy. This is merely a request that you acknowledge that you are aware that there is such a boy. DocVRead More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

nationalities -ans --ese

Hello, Here is a part of the discussion from the following URL. In sentence 7) above, we can and do say Americans to indicate Americans in general, but we don’t say Japanese to indicate Japanese in general; we use the definite article with Japanese – the Japanese -- but we don’t have to use it with Americans. We can also use the definite article with Americans to indicate Americans in general, and we often do. There are some differences in meaning here – using the with Americans or omitting...Read More...

All of

Is it grammatically correct to say: All of the people left before the end of the film. I'm asking specifically about the preposition "of". Thanks.Read More...
Yama, The short answer is yes. It is also acceptable to omit the word "of" in this context. Here are some examples that sound more natural but convey the same idea: 3: The entire audience left before the end of the film. 4: Everyone left before the end of the film. DocVRead More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

Will use or will have used

By 2050,people ..... all the oil in the world and they will need other fuelsRead More...
Hi, Ahmed55, Please ask your question in the text of your opening post. Do not leave us to infer your question from the title of your thread, as you have done here. Here it would be natural to use the future perfect ("will have used") with the particle "up." When we have used something up, none of it is left. (a) By 2050, people will have used up all the oil in the world, and they will need other fuels. Along with the change to the phrasal verb "use up," it would be fitting to change to the...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post
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