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habit, a habit, habits

Hello, I was reading a TIME article and came across the following paragraph. Having habits can often be a good thing. When you drive to work for example, you don’t need to wonder whether you should turn left or right; the route becomes habit. My question: Why did the writer say "becomes habit" without "a" when he uses "habits" as a countable noun? Apple https://time.com/5373528/break-bad-habit-science/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=living&utm_content=20191001Read More...
Thank you, David. You pointed out the commas, which I think is important, but is often neglected. People, native speakers and non-native speakers alike, tend to write without necessary punctuation marks. I often see sentences without periods at the end. AppleRead More...
Last Reply By apple · First Unread Post

the article that

Which are correct: 1) This is the article that contains the most information about this topic that I have read. 2) This is the article that contains the most information about this topic and that I have read. 3 ) This is the article I have read that contains the most information about this topic. 4) This is the article that I have read and that contains the most information about this topic. Do they mean the same? I think : '4' is saying that this is that article that contains the most...Read More...
Thank you both very much, This question is not really related to the rest of the thread, but David's sentence (5a) made it spring up in my mind. Are these correct: (5b) This is the article that contains the most information about this topic of any article that I have read. (5c) This is the article that contains the most information about this topic of any of the articles that I have read. Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Last Reply By navi · First Unread Post

'An NW ABC company' VS 'A NW ABC Company'

NW stands for northwest--what do you use before NW ('a' or 'an')? Thanks for helping.Read More...
Hello, Mjaredb, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange. It depends on how you pronounce "NW" as you are reading. NP stands for "noun phrase" in linguistics. Most linguists write "an NP." They pronounce the "n" in "NP" as [ɛn]. Other linguists write "a NP." They pronounce the "n" in "NP" as [naʊn]. In the first case, NP begins with a vowel sound. In the second case, NP begins with a consonant sound.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

washed - was washing

Hello. I think the following two tenses are correct. What do you say? When Hana came home, her sister (washed - was washing) the dishes. Thank you.Read More...
Yes, with the simple past in the main clause ("When Hana came home, her sister washed the dishes"), the natural interpretation would be that Hana's sister began to wash the dishes right after Hana came home. With the past progressive ("When Hana came home, her sister was washing the dishes"), the meaning is that her sister was washing the dishes at the time at which Hana arrived back home. The arriving occurred in the midst of the washing.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

played - was playing

Hello. What is the difference between the following two tense forms? - Yesterday evening, we (played - were playing) a football match. Thank you.Read More...
Hello, Ahmed Imam Attia, I agree with Ahmed_btm's comments about the difference in meaning between the simple past and the past progressive there. Although the past progressive is not incorrect in that sentence, the simple past is much better. We would use the past progressive if the sentence made reference to something that happened yesterday evening while you were playing a football match -- for example: Yesterday evening, we were playing a football match when you called . That's why I...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

start

Hi, Which sentence is correct? How do we use 'start' in a situation like this below? 1. He starts every other dog in the neighborhood to barking. 2. He starts every other dog in the neighborhood to bark. 3. He starts every other dog in the neighborhood barking. Thanks a lot.Read More...
Hi, Kuen, Actually, both are similar and carry the meaning of "persuade" or "force." In the Longman Dictionary both patterns (with infinitive and V-ing) appear under the same entry: - to persuade or force someone to do something get somebody to do something : I’ll get Terry to check the wiring for me. We couldn’t get him to sign the agreement. get somebody doing something: In the end, we got the children clearing the playground. The use of V-ing suggests that an action ( barking , in your...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

How many

Hi, "How many people.......in the city?" A-live B-living C-do they liveRead More...
Hi, Yes, is a correct question. No auxiliary needs to be used because, as explained here , the information required is the subject of the question. The answer will consist of replacing "how many people" with the number of inhabitants, for example: - One million people live in the city.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

number one product

a. Their number one product is electronic devices. b. Their biggest product is electronic devices. c. Their number one export is electronic devices. d. Their biggest export is electronic devices. Are the above sentences grammatically correct? I am not sure 'biggest' really works here, but I think it is acceptable in informal English. The other thing is that I don't know if it should be 'product' or 'products' here. I am referring to one section of the economy. But there are multiple...Read More...
Azz, If a native speaker heard "their biggest products are electronic devices", he or she would naturally understand this to refer to the physical size of the products. Stick with the singular. DocVRead More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

correct usage of "cause" as a verb

I have made up a few examples with the verb form of "cause" below. (1a) Scientists think the upcoming hurricane will be the next natural force that causes fear in people. (2a) Psychologists believe that too much homework is one of the factors that cause misbehavior in teenage pupils. (3c) Tom shouted at his classmate and then gave him a punch. The teacher thinks their chronic conflict might have caused anger in him. Some of my non-native English speaking friends think I am using the verb,...Read More...
Ansonman, For (1) and (2) I prefer the (a) version over the (b), but I won't say that either is wrong. We can also say: 1c: Scientists think the upcoming hurricane will be the next natural force that causes people to be afraid. 1d: Scientists think the upcoming hurricane will be the next natural force that makes people afraid. 1e: Scientists think the upcoming hurricane will be the next natural force that scares people. 2c: Psychologists believe that too much homework is one of the factors...Read More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

permission - a permit

Hello. Is the following sentence correct with using "permission" or we should use "a permit"? - Amal finally managed to get (permission - a permit) to visit her husband in jail. Thank you.Read More...
Hi, Ahmed Iman Attia, Both terms are formal and possible in the context, but a permit is a written document while permission can be granted orally. See these definitions and examples from the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English: - permission : if you have permission to do something, you are officially allowed to do it You'll have to get permission from your parents if you want to come. We'll need to get permission to film in the museum. - permit : an official written statement giving...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Within 24 hours

Hi I have trouble understanding the term ' within 24 hours', 'within _ hours'... . For example, if it's 9:00 am on the 2nd October 2019 , and a girl named Sarah says, ''I will send you the package so that you will receive the package within 24 hours" , does she mean, 'you are going to receive the package at 9:00 am on the 3rd October 2019 or, perhaps you will receive exactly at 9:00 am on the 3rd October 2019. Thank you.Read More...
Hi, Blue_Delta_47, "within" means "before a certain period of time has passed" ( https://www.ldoceonline.com/es-LA/dictionary/within ). Therefore, if at 9 AM on October 2, 2019 Sarah says ''I will send you the package so that you will receive it within 24 hours," the recipient can expect to receive it no later than 9 AM on October 3.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

who - whom

Hello. Which relative pronoun is correct in the following sentence? Please why? - We want to know is the truth about (who - whom) is to blame for this error. Thank you.Read More...
Hi, Ahmed Imam Attia, Please note that your sentence above is not correctly written. It should be: - We want to know the truth about (who - whom) is to blame for this error. The correct choice is "who," because the object to the preposition "about" is the whole clause "who is to blame for this error," and "who" is the subject within that clause: Who is to blame for this error? We want to know the truth about it -> We want to know the truth about [who is to blame for this error] . The...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Phrasal verb

Help me out please. I am so confused. She gave up tom vs She gave tom up. Can I use both?Read More...
Hello, Tomkit, I guess, yes, you can use either of them as the object is a noun , i.e. if the object is a noun, it can come between or after the two parts. However, when the object is a pronoun , it must come between the two parts, so you can say: She gave up Tom. She gave Tom up. She gave him up. But you can not say: She gave up him. (Ungrammatical)Read More...
Last Reply By Hussein Hassan · First Unread Post

Will or going

I'm in the last year in the secondary school...I (Will join/am going to join) the universityRead More...
Hi, Ahmed55, IMO, the better answer here is: 'am going to'. It shows that the speaker has a strong intention or a certain future plan. 'Will' could also work here if the focus is on the speaker's determination, but I don't expect it to be the model answer in our exams.Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

confusing question

choose the correct answer Eventually, Mary .................... a job as a waitress in a new restaurant. (had / got)Read More...
Hi, I agree with Ahmed_btm that "got" is the correct answer. I'd say that the difference between "getting a job" and "having a job" lies in the fact that the former refers to the action of becoming employed while the latter refers to the state of being employed: One day Mary got a job as a waitress. She had that job for five years until she got a better one.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

does 'successive manifold of shapes' make any sense?

Hi everyone! I'm trying to write an essay in English, but as this is not my first language, I need some help! I was wondering whether I could say 'a successive manifold of shapes'. The context is that there is a thing, that can take various shapes, but does so in a set order. So first it will have shape A, then shape B, then shape C, etc. The sentence I'd like to use is this: ' To this end he has designed a system, in which ‘the consciousness’ manifests itself in a successive manifold of...Read More...
Hello, Wapper, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange. As you may have guessed from our silence, your sentence does not in fact make any sense. I've only seen "manifold" used in technical texts. How about saying something like "a succession of shapes"?Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Which one? (Week/Week's/Weeks')

Hi there, could someone please check my text. I need it right away for a school project. I decided to take everything out of my survival bag to see what I had. In there I found: a two-week supply of water and a (week/week's/weeks') supply of food. There was also a knife, fifty feet of fishing line with three hooks, and one first aid kit. Thank you for helping! :3Read More...
Hello, Clearwater, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange. I agree with Ahmed_btm that you need "a week's" there. Being a singular article, "a" can be used there to mean "one." Alternatively, though less frequent in use, you may find "a one-week supply." For further information, you may want to check this old thread.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

enjoyed - have enjoyed

Hello. Which word is correct? - Yesterday, I told the manager that I hadn't finished the report (by then - yet). Thank you.Read More...
Hi, Ahmed Imam Attia, enjoyed - have enjoyed May I draw your attention to the fact that the title of your thread has nothing to do with your question? I see that ' yet ' works perfectly well in your context. If you add a specific time like 'at 10 yesterday', 'by then' would be fine, too.Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

a (pilot - flying) school. collocations

Hello. Could you please help me? Which one is correct? She became the first woman teacher at the (pilot - flying - fly - flight) school. Thank you.Read More...
'Flight school', 'aviation school' and 'pilot training school' are all correct, but not mentioned in our books. I wouldn't recommend using 'pilot school'. Although it is found on Coca, I see that it isn't commonly used. BTW, the following link gives more information about another type of 'pilot schools': https://www.bostonpublicschools.org/Page/941Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

Correct this sentence please

Hello everyone Im new english learner on the forum, I want to know what's the best correction for this sentence: Thank you soo much doctor, I appreciate this formation, and I'm waiting for another session. Thank you.Read More...
Hi! "Thank you soo much doctor, I appreciate this formation, and I'm waiting for another session." In the above sentence, something that I can automatically point out is that "soo" should only have one 'o'--"so". Moreover, in the phrase "I appreciate this formation", I think you mean to say "I appreciate this INformation". "Formation" means something like the structure or arrangement of something. Finally, I would suggest reconsidering your word choice. Instead of using "waiting for", which...Read More...
Last Reply By Pablo · First Unread Post

Can absolute clauses be infinitive clauses?

Hi, everyone. The following is from the book A comprehensive grammar of the English language by Mr. Quirk: Nonfinite and verbless adverbial clauses that have an overt subject but are not introduced by a subordinator and are not the complement of a prepositionare ABSOLUTE clauses, so termed because they are not explicitly bound to the matrix clause syntactically. Absolute clauses may be -ing, -ed, or verbless clauses, but not infinitive clauses.(chapter 15.58 ) He means that absolute clauses...Read More...
I really appreciate your help!Thanks,DAVID and GUSTAVO.Read More...
Last Reply By Robby zhu · First Unread Post

for one lunch, for two lunches and for other lunches

I have made up an example below. (1) Next week, I will have spaghetti for one lunch , macaroni for two lunches and sandwiches for other lunches . I am not sure which day I will eat what. Is it grammatical to say the phrases in bold? Thank you very much for your time and help.Read More...
Hi, Ansonman, I don't think that sentence works very well. I wouldn't say it's ungrammatical, but just unidiomatic. Combined with the verb "have," we use the phrase "for lunch" or the word "lunch" in the singular. "two (or more) lunches" could be used to refer to different occasions on which you have a meal (making reference to the the social event rather than the physical meal itself) , or to different meals being charged or paid for. I'd rather say: 1'. Next week, I will have spaghetti for...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Right question structure in Present Simple

Why do we say " What inspires you?" instead of "What does inspire you?"Read More...
footnote : There is one rare circumstance in which we do use do-support in subject-oriented wh-questions. It is when the context makes it natural to emphasize the question. The emphasis can be accomplished by adding do-support. But, again, this requires a special context. If in doubt, don't do it: A: What inspires you? B: Those things don't inspire me. A: What about this? B: That doesn't inspire me, either. A: What does inspire you? "Does" would be stressed in that sentence. In such...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post
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