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(for) all of the winter/all through the winter

I have made up three similar sentences below. (1) I will be available to volunteer for all of the winter. (2) I will be available to volunteer all of the winter. (3) I will be available to volunteer all through the winter. As a non-native English speaker, I think they all sound okay. However, some of my non-native speaking friends think all of my sentences sound unnatural. Do they sound OK to native speakers? Please give me your opinion. Thanks a lot for your help.Read More...
Hi, Ansonman, From a native standpoint, (3) is perfectly correct and natural, and (1) and (2) are extremely unnatural. You can use (3), or you can say: (4) I will be available to volunteer all winter. (5) I will be available to volunteer all winter long. (6) I will be available to volunteer for the entire winter. (7) I will be available to volunteer throughout the winter.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

My passport *expires/will expire* in three months.

"My passport will expire in three months." This sentence is from my textbook. I'm wondering why it's not written as "My passport *expires* in three months." Here is an example from LDOCE Online : My driving licence expires in March. In this case, it goes with the present tense, which is grammatically correct to me, because we're taught that when it comes to a sure thing to happen in the future, we should use the present tense instead of the future tense. Why is this sentence in the future...Read More...
Hi, Barry, When talking about events that are part of a timetable, we can use either the simple present or 'will + inf.' . See Michael Swan, page 190: "We can sometimes use the simple present to talk about the future. This is common when we are talking about events which are part of a timetable, a regular schedule or something similar. The summer term starts on April 10th. What time does the bus arrive in Seattle? My plane leaves at three o'clock. Are you on duty next weekend? The sun rises...Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

on a stage

1) I can act as well as John on a stage. Can't this sentence have three meanings: a) John doesn't act well on a stage. He acts well in another place (say, in front of a camera). I can act as well as him on a stage. b) I can act as w ell as John acts on a stage. c) I can act as well on a stage as John acts on a stage. Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Thank you very much, David, Point taken. My bad! I was pushing it! But isn't this a possibility Can you act as well as John? I have never acted in front of a camera and I have never seen John on a stage. All I can tell you is that I can act as well as John (does in front of a camera) on stage . Can't the part in parentheses be ellipted without any loss in meaning? Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Last Reply By navi · First Unread Post

walk like Brando

1) I could walk like Brando right into the sun. Source: https://genius.com/Bruce- springsteen-its-hard-to-be-a- saint-in-the-city-lyrics Does '1' mean: a) I could walk right into the sun the way Brando walked right into the sun. or: b) I could walk right into the sun the way Brando walked. Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Hello, Navi, I don't know if Springsteen was thinking in terms of the line's being subjected to a strict semantic analysis, but my sense is that it probably means (c): c) I could walk like Brando in that , like him, I could walk right into the sun. That reading would be more natural if the sentence had a comma: "I could walk like Brando, right into the sun." I wonder if it's sung as if a comma were present.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Form a question

What is the best question for this answer ...........................................................................? I like English best.Read More...
Hi, Abdullah, How do you want us to form a question without knowing the whole dialogue?! What are they talking about? Are they talking about their favorite subjects, languages or what? Gustavo's answer is possible in a certain situation in which the speaker knows more than two languages, but there are many other options. See: Speaker A: Which subject do you like best? / Which subject is your favorite? / What is your favorite subject? / I like Arabic best. What about you? / And you?Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

Past participle

Hello, "She entered......by her mother." A- accompanied B- being accompaniedRead More...
That's a very good example, David. Thank you for your clarification. A comma would obviously also be required if the participle appeared in front position: - Accompanied by her mother, she entered that place she had always dreaded entering alone.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

before all of you were born

Could one use a. That happened before all of you were born. instead of b. That happened before any of you were born. ? Could one use c. The doors were closed before all of the guests arrived. instead of d. The doors were closed before any of the guests arrived. ? To me, there is a difference between (a) and (b), but I get the feeling that some people use (a) instead of (b). I doubt that anyone would use (c) instead of (d). Many thanksRead More...
Hello again, Azz, Yes, that is a very nice observation. I agree with you that (c) has that implication. The reason (a) doesn't have the corresponding implication that all of them were born (more or less) at the same time seems to be that that would be a very strange state of affairs and perhaps even stranger for the speaker to know about it. In short, that type of interpretation is unnatural in (a). Yes, I think it's ambiguous, but in a different way. It has one of the possible readings that...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Difference between 'from' and 'of'

Hi everyone, can anyone please help me understand the difference between from and of in the following sentence? 1- John: Hey, have you watched the movie 'avengers the end game'? Me: yes. John: What's your favourite scene from / of the movie?Read More...
I completely agree. That combination of a possessive and a quasi-superlative like "favorite" renders an "of"-phrase unidiomatic.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

enter college, go to college

Hello, How do you use these two phrases? Which sounds more natural? I personally use "go to college" more often. "My sister went to college " seems to mean she is still in college or she finished her college education, while "My sister entered" college sounds like she has just passed the exam and is now a college student. appleRead More...
Thank you, David. AppleRead More...
Last Reply By apple · First Unread Post

Usage of 'dare'

Hi there, How should I use dare in the following sentence? If John dares to go there, I will tell his Mom. If John dares go there, I will tell his Mom. If John dare go there, I will tell his Mom.Read More...
Hi, Subhajit, An "if"-clause is a non-assertive context (cf. negative statements and questions), so it is possible to use "dare" as a modal in them. When we use "dare" as a modal, it is uninflected and used without "to" -- "dare go" in your example. You can also use "dares to go," in which "dare" is a main verb, not a modal, and needs "to." The only option that is incorrect is "dares go," which confuses the modal and the main verb. However, "dares" + [base form] is occasionally found.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

for five days

a, The library will be closed for five days in June and July. b. The library will be closed on five days in June and July. c. The library will be closed five days in June and July. Which of the above sentences could be used in the following situations? 1. The library will be closed for a period of five days. That period extends from the last days of June to the first days of July. 2. The library will be closed on five different days, some of them in June and some in July, but we don't have a...Read More...

possessives

1 When I say "This is a pig's trough.", so is the word "a" describing or attached to "pig" or "trough"? 2 When I say "This is the pigs' trough.", so is the word "the" describing or attached to "pigs" or "trough"? 3 When I say "These are the women's wallets.", so is the word "the" describing or attached to "women" or "wallets"? Thanks!Read More...
Thank you all your help!Read More...
Last Reply By Kimconu · First Unread Post

will vs be going to. 2

Here is no cloud in the sky. It --------- a lovely day. 1) will be 2) is going to be ......... In grammar-related books, there is a common sentence showing the usage of "be going to". - Look at those clouds. It's going to rain. However, to me, the OP is different. I think "a lovely day" is a mere opinion, and has nothing to do with "what is likely to happen in the near future". So, both #1 and #2 sound correct to me. What do you think?Read More...
Hi, Freeguy, I think you meant to write "There." The natural, native choice here is "is going to be." If you use "will be" instead, the sentence won't be ungrammatical, of course. Your sentence will simply be perceived as nonnative by native speakers. I am planning to write an extended, fabulously researched post on the differences between will and be going to sometime in the near future, since questions in this area crop up regularly on the Grammar Exchange, so stay tuned. As to "a lovely...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

a well-written sentence?

Look below, please: - The design of the new house is similar to those that have already been built, so they prefer to look for modern ones. To me, the sentence is not well written. I believe the correct sentences are: 1) The design of the new house is similar to those houses that have already been built, so they prefer to look for modern ones. 2) The new house is similar in design to those that have already been built, so they prefer to look for modern ones. What do you think? Are you OK...Read More...
The first part is fine. I wasn't actually wondering about the meaning of "they" but about their preferring to look for modern houses/designs as a direct consequence of what was said before.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Is this language formal enough?

"More than 20 million people have some kind of mental issue" My problem is with "some kind of". I would rather have said, "... have one kind of mental issue or another"Read More...
Thank you, David. And just like "kind of," we also have "sort of": - He has some sort of mental issue (= some type of mental issue). - He has sort of a mental issue (= a condition that could be roughly defined as a mental issue).Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Individual things that make us, us.

The following is an excerpt from the blog posted by "a third culture kid" in the Japan Times. What does "Individual things that make us, us." mean? This sentence looks incomplete and how can you make it complete? “Everyone is different, and that’s what makes life interesting,” Osaka tweeted last year. “We all have our own backgrounds and stories. Individual things that make us, us.” I couldn’t agree more with her statement.Read More...
Hi, Fujibei, I agree with Gustavo's parsing and suggestion for revision. Another option besides "individual things that make us who we are " is to use a reflexive pronoun: "individual things that make us ourselves ." You are right that the sentence is incomplete. It is incomplete even with the revisions we have suggested. The sentence is a deliberate fragment. It can be parsed as an appositive or as a conjunct in relation to the preceding sentence: appositive reading : We all have our own...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

anyways

Hello, I've heard people especially young (uneducated?) people use the word "anyways" when they probably mean "anyway". Is there such an English word as "anyways"? It bothers me so much that I looked at BYU corpus and there are a lot of examples. Is it now accepted to use it in an informal conversation? AppleRead More...
Thank you, David. Wow! Prince of Whales!! Tweeting is sometimes dangerous, because they write and send the messages very quickly. appleRead More...
Last Reply By apple · First Unread Post

Use of hyphen

Is it correct to use the hyphen in the following sentence: "time-saving and cost-saving manner"Read More...
Hello, MaaAdjoa, and welcome to GE! I agree with Gustavo's answer and, like you, share his preference for (1). The hyphen after "time" in (1) is sometimes referred to as a suspensive hyphen . Another option is to use a relative clause: 4- a manner that saves time and money I'm not saying that I prefer (4) to (1). There is a good chance that I would use (1).Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Podcast about Grammar Cops

The author Michael Lewis has a podcast called "Against the Rules." The summary for the episode entitled "The Alex Kogan Experience" is "Everyone hates grammar and ethics cops. Until they need one." I enjoyed this podcast and think that readers of this forum will enjoy it also. This doesn't really fit in the Q&A section, but I don't know where else to post it. The podcast begins with the ethics topic. If you are pressed for time and want to focus on grammar, I suggest going to...Read More...

Which word is the subject?

From a draft study for a US Government agency: "... the analyses were prioritized by first concentrating on systems whose performance are deemed critical to the safe and efficient operation ..." After I changed "are" to "is" in my comments, the author replied: "NO -- Systems is plural" I then asked a tech writer friend who replied: "Depends what is being emphasized as critical - the systems or the performance." Isn't "performance" the subject?Read More...
Gustavo and David, thank you for your replies. In a later email from my tech writer friend, he clarified that he agreed with me.Read More...
Last Reply By StillKicking · First Unread Post

Zero or First Conditional

If you are a well-organised person, you ..................... your time. a) will manage b) would manage c) manage d) managed This sentence was included in our GSSC final exam. Students were supposed to choose only one of the options provided. Do you think it should be first conditional (WILL MANAGE), or Zero conditional (MANAGE)? Thank you very muchRead More...
Great reply .Read More...
Last Reply By Ahmed Mohammed · First Unread Post

Future

Liverpool 's players are known to be skilled. They (are going to win / will win) the match easily. What is the right answer here?Read More...
Yes, I realize that you guys are looking for a detailed explanation, and I have decided to turn this into a research project. Please give me about a week, and I will try to clear up the mystery of will versus be going to to the best of my ability. As a native speaker, I never (or almost never) have to think about it. As a grammar-forum moderator, though, I encounter the question regularly, and I very often disagree with Egyptian "model answers" in this department! The distinction between...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post
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