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simple past or past perfect?

If you found a lot of money in the street, would you try to find the person who lost/had lost it? ...... Which tense is correct here?Read More...
Hi, Freeguy, Either "lost" or "had lost" could be used there, but if you want to use the sequence of tenses, you should use "had lost." In "I would try to find the person who lost it," "lost" is not backshifted relative to "would find." In "I would try to find the person who had lost it," it is.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

My mother wishes we (could - would) support each other forever

Hello. Could you help me not only to choose correctly between "wish...could" and "wish...would but to understand the difference as well. Please, in simple language. 1- My mother wishes we (could - would) support each other forever 2- My friend is going to get married next month. I wish he (could - would) have a happy family. Thank you.Read More...
Hello, Ahmed Imam Attia, In (1), "could" suggests that you can't support each other forever, but your mother wishes you could; and "would" suggests that you won't support each other forever, but your mother wishes you would. I doubt that that is what you, or the quiz maker, wishes those sentences to mean. I think that the intended meaning is: "My mother hopes we will support each other for ever." If you wanted to use "wish" instead, use the noun "wish": (1a) My mother's wish is that we will...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

after/since

1) Last week, I saw her for the first time since we got divorced. 2) Last week, I saw her for the first time after we got divorced. Are these sentences both correct and do they mean the same? Gratefully, NaviRead More...

Please let Jason and I know what you thought of the episode in the comments.

Hi! I came across this sentence and was wondering whether it is grammatically okay: (1) Please let Jason and I know what you thought of the episode in the comments. ( http://winemakersacademy.org/2014/06/ ) I thought "Jason and I" should be "Jason and me" because it is an object of the verb "let." So, my questions are whether expressions like "let Jason and I know" are acceptable (even if they are, strictly speaking, less grammatical), how often they might be used, in spoken or written...Read More...
Hi, David. Thank you so much, I understand!Read More...
Last Reply By yasukotta · First Unread Post

content vs contain

Is the word "content" derived from the verb "contain"? I mean is it considered as a word family for "contain"?Read More...
It's probably not a productive topic for you or them to focus on. There are hundreds of thousands of words in the English language, each with its own set of convoluted etymological trivia . If students focused on this stuff too hard, they might go on doing so their whole lives and hardly learn to speak English at all! That said, I can't deny that etymology is peripherally related to grammar. If you continue to ask such questions, I won't delete them. However, if I'm the one who answers them,...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

worried about betraying

Which are correct: 1) Who are you afraid might leave you? 2) Who are you afraid of leaving? 3) Who are you afraid of leaving you? ====================== 4 ) Who are you worried might leave you? 5) Who are you worried about leave? 6) Who are you worried about leave you? Are '2' and '5' ambiguous? Does '1' mean the same as '3'? Does '4' mean the same as '6'? Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Hello, Navi, As you know, (5) and (6) are totally ungrammatical. So (5) isn't ambiguous; it can't be used by any English speaker anywhere in any context whatsoever. (1), (2), and (3) are correct. I naturally interpret (2) ("Who are you afraid of leaving?") as a different way of saying "Who(m) are you afraid to leave?," but I think it could also relate to, e.g.: I am afraid of him leaving. "Who(m) are you afraid of leaving?" would then question the subject of the ACC-ing construction ("him...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

complaining about her husband's behavior

Can one use: 1) I didn't go to that bookstore, arguing with the owner . I went there, but I just bought a dictionary and left. instead of: 2) I didn't go to that bookstore and argue with the owner. I went there, but I just bought a dictionary and left. Can one use: 3) I didn't call Nancy, complaining about her husband's behavior. I just called her to ask how she was doing. instead of: 4) I didn't call Nancy and complain about her husband's behavior. I just called her to ask how she was...Read More...
Hi, Navi, In my opinion, (2) and (4) are fine, but (1) and (3) are not. The present participle could be replaced with a "to"-infinitive to express purpose: 1') I didn't go to that bookstore to argue with the owner. I went there, but I just bought a dictionary and left. 3') I didn't call Nancy to complain about her husband's behavior. I just called her to ask how she was doing.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Why is "rode on the wrong bus, taking me ..." incorrect?

I have written down my friend's sentence below. (1) I received my previous employer's letter, praising how hardworking I was. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Next, I will use the same logic to make up a sentence with a gerund like the one in bold above. (2) I rode on the wrong bus, taking me to the west side of the city. Some of my non-native English speaking friends think (2) is wrong. I don't understand why it is wrong when I am...Read More...
Hi, Ansonman, I agree with your friends that (2) sounds wrong. In the first place, in AmE we say: "I rode (or took) the wrong bus" (no preposition). In the second place, when the participial clause refers to a later time, it needs to refer to the subject for it not to dangle. 3) I rode/took the wrong bus, arriving at the meeting later than expected. (3) is correct because "arriving" refers to the subject "I." Instead, in (2) "taking" refers to the object "bus," and it is that that makes it...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

many , a lot of

Hello, How is “many” different from “a lot of”? Here is what I know about some of the differences. “Many” can be used only for count nouns. “A lot of “ can be used both for count and non-count nouns. “Many” sounds more formal than “a lot of”. They basically mean the same. My questions: Does sentence 2 sound more natural than 3? I will make a lot of friends in college. I will make many friends in college. Is there a difference between 3and 4? I didn’t see many birds in the park. I didn’t see...Read More...

certain, sure

Hello, I know sentence 1 and 2 are correct, but what about 3? If sentence 3 is also correct, does it sound natural enough and what is the difference between 2 and 3? 1. I' m sure he will come. 2. He is sure to come. 3. He is certain to come. apple.Read More...
Thank you, David. appleRead More...
Last Reply By apple · First Unread Post

have never seen it before or have never seen it in my life

Suppose that you are showing your friend your collection of seashells. You are now pointing at a very rare one and start talking about it. (1) I have never seen such a rare seashell before. (2) I have never seen such a rare seashell in my life. Which sentence makes sense? Thanks a lot.Read More...
Hi, Ansonman, Both sentences make sense in that context, but (2) would be better if it were phrased like this, with inversion: (2a) Never in my life have I seen such a rare seashell.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

"to" as a preposition

Michael. MICHAEL KINSLEY: Barry Rubin, what do you think of CNN and the other networks playing all over the world this tape of Terry Anderson's little girl? Is this kind of thing helpful or harmful to getting the hostages released and to Americans' - America's interest in general? Source: SPOK : CNN_Crossfire Is "to" prepositional here?Read More...
In answer to (1), gerunds can be preceded by objective pronouns and possessive determiners. Anyway, here follow a couple of examples I found on the Internet where the gerund comes immediately after "to": - Unrest can lead to rioting . - Some folks understand what it means to pay attention to finding the right balance with respect to diversity. In reply to (2), I don't like sentence (a), since the presence of the preposition "of" renders the definite article necessary: a'. It was argued in...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Other/The Other

ahmad
Hello, everyone, Would someone kindly help me understand the difference among the following? 1. The other conditions shall remain the same. 2. Other conditions shall remain the same. 3. The other conditions shall remain same. 4. Other conditions shall remain same. Thanks.Read More...
Thanks a lot, Gustavo.Read More...
Last Reply By ahmad · First Unread Post

Mixed Conditionals

Could you please help me? In a typescript, I heard the following sentence: If you listened to last week’s programme, you would have heard Professor Jeremy Beech answering some of your questions about trees. Is this sentence correct relating to conditionals? If so, could please explain it? I think there is something wrong with it but I'm not sure. Thank you.Read More...
This is the book I extracted the sentence from. Thank you.Read More...
Last Reply By Ahmed Imam Attia · First Unread Post

Quality or Quantity

1- "Parents should spend some .............. of time with their children every day." A- equality B- quantity C- quality D- qualification 2- "There has been a decrease in the number of applications since the report on environmental pollution ................. in the newspaper." A- was appeared B- has appeared C- appeared D- has been appeared As for sentence number 1, the existence of the preposition "of" after the space makes me confused. If it weren't for it, I would choose "quality time".Read More...
Excellent points, Ahmed. I agree with you wholeheartedly. If the action were repeatable or durative (e.g., "There has been a decrease in the number of applications since we have been here " -- in which "been here" can refer either to something indefinitely durative or to a mere visit), then the sentence would be acceptable. But the appearance of the report of the newspaper falls into neither of those categories. Regarding "was appeared" and "has been appeared," both would be totally...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

"You have our support, whatever you decide"

Hi everyone, I came across this saying "You have our support, whatever you decide." In the oxford advanced learners dictionary when looking up the word whatever. Could somebody please advise what function is being performed by "whatever you decide".... Many thanksRead More...
Thank you. I'll read up on the concessive linker.Read More...
Last Reply By Philip · First Unread Post

to improve one's condition

1) "I hold the value of life is to improve one's condition. " The sentence is by Abraham Lincoln. Source: https://books.google.com/books...prove%22&f=false I have a problem with: The value of life is to improve one's condition. I don't get the meaning of the sentence. One could read it as saying "The value of life is supposed to improve one's condition." The sentence would be similar to: I am to see John this afternoon. I don't think the sentence is supposed to be read that way. But 'to...Read More...
Thank you very much, David, Yes, that makes sense! Respectfully, NaviRead More...
Last Reply By navi · First Unread Post
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