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Question about comma for compound participle.

Quick Question: Hi, is the following sentence grammatically correct? Or do I need a comma before the but or somewhere else- I'm afraid it's a run-on! Thanks. "The afternoon we arrived, I remember stalking from the airport, taking slow steps at first but increasing my pace as the importance of what we did dawned on me. "Read More...
Hi, Trig1968, Yes, the sentence is grammatically correct. A comma is not needed after "first," but it would not be incorrect to add one there, either. It is optional. The only thing I dislike about the sentence is your use of "stalked," which tends to carry a predatory connotation, even if it can be otherwise interpreted.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Meaning of "to hell your colony out"

I can't inderstand the meaning of "to hell your colony out" in this sentence: if you were the ant, will you have lifted a huge crumb to hell your colony out ? Can someone help me ? Tks GilbertoRead More...
Hello, Gilberto, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange. You appear to be asking about a typo. "Hell" should be "help," just as "inderstand" (in your post) should be "understand." There are two more issues. First, we begin sentences with a capital letter. Second, the "were" in the "if"-clause makes "would" desirable in the main clause: I f you were the ant, would you have lifted a huge crumb to help your colony out?Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Tourists went on a Nile (cruise - trip) by felucca.

Hello. Can you help me with the following sentence? Tourists went on a Nile (cruise - trip) by felucca. I think both of them are correct and suitable. Thank you.Read More...
I agree with Gustavo that "cruise" is the more appropriate choice. I needed to look up what a felucca was. When I saw that a felucca is a type of boat, I thought that "a felucca Nile cruise" might work nicely, and discovered a fair number of hits for it on Google. I think "a felucca Nile cruise" works better than "a Nile cruise by felucca," even now that I know that a felucca is a type of boat. "A Nile cruise by [F]elucca" would work nicely if there were a town or city along the Nile called...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Can you use a past tense after a sentence written in the present perfect?

I have made up the example below. (1a) For the past two days, I have read twenty poems. I found ten misprints in them. My non-native English speaking friends think I should use the present perfect tense in the second sentence as well. Their revised example is given below. (1b) For the past two days. I have read twenty poems. I have found ten misprints in them. I think both tenses are correct. These are my reasons. The simple past "found" is grammatically correct because it suggests that the...Read More...
Hi, Ansonman, You are right that the second sentence of each example is correct. The first sentence sets up a recent-past context. Therefore it can quite naturally be followed by a sentence in the past tense, which will be understood as referring to the recent-past time period referred to in the first sentence. The present perfect may alternatively be used in the second sentence in addition to the first. It will only be needed, however, if you add "so far" to the end of the second sentence:...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Question about comma after opening phrase.

So I have the simple sentence: For so long I had disliked eating that sort of food. And my question is, do I need a comma after the opening for so long phrase- or is it fine as is? The general rule for presportional phrases is that you don't need one for <4 words. But I'm not convinced this is acting as a prepositional phrase in this sentence. Thoughts?Read More...
Hello, Trig1968, No, you do not need a comma after the for so long phrase. You can use one there if you like, but you do not need to. You might consider saying this instead: I had long disliked eating that sort of food.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

The teacher gave us all (tasks - duties). Mine was to interview four students.

Hello. What is the difference between "task" and "duty"? I can't choose the correct one in the following sentence. The teacher gave us all (tasks - duties). Mine was to interview four students. Thank you.Read More...
Hi, Ahmed Imam Attia, "duties" is too formal. Besides, teachers assign tasks rather than duties, and the verb "give" collocates better with "tasks," so choose "tasks."Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

A lot of trees (came - went - turned) down in the storm.

Hello. Please, choose the correct one. A lot of trees (came - went - turned) down in the storm. Thank you.Read More...
Hi, Ahmed Imam Attia, You need "came" there. "go down" would be used to mean "sink" (for example, a ship). The definition of "come down" and the examples below have been taken from the Cambridge Dictionary: - to fall and land on the ground : A lot of trees came down in the storm . Our plane came down in a field . The snow came down during the night .Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Double "Had" question!

Hey, one quick question about using "had" repeatedly- Which of these would be correct in the context? "I had thought I had known what to work towards" or "I had thought I knew what to work towards" As in, years ago I had a plan, and now I realized I didn't know what I wanted after all. Thanks!Read More...
Hi, I'd go with: I had thought I knew... had thought contrasts with realized , and knew doesn't need to be backshifted. With an appropriate adverbial, thought would also be possible, as in: Years ago I had a plan and (back then) I thought I knew what I wanted, but now I realized I didn't know what I wanted after all.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

faced vs facing

May I know which of the sentence below is grammatical? (1) Shortage of qualified personnel is one of the common challenges faced by SME's employers. (2) Shortage of qualified personnel is one of the common challenges facing by SME's employers.Read More...
Thanks, new knowledge about English for me.Read More...
Last Reply By joshua · First Unread Post

The train just arrived from Boston is crowded with travel-worn passengers.

1. The train just arrived from Boston is crowded with travel-worn passengers. 2. The train, just arrived from Boston, is crowded with travel-worn passengers. Hi. I made up the above two sentences. Do they work fine? If not, why? Thank you.Read More...
Hi, Zuotengdazuo, "arrive" is an intransitive verb, and for a verb to be used as you propose it needs to be transitive, as a passive voice would be implied, for example: 3. The train just brought (which was just brought / which has just been brought) from Boston is new. 4. The train just bought (which was just bought / which has just been bought) by Boston Railway Authority is modern. As "arrive" is intransitive, you need to say: 1'. The train which ( has ) just arrived from Boston is...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Double plural possessives

Greetings, My question that I can't find an answer for is, what is the proper way to write a double plural possessive. At least I think that's what it's called. As in, the kids' parents' house. Where kids is both plural and possessive and parents is also plural and possessive. I'm also pretty sure that's the correct way to write it. Thank you!Read More...
Thank you for the reply, Gustavo, and the clarification. Much appreciated!Read More...
Last Reply By Mark Twain · First Unread Post

Why is the phrase "In addition" preposed with subject–auxiliary inversion?

Hello, Contributors. Do me a favour please. Why is the phrase "In addition" preposed with subject–auxiliary inversion?Read More...
Thank you very much, David. I had thought this book was authentic. This book, published by oxford university press, is endorsed by some professors, which is really misleading.Read More...
Last Reply By sunshine · First Unread Post

Question about colon use in front of a prepositional phrase

Quick question- can you use a colon to separate a sentence from a prepositional phrase as in the following sentence: And there I sat: amidst running cattle and the buzz of falling bees. Is this grammatically correct? Thanks!Read More...
Just like David, I find the colon unjustified. I recommend that you read this guide , in particular where it says: Emphasis . The colon, for example, would be fine in this other sentence, where the first part announces what's coming, or the second part sums up what is contained in the first one: - And there I finally found what I had been looking for so eagerly to remember my childhood in the countryside : running cattle and the buzz of swarming bees. In your sentence, "amid running cattle...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Question about commas with conjunctions

"Building the house was an opportunity to once again explore the lumberjack lifestyle, but, this time, with a greater appreciation for what we were creating." Basically, I don't know whether I need a comma before and after the "but" and the interrupter "this time" that follows. Any feedback? Thanks!Read More...
Gotcha, thanksRead More...
Last Reply By trig1968 · First Unread Post

Relative pronouns & Collective nouns

ceedhanna
I would be grateful Mr David if you could shed more light on these examples: These two examples from an Egyptian book: He is part of the team which has done the operation. He is part of the team who have done the operation. But these two examples from the BBC website. The team who are playing this weekend includes neither of the new signings. The team which lies third from the bottom of the league will also be relegated this year. Thanks in advance.Read More...
Thanks a lot. The next time I will refrain from requesting your feedback specifically.Read More...
Last Reply By ceedhanna · First Unread Post

Question about phrase in front of a semi colon

So is the following' sentence grammatically correct, or does it require a comma after the "the next" phrase after the semi colon (or maybe the semicolon should be a comma itself?) One day I’d sing cantatas as my sister held the sheet music; the next I would clean out my flute with linseed, holding a curtain to the side to prevent the smell from permeating the house.Read More...
Hello, Trigg1968, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange! The sentence is correct as written. A comma could optionally be used after "the next," but a comma is not required there. I think the sentence is better without a comma there, since the absence of a comma there parallels the absence of a comma after "one day." "The next" is elliptical for "the next day." Regarding the semicolon, if you change it to a comma, you will need to add the coordinating conjunction "and" so that it will not be a...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Simple Sentence

hello all,i have a question here.What makes this sentence, "James cleaned and polished his brother's car." a simple sentence?isn't this a compound sentence made of two simple sentences of "James cleaned his brother's car" and "James polished his brother's car"?Please enlighten me.Thank you.Read More...
Hello, gongpasir, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange. For a sentence to be compound, there need to be at least two coordinate clauses, each one with its own subject and predicate: - James cleaned his brother's car and his brother polished it . In: James cleaned and polished his brother's car we have only one clause, formed by a simple subject and a compound predicate. This is considered a simple sentence, which can be turned into a compound one: - James cleaned his brother's car and once it...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

dangling modifier

ayman
Hello, teachers Could you explain why the first option in this attachment is not correct, please? My humble opinion is it is because it says "The dinner was prepared by my mum" . Here it mentions the doer "subject". Or, We have two passive clauses and that it should be: The dinner was ready.Read More...
Thank you so much, sir 🌹Read More...
Last Reply By ayman · First Unread Post

Pr.Simple vs Pr. Progressive

Hello! Could you help me to choose the correct answer in the following sentence: “My son is arriving/arrives at 2 p.m.” I think the correct one is only “My son is arriving at 2 p.m.” But I was told that the second one is also can exist as it is like a schedule. As far as I understand this sentence doesn’t relate to the train that should keep to the schedule but to a person who is going by this train. Please correct if I’m mistaken.Read More...
Thank you!Read More...
Last Reply By IrAlVik · First Unread Post

where we don't know

a. There has been an accident downtown in which we don't know how many people were hurt. b. There has been an accident downtown where we don't know how many people were hurt. Are these sentences grammatically correct? Many thanks.Read More...
Hi, Azz, Why do you think they are wrong? I find them to be correct. Perhaps the postmodifier "downtown" causes some interference between the antecedent "an accident" and the relative clause starting with "in which" and "where," but not so much as to make the sentences incorrect. What do you think, David/DocV?Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

consider toV

Hello everyone! I have some questions about using consider's object. Could you please help me? I learned that when using the verb "consider", the object must be -ing, not to V. But yesterday I read sentences like that, "People consider it unhealthy to have too much sugar." "I considered it a great joy to teach my own children." "I consider it a waste of time to watch TV all day long." In those cases, isn't it the real object that I underlined words? How could it be used for consider's...Read More...
Hello, seenew park, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange. You should never use verbs in the possessive case. You should have said: the object of "consider." There are two patterns with "consider," and both are correct: - I am considering teaching my own children. (I am considering/thinking of the idea/possibility of teaching my own children.) - I consider it a great joy to teach my own children. (This means: I consider that teaching my own children is a great joy. Notice that "it" is used to...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

waits till he's onstage

1) He waits till he's onstage for his eyeball to explode. Source: Bill Maher https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ob7EWtaUL_o From 3:15 to 3:20 I understand what he's saying and I suppose the context allows for a lot of licence. He is basically implying that Biden was responsible for what happened and there's no quick way to express that strange (and funny) idea. But is the sentence really grammatical with the meaning Maher has in mind? I do understand: 2) I waited till the concert was over for...Read More...
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