All Forum Topics

an absoulute clause

With his dad being captive, he found a way to rescue him. Am I correctly using the absoulute clause? Thank youRead More...
Yes, it's fine Welkins. You could also omit the 'with': His dad being captive, he found a way to rescue him. . Absolutes with the 'with,' though, are much more conversational and more frequently used.Read More...

Full partner

- On the day we finally sold the company and were walking out the door, the two of them stopped, turned to one another, and hugged. These were guys I'd worked, sweated, planned, laughed and cried with for over three decades. They were good guys. And on every other occasion, they acted as if I were a full partner. But in that precise moment, I knew where I had always stood. - What does "full partner" mean here? Thanks a lot to moderators! NamcoolguyRead More...
'To be a full partner' means to be at the same level with the others in a group or business or firm. In this case, the speaker thought he actually was a full partner and that the others treated him as an equal. However, as it turns out, he really did not have that much status with the others.Read More...

that'll do

cocoricot
Dear teachers, -"More peas?" -"No, that'll do. Thank you." Please tell me what "that'll do" means. Thanks.Read More...
'That'll do' is a contraction, of course, for 'that will do.' This is an expression that means 'This is enough' or 'this is satisfactory.' From the LDOCE: do: enough/acceptable [intransitive,transitive not in progressive] used to say that something will be enough or be acceptable: [British English] We don't have a lot of wine for the party, but it should just about do. [British English] I can't find my black shoes so these will have to do. [British English] A few sandwiches will do me for...Read More...

What was/were on the table?

When you are not sure how many apples on the table, if there was just one or more than one, how do you ask? What was on the table? or What were on the table? Either is OK? AppleRead More...
I agree with Tonyjab. 'What is/was' is like 'who is/was' in questions in which you are looking for the subject. Even though you know that the noun in the response may be plural, the question is in the singular: Who speaks Japanese in this class? What's for dinner? Who has a pen I could use? What's on the table? I see a lot of things there.Read More...

us or our?

Dear Rachel & Richard Would you please tell me whether the following sentence is correct or not? - They have no right to refuse us access to the files ** I think it's wrong to say " refuse US access" and it should be " refuse OUR access " *** Do you agree with me? If not, please tell me why? I'm waiting for your kind reply. Thank you very much. SayedRead More...
They're technically correct, Tonyjab. Notice that the indirect object in your example sentence is me . You can deny a person something or refuse a person something. The meaning is the same, although using refuse is more commonly used, I think. Now notice that in the examples I gave you where refuse is not a substitute for deny , there's no indirect object, just the direct object ( taking the money / that they had taken the money ). That's the difference, Tonyjab.Read More...

My understanding of any?

Hi I know that "any" should be followed by a plural countable noun and not a singular , but According to Swan's explanation: Swan (p. 50): Any can be used to emphasise the idea of free choice, with the meaning of "it doesn't matter who/which/what." With this meaning, any is common in affirmative clauses as well as questions and negatives, and is often used with singular countable nouns as well as uncountables and plurals. In speech it is stressed. Is the following sentence correct to...Read More...
Let's go back to your original sentence: Was there any child whatsoever? The main problem here is that we don't use whatever with people. It works fine with things, but not people. As a substitute for this emphatic word, I'd use at all : Was there any child at all? Technically speaking, the question is now grammatical, but, as the expression goes, "it leaves a lot to be desired." What I mean is that it just isn't a complete enough question to sound good. But grammatically speaking, it's okay...Read More...

feminist

engfan
hello what is the opposite of feminist ? is it homonist thank youRead More...
And Tony gets a gold star!! I've never heard the word, but I found it in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Amazing! And yes, Tony, that would be the best choice for the opposite of feminist -- although it doesn't seem very different from male chauvinist . Thanks, guys! I've learned something new.Read More...

remember

cocoricot
Dear teachers, I am confused about using "remember" with to infintive and gerund. "Did you remember sending/to send her a message." Thanks.Read More...
Or for (2), this means I locked the door and later remembered that I had done it.Read More...

also

Can one say, in response to: -I wish you a Merry Christmas. -I also wish you a Merry Christmas. Since nobody else has wished the first speaker a Merry Christmas, the sentence doesn't seem logical, but I think people say it. By the way, MERRY CHRISTMAS!!Read More...
I also wish YOU a merry Christmas, Navi!Read More...

the meat is tough/hard

When you find the meat hard to chew, you say the meat is tough, not hard. The meat being hard means it's hard as a rock like frozen. This is how I used to understand, but recently I came acroos a sentence that says the meat is hard. Can you say the meat is hard, meaning it's tough? AppleRead More...
In the context of somebody who's having dental problems, another natural-sounding sentence would be It's too hard for me to eat the steak.Read More...

sport

engfan
hi football is a team sport swimming is an individual sport...i can play it alone tennis is ....... i know it's an individual sport ....i play it alone but it needs an opponent to play with ...so can i say it is in-pair sport? or a mutual sport?Read More...
I think the contrast between individual and team sport is not dealing with your opponent but whether you yourself are playing alone or on a team. In most sports there is an opponent, although you can swim, cycle, canoe, etc. by yourself without competing with anyone. I've never heard the word in-pair sport . I would not understand it to mean what you want to say. We usually assume that a sport has one or more opponents. If there are no opponents (such as swimming by yourself just for the...Read More...

each other

Can one say: 1-They are nastier to each other than I am. instead of: They are nastier to each other than I am to them. MERRY CHRISTMAS.Read More...
Sentence (1) doesn't work for me. Each other indicates reciprocal action and the sentence leaves me "hanging". I feel there should be someone reciprocating with me. Sentence (2) is fine. Merry Christmas to you, too.Read More...

to be so much rain

cocoricot
Dear teachers, This sentence is not correct,isn't it? " It's not common for there to be so much rain in March." Thanks.Read More...
Thank you, Richard. It is clearer and clearer.Read More...

Merry Christmas!

Dear Richard, Rachel and other friends! - May you all have a happy Christmas season! Cheers! NamcoolguyRead More...
Yes, thank you very much, my friend! Have a merry holiday season!Read More...

even so

Are the second sentences in each case correct: 1-He claims that he only drove the car for the bamk robbers. Even so, he would be considered an accomplice by the legal authorities . (MEANING: Even if that was so, he would be considered an accomplice by the legal authorites) 2-He claims that he only drove the car for the bamk robbers. Even so, he will be considered an accomplice by the legal authorites . (MEANING: Even if that is so, he will be considered an accomplice by the legal authorites)Read More...
I think both sentences are correct, Navi. 'He will be considered' means that in the event -- a probable event -- that his case is taken up by the legal authorities, he will be considered an accomplice. 'He would be considered' means that if the event were to be taken up -- and it might -- then he would be considered an accomplice.Read More...

Opposing counsel

- A few years ago, I worked for a law company. Every day my boss asked me to get the coffee and/or make copies or introducing me by the wrong name to opposing counsel during a conference call. I quickly grew tired of it all. I quit after only 11 months. - What does "opposing counsel" mean? And can I say "I quickly got tired of it all" instead of "I quickly grew tired of it all"? Thanks so much to moderators! NamcoolguyRead More...
'Opposing counsel' refers to the lawyer on the opposite side, the one you are arguing against. And yes, 'I got tired' is fine, too, but more informal than 'I grew tired.'Read More...

with

Jack : Hello, Tina. Tina : Great to see you, Jack. We finally meet in person! Jack : With all those emails we've been sending back and forth for the past six months, it's great to be able to talk to you face to face. What does "with" mean in the sentence? Could you tell me which number in LDOCE is explaining about "with" in the sentence? http://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/with Thanks a lot.Read More...
Thank you so much, Rachel.Read More...

a, an with musical instrument?

Hi, Is it possible to use the indefinite articles a, an with musical instrument instead of the ?Read More...
(Now how did I know you were going to ask that? LOL ) My native-speaker intuition tells me that the first sentence with a violin means this was something unexpected or unusual. It also tells me that the violin was not that person's instrument of choice. That same intuition tells me that the second sentence with the violin means this was something to be expected. It tells me that the violin was the instrument he normally played.Read More...

What is the most difficult langauge in the world?

Hi, What is the most difficult language in the world, so to speak? Or it depends on the learner's first language. In other words, one may rate English as the most difficult while another may consider it the easiest depening on each's mother tongue. PS. I know this topic is discussed on the Internet. But I would like to have your opinion and Richard and Rachel, in particular.Read More...
The similarity of one language to one's first language must be a factor in evaluating the difficulty of any one language. Surely Italian and Portuguese must be less difficult for Spanish speakers than they would be for an Arabic speaker because Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish are related language. What might be the most difficult for any of us -- say an obscure tribal language -- might be much less difficult for speakers of a native language. Izzy, I think I remember reading something that...Read More...

Litigator

- After finishing law school, I accepted a position at an AMLAW 100 law firm as a litigator. - I've checked the meaning of "litigator", but it seems to mean the same as "laywer" . What's the difference between them? Thanks a lot to moderators! NamcoolguyRead More...
A litigator is a lawyer who specializes in bringing law suits to court, representing the plaintiff.Read More...

Thanks for trying?

Hi, When someone offer you something, say, a cup of tea, for example. Is it correct to reply saying: Thanks for trying. Also, does it mean that you accept the offer or reject it.Read More...
Crystal clear! Thanks a lot, Richard.Read More...

careful

engfan
hi, careful of careful with careful about.......when do we use them? think of think about what is the difference?Read More...
This is a toughy, Engfan. I'm going to give you my answers based on how I use these phrases myself. I'm not claiming to have the only possible answers, just the ones I can base on how I use these phrases in my own ideolect. Here goes ... careful of: used with abstract nouns ( He's very sensitive, so I'm always careful of his feelings. / We have to be careful of the time. We don't want to leave here late. ) careful with: used with concrete nouns ( Be careful with those antique statuettes!Read More...
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