All Forum Topics

when have you watched tv ? is that a right question

engfan
is that a right questionRead More...
Hello, Hegga! Is that question correct? Well, yes, it is, but it depends on the context. The question is in the present perfect ( have watched ), which means it technically covers all the time that the listener has been alive! Here's a dialogue that shows one example of how we can use this question: A: I saw a great documentary on TV the other night. It was about the search for Noah's ark. B: I think I saw a show about that once. A: What? But you don't even own a television. So when have you...Read More...

Though as yet

- The cost of running unpopular routes adds to overall ticket prices. We would love to be able to offer you all the routes, all the time, but sadly we are just not able to. Hopefully, we will be starting a new route that passes through both Bedford Mall and Glen street, though as yet that remains undecided. - What do "though as yet" and "remain undecided" mean in this context? Thanks very much to moderators! NamcoolguyRead More...
... though as yet that remains undecided means "but that still has not been decided."Read More...

had p.p

We spent all of Friday on the road driving down to my grandparent's house. Is it okay to say the above sentence in this way: I had been driving all day Friday to go down to my grandparent's house. Thanks!Read More...
The continuous tense expresses the idea of the long duration of the drive, as does the original spent all of Friday . But you can't use the past perfect alone like this. If there's more to the paragraph -- such as while you were driving something ran in front of your car -- then the past perfect would work. Otherwise I'd use the past continuous: I was driving all day Friday to go down to my grandparent s' house. Note also the placement of the apostrophe on grandparents. If the house belonged...Read More...

He gave the money to whoever wanted it.

I'd appreciate it if someone would answer my questions. Thanks in advance. Are the following 2 sentences (A, B) correct? A: He gave the money to whoever wanted it. B: However hard he tried, he failed. I'm sure C and D are correct, but not so sure whether these 2 can be used successfully. C: He'll give the money to whoever wants it. D: However hard he tries, he will fail. Can "whoever" and "however" be used in specific situations?Read More...
--Thank you, Richard. You said, What's funny is that if you were sure they're correct, why aren't you sure that they "can be used successfully"? I have wondered if "whatever" or "however" can be used in specific situations, for both words contain "ever" or "any" ("whatever" is the same as "anything that"), and so I was not sure if these sentences can be used in specific situations. Now I know I was wrong. Thank you very much.Read More...

ran till

Which are correct and which are natural: 1-He ran up to a point which was two yards away from the wall. 2-He ran till he was two yards away from the wall. Then he stopped. 3-He ran till he was two yards away from the wall. 4-He ran and stopped two yards away from yard. 5-He ran towards the wall and stopped when he was two yards away from it. In 3 I have taken out 'Then he stopped.'' Is the meaning affected by that or is the meaning still clear? Is there a more natural way to express the same...Read More...
This sentence is the least meaningful. Of course, in a context, it most likely would become meaningful. All the other sentences are clear. You could also say: He kept running until he was two yards (away) from the wall. But in the context, I don't know if this is better than the ones you have.Read More...

as or which

1) He found out she was a drunkard, as was unexpected. 2) He found out she was a drunkard, which was unexpected. Can I use 'as' or 'which' interchangeably? Thank youRead More...
In your sentence, Welkins, only 'which.' 'Which' introduces an adjective clause that modifies the entire sentence. If you use 'as,' the expression is 'as expected.' So the clause refers to the previous clause, saying what happened is what you expected. You could say that the guy turned out to be a drunkard, as expected.Read More...

speak up to someone

Dear experts, According to dictionaries, TALK UP TO SOMEONE can be used to mean: 1. be flattering, obsequious or super-respectful when talking to a person in a higher position, etc.: Don’t talk up to someone, as if they are better than you. Don’t talk down to someone, as if you are better than them. You are equals. 2. talk to smb. in a friendly and persuasive manner so as to gain favor, connections, etc.: He knew how to move at different levels; he could talk up to people at different...Read More...
I haven't used this expression, Yuri, and I don't think I've heard it either. Do you think it's British? There is a phrase -- 'talk someone up' -- that means talk to someone, get friendly with him, soften him up. But that is not 'talk up to someone.' I have heard 'talk up to someone' only in the special context you have written about, and it is the opposite of 'talk down to someone.' I have seen this explanation, and it is the only place, as I've said, that I have heard of seen 'talk up to ...Read More...

Finish eating seafood

- Whenever I finish eating seafood, my body has an allergy / my body is allergic. That's really a pain in my ass. - Is this sentence natural to say? Thanks so much to moderators! NamcoolguyRead More...
It needs to be changed somewhat, Nam: Whenever I eat seafood, I have an allergic reaction. That really irritates me. As far as using That's really a pain in my ass , I hope you understand that this an expression you'd reserve only for certain people to hear. It's on the vulgar side, so I wouldn't use it when talking to a grandparent or even a parent. With siblings and friends it's okay in very informal conversation. People do say That's really a royal pain , and the same meaning is...Read More...

Affix?

Hi, Affix A meaningful form that is attached to another form, to make a more complex word ( un- + kind + -ness . I wonder if affix is a meaningful form as stated in the definition.Read More...
Thanks a lot to you both.Read More...

reported speech

Are time changes strictly observed in reported speech? I saw him yesterday . He said he had seen him the day before . Thanks.Read More...
What I always mention to language learners is that time is a continuum, Curious. That means time is never stagnant, never standing still in one place, so to speak. So it all depends on where the speaker is in time. Let's use your two sentences as an example of what I mean. A: I saw him yesterday. If Speaker B is reporting what Speaker A said and it's still the same day, Speaker B will use yesterday , too: B: He said he'd seen him yesterday. Speaker B can even use the simple present in the...Read More...

piled up?

Hello, This morning it snowed heavily though it was windy, so there was no ice piled up. How could I express this in a natural sounding way? Thank you so much!Read More...
Exactly!^^ Thanks a lot, my Dear, Richard!Read More...

I don't know what

Can one say in informal English: 1-He says he is a cardiologist, which is I don't know what. (...but I don't know what a cardiologist is.) 2-He says he is going to meet the famous Jane Hopkins, who is I don't know who. (...but I don't know who the famous Jane Hopkins is.)Read More...
In VERY informal/conversational English, I suppose you can say these sentences, Navi. I certainly understand them! They're a very creative way of confessing one's ignorance about certain things.Read More...

Closed/shut

The development project closed/shut because there was not enough fund. Should I use passive or active tense in terms of using 'closed' and 'shut'? Thank youRead More...
You can stay with the active voice, Welkins, since close can be an intransitive verb. (Notice the tweaking I have to do in the other part of the sentence): The development project closed because there was not enough funding / there were not enough funds . However, you can also use close as a transitive verb, in which case the passive voice can be used: The development project was closed because there was not enough funding. Instead of close , you can use the phrasal verb shut down , not just...Read More...

since

It was the hottest October since records began. Longman I would expect "It has been" or "It had been" to be used instead of "It was". What do you think?Read More...
The sentence is correct. When you use 'since' with the present perfect tense in the main clause, you can have different constructions in the subordinate clause. First, with 'since' as a preposition, you would have the day or date or time: We have lived here since 1998. Then, with 'since' as a conjunction, you can have the past tense, the present perfect tense, or the past perfect tense in the clause that follows. Here are two examples from 'since' as a conjunction from the LDOCE (another...Read More...

contraction?

Which parts in each of the following sentence should be contracted? 1. He is not from Paris. [he's OR isn't]. 2. They are not students. [they're OR aren't] 3. The power is not on. [power's OR isn't].Read More...
Thank you so much, Richard.Read More...

will - going to

A woman of her ability ---- a job easily. A) will find B) is going to find I would think a native speaker would use "will find" here. What do you think?Read More...
I think both are equally correct, Curious. The sentence is one of prediction, and to expressions prediction, you can use either 'will' or 'be going to.' You could also say: ...should fine a job easilyRead More...

go to the wire

Thank you, Rachel, The dictionary definition of GO TO THE WIRE is - risk one’s job, reputation, etc, in order to help smb.: Barbara Layton plans to go to the wire in support of Hillary Clinton… Now, how would you define the expression as used in this context: I look for this game to go to the wire, with Arkansas ranked top ten and Carolina looking for revenge and respect. Is this usage typical? Thank you, YuriRead More...
Both of Yuri's sentences need 'down.'Read More...

at night vs. on the night ~ vs. in the night ~

When do we say "at night"/"on the night ~"/"in the night ~"? a. They met at night. b. They met on the night of May 2. c. They met in the night. I think usually people say "at night", but the night of specific day is "on the night of ~". Am I right? As for "in the night," I have no idea.Read More...
Thank you very much.Read More...

"at vs. in" and "at vs. on"

1. What is the difference b/t the two sentences? a. Tom is at the store. b. Tom is on the store. When do we use "at" and when "in"? 2. What is the difference b/t the two sentences? a. I will meet you at the corner. b. I will meet you on the corner. When do we use "at" and when "on"?Read More...
Thank you for your quick and clear explanation.Read More...

may/might have p.p

q1)Real Madrid started well and _______ an early lead when Figo hit the post, but Barcelona scored first after 20 minutes. a. may have taken b. might have taken Q2) The race had to be stopped because the oil on the track _________ an accident to happen. a. may have caused b. might have caused Are they both correct in each item? If not, could you explain some? Thanks!Read More...
Yes, Curious, 'b' is correct in both. 'Might have' refers to an event in the past that could/might have had a different outcome. 'May have' would indicate that you didn't know the outcome, but here you do know that the outcome is different from what you are postulating.Read More...

might / could have done

I ---- their job offer, but I chose to stay here. A) could have accepted B) might have accepted I know "could have V3" can be used in this sentence, but I wonder whether "might have V3" can also be used. Thanks in advance.Read More...
We can use might have met in my first example, Cuirous, but the meaning is very different. Using might have means only that it would have been possible for him to meet some very nice girls. There's no direct thought about a missed opportunity, only perhaps an implied one on the part of the listener. Might have won't work in my second example. Possibility is not the idea; choosing not to accept the scholarship that was offered is the idea.Read More...

will remember; would remember

I'm sure that many people ________ seeing Sarah Thomas on television in the 1980s. a. will remember b. would remember Are they both correct? If so, what's the difference? Thanks!Read More...
This is the kind of statement that can't really be tested. The speaker is going by a hunch, by something theoretical. For that reason, would remember is the better choice here. There's like an unspoken but understood continuation to the idea: I'm sure that many people would remember seeing Sarah Thomas on television in the 1980s if we could show her to them and ask them about her -- or something like that, Kis. Using would shows less certainty about something. The speaker can use will...Read More...

may / might / could / should / must have + V3

Hi, may / might / could have + V3 expresses possibility. There's about %50 chance something has happened in the past. However, "must have + V3" expresses probability. About %85 chance. But what is the difference between "should have + V3" and "must have + V3" in this sense? Try phoning Robert - he should be home by now. / he must be home by now. Try phoning Robert - he should have arrived home by now. / He must have arrived home by now. Are they interchangeable? What is the difference? Thanks.Read More...
In those sentences about Robert, should is being used to represent expectation . The speaker is saying this is what he/she thinks is true. This is a relatively "weak" idea. Must is being used as a logical conclusion . The speaker is saying that he/she is very sure about this. It's a "strong" idea.Read More...

can't; couldn't

q1) There ______ be many people in the world who haven't watched television. a. can't b. couldn't q2) I think I saw her go out, so she ______ be at home. a. can't b. couldn't Are they both correct in each pair? If not, could you explain some? Thanks!Read More...
Thanks for the reply, Rachel. Could you check the statement below? 'We use can't not couldn't , to say that something is theoretically or actually impossible.' I can't apply this to the two sentences I posted above. Could you help me?Read More...
×
×
×
×