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subjunctive forms

"I remember hearing someone say the bookstore downstairs is having a sale this weekend" Is the sentence correct? Sound natural? Is the "say" in "hearing someone say" the subjunctive form? I am not sure if it conveys the meaning that I heard and someone said before. Is there a past tense of "hearing someone say" to express my exact meaning?Read More...
Thanks alot, Tonyjab and Rachel. AlexRead More...

find VS found

I notice that most of the time people like to use "found" instead of "find", even in a present situation, to express their feelings and opinions. For example, A: How are you doing in learning Italian? B: I found it very difficult. Is it because "I found" is more polite and formal than "I find", like "I was wondering"?Read More...
Yes, indeed, Alexwlh. That is correct.Read More...

the /r/ sound

Dear Rachel, Richard and all, Once again in the book Business Listening and Speaking by Maurice Jamall and Bruce Wade, /r/ sound is taught to be pronounced in American English and silent in British English as in the followoing sentences: 1. Offer them more time to pay. (US - pronounced) 2. Offer them more time to pay. (UK- silent) 3. It's an hour and a half from the ware house. (US- pronounced) 4. It's an hour and a half from the ware house. (US- pronounced) 5. We mainly export to Argentina.Read More...
Thank you so much Richard and alexwlh. So there must be mistakes in the answer key of the book. This book, as I once mentioned, contains so many mistakes. Not a good book at all! By the way, as I know, even in British English, when the final r goes with an initial vowel, then the r is pronounced as in sentence 3 ( hour and ). I think that's is why the answer says there is a /r/ there. But as you listened, there is no /r/ heard there. Once again, thank you for your very sharp ears Richard and...Read More...

rent; lend

Customers rent a DVD at a shop. How about the clerk? Does he rent or lend it? Which is more appropriate? Thanks!Read More...
That's right, Kis. We don't use lend in that situation. Lend doesn't include an exchange of money, so if the store isn't letting you take DVD's for free, they're not lending them to you. They're renting them.Read More...

Right

I wonder if there is any difference between the two sentences: 1. You were right when you turn in the wallet to the police. 2. You were right to turn in the wallet to the police.Read More...
There's no difference between the two sentences, my friend. Of course I should point out the typo in no. 1 ( turn ed ).Read More...

Numbers?

Hi, When saying numbers, is it correct to say 250 as two fifty ? If it is not correct, I wonder if there are occasions when saying two fifty is correct.Read More...
Thanks a lot, Richard.Read More...

Look out! v. Be careful!

Hi, Is there a difference between: Look out! There's a cable on the floor. Be careful! There's a cable on the floor. In general, is there a difference in when and how to use them? I'm attaching an exercise where Look out! OR Be careful! should be used. I wonder which picture takes which. I also wonder what the sentences will be for Pictures e, h, and i.Read More...
Thanks a lot, Richard.Read More...

ten dollars

The ten dollars you gave me ____ not enough to me. a. are b. is Are they both correct? Thanks!Read More...
The correct verb form in both of your sentences is still is , Tony. Now, if we're specifically talking about individual bills, the grammar can change: A: Did you leave any money for me? B: Yes, I did. There are two five-dollar bills on the table.Read More...

if-clause 2 or 3.

Hi, could you please tell me which one is the correct? 1)if you had been G.Bush would you have attacked ıraq? ..or, 2)İf you were G.Bush would you attack ıraq? if you had a chance to talk to Obama what would you say? 3) i would say that Usa is/was more powerful country now. in this sentence i'm talking about present situation,but the question is hypothetical. How should i answer it, in real or in hypothetical? Thanks.Read More...
A reporting verb in the past tense governs the verbs that follow it and depend on it. It causes those verbs to be in a past tense too. This sentence is natural: She said that if she went to Paris, she would visit her parents... The sentence means that she might visit her parents in Paris, if indeed she goes there. However, she is not planning to go. She might consider going at a future time. We can also say: She said that if she goes to Paris, she will visit her parents... In this sentence,...Read More...

At the time of being

At the time of being, she was staying with her mother when her dad went on business trip. Am I correctly using 'at the time of being'? Thank youRead More...
It can be either For the time being or At the time , Welkins. The meanings are different, though. For the time being means "temporarily." At the time means "during that period of time."Read More...

Even so

He has two jobs. Even so, he could not afford to pay off the rent. Am I correctly using 'even so'? Thank youRead More...
Yes, that's fine, my friend, but it's not pay off the rent ; it's simply pay the rent .Read More...

expense

A: Why don't we travel to Japan and take a reat at a spa? B: That sounds good. Let me check the date and _____ . a. expense b. expenses c. the expense d. the expenses Which is correct? And could you explain some? Thanks!Read More...
I think this is a typo. Is it 'take a rest ' at a spa? If so, a case could be made for each and every choice. If this is a test, it is a bad question. All might be considered correct since 'expense' is both a count and noncount noun. In addition, 'expense/ expenses' might be considered general -- therefore used without an article -- or specific, and used with an article.Read More...

exist; existed

Several years ago, scientists estimated that over 1.5 millon species of animals _______ on earth. More recent estimates have increased that number to about 3 million. a. exist b. existed Are they both correct? Thanks!Read More...
Even though b is not technically wrong, I would go with a . The reason is that the animals that existed then still exist now, so there's really no need to place exist in the past in this case.Read More...

could/was able to

In the sentence below; I went to Mexico last week, and I could meet/was able to meet her then. Are both 'could meet' and 'was able to meet' correct?Read More...
One little caution, if I may: If the context in which you find this sentence tells us that the speaker/writer had tried to meet her previously but failed to, then it's okay to say .., and I was able to meet her then . But if that is not the case and the speaker/writer succeeded on her first attempt, using was able to is wrong; the sentence should be .., and I met her then.Read More...

to OR in?

Any difference between "to" and "in" here? A: "Is Monica here?" B: "No, she is off to the restroom." OR "No, She is off in the restroom."Read More...
I wouldn't say She's off in the restroom. She's in the restroom. Off to the restroom doesn't mean that she's in the restroom. It means that she's headed that way. She may or may not have reached there.Read More...

just to make sure?

Examine this sentence please: 1. What we need now (are/is) chairs. Although The two advanced grammar books I read regarding this issue in particular agree that both answers are correct,they differ with respect to style. One says (are) is more formal and the other says (is) should be used in more formal and serious writing. Now does this have to do with BrE and AmE? ThanksRead More...
I still think that it is a matter of BrE and AmE but I haven't found a confirmation yet and I would be obliged if someone helped me further. The following are the original examples followed by the comments of the authors: - What is needed (are) additional resources. (or more collquially ... needed is) / Advanced Grammar in Use/ Martin Hewings. -What we need are more housing units for married students. (However , it is best to avoid such a construction in formal usage)/Modern English: A...Read More...

General tenses

Can anyone tell me what tense : You shouldn't take a lot of luggage & I wish I had more money ... GabrielleRead More...
We can't understand your question, Gabrielle. Would you please rephrase it? Thanks.Read More...

if a minister preach

Dear experts, Should we say "a minister preach" as in: http://www.google.com/search?h...&as_nhi=&safe=images or a minister preaches? Thank you, YuriRead More...
The phrase you're citing, Yuri, is from an old style of speaking and writing that was common only to certain English-speaking groups back in the 18th and 19th centuries. Many of these groups were religious ones. In the phrase If a minister preach , the verb is in an archaic form of the subjunctive. In more modern parlance we'd say either If a minister should preach , If a minister preached when offering a hypothetical situation, or If a minister preaches when offering a more factual situation.Read More...

(the) best

Can anyone please tell me what are the differences between the following sentences? 1. She knows me best. 2. She knows me the best. 3. She knows me most. 4. She knows me the best.Read More...
Ah, an interesting point Amy has raised. I probably would have shot from the hip and said they're the same, because I've recently had to look up this issue for someone. But usually best and the best are interchangeable, aren't they? Also most and the most ? In the sentence that I was asked about (I think it was I like that subject ... )), all four were possible. But yes, with this verb (the) most doesn't work. Hope I don't ever have to explain why.Read More...

with or without [a]?

which is ceorrect and WHY? 1. interaction between writer and reader. OR 2. interaction between a writer and a reader.Read More...
Thank you very much for the always enlightening information, Rachel.Read More...

know

Can one say: 1-All they know is swimming. instead of: 2-All they know how to do is swim.Read More...
Yes, that's fine, Navi.Read More...

shall/will

As I mentioned yesterday, we shall be going on a nature hike up the mountain instead of joining the other students on the trip to the aquarium. What is the difference between shall and will ? As I mentioned yesterday, we will be going on a nature hike... As I mentioned yesterday, we shall be going on a nature hike... Thanks in advance.Read More...
No, Jey. Look carefully at what I said about that rare emphatic use and the example I gave. It's the ending, saying and so you shall that shows the emphasis, my friend.Read More...

passive with certain verbs?

Are the following passive sentences correct ? and if yes what are the active versions of each, please? thanks in advance. - He was intended to be hired. - He was arranged to be hired. - A new hospital has been decided to be built. - She was arranged to work as a secretary. - It is intended that he be killed.Read More...
Hi Rachael, I also agree with you about the "official avoidance" of the passive voice. People do tend to get carried away with things like that, don't they? There are many situations in which the only good choice is the passive. My pet peeve stems from the fact that in my years as an ESL teacher, I have run into what I view as an over-abundance of poorly conceived grammar exercises in which students are told to transform active sentences into passive ones that nobody would ever actually use.Read More...
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