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sentence correction

A: Could you speak up, please? B: What did you say? A: Loud. I can hardly hear you. B: All right. Can you hear me now? Which is the wrong expression? And could you correct it, please? Thanks!Read More...
A: Could you speak up, please? B: What did you say? A: Loud. I can hardly hear you. B: All right. Can you hear me now? A's second line is wrong. The normal words to say would be "Speak louder." RachelRead More...

with a smile

Can I say, (a) The salesgirl showed some varieties of bracelets and served the customers with a smile.Read More...
"Smilingly" is OK, Ismael and Vincent and others, but "with a smile" is a more frequently used expression. RachelRead More...

Trying to do teacher's head in

Hi everyone, I was reading an article about teaching kids and how stressful this is and the author says, "Daily facing little dears whose favourite pleasure is trying to do teacher's head in: keeping them off the streets and out of everyone's hair for most of the day." Well, I couldn't find any phrase like that in any dictionary and I can't figure out the meaning. Can anyone help me?????? Thanks- AndieRead More...
Thank you so much Rachel!Read More...

which/ that for Noun-phras Phrases or Clauses

Which -> Nouns (things) A plan is neccessary. We are discussing it. -> A plan which we are discussing is neccessary -> Clause He failed the final exam.This shocked us. -> He failed the final exam, which shocked us. WHICH-> NOuns phrase/ Noun clauses-> is it OK? Ex: Walking around your house after dinner is ver good. It (walking around your house after diiner) helps you to feel relaxed. -> Walking around your house after dinner, which you to feel relaxed,is very good.Read More...
You want to know about "which" beginning a relative clause modifying a noun or modifying the whole previous clause. All of your sentences above are correct, except this one: Walking around your house after dinner, which you to feel relaxed,is very good. It should be this: "¢ Walking around your house after dinner, which makes you feel relaxed, is very good. RachelRead More...

cleft sentence

sentence1/ He likes reading books when he has free time. 1/ emphatic "Pronoun"-> Subject -> It is he who/ thatlikes reading books when he has free time. 2/ emphatic "Object" -> It is reading books that/ which he likes when he has free time. 3/ emphatic "adverbial clause" -> It is when he has free time that he likes reading books. sentence2/ We can't see anything clearly in the dark. 1/ emphatic "adverb" -> It is clearly that we can't see anything in the dark 2/ adverbial...Read More...
Sentences 1, 2, and 3 of the first group are correct. They are examples of cleft sentences. In the second group, 1) is not correct. We can't focus on an adverb in a cleft sentence. We can, however, focus on an adverbial – the prepositional phrase "in the dark" – so in this group, sentence 2) is acceptable. _______ The rest of the sentences are not all right. We don't use a cleft construction to focus on a one-word-pronoun. We can change the sentences to this form: It is whoever can come to...Read More...

have a nerve

Dear experts, Would you agree that HAVE A NERVE can only replace HAVE THE NERVE in the second context: 1. They've got a stressful and dangerous job and I wouldn't have the nerve to do what they do. 2. = have a nerve: They were very reluctant to fix any of the problems the machine had. To add insult to injury, they had the nerve to call me a few weeks ago. Thank you, YuriRead More...
Both examples are correct they are. You are right that the first example can't be changed because "have the nerve" here means to have the courage. In the second example, you can't replace "have the nerve" with "have a nerve" with this grammatical construction. "Have A nerve" would not be followed by an infinitive, but by an –ing word: "He had a / some nerve calling me...." _______ See these dictionary definitions. The first is from the LDOCE; the second from the American Heritage: At the...Read More...

subordinationg conjunction:as

These sentences are from a 19th century classic published in Victorian time. 1)"Mr. Wickham is blessed with such happy manners as may ensure his making friends"”whether he may be equally capable of retaining them, is less certain 2)She shook her head. "I do not get on at all. I hear such different accounts of you as puzzle me exceedingly." 3)Jane met her with a smile of such sweet complacency, a glow of such happy expression, as sufficiently marked how well she was satisfied with the...Read More...
Yes, Welkins, that's right. But, here's one more -- some dictionaries also list "as" as an adverb! The entry for "as" as an adverb in the American Heritage Dictionary: adv. 1. To the same extent or degree; equally: The child sang as sweetly as a nightingale. 2. For instance: large carnivores, as the bear or lion. [This means "such as" here.] 3. When taken into consideration in a specified relation or form: this definition as distinguished from the second one. RachelRead More...

who/ whom relative clause (strange)

1/ have known Peter for along time. I don't believe that he did such bad thing -> We have known Peter for along time who I don't believe that didsuch bad thing. 2/ We have known Peter for along time. What he did is unacceptable to us. -> We have known Peter for along time who what did is unacceptable to us.Read More...
Vien, do you mean that you are looking for clarification about the noun clause constructions? If so, let me make these corrections: 1) I have known Peter for a long time. I don't believe that he did such A bad thing. The sentence above is correct. The sentence that follows it is grammatically unacceptable. 2)We have known Peter for a long time. What he did is unacceptable to us. This sentence is fine. The sentence that follows it is grammatically unacceptable. RachelRead More...

Nouns/ Nouns-phras/ Nouns-clauses

This result makes him/ the man happy. This result makes the plan more successful. This result makes what we tried to do more ecouraging. (correct or not?) This bad new makes starting to do business here more difficult. (correct or not?)Read More...
Hello, again, Vien-Phan: Sentence 1) is fine. Sentence 2) is fine. Sentence 3) is OK, but heavy. How about: We are encouraged by this result. Sentence 4 is fine, (but use "newS" (not "new"). RachelRead More...

come

He comes to realize that he is wrong. Is the above sentence correct? If correct, what does 'come' mean? Thank youRead More...
Thank you very much, Rahcel, Maybe it comes from either. When I practiced my writing today afternoon on the train on my way hoome, this sentence just came to me. Then I thought for a moment. I still didnt get it so I posted here. Once again, thank you very much,Read More...

not talk much

It is better not to talk much when he meet his mother-in-law. Did I use 'not to talk much' correctly? Thank youRead More...
Yes, Welkins, "not to talk much" is fine. The sentence would be more native like this: It is better for him not to talk too much when he meets his mother-in-law. The sentence made me smile. It's good advice. Also good advice for the mother-in-law. RachelRead More...

direct

1)The missile directd at us. 2)The missile was directt at us. Did I use 'direct' correctly? Thank youRead More...
The sentence should be this: The missile was directed at us. That's a passive sentence. An active sentence would be this: They directed the missile at us. RachelRead More...

having done/to have done

1)John was told to promote, having done a good job. 2)To have done/having done a good job, John was told to promote. a)Is the first and the second the same? b)Is 'having done a good job' a present particple phrase or gerund noun phrase on non-restrctive phrase? Thank youRead More...
Examples: Bob told Tom to close the door. We were told by the mayor to use water sparingly. I told Sam to pick me up at 7:30. Everybody was told to leave the theater in a hurry. "He told him to..." is an example of an active verb. "He was told to...." is an example of a passive verb. RachelRead More...

more than usual care

She had dressd more than usual care. Is 'more' a pronoun? Do this sentence compare 'more' with 'care'? If this is the case, 'than' is a preposition. Thank youRead More...
Thank you very much, Richard, JerryS, and Rachel, JerryS, the sentence is from the book that I'm reading now. Rachel confirmed it.Read More...

subjunctive, may, might

Is the following sentence correct? I don't think so, but is it? I think "may" should be "might". If I were as smart as you are, I may be selfish. AppleRead More...
I believe that the speaker means to say that she is not selfish. She is not smart enough to be selfish. But, if she were smart, as smart as you are, she would / could / might be selfish. That sentence is possible if the speaker holds the belief that she is not smart enough, or selfish enough. In the hypothetical sentence, she is describing how she would be if she were smarter. _______ Welkin's first sentence – if I'm as smart as you are, I may be selfish – is grammatically possible. It would...Read More...

round / round in shape

Can I say, (a) The fruit is large and round. (b) The fruit is large and round in shape.Read More...
What Ismael says is correct. Both sentences are fine. You don't need the words "in shape," but you can put them in if you want. RachelRead More...

[gradable and ungradable] adjectives

Is there a rule that helps us distinguish between [gradable and ungradable] adjectives? PS. Is it correct to say: Is there a rule that helps us distinguish between...?Read More...
Wow! You really do come up with amazingly astute observations and questions, Mr. Toughy! George Orwell did that deliberately as a form of sarcasm. If we say that all animals are equal (or all people are equal), that should be the end of it. But Orwell knew, and you and I know, that it's really not true; that some people have more rights and privileges than others. That's what he meant by saying "But some animals are more equal than others." By the way, Ismael, that's one of my favorite lines...Read More...

independent of/ from

I wanted to know when to use: independent of independent fromRead More...
There's no subject in the example they've given, Ismael. I guess they did that to let the reader fill in any subject. They're giving you a bare-bones phrase to show you how you'd use independent of . It starts with a small o because it's not a sentence, just a fragment of one. RichardRead More...

house compound

Can I say, (a) He decided to plant sweet potatoes at his house compound. (b) He decided to plant sweet potatoes at his compound / behind his compound.Read More...
I guess in your part of the world people have compounds, which are groups of buildings all placed near one another and surrounded by some kind of high fence or wall. (a)... in his compound. (b)Fine. RichardRead More...

would meet

As he was a freshman at the academy of science,he'd meet his future wife. Did I use ''d meet' correctly? Thank youRead More...
Has anybody seen my original reply to Welkins on this topic??? RichardRead More...

come down on the price/go down on the price

Can you ______ down on the price? a. come b. go Are they both correct? It's confusing. Thanks!Read More...
"Can you reduce the price?" is fine. So is "Can you come down on the price." "Go down in price" might be used if you are talking about items, not about someone's reducting the price. For example, in many places in the US right now, houses are going down in price. They cost less than they used to. RachelRead More...

writer or author

When a person write a novel, poem, and the like. which is better to call him an [author or writer] and the same goes for the person who writes books?Read More...
They both apply. An author connotes that the person has had something published. A writer may not have had anything published yet. Still, both are good. You can also say [i]novelist, poet, playwright, essayist, etc. RachelRead More...

authorizer / author?

Does the word [author] have something to do with [authorize , authority]? Is it possible to make a noun from the verb [authorize] to be authorizer : the person who gives official permission for somethingRead More...
At the suffix for -ize in the American Heritage Dictionary: -ize or –ise suff. 1. 1. To cause to be or to become: dramatize. 2. To cause to conform to or resemble: Hellenize. 3. To treat as: idolize. 2. 1. To treat or affect with: anesthetize. 2. To subject to: tyrannize. 3. To treat according to or practice the method of: pasteurize. 4. To become; become like: materialize. 5. To perform, engage in, or produce: botanize. [Middle English -isen, from Old French -iser, from Late Latin -izāre,...Read More...

stingray vs manta ray

Are they same ? I search from the internet. I saw the picture that they are almost same. Am I right?Read More...
You really should check a good encyclopedia, Vincent, not a dictionary. There are many kinds of rays, but I believe the manta ray is the largest of them all. RichardRead More...

conduit

When it really counts, meaning is almost never communicated according to the conduit metaphor , that is, where one person transmits a fixed, clear proposition to another by means of expressions in a common language, where both parties have all the relevant common knowledge, assumptions, values, etc." How would you paraphrase 'the conduit metaphor' above? And grammatically, are those 'where's above relative adverbs or conjunctions? And does the second 'where' refer to the same thing as the...Read More...
Thanks for the information, Jerry and Rachel. Yes. The second one is the problem, really...Read More...
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