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for what it's worth

Dear experts, Many thanks for the previous comments. Will it be right to assume then that while FOR ALL IT'S WORTH and FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH both share the meaning relating to doubts about the informatin one is offering: For all it's worth, it's practically useless to still babble about an issue that has already dissipated. Oh, and for what it's worth, I read the second paragraph of the quote as saying that white voters were unified in not wanting to vote for a black man. only FOR ALL IT'S...Read More...
. I think I agree with all you say, except that 'for all it's worth' often means 'since it is worth nothing': Has this this whole historic county got nothing worth speaking about? I doubt it. For all it's worth, you might as well call it Birmingham II! For all it's worth you might as well have written "Please, get me a court order from Anjouan. Now, EAT THAT!". .Read More...

loading up / down / into

Can I Say, (A) He is loading (the things) from the lorry. (b) He is loading the boxes from the lorry. (c) He is loading up / down the goods from the lorry. (d) He is loading boxes in / to / into the lorry. He is loading goods out of / from / out the lorry.Read More...
. Yes, that is fine, Vincent. .Read More...

board

Can I say, (a) The pupils board the school bus to school.Read More...
No. We get into/out of a car or taxi. RichardRead More...

The train being late

cocoricot
Dear teachers, I know that I can reduce two sentences into one by using the present participle on condition that the two sentences have the same subject but in this case, the subjects are different, is it possible to use the present participle? Please tell me a little about this situation. "The train being late, we missed our plane." Thanks.Read More...
The sentence is fine, Coco. The part in question is called an absolute construction . If you click on "Find" above and type in this term, you'll find lots of information given about this form from previous postings over the years. RichardRead More...

direct object

For the eight straight year the Bush administration has ritually proposed taking a hefty whack out of the federal subsidy for public broadcasting. Which is a direct object 'taking' or 'hefty whack out of the federal subsidy for public broadcasting'? Thank youRead More...
The complete gerund noun phrase is the direct object, Welkins, everything from taking to broadcasting . I can test this by being able to use either it or this in place of the whole gerund noun phrase: For the eighth straight year, the Bush administration has ritually proposed this . RichardRead More...

zero degrees or degree

The weathermen say: eg It is 1 degree in Rome zero degrees in London. Why do they say "zero degrees" not "zero degree" though "ZERO" is less than one?Read More...
Dear Richard,dear ismael, Tanks a lot for your reply, I really appreciate that.Read More...

only

1)Only the president can authorize a nuclear attack. 2)Only one of us can play guitar. Is 'only' an adjectiv or adverb in the above sentences? Thank youRead More...
It's an adverb in those sentences, Welkins. RichardRead More...

comma

1)A over-19-year-old girl Jane is a writer. 2)I have twin sisters. My 19-year-old sister Jane is a writer. Do you need to insert comma on Jane? Thank youRead More...
You'll do better saying it this way, Welkins: I have twin 19-year-old sisters. One of them, whose name is Jane, is a writer. RichardRead More...

weeds / weeds out

CAn I say, (a) He decides to plant some sweet potatoes. First, he weeds out / weeds all the wild plants growing there, then he prepares to make the beds and sows the seeds.Read More...
He decides to plant some sweet potatoes. First, he pulls out all the weeds growing where he wants to have his sweet potato patch . Then he prepares the patch and sows the seeds. I thought about it, Vincent, and remembered that farmers and homeowners who like to grow vegetables call the area of land reserved for sweet potatoes or other kinds of potatoes a patch . RichardRead More...

difficult to understand!

Dear Richard & Rachel I find the text below difficult to understand. Thus, Is it possible for you to re-write it in a very simple and understandable way? "In particular, but without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, no representation or warranty is given as to the achievement or reasonableness of any projections, targets, estimates or forecasts, and nothing in the Memorandum (or any other written or oral information made available to the Recipients) is or should be relied on...Read More...
I will just summarize what the basic idea is, Ismael. Americans, among other English speakers, always make jokes about "legal language." We say that lawyers deliberately created this incredibly difficult way of stating things so that people would have to hire them to translate such documents! At any rate, I think the main idea is that this company says they will not be held responsible for any estimates or projections of costs even if they're written down. They will only feel responsible for...Read More...

About "bed"

CAn I say, (a) He prepares a plant bed for sweet potatoes in his backyard. (b) He prepares three or four beds and sows some seeds in / into the soil.Read More...
We'd probably say something like He's preparing a section/an area in his backyard for sweet potatoes. RichardRead More...

whenever/every time

Every time/Whenever I heard such words from my parents, I didn't think/it didn't seem that they allowed me to do what I wanted (to do). Does this sentence sound natural? I'm wondering if 'S didn't think/it didn't seem' will go well with 'every time/whenever...'.Read More...
Right. I somehow felt that 'every time/whenever I did..., I didn't think' sounded awkward. But it has to be 'S didn't think S' did', not 'S thought S' didn't', right? Or is the latter not that wrong after all as most grammar books say?Read More...

missing [do]

"However, these authors, will do what we can[] to enhance your knowledge of the subject in one meager chapter." Isn't there a [do] missing between [can & to]?Read More...
There is no mistake as far as omitting do after the modal auxiliary. That's the AmE way, as I've noted above. I have to say, though, that the sentence is quite oddly constructed. I don't understand the writer's decision to say, "... these authors will do what we can ..." That's really odd! It would be much more natural to say ... we authors will do what we can ... RichardRead More...

for all it's worth

Dear experts, Could you comment on the meaning of FOR ALL IT'S WORTH, as in: We certainly got away from our core values... And it looks like the Democrats have picked it up and are running with it for all it's worth. and: http://www.google.com/search?as_q=&hl=en&num=100&btnG=G..._rights=&safe=images Thank you, YuriRead More...
I, too, wondered about "it's" vs. "its," but the dictionaries I looked at all had "it's," meaning "it is." To me, as to Jerry, "its worth" would be correct, but so would "it is worth." I changed to "for all THEY are worth" because the expression in this sentence seems to apply to those who are doing the action, not the action itself. I do believe that interpretations other than the one I gave are also correct, as yours is, Jerry. RachelRead More...

Noun adjuncts

In a recent discussion, I noticed a mention of noun adjuncts. While the "rule" is that the first noun in noun + noun combinations is singular(as in shoe department, hair dryer, and phone connection ) because it acts as an adjective, I have found that this is not always true. In fact, the first noun is sometimes in its plural form, as in parts department, systems operator , and humanities department . This noun adjunct construction is one that is in flux. There have been several discussions...Read More...

[Let her clean the room.]

Dear Teachers, 1. Let her clean the room. 2. Let the children play under the tree in the garden. 3. Do you know if he is strong? In Sentence 1 and Sentence 2, are the verbs [let] used right? And, How about Sentence 3? Isn't it strange at all? In short, are these sentences all acceptable to native speakers grammatially and semantically? Please give me an answer...Read More...
All the sentences are correct. If the third sentence sounds strange to you, you could rephrase it in other correct ways: Do you know whether he is strong? Do you know whether hs is strong or not? Do you know if he is strong or not? Do you know whether or not he is strong? But the original sentence is correct, too. RachelRead More...

get wind of

Dear experts, Is the use of GET THE WIND OF instead of GET WIND OF in the sense "learn about something" not standard? Examples I found mostly come from Indian papers: The police got the wind of the affair and put the ˜would be' assassin behind bars. http://www.google.com/search?as_q=&hl=en&num=100&btnG=G..._rights=&safe=images Thank you, YuriRead More...
To my ear, "get the wind of something" does not sound right. "The" must appear in this expression in places other than North America, I guess. "Get wind of something" is the expression I know. In addition, it is the expression listed in idioms dictionaries. "Get the wind of" is not listed in these dictionaries. RachelRead More...

auxiliary vreb?

They [will have been] talking for over an hour by the time Thomas arrives. Do all the words in brackets act as an auxiliary vreb? if not, what then?Read More...
The verb phrase "will have been talking" contains three auxiliary verbs: will, have and been . RachelRead More...

one in a thousand year

Newton was a genius one in a thousand year/ten of thousands years. Did I say 'one in a thousand year' correctly? Thank youRead More...
Even though I really don't agree with the idea, this is one way it will sound more natural: Newton was the kind of genius we only see once every thousand year s . RichardRead More...

had rejected

This is a revised version of her book, written at 19 years old, after all the publishers had rejected it. Did I use 'had rejected' correctly? Thank youRead More...
1) A girl, who is nineteen years old, is a writer. 2) Fine. 3) Both verb forms are possible in this context, Welkins, except you should not use the preposition at . Actually, you should not use any preposition after attend . As for the second part of the sentence, there are two ways to go: a) ... which was established over 140 years ago. b) ... attends the over-140-year-old University of California at Berkeley. RichardRead More...

prepositional phrase/adjective clause

1)The woman with her ipod attached on her left shoulder was waiting on/for her boyfriend on the station platform. 2)The woman with her ipod attached on her left shoulder on the station platfrom was waiting on/for her boyfriend. 3)The woman who had her ipod attached on her left shoulder was waiting on/for her boyfriend on the station platform. Thank youRead More...
Thank you very much, Richard, I am very sorry about that. I was thinking what was different among them.Read More...

inverted names

we usually write names as: Peter Frampton Bruce Willis, etc. But sometimes names are inverted as: Frampton, Peter Willis, Bruce What purpose does such inversion serve?Read More...
Right. Even some last names and first names are the same, like John Smith. In that case, you might see names listed as: Smith, John C. or Smith, John Charles in order to differentiate as much as possible. RachelRead More...

safe?

I wanted to know how the word [safe] used as a conjuction? supported with clear examples, if possible.Read More...
I think you do mean "save," Ismael, as Jerry notes. Here's the entry from the American Heritage*: save (sāv) pronunciation prep. With the exception of; except: "No man enjoys self-reproach save a masochist" (Philip Wylie). conj. 1. Were it not; except: The house would be finished by now, save that we had difficulty contracting a roofer. 2. Unless. _______ "Save" used this way is not common. RachelRead More...
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