Questions and Answers

subject vs genre

Hi, If you're searching for a book in the library, you can do a search by title, author, or subject. Would genre be the same thing as subject? Thank you for your help.Read More...
Hello, Manaka, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange. Actually, your question is not about grammar, but, being your first question, I'll help you all the same. In a library you can find poetry (lyric genre), plays (drama), fiction (narrative genre: novels and short stories), and non-fiction. In this Wikipedia article you can find a long list of different types of books. "subject" means an altogether different thing, being closer to "topic" or "theme." For example, you can find books of...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Usage of the

Is the needed in the following sentences? What does the sentences with and without the mean? ( The ) people who stand by you in your tough times are the best friends of yours. This notice is for ( the ) people who want to donate blood in the camp near the university ground. (The) students who used to read at this school are very successful now. Nikolas Maduro betrayed (the) people who voted for him. Another question, please tell me is it necessary to use the ? 5- John: What do you think...Read More...
Hi, Subhajit123, As I told you in this other thread which you seem to have overlooked, the article "the" before postmodified plural nouns seems to have a totalizing effect ( all the students, all the people). Only in (1) is "the" actually required, and that is because the subject complement is quite definite: 1. The people who stand by you in your tough times are the best friends of yours (I prefer: your best friends ). When the article is not there, it may sound more natural to use "some"...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

How "much" emissions or how "many" emissions?

The following is what I found in the website of US Energy Information Administration. Is the word "emissions" usually used with "much" as in the quotation? If so, why is the verb "are" used instead of "is?" How much of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions are associated with electricity generation?Read More...
Hi, Fujibei, This question: https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=77&t=11 does appear in U.S. EIA site and seems to be quoted by other scientific publications. "how much" refers to the volume of the emissions. "how many" could perhaps be used to refer to different instances or occurrences of emission, which is not the meaning that wants to be conveyed. I would definitely have used "is" instead of "are": - How much of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions is associated with electricity...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Capitalisation

I have seen some grammar advice that suggests one should capitalise the name of a document even if the name is also a description of the document. For example, if I am writing a business plan and the title of the document written on the front page is "Business Plan", I should refer to the document as the Business Plan rather than the business plan. What are people's views on this? Does the need to capitalise change if we are referring to the document in the plural. For example if I was to...Read More...
Hi, wpc205, Sorry for not answering this question -- which you had published some time ago -- earlier. The point is I didn't have at the time -- and still don't have -- any source to support my reply other than my experience as a translator, which has allowed me to see and analyze different types of texts. In English there is indeed a strong tendency to capitalize nouns if they refer to a term of key importance within a text. The capitals will tend to be dropped if the noun is used in the...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Usage Of Plural Nouns With And Without 'The'

Hi there, can I use the plural nouns in the given sentences with and without the . What difference in meaning does the create in the sentences? And as an English speaker which one sounds best to your ears? John, I have been to many countries in my life. I can tell you one thing that (the) people in America are politically very aware. (The) students at this school are diligent, intelligent and smart. As an ESL learner it confuses me a lot because I have seen sentences like these are used both...Read More...
Hi, Subhajit123, Before dealing with the article issue, please notice that "be aware" requires the preposition "of" if the object one is aware of is mentioned (in this case, the object is "one thing"). Also pay more attention to your spelling. In such cases, even if you refer to all the people or all the teachers (and not to some specific ones), you can use the definite article. I'd say that in this particular case the definite article makes the phrase more comprehensive than the zero...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Ellipsis of subject in comparative constructions

Please compare these 2 sentences. source: https://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/overqualified In sentence 1, there is a blank after "than", while, in a similar case, sentence 2, a "what" is put in that blank. I want to make sure if, in both of the the sentences above, a what is optional. A relevant sentence: 3, As (it) appears from her essay, she has read widely in Romantic literature. (CGEL by Quirk et al) Is "it" in this case optional?Read More...
I know. This is the typical case where one has to find the rule by comparing examples. My first question is, why is this sentence incorrect?: a. The apples are fresher than were bought yesterday. I think it has to do with the lack of identity between the current apples and the ones bought yesterday. My first impression is that, for "as" and "than" to work in reduced clauses, there must be actual or potential identity between the two things being compared. b. lf you are overqualified for a...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Correct sentences

Hi I have a query related to the appropriateness of a sentence. Positive sentence- I eat meat. Negative sentence- I do not eat meat. Interrogative sentence- Do I eat meat? So, are the sentence forms correct?Read More...
Thank you. I will keep in mind about the title thing.Read More...
Last Reply By Disha · First Unread Post

Little

Hello, Is there any problem with any of the following ? 1- little sleep isn't good. 2- little time of sleep isn't good. 3- little time of sleeping isn't good. 4- sleeping little isn't good. 5- sleeping for ( a) little time isn't good. Thanks in advance.Read More...
Last Reply By menem · First Unread Post

Questionable sentence

Hi, I'm working on an essay that contains the following sentence: "No taller than two men and naked and spindly, there ought to be nothing remarkable about it." The "it" here refers to a tree, which was the subject of the previous sentence. I like the sentence the way it is, but it seems more grammatically correct to say: "No taller than two men and naked and spindly, it ought to have nothing remarkable about it" -- but this feels awkward. Is the first sentence permissible? I'd love your...Read More...
Thank you so much for all the great feedback, DocV. I really appreciate it. I know what you mean about the two men in question, but I figured the reader would make the adjustment in her mind. I'll give it some thought. Thank you for "wrested"! I was indeed wondering about that. Re: "by some stroke of happenstance...", the word "manufacture" always felt too industrial to me. And perhaps "happenstance" isn't right either. I wonder if it was the words or the structure that you found...Read More...
Last Reply By Taney Roniger · First Unread Post

choose the correct answer

COULD YOU TELL ME THE BEST ANSWER AND WHY, PLEASE? 1-I am grateful for all ( which, what, that) I have. 2-A destination is referred to as a place(when, whose, which, where) one visits for one's holiday. 3-(Either, neither, every, Each) one of the boxers will stop boxing until the other defeated.Read More...
That's not the way this website works. Each discussion thread should be devoted to one particular grammatical topic, and the example sentence(s) should relate to that topic, as should the title of the thread. Here you have simply asked for answers to a random set of test questions, each of which has nothing to do with the other, and issued a command ("choose the correct answer") as the title of the thread. If you start a thread like this in the future, please expect to have it deleted.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Camping

I love camping because there is .............. with the outside world. ( connection - conduct - contact - communication )Read More...
Ahmed, Do you think that the "no" could be omitted if we understand "the outside world" to mean the immediate natural setting, rather than the city from which we have momentarily escaped? Even if so, I agree that 'contact', 'communication', 'connection' and '[a] link' are all possible answers here. DocVRead More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

Sentence

Hi! Can anyone tell me whether or not this sentence is grammatically correct? My science teacher was teaching there a long time now. Shouldn't it be " My science teacher has been teaching there for a long time."?Read More...
Hi, Kyle, No, that sentence isn't correct. The adverbial of duration, "(for) a long time now ," is incompatible with the past tense. One possible revision is the one you've suggested. Here is another possible revision, which gives a different meaning. Which you should choose depends on whether the teacher still teaches there. My science teacher was teaching there (for) a long time. My science teacher taught there (for) a long time.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Adding vs Being added

Greetings. 'Most adjectives can be changed into adverbs by adding "-ly" ' I'm wondering if "adding" in the sentence above can (or should)be replaced by "being added", considering the fact that its implied subject is "most adjectives".Read More...
Thanks. I get it. In that construction , "with" introduces a tool. Sorry about the capitalization. I so address you because I remember you as "David" and "GUSTAVO", thinking you specifically made your name that way. But now I find that this website displays your name sometimes in all capitals and sometimes with only the first word capitalized. The "David" and "GUSTAVO" spelling was according to my first impression, sorry.Read More...
Last Reply By Robby zhu · First Unread Post

Expect

What is the right answer in this sentence : I expect neither him nor Tom (to take - will take) part in the match tomorrow. They are both injured.Read More...
Hi, Emad Ragheb, "him" is in the object case, so you need the infinitive: - I don't expect him to take part in the match tomorrow. (The pattern is: expect sb to do sth , where "sb" is an object .) "he" will only work as the subject of a content clause: - I don't expect (that) he will take part in the match tomorrow. The same rule applies with correlative conjuntions "neither ... nor": - I expect neither him nor Tom to take part in the match tomorrow. - I expect (that) neither he nor Tom will...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

some of them

a. Some of them who were fast managed to get out in time. b. Some of them, who were fast, managed to get out in time. c. Some of the people who were fast managed to get out in time. d. Some of the people, who were fast, managed to get out in time. Is there any sentence which is saying or implying that all those who were fast got out in time? Is there any sentence that leaves that possibility open? Many thanksRead More...
Hi, Azz and Gustavo, I agree with Gustavo that his example (e) says that all those who were fast got out in time. Regarding your four specimens, Azz, although none of them says that all those who were fast got out in time, (b) and (d) imply that idea -- cf.: b'. Some of them, namely those who were fast, managed to get out in time. d'. Some of the people, namely those who were fast, managed to get out in time. As for (a) and (c), they do not say or imply that all those who were fast got out...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

the other entrance

a. Use the other entrance at the east side of the building. Is there on entrance at the east side of the building or two entrances? Are we being told to use the entrance on the east side, or to use the second entrance on the east side? If there is only one entrance on the east side, should one write b. Use the other entrance, at the east side of the building. c. Use the other entrance, which is at the east side of the building. ? Presumably, we are standing on the north side, there is an...Read More...
I agree that (a) is ambiguous. I think the sentence parses differently on each interpretation. On the interpretation where there are two entrances at the east side of the building, "at the east side of the building" is an adjectival modifier, modifying "the other entrance." On the interpretation where there is one entrance at the east side, "at the east side of the building" does not modify "the other entrance." Rather, it is an adverbial modifier, modifying "use." Compare: "At the east side...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

as compared to

From the Chicago Tribune, a construction I am constantly trying to get my student writers to avoid: "One independent publisher whose Amazon order was 75% lower as compared to last year told Publishers Weekly that they were facing a 'nightmare scenario.'” 75% lower THAN. There is absolutely no reason for "as compared to" unless you are getting paid by the word, and students writing theses and dissertations are not. ... The above is a post from one of my friends on FB. Do you agree with her? I...Read More...
Hi, Freeguy, First of all, it's clear that we are comparing the orders, not the years: - This year the order was 75% lower than / (as) compared to (the one) last year. I think (as) compared to is stylistically a good option to substitute for than . There is no grammatical reason to prefer one over the other: it's just a question of choice, in my opinion.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Help on a word

I am sure there is a word that describes the following theoretical idea but I can’t remember or find anywhere the word. scenario. I would have gone out with her if I wasn’t with you, but I would never have met her if I wasn’t with you so therefore the whole scenario is imposible because the future outcome needs a different outcome to something that has already happened. please help, it’s driving me nuts!Read More...
Hi, Tracey, I can't think of a single term, but how about contrary-to fact (counterfactual/unrealistic) hypothesis ?Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

How to determine if a clause is a Be pattern or a Passive form of a verb

In the book Understanding English grammar by Martha Kolln and Robert Funk, ninth edition I was working through some of the passive voice exercises (pg 89) and wanted to ask two questions on my made up sentences: I was broken - broken is adjective (Be pattern) I was broken - broken is -en form of the verb (passive form of break) 1) Firstly, do both sentences have the same meaning? and 2) Is my understanding correct to write and explain my question this way? Kind Regards, PhilipRead More...
Hi David, Thank you for the reply - I appreciate and understand the explanation. One other thing, am I correct to say that there is no formal marker to indicate either one of the clauses ie. you need a context in order to determine the function of the clause (as well as a dictionary to determine whether the word can be adjectival). Many thanks, PhilipRead More...
Last Reply By Philip · First Unread Post

with the original cast

Which of these sentences are correct and correctly punctuated: 1) Directing the play is easier now than in the early days with the original cast. 2) Directing the play is easier now than in the early days, with the original cast. 3) Directing the play is easier now than in the early days when we had the original cast. 4) Directing the play is easier now than in the early days, when we had the original cast. Which mean: a) There were the early days with the original cast and then there were...Read More...

X was first, and (the) second was him.

Hello! Let's say I comment a contest or competition. Then, someone asks me who took what place, and I reply, "X was first, and Y was second." Is it grammatical to reword the answer as follows, "X was first, and (the) second was him (pointing my finger at him)." Should I put "the" before "second"? I know that "X was first, and he was second" sounds better, but I'd like to know if my rewording is correct.Read More...

noun+noun or genitive? or the Of construction?

Re-good say.. next dilemma : Would you say: General customers enquiry or General customers' enquiry or Enquiries of General customers ? is it perhaps a matter of style ? Thank you IvanoRead More...

In the mountain or on the mountain

Good day to everyone Basically I was taught at school to use the in preposition when referring to be in the mountain but I found an English publicity that would use ON THE MOUNTAIN..... I am aware of that ON can be used when something or someone is at the summity of the mount mound knoll mountain but not if it Is not at the top of it. Thank you IvanoRead More...

I have never seen ... when I drive to work ...

I have made up the sentence below. (1a) I have never seen a lion on the road when I drive to work every morning. My non-native English speaking friends think my sentence is wrong. Their two revised sentences are shown below. (1b) I have never seen a lion on the road when I was driving to work, which I do every morning. (1c) I have never seen a lion on the road when I was driving to work in the morning. I don't understand why my original sentence is grammatically wrong. Driving to work every...Read More...
Anson, Today is the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States, and in keeping with the spirit of the holiday, I thank you for your question, and indeed for your many interesting and challenging questions. Also, thank you for your courtesy and for making a point of indexing your examples. I understand both your logic and that of your friends. I actually prefer their versions to yours, but none of them sound quite right. What bothers me most about yours is the use of the present perfect "have...Read More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

pay for (the) lunch

I have made up the example below. (1) Let's eat in a restaurant at noon. I will pay for lunch. My non-native speaking friends think I need to add the definite article to ''lunch" because I am talking about that specific lunch. (2) Let's eat in a restaurant at noon. I will pay for the lunch. Do I need the definite article or not? Thanks for your help.Read More...
Anson, The short answer is no, the article is not needed, and it sounds unnatural in context to a native speaker. Consider: this would be a normal conversation among native speakers: A: Let's go out for lunch. I'm buying. B: I'm sorry, I didn't hear you. A: I said we should go out. I'll pay for lunch. This is idiomatic. The way I see it is that in both instances, "lunch" is a mass (uncountable) noun. There are other circumstances in which it might be countable, but here no article is...Read More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

My appointment is (on/at)

I have made up the sentences below. (1a) My dental appointment is 2 o'clock. (1b) My dental appointment is at 2 o'clock. (2a) My medical appointment is Thursday, January 7th. (2b) My medical appointment is on Thursday, January 7th. Do I need the prepositions in the b versions? Thanks a lot.Read More...
Simple answer: yes. DocVRead More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

As of

Does " as of now" mean both "starting from now" and "up until now"? I used to think only "starting from now", but then I came across sentences like the following two examples that seem to suggest otherwise, and now I am not sure. " As of December 31, 2108, the company had $12 billion in consolidated assets..." " As of writing, the US government still requires companies to pay..."Read More...
Thanks very much DocV. You're right - the date should be December 31, 2018 and I forgot " this " in my second example. Both my bad, sorry! CatchanRead More...
Last Reply By catchan · First Unread Post

as if he were a child

1) He was feeling foolish, as if he were a child playing a game he didn't quite understand. Is that sentence correct? Does it mean: a) He was feeling foolish and he was feeling as if he were a child playing a game he didn't quite understand. or: b) As if he were a child playing a game he didn't quite understand, he was feeling foolish. Are we dealing with a specific way of feeling foolish? He wasn't feeling foolish like a man who had made a big blunder in a chess game, but was feeling...Read More...

Adjective modifying

Humans, animals, or physical objects can change as time passes. For example, a calf turns into a bull, a children turns into an adult, and etc. In this context, a bull is here. Could we say "the calf was cuter than the bull is " to indicate the different look of the bull in different stages? If not, what is the better sentence? In this context, the weather changes day by day. Why could we use "yesterday's weather" to indicate what the weather was like yesterday, and "today's weather" to...Read More...
If you are speaking about different roles or stages of the same person, you can say (notice the tenses): - Now that I am a boss I have more responsibilites than I did when I was an employee. - Now that he is a boss he has more responsibilites than he did when he was an employee. If there is no change of table, then you can say: - Today the table is brighter than (it was ) yesterday. (The genitive case will not be possible in this case.)Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Why isn't there “is” in “They did it, thinking it more glamorous than…”?

Could you please help me with the grammar of this sentence? It's from an essay in a book on IELTS by Cambridge University Press. People turn to buying the new brand from overseas nations, perhaps thinking it more glamorous than the one they are used to. As a result, local companies are likely to maximize their profits as they import foreign products. Is it more glamorous grammatically correct, and if yes, why isn't it it IS more... ? Thank you!Read More...
Thank you very much, Gustavo and DocV. You've been really helpful.Read More...
Last Reply By mmd · First Unread Post

Grammar

I just need some help making sure these sentences are grammatically correct : 1.) Because we put wire fencing around the chicken coop, they cannot escape. 2.) When President Nixon met with Chairman Mao, he felt that a new era had begun. 3.) We plucked off the feathers before we roasted them. 4.) Tom's brother is an engineer, and this is the profession that Tom wants to study. 5.) They asked Marla and her to go to the fair. 6.) Any discussion between Jean and him is sure to be heated. 7.)...Read More...
Mason, Welcome to the Grammar Exchange. We are here to help you learn and understand English grammar, especially as spoken in the United States. We do not grade homework assignments, which it seems you are asking us to do, nor stand as a substitute for dictionaries. We want to help, but we also ask you to help yourselves by asking pointed questions about specific points of grammar, and at least making a guess as to the answer. I will take the time to respond to your twenty questions just...Read More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

How to parse "I hate it when..."

Please have a look at these two sentences: I hate it when he does that. I hate when he does that. 1,They have the same meaning, but the first one is more common, right? 2,How do you parse the first sentence? My take is that "it" Is dummy object , with when-clause being the real one. Is it also possible to view "when..." as adverbial?Read More...
Got it, thanks.Read More...
Last Reply By Robby zhu · First Unread Post

Each

Can we use 'each' in negative sentences? Not (every - each) child lives comfortably. Many are homeless.Read More...
Hello, Emad, Interesting question. Your sentence does not work at all. It is ungrammatical to begin sentences with "Not each NP." However, you can use "each" in negative sentences if you use "it"-extraposition, like this: It is not the case that each child lives comfortably. Also, although it does not work to say "Each child does not live comfortably," it is possible to say "Each child does NOT live comfortably," with heavy emphasis on "not." That sentence has the same meaning as the example...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

dare vs dare to

Hello! Is there any difference between "How dare you speak to me like this!" and "How dare you to speak to me like this!" in terms of mood and semantics? I'll explain what I mean. For example, I insist he live here. = I ask him to live here. (subjunctive mood) I insist he lives here. = I know for sure he lives here. (indicative mood) Can we say that How dare you speak to me like this! = I'm angry and I resent the fact that you speak with me like that. (What is the mood here?) How dare you to...Read More...
Thank you again!Read More...
Last Reply By Alexey86 · First Unread Post

Capitalisation

I have seen some grammar advice that suggests one should capitalise the name of a document even if the name is also a description of the document. For example, if I am writing a business plan and the title of the document written on the front page is "Business Plan", I should refer to the document as the Business Plan rather than the business plan. What are people's views on this? Does the need to capitalise change if we are referring to the document in the plural. For example if I was to...Read More...

waking Peter up

1) I shouted at Tom waking Peter up. 2) I shouted at Tom , waking Peter up. Are both correctly punctuated? Is the comma necessary? Does it change anything in any way? Does it change the meaning? Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Or, I shouted at Tom for waking Peter up. DocVRead More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

placement of "only"

I have made up the two similar examples below. (1a) Yesterday, my friends came to my birthday party and ate most of my food. Now, I only have enough food for two lunches. (1b) Yesterday, my friends came to my birthday party and ate most of my food. Now, I have enough food for only two lunches. Which position of "only" is correct? Thank you very much for your help.Read More...
We can also say: Only I have enough food for two lunches. But that changes the meaning considerably. DocVRead More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

backshifting: [... what he is (was) doing now]

I have made up the example below. (1a) I have not seen John for a long time. Yesterday, I thought of him and wondered what he was doing now. My non-native speaking friends think backshifting the tense is not necessary because you are referring to his present state of life. Their revised example is written below. (1b) I have not seen John for a long time. Yesterday, I thought of him and wondered what he is doing now. Who is correct? Thank you very much for your time and help.Read More...
Hi, Ansonman, Neither you nor your friends are correct. You can't say * I wondered what he was doing now or * I wondered what he is doing now . You can say: Y esterday, I thought of him and wondered what he was doing at the time .Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

for his birthday (present)

(1a) I will buy a watch for his birthday. (1b) I will buy a watch for his birthday present . Is it wrong to add the word "present"? Thank you very much.Read More...
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