Questions and Answers

generic you in the object of a verb in the past tense

Hi! I was wondering whether generic you (used for people in general) can appear as the object of a verb in the past tense. I got this question when I was reading this article: What's your favorite place that you've played so far? "It wasn't in the United States, it was actually over in Japan when I played there in 2016. I loved playing in the city of Sapporo. The people there — the culture was pretty unique, and they embraced you."...Read More...

a puzzling question

1- ..........show(s) how a living thing will develop. a) Genetic engineering b) Genes c) Cells I go for 'b'. Am I right?Read More...

Phrase Heads & Licence Complements - Reference Book

In the book "Oxford Modern English Grammar", 5.1.2 - Complements in Phrases it states: "He wasn't particularly fond of Bax" "The Head of this AdjP is the adjective fond which licences the PP..." Essentially I'm trying to determine what complements are licensed by a phrase head for other words. Many thanks, PhilipRead More...
The simplest one, thus far, is the "Australian Concise Oxford Dictionary", pg 545, listing Fond as: "fond adj. 1 (foll. by of)...Read More...
Last Reply By Philip · First Unread Post

seems like (as if)?

Hello! 1. He seems to be happy. 2. It seems that he is happy. (formal style) 3. It seems like ( as if ) he is happy. (informal style) In sentence 2 and 3, I assume that; 1) the conjunctions - ' that ' and ' like ', ' as if' in informal style - lead not a subject complement but a real subject clause (that is, impersonal subject + complete intransitive verb + real subject clause). 2) ' seems ' is justified to function as an complete intransitive verb , which leads a real subject clause.Read More...

A variety or number

Hello, "There are a..............of departments for the students to choose from." A- number b- variety I think (number) because of the plural verb (are).Read More...

Whose

Hi everyone First of all happy easter to everyone Are those sentences correct? I have a friend whose car we need. Or I have a friend whose car we are in need of. Thanks.Read More...
Hello, Hs12. Welcome to the Grammar Exchange and Happy Easter! Generally, "those" refers to things that come before. It would have been better to say, "Are these sentences correct?," because you are talking about sentences that you are about to mention. The example sentences you have written are very strange, but they are grammatically correct. What context do you have in mind for them? Here are more natural sentences: I have a friend whose car needs gas. I have a friend whose car is in need...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

... (he) suffered from many ....

I have made up a sentence below. (1a) He was weak and throughout his adult life suffered from many illnesses. My friends think I need "he" after "life". (1b) He was weak and throughout his adult life he suffered from many illnesses. Do I need "he" there? Thanks a lot.Read More...
Hi, Ansonman, Both (1a) and (1b) are correct. You can add "he" after "life" or not. It's your choice. The sentence is correct either way. Sentence (1a) has one independent clause, and (1b) has two. Sentence (1a) is the following sentence with the "throughout"-phrase re-positioned: (1a') He was weak and suffered from many illnesses throughout his adult life. As you can see, "throughout his adult life" is adverbial modifying the verb phrase "suffered from many illnesses." It modifies that verb...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Is it wrong to omit the conjunction "and"?

Last week, I made up three sentences for my non-native English speaking friends to comment on. I have written them below. (1a) This is an interesting, exciting story. (2a) He is a reliable, dedicated employee. (3a) The couple has a happy, healthy relationship. My friends said the sentences sound wrong without the conjunction. So, they revised them to make the sentences below. (1b) This is an interesting and exciting story. (2b) He is a reliable and dedicated employee. (3b) The couple has a...Read More...
Hi, Ansonman, Yes, all six sentences are perfectly correct. Moreover, the sentences your friends said sound wrong sound perfectly fine.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Than whom

Hi guys. Is it correct to say : I have a friend than whom my father speaks English better as in : I have a friend who speaks English My father speaks English better than my friendRead More...
Hello, HS12, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange! Your sentence: is totally ungrammatical. "than" needs to appear after the adjective in comparative degree. If you want to use a relative, you can choose one of these: - I have a friend whose English is not as good as my father's. - I have a friend who doesn't speak English as well as my father (does).Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

comma usages

(a) You, as a non-native English speaker, should learn English words , as many as you can if you want to be fluent in this language. Are you OK with the above text? I am not. The following version works for me: (b) You, as a non-native English speaker , should learn English words , as many as you can , if you want to be fluent in this language. Here's my take: 1. Is it "as many as you can if you want to be fluent in this language"? This seems unlikely, because it is not true that this entire...Read More...
Grammatically speaking, it is true that "if you want to be fluent in this language" refers to "should learn English words." However, from a semantic point of view, if you take out the parenthetical "as many as you can" (which is correctly set off by commas and, being parenthetical, should allow for its elimination without a significant change of meaning), the sentence is too obvious to be good: - You, as a non-native English speaker, should learn English words if you want to be fluent in...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Relative pronouns

What is the right choice in this sentence : I'll tell you some of (which /what) he has said, but I wish you wouldn't get angry.Read More...
Hi, Emad Ragheb, "some of" is a partitive and needs to be followed by a noun phrase: some of his comments, some of his ideas, etc. "what" is a nominal relative pronoun, meaning "the things that," so that is what you need: - I'll tell you some of what (= the things that) he has said.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

phrasal verbs with fall

Hello all. Can you give me some examples to illustrate the difference between fall down and fall through? Can "a plan falls down" as in the sentence below: All his plans to start his own business fell down (1) Is it better if I replace "fell down" with "fell through"? I am quite puzzled because they have almost the same meaning in some dictionaries. Among its three meanings given, fall down has a meaning as "to fail" as in - Where do you think the plan falls down? (2) As for fall through, it...Read More...
Hello, Quangco123, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange! Phrasal verbs don't need to be mutually exclusive. In fact, some of them are similar in meaning and can be used in the same sentences. Let's compare some examples with "fall down" and "fall through" from the Corpus: - Technically he is excellent but you have noticed that he is falling down on the supervisory aspects of his job. - The attorney general is supposed to act only when the law enforcement is falling down or broken down in a...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

of the same size or the same size

Hello there I'd like to know if it's correct to say : 1. The two products are of the same size. 2. The two products are the same size. 3. The two products have the same size. 4. The two products are of different sizes. 5. The two products are in different sizes. 6. The two products have different sizes. Thanks a lot. Happy Easter :DRead More...
Thanks a lot David and GustavoRead More...
Last Reply By taiman · First Unread Post

what has happened vs happened

A: Oh, You have some bruises on your face. _____? B: Richard hit me. 1) What has happened 2) What happened Which one is better?Read More...
I agree that Swan's advice there provides no justification for using the present perfect in the answer to the quiz question you have presented. The speaker comments on the bruises. That something has happened which caused the bruises is part of the context. The speaker is wondering what happened .Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Oblivious clearly

Is the following sentence grammatically correct: "I'm oblivious clearly."Read More...
Hello, Hailey, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange! That isn't a very kind thing to say about oneself. From a grammatical standpoint, the sentence wants a comma (or, in speech, an intonation break or slight pause) before "clearly." Alternatively, you could place "clearly" at the beginning or in the middle. It is a sentence-level adverbial modifying the proposition "I'm oblivious." It is clear that I'm oblivious. Clearly, I'm oblivious. I'm clearly oblivious. I'm oblivious, clearly.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Past Cont vs Past Perfect Cont,

Someone next door ................... heavy metal music all night long. I didn’t get a wink of sleep. a) was playing b) has played c)had been playing d) has been playing I think that 'c' is the answer but 'a' is also possible. From one of the mock exams in Egypt.Read More...
Ahmed_btm (and to this day I still have no idea what "btm" means) wrote: My dear friend Ahmed, I believe you meant to write " whom we miss on this forum", and for what it's worth, the name is DocV, not DOCV. There still appear to be formatting issues that are beyond David's control, or mine. I apologize to you, sir, and to my dear friend David, and to Gustavo, and to certain other members. Tara certainly comes to mind. There are others. I say to you all, I beg your pardon. Some of you might...Read More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

Wish

Salma is in England. She wishes it ………..raining! a. stops b. will stop c. stopped d. would stop The model answer is d. I wonder if 'c' is also possible. I appreciate your help. From the textbook "New Hello for Third Secondary" in Egypt.Read More...
Hi, Rasha Assem, This question has been discussed here: https://thegrammarexchange.inf...0#590866539123703210Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

Reported Speech

He told the police that he always ……..the doors and windows to avoid being burgled. a) locks b) locked I think that both answers are correct. The first would mean that it's a habit that he still does (which makes more sense to me) and the second implies that he used to do this before reporting the theft to the police. Am I right? Thanks for helping me out.Read More...
Oh, very good, Ahmed. Thanks for clarifying. Now I fully agree with you, too.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

so did he

a. As his father played tennis, so did he. b. Just as his father played tennis, so did he. Do these mean 1. His father played tennis and so did he . 2. He played tennis in the same way his father played tennis. 3. He played tennis because his father did. 4. He played tennis at the same time as his father did. Many thanks.Read More...
Hi, Azz, Sentence (a) can mean (2), (3), or (4). It is context that will make the difference. Sentence (b) can mean (1). For meaning (2), however, you could say: (2b) He played tennis just as his father did.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

just as I played the guitar

a. As I played the guitar, he played the piano. b. Just as I played the guitar, he played the piano. c. He played the piano as I played the guitar. d. He played the piano just as I played the guitar. e. He played the piano as I played the guitar. f. He played the piano just as I played the guitar. Which of the above correspond to which of the below: 1. He played the piano while I played the guitar. 2. He played the piano and I played the guitar. 3. He played the piano because I played the...Read More...
Hi, Azz, Here is my solution set. Please note that (e) and (f) repeat (c) and (d), respectively. (a) --> (1) and (3), and (4) at a stretch (b) --> (2) and (4), and (1) at a stretch (c)/(e) and (d)/(f) --> (1) and (4)Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

acres of land is/are

570 acres of land ______ filled with gardens and cycling paths. a. is b. are Are they both correct? Is 'acres of land' singular or plural? Thanks!Read More...
Hi, Kis, Yes, they are both correct. The singular represents the 570 acres as one piece of land. The plural represents the 570 acres as 570 individual units of land.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

two green and one red box/es

Hello, I am having trouble finding the rule for the usage of plural or singular in the following sentences: 1. There were two yellow and one red card/s awarded. 2. Two yellow and one red card were/ was awarded. I feel like in sentence 1 - "There were two yellow and one red card awarded" is correct, and in sentence 2 - "Two yellow and one red card were awarded" is correct. Grammarly accepts both plural and singular in both sentences. Please, please, can anyone name the rule for these examples...Read More...
Hello, Nico, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange! "Were" is the verb that is needed, and you should say "one red card." It is ungrammatical to say * one red cards . "Two yellow and one red card" means "Two yellow [ cards ] and one yellow card." That is a plural noun phrase. We use plural verbs with plural subjects in English.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

The All Other

ahmad
Hello, everyone, 1. The all inclusive system soon gave way to a new one. 2. All other systems soon gave way to the new one. 3. The all other systems soon gave way to the new one. I hope (1) and (2) are fine. I think (3) is incorrect. Can someone help me understand what makes (1) different from (3) ? Thanks. PS to David: God willing, I will soon return to the other open thread. I need to do a little reading there.Read More...
Hi, Gustavo, I see my folly now. Thanks a lot.Read More...
Last Reply By ahmad · First Unread Post

Mixed conditionals ?

B and G got married 10 years ago. Now B and G have decided to divorce. But they have no regret about their 10-year marriage. My question : Is it grammatically correct if B and G say to their friends and relatives something like this : If we had known that we would get divorced today, we would still get married 10 years ago. Thank you very much in advance.Read More...
Hi David, thank you very much again for your help.Read More...
Last Reply By TCW · First Unread Post

grammar

Dear teachers, what is the difference between house and home? Another question :- Must any English teacher know all idioms? Thanks a lot.Read More...

One

Do we say "one should do his/her/their jobs well."Read More...
Hello, Emad, I agree with Ahmed_btm that the best choice is "one's," and it is not listed. In old-fashioned English, "his" was used as a generic singular pronoun. In modern feminist English, "her" can be used as a generic singular pronoun. If you use "his" or "her," however, you must change "jobs" to "job." Indeed, you need to change "jobs" to "job" even if you use "one's": One should do one's job well.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Past Perfect 2

Hello! I'll appreciate, if anyone could explain me the usage of past perfect in the following sentence, since the past perfect, I assume, is unusually refering to ' later past '. "The frustrated interrogator was not going to give up easily. “Are you both still working in the company?” Barbara, appearing not the least disturbed by the woman’s incontinent insistence, scooped the last cherry out of her dish, smiled , looked directly at her, and said in the identical tone of voice, “We’ve...Read More...

this way; in this way

1. I did it this way. 2. I did it in this way. 3. Come this way. 4. Come in this way. Are they all correct? Are there any rules of whether to use 'this way' or 'in this way'? Thanks!Read More...
It's largely a matter of native idiomatic preference, Kis; however, if "this way" is functioning as a stand-alone noun phrase -- one which cannot be analyzed as a reduced prepositional phrase (i.e. as a reduced version of "in this way") -- then it is not possible to use "in this way" instead. This is the situation when, for example, "this way" is the subject of a sentence: This way is a good way to go. * In this way is a good way to go.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Paraphrasing the sentence

Can you explain this sentence please :"There were so many people that I didn't know who was doing what."Read More...
Hello, Emad, The "that"-clause relates to "so." As a result of there being a lot of people there, you didn't know who was doing what. "Who was doing what" is an embedded question with two wh-elements and is functioning as the object of "didn't know." You didn't know the answer to the question "Who is doing what?" (i.e., Who is doing this?, Who is doing that?, etc.). Q: Who is doing what? I can't tell. / I can't tell who is doing what. A: John is shaking Mark's hand. Joan is setting the...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Tenses

What is the right choice in this sentence :"l (knew /had known) him for ten years when he died in 2000.Read More...
Hello, Emad, The past perfect is the correct choice in that sentence. To see this, it may help you to see the sentence with the "when"-clause fronted: When he died, in 2000, I had known him for ten years. I have set off "in 2000" with commas because the phrase is nonrestrictive. He only died once, and that was in 2000.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Will you want

We are going for a walk. Will you want to come with us? Is it natural? (I would say: Do you want ... or Will you come ...?)Read More...
Hi, Freeguy, That question is not natural. I'm assuming that the time of the walk is to be in the fairly immediate future. Your other questions are OK, but "Will you come with us?" is a request, whereas "Do you want to come with us?" is a friendly invitation. Here's what I would use: We're going for a walk. Would you like to come with us?Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

will or going to

Hi, teachers. I'd like to know your opinion concerning sentences like this one. He studies hard. He "will pass _ is going to pass" . He doesn't study. He "won't pass _ isn't going to pass" . I found many references supporting " will ". Longman's editor, Edmond Murphy and other websites. However, I had some argument with some people arguing for " be going to ", while others choose "both options". So, could you kindly tell me what to choose?Read More...
@Hussein Hassan , thanks a million.Read More...
Last Reply By ayman · First Unread Post

grammar

Is it okay if I say " I will help you cleaning the hall" ?Read More...
Hi, Ramadan Mohammed, and welcome to our forum. Hussein's answer is very good. Another preposition you can use with the gerund is "by," but the meaning will be different: I'll help you by cleaning the hall. Unlike the other sentences Hussein provided, this does not mean that "I" and "you" will clean the hall together. Instead, "you" will clean the hall by him/herself and will thus help "I," who will be devoted to some other task.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

"Scientist won’t discover/won’t have discovered all of these species for hundreds of years."

HELLO. Could you please help me with this item as I think both future forms are OK? What do you think? "Scientist won’t discover/won’t have discovered all of these species for hundreds of years." Thank you.Read More...
It is already used in our book as an MCQ! It is the first question written on the page you attached! The question is mentioned with its model answer circled in blue. It is mentioned three times in the same unit, so there is no way to choose 'won't discover' here.Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

Me and my vs my and my

Hi everyone, newbie to the forum and have a question. I would naturally say "me and my partner´s dog" but I have doubts as to whether the gramatically correct way would be "my and my partner´s dog", though this sounds very strange when I say it aloud. I know that it is more polite to say "my partner and I" but that sounds even stranger "my partner and I´s/me´s/my dog" Which is the correct way? Apart from saying "our dog" Thsks in advanceRead More...
Thanks for the clarification David cheers 😜Read More...
Last Reply By zevvy · First Unread Post

Find the mistake

'Is Ahmed ok? He seems so nervous.' 'Yes, he keeps arguing with all his classmates.' "Find the mistake, correct it then explain it."Read More...
Thanks David! Yes, I don't think that the problem is on "OK" but rather in "yes" itself! There was an opinion saying that we should use a coordinating conjunction instead of "yes" especially they didn't mention speaker A or B. So it is considered as rhetorical sentence! I still don't get it!Read More...
Last Reply By Sarah Robeen · First Unread Post

Passive voice. 1

1. Who was that book written by? 2. By whom was that book written? Are both correct? Thanks.Read More...
Hi, Freeguy, I agree with Sarah that both are correct. Although it is possible to say, "Whom was that book written by?," most people would not say that, because it sounds stiltedly formal. So it would be silly to say that the version with "who," which almost everyone would use instead, is incorrect. On the contrary, it's fine. Why not use the active voice? You could simply say: " Who wrote that book? "Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

very much a...

Hi, What is the difference between 'He is a loner' and 'He is very much a loner'? Thanks.Read More...
Hi David, I have some more questions as follows: 1. Do you mean that 'very much' doesn't mean "he truly is a loner," or "The category of loner completely fits him"? 2. Is 'out-and-out' only used in a negative way? 3. When you describe someone is a loner, Doesn't it mean he or she is truly a loner? Thank you very much for your help.Read More...
Last Reply By kuen · First Unread Post

Letter

Can anyone help me correct my grammatical errors here? Thanks in advance! Theres no turning back now that i have the audacity to express what ive been feeling ever since the day i saw you from afar. I've been waiting for this day for ages, and I think now is the right time for me to send this to you. And with that being said, I therefore 'confess' my feelings towards you. This may seem weird as we havent met nor seen each other for a long period of minute, but theres nothing greater than...Read More...
Hello, Kyle, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange! Thank you for sharing your love letter with us. I hope it's successful. Unfortunately, it does contain some grammatical errors (mainly errors of punctuation, but some errors of other types), and we don't edit things for people at this site. If you have a grammatical question about one of the sentences, try to identify what it is about the grammar that troubles you. Then you can start a discussion thread related to that specific question and...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post
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