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Adverb + Adjective & Adverb + verb

It is my understanding that an adverb can be used to modify "noun" or "verb". Adverb + Adjective [Adverb that modifies an adjective] e.g. Implausibly small; relatively small Adverb + Verb [Adverb that modifies a verb] e.g. I supposedly work between 9:00am to 5:00pm. Can the adverb be used to modify any other things/used in a different fashion(s)?Read More...

Into the office and in the office

We normally say: When I come into the office, I will look at your paper works. Question: What about get back? Do we say get back into the office or get back to the office. e.g. When I get back into/to the office, I will look at your paper works.Read More...

Not a problem, no problem

Supposedly someone says thank you to you because you have helped them cleaning the back yard. Do you say, not a problem or no problem? What is the difference?Read More...

Bush or bushes?

I can't figure out whether to say 'bush' or 'bushes.' Doesn't a bush consist of many small plants with many branches and leaves? How do I know when to say 'bush' and when to say 'bushes?'Read More...

to refund; to be refunded

The books________ are on the table. a. to refund b. to be refunded Are they both correct? If so, do they have the same meaning? Thanks!Read More...

And or Or

We don’t have school on Sundays and Mondays. Is it OK to use and here? I think or is the correct wordRead More...
Hello, Ahmed Osman, I think the sentence above is correct. "Sundays and Mondays" is like a unit — the days of the week when the speaker doesn't go to school. The conjunction "or" would sound more emphatic, as if considering both days individually: We don't have school on Sundays, and we also don't have school on Mondays.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Further to my email to you

1) Is it grammatically correct to use "to you" in the sentence below. e.g. Further to my email to you dated 1 January 2021 regarding the termination of your lease. Below is a tenant moving out checklis t to ensure a smooth process of moving. 2) Also, is it correct to say a tenant moving out checklist?Read More...
Yes. "email" as a verb does not take "to" ( I emailed you ), but the noun does ( my email to you ). Yes, you can say that.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Reporting verb + that + can be followed by any tenses

Firstly: Am I correct to say after the reporting verbs and after the word "that", it can be followed by any tense? e.g. On 1 January 2021, you stated that It is your understanding that the company's director has not changed since its establishment. or On 1 January 2021, you stated that It was your understanding that the company's director had not changed since its establishment. Secondly, if the above 2 sentences are grammatically correct, any difference in terms of its meaning? Thirdly: Can...Read More...
Thanks Gustavo. 1. How many hours it takes to be considered as recent reporting? 2. Are you saying that, the sentence " You stated that he is crazy" is not considered as indirect speech, or are you referring to the sentence "you stated your opinion".Read More...
Last Reply By Tony C · First Unread Post

More weight it is given

In court, the better the evidence the more weight it is given. What does it actually refer to? Does it refer to nothing?, is that what you called it in the other thread as a "matrix clause" It does not tell you who gives the weight and to whom the weight is givenRead More...
I got you, it is a degree of comparison, it's like The more money you have, the greater amount of food you will consume. Whereas matrix clause, it does not compare anything.Read More...
Last Reply By Tony C · First Unread Post

Intransitive verb

Intransitive verbs: In grammar, an intransitive verb does not allow a direct object. Example: The fees of $10K was used to pay my son's school fee ; when converting this to an intransitive verb, using the verb "totals/totalling", it will become: The fees totalling to $10K was used to pay my son's school fee. I understand totalling is an intransitive verb and I think $10K acts as an object there, if so, isnt that it contradicts with the grammar rules, that is intransitive verb cannot be...Read More...
No, Tony. "$10K" is not a direct object. Not everything that comes after after is an object, for example: - You are Tony. ("Tony" is not an object, but a subject complement.) I will not refer to the verb "total," because I've already had my say on it here . There are more more usual verbs than "total," like amount to and add up to, which also link the subject with the corresponding value, not with an object.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

The pair help or the pair helps

I found this today skimming through the news. "The pair of center backs helps replace the departures of both Alex De John and Kamal Miller and shore up part of the back line." https://www.themaneland.com/20...6/lion-links-1-22-21 It seems to me that "helps" and "shore" aren't in agreement in this sentence and should be, however, I can't figure out how to correct it--whether it should be "helps" and "shores," or else "help" and "shore". After googling, (unless I'm mistaken) it appears that...Read More...
Ah. Thank you, Gustavo. That makes sense, now.Read More...
Last Reply By Gary C123 · First Unread Post

Usage of "would"

Hi Although I don't want to take your precious time, if you are okay, I would like politely to ask you to check if my reasoning is right. • Through this forum, I learned when I am trying to say something under first type conditional, I can't use "would" in a main clause. https://www.usingenglish.com/f...lt-WOULD-gt-phone-me . • Also this is not even understood as a mixed conditional although there are <If clause-first type conditional> and <main clause-second type conditional> .Read More...
Dear @ahmed_btm I am deeply sorry about type of "I" in each sentence. Please forgive me, If I make you feel uncomfortable. Thank for your precious time and answer. . Okay, regarding sentence aa) again, when there is appropriate context, do you think the following sentence aa-1) is okay? aa-1) If she finishes the project early, (and if she wanted) she would phone me. . For your reference) "If you have questions about other phrases, and (If I were you) I would open a new questions???" This is ...Read More...
Last Reply By TaeBbongE · First Unread Post

worried about

a. I am worried about this patient getting cured. Is that sentence grammatically correct and meaningful? I think one would have to say b. I am worried about this patient not getting cured. But maybe (a) could be used with the same meaning. I don't think it could, but I heard someone say something like that and I began wondering. Maybe it was just a mistake. Many thanksRead More...
Hi, Azz—Sentence (a) would only be correct and meaningful in a context in which the speaker regarded the patient's getting cured as highly undesirable.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

between him and me

(1)I think there's a huge difference between him and me. Why we always put the 'me' after 'him'?Can we change the order? Can we use 'myself' in stead of 'me'? While in another case : (2)He was worried that the connection between himself and Voldemort had been damaged. Why here 'himself ' is put ahead of 'Voldermort'?Read More...
Hi, Winter, It is just a matter of style, not grammar. Many people would see that 1 sounds more polite. I wouldn't use 'myself' in your example above.Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

On my mind or in my mind

Hi, What is the difference between on my mind and in my mind? Can they be used interchangeably? Thanks!Read More...
Hi, Tony C, 'In my mind' could mean 'in my opinion' or something that exists in my imagination like the common expression 'in one's mind's eye'. Also, you can use it when you are thinking about something or somebody without feeling worried about it/them. Another expression is 'keep in mind' which means 'remember'. 'On my mind' means to be constantly in one's thoughts; of concern to one. It refers to something worrying or distracting you. A similar expression is 'to weigh on one's mind'. -...Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

Could imagine or could've imagined in a past context

1) Yesterday I went to see my friend who lost her only son the day before in a car accident. Seeing me she started crying. I could imagine (at the time) what she was going through. Is "could" OK? Or do we need "could have imagined" here? "I could've imagined what she was going through."Read More...
Hi, Language learner, The modal "could" is correct there, meaning that at the time it was possible for the speaker to understand the other person's feelings. For "lost" (rather than "had lost") to work, I think it would be better to say: - Yesterday I went to see my friend who lost her only son the day before yesterday in a car accident.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

is or will be required to do something

1) You are required to take care of my cat after I go out of town tomorrow. 2) You' ll be required to take care of my cat after I go out of town tomorrow. 3) He was advised that he was required to sometimes work long hours. 4) He was advised that he would be required to sometimes work long hours. Q1) Are they all correct? If so, what is the difference between 1) and 2) or 3) and 4)?Read More...
Hi, Language learner, (1) and (3) inform about a current requirement, while (2) and (4) inform about a future requirement.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Is this sentence correct?

"We assisted a Brazilian IT multinational in their market entry strategy by providing them with a tailor-made & culture-based roadmap to hiring and retaining talent in Portugal" I have doubts about "roadmap to hiring and retaining talent". Can you help? Thanks! ElisaRead More...
Hi, Gustavo, Thanks a lot. I changed it because I am not used to this meaning of 'talent'.Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

Identifying the head of an NP

Hi. - Vaults full of research attest to how emerging-market optimism is more soundly based than rich-country pessimism. (The Economist) I view the first four words as an NP, with research being the head, "vaults full of" being something like a quantifier, because it is research that attest , not vaults . But why doesn't attest agree with research by using third person singular? What do I miss? Regards, Robby zhu.Read More...
Thanks. This example is very convincing. Great. I think I've just learned how words like spoonful, handful etc. came into being.Read More...
Last Reply By Robby zhu · First Unread Post

“Compounding", gerund or present participle?

Hello, everyone! For one difficult sentence in following paragraph I’m wondering about its sentence structure; “ Compounding the difficulty, now more than ever, is what ergonomists call information overload ” How do you analysize the normal sentence of above before inversion or clefting, while I am assuming it as follows?; 1. before reversed pseudo clefting with ‘what’; “Ergonomists call compounding the difficulty information overload.” (S+V+O+C, ‘compounding’ as a gerund), or 2. before...Read More...
Hi, David, much appreciate your clarification. Best RGDSRead More...
Last Reply By deepcosmos · First Unread Post

Because of heave snow, my car should have got stuck in the snow.

Hi Because of heavy snow, my car should have got stuck in the snow. In the above sentence, should have P.P has the following usage? Oxford: should definition https://www.oxfordlearnersdict...lish/should?q=should Practical English USE 2 Past: ~~~.Read More...
@ahmed_btm Ah ha, I see! Depending on the thing that the subject is animate or inanimate, "should have Past Participle" construction has two meanings or not. However as for my case, it is only used in one way - that is, expressing possibilities. Thanks~!!!!!!Read More...
Last Reply By TaeBbongE · First Unread Post

any and all vs anyone and everyone

Hi, I currently say "I have never wished that anyone, especially any and all of my family...." and I wonder if it is more accurate to say " I have never wished that anyone, especially anyone and everyone in my family....."?Read More...

“to which vs. where”

Hello, everyone!! As far as I understand, in informal style we often use ‘where’ to introduce defining relative clauses instead of ‘at/on/in which’ only. However, I’m a little confused to have found following two contradictory answers about the usage; “to which vs. where”. 1. “ The shop where he went ” is OK, or you can retain the unnecessary preposition and leave off the relative pronoun: “ the shop he went to ”. But “ the shop where he went to ” is too much. – American English, retired...Read More...
Hello, David! You're such a great inventor who deserves my sincere thanks. Best RGDS,Read More...
Last Reply By deepcosmos · First Unread Post

The double possessive

What is the difference between: - He is a friend of mine, - He is my friend, and - He is a friend of me? Thanks.Read More...
Hello, May123—I assume you mean to ask about differences in meaning rather than differences in syntax. "He is a friend of mine" means he is one of my friends, and that is how "He is my friend" would also be understood. However, the sentence "He is my friend" would also be compatible with a state of affairs in which the speaker had only one friend. "He is a friend of me" is unidiomatic and not to be used. The construction works in other cases, though. "Friends of John" might be used at John's...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

AM or am

Should I use AM or am in the example below and what's the difference? He came her at 3.20 AM this afternoon to deliver a pizza for me.Read More...
Hi, Cristi—Your sentence is a contradiction in terms. The time 3:20 a.m. is a time in the morning, namely, three hours and twenty minutes past midnight. If you wish to refer to "three hours and twenty minutes past noon," use "3:20 p.m." You can punctuate the numbers and letters in accordance with local custom.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. "This is a famous line from Shakespeare. I have no difficulty understanding this sentence. But I'm wondering whether the “which we call a rose by any other name ” is a relative clause or not. If it is a relative clause, what the function of the word"which"? I am looking forward for an answer. Thank you so much.Read More...
Thank you so much for your replies. This was the first time I posted a question on Grammar Exchange, even without high expectation. While you guys really surprised me by warm welcome and detailed explanations. Now I have a better understanding of the sentence structure and really appreciate your attention and efforts. I will share the wonderful Grammar Exchange with other ESL learners!Read More...
Last Reply By Winter · First Unread Post

book

Is this sentence correct ? He called me up and said that they have all the rooms booked .Read More...
I agree that "have" can be changed/backshifted to "had"; however, "have" works, too, assuming the speaker of the sentence " He called me up and said that they have all the rooms booked" believes all the rooms to still be booked. I do not view this as a passive causative. If it were a passive causative, a "by"-phrase could suitably be used at the end: "He called me up and said that they have/had all the rooms booked by their front-desk clerks ." But that does not strike me as the intended...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

I feel amazing

Hello friends, I’d like to discuss this sentence: “I feel amazing.” I quite often hear native speakers say this and (1) I believe it’s grammatically acceptable but wonder if it has ever been controversial grammarwise. (2) I believe that it simply means “I feel great / wonderful / excellent” as “amazing” is a synonym of these words and that it doesn’t mean “I feel that I am amazing” and definitely not “I feel amazed”. If it means “I feel that I am amazing”, we can likewise say “I feel...Read More...
One meaning of "amazing," according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is "great beyond expectation." "I feel amazing" basically means "I feel wonderful": "I feel so good I could say WOW," "My feelings right now are amazing to me," "My feelings are amazingly good," "I am amazed at how good I feel." Although it isn't nearly so commonly used, it is possible to say "I feel interesting" with the meaning "I feel peculiar" or "I'm not really sure how I feel."Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

It is (hight/about) time (that) + Subject + Simple past tense verb

I have learned the following structure from Practical in Use. <It is (hight/about) time (that) + S + Simple past tense verb> This is regarding Subjunctive mood Now I am curious about the last sentence can be possible or not. It is (high/about) time (that) we went to bed. (O) = It is (high/about) time for us to go to bed. (O) = It is ( high /about) time (that) we should go to bed. (???)Read More...
Although the other forms are possible, I agree with David when he said in that thread:Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

might have left the country

Which are correct: 1) We don't know where he is. He might have left the country. 2) We don't know where he is. He could have left the country. 3) It was fortunate we didn't go mountain climbing. We might have died in that avalanche. 4) It was fortunate we didn't go mountain climbing. We could have died in that avalanche. Gratefully, NaviRead More...

any talk

a. Any talk about politics is not allowed at this offic e. Is the above sentence grammatically correct? I think it's not correct. It seems to me that it should be b. No talk about politics is allowed at his office. or c. Any talk about politics is disallowed at this office. How about b. Anyone under sixteen is not allowed inside the room. ? Many thanks.Read More...
Hi, Azz, In my experience as a translator and a lecturer, I have only encountered "any" in the subject combined with negative verbs in legal texts. Sentences such as the ones you propose: are correct at least in legalese.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

In/of/at

Which one is correct? I mean which preposition I should use here. 1- All the students of this school are hereby notified that a cultural programme will be organised next month. 2- All the students at this school are hereby notified that a cultural programme will be organised next month. 3- All the students in this school are hereby notified that a cultural programme will be organised next month.Read More...
Hi, Subhajit—All three prepositions are correct. You can use whichever you like.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Grammar

Are the below sentences grammatically correct? If so, why? 1. Once received, we will process your application? 2. Once we have received, we will process ... 3. Once it is received, we will... What is the difference of each? 1. passive? 2. also passive? 3. present? Thanks so much for your time!Read More...
"Received" in "once received" is a past participle. It derives from the passive form "once it is received ."Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

meaning

I've come across this sentence here: "I’m quite far in my medical school time so I don’t have lots of free time but I can still have some quality time with my family and friends", but I'm not sure I understand this first part: "I’m quite far in my medical school time". Does it mean that he has just started medical school, and it's gonna still take him a long time to graduate? I'll appreciate if you can help me to clarify this sentence. Thank you so much! All the best.Read More...
Yes, that's right. Think of a timeline as a road along which one can travel far.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Within Expectation(s)

When writing about a student's score(s), I often classify the score as "within age expectations" (given that the student could have produced a range of scores that would be average for her age). Ex: Jane's performance on reading tasks was consistently within age expectations. Jane produced a math index score at the 55th percentile, which is within age expectations. Yet, recently someone insisted that it should be "...within age expectation" (not plural). This correction made my grammar...Read More...
Oh, yes! Within performance expectations for her age (group) makes much more sense! Within age expectations is too synthetic and does not convey the intended meaning clearly. I think this is because the preposition that links both concepts is "for" ( for her age ), and this is not a preposition that can be usually substituted for by placing a noun in attributive position. Instead, "of" is the typical preposition that enables this movement: expectations of performance ⇒ performance expectations.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

the bones of dogs

a. Buried in the cave there were the bones of dogs. b. Buried in the cave there were bones of dogs. What is the difference between the meanings of these sentences? Many thanksRead More...
Hi, Azz, As you know, we can also use full inversion in this case: c. Buried in the cave were the bones of dogs. d. Buried in the cave were bones of dogs. I think (a) and (c) refer to the discovery of the skeletons, that is, the complete bone structures, or to bones of dogs already mentioned in the context (e.g. the bones of dogs we were looking for). Instead, (b) and (d) refer to the discovery of separate, perhaps incomplete bones.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

for him to acknowledge

Are these sentences both correct and do they mean the same: 1) That he should acknowledge that he has made a mistake will mark a moment in history. 2) For him to acknowledge that he has made a mistake will mark a moment in history. Gratefully, NaviRead More...
I have to say I had a faint suspicion about some wrong tense or mood correlation, but I quickly and foolishly discarded it. Could we say that the subject in (0), (2a) and (2b) is situated in a more improbable present or future (thus leading to the use of would ), while the one in (1a), (4) (if correct), (5) and (6) is situated in a more probable present or future (thus enabling the use of will )?Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Ellipsis

Hi. Somebody made this sentence: He refused to lend a hand when he should have. I want to know if this sentence can be used as elliptical for "...when he should (lend)"? Because I think the ellipsis would normally be interpreted as referring to a finite verb, in this case, "refuse."Read More...
Thanks, David, for endorsing that usage.Read More...
Last Reply By Robby zhu · First Unread Post

It was agreed that

During our meeting, it was agreed that the debt recovery action would be on hold for 1 year. Question 1: Why cant we say it was stated that, but we can say it was agreed that. 2. Is the sentence "it was agreed that" a passive voice?Read More...
I mean it is not mentioned who made the statement or the agreement. For there to be a matrix clause, there has to be a subordinate or dependent clause. In: - It was agreed / It was stated that .... "it was agreed / it was stated" is the matrix clause, and the "that"-clause is a subordinate or dependent clause. In: - It was eaten. there are no subordinate or dependent clauses, hence the structure is a simple sentence, not a matrix clause included in a complex sentence.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Proper Noun versus Common noun

Hello, I just wanted to confirm my understanding of the proper noun and common noun are correct based on my examples below. I have contacted Tony's mother [Tony's mother is a proper noun so you can't say the Tony's mother], I have contacted the Nurse's mother [The Nurse's mother is a common noun, so you can use "the" before the noun]. I went to t he Fiji Mountain in Japan before Covid hit us. I believe the Fiji mountain is a proper noun, comparable to Tony's mother but why it sounds okay to...Read More...
I agree with Gustavo that the name needs to be Mount Fuji ( Mt. Fuji ) in English, not the Fuji Mountain . The only mountain name that I can think of which follows the pattern "the ____ Mountain" is The Magic Mountain, but that is the title of a book, translated from German ( Der Zauberberg ), and "Magic" is not part of the real name of the mountain that goes by that epithet, even in the book.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

anything

Is this sentence correct ? I wasn't anything like that .Read More...
Hi, Ilko, This idiom seems to be equivalent to "be nothing like" (which is much more usual) and can be used to refer to people: From LDOCE : nothing like British English not at all But she's nothing like her character in real-life . From Collins Dictionary : nothing like (in American English) not at all like; completely different from Luckily, these guys were nothing like the self-important rugs at university. Globe and Mail ( 2003 ) I don't know why each dictionary refers to the same...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post
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