Skip to main content

Questions and Answers

To be

Dear Sir "Ravi Shastri is just glad to be back home in Mumbi." If we remove "be" from the sentence, does it make sense? Or else why did "be" use here and what is the meaning? Source : https://www.theweek.in/theweek/sports/2021/12/04/i-leave-with-a-clear-conscience-says-ravi-shastri.htmlRead More...
Hi, Francis, The adjective "glad" is usually complementized by an infinitive to indicate the action or the state that makes the person glad. "To be" there indicates that the person has returned from some other place: - He is glad to have returned home. - He is glad to be back home. Without "to be," we'd use an adjective that can work better alone, for example: - He is happy back home. (We can also say: He is happy to be back Home.)Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

count on you

a. I depend on you to do the job. b. I count on you to do the job. c. I rely on you to do the job. d. I need you to do the job. In all cases, it is possible that the 'agent' of 'to do the job' is 'you'. I am hoping that you will do the job. But is it possible that I expect and hope to do the job myself with your help? I think this possibility is more present in the case of d. But I am not sure it is non-existent in the first three cases. Consider these sentences: a1. I depend on your help to...Read More...

Appear or appeared

Hello, Should I use "appears" or "appeared" in the below sentence. As briefly discussed, it appears that the debit card transactions were not reflected in the XYZ's 2021 financials.Read More...
Hi, Tony—If you want present meaning, use the present tense ("appears"). If you want past meaning, use the past tense ("appeared"). Do you want to talk about a present impression of the transactions or a past impression of them?Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

present gerund or present perfect gerund

"Its development starting twelve years ago, social entrepreneurship is quite new to Georgia." "Its development having started twelve years ago, social entrepreneurship is quite new to Georgia." Which of the two sentences are correct? And how would it be in the past and past perfect tenses? "Its development starting twelve years ago, social entrepreneurship was quite new to Georgia." "Its development having started twelve years ago, social entrepreneurship was quite new to Georgia." "Its...Read More...
Thanks, Gustavo.Read More...
Last Reply By David Toklikishvili · First Unread Post

deep

Is it okay to say "something deep hidden,"? That incident woke his curiosity and it was then that he felt,' something deeply hidden had to be behind things. from My Life : Albert EinsteinRead More...

with his brother

a. Tom came here with his brother. Does that imply that Tom has only one brother? b. My sister's co-worker's wife is a mathematician. Does that imply that my sister has only one co-worker? c. My mother's cousin's husband is a dentist. Does that imply that my father has only one cousin? Many thanks.Read More...
Hi, Azz—In (a), we don't know how many brothers Tom has. In (b), we don't know how many co-workers your sister has. And in (c), we don't know how many cousins your mother has. In each case, the speaker is thinking of whomever he is thinking of and implying nothing about the existence of others.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

How to understand gerunds

What is the meaning of a word that is a gerund? Is it an act, action, or something else? Can the phrase, "the act of", always be implied before a gerund?Read More...
Hi, Deng—Gerunds do not have just one meaning. You can form a gerund with most verbs in the English language, and verbs have a wide variety of meanings.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Can I use this "But instead" construction that juxtaposes against something INSIDE a previous sentence?

Take a look at this: https://join.substack.com/p/is-there-hope-for-truth Right-wing extremism is such a huge part of what’s happening in Western democracies, which increasingly are nominal democracies, so extremism studies should be a large subfield in my discipline and should be getting lots of attention and making lots of noise. But instead political science has failed badly when it comes to studying and exposing right-wing extremism. So you can see that the "But instead" construction ties...Read More...

have or take an exam

Hi, everyone Choose From 10 to 12 tomorrow morning I will have/ have / will be having an English Exam. I think it's wrong to use ( have ) in this sentence. It's better to use ( will be sitting or will be taking) because of the continuity of the action at a certain period of time in future. Does ( will be having) work in this sentence.? Thanks in advance.Read More...
Hi, Ahmed Towab, I agree with you. 'Have' sounds wrong, particularly, the meaning of 'have an exam' doesn't work here. 'Take' and 'sit' (Br. E) work much better here.Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

Was being considered OR was considered

Hi team "As long as the Chairman of the selectors told him that he was not being considered for ODI captaincy now, that is perfectly fine." In the above statement why did "was not being considered" use instead "was considered"? Source : https://www.theweek.in/theweek/sports/2021/12/23/captaincy-chaos-ganguly-version-kohli-version-and-the-truth.htmlRead More...
Appreciate your valuable and prompt reply David. 😄 I am pretty happy to be part of Grammar Exchange family. You guys are doing amazing works. 🙏Read More...
Last Reply By Francis Stephen · First Unread Post

Frankly speaking

1 Strictly speakin g , spiders are not insects , altho ugh most people think they are. (longman) 2 Not having any money, I can't treat you to lunch today. Can I change the order of the words like this? 1 Speaking strictly, ~ 2 Having not any money, ~Read More...

parsing

Victor walked over to his large mirror. Just the weather for trying out his new disguise, he thought, as the sun warmed the back of his sturdy neck. He had bought this new treasure only the previous day: an enormous mustache, so dark and bushy that it would have made any self‑respecting walrus extremely jealous. (source) Should the sentence start with a conjunction before <just the weather>? How can the noun phrase be connected with the following sentence without a conjunction?Read More...
Hi, GBLSU—It's a truncated sentence: "[This is] just the weather for . . . ."Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Hyphen or possessive s

What is the difference between hyphen and possessive s Choose We spent our ( two-week / two week's) holiday in a youth hostel. Thanks in advanceRead More...
Hi, Mr. Bashir, Only the first one is correct. "Two-week" is a compound adjective (notice that the plural is not used), and if you want to use the genitive, you have to use the plural: - We spent our two week s' holiday in a youth hostel.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

Who went with you?

Hello friends. Can we use 'Who went with you?' instead of saying 'Who/Whom did you go with?'/With whom did you go?' Is 'Who went with you?' grammatical? Would native speakers of English say this? Thank you.Read More...
Hi, Gilbert—Oh, yes, "Who went with you?" is a grammatically correct question and one that native speakers of English would not hesitate to use in a fitting context: A: We went on a bus tour of the area. B: Who went with you? A: A bunch of other tourists like us. Please note that "Who went with you?" is not equivalent in meaning to "Whom did you go with?" The former question is about who accompanied you; the latter is about whom you accompanied. The perspective is different.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

changed my belief in the inherent goodness of humankind

Hi, there everyone. The final two sentences of this account has got me a little confused. This is how it's written: I will never forget this man who saved my life. His kind act changed my belief in the inherent goodness of humankind . I know that the writer intends to say that the act of kindness by that man has reinforced his belief in the inherent goodness of people. But doesn't the bit in bold mean quite the opposite of that? It makes me think that the writer doesn't believe in human...Read More...
That's an excellent revision. I think that the sentence could also be fixed to some extent if the preposition "about" were used instead of "in." In that case, "my belief about the inherent goodness of mankind" would indicate that the belief was negative: I believed that man was not inherently good, and his kind act changed my belief.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

Why does the comma have to appear in the first "Regarding" construction here but not in the second "Regarding" construction?

Consider (1) and (2): (1) Even regarding the house, it was going really well. (2) I noticed that he was doing well, and that his friend was doing well, and that even regarding the house it was going really well. There's a comma after "Even regarding the house" in (1). But there's no comma after "even regarding the house" in (2). Could (1) lose the comma? If not, why not, given that (2) has no comma?Read More...
The point is that the adverbials are different in type. "Regarding the house" is a sentence modifier , and these are almost always set off by commas. Instead, "in 2004" is an adverbial of time that modifies "there was." It forms part of the predicate, while the sentence modifier modifies the whole sentence.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

Did I miss up the tenses on this, or is this good? I have a headache trying to figure out if the tenses are correct here!

I think that the tenses are correct, but I'm not 100% sure: We have so many examples where faculty engage in critical speech, the far right targets and harasses those faculty, and then university administrations don’t defend those faculty or fight back.Read More...
Hi, Andrew Van Wagner, IMHO, the tenses are OK, but I wouldn't use the first comma. I'd use a full-stop and might add an adverb like 'unfortunately'. I would also use 'them' instead of the second 'those faculty'. - We have so many examples where faculty engage in critical speech. Unfortunately, the far right targets and harasses those faculty (members), and then university administrations don’t defend them or fight back.Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

’were’ in if clause with ‘can’ in main clause

Hello, everyone, “If simple observation were the only factor in determining our knowledge of reality, then nothing at all can be more certain than the fact that the Earth is stationary. For thousands of years humankind has observed the turning of the stars and (apart from the odd earthquake) has experienced the ground beneath its feet as a fixed point from which to observe all other movement. ...“ *source; (first published in UK 2001 by Hodder Education)...Read More...
Hello, ahmed btm, thanks for sharing your opinion. I think you've a lot of knowledge about English grammar. Would tell me if you're a native or EFL person? If a native, do you speak American or British English? Meantime, I still hope to hear from Gustavo, too, when he feels free.Read More...
Last Reply By deepcosmos · First Unread Post

Should I use "I've" or "I" here? There are shades of meaning here; "I've" seems to emphasize ongoingness.

See here: I’ve spent the greater part of the last five years collecting and analyzing a massive amount of data on this issue. So I think that "I" would mean almost the exact same thing, but I think that "I've" puts more emphasis on the ongoingness of the spending action. The thing is that "I" would also mean that the spending action was ongoing, so is there really any difference at all? I think that I'll go with "I've", but I really want to know what (if any!) difference there is so that I...Read More...
Oh, yes. "I've spent" means you are still collecting and analyzing data, while "I spent" means you have completed your search and analysis, that is, you are no longer spending any time on that.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

How do I conjugate this verb? The construction is: "The X and Y that increasingly Z American political culture."

Is it "dominate" or "dominates"? Do I write it like this? And this message of dismissal and ridicule can’t be aimed at the bad-faith disinformation actors themselves, but instead must be aimed at the public at large in order to turn the public at large against the ignorance and actual celebration of ignorance that increasingly dominate US political culture.Read More...
Hi, Andrew, I think you need a plural verb there, because "the ignorance" and "the actual celebration of ignorance" are two distinct heads—it's not just one of the two, but it's both factors that dominate the culture.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

He is as honest as any student in the class.

Dear Moderators, I am always grateful for your help. Today's question is about the English text of the subject. I referred to several grammar books, but each grammar book had a little different translation. Could you give me some advice? The followings are the translations: 1. He is not inferior in honesty to the student in the class. At the same time, he is not superior in honesty to the student in the class. 2. He is as honest as any student in the class and he is more honest than any...Read More...
Thank you so much, Mr.Gustavo. Although my question might have been complicated, you kindly answered it and gave me some useful advice. I understood that "he is as honest as any student in his class" should be "he is neither superior nor inferior to any student in his class, and he is one of very honest students." I"As ... as" expresses equality, so we cannot say that a person is at the same time equally and more honest than somebody else, as you mention. This was why I had been confused.Read More...
Last Reply By mika · First Unread Post

Will fall or is going to fall?

This old-aged tree isn't safe to sit under.It...............at any time. ( will fall - is going to fall) I think will fall is correct, but is going to fall can’t work in such a context?Read More...
Hi, Indecipherable—Unless you change how your name is printed on this forum, I shall use the nickname "Indecipherable" for you. Most English speakers here are unable to read, write, understand, or pronounce your name as it appears. I agree with Ahmed_btm that both options are possible; however, the most natural option is not listed. Most native speakers would use "could fall." We'd also omit "-aged" and use a space between the two sentences: This old tree isn't safe to sit under. It could...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

past simple vs past continuous

Hello again, I was looking through a test paper and came across these questions. 1) Fawzia ... the dishes at 8 last night. A- was washing- B wash C- washed D- washing. The modal answer is (C), but I think both A and C work, is that right? 2)What .... at around 8 a.m this morning? A- did you do B- were you doing C- did D- was doing? Again, the modal answer is (B), but I think both A and B work. 3) This is a True or False question: I was playing football yesterday. This sentence is...Read More...
Hi, Boroj Nouri, Yes, you are right. 1 means she was washing the dishes (when something happened.) Although the past progressive could work here, the past simple tense sounds much better. Using the past progressive means that there is something important happened while you were playing football yesterday, but there is no more context here to indicate this point. For a similar question about this particular point, see here: https://thegrammarexchange.inf...c/played-was-playingRead More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

beyonds vs beyond

Advertisements are on the radio and TV, in the newspapers and magazines, and on buses, and beyonds. Is the sentence correct? I suppose that beyond should replace beyonds. Is ‘and beyonds’ a phrase? Also, is there a difference between ‘beyond’ and ‘beyonds’ when they are used as words instead of phrases? I will appreciate any help!Read More...
Thank you so much for your help. Now I’ve fully understood.Read More...
Last Reply By Maxine · First Unread Post

Question

He ............London for three years. ( has been in - has gone to) There's been a lot of argument about the two options mentioned above. Some say has been in,others say has gone to.My answer is has been in. Am I right or wrong? Thanks in advanceRead More...
Hi, Mr. Abd El-Hakam, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange, I completely agree with Gustavo's answer. I just would like to refer to a quote from A Comprehensive Grammar Of The English Language, page 212: "Because of its resultative meaning, the simple perfective can't be used with accomplishment verbs when the clause contains an adverbial of duration: - They have been repairing the road for months. (Not: They have repaired the road for months.) An exception to this, however, occurs where the...Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

Hasn't or hadn't visited

Please choose Ali visited us today. He ...........us since 2015. A. hasn't visited B. hadn't visited I think the answer is (hadn't visited) but afriend of mine said it should be ( hasn't visited) because of the presence of (today) in the first sentence.Read More...
Hi, Treasure—Both answers work. Ali's visit "today" can be viewed as past relative to the time of speech or as contemporaneous with it. He hasn't visited us since 2015. He hadn't visited us since 2015. Similarly, if one is hearing a song for the first time, one can say, "I've never heard this song before." Right afterwards, one can say either of these: I've never heard that song before. I'd never heard that song before.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

omission of ‘measuring’

Hello, everyone, “ Pollachius pollachius is a large fish up to 130 cm in length and weighing up to 14 kg .” * source; https://www.marlin.ac.uk/species/detail/9 I assume the sentence above should read, “... a large fish measuring up to 130 cm in length and weighing up to 14 kg .” and only then could be ‘measuring’ and ‘weighing’ in a parallel structure. While the writer of this sentence above, of which the web source seems to be reliable, left out ‘measuring’, do you, natives, agree on this...Read More...
I'll see, thanks much, Gustavo!Read More...
Last Reply By deepcosmos · First Unread Post

take & mistake , same meaning?

1stㅇHe mistook her attention for love. 2ndㅇHe took her attention for love. 3rdㅇHe didn't took her attention for love. Are those same meaning?Read More...

if I get the weather forecast right, I still get blamed

Weather forecast -------------------------- Man : You don’t like your job? Weatherman : I hate my job. I hate doing the weather forecast; every day probability of this, probability of that. . . Man : Oh, cheer up. Don’t be blue. You don’t have to be depressed, you know. Weatherman : Ah, you don’t have to do the weather forecast. Man : Well, every cloud has a silver lining. Weatherman : Oh, yes. Man : Oh, come on, it can’t be as bad as all that. Weatherman : Oh, yes it can. Even if I get the...Read More...
Thank you so much, GustavoRead More...
Last Reply By rezabc · First Unread Post

has gone to London since ... 🤔

Is it correct to say: "She HAS GONE to London SINCE last month."? For me, I see it is not correct because GOING TO LONDON is a completed finished action NOT a one that started in the past and is still going. If we want to mention when this action happened, we must use the past simple not the present perfect. I mean we must say: "She WENT to London last month." OR if we want to use the present perfect, we must say: "She has BEEN IN London since last month." OR if we want to tell a piece of...Read More...
Thank you, David, for your help. 💝Read More...
Last Reply By Mohamed Emara · First Unread Post

Talking about scheduled events

Hello! I know that we use the present simple tense to talk about actions and/or events that are fixed such as a schedule. Ex: The plane leaves at 8.00 a.m. However, I'm wondering if we can talk about fixed timetables and schedules using other structures? Thank you in advance,Read More...
Thank you, Gustavo!Read More...
Last Reply By Boroj Nouri · First Unread Post

the whistling man

Are these correct: 1) Stop that man whistling. He wants to go out through the fire exit. 2) Stop the man whistling. He wants to go out through the fire exit. 3) Stop that whistling man. He wants to go out through the fire exit. 4) Stop the whistling man. He wants to go out through the fire exit. The idea is: stop that man who is whistling and prevent him from going through the fire exit. I think '1' and '2' could mean: stop that man from whistling. I don't know if they could be used in this...Read More...
Hello, Navi—Very nice observation. I agree with you that "Stop the/that man whistling" is ambiguous, that it can mean either "Stop the/that whistling man" or "Stop the/that man from whistling."Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

How do I stylize "The 1776 Report"?

See here: https://join.substack.com/p/how-should-history-be-taught 2) What do you think about the below quote from “The 1776 Report” ? You can go uppercase/lowercase on "The" and "Report", and you can enclose the article in quotation marks or enclose the date and/or the word "report in quotation marks, and you can even enclose nothing at all in quotation marks. Here are some examples: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/18/us/trump-1776-commission-report.html 1776 report...Read More...
Hi, Andrew— The related Wikipedia article indicates that "The" is part of the title.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Should you fuse the "introductory" paragraph with the paragraph that gives the first point in a series of points?

A lot of people (not all people?) would fuse the two paragraphs below into one paragraph: https://join.substack.com/p/ho...ld-history-be-taught I’ve taught at the university level since 1981, so I’ve been at it a long time—I don’t know that anyone knows definitively what the most important principles are, but I’ll list a few things for whatever it’s worth. First, I think that trying to create enthusiasm among students is maybe the most important thing—you want to really get them interested...Read More...
Sorry about the sloppy typos in the post, by the way; I corrected them!Read More...
Last Reply By Andrew Van Wagner · First Unread Post

their partner as distributive singular

Hello, everyone, A few scientists from Duke University and University College London decided to find out what happens inside our brains when we lie. They put people into an fMRI machine and had them play a game where they lied to their partner. The first time people told a lie, the amygdala weighed in. It released chemicals that give us that familiar fear, that sinking sense of guilt we get when we lie. But then the researchers went one step further. They rewarded people for lying. They gave...Read More...

toward vs towards?

Is the sentence correct? She cautiously extended a hand toward me Shouldn’t “toward” be replaced by “towards”, since “extended” is a verb? I looked up both “toward” and “towards” , and the online dictionary app showed that both can be used to describe a direction. I’m confused. I hope you can help me!Read More...
Thank you so much for your answer!Read More...
Last Reply By Maxine · First Unread Post

The very "mind" + Gerund or to infinitive

Should the verb mind follow by Gerund or to infinitive? For example: Thank you for reminding me to send y ou an invoice for XYZ. or Thank you for reminding me sending you an invoice for XYZ. Thank you in advance for enlightening.Read More...
Yes, that is ungrammatical. As Ahmed told you, "remind" is followed by a noun/pronoun and a "to"-infinitive or a "that"-clause. Perhaps you are confused with the verb "mind," meaning "object to," which is followed by V-ing: - Would you mind sending me an invoice?Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

How's thing

I am confused with the below. People normally say informally: How's things going? Shouldn't that be How are things going?Read More...
For some reason, native speakers will often accept the wrong verb form if it's part of a contraction. "There are 100 people in the room." = Correct English. " There is 100 people in the room." = Incorrect English. "There 's 100 people in the room." = Acceptable in informal English. "Read More...
Last Reply By TheParser · First Unread Post

cut off communications to the country

Hello! I was watching a BBC news report about Tonga's volcano eruption and the presenter said, "...and the tsunami that followed has cut off nearly all communications to the country." I was surprised to hear "to the country" because communications are in the country, aren't they? Would you please explain this choice of preposition to me?Read More...
Thank you, Gustavo! It's so clear and obvious now that I'm surprised at myself. I don't know why I only thought of communications as something within the country.Read More...
Last Reply By Alexey86 · First Unread Post

Relative clause or Adverbial

Hi, How would you read the following sentence? 1. The proposition expressed in the subordinate clause is entailed in the case of reason adjuncts but not with purpose, when the situation time is later than that of the matrix. ( The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language, p.727) Is the when-clause an adverbial or a relative clause? If it were an adverbial, it would mean: 1a . If the situation time is later than that of the matrix, the proposition expressed... is entailed... But I don't...Read More...
Thank you. I'm grateful.Read More...
Last Reply By Robby zhu · First Unread Post

Should I capitalize AND use quotation marks when it comes to "Good Guys"?

Regarding "Good Guys" and "Bad Guys", should I keep the quotation marks and capitalize? Or just capitalize? Or stick with both ? If you view history based on moral principles, you’ll be highly critical of American leaders whenever American leaders violate those moral principles. But if you view history as a fight between “Good Guys” and “Bad Guys” and regard American leaders as the “Good Guys”, you’ll view criticisms of American leaders as “anti-American”. This is a tricky one for me; I kind...Read More...
×
×
×
×