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Regarding the COVID-19 Pandemic

David, Moderator
Dear Grammar Exchange members, As we continue our grammar discussions, I want you to know that I am aware that we are all struggling in various ways as a result of the current pandemic and that my heart goes out to all of you. I hope that you and your loved ones are safe and healthy. Although we may not know each other personally, we all know that there is much more to us than the English grammar issues we discuss here. This post is devoted to the dimensions of you and your lives that I know...Read More...
Praying for everyone’s safety. God Bless you. 🙏🏻Read More...
Last Reply By Grammar Man · First Unread Post

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What does the reflexive/personnel pronoun refer to?

“There is an irony in all this. Xenophobia has probably existed for as long as people have. But racist attitudes were reinforced in the 19th century by an enthusiasm for physical anthropology and eugenics. The former attempted to classify human beings on the basis of visible characteristics, such as skin colour, head shape and facial features, that are genetically inherited. If this had been a neutral analysis, it would have been unexceptional. But often it was not neutral. It not only...Read More...
Hi, Sarah, In your parsing identified as (1) above, "in minds" is not an object, but an adverbial of place. "The thinking" does not refer to anything mentioned before in the text. It refers to the philosophy or ideology underlying racism. "Them" refers to the prejudices. "It" and "itself" refer to the 3MAG project. "That" refers to eliminating the prejudices. The general idea is that, deep-rooted as racism is, a mere project is not enough to do away with it.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

Independent clauses

Hello there everyone, I'm having some trouble recognising independent and dependent clauses. 1 I've got a sandwich and an apple. 2 They were poor but hardworking. With reference to the sentences above, I believe that " I've got a sandwich " and " They were poor " are independent clauses that are complete thoughts and can stand alone. I'm just not sure about the second half of my two sentences above. I know that if I include what has been elided/omitted from the first sentence i.e. " I've got...Read More...
Hello, Gilbert, Although the sentences above come from these compound sentences where ellipsis has occurred: 1a. I've got a sandwich and [I've got] an apple. 2a. They were poor but [they were] hardworking. on a superficial reading they are simple sentences with a compound object (1) and with a compound subject complement (2). The fact that "I've got a sandwich" and "They were poor" can stand alone does not mean that "an apple" and "hardworking" are independent clauses, that is, unless they...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

to be considered something

Hello, The eastern bluebird is considered an attractive bird native to this continent by many bird-watchers. (Source: Iran's university entrance exams) 1. Is "attractive bird" a subject complement? 2. Can we say "consider" is functioning as a linking verb here? 3. To me, It is not clear whether many birdwatchers consider it to be ‘attractive’ or ‘native to this continent’ or both. Isn't it an awkward sentence?Read More...
Why is it that you were asking a question here concerning which you had already received an answer from one of today's leading major-league grammarians?Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

opposed vs opposing

Can I ask whether I can change < opposing> and <opposed> each to <opposed and opposing> ? The opposing team may be stronger than you thought. We need to discuss the two diametrically opposed viewpoints. The opposed team may be stronger than you thought. (?) We need to discuss the two diametrically opposing viewpoints. (?)Read More...
Thank you for the clear explanation, Gustavo.Read More...
Last Reply By GBLSU · First Unread Post

"...bring with it"

"Genetic diversity brings with it diversity of genetic disease. Cystic fibrosis—in any case rarer in Africa than in Europe—is often caused there by a different mutation from the one involved in the European version, and is thus missed by tests developed in the West." [from The Economist ] The first sentence structure looks wired for me. From my understanding, it means “Genetic diversity brings a variety of genetic disease.” Can anyone help explain it?Read More...
I just made that phrase up to further increase the length of the object and to show you that, the longer the object, the more likely "with it" will appear before it.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

was/is when talking about former positions

Dear GE, May I know how to use was/is when talking about past CEOs pupils etc. For example, when we talk about someone who is longer e.g. Reagan is it 1) Reagan is a past president ofthe U.S.A. or Regan was... 2) Regan is a past pupil of Eureka Colleage or Regan was.. The words past/alumnus/former etc already mention they are not currently in those positions. So, is it necessary to put was instead of is ? Also I want to know does this rule change based on the fact are they still living or...Read More...
The present simple is used when you provide someone with facts. You just use statements of fact. - Reagan is a past president of the U.S.A. and is considered the the GOP political Saint. His era is one of the …... If you want to stick to the past and just give an account of what happened, you should use the past simple. - Reagan was a past president of the U.S.A. and was considered the GOP political Saint. His era was one of the …..Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

To China now, which less then a decade ago ~

Hello, Grammar Exchange members! I ran across the following sentence while listening to a short NPR News clip. 1. To China now, which less than a decade ago was still forcing women to get abortions if they had more than one child. What bothers me is the part in bold print. First of all, is #1 a sentence? I'm not sure whether it's a sentence or not because of "To China." What do you think? Thanks in advance -KDogRead More...
Hello, KDog, My understanding is that the subject and the verb have been elided above, the full sentence being: - Let's go to China now, which less than a decade ago ... The reporter must have been dealing with international news from different countries, and introduced the report that way to explain that a new topic was going to be addressed.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

“what-clause‘’

“The Three Million African Genomes (3MAG) project, a continent-wide endeavour, proposes to do for the place what has already been done for Europe, North America and parts of Asia —namely to catalogue and analyse the genetic diversity of those who live there.”[from The Economist ] The main sentence is “The Three Million African Genomes (3MAG) project proposes to catalogue and analyse the genetic diversity of those who live there.” I think “what-clause” below is modifying “TheThree Million...Read More...
Hi, Sarah—No, the "what"-clause does not modify that phrase. It does not modify anything. The "what"-clause is a noun phrase that functions as the direct object of "do": The project proposes to do something for the place "something" = "what has already been done for Europe, North America . . .").Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

"yet"

“Most non-Africans alive today trace the bulk of their ancestry to Africans who burst forth on an unprepared world about 60,000 years ago. Indeed, the oldest representative of the species yet found in Britain retained the dark skin of his African forebears.”[from The Economist ] What does “yet” mean in this sentence? Does it mean “but”? Most non-Africans alive today trace the bulk of their ancestry to Africans who burst forth on an unprepared world about 60,000 years ago. But the oldest...Read More...
Hi, Sarah—In the first example, "yet" means "to date"/"up to now"; in the second example, it means "still." You can find both definitions in dictionaries.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Is ’wait for’ a phrasal verb?

Hello, everyone, “He got up and stood patiently in front of the door, waiting for the door to open in the subway train.” I understand " he waited for the door to open " means "he waited for the opening of the door“ When I parse the underlined part of the sentence, which one is natural to you between following two?; 1) he [waited for] (the door) the door to open; - waited for; a transitive phrasal verb (but I’m not sure if this is a phrasal verb, based on the separability of the two words) -...Read More...

being OR to be

1) The first person to have got shot by the police was Firoz, a 16-year-old boy who was playing cricket at the beach. Media had released visuals showing Firoz being dragged away from the site by the police. 2) The first person to have got shot by the police was Firoz, a 16-year-old boy who was playing cricket at the beach. Media had released visuals showing Firoz to be dragged away from the site by the police. Dear Sir Which sentence is correct and why such sentences are being used?Read More...
Thank you so much, Gustavo 😄Read More...
Last Reply By Grammar Man · First Unread Post

Past simple or present perfect

It ........ yesterday. It's muddy outlside. 1)rained 2)has rained 3)rains 4)rain Obviously, we should choose either 1 or 2 What confuses me is that there is a time reference( yesterday) and there's also a present result in the second sentence. So, should I use "rained" because of yesterday or "has rained" because of the present result ? Thanks in advance.Read More...
Hi, Yama, and nice to see you here again, What is the source of this question? With 'yesterday', go with '1) rained'.Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

GOT = DID GET?

Is "Got" means "Did get"?Read More...
Grammar Man, This thread is closely related to this other one . "Did" is only used in the affirmative for emphasis: A. He wasn't injured during the shootout. B. You are wrong. He did get shot. That said, the phrase "the person to have got shot" is equivalent to "the person who got shot." The perfect infinitive "to have got shot," which is passive (similar to "to have been shot"), refers to the past, and means "who got shot" (or "who was shot).Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

The airport has been being built.

Had a student who wanted to make this kind of sentence, in the passive voice and it's an ongoing process. "The airport has been being built" just sounds wrong to me, but is it? Could say "...has been under contruction" of couse, but is "...been being built" wrong? It's twisting my melon - any thoughts/ideas appreciated!Read More...
I accept your apology. This is a grammar forum and we value discussions. Saying that something is not correct is not acceptable unless a valid reason is provided. You have misread what I wrote: "to mean" above is an infinitival of purpose: - "is being built" is possible (= can occur) to mean (= to express the meaning) "is (currently) under construction" I'm well aware about the uses of the present perfect and the present perfect continuous. Having clarified that, I'm afraid there's nothing...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

magnificent or magnificently?

Hi, could you tell me whether the adjective 'magnificent' is correctly used in this sentence? If you knew which cream is the perfect one to use, or how you should actually whip it, don’t you think that cake would have turned out magnificent ? Would I be correct in assuming that the adverb 'magnificently' would be the better word to use? Thank you.Read More...
Hi Ahmed, glad to see you too! You've given me an awesome answer, Ahmed, and for that, I thank you! Have a nice day and stay safe!Read More...
Last Reply By gilbert · First Unread Post

Possessive Pronouns

Hi, everyone. A possessive pronoun replaces both the possessive adjective (determiner) and the noun in a sentence. So, if I wrote This lantern is mine , would my sentence be grammatically incorrect based on the definition above, if the noun [lantern] still appears in it? Thank you. Gilbert.Read More...
Hello David! A gem of an answer! Thank you so much.Read More...
Last Reply By gilbert · First Unread Post

strike somebody as (being) something

“ Universal may strike investors as more appealing still. Its back catalogue of 3m songs, by everyone from the Beatles to Lady Gaga, is twice the size of Warner’s. Its slug of the recorded-music market is creeping up.”[from The Economist ] the explaination of " strike somebody as (being) something " from ldoceonline : to seem to have a particular quality or feature So 1. "His jokes didn't strike Jack as being very funny." means "His jokes didn't seem fuuny to me."? 2."Universal may strike...Read More...
Yes, Sarah.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

TO HAVE

The first person to have got shot by the police was Firoz, a 16-year-old boy who was playing cricket at the beach. I paraphrase the above sentence below: - The first person, who has got shot by the police was Firoz, a 16-year-old boy who was playing cricket at the beach. Is it right?Read More...
Thank you, Ahmed. Ot is clear now 😄Read More...
Last Reply By Grammar Man · First Unread Post

You are allowed to go if you promise to let us know when you arrive.

1) You are allowed to go as long as you promise to let us know when you arrive. 2) You can borrow the car as long as you promise not to drive too fast . 3) You are allowed to go if you promise to let us know when you arrive. 4) You can borrow the car if you promise not to drive too fast . Are these sentences correct?Read More...
Hi, Language learner, Yes, they are.Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

To be

(1) "You want the reason to be death by suicide, right?" (2) "You want the reason to death by suicide, right?" Story : The lady doctor killed the criminal in the jail with the support of Police. And She came upto the Police room and asking this question. Which sentence is the right one and why? Please explain this in detail. 1st sentence is used with "TO BE" and 2nd sentence is used without "BE". (Enclosed attachment herewith)Read More...
No. I never said that. Sentence (1) is not grammatical. Please read carefully what I wrote: If you use the verb "want," you have to use (2). Yes, "to" is followed by an infinitive. "Be" is an infinitive, not a verb in the past.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

they live there

a. I have found out something about bears. They live in the forest near our town. (Some of them live in the forest near out town.) b. Tom and Harry were talking about old books. They were in their father's library. (Some old books were in their father's library.) c. We need to learn more about rats. They live on the streets of our city. (There are rats living on the streets of our city.) Are (a), (b) and (c) grammatically correct and do the convey the right meaning? Many thanks.Read More...

Which modifying a clause

I've read in most places that "which" can not modify a clause. However, I've seen it used that way quite a bit, and I'm trying to see if they're any exceptions to the rule. This is what I'd like to say: Option 1 ("which" modifying preceding clause): "The father got into a physical altercation with the mother, which the child was present for." These are some alternate ways I can think of saying it, though none of them really seem to work: Option 2 (appositive phrase): "The father got into a...Read More...
No, "that was" is not necessary before "signed," though it is perfectly fine to use it. "Concerning the child" and "signed on 3/24/21" can modify "agreement" in sequence. The reader will know that you do not mean for "signed" or "that was signed" to modify "child," even though that reading is possible.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

How do I look?

Could you tell me whether <how> is an adjective or an adverb? It looks like a complement of <look> to me, but many English dictionaries say it is an adverb. I don't get it. If an answer to the question, < how do I look>, is <You look fine >, then I think it could be an adjective. What is wrong with my thinking this way?Read More...

Grammar Treatises and Textbook Recommendations

Could you recommend to me an English Grammar reference book that is complete and readable at the same time? Could you recommend to me something with exercises and answers of which they will put my understanding to test? There are certain things such as the articles and the present perfect tense that I'm having trouble understanding, which I wish that they taught in school.Read More...

Participle and Prepositional phrases

Am I correct in the grammar of the following: Participle: "Mr. Smith pushed Mrs. Smith, causing her to fall to the floor." Prepositional phrase: "Mr. Smith pushed Mrs. Smith during a verbal altercation."Read More...
Regarding the word while Regarding the word while, I've used it above to indicate something happening at the same time. If I was going to use it to mean "on the other hand" or "alternatively", would I need a comma? For example: Child A went to live in FL, while Child B stayed in NYS.Read More...
Last Reply By Jacob B. · First Unread Post
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