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Use of Quotes

David, Moderator
Our Policy on the Use of Quotations We understand that members occasionally desire or need to ask grammar-related questions about sentences or phrases that were written by others, and it is perfectly acceptable for you to do so. However, if you wish to include sentences or phrases in a post that were not originally written by you, you must do two things: 1) You must show punctuationally that they are not your words. 2) You must cite what you have taken the text from. The easiest way to...Read More...

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Time travel crossing my eyes

In referencing an inaccurate 1934 recollection of a 1903 event, should I say "Joe's recollection is incorrect" or "Joe's recollection was incorrect?" The recollection was incorrect in 1934 and continues to be incorrect in 2019.Read More...
Hello, Grammarsgrammar, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange. In Merriam-Webster's dictionary, the term "recollection" is defined as: We can say that the action of recalling the facts was inaccurate in 1934, and that the result (his memory, or the story he narrated based on that childhood experience) was and continues to be inaccurate. "was" would be fine to refer to the action of recollecting, and both "was" and "is" could be used to refer to the facts being recalled (the story was...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

how cute/ what a cute

Hello, Suppose you are with a friend and looking at a kitten. You say, "How cute!". This sounds fine, but do you say "What a cute?" I don't think so, but do you? "What a cute kitten !" would be correct, I mean grammatically, but is "What a cute!" a colloquial expression? AppleRead More...

was / is

She asked, "What is your name?" Do we have to change the tense when reporting this question? I think that both ways are possible since my name hasn't changed. So we can report the sentence this way: She asked what my name is / was. Any answer will be appreciated. Thanks in advance!Read More...
Thank you so much, my prof.Read More...
Last Reply By Mo.Anwar · First Unread Post

went there by bike

Hello, Is there a problem with the following sentence? He went there by bike. I don't think there is nothing wrong grammatically, but does the sentence sound unnatural? Do native speakers use a more common, natural expression? AppleRead More...
OK. I see the point. Thank you, David. AppleRead More...
Last Reply By apple · First Unread Post

Help

i am wanted to get my mom a piece of wall art the says “God willing” for Christmas. She would be the one that I would ask about punctuation so I am a bit nervous about placing my order. Can anyone help me please? Ive been looking online and I see God willing... God willing? ”God willing” “God willing?” God Willing.Read More...

It That

Hello, Is dialogue A problematic, because "that " is used instead of "it"? Or does it sound natural because "that" is just more emphatic than "it"? Dialogue A A: What's that? Is that a ball? B: No, that's not a ball. That's a white kitten. Dialogue B A:What's that? Is it a ball? B: No, it's not a ball. It's a white kitten. AppleRead More...

Question about sentence construction after em dash... help!

I have been struggling a lot over this sentence! I like how it sounds, I just don't know if it is grammatically correct (specifically what comes after the em dash): Thanks so much for any help! Instead of going with the easy way out, the complex system uses an approach that is very sophisticated— right down to periodically pausing and inserting humming sounds as though it were deep in thought.Read More...
Hi, Trig1968, Is this something you are writing? It'd be useful to have some more context. In particular, I don't undersand the "as though it were deep in thought" part. What does that "it" refer to? To "periodically pausing and inserting humming sounds"? Grammatically speaking, what comes after the em dash looks like a appositive conclusion that defines "an approach": an approach that consists of periodically pausing and inserting humming sounds as though it were deep in thought.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

"Yet" in a positive sentence, what does it mean?

ceedhanna
- This is from WikiHow website: - Use “yet” in the middle of the sentence to discuss something unknown or unclear. This approach is often used in more formal discussions or conversations. “Yet” is often placed after “have,” “are,” or “has.”[2] For example you may say, “We have yet to determine if she is on board,” or, “Our guests are yet to arrive.” You may also say, “The price has yet to be announced.”Read More...
Hi, ceedhanna, In Cambridge dictionary we can find a good explanation of this use of "yet": Have yet to and be yet to We use have yet to and be yet to in more formal contexts. We use them to refer to events which are necessary or which must happen at some time, but which have not happened at the time of speaking: "yet" is used in these cases to imply that something has not happened yet and, as a result, is a pending requirement or obligation . We still don't know if she is on board -> We...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Written versus spoken English

Greetings! There are obviously different rules for written and spoken English. While in speech you could say: "my dream's taken away," as a contraction for my dream is taken away. However, I do not believe it is proper English to write this contraction because of the confusion arising from the possessive interpretation of the word dream's, implying taken is possessed by the dream. I cannot seem to find any rule for this question, maybe because I do not know how to word it. I just keep...Read More...
There is no absolute restriction here. It is perfectly grammatical to use [apostrophe + s] for contracting "is" or "has," and it need not always signify possession in formal writing. However, it does tend only to be used for possession in formal writing, and where there are exceptions it is generally with "it's" and "that's". Note that "it's" is NEVER possessive when written with the apostrophe.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Tenses would have

Can you please advise if the below sentence is grammatically correct “I haven’t checked the rosters yet as I am sure I would have captured the below anomaly”Read More...
Then simply delete "as" and use two sentences rather than one: I haven’t checked the rosters yet. I am sure I would have captured the anomaly.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

a useful book

a. This book is useful for you to understand the basic concepts of physics. b. This book is useful for you for understanding the basic concepts of physics. c. This book is useful to you for understanding the basic concepts of physics. d. This book will be useful to you for understanding the basic concepts of physics. Are these sentences grammatically correct and meaningful? Many thanks.Read More...
Hi, Azz, I'd only use (a) and (e) below which, though a little far-fetched, is also correct: e. This book is/will be useful for your understanding of the basic concepts of physics.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

few usage

- Although it is a large city, few people live there. One of my colleagues, who is qualified and experienced in ESL, believes that the above sentence is wrong from a semantic viewpoint. She says: How could a large city include few people? And I think quite otherwise. I don't see any semantic problem with the word "few" in the sentence. Since I don't know the city, its physical size, or its population, the sentence can be correct if it means that although the city includes a large area of...Read More...
Hi, Freeguy, By definition , a city is an area in which a large number of people live fairly close together. There can be large areas that are densely or sparsely populated, but cities belong to the first group. That is the semantic contradiction your colleague may be referring to.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

a proverb

I am looking for a proverb (or a famous saying) which states that if you travel to only one country, you will not be able to understand all its features because you haven't seen the other countries, and you cannot make a comparison between them (Actually I have heard that People who live in London say such a thing about their own country, claiming that London is the most beautiful country in the world.) Or, if you have only read the Bible, for example, you will not understand all the nuanced...Read More...

Analysing sentences, is this correct?

Analyse the following sentence pairs and point out the major differences The lady wearing that blue dress is famous. Subject: The lady wearing that blue dress (realized by a noun phrase) Verbal: is Subject predicative: famous (tells us something about the subject) The famous lady was wearing that blue dress. Subject: The famous lady (realized by a noun phrase) Verbal: was wearing (realized by a verb phrase) Direct object: that blue dress (realized by a noun phrase) The children, who were...Read More...
The Grammar Exchange is not a homework-checking service.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

How to understand the definition of arrogance In oxford dictionary.

Definition of arrogance:the behaviour of a person when they feel that they are more important than other people, so that they are rude to them or do not consider them. Oxford learner's dictionary: https://www.oxfordlearnersdict...rrogance?q=arrogance I think the meaning of the explanation is clear, but I don't understand the grammatical function of "so that.....them". Is it within when-clause?Read More...
Hi, Robby zhu, Yes, the "so that"-clause is inside the "when"-clause. I find the construction rather awkward. I would revise the definition as follows: Arrogance is rudeness or inconsiderateness displayed by people who believe they are more important than other people.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

How to parse "This is so they can help..."

Greetings! Ligaments connect bones to each other. This is so they can help stabilize the joints and provide structure to the skeletal frame. source:http://solidlifefitness.com/2014/03/16/muscles-tendons-ligaments/ Parsing one: "so they can help..." is predicative. Parsing two: "so" is predicative and there is a "that" omitted, i.e. "This is so (that)they can help stabilize...". That-clause is a result adverbial clause. Which parsing do you think is correct?Read More...
I have learned more than I anticipated from your discussion. Thanks.Read More...
Last Reply By Robby zhu · First Unread Post

bicycle crazy

The 1890's saw the birth of the bicycle crazy in the United States. Im so confused about the above sentence it must have a mistake in it's Grammer but i just don't get itRead More...
Hello, Fatemex, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange. The adjective "crazy" should be changed to the noun " craze ": The 1890's saw the birth of the bicycle craze in the United States. Does the sentence make sense to you now? I've changed the title of your thread.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

compound adjective

Can someone help me the correct compound adjective ? I read this sentence in a grammar book. slow-cooked lamb = lamb which is cooked slowly why is not “slowly-cooked lamb”?Read More...
Hello, Chingju, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange. Slow-cooked lamb is lamb which is slow-cooked, i.e., cooked at a low temperature for a long period. "Slow-cook" is itself a verb, and it refers to a way of cooking something, not to the rate at which something is cooked. Indeed, it is possible to use such sentences as these: Please slow-cook the lamb as fast as you can. He quickly slow-cooked the lamb. But we cannot say: * He quickly slowly cooked the lamb .Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Expression of Stacking something

Hi, everyone! For example, I asked somebody to stack boxes. I don't want the boxes to be stacked too high. I don't want the number of layers to be more than five. How do I say it in English? "Please do not stack the boxes in over 5 layers." Is this expression right? It seems not. I would like to make a sentence starting with "please do not stack...." Please help me.Read More...
In my language, there is a specific word meaning a unit of tiers or layers and we use this word regardless of what the material to be stacked is. Suppose the word in my language is ABC and using the expression I learned here, we always say "Please do not stack the boxes over five ABC ". So, I wondered whether a similar specific word is used in English. Now I got to know that people don’t use such a word or simply use the same word of the material to indicate a unit in English. If there is...Read More...
Last Reply By yun · First Unread Post

Constant Object Reference

I was told by Grammarly that I had overused words, but what about words that reference to one thing and one thing only? I wrote "(Delete previous answers to the questionnaire and redo it. After I do over the questionnaire, I will screenshot it.)" in different parts of my paper two times on purpose to reference the same specific thing over and over again. The thing I keep referencing to is called "The C4TB Questionnaire". The word "questionnaire" itself is in it implying the questionnaire is...Read More...

Simple past or Present Perfect?

I'm writing this because: I kind of know the differences between them, but, when I see a native speaker or when I see it in a sentence, I get confused; I'm also not confident to know when to use either simple past or present perfect; I have also done a lot of research, still I'm not confident, as I said (or I have said ?), and I think a native speaker whom I can discuss about would be better than doing research. Now, the main question: How can I use these sentences confidently? I only know...Read More...
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