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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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all (the) passengers

Here is a sentence from one of the Youtube news sites. How All Passengers Survived the Miracle on the Hudson. I’m wondering if “the” should be between All and Passengers. Or is it acceptable to omit “the” because it’s a news headline. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwkdmMTCCPg AppleRead More...
Thank you, David, for your reply, but I still don't understand. I used to think "the" means something specific, therefore, the passengers on that flight were a speficif group of people, not just any passengers. Is it then, acceptable to say "All students in our school passed the final " or "All visitors to this world heritage site must follow this rule" without using "the"? I will watch Sully . This incident on the Hudson river has been featured in many TV programs. AppleRead More...
Last Reply By apple · First Unread Post

Cost

My brother asked how much I thought the trip .......... . ( cost - would cost ) Thanks in advanceRead More...
Hi, Egyptian2017, Both answers are correct, but they have different meanings. With "cost," the sentence means: "My brother asked, 'How much do you think the trip cost ?'" Here, "cost" is the past tense of the verb "cost" (yes, the form doesn't change). With "would cost," the sentence means: "My brother asked, 'How much do you think the trip will cost ?'" Here, "would cost" is the backshifted version of "will cost." Everything hinges on whether the trip preceded your brother's question.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

let alone

let aloneRead More...
Well, they sound better to me than (1), but I perceive some unbalance: we are excluding only some of his paintings but all of others, and "let alone" works more finely when there is, so to say, grammatical symmetry: our research/their research, time and effort/money, the kids/the dogs. What do you think, David and DocV?Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Provided that and as long as

Hello, is it OK if we use "provided that" and "as long as" in the third conditional? The following sentence is in a school book: "She would have been fine provided that she had worn sun cream." "My Grammar Lab" book says that "provided that, on condition that, as long as and only if aren't used in the third conditional."Read More...
Thank you a lotRead More...
Last Reply By Ahmed Abdelhafeez · First Unread Post

The use of can and could

Linda Abraham
Hi, I want to know if it is possible to use 'could' to talk about present/future ability. I was reading a book called Bestial: The Savage Trail of a True Amerian Monster and I came across this line "I don't think anybody could say as to that particular man just what the influence of that accident or that concussion was", and as far as I know, could (when we are talking about ability) is only used for past ability.Read More...
Thank you, Gustavo, I really appreciate the detail.Read More...
Last Reply By Linda Abraham · First Unread Post

Adverb 'correctly' - does the time matter?

Hello, When writing emails at work, I often catch myself not knowing which tense to use in the following situation: 1. We processed a transaction (a few moments ago, yesterday or a month ago), and the customer sends an email to us saying we did not process it correctly. Should I use present perfect: We have checked an can confirm that your transaction has been processed correctly. Or just: Your transaction has been processed correctly. Can these examples imply that we have REprocessed the...Read More...

was playing / has played / etc.

choose 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 playingRead More...
You are very welcome, Tara. I was afraid that I had personally offended you. If I ever do offend you, please tell me. You have my e-mail address (or at least you used to). Or, if you're not comfortable contacting me personally about such a thing, I'm sure you know how to contact David. I greatly appreciate your presence on the Grammar Exchange, and I'm not the only one. We would be very sorry to lose you. DocVRead More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

quality time

Parents should spend some …..of time with their children every day. (a) equality (b) quantity (c) quality (d) qualification I was thinking of quality time but the 'of' made me pause and ask for your help. I think that we are limited to three posts a day. I hope I'm right and get the help I need It's from a mock exam in Egypt.Read More...
Doc V Thanks for your kind reply. I really appreciate the help I get from each and every admin or member here on this forum.Read More...
Last Reply By Rasha Assem · First Unread Post

each vs both

what’s the difference between each and both?Read More...
Mr Bakr, The primary difference is that "both" can only refer to a quantity of two. 1a: I have two bicycles, and both of them need major repairs. 1b: I have five bicycles, and each of them needs major repairs. Note that, in these examples, "both" requires a plural verb but "each" requires a singular. This is because, in this context, "each" means "every one of". We also use "each" to refer to severally counted items as opposed to mass quantities: 2a: These onions cost a dollar a pound . 2b:...Read More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

when

Hi Can you please explain the difference? 1. I hope the WiFi works when I'm writing my bachelor‘s thesis. 2. I hope the WiFi is working when I'm writing my bachelor‘s thesis. 3. I hope the WiFi works when write my bachelor‘s thesis. (From EO)Read More...
Thank you sooo much ! ! ! ! !Read More...
Last Reply By Former Member · First Unread Post

enough vs too

There are times when you can't work ……..to live comfortably. (a) enough hard (b) hard enough (c) hardly enough (d) too hard This is sentence is one of the mock exams in Egypt. I have chosen (b). However, I can't get why (d) is wrong, if it is actually wrong. I really appreciate your help.Read More...
Hi, Rasha, Here is the sentence with answer (b): (b) There are times when you can't work hard enough to live comfortably. That sentence means that there are times when you can't afford to live comfortably no matter how hard you work. Well, let's add sentential negation to "I am too short to reach the shelf": (X) I am not too short to reach the shelf. That sentence means you are short but you can nevertheless reach the shelf.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Soaking wet

1- I got soaked. 2- I got soaking wet. Are these two the same? I've searched most of the online dictionaries but couldn't get a satisfactory answer. I wonder if anyone here could help. THANKS IN ADANVCE.Read More...
Hello, Rasha, Those two sentences can be used interchangeably, but it is possible for (1) to be used with a different meaning from (2). Read as equivalent in meaning, each sentence uses "got" as a resultative copula (linking verb) followed by an adjective phrase: "soaked" or "soaking wet." Read as not equivalent in meaning, each sentence uses "got" in a different way. In (1), it is a passive auxiliary verb, and in (2) it is a resulative copula. On the passive reading of (1), "soaked" is not...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

be going to vs will

A: John is a better player than Martin, isn't he? B: Oh, yes. _______ the match tomorrow, I expect. 1) He will win 2) He is going to win Which one is preferable here? (Me: #1 is better than #2.) Source: Destination, B1Read More...
Gustavo has elaborated on the point beautifully. Thank you, Gustavo! I really like the quotations you gave from the book by Michael Vince, too.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Go on vs go to

I go on the business trip. Why the above sentence use "on " as the preposition but not "to"?Read More...
Hello, Benhui, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange! In your question, you need "do"-support. In English, we say, " Why does the above sentence use 'on'? ", not " Why the above sentence use 'on'? " "I go on the business trip" is a very strange sentence by itself. Normally it would be part of a larger sentence -- e.g.: "If I go on the business trip, I won't be home." We go on trips ; we don't go to trips . We do take trips to different places , but we go on trips to those places.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

have handmade enough scones to stretch across the Isle of Wight

Hi! I have a question about the word "handmade" in this sentence: I was wondering how the "handmade" woks in the sentence. I can think of three possibilities: (1) It is an adjective pre-modifying the noun "scones." (2) It is a past participle following the auxiliary "have." In that case, it implies there is a verb "handmake." (3) It is an adjective that is supposed to follow the noun "scones" but it is placed there for some (stylistic) purpose, just like "He had A ready" and "He had ready A,...Read More...
Hi David, Thank you so much! Interesting to see how a word is derived from another and its orthography can change over time.Read More...
Last Reply By yasukotta · First Unread Post

subject and verb agreement.

Hello~ I wonder if the subject and verb agreement rule can be applied in both (a) and (b) to represent the abstract thing, making any distinction of count and non count nouns. a) The next thing on the list is cheese. b) The next thing on the list is egg. Thank you.Read More...
I agree with you, Gustavo, that we generally use "egg" as a count noun, and that "eggs" (plural) is probably a better choice for Jiho in (b). As a vegetarian who doesn't eat eggs, or who tries his best not to, I am accustomed to using "egg," occasionally, as a noncount noun. Thus, if I am placing an order for food at a restaurant I have never eaten at before, I will often ask whether a particular dish is made with eggs (count noun), but occasionally I will ask, instead, whether it contains...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

perfect tenses

a. I have been seeing that guy at our office for at least five years. b. I have seen that guy at our office for at least five years. Is there any difference between the meanings of (a) and (b)? Which could be used if I won't see that guy again? Which could be used if I will keep on seeing him at our office? Could either be used if that guy passed away a couple of days ago? Wouldn't one have to use the past perfect and past perfect progressive in that case? Many thanks.Read More...

BBC Grammar

Surely this BBC story has incorrect grammar in its sub-headline: "A mother drowned her three-year-old daughter in a bath a month after separating from her husband, whom she believed was having an affair, a court has heard". Am I right in saying it should be "who" not "whom"? I think it would be whom if it said "whom she suspected of having an affair"Read More...
Thank you DavidRead More...
Last Reply By silverchalk · First Unread Post

clear up / clean up

Which is correct? 1 I'm going to clear up / clean up / tidy up the kitchen. 2 You have to tidy up / clear up / clean up your clothes. 3 Let me clean up / clear up the broken glass. THANKS.Read More...
And in abstract metaphorical usage, the following transitive case is common: (5) He needed to clear up the misunderstanding. Often such sentences are abbreviated like this: (6) He needed to clear things up.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

"Which" in Reported Speech

Hi all "Which is my seat?" asked Hana A. Hana asked which (one) was her seat. B. Hana asked which seat was hers. C. Hana asked which her seat was. Actually I'm completely convinced that sentences A & B are correct, but what about sentence C ? It really surprised me when I found out that Michael Swan, in his "PEU", had accepted it. I can, semantically, absorb such a form with other question words such as "where"____ (Hana asked where her seat was.) But I think the case with "which" is...Read More...
Thank you very much, Gustavo. My due appreciation and respect.Read More...
Last Reply By Abdullah Mahrouse · First Unread Post

Write

ahmad
Hello, everyone, The embedded picture in this post is from A Guide to Patterns and Usage in English by A. S. HORNBY Would it be wrong to write the objected to sentence as follows? 1. Mr. Brown was written a long letter to by the secretary. Thanks.Read More...
No, Ahmad, it is not even remotely grammatical. It is 100% grammatically incorrect.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post
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