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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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Interesting for me or interesting to me?

Hi! Please, I'd like to know what the difference in meaning between these sentences is: (1) I think this news article is more interesting for me. (2) I think this news article is more interesting to me. Are both idiomatic? The difference seems very subtle and I can't figure it out.Read More...
Shantower, English is my first language, and I'm still trying to figure out why some prepositions work idiomatically in certain contexts and others don't. The best I can tell you here is that we say (2) and not (1). I hope one of my colleagues can give a more satisfactory answer. DocVRead More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

Future

Hurry up! Your train (leaves /is going to leave ) in five minutes. This sentence is taken from a book in Egypt .Read More...
I find it interesting that all five of David's examples describe a future event, but all but one ("will be leaving", which is future progressive), are, strictly speaking, some version of the present tense. Paradoxically, the future tense can refer to present events. (See Future Perfect and Present Perfect or Future Perfect .) As I've said before, I didn't invent this language. I only teach it. David's examples don't include the simple future (6: "will leave"), possibly because, even though...Read More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

what if someone saw you

John says: I slipped into their house and stole a book. Tom replies: 1) That was stupid. What if they saw you? 2) That was stupid. What if they had seen you? Do both '1' and ''2' work in this context? Is there any difference in the meanings? Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Hello, Navi and Gustavo, I agree with both of Gustavo's interpretations. "What if they had seen you?" is clearly counterfactual, presupposing that they did not in fact see John, and "What if they saw you?" can easily mean that it is still possible that they did in fact see John and that he may still face real consequences. I think that one other interpretation may be possible for "That was stupid. What if they saw you?," and that is that the reply may be addressing itself to the point in...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

non-wh relative or wh- relative

For example, using a tape measure to determine the distance (a javelin was thrown _) yields very similar results regardless of who reads the tape. 2. Only pay attention to the direction in life (that you yourself want to go _). In 1 the antecedent is distance and a javelin was thrown is relative clause. In 2 direction in life is antecedent and that you yourself want to go is relative clause. My question is in 1 and 2 whether it is possible to use which - the distance which a javelin was...Read More...
Many thanks! It helps a lot. :-)Read More...
Last Reply By Lee78 · First Unread Post

How should I ask and answer?

I want to make tag questions and yes/no questions using the words "That + noun" to refer to a person who is diving and wearing a diving suit, so I don't know the sex . How should I ask and answer: 1 That person is a diver, aren't they? - Yes, they are a diver. 2 That person is a diver, right? - Yes, they are a diver. 3 That person is a diver, yeah? - Yes, they are a diver. 4 That person is a diver, don't you think? - Yes, they are a diver. 5 That person is a diver, wouldn't you say? - Yes,...Read More...
Thank you everyone! I got it.Read More...
Last Reply By Kimconu · First Unread Post

Question tag (No.1)

Hello, This is my first post here. Thank you for accepting me. :-) Look at the following sentences (source: http://www.sulinet.hu/nyelvek/?p=content&id=2456 ) If the subject of the main clause is in first person singular (I or we) and the verb refers to thinking and feeling, such as believe, feel, know, think etc., the question tag does not refer to the main clause, but to the subordinate one. (a) I think it would be best if you put her in touch with me, wouldn’t it? (NOT I think it...Read More...
I am not a free guy. ) It's just a name. By saying "to some degree", I merely means I have some doubts whether I understood your points or not. It was not you or your explanations. It was me, being unable to digest your perfect explanations. And we have some forms of tag questions in Farsi as well. However, there are different from yours.Read More...
Last Reply By Freeguy · First Unread Post

Adjective

"He lost his money bag yesterday". Can you identify noun and adjective in this sentence and explain them please?Read More...
Hello, dewdrop, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange! In "He lost his money bag yesterday," there are four nouns (if we count the pronoun as a noun) and zero adjectives. Can you guess what the nouns are? If you believe in the existence of possessive adjectives and/or think that attributive nouns are adjectives, please be aware that I don't hold those beliefs.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Midday vs mid-day

Am I correct that midday is a noun (we commonly gather at midday for lunch) and mid-day is an adjective (we commonly gather here for a mid-day meal)? Or are either acceptable as either noun or adjective? Or is one preferable in either case? Help!Read More...
Thanks! There is a reason I can't simply say noon. It's because I'm discussing a midday program that runs from 11-1.Read More...
Last Reply By rwash · First Unread Post

Future Perfect

ceedhanna
In this website (http://www.sulinet.hu/nyelvek/?p=content&id=2439) - b) Future perfect can also refer to past possibility. As you will have noticed , we have just had the office renovated. ============== I can't understand this point. Could you,please, shed some light on?Read More...
Ceedhanna, First of all, I really want to thank you for providing your source of information. This is the second time today, and, in fact, the second time in my life, that I have been exposed to the Sulinet website. Would I be correct in guessing that they are based in Hungary? (Which, of course, automatically leads to another question: Are you?) The website seems to have a bit of a preference for BrE over AmE, and as you will have noticed by now (sorry, I never actually say that, but this...Read More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

Future

Today the sun(rises /will rise) at 5.25. It is still 5.10.Read More...
Hello, Emad, I agree with everything DocV has said above. I'd simply like to expose you to another common formulation used in such sentences. Rather than speaking of what the sun will do / does at a certain time today, we can say that sunrise (a recurring daily event throughout human history, except in places like Alaska at certain times of the year) is at a certain time today: Sunrise is at 5:25 today. It is only 5:10. We still have 15 minutes.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

my next-door neighbor and my neighbor next door

Hi, I have some questions about "next door." My dictionary (Japanese-English) has this example: my next-door neighbor (=my neighbor next door) I am wondering whether there is any difference between the two in meaning, usage, context, etc. I am also wondering exactly what "next door" implies (i.e., the person living right next to your house is your next-door neighbor or the people somewhere close to your house can be your next-door neighbors. Is there any such difference between "my next-door...Read More...
Thank you, I understand!Read More...
Last Reply By yasukotta · First Unread Post

Wouldn't + infinitive - refusal of purpose

Hello, I am looking at the difference in meaning with certain verb patterns, e.g. the change in time reference when you use either a gerund or infinitive after the verbs remember, forget, regret and stop. Specifically: I remember buying bread and I remembered to buy bread In the first sentence, the action of "buy" happens before the action of "remember" whereas in the second sentence, the action of "remember" happens before the action of "buy". The same is true in these examples: I regret...Read More...
Cailin, Welcome to the Grammar Exchange, and thank you for your question. I'm sorry it has taken me so long to respond to this thread. I also want to thank Tony for his valuable input. Cailin, when you have numerous examples that you want us to examine in contrast, please use index numbers or letters to make it easier for us to refer back to them. For example: a: I remember buying bread b: I remembered to buy bread Also, it helps if your pairs of examples are parallel constructs. Hence, to...Read More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

Feel or felt ?

Actually feel Or actually felt ? via: https://therightmessages.com/depression-quotes-sayings/Read More...
Good question, Emaglobye, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange. I would stay with "actually feel", or even better, "am actually feeling". The antecedent phrase looks and sounds like past tense, but it's actually subjunctive mood. I realize this can be a bit confusing, but this is a device to suggest a possible but as yet contrary-to-fact present situation: You aren't asking me this, but if you did, I would tell you ... I would not go so far as to say that "actually felt" is incorrect, but the...Read More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

made from potatoes

On Career Day Student: The ice cream here is not melting. What's the secret? Food Stylist: I'm glad you noticed. It's made from potatoes. ------------------------------------------------------ from a Korean English textbook Can I use 'It's made of potatoes.' here instead? How can I use them correctly ? Thanks!Read More...

I would know.

The following is an excerpt from the Op-ed in the New York Times of Sept. 5. What the author mean by "I would know." towards the end of the quote? "President Trump is facing a test to his presidency unlike any faced by a modern American leader. It’s not just that the special counsel looms large. Or that the country is bitterly divided over Mr. Trump’s leadership. Or even that his party might well lose the House to an opposition hellbent on his downfall. The dilemma — which he does not fully...Read More...
Thank you all for enlightening me on this complicated (at least, to non-native students of English) question. I have again realized how valuable this blog is to me. Thanks again!Read More...
Last Reply By fujibei · First Unread Post

will study , will have studied

I am confused about the use of future forms. Are both of these verb forms? if so, what is the difference in meaning? 1) a- In two years' time, Emad will study English at university. b- In two years' time, Emad will have studied English at university. 2) a- They will eat lunch by 2 o'clock this afternoon. b- They will have eaten lunch by 2 o'clock this afternoon. Thank you.Read More...
Hi, Mr. Ahmed, The future perfect is often used with ' by '. However, you can tell your students that in our exams the future perfect is always used with ' by '. Of course, 'by' can be used with the future simple to refer to an ongoing state or an ongoing action in the future. a- They will eat lunch by 2 o'clock this afternoon. = It is expected that they will start their lunch at / before (but not later than) 2 o'clock. b- They will have eaten lunch by 2 o'clock this afternoon. = They will...Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

a couple days

a. a couple days b. a couple of days Are they both correct? If so, are there any differences? Are 'a couple' and 'a couple of' always replaceable? Thanks!Read More...
This is an excellent question, Kis. Strictly speaking, "couple" is serving as an adjective in (a) and a noun in (b), but as you say, they are both correct and interchangeable in instances such as these . I emphasize that last part because, although the adjectival "couple" can probably always be replaced by "couple of" (which I suspect was once considered the only proper form of the expression), "couple" as a noun has a much broader range of uses. For example: 1: Kim and Tom have been a...Read More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

Question

Q: Bob, do you see the man in black over there? Can you tell me___? A. who he is B. what he does I am sure A is correct. But what about B, meaning to take a guess about his occupation? Thanks.Read More...
Well, I'm glad, at least, that you weren't offended. My sense of humor (or what passes for one) often follows a rather convoluted logic. I'm guessing that there aren't nearly as many people called Bob where you live as there are here. But even if you don't have any friends called Bob, you are the only person I know called Ruifeng, so it would still be true that all but one (or, "nearly all") of the people I know named Ruifeng have a friend named Bob. How many other Ruifengs do you know? It...Read More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

Too

Can we say a sentence like this, "The plane was high in the sky, but it wasn't too high for me to see."Read More...
While not disagreeing with David, I would also like to endorse Emad's use of the phrase "for me" in his example. For example, to use David's examples, we get: b1: The coffee cup was hot, but it wasn't too hot for me to hold. c1: The floor is slippery, but it isn't too slippery for me to walk on. David is an athlete. I am quite sure that there are many floors on which it would be difficult for me to walk, but on whose surface the slipperiness would not present a particular obstacle to prevent...Read More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

Respect

Help me answer this question taken from an ESL book. * young children are usually................. towards their teachers. 1-Respectable 2-respectful 3-respected 4-respect If possible, I want to know the difference between these four choices. Thanks in advanceRead More...
Thank you all.Read More...
Last Reply By Yama · First Unread Post

Consider to do/Consider doing

Please I need your help I don't understand,but this word has different meanings by adding to do(pr simple) and doing(pr cont). Examples 1)'Have you considered solving this exercise?'.Does consider mean 'think' in this example? 2)'Have you considered to finish your lesson?' Does consider mean 'consider'. I'm so sorry if I made mistakes,please help me.Read More...
Sirush, I like Gustavo's answer. I would like to add one minor point. As Gustavo says, "consider" is almost always (if not, in fact, always) transitive. On the other hand, "think", in all of its forms, including the simple past form "thought", is almost always intransitive. For example, to follow up on Gustavo, please allow me to suggest: 2'': Have you thought about finishing your lesson? Because of the intransitive nature of "think" in this context, the particle "about" is necessary here.Read More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

Don't leave your manners at the doorstep

What is the meaning ? I searched through the Internet but failed. Could you give me the meaning? If you are the native speaker, you may know it. Thanks.Read More...
Bear_bear, Don't leave the topic of your question in the subject heading. I'm not familiar with the phrase. My best guess, though, is that it means: Be polite and show respect (not only to me, but to everyone) when you are in my house. DocVRead More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

is / are

Which is correct? I do hope all is / are well with you. ThanksRead More...
Bear_bear, Use "is" here. I don't have a really good explanation, except that it is idiomatic. In the context, the word "all" can be replaced with "everything", which more obviously demands a singular verb. However, the game changes if "all" is immediately coupled with a complementary prepositional phrase. With a distinctly plural noun, the verb wants to be plural: a: I hope all of your friends are well. b: I hope all of your sisters are well. But with a collective noun, it can go either...Read More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post
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