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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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Why don't you reply to my question? Is it against your rules?!!Read More...

I've never

Hussein Hassan
Hello, our teachers. Hope that all of you are fine. Would you please, help me choose the right form of 'be' in the following context: - I've never climbed a mountain that _________ ( is / was ) dangerous. Can both be used? A bunch of thanks in advance.Read More...
Hi Hassan, the answer is "is". To date you have never climbed a dangerous mountain. The fact remains true. Hence, "was", which relates to the past, cannot be used in your sentence.Read More...
Last Reply By tanguatlay · First Unread Post

It was the first time ...(past simple or past perfect)

Hi, In some references like "Practical English usage", we find "the past perfect" not {the past simple} used in with such expressions: It was the first , the second ...etc + a subject + had,P.P. However I've found this sentence in our text book: It was the first time that Egypt WON three bronze medals since 2004. Is it a correct sentence?! Is there any reference that mentions it?!Read More...

to use in a bank robbery

Which of these sentences are correct and make sense: 1) Our truck was stolen to use in a bank robbery. 2) Our truck was stolen to use it in a bank robbery. 3) They were kidnapped to exploit as slaves. 4) They were kidnapped to exploit them as slaves. Could one replace 'to' with 'in order to' in them? Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Thank you very much, Gustavo and David, The other thread was not in my files. I just added it. I had forgotten about it actually, or else I wouldn't have asked this question. There is nothing to unveil. The sentences sound bad and are bad! My apologies! Respectfully, NaviRead More...
Last Reply By navi · First Unread Post

pile & lot

1. There is a pile of books. 2. There are a pile of books. Which one is correct? Does "a pile of" work as "a lot of" or not? Thanks.:)Read More...
Hi, Ruifeng, I don't think I've ever heard anyone use "pile of Ns" with plural conjugation. "Group of Ns," however, can take either singular or plural conjugation. The same question goes FOR "group," you could have said.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

past perfect vs. present perfect

The following is an excerpt from an English newspaper published in Japan on Dec. 3. OSAKA--Public elementary and junior high school students here will be allowed to bring mobile phones starting the next school year〉, but only use them during natural disasters. … The education ministry issued a notice to all prefectural education boards effectively banning mobiles and smartphones at schools on the grounds that there is no direct need for such devices. The Osaka prefectural government 〈had...Read More...
Hi, Gustavo, It is now clear to me why the article writer used the past perfect in the relevant sentence instead of the present perfect. Thank you again for you help.Read More...
Last Reply By fujibei · First Unread Post

take a walk

Hi, What's the difference between go walking, go for a walk, go and walk and take a walk? When can I use these expressions? Thanks.Read More...
Hi David, First of all, thank you for being patient and making an effort to keep all my questions solved. You have been very helpful! And as for your questions above: Neither. I just hope that I can learn more correct and natural English rather than poor English.Read More...
Last Reply By kuen · First Unread Post

Hardly ... without and Hardly ... when

cocoricot
Dear teachers, 1. Hardly a day goes by when I didn't think about her. 2. Hardly a day goes by without my thinking about her. Sentence 2 is understood without any difficulty but sentence 1 has something usual to me. Is it the structure "Hardly ....when''? Does it need inversion? Thanks for your concern.Read More...
Hello, Coco, Sentence (2) is fine, but you are right that there is something wrong about (1). What is wrong is that there is a conflict in the tenses. "Goes" (present tense) should be "went" (past tense). You can say: Hardly a day went by that I didn't think about her. Hardly a day goes by that I don't think about her.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

get laced meaning

Hell, I meant Kahlúa, screw it, to hell with it I went through hell with accelerants and blew up My-my-myself again, Volkswagen, tailspin Bucket matches my pale skin, mayo and Went from Hellmann's and being rail thin, Filet-o-Fish Scribbles Jam, Rap Olympics '97 Freaknik How can I be down? Me and Bizarre in Florida Proof's room slept on floor of the, motel then Dr. Dre said, "Hell yeah" And I got his stamp like a postcard, word to Mel-Man And I know they're gonna hate but I don't care, I...Read More...
I appreciate it.Read More...
Last Reply By Freeguy · First Unread Post

Phrasal verb - come up with

1. Sorry, guys. Something just came up to do with my daughter. I have to leave now. 2. Sorry, guys. Something just came up having to do with my daughter. I have to leave now. I think both 1 and 2 are correct or 1 is wrong because “came up” cannot be followed by “infinitive”? 3. Something just came up requiring my attention. 4. Something just came up that requires my attention. Is 3 requiring xxx a participial phrase? Is 4 that requires xxx a relative clause? thanks.Read More...
Marvellous! Thanks, David.Read More...
Last Reply By terry · First Unread Post

the car he was driving was stolen

Are these correct: 1) The car he was driving was stolen when he stopped at a rest area to go to the restroom. 2) The police stopped him because t he car he was driving was stolen. He claimed that he'd borrowed it from a friend. 3) Her ring was stolen. It was given to her by her boyfriend who was a burglar. I didn't come up with this question myself. I am plagiarizing a good friend of mine who came up with it. I had missed this one! Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Thank you both very much, The problem seems to be sentence '3'. At first, I really thought it could work, although I knew that I was sort of pushing things! The more I think about it, the more I have doubts. Gustavo doesn't seem to have a particular problem with it, but David does. If I understand David's reply correctly, the problem with '3' is ' her'. That word implies that the ring did really belong to her. But then we learn that it didn't. There seems to be a contradiction. I thought...Read More...
Last Reply By navi · First Unread Post

Could be seen OR were being seen

Hundreds of sailing boats ................ from the beach yesterday. They looked really lovely. a) can be seen b) are seen c) could be seen d) were being seen I think, (c) is the correct answer. However, I don't know why (d) isn't suitable. What do you think? * This question is taken from a book called "The Best".Read More...
Thank you so much.Read More...
Last Reply By Yama · First Unread Post

Usage of "gerunds"

have a question reharding the usage of gerunds. Are the following senteces correct? If not, Can you expalin why? Before finishing the project, you need to finish your homework. Before your finishing the project, you need to finish your homework. I know for the above I can say: Before you finish the project, you need to finish your homework. But when I try to use gerunds, the problem arises. Another example: John there's a good show going on the TV on career making. Watch It before Its ending...Read More...
Subhajit, you say "how I should use gerunds." The point is that sometimes you don't need to use a gerund, or any kind of word in particular, if you want to sound natural. Language does not work that way, enabling the use of any category of word at all times. When the (implicit) subject of the gerund is the same as that of the main clause, it is incorrect, or in the best case extremely awkward, to use the possessive as in your second sentence above. Why should you use it? In this other case...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

too - to

1) The tea is too hot to drink. 2) The tea is too hot to be drunk. 3) The tea is too hot for us to drink. A few questions that I have: A) If sentence one is correct, how is that although the verb is not in a passive voice conjugation?! B) If the second is wrong, then why?! C) If all of them are correct, is there any difference? THANKSRead More...
David, Your "Object" example, of course, can also refer to the meat of the turkey rather than the bird itself. Hence (or is that "hens"?), the second sentence in the example could say that they "ate some fresher turkey instead". Mostly, though, I wanted to bring back a similar example that you shared with me years ago, which was: I think that you asked me at the time which of these meanings came to mind: But, of course, a turkey can't be hungry if it's stuffed. I understand that this doesn't...Read More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

Correct tenses

Hi there, do the tenses match in the following sentences? John, two years ago you left India and settled in Australia for a good job. I hope Australia has given you the things that this country did not give you. Note that John is still in Australia when I am saying this.Read More...
David says: There is something very strangely beautiful about that sentence. He uses a double negative to speak of the omission of an omission. I agree with David completely, but I can't really say that avoiding the lack of absence of ellipsis would work nearly as well. I'm sure you know, but since it wasn't spelled out, "for good", as David uses it, means "permanently". I've never quite understood how it came to mean that, since it doesn't seem to be related to any other meaning of "good"...Read More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

I hope you win next time.

A: Jason, how was your soccer game? B: We lost. A: That's too bad. _________________ . B: Thanks! ------------------------------------------------------ a. I hope you win next time. b. I hope you'll win next time. Are they both correct? If so, are there any differences? Thanks!Read More...
Hi, Kis, Yes, they are both correct. I would find it much more natural not to use "will" in that particular context. So I prefer (a), but both are correct. There are no differences between them in that case. But take a case like this: "I hope he is there." Without context, "is" can refer to the present or the future. There is no way, however, to suppose that "will be" in the sentence "I hope he will be there" can refer to the present. Thus, "will" can remove ambiguity sometimes.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

possessive

1. the flag of the US 2. the US's flag 3. the US' flag Which one is the correct form? Thanks.Read More...
Ruifeng and David, My tendency is to refer to the flag of the United Kingdom as the British flag, and I think that most of my British friends will agree with me. It is also known as the Union Jack. Please note that this is not the same thing at all as the English flag. They are two different things. The official description of the Union Jack is as follows: The saltires of Saint George, Saint Andrew, and Saint Patrick represent England, Scotland, and Ireland, respectively, as all of Ireland...Read More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

fused participle

Hi, I'd like to know if this structure correct or not, please: *While I walking late at night, the trees looked spooky. * Is it Ok to say ~ While I walking instead of "while I WAS walking"? * Does it have anything to do with "fused participle"? ThanksRead More...
Thanks a lot. I really appreciate it so much. Would you please tell me more about "fused psrticiple".Read More...
Last Reply By ayman · First Unread Post

"The Suitcase" Vs "It" Vs "One"

Hi there, In the following example, can I use the suitcase , it , and one interchangeably? Are they all correct? Yesterday my friend told me over phone someone has left a suitcase in front of our school. He was so afraid. When I got there I couldn't see one. Yesterday my friend told me over phone someone has left a suitcase in front of our school. He was so afraid. When I got there I couldn't see it . Yesterday my friend told me over phone someone has left a suitcase in front of our school.Read More...

kidnapped him to...

Which are correct and make sense: 1) They kidnapped him to work as a slave. 2) He was kidnapped to work as a slave. 3) They imprisoned him to stay silent. 4) He was imprisoned to keep silent. 5) He was imprisoned to be kept silent. 6) He was imprisoned to keep him silent. Gratefully, NaviRead More...

her or them

cocoricot
Dear teachers, 1. No girl should wear a uniform, because it makes her look like a sack of potatoes. 2. No girl should wear a uniform, because it makes them look like a sack of potatoes. I think the first sentence is correct because of these words: girl; a uniform; a sack. They are all used in the singular form. Please tell me if I am correct. Thanks a lot.Read More...
Thank you, Gustavo, so much.Read More...
Last Reply By cocoricot · First Unread Post
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