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process, mechanism or operation?

Hi all, In the following MCQ, the expected answer should be "process". It's OK. But what about "mechanism" & "operation" in such a context? Photosynthesis is the ………. by which green plants and other certain organisms transform light energy into chemical energy. a. process b. operation c. industry d. mechanism Thank you very muchRead More...
Thank you very much, Gustavo.Read More...
Last Reply By Abdullah Mahrouse · First Unread Post

which saw/have seen/had seen their beak size increase by 4%

Hi, Which of the following boldfaced forms is okay? The biggest shifts in appendage size in the more than 30 animals they looked at in the review were among some Australian parrot species, which saw/have seen/had seen their beak size increase by 4% to 10% on average since 1871. Animals are 'shape shifting' in response to climate change | CNN I'd appreciate your help.Read More...
That was a very clever observation. Thank you. Now that you mention it, I have to confess I find it puzzling too! Why should the rules governing the tenses used with "since" change depending on its position within the sentence? In any case, the original question concerning why CNN used "saw" instead of "have ( or had) seen" with a "since"-adverbial still remains a mystery.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

Which answer is correct and why?

Dear sir, I came across this sentence: It was the first time I .......... doing it since I had been at university . ( have tried - tried - had tried - am trying) I think the correct answer is " tried" but I don't know the reasonRead More...
Hi, Basant Al-Sayed, 'Tried' could work if the phrase or clause introduced by since correlates with a superlative or ordinal . However, I think that the past perfect could also work in your example. The problem I see here is the usage of the past perfect in the since clause. I think using 'was' would sound more natural. If we relate the time to the present, the original sentence will be like this: - It is the first time (that) I have tried doing it since I have been / was at university.Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

Infinitival clause as a modifier

Hello, Are the bold clauses modifiers? if not, what are their function? She was busy all day. She didn't have a moment to rest. He loved her but he didn't have the courage to tell her. My friend helped me to find a house to rent.Read More...
Hi, Meriem, I'll give you my view and look forward to David's verdict . I've numbered your sentences for ease of reference: I think "to tell her" is an infinitival complement in (2). In (3), "to rent" is an infinitival relative clause ( = to be rented / that I could rent ). I'm not sure if "to rest" can also be an infinitival relative clause or is merely an infinitival complement in (1). This might be because, even if we say "to rest a moment," a moment there is not an object but short for...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

Is the bold needed?

I don't want "negate" to apply to "forms": Interest in MP doesn’t entail the suggestion that linguists shouldn’t study language-specific grammars or find novel generalizations that might reflect FL’s structure—MP enlarges the questions worth investigating but doesn’t somehow negate the value or relevance of earlier questions or of earlier forms of investigation.Read More...
Hi, Andrew, As written, I understand that the sentence above says that MP doesn't negate the value or relevance of earlier questions or the value or relevance of earlier forms of investigation. If you don't want "negate" to apply to "earlier forms of investigation," I just don't understand what you want "earlier forms of investigation" to be associated with.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

Is the bold word important to keep?

You'd think that removing the bold word would be fine, since the structure is obvious even without the bold. And yet the sentence sounds bad to me when I delete the bold; any idea why I prefer to keep the bold? work that relates to the issue of “good design” and to the issue of why—or if—certain properties hold of a well-designed systemRead More...
No, there's no ambiguity. I only suggested that you might be under the impression that keeping that second "to" helped maintain the parallelism.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

What does ", which" refer to?

Am I correct in thinking that there are no rules as to whether or not the ", which" below refers to just the bold? We know semantically that it can't refer to just the bold, but it's not like there are any rules on this front...you just figure out what ", which" refers to based on semantic context, right? I think that the next big question is: How do brains embody linguistic computations? But we can’t advance that question until we have some solid Minimalist theory—assuming that MP has legs,...Read More...
If we consider syntactic hierarchies, "structure" is in a much better position to take a relative clause (both "complexity" and "computation" form part of embedded prepositional phrases, which renders them less likely to be modified by a relative clause). At a semantic level, there is also a distinct relationship between " simple structure" and " simplifies ."Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

Verb (of perception) + objective + bare infinitive / gerund (verb patterns)

Hello GE Community, I have a question regarding the verb pattern : [ Verb (of perception) + objective + bare infinitive / gerund ] Why in some cases we use a bare infinitive : "Do you like seeing people compete on reality shows? if so, which ones?" And sometimes we use gerund: "On reality shows, you often see people behaving badly. Do you think shows like that are a bad influence on society?" How should I know when to use a bare infinitive or a gerund? Thank you in advance.Read More...
Perfectly understood. Thank you so much for the explanation.Read More...
Last Reply By Meriem · First Unread Post

'that' in 'the first time that S V'

Hi (a) It is the first time that we have met. (b) That was the first time that she had traveled alone. (c) Yesterday was the first time that Ted swam in the Atlantic Ocean. In the sentences above, Q1) Can we change the bold 'that' into 'when'?(in terms of grammaticality) Q2) Can we change the bold 'that' into 'in which' or 'at which'?(in terms of grammaticality) Q3) What is the bold 'that' called in grammatical terms? I am curious about its grammatical identity. Is it a 'relativiser' or a...Read More...
Many Thanks, DavidRead More...
Last Reply By WinD · First Unread Post

En-dash or hyphen on the bold?

Government-Binding Theory (GB) was a huge step forward—it was the first comprehensive theory of FL’s fine structure that had the wherewithal to meet the gap’s dimensions. GB offered a decent outline of the sorts of properties FL innately contains—it also offered a decent empirically justifiable outline of the linguistic specificity of these properties, meaning that GB’s principles refer to structures, operations, and primitives that are narrowly linguistic and that aren’t special cases of...Read More...
Thanks! I appreciate the help on this front!Read More...
Last Reply By Andrew Van Wagner · First Unread Post

Does the bold apply to BOTH of the preceding paragraphs?

See the bold: https://join.substack.com/p/plato-and-darwin I think that most of the brouhaha is—as usual—more of a tempest in a teapot than an actual informed and serious disagreement. It’s a staple in the EvoLang literature that language emerged for communication, but this claim is often more ornamental than central—I suspect that EvoLang people usually have no idea what “communication” means and give little thought to how to define it. Further , if “communication” includes “communicating...Read More...
I don't interpret it the way that you do regarding the thesis and the multiple points of support; I think that "Further," just refers back to the previous paragraph. But there's no actual rule or principle that can tell you the answer to this, right? See below a simpler example to simplify things and make it clear what I'm getting at in terms of the lack of rules or principles to tell you the answer: Bob went to the store. Jill also went to the store. And I'm not sure how many oranges you...Read More...
Last Reply By Andrew Van Wagner · First Unread Post

Is the bold weird?

I wouldn't find anything weird about the below sentence if "Thus" were replaced with "So"; I wonder whether the bold is at all weird or whether (in this context) it's OK to deploy "Thus" just like you'd deploy "So". https://join.substack.com/p/plato-and-darwin Suppose that MP actually does succeed in this aim. Then we won’t in any way have abandoned the boundary condition that Plato’s Problem sets regarding what an adequate theory of FL needs to achieve, since such a story would support a...Read More...
Thanks!Read More...
Last Reply By Andrew Van Wagner · First Unread Post

‘Where from’ question

I would like to as a question a response to which is a ‘launching pad’. Is it correct to ask: 1: From where is a spacecraft sent into the sky? 2: Where is a spacecraft sent into the sky from?Read More...

‘it feels great to be ~ ’

Hello, everyone, 1) “ It feels great to be on this ship .” - an excerpt from our local textbook; G: Wow, it feels great to be on this ship, Dad. M: I feel the same, Sora. Here are our seats, 20A and 20B. G: Yeah. Do you mind if I take the window seat? I like to see the view outside. 2) “ It felt strange to be back in my old school .” 3) “ It felt as though he had run a marathon .” 2) and 3) above ; excerpts from https://www.oxfordlearnersdict...rican_english/feel_1 “linking verb (not used in...Read More...
Hi, David, really appreciate. Where else could I be explained such a nice explanation other than G/ Exchange?Read More...
Last Reply By deepcosmos · First Unread Post

Reported speech

The teacher said to the girl, "If you are late to school, you will be punished." The teacher said to the girl, "If you are late to school, you will be punished". Should the period be inside the quotation marks or outside here?Read More...
Hi, Carlos—In the punctuation conventions of American English, the closing quotation marks should come after the period. In the punctuation conventions of British English, the closing quotation marks should come before the period. Of course, British English also uses single quotes, except for quotes within quotes. Since you have used double quotation marks, I assume you wish to follow American conventions. So put the close quotes after the period.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

has always come - has always been coming

Hello Moderators. Could you please help me? Can we use "always" with present perfect continuous or only with present Perfect simple? Which form is correct in the following sentence? Why? - Dr. John is funny. He ( has always come - has always been coming) to his clinic by scooter. Thank you.Read More...
Hello, Ahmed Imam Attia—You need the present perfect simple there; the present perfect continuous is incorrect. "Always" doesn't work with the present perfect continuous.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

haven’t been seeing

Hello Moderators. Is the following sentence grammatically correct or not? Why? - I miss you so much; I haven’t been seeing you for ages! Thank you.Read More...
Hello, Ahmed Imam Attia—No, that sentence is not grammatically correct. The progressive ("haven't been seeing") doesn't work. It should be: "I haven't seen you for ages." The sentence "I haven't been seeing you for ages" is extremely unnatural and has a silly meaning, namely, that it is not the case that I have been seeing you (repeatedly) for ages. It is incompatible with "I miss you so much."Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

’ ... is / are examples ... ‘

Hello, everyone, “ Discussion about the price of the goods to be purchased, the amount of capital to be contributed to a joint venture, the interest to be charged by a lender, and the royalty rate to be paid by a trademark licensee are examples of issues involving the distribution value .“ 1) While I feel the author used ‘ are ’ for the multiple subjects with "Discussion (about ~ ), the amount (of ~ ), the interest (to be ~ ), and the royalty rate (to be paid ~ ), 2) is there a possibility...Read More...
Hi, Gustavo, how can I thank you enough? Sincerely appreciate your explanation.Read More...
Last Reply By deepcosmos · First Unread Post

Present perfect or past perfect

If I am staying or living in Europe at the time of speaking, should I say "I haven't been to Europe before" or "I had not been to Europe before", meaning "this is the first time I've come to Europe". ThanksRead More...
Hi, D.T.—In that context, you should use the present perfect. "I haven't been to Europe before" means "I haven't been to Europe before now ." Once you have left Europe, you can shift to the past perfect.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

drove him

a. I drove John to the hospital unconscious. b. I drove him to the hospital unconscious. c. I drove John, unconscious, to the hospital. d. I drove him, unconscious, to the hospital. Which of the above are grammatical and meaningful? Obviously I couldn't have been unconscious when I drove him/John to the hospital, so John has to be the one who is unconscious. Many thanksRead More...

What must the pronoun refer to?

A farmer so loved his cow that he sacrificed her female calf to spare her life during a complicated pregnancy. And whoever (else) would have saved her from perishing would have been justified. In the second sentence, what must “her” refer to, the cow or her calf? (note: please do not advise to word the sentence better or correct its structure. I am sincerely interested in surveying the views of those attempting to answer the question GIVEN the way it is. I intend to clarify something for me,...Read More...
Thank you very much for your detailed response regarding the update.Read More...
Last Reply By Matt McCullough · First Unread Post

Any need to worry that bold will link back to "people"?

And as an aside, what makes Pietroski so interesting is that he’s one of the few people who addresses the crucial foundational issues about meaning and links them to familiar linguistic concerns.Read More...
I agree with you, Ahmed. We have both a syntactic and a semantic reason to dismiss the existence of any ambiguity. There is no ambiguity because (1) "issues" is closer, and (2) it would make no sense for "them" to refer to "people." "Issues" and "concerns" actually belong to the same semantic field.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

Should I hyphenate "non-linguistic"?

I found out that NYT drops the hyphen regarding "nontechnical", "nonempirical", and "nonhuman". I couldn't find out what the NYT does with "non-linguistic" and "non-Bayesian", though; I assume that "non-Bayesian" needs a hyphen, since it would just be weird and awkward with the capital "B" and everything. So that leaves "non-linguistic"; what to do? Thanks so much and sorry to bother you guys!Read More...
Thanks!Read More...
Last Reply By Andrew Van Wagner · First Unread Post

Are the bold words useful?

I'm not sure if the bold words (1) serve to indicate that I'm talking about Washington hawks instead of hawks in general or (2) make the paragraph sound better and flow better without actually serving any semantic purpose or (3) are just useless. https://join.substack.com/p/hawks-and-risks There are clear reasons why Washington hawks love this war’s consequences and want to prolong it. First, this war is bleeding a US enemy— the hawks like to take opportunities to weaken adversaries. Second,...Read More...
Thanks!Read More...
Last Reply By Andrew Van Wagner · First Unread Post

Should "word-object relations" take a hyphen or en-dash?

I got 10,000 Google hits for the en-dash version of "word-object relations" and less than 9,000 for the version with the hyphen, but that seems odd to me, since browsing various papers made it seem to me like the hyphen version is more popular. See this example where they give it an en-dash: https://en.x-mol.com/paper/art.../1422383639569313792 Show gestures direct attention to wo rd–ob ject relations in typically developing and Autistic Spectrum Disorder childrenRead More...
Thanks!Read More...
Last Reply By Andrew Van Wagner · First Unread Post
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