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Regarding the COVID-19 Pandemic

David, Moderator
Dear Grammar Exchange members, As we continue our grammar discussions, I want you to know that I am aware that we are all struggling in various ways as a result of the current pandemic and that my heart goes out to all of you. I hope that you and your loved ones are safe and healthy. Although we may not know each other personally, we all know that there is much more to us than the English grammar issues we discuss here. This post is devoted to the dimensions of you and your lives that I know...Read More...
My words are crippled to express my appreciation! Thanks so much, David! Wish all the members safety and prosperity!Read More...
Last Reply By Muh1994 · First Unread Post

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The future tenses

This time next week,I ..... the final match .Im confident of myself(will win/will be winning/May be winningRead More...
Dear Gustavo, hope that you're fine. I just was wondering if you could clarify the meaning of the verb "win" in that context. Does it mean: 1. "To get something as a prize" I would think it won't take much time to happen, i.e. using "win" in the progressive form is a bit awkward, isn't it? OR 2. To be most successful at a specific point during the game" like when I say: Who's winning? I guess the two meanings are different, aren't they?Read More...
Last Reply By Hussein Hassan · First Unread Post

Auxiliary Verbs with Either & Neither

A: Mrs. Davis won’t attend the meeting. B: Mr. Johnson WON’T either. But when starting the sentence with NEITHER, speaker B said “Neither WOULD Mr. Johnson.” Would you please clarify why speaker B used WOULD with NEITHER? Why not WILL, as was the case with EITHER? Thank you very muchRead More...
Thank you very much.Read More...
Last Reply By Abdullah Mahrouse · First Unread Post

Usage of who

Hello, In sentence #1 below, I am curious to know whether the use of the pronoun who is wrong and why sentence # is 2 is preferable. 1. I believe I am not the only person who asks him that question. 2. I believe I am not the only person to ask him that question. thank youRead More...

For a long time vs for long

Hi. What's the difference between these 2 phrases? Sample sentences: 1. They didn't work for long. 2. They didn't work for a long time. My guess is: Sentence 1 convey a habitual idea: during a certain period of time in the past, like maybe last year, they didn't work for long hours every day. Sentence 2, on the other hand, means there was a certain period of time that they didn't work, which is long in length. Did I get it right? Many thanks in advance.Read More...

Reported speech {go}

Hello, sir! I'd like to know how to report this sentence "Did you go to school?", mother said. Is it OK to say: Mother asked if I had gone to school. Or, Mother asked if I had been to school.Read More...
Hello, sir. I really appreciate every help from anyone. However, I resorted to this site for its "native" experts. We resort to this site as a trustworthy one as we, second language learners, may argue about some kind of a rule. * Concerning the use of "had gone", not "went", I learnt that the past simple tense can be changed into past perfect or it can be kept unchanged. Thanks, allRead More...
Last Reply By Abdul Rahman · First Unread Post

Modal verbs

Sentence: The millionaire has a very ugly girl who I <may/can/could/would> not have dreamed many boys fell in love with. If I want to express it with the fact that: many men actually love her, from a grammar standpoint, which modal verb is possible? Many thanks in advance.Read More...
I forgot to mention that, as it introduces a restrictive clause, "who" would be normally dropped: - The millionaire has a very ugly girl I would not have dreamed so many boys could fall in love with.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Use of With as a preposition

Hi. I have just been asked a grammar question by a Japanese friend and I was not 100% sure. Comparing sentences: 1. We carried on a conversation 2. We carried on WITH a conversation Are both correct? Is there a difference in meaning? Thanks YoozeeRead More...
I really appreciate your response Gustavo. As new grammar challenges arise I will try to find the explanation through my own research. However, it is comforting to know I can seek help from experts if I am still unsure. Best wishes and I will be back 😀Read More...
Last Reply By Yoozee · First Unread Post

Causative verb + Ajd/Adv?

Hello. I sometimes see structures like this > He *has you sad*. > He dreamed he *had his pants down* in front of everyone I would like to know: 1. Are these sentences the passive causative or active ones? 2. What is the meaning they're conveing?Read More...
Hi, Harry O'Neil, The passive causative is formed by "have" + object + past participle: - He had his pants taken down (= lengthened). (Somebody took them down for him.) The active causative is formed by "have" + object + bare infinitive: - He had a tailor take down (= lengthen) his pants. (A tailor took them down for him.) I don't think "have" has a causative meaning in the sentences above, if we understand that "causative" means making somebody do something for you, or getting somebody to...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Passed away - tense

1 Was Helen your auntie, a blood relative? 2 Is Helen your auntie, a blood relative? Helen passed away. Is 2 correct because although Helen passed away, it refers to the relationship which is a fact?Read More...
Thank you both for your responses. The situation is that the speaker and the addressee both know that Helen passed away. I was comparing to the case: Richard is an ex-colleague. Maybe it is different because the word “ex-colleague” itself bears the meaning which reflects the relationship in the past. But we still use present tense. David: Richard was a teacher of King’s College. David: Richard is an ex-colleague of mine. Both David and Richard are live and kicking. Richard is no longer...Read More...
Last Reply By terry · First Unread Post

Is this an incorrect usage of a comma before coordinating conjunction?

As the sentence after 'or' is not an independent clause: Here's the rule: "When a coordinating conjunction joins two independent clauses, a comma is used before the coordinating conjunction (unless the two independent clauses are very short)" https://writing.wisc.edu/handbook/grammarpunct/coordconj/Read More...
Thanks once again. So out of curiosity is this example incorrect: https://ibb.co/DDzXjc5Read More...
Last Reply By des3 · First Unread Post

"Were it" question

Wondering if the current usage of 'were it' is acceptable: Were it that the waters were not calm, so that she might at least be pushed in some other direction! I understand that it would make more sense to the modern audience to use 'If only' rather than 'were it', but the atmosphere I am going for is a more old-fashioned one. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance to any who decide to reply to this.Read More...
Hi, CP1612, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange, The use of 'Were it that' is just very archaic. I don't know the whole context, but the usage of 'If only' seems better here. You could say something like "Oh, God! If only the waters were not ...."Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

Implied subject of a -ing clause

This course is of great interest to students, _____ to improve their writing skills. A. hope B. to hope C. hoping D. hoped Hello everyone. The answer to that question is C, but I want to know who's hoping? This course? If it is the "students", wouldn't a restrictive modifier be better? Thanks in advance.Read More...
I get it, thanks, Gustavo.Read More...
Last Reply By Robby zhu · First Unread Post

Archive download

ceedhanna
Hello I miss you so much. Stay safe. I have a suggestion. Could forum archives be downloadable? Thank you.Read More...

Question about introducing quotations...

Hi there, I'm writing a children's book and have a question about a particular construction. Here's the sentence in question: Mr. Owl spoke again, “I know that the Night seems very dark to your eyes, but you have to trust my words more than you trust your eyes. Day will come again. Do you believe that?” Note that the comma before the quotation is essentially filling in for the word "saying," as in "Mr. Owl spoke again, saying, "......". My question is this: can I write this as I have above,...Read More...
Wonderful! Thank you very much.Read More...
Last Reply By Christopher · First Unread Post

unless

Hello. I can't decide which one of the following sentences is correct and which one is not and why. Please help. Thank you 1- I wouldn't have the first prize unless I trained hard. 2- Unless you had studied hard, you wouldn't have got high marks. 3- Gamila wouldn't have bought the new car unless she had saved money. 4- I wouldn't have been able to do it unless she had helped me. 5- Unless you had told me about Rasha's new dress, I wouldn't have noticed it. 6- Unless my sister had been born,...Read More...

The amount of the work (article usage)

Hello! I hope you're doing well. Would you, please, check my understanding of article usage in 'amount of something' ? Here are my examples and reasoning: Context 1: Our man has been building a house for three days = It's the entire amount of work. a) It's hard to estimate [the amount of work] [he did yesterday]. b) It's hard to estimate [the amount of] [work he did yesterday]. c) It's hard to estimate [the amount of the work] [he did yesterday]. d) It's hard to estimate [the amount of] [the...Read More...

Of vs. In?

A friend brought me this sentence: "My mother was a viola player in an orchestra." They asked whether "in" could be replaced with "of" in this sentence. It sounds wrong to me, but I'm having a hard time explaining why. They also compared it to being a member of a baseball team, so why can of not be used in this case? The only way I can think to change the sentence to use "of" is: "My mother was the viola player of the orchestra," but the nuance is still difficult for me to explain. Can...Read More...
Hello, akcpenguin, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange. To add a little to Gustavo's response, with which I completely agree, I think it is worth noting that an "of"-phrase after "player," at least where musical instruments are concerned, tends to indicate what it is that the player plays. Indeed, a viola player is a player of the viola. Here are a couple of other natural ways to express the idea: My mother was a violist in an orchestra. My mother played the viola in an orchestra.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Massive

Dr Homles has....... experience in teaching. (massive_impressive_value_available)Read More...
Apart from the quantifiers David proposed, here are the adjectives suggested by the Oxford Collocations Dictionary for Students of English, 2nd edition. Considering that "experience" is used as a non-count noun, I'd go for any of the adjectives on the first line: considerable , extensive , great , long , vast , wide experience noun 1 knowledge/skill obtained by seeing / doing sth adjective considerable , extensive , great , long , vast , wide limited , little companies with limited ~ in the...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Me or myself?

Why does “I took a photo of myself” sound correct, but “I found a photo of myself” sound wrong? while “I took a photo of me” sounds wrong, but “I found a photo of me” sounds right? Does it weirdly depend on who took the photo — portrait or selfie? If the subject is I, I thought the correct choice would always be myself, but does this sound right: “I found a photo of myself standing in front of the Eiffel Tower,” or wouldn’t that sentence sound better as “I found a photo of me standing in...Read More...
That's perfect. I'm afraid I didn't make myself clear enough. It doesn't matter whether the subject is I, you, he, she, we or they. My understanding is that when "take a photo" means "photograph," then the reflexive pronoun has to be used if the person taking the photo is the same as the person photographed. If "take a photo" means "get hold of a photo," then both the object pronoun (e.g. me, him ) and the reflexive pronoun (e.g. myself, himself ) can be used if the person getting hold of...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Articles

Good afternoon, Could you explain the usage of the article in the following example: Since you are an editorial board member of the collection of scientific papers 'Solar System' Should we place the article the or A here?Read More...
This is my own phrase for a letterRead More...
Last Reply By DoraD · First Unread Post
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