Skip to main content

All Topics

Featured Topics

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...
The abundance of interesting articles on your site amazes me! Good luck to the author and new interesting posts! Thank you David!Read More...
Last Reply By MathildeBuxton · First Unread Post

Topics

Ladies man

Hi, Are these definitions of 'a lady's man' below I got from the internet all true? 1. A lady's man is someone who's popular with the ladies. 2. A Ladies man enjoys pleasing women and being adored by them, including sleeping with them. 3. When you are a ladies' man you get more attention, admiration, dates, and intimacy than the average guy. 4. A lady's man is very fond of the company of women and who, because of his charm, attentiveness, and flirtatiousness, is very attractive to them. 5. A...Read More...
It's still OK to use "lady's man." Opinions will differ as to how old-fashioned it is. Similar terms include "Romeo," "Cassonova," "Don Juan," "Prince Charming."Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Should I have quotation marks around the bold stuff?

See the two bold things here: https://join.substack.com/p/control Detmer comments as follows in the interview and note that “CRT” is short for “critical race theory” And also look at the two bold things here: https://join.substack.com/p/ho...ld-history-be-taught Zinnophobia is inherently important, but it’s also extra important right now due to all of the controversy around “critical race theory” — “CRT” is short for “critical race theory” .Read More...
It's such a headache to try to navigate when to put "critical race theory" in quotation marks...see the three below instances here in bold: https://join.substack.com/p/ho...ld-history-be-taught Zinnophobia is inherently important, but it’s also extra important right now due to all of the controversy around “critical race theory” —“CRT” is short for “critical race theory” . https://join.substack.com/p/control Detmer comments as follows in the interview and note that “CRT” is short for...Read More...
Last Reply By Andrew Van Wagner · First Unread Post

Should I separate this list's elements with semicolons?

I often wonder about when to do this...sometimes I just get the instinct to do this because the list seems to be a bit "busy" and therefore I want to demarcate the list's elements very clearly. See here: https://join.substack.com/p/control the new law makes “every child in the state who is already in private school or being homeschooled eligible for the new funds” right away; means an “immediate cost increase of nearly $600 million”; and opens “the door for all of Arizona’s 1.1 million...Read More...

How should I deal with these three issues?

1: Should I hyphenate the two bold words to make "JFK-assassination"? "I don't pay attention to this JFK assassination nonsense." 2: Wouldn't it be excessive to hyphenate the two bold words to make "conspiracy theorists", even though technically you can see an argument for that? I do this all the time on Facebook and will never convert hardcore conspiracy theorists 3: How should I format the bold? Looks like "advisory" should be lowercase...I think ...? And I doubt that I need to hyphenate...Read More...
1. Well, if we were visiting earth from another planet, I suppose "JFK [assassination nonsense]" could be interpreted as being some brand of assassination nonsense. Fortunately, human beings have common sense. We don't need to be so heavy-handed in punctuation that we are writing for those who lack common sense or who wish perversely to misunderstand. 2. If you mean "[hardcore conspiracy] theorists," then you should go right ahead and use a hyphen. What "hardcore conspiracy theorists" means...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

direct object or adverb - an infinitive verb

From WSJ today - A closer look at the numbers behind summer vacation shows the growing importance of holiday weekends, which helps explain how travel has defied predictions of its demise to emerge from the pandemic stronger than ever. Is the infinitive verb "to emerge from the pandemic stronger than ever" the direct object of verb "defied" or an adverb to define "defied"? thanks.Read More...
A closer look at the numbers behind summer vacation shows the growing importance of holiday weekends, which helps explain [ how travel has defied predictions of its demise t o emerge from the pandemic stronger than ever ] . I'm inclined to say that the underlined infinitival clause is an adjunct in clause structure. It functions as a modifier in the bracketed clause, where it indicates a resultant or subsequent meaning.Read More...
Last Reply By billj · First Unread Post

the expression [as well as] is a preposition or a conjunction?

[as well as] is a preposition or conjunction? when can we use it as a preposition and when as a conjunction?Read More...
Hi, Maged Hosny, As a linker of addition, "as well as" is halfway between both parts of speech. Quirk and Greenbaum define it as a quasi-coordinator. On page 275 of their A University Grammar of English , they explain that quasi-coordinators sometimes resemble coordinating conjunctions and give this example: - He publishes as well as prints his own books. But they add that they can also have a prepositional or subordinating role, as in: - As well as printing the books, he publishes them.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

Does "OK" apply to the bold?

I have the following: https://join.substack.com/p/are-conspiracy-theories-dangerous “OK, people don’t really want to talk about Vietnam, but I can do a movie about the JFK assassination and that way I can slide Vietnam into the conversation .” I'm not sure if "OK" applies to the bold; one might imagine that I'd put a period after "Vietnam" and "capitalize "but" and make a new sentence starting with "But I can do a movie..." if I wanted "OK" to not apply to the bold, but I'm not sure if that...Read More...
Hi, Andrew—No, "OK" does not apply to the part of the sentence in bold. It applies only to the first clause. That clause spells out the meaning of "OK" in the context; it is the proposition to which "OK" expresses assent. It's like saying: "I recognize that people don't really want to talk about Vietnam." Notice that it would be possible to have: " OK, but I can do a movie about the JFK assassination . That way I can slide Vietnam into the conversation." Even in this case, "OK" would not...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Will / Going to?

Hi, I'm a bit confused about using "will" and "going to" to make predictions. So I'd like to know what should we use in these sentences: -The ending of this series is somber. You will / are going to be traumatized. -Look out! You will / are going to fall! -This story will / is going to be a scandal. Thanks!Read More...
Hi, Lou, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange, Both are correct, however, 'will' works better here because there is no present reality. It is a kind of exaggeration. 'Are going to' is the logical answer here. It is something that is about to happen, not something in the remote future. Both are correct.Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

Reduction in real english sentences

Hello, I have come across the sentences from NPR. ''When the fighter jet crashed into these northwestern Ukrainian woods, killing its 27-year-old pilot, splintering trees and spewing fuel, it tore a gash in the forest canopy. Then it exploded. The wildfire that followed charred trees and earth, threatening two nearby villages.'' I can understang what the writer meant, but I am not sure about the grammar structure. In my opinion, it should be like this; ''''When the fighter jet crashed into...Read More...
Hi, Erdal K., In English, we can use V-ing to refer to previous, simultaneous or subsequent actions performed by the subject of the main or a higher-level clause. In the first sentence, there is an adverbial clause starting with "when" whose subject, "the fighter jet," is the subject of "crashed" as well as of "killing," "splintering" and "spewing," all of which are contained within the same "when"-clause, so there's nothing grammatically wrong with that. In the second sentence, "the...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

Is it OK to have sentences that don't diagram in just one way?

I think that I asked something very similar to this before, but consider this sentence: https://join.substack.com/p/are-conspiracy-theories-dangerous I do this all the time on Facebook, and I’ll never convert hardcore conspiracy theorists, but I can actually reach a large number of people who are in the middle and who are just curious about what people are talking about. So it has the following structure: X, and Y, but Z. Does the "but" attach only to Y? Or to X? Or to X and Y? Not sure if...Read More...
Thanks so much for this incredible help! I really appreciate it! I'll go with the third option that you mentioned!Read More...
Last Reply By Andrew Van Wagner · First Unread Post

What part of speech is the word "anger"?

Hi! Could I ask you what part of speech is the word "anger" in the following sentence: (1) He is slow to anger. I thought that the "anger" there would be an intransitive verb, but I just realized that it might be a noun. I would appreciate it if you could share your thought. Thank you!Read More...
Hi, Ahmed, Thank you, you helped me a lot!Read More...
Last Reply By yasukotta · First Unread Post

Meaning of "when"

1. You don't seem to know when you are lucky. ( Context will be shown in the picture below) I think "know" is used intransitively, with when-clause being adverbial. Another analysis is that "know" is a transitive verb here, and the when -clause, being a norminal relative clause, functions as its object. The latter analysis suggests "when" is in the same sense as: 2. Do you remember when we went to Norway? That was a good trip. (LDOCE) I'm not sure I agree. What do you think?Thank you.Read More...
Greetings, While I find BillJ's analysis plausible, I think there is something to be said for the analysis toward which you are inclined, Robby. Please note that BillJ is not saying the "when"-clause is a "nominal relative clause"; he is saying the "when"-clause is a subordinate interrogative clause, i.e., an embedded question. I feel that there may have been some miscommunication when you asked whether "know" could alternatively be analyzed as intransitive in "You don't seem to know when...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

pronoun ‘one’ for abstract noun?

Hello, everyone, We think of color as a fundamental quality of the world around us. But in the outside world, color doesn’t actually exist. When electromagnetic radiation hits an object, some of it bounces off and is captured by our eyes. We can distinguish between millions of combinations of wavelengths – but it is only inside our heads that any of this becomes color. Color is an interpretation of wavelengths, one that only exists internally . Your reply would be really appreciated for...Read More...
Sorry; I overlooked your post. I don't think so. The pro-form "one" is defined by its antecedent, one that is not a full NP, as in the example I gave earlier. Please see my previous answer for the reasons that the pro-form "one" is not a pronoun.Read More...
Last Reply By billj · First Unread Post

practice <thinking> divergently

Hello, everyone, “In role-play, children act as if they are someone else, imagining and weighing possibilities. This helps them analyze situations from different perspectives. Pretending to be someone else, with all the gestures, actions, and language that involves, gives children practice thinking divergently as they consider different things they can pretend to do.” How to parse the thinking in the underlined part will be correct in following two ways?; 1) ‘gives children practice of...Read More...
Hi, Gustavo and David, really thanks for your supports as always.Read More...
Last Reply By deepcosmos · First Unread Post

Is ’wait for’ a phrasal verb?

Hello, everyone, “He got up and stood patiently in front of the door, waiting for the door to open in the subway train.” I understand " he waited for the door to open " means "he waited for the opening of the door“ When I parse the underlined part of the sentence, which one is natural to you between following two?; 1) he [waited for] (the door) the door to open; - waited for; a transitive phrasal verb (but I’m not sure if this is a phrasal verb, based on the separability of the two words) -...Read More...
But "blow up" does not 'function' as a single word. At word level, it consists of two distinct constituents: "blow" + "up" (verb + prep comp)'. In They blew up the building , "blew up" is not a constituent since the words can be separated: They blew the building up . To say that a combination of words functions as a single word but is not actually a single word is misleading, especially to learners – the people we're trying to help here. In a tree diagram, learners are likely to label "blow...Read More...
Last Reply By billj · First Unread Post

Complex Object + adverbs

Hello, Everyone. Could you help me with the Complex Object? The task is to combine two sentences using the Complex Object. I could hear it perfectly well. They were discussing me. => I could hear them discussing me. Where can I put "perfectly well" in the sentence with the Complex Object (e.g., I could hear them perfectly well discussing me)? Or do I have to omit it? Thank you in advance.Read More...
Hi, Annetik, I'd put "perfectly well" in the middle of the verb phrase to avoid cutting off the accusative -ing structure: - I could perfectly well hear them discussing me.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

"If + ing" possible?

Hello Grammar Exchange members! (a) Only when he needed some help did he call me. (b) Only if we invest more money can we save the company. I'd like to ask you whether or not the dependent clauses in (a) and (b) can be reduced. To the best of my knowledge "Only when he needed some help" can be reduced to "Only when needing some help" as in (c) because the subject in the dependent clause is the same as the subject in the main clause. (c) Only when needing some help did he call me. However, I...Read More...
Excellent point, Gustavo. I suspected that lurking in my grammatical blindspot was some type of acceptable reduced-adverbial-clause -ing construction following "if." You have found it and have described its semantics very well.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Can anyone help out with these loose ends that I have to resolve?

I promise not to bug this forum for a while if I can get some help with these things! :) 1: https://thegrammarexchange.infopop.cc/topic/should-i-do-two-layers-of-quotation-marks-here 2: https://thegrammarexchange. infopop.cc/topic/how-do-you- deal-with-the-issue-of-a- pattern-applying-to-multiple- elements 3: https://thegrammarexchange. infopop.cc/topic/no-quite-a- grammar-issue-but-what-does- home-city-mean 4: https://thegrammarexchange. infopop.cc/topic/i-don-t-want-...Read More...
Personally, I don't feel I can help you any more than I already have. David has also given you some good answers. I'm afraid you might be looking for some hard-and-fast rules where there are none. That colleague you once mentioned might be right about your being too demanding when it comes to editing. I hope we can continue to be of help with other topics.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

I don't want "extremely" to modify "easily linked"; does it do so, though?

See here: https://join.substack.com/p/concision-and-accusation Maybe you could move the needle if you created an extremely efficient—and easily linkable—one-stop-shop resource dedicated to debunking accusations against various scholars. Also, did anyone see my previous posts that were never responded to? Thanks so much and sorry to bother you guys!Read More...
The adverb-adjective parallelism and the dashes make it clear that "extremely" modifies "efficient" and that "easily" modifies "linkable." Would you say "extremely easily linkable"? I wouldn't. "Extremely" could modify an adjective between dashes like "easy-to-use."Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

How to understand the annotation "also"

Greetings, everyone. I'm sometimes confused by notations from the dictionary. Simply put, I don't understand what it is trying to convey. Here is one example. Negotiation: NOUN [mass noun] ( also negotiations) Discussion aimed at reaching an agreement: 1. a worldwide ban is currently under negotiation 2. negotiations between unions and employers 3. It took five months of negotiations between the two parties to have the agreement in place. How should I understand the notation " also...Read More...
If it said to be a mass noun, it cannot be "also used in the plural." When used in the plural, it is a count noun.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

fruit from the tree

a. They ate the fruit that was on the tree. b. They ate the fruit from the tree. c. They ate the tree's fruit. d. They ate fruit that was on the tree. e. They ate fruit from the tree. f. They ate some of the tree's fruit. Are all of the sentences grammatically correct? Do the first three imply that they ate all of the fruit on that tree? Many thanks.Read More...

On the day when you move

Supposedly, your friend is moving her home and you wanted to give her an instruction/guide. Is the below sentence grammatically correct? On a moving day, if you use a Ute, you can park in the loading bay and use the closest lift to get to level 1 or On the day when you move if you use a Ute, you can park in the loading bay and use the closest lift to get to level 1Read More...
×
×
×
×