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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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adjectival or adverbial? No.3

The dog, frightened by the thunder , trembled. What type of participle is the above sentence? To me, it's adjectival, deriving from: - The dog, who was frightened by the thunder, trembled However, the link below says it's adverbial: http://grammarpuss13.blogspot.com/p/adverbial-clauses.html?m=1 Thanks.Read More...
I see. English is an unusual language in an interesting way. For a non-native English speaker who has read grammar-related sources, it’s a non-restrictive adjectival subordinate clause realized as the subject predicative in the subordinate clause. I am trying to grasp what you said. Thanks.Read More...
Last Reply By Freeguy · First Unread Post

all havoc breaks loose

Hi, What does "all havoc breaks loose" mean? Thanks a lot.Read More...
Hi, Kuen: I think you mean to ask about "all hell breaks loose." It should be "hell," not "havoc." If you Google "all hell breaks loose," you'll find definitions. The basic meaning is this: when all hell breaks loose, all sorts of things go wrong; many problems need to be solved. Think of a volcano erupting—a volcano of problems.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

2 Synonyms in 1 Sentence/ A comma before "and"

Hi everyone, I’m wondering whether it looks well-written and, most importantly, grammatically correct to use 2 synonyms at once in my following sentence: If it looks well-written and is grammatically correct when the audience read it, do you recommend me using a ‘comma’ after ‘muscle cells’ to prevent it from sounding too long for a sentence? Original Quote: Thank you!Read More...
Hello, Blue_Delta_47, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange! Your sentence is grammatically correct. There is no rule barring the use of synonymous verbs in a sentence with two coordinated verb phrases. The comma is optional: the sentence is correct with or without it. What I think would improve the sentence from a stylistic standpoint is making one idea the main idea and the other the background idea, by using a nonrestrictive relative clause: (A) Pacemaker Cells, which make up only about 1%...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Look (at) what you've done!

Hi! Could I ask you this question? Practical English Usage (fourth ediction) says that the preposition "at" following the verb "look" is often dropped before a wh -clause. (1) Look (at) what you've done! I was wondering whether there is any semantic difference when the preposition is present/absent. I was also wondering whether the preposition can appear after "look" in the following sentences (taken from Practical English Usage ): (2) Look who's here! (3) Look where you're going. I would...Read More...
That's a very good point, David. Yasukotta, let me give you my view on your new sentences: That's wrong. You always need "at" after the noun "look": Take a look at what you've done! (5)a sounds strange but seems to be grammatically correct, while (5)b is not. You need a nominal clause after "look" to be able to drop the preposition "at." You need "to" after "listen" even if a wh -clause follows: Listen to what they are saying!Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

a falling tree, a tree falling

Hello, 1. A falling tree made a sound like a thunder. 2. A tree falling behind me made a sound like a thunder. 3. A tree falling made a sound like a thunder. I think sentences 1 ,2 are correct, but not 3, because a single participial adjective "falling" has to be placed before the noun. Am I correct? AppleRead More...
Thank you, David, for clarifying that. I was in fact only agreeing with Apple's comments on the correct or incorrect position of the participle depending on whether it is used alone ( falling tree) or with some adjunct (tree falling behind me ).Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

infinitive/gerund

1) Why do they complain about cleaning the house taking too long? They have a servant to clean the house! 2) Why do they complain about cleaning the house taking too long? They have a servant for cleaning the house! Can we tell if they have only one servant or more? If they have one servant, is cleaning the house the only thing that servant does? If they have more than one servant, does the same servant clean the house every time? Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Thank you so very much, David, Yes, I agree with you. Having a cook does not mean one also has a chauffeur! But I wasn't even going for that interpretation. I find your analysis of my '1' very astute. But the 'restriction' you discovered in this construct (the sentences marked with *?) is a true gem! I hadn't thought of that at all. It looks like a real discovery to me. I wanted to mention that in my last post in this thread, and I hope this will be my last post in this thread, but I suspect...Read More...
Last Reply By navi · First Unread Post

Future simple or continuous

In 2030, we will treat people with diabetes .. Is "will be treating " incorrect here?why?Read More...
Hi, Ahmed55, I think "will be treating" is much better than "will treat" there, because the treatment involves an ongoing process consistent with the use of the progressive, but some more information would be necessary for the sentence to make sense, for example: - In 2030, we will be treating 100,000,000 people with diabetes. - In 2030, we will be treating people with diabetes by means of this new method .Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

which or where

The shop, ..........I visited last week, has good souvenirs. ( which/where) with explanation,please. Thanks in advance.Read More...
Hi, poet 20, (and my greetings from El-Madina El-Monawara), Choose: 'which'. There is an easy way to choose between 'where and which' here. Make a complete sentence without using any relative pronouns. That will be: I visited the shop. You see the object comes directly after 'visit' without using any propositions, which means that 'which' is the right choice. Change your example above to be: The shop..... I work, has good souvenirs. Making a complete sentence would result in: I work in a...Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

Help Required: Is this a dependent clause?

The opposing army were masterful at spreading lies and hate throughout their region, people hated them and therefore feared them. Is this a dependent clause: "People hated them and therefore feared them".Read More...
It doesn't make much sense to say that a clause is dependent, let alone adverbial, nominal or adjectival, if no context is provided. The only section that makes sense on that website is "Dependent Clauses in Sentences ."Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Using 'of' correctly

A few weeks ago I casually wrote out the sentence ''It was about time to see what he wanted of her.'' and didn't really think anything of it, even after reading through it again. Today however it made me question if 'of' was used correctly here. In context, the person is wanted to do something, not give something.Read More...
Hello, JayK, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange! To me, "want something of somebody" sounds similar to "expect something of somebody" and "demand something of somebody" (alternatively, from can also be used in all three cases, as far as I know). I don't find any possession meaning there as long as "somebody" is "somebody" and not "somebody 's ." Compare: - He wanted something of her. (which may mean: He wanted her to do something for him/to act in a certain way.) - He wanted something of...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

trust believe

Hello, 1.I don't believe your story. 2. I trust you. 3.I cannot trust this research result. 4.I cannot believe this research result. I think 1,2,3,4, are correct, but what about the following sentence. 5. I can trust none of his success stories in business. Doesn't "trust" have to be replaced with "believe"? Or does "trust" work in this sentence? AppleRead More...
Thank you, David. AppleRead More...
Last Reply By apple · First Unread Post

Since or That

It was only ten days ago ...... she started her new job. a) that b) since c) both A & B are OKRead More...
Yes, you are right, Coco. Very good. The answer is (a): It was only ten days ago that she started her new job. ( comes from : She started her new job ten days ago.) Des3 has given an incorrect answer. The answer is NOT (c) or (b). In order for "since" to work, two things would need to be different. "Ago" would need to be deleted, and "was" would need to be changed to "is" or "has been": It is only ten days since she started her new job. It has only been ten days since she started her new job.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

not only but also

cocoricot
Dear teachers, I have two simple sentences. I want to connect them using ''not only'' and ''but also''. I don't know where to place them properly. He is interested in gardening. He is interested in raising fish, too. 1. He is interested in not only gardening but also raising fish. 2. He is interested in not only gardening but he is also interested in raising fish. 3. He is not only interested in gardening but also raising fish. Can you tell me if ''not only '' ''but also'' can be placed...Read More...
Thank you, David, for your help. I got it.Read More...
Last Reply By cocoricot · First Unread Post

Which is correct? Is there a song... Is there any song... Are they any songs...

Hello, 1. Is there a song that you can sing in French? 2. Are there any songs that you can sing in French? 3. Is there any song that you can sing in French? I know sentences 1 and 2 are correct, but what about 3? I don't think it is correct, but is it acceptable? AppleRead More...
Thank you, David. appleRead More...
Last Reply By apple · First Unread Post

apostrophes

We're having an argument in my office. I say: Library Speakers Series has no apostrophe on Speakers. Others say it does have one. I say there's no possession. It's actually the "series of speakers," not that the series belongs to the speakers. Who's right? Thanks. SharonRead More...
Hi, Sharon, Since you are clear that you you don't wish the phrase to indicate that the series belongs to the speakers, I agree with you that it makes more sense without the apostrophe. Even the plural (speakers) is unnecessary, though it is not incorrect. Traditionally, attributive nouns were used in the singular even with there was plural meaning. Now it is common to see both types. Thus, you could say: the library speaker series compare : the fairy tale series the superhero novel seriesRead More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

delay to repair the bus

a. We'll have a twenty-minute delay to repair the bus. b. There will be a twenty-minute delay to repair the bus. c. We'll have a twenty-minute delay in order to repair the bus. d. There will be a twenty-minute delay in order to repair the bus. Are the above sentences grammatically correct? Are they natural? The idea is that repairing the bus will take twenty minutes and therefore we'll be delayed by twenty minutes. Many thanks.Read More...
Hi, Azz, While none of the sentences is a disaster, all of them cry out to be repaired. If you changed "(in order) to repair the bus" to "for bus repairs," all would be well: (a'/c') We'll have a twenty-minute delay for bus repairs. (b'/d') There will be a twenty-minute delay for bus repairs.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

onto and on to

Hello, What is the difference between "onto" and "on to"? I saw this sentence on Oxford online dictionary. PC noun A personal computer. ‘you can download the software on to your PC’ https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/pc AppleRead More...
Thank you, David. I also thought "onto" would have been better, but since it is in Oxford dictionary, I wasn't sure of myself. AppleRead More...
Last Reply By apple · First Unread Post

which or where

Hello, I would like to know which sentence is correct. a) Think of a buffet table at a party, or perhaps at a hotel which you've visited. b) Think of a buffet table at at party, or perhaps at a hotel where you've visited. Can I use these two senteces grammatically and, if any, what is difference between two sentences? Please give me some useful tip. Thanks in advance.Read More...
Hello, C.Y.Chang, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange! Only (a) is correct. The reason you shouldn't say "a hotel where you've visited" is that we speak of visiting something, not of visiting somewhere. "Visit" is a strongly transitive verb that generally requires a direct object. That is, while we can say, "I visited it", it sounds bad to say, " I visited there ." If you changed the verb to "stayed," you could use "where" after "hotel," because we can say, "I stayed there." (b1) Think of a...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

"A variety of" vs "varieties of"

Hello everyone, what's the difference between 'a variety of' and 'varieties of' in the following sentences? And are they both correct? There is a variety of flowers in the market. There are varieties of flowers in the market.Read More...
Hi, Subhajit, Sentence (1) indicates that the flowers in the market are of one variety or type, and (2) that the flowers in the market are of many different varieties or types. If you mean simply to say that there are a bunch of diverse flowers in the market (where "variety of" functions as a mere quantifier), then you should say: (3) There are a variety of flowers in the market.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Are exciting and excited the same

I just wanted to knowRead More...
Hi, Favor, Please include your question in the opening post of a thread. Readers should not have to refer to the title of a thread to see the question that is being asked. As to the difference between "exciting" & "excited," please see the answer Gustavo gave you regarding the difference between "interesting" & "interested."Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

too drunk to remember

Ask him what he said to Jane at the party last night. -He won't be able to answer. He was too drunk to remember. He is not drunk now. He was so drunk last night that he has surely forgotten all he did and said and won't be able to recall what he said to Jane. Does the sentence in blue work in this context? ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- a. Her relationship with her husband was too bad for her to want to talk about him. Is sentence (a)...Read More...
Hi, Azz, No, the sentence in blue does not work in that context. It means that, while drunk at the party, he couldn't remember something that happened earlier. Thus, the meaning is contradicted by the context. The sentence wants a perfect infinitive in the context you've presented: Ask him what he said to Jane at the party last night. -He won't be able to answer. He was too drunk to have remembered . Yes, Azz, it is. However, I'd prefer the following, which is equivalent in meaning: (a1) Her...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post
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