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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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Which sentence is correct?

ceedhanna
(1) His Military Service is done in the Army Forces on 1 st March 2008. (2) His Military Service was done in the Army Forces on 1 st March 2008 and is it possible to say: (3) His Military Service has been done in the Army Forces on 1 st March 2008. ThanksRead More...
Oops! 😂 Sorry, David. I guess we were typing at the same time. Should I remove my reply?Read More...
Last Reply By Hussein Hassan · First Unread Post

disagreement

Hi everyone, I want to ask how a native English-speaker agree/disagree on a idea both in formal or casual ? For example I have found that "Go along with something" is a way to support an idea. In addition, it would be great if you introduce me a reference in order to find collocation. Thanks in advance,Read More...

the old people

One person says: "In our city, a lot of people go to parks." Another replies: 1 ) It's old people who do. 2) It's the old people who do. 3 ) Old people go to parks. 4 ) The old people go to parks. Are these sentences all acceptable in this context? Do they have different meanings in this context? Do '2' and '4' imply that all of them go to parks? Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Thank you very much, David, So is '3' saying that as a rule old people go to parks (a generalization)? Is it saying that is the kind of activity old people engage in and therefore the people who go to parks in our city should logically be old people? Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Last Reply By navi · First Unread Post

very meta

The following is part of the conversation between a detective and Nick in the movei Gone Girl: Detective: “What do you do now for work?” Nick: “My sister and I own The Bar downtown.” Detective: “Oh, The Bar? Love the name. Very meta.” Nick: “Thanks.” What does "very meta" mean?Read More...
Hi, Fujibei, "Meta" is being used in a rather informal, somewhat regional sense there. The OED does, however, have an entry for "meta" (adjective) in the applicable sense. Have you ever heard of a "meta-analysis"? In the academic world, it is an analysis of analyses, or a study of studies. In TESOL, we often talk about the need to minimize the use of "meta-language" -- i.e., grammatical terminology, language about language -- in our explanations. In your quote, something similar is...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

In front of VS opposite

Hussein Hassan
Hello, there, Michael Swan in his book "Practical English Usage" says that we can't use "in front of" in the following context: There's a garage in front of my house. And he suggested using "opposite," "facing" or "across from" instead. I just imagined that I was living in a gated community or in a senior gated community, or suppose that I was living alone in an isolated area, owning a private garage in front of my house. See! It seems natural.😁 Why does Swan say we can't use "in front of"...Read More...
Thank you.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

last

Please, Could you tell me if it is correct or not? It was the last time for me to go to work by bus.Read More...
Hello, Abo Hamza, No, that sentence is not correct. Are you trying to express one of these ideas? It was the last time I would go to work by bus. It was the last time I could go to work by bus. It was the last time I went to work by bus. If so, you should revise the sentence accordingly.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

If John F. Kennedy <was>/<had been> alive, he would have turned 100 today.

Context 1: Suppose today is May 29, 2017 1. If John F. Kennedy was alive, he would have turned 100 today. 2. If John F. Kennedy had been alive, he would have turned 100 today. Context 2: Today is Aug 14,2019 3. If John F. Kennedy was alive, he would have turned 103 next year. 4. If John F. Kennedy had been alive, he would have turned 103 next year. Hi. Are all the above four sentences correct in the context? I make them up. Thank you.Read More...
When we transitioned to this new platform, a little over a year ago, I requested that the programmers disable the "like" function, so that there wouldn't be the sense of a popularity contest, comparable to Facebook and some other grammar sites. We prefer that members express their appreciation in words. Thank you.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Surprised vs taken aback

This question has bothered me for years, and every so often I look around online for the/an answer but I always come up empty handed. In the Coen brothers movie The Ladykillers with Tom Hanks, there is the following exchange of dialogue: Marva Munson: [walking in after the explosion in the basement] Professor, I'm surprised! Professor G.H. Dorr: Well... uh... properly speaking, madam, we are surprised. You are taken aback. Though I do acknowledge that the sense that you intend is gaining...Read More...

Discerning between??

I've just read 'Discerning among clinical symptoms'. I know there are rules for the use of among and between (between - distinct entities; among - not individually specified), but between seems correct in this case? Would it always be 'discerning between'? Thanks for your help!!!Read More...
Hello, Joho, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange! The general rule is to use "between" when there are two things or people involved and "among" when there are more than two. However, if there are more than two things or people involved, "between" may still be used if the many countable things are thought of as being related in pairs. That applies here. In distinguishing between symptoms, we compare one type of symptom with another. That is why "distinguish between symptoms" works well.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

I couldn't believe

a. They made an mistake I couldn't believe. b. They made an error I couldn't believe they had made. c. They made an error I couldn't believe they had made it. Which of the above sentences are grammatically correct? Many thanksRead More...

is wanting

Hello, At the 2019 Wimbledon men's singles final match between Federer and Djocovic, one of the two commentators said "seems like Federer is wanting to finish more and more points at the net". I was taught "want" was one of the verbs that was not usually used in a present progressive form. Is this an exceptional situation? Did the commentator mean to emphasize the strong passion that Federer had of finishing points at the net? AppleRead More...
Hi, Apple, The usage of the progressive with "want" ("is wanting to") is indeed abnormal. However, it does sometimes occur in conversational discourse, including between commentators in news broadcasts. The effect of using "is wanting" here is that it makes the statement informal, tentative, and confined to the ongoing present. It suggests temporariness. Compare: "I am loving the class" (temporary) vs. "I love the class" (fixed state). I would never teach this usage of "is wanting" to...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

'What' vs 'whatever'

Are both the following sentence using what and whatever correct? If yes, what different do they mean? John, whatever you did in the party last night was very wrong. John, what you did in the party last night was very wrong.Read More...
I agree with Gustavo. Please note the change from " in the party" to " at the party."Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Briefly discuss vs Discuss briefly

May I know which of the sentence below is appropriate? (1) Briefly describe the characteristics of a perfectly competitive firm. (2) Describe briefly the characteristics of a perfectly competitive firmRead More...
Hi, Joshua: In (1) and (2), the direct object of "describe" is the noun phrase "the characteristics of a perfectly competitive firm." Normally, we do not place an adverb, such as "briefly," between a verb and its direct object. Therefore (1) is better than (2); it is more advisable to use (1), because "briefly" does not come between "describe" and its direct object in that sentence.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

garden path sentence

Hello, contributors "Ask people which of these four crosses they like best". Q1. I wonder if the sentence above can be considered as a garden path sentence. It is difficult for me to parse, whether a) Ask people which of these four crosses / they like best, or b) Ask people / which of these four crosses they like best. Q2. Do native speakears usually use such complex sentence in their speaking or informal writing?Read More...
Hello again, Jiho, That is not a possible reading. You cannot add "that" or "which" there. If "they like best" were a relative clause, the sentence would be ungrammatical. * " Ask people which of them " does not work. That is what your would-be reading implies. So your would-be reading is wrong. If you wish to understand the sentence, please refer to my first reply.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

what; whichever

Psychological studies have shown that people in group situations tend to agree with _____ opinion they think has the most support. a. what b. whichever This is from a grammar book. I think both are correct, but the book says only 'b' is. Could you explain some? Thanks!Read More...
Hi, Kis, Yes, only "whichever" is possible there. "which(ever)" is required whenever the range of selection is restricted, and this is clearly the case because of the superlative (of all the opinions stated, there is one that has the most support): - People in group situations tend to agree with whichever opinion they think has the most support. "what" will only be accompanied by a noun in questions (direct or embedded). "whatever" may appear with a noun in any kind of sentence, albeit in a...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Grammar

Phone me after 2pm. I .....lunch by then. Will have Will be having Will have had am having Key answer : will be having Excuse me can you please explain why " will have had " is incorrect.Read More...
Many thanks for your help. في الاثنين، ١٢ أغسطس، ٢٠١٩ ٢:١٤ م The Grammar Exchange < alerts@hoop.la > كتب:Read More...
Last Reply By Muhammad · First Unread Post

Brokerage Way Corp..... is any issue here? How does it look for native?

Hello all! I'm not a native English speaking person so want to know is any problems or issue to hearing, reading and understanding. Don't want to say it should mean - "The way of brokerage", just is does it beat you when you see company with name: Brokerage Way Corp ? Huge hugs and thank you for answers! Best, SergRead More...
Hi, Serg, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange! Unfortunately, everything you have written in your post is filled with grammatical errors, and it is very difficult to decipher the question that you are trying to ask. Best wishes in your English studies!Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

"not" in a series?

Here's the original sentence: "Any child not picked up or allowed to walk home on their own prior to the conclusion of the program will be considered unattended." This is what was meant: "Any child not 1) picked up or 2) allowed to walk home on their own prior to the conclusion of the program will be considered unattended." But I think it should have been written like this... "Any child not picked up or not allowed to walk home on their own prior to the conclusion of the program will be...Read More...
Hello, Dave, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange! As the sentence is written, it is indeed ambiguous: we can't tell whether "allowed" falls under the scope of "not." In other words, we can't tell whether "or allowed to walk home" refers to a child who is not allowed to walk home or to one who is allowed to walk home. One way to disambiguate the sentence is the way you have suggested. You can repeat the word "not" before "allowed." Another way you could disambiguate the sentence is by...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

what or where

Hello, 1.What are you watching? I’m watching a horror movie . 2.Where are you working? I’m working in my office. 3.Where are you cleaning? I’m cleaning the kitchen In order to find out the underlined part, we use a question word. In sentences 1,”a horror movie” is the object of the sentence and a question word “What” works fine. In sentence 2,” in my office” is not the object but a modifier, telling the asker the place where I’m working, so a question word “where” is OK. What about sentences...Read More...
Thank you, always, David. AppleRead More...
Last Reply By apple · First Unread Post

Simple or complex sentence

"Based on the well-documented experiences of contemporary peers as well as those of past figures in the political arena, many of whom saw their professional reputations and their personal lives deeply and negatively affected as a consequence of releasing their own memoirs upon completing their tenures in leading public positions, the newly retired four-star general, whom, at his farewell press conference, the president himself had taken the time to praise as his most valuable asset in his...Read More...
What else could the nonrestrictive clauses be dependent on? Is your view that they are dependent on something that is not present in the sentence? Or is it rather that they are not dependent clauses at all? Presumably, there are only two choices: dependent or independent. If they are not dependent clauses, they must be independent clauses, capable of being stand-alone sentences unto themselves. Do you find these to be sentences? Many of whom saw their professional reputations and their...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

involved

Hello everyone, 1. What is a project team and who all are involved ? souece: https://www.invensislearning.c...who-all-are-involved I think "involved" here means "committed or engaged": The civil rights demonstration attracted the involved young people of the area. 2. The trouble was, however, that it was so concerned and involved and relevant and all together and right-on. — Cleveland Amory, TV Guide, 13 Mar. 1971 I think "involved" here means "complicated" Now my question, ... Pro: Exactly!Read More...

Is this Correct?

It's a door hanger that will be placed on the door knobs around an Open House that we're doing. Is it Neighbors' Open House or Neighbor's Open House or Neighbors Open House? HELPRead More...
Hi, JSlotnick, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange! An open house for one neighbor is a neighbor's open house. An open house for more than one neighbor is your neighbors' open house. In the context you've described, I recommend " neighborhood open house ."Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

when available

A: We need to have dinner together sometime. B: I agree, but I don't know ________. a. when available b. when I'll be available Are they both correct? Thank!Read More...
Hi, Kis, Only (b) is correct. Embedded or indirect questions cannot be reduced. Such reduction can only take place when the clause functions as an adverbial, for example: - Come when available (= Come when you are available).Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post
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