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January 2022

Checking Grammaticality

Hello, I came across this sentence while surfing the web, and for some reason, it seems odd to me. Is it grammatically correct? and if yes, why is there no pronoun in the second part? and is * read* in the present simple or past participle? (Most people once left school, never read books.) Thank you in advance,Read More...
Thank you, David!đź’™Read More...
Last Reply By Boroj Nouri · First Unread Post

be R-ing

Paper production emits air pollution, specifically 70 percent more pollution than the production of plastic bags. According to certain studies, manufacturing paper emits 80 percent more greenhouse gases [source: Lilienfield]. And, consider that making paper uses trees that could be absorbing carbon dioxide. The paper bag making process also results in 50 times more water pollutants than making plastic bag s (source). Can you tell me why the underlined part is <could be absorbing>, not...Read More...
Hi, GBLSU, "Could be absorbing" is better than "could absorb" because it is a fact that trees can absorb carbon dioxide. The text emphasizes the current reduction of the capacity to absorb carbon dioxide — if those trees were not dead, they could now be absorbing carbon dioxide.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

Tense

Befriending life is not always about having things your own way. Life is impermanent and full of broken eggs. But what is true of eggs is even more true of pain and loss and suffering. Certain things are too important to be wasted. When I was sixteen, just after the doctor came and informed me that I had a disease that no one knew how to cure, my mother had reminded me of this. (source) Should the tense of <remind> be past? Can you tell me why it is the past perfect tense? When I was...Read More...

Subordinate Clauses introduced by "That"

In the sentence, "That I overslept was unfortunate", what is the meaning of the subordinate clause, "That I overslept"? Do I take it to be a fact, belief or something else? Also, what is the meaning of " that" when it introduces subordinate clauses? Thanks, DengRead More...
Hello, Deng, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange. "That" is a conjunction there. You can replace it with "the fact that." It would be much more natural to use anticipatory "it" as a grammatical subject and to place the "that"-clause, which is the real subject, at the end: - It was unfortunate that I overslept.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

Render - use present or past

For the verb "render" in the below sentence, should I use the present or past form. e.g. We normally offer a package fee instead of charging for an individual service renders/renderedRead More...
Hi, Tony, You have to use the past participle "rendered" there. That is what we call a reduced relative clause: - We normally offer a package fee instead of charging for an individual service (that is) rendered .Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

Do you capitalize "the" in "The Lancet"?

I'm extremely highly in favor of writing "the New York Times " (the article "the" is not capitalized and not italicized). But I just realized that for some weird reason I hesitate to write "the Lancet "...but why shouldn't it be "the Lancet " if it's "the New York Times "? You'd think that if it's "the New York Times " then it should be "the Lancet " too, and yet I hesitate to apply the same rule to "the Lancet ".Read More...
Yes, it's just a matter of convention. Individual publications are entitled to their respective house-style choices in this particular. Grammar just bears witness. Apart from your aesthetic dislike of it, you appear to have one reason for avoiding italics with the article, namely, the threat of this type of thing: Even if I normally used an italicized capital the when writing the title of that publication, I might simply drop the the of the title in that syntactic context.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Is there any way that I can eliminate ambiguity here?

See here: https://join.substack.com/p/can-we-heal-america So I think that these people can be mobilized to at least try to change the public narrative. This is a tricky situation. Does it mean: --(A) at least [try to change the public narrative] OR --(B) [at least try to change] the public narrative I think that (A) is the meaning, based on his infection during the interview. But how to write it so that (A) is the clear meaning?Read More...
Hi, Andrew—Reading (B) is impossible. That part of the sentence can only mean (A). Semantically, you can't sever a verb from its direct object in the verb phrase.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Just one QUICK thing on capitalization. (Sorry; I know I just did a post.)

Sorry for doing another post. I just noticed an unusual thing that I'm curious about. Capitalization is a challenge and I always refer to the New York Times in order to check how they capitalize stuff. Sometimes they're not fully consistent, but searching in their archive helps me enormously to have peace of mind about capitalization. Take a look at this one: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/16/opinion/biden-inflation-spending-manchin.html - "American Rescue Plan" - "Build Back Better plan"...Read More...
Thanks! That makes sense! So Wikipedia might be "incorrect" on the capitalization on this? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Build_Back_Better_Plan Not sure if there's a "correct" answer.Read More...
Last Reply By Andrew Van Wagner · First Unread Post

stop somebody (from) doing

Hello. Could you please help me? Which one is correct or both are? - The internet has stopped young people (talking - from talking) to each other. Thank you.Read More...
Yes. Although we use the accusative, without "from" "stop" seems to work like a transitive verb followed by a gerund preceded by its subject: stop young people talking (stop young people's talking), stop me going (stop my going), stop heat escaping (stop the escape of heat).Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

When vs while vs as

Hello! This sentence appeared in a test I took yesterday. We were supposed to choose the appropriate conjunction/s. I believe all options work perfectly fine in this context, but my teacher says only As and while can be used with the past progressive. In other words, he says the past progressive cannot be preceded by when. ...... I was sleeping, the phone rang. A) When B) while C) As D) Both B and C Is it true that when cannot be followed by a past progressive? and if so, when to use each...Read More...
Thamk you, Ahmed!Read More...
Last Reply By Boroj Nouri · First Unread Post

work had and pass

a. That is an exam he has to work hard to pass. One meaning of that sentence would be: 1. In order to pass that exam, he has to work hard. But could (a) also mean 2. That is an exam he has to work hard and pass. ? Many thanksRead More...
Hi, Azz, Since "work" is not transitive here, the only interpretation I find possible is (1): - He has to work hard to pass that exam.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

Grammar and practical usage check

Hello, We are creating a disclaimer for a tourist itinerary using a template on the internet but we are not sure if it sounds natural and practical. Any discussion is really appreciated. Thank you. This tour may be subject to change depending on weather conditions and the status of the opening/closing destination at the same time. This itinerary may alter due to local conditions, the strength of the group, and other unexpected circumstances. We will do our very best to adhere to the set...Read More...
Thank you for the suggestions, knowing it's just fine is good enough for me.Read More...
Last Reply By Andy Huynh Vietnam · First Unread Post

Adverbial or relative clause

Hi, 1. I remember we went bike riding together last fall when he visited you (from a workbook). I find there are two ways to parse the when-clause: a. It is an adverbial clause, further specifying the time of we going bike riding. b. It's a relative clause, modifying "last fall". A comma can be added before it. I can't see which analysis gets the upper hand. Which one do you think is correct? Thank you.Read More...
Hi, Robby zhu, You also have: 2. I remember we went bike riding together when he visited you last fall. In both (1) and (2) "when he visited you" is adverbial. To be relative, there should be an article: in/during the fall when he visited you.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

that door of the house

a. That cousin of Jane who is a doctor was at the party. (not the other cousin or cousins. That one) b. That door of the house that faces east was damaged. (not the other door or doors) c. I will give you that puppy of my dog that you love best. (not the other ones) Are the above sentences grammatically correct and do they mean what I think they mean? Many thanks.Read More...
Hi, Azz, I think all three sentences are correct and have the intended meaning. Deictic "that" seems to point to the fact that the cousin, the door and the puppy in question have been mentioned in a recent conversation.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

as well as

When we put a verb after as well as, we use the -ing form of the verb. (This might sound really strange to a non-native speaker, but the grammar books agree on this.) Running is healthy as well as making you feel good. He broke the window, as well as destroying the wall. She draws as well as designing clothes. https://site.uit.no/english/grammar/aswellas/ Is this true? And can two clauses (no matter whether they have the same subject or different ones) be joined by 'as well as'? For example:...Read More...

take A for B

1  Cinema is valuable not for its ability to make visible the hidden outlines of our reality, but for its ability to reveal what reality itself veils ― the dimension offantasy. 2 This is why, to a person, the first great theorists of film decried the introduction of sound and other technical innovations (such as color) that pushed film in the direction of realism. 3 Since cinema was an entirely fantasmatic art, these innovations were completely unnecessary. 4 And what’s worse, they could do...Read More...

take & mistake

ă…‡He mistook her attention for love. ă…‡He took her attention for love. ă…‡He didn't took her attention for love. Roughly, some can say all these are same, yet some can say they are not same rigidly. Rigidly, especially with logic, or especially context, they must be different, am I right? My point is this. It's important which one is focused, love or attention, and/or positive or negative, etc. mmmm At first, I need your respectable comments.Read More...
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