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October 2020

Grammar breakdown...

Could someone please explain to me why the first sentence below uses the word 'blanket' in singular form whilst the second sentence uses plural? I know how to change them to use one or the other but I am at a loss to understand the why this is so. They were also 20 times more likely to completely clear their insomnia compared to those using a light blanket. Those who used weighted blankets also had reduced symptoms of fatigue, depression and anxiety during the day.Read More...

Omission of to-infinitive after a coordinator

Hello Grammar Exchange members! 1. Now, I want you to go home, look at your lives tonight, and to ask yourself, "Do I want a better life?" Originally in the bolded part "to" was omitted. What I'm wondering about is whether it's possible to insert "to" there like the example above? Thanks in advance. -KDogRead More...
Always crystal clear explanation! Thank you, David.Read More...
Last Reply By KDog · First Unread Post

present perfect with stative verbs & without durational phrase

Hi, I am confused about the meaning associated with the present perfect with stative verbs like "live" and "be" when they are not used with durational phrases. For example, (1) Mike has lived in Paris. (2) Mike has been in Paris. I know when you say "Mike has lived in Paris for two years," it means the same as "Mike has been living in Paris for two years. (he still lives in Paris)". The same is also true with "Mike has been in Paris for two days." What I am not sure is about sentences like...Read More...
I see. Thank you so much for clarifying meaning differences.Read More...
Last Reply By shmom · First Unread Post

Last week it snowed

Are both correct? Last week it snowed for the first time in the last 10 years. Last week it has snowed for the first time in the last 10 years.Read More...
That sentence is marginally correct. It's passable. Notice that you have not only moved what was an adverbial phrase to the position of sentence subject but also moved that phrase out of the clause in which the present perfect is used.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Do you find them correct?

I think they must be correct. Do you agree? 1 Which one of these three schools ' headmaster are you? One modifies schools . 2 Which one of these three schools' headmasters is you? (A person is looking at a picture with headmasters and knows that I am one of them but wants to know which one of them is me)Read More...
OK. From a purely syntactic standpoint, there is nothing wrong with either "I am one of these three schools' headmaster" or "Which one of these three schools' headmaster are you?" Technically, the possessive morpheme does not attach to "schools" but to the entire partitive phrase "one of these three schools." It would really be clearer to add the apostrophe-s after the "s": I am [[one of these three schools]'s headmaster] . [Which [one of these three schools]'s headmaster] are you? Those...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Years of experience or year-experience?

Hi adminstrator ! If I want to say a worker who already has experience in a field for 5 years. Which noun phrase could I use here? - A worker with five years of experience. - A worker having five years' experience. - A 5-year-experience worker. Thank you very much.Read More...
Hi, Moon Le—Just so you know, none of the three things you have punctuated as a sentence is a sentence. They are noun phrases. The first two are correct, and the third is incorrect. You can say "a worker with five years of experience" or "a worker having five years' experience"—both of which phrases are equivalent in meaning—but you cannot say " a 5-year-experience worker ."Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Shows and Showing

1. The ABC trust register shows the issue of 100 units to you. 2. The ABC trust register showing the issue of 100 units to you. What are the differences of the above two sentences? I saw my colleague wrote the second one, is it correct?Read More...
Hi, Tony, Let me try to simplify things for you. The basic sentence is "The register shows something." Suppose you wanted to add "The register is inaccurate." You could say, "The register shows something. The register is in accurate." Or you could say, "The register which shows something is inaccurate." The first sentence is embedded in the subject of the third sentence. The subject of the third sentence is "the register which shows something." That phrase is a noun phrase, like "it." Also...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

regret+doing

Can "regret doing' refer to the present? I regret not being genius. Possible? Or should it be "I regret that I am not genius"?Read More...
Hi, Me_IV, Neither sentence is correct. You mean "a genius" (where "genius" is a noun). (1) I regret not being a genius. (2) I regret that I am not a genius. The structure used by (1) refers to the past (compare: "I regret not being a Boy Scout when I was a kid"), whereas the structure used in (2) refers to the present. If you mean what (1) means, (1) is correct. If you mean what (2) means, (2) is.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

subjunctive mood

But that it rained a lot, we would not had worried so much. If it had not rained a lot, we would not had worried so much. Had it not rained a lot, we would not had worried so much. Are the sentences above grammatically correct?Read More...
Hi, Sarah Zhou—No, those sentences are not grammatically correct. Each one of them is ungrammatical. Modals are always followed by the base form of a verb. "Had" is the past tense of the verb "have." The base form of "have" is "have." Thus, while " would have . . . " is grammatical, " would had . . . " is not. If you changed "had" to "have," the second and third examples would be correct and equivalent. The first example, however, would remain ungrammatical. Although you can say " If it had...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Adjectives Modifying Nouns.

Dear Grammar Exchange, This is my first post as a member. Thank you for the opportunity of posting on this forum. I believe that transparency is key here. I am in the process of developing a name for a fictional ship. The name I have settled upon is Ardent Discovery. However, the development of this name has had me thinking about the relationship between the two words (the adjective modifying the noun) and I’ve come to a point where I can't see the wood for the trees, so to speak. Please...Read More...
That is very informative and very much appreciated. Thank you, kindly!Read More...
Last Reply By Jace777 · First Unread Post

Present perfect

I've read this sentence in King Lear: ( Since I've arrived here, I've heard some strange news) I know that we can use the present perfect directly after since if the verb is still going on or still has an effect but this does not go with ( arrive), so my question why is the present perfect with arrive in the above sentence? Thanks in advance.Read More...
No, it isn't right. It's unfortunate that the issue distorts Shakespeare's grammar. The past tense is needed in the "since"-clause, since the hearing of strange news did not extend throughout the period.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Neither .. nor

Can I say, (a) He has neither studied for her maths exam nor science exam. (b) He has studied for neither her maths nor science exam. (c) He has studied neither for her maths nor science exam. Thanks.Read More...
No, bear_bear, you can't say any of those things. First, "he" doesn't go with "her." The possessive related to "he," as you know, is "his." Second, there needs to be grammatical parallelism when you use "neither . . . nor . . . ." Each term should introduce a phrase of the same type. Third, as a speaker of American English, I never use "maths." I recognize that British speakers are OK with "maths," but I can't stand the word. I use "math." He has studied neither for his math exam nor for his...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Help!

I was asked to proof a personal statement for a family member recently. They used the sentence "There are many reasons that encouraged my journey back into education". I suggested they rephrase, because the use or reasons and encouraged seemed odd to me. I wasn't really able to explain if it was truly poor grammar or which, if any, rules it might contravene. Can anyone help out?Read More...
Hello, Tonga, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange. When you start a discussion thread here, please do not title it with the order "Help!" Choose a title that is descriptive of the grammatical topic of the thread. Here you could have used a title like "reasons that encouraged." The Grammar Exchange is not an editing service, but we can help you with this sentence. I agree with you that the use of "reasons" and "encouraged" is awkward. The sentence could be rephrased in many ways, but the...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

You may/might get into even worse trouble when...

1) You can get into even worse trouble when you're not careful. 2) You could get into even worse trouble when you're not careful. 3) You may get into even worse trouble when you're not careful. 4) You might get into even worse trouble when you're not careful. 5) You will get into even worse trouble when you're not careful. Does the "when-clause" in each sentence refer to the future (as in "when you're not careful in the future ")? Or Is each of sentences (1-5) a generic statement (timeless),...Read More...

The latter or The figure for the latter.

Hi Admin! In my essay, there is a sentence: "The percentages of people consuming meat and fish were 10% and 20% respectively. However, the former increased slightly while the latter declined." - I would ask about whether or not the word "the former" or "the latter" includes the meaning of "the percentage of people consuming meat". Or I have to write :" However, the figure for the former increased while the figure for the latter declined". Thank you for your consideration.Read More...
I'm sorry for not being clear. I mean "subsequent measurement was taken wherein the 10% grew to a larger percentage and the 20% deceased to a lower percentage". This is what i meant to say.Read More...
Last Reply By Moon Le · First Unread Post

Experience - a countable noun?

Hi all, my company has a new Vision Statement which ends with "...by delivering exceptional customer experience". This sounds wrong to me and I think it should be 'experiences' or 'an exceptional experience' because 'experience' in this context is a countable noun. Am I right?Read More...
Hi, Aimee—Yes, you are right. I find myself unable to hear "experience" as a noncount noun in the context of that phrase. "Experience" in a noncount sense is not something that can be delivered. Perhaps it would work with "creating"; however, I like your solution of making "experience" countable by using "an."Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

give rise to and lead

1. Provide the name, the registration number and the address of the trust that distributed the amount of $1M leading to the deduction. 2. Provide the name, the registration number and the address of the trust that distributed the amount of $1M giving rise to the deduction. What are the differences in meaning?Read More...
Hi, Tony—"Lead to" means to result in and "give rise to" means to cause.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post
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