November 2018

adj vs adv

Muhammed Abdullah
For people who have diabetes, eating too many sweets is ........ dangerous. ( positively - negatively - effective - affective)Read More...

Usage of "the"

Hi there, is it necessary to use the in the following sentences? Yesteraday I ordered a refrigerator from a online shopping site. I took ( the) delivery of the product today morning. Leverage means (the) influence of one force over another.Read More...
Hi, Subhajit, In the first example, "yesterday" is misspelled and the use of "today morning" is incorrect. English speakers say " this morning ," not " today morning ." (But it is OK to say "tomorrow morning.") Since " take delivery of (something)" is a phrasal verb (a rather formal one), "the" should not be used. In your second example, I would change "means" to "refers to" and use "the": "Leverage refers to the influence of one force over another."Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

to wait and waiting

cocoricot
Dear teachers, 1. Waiting for people who were late made him angry 1a. It made him angry waiting for people who were late. Similarly, ''to wait'' is used with the same function: subject as in (1). 2. To wait for people who were late made him angry. 2a. It made him angry to wait for people who were late. Please tell me if all the sentences are correct and what is the functions of ''waiting'' and ''to wait'' in 1a and 2a are. Thanks.Read More...
Thank you, Gustavo, very much.Read More...
Last Reply By cocoricot · First Unread Post

pants

1.These are black pants. How many pairs of pants are we talking about? :D By the way, 2. How many pants are we talking about? Is this also correct? Thanks.Read More...
Ruifeng, I forget who first said this (it might have been Ambrose Bierce), but "pants" is a noun that is singular at the top and plural at the bottom. As David says, the garment is always referred to in English in terms of pairs. That being said, the plural of "pair" is sometimes written and spoken without the final "s": I bought three pair of pants today. And, as David also says, "pants" always has to be in plural form when referring to the garment. A one-legged man does not wear "a pant",...Read More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

someone/anyone

Can one use: 1) Can someone see the documents? instead of: 2) Can anyone see the documents? Can one use: 3) Is there someone who can see the documents? instead of: 4) Is there anyone who can see the documents? Can one use: 5) Can someone run that rapidly? instead of: 6 ) Can anyone run that rapidly? Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Hello, Navi, (1) and (3) work when they imply a request on the part of the speaker, with the "some"-form being used to show that an affirmative answer is expected: 1) Can someone see the documents? (I hope someone can.) 3) Is there someone who can see the documents? (I hope there is.) Instead, (2) and (4) are neutral, with the speaker being prepared to receive a yes or a no for an answer. I'm not sure about (5). A similar question could work if a request were involved: 5) Can someone run...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

a

One morning, he found that a deep snow had fallen. Is the article "a" used correctly in the sentence above? Thanks.:DRead More...
Actually, Ms. Tan, "a" is needed in Ruifeng's sentence. It is because of the adjective "deep" that "a" is needed. You are correct that "snow" is a noncount noun. One can say, "Snow has fallen," but one cannot say, " Deep snow has fallen ." A deep snow is an event, one in which a lot of snow falls. Things become deeply buried in snow when there is "a deep snow."Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

hyphen usages

Why do we use a hyphen in "Spider-man" but not in "Batman" and "Superman"?Read More...
Greetings, DocV and I have come to answer this question at almost the same time. If I hadn't had to log in to make this post, I wouldn't have even seen his post. I think his answer is great. I, too, was going to point out the need for the capital "M" and the fact that, because it is just a name, the creators of Spider-Man could do whatever they wanted. That said, before I read your question, Freeguy, I had totally forgotten that Spider-Man had a hyphen in his name, but I believe that fact...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

"be away" vs. "will be away"

1. Your dad and I are away for three days. 2. Your dad and I will be away for three days. Q: 1. If a mom is telling her daughter the plan, which one does she say? 2. If a mom is leaving a note for her daughter, which one does she write? 3. What is the difference between the two tenses here? Is the simple present something already planned and the future something that will happen if under a certain condition? Thanks.Read More...
You're welcome, Ruifung😊Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

A single unit?

We have much to learn from our parents regarding our heritage, to be proud of our past. This heritage and history brings a sense of belonging. Most importantly, it brings us a sense of identity of our past and the responsibility to protect it for our future generations. I wonder why the author used a singular verb (brings). Does he consider "heritage and history" together a single unit? I would use a plural verb here. (bring). Source: English Course Books taught in Iran Thanks.Read More...
It's a noun phrase functioning as a simple compound subject.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Owner

Is this a correct sentence? Reading is a hobby that helps it's owner. Is it acceptable to use the word "owner"? Thanks.Read More...
Hello, Yama, No, that is not an acceptable use of the word "owner." One can be an owner of a hobby store (i.e., an owner of a store that specializes in typical hobby-related items) but not an owner of a hobby. You could say: (1) Reading is a hobby that helps the one who has it. (2) Reading is a beneficial hobby. Sentence (2) is much clearer and more succinct than (1). I'd like to direct your attention to a punctuation error in your example sentence. It's should be its , without an...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Painless

What is the right answer to this sentence "I told my little brother not to worry, because when the dentist looks at your teeth, it is(painful /painless) .Read More...
Hello, Emad, This is more a reading-comprehension question than a grammar question. Both answers are grammatical, but only one makes sense in the context of the sentence as a whole. If you told your brother not to worry about having his teeth looked at by a dentist, would it make more sense to follow that statement with a statement about its being a painful process or a painless process? Think about it.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

good or well

1. I don't feel well. My head hurts. 2. I don't feel good. My head hurts. Which one is correct or more natural? Thanks.Read More...
Hi, From a reference book: --- The Penguin Dictionary of American English Usage and Style, ... Penguin Books, Ltd - 2000 - ‎ Preview “I feel well ” means I suffer no sign of illness. (Feel is not modified by ... In the sense of health, “I feel good ” is quite informal; “she's not good” is dialectal . One is well or feels well. ---Read More...
Last Reply By Marius Hancu · First Unread Post

to play spoilsport {a common expression or not}?

grammarcrazed
Hello everyone: I was wondering if the expression “ play spoilsport ” is used by native speakers. The examples I found on GoogleBooks were from books, mainly by Indian writers. Do the following sentences sound natural ? a. We were all psyched about going out in the field and playing soccer, but the rain played spoilsport . b. We were all psyched about going out in the field and playing soccer, but as soon as we went out to play, the rain became such a spoilsport. If not, what expression do...Read More...
Hi, It's used by this seemingly native speaker: Fitz Lee: A Military Biography of Major General Fitzhugh Lee, C.S.A. https://books.google.ca/books?id=GXx2AAAAMAAJ Edward G. Longacre - 2005 - ‎Snippet view - ‎ More editions ... of his opponent's timetable, however, and decided to play spoilsport . On the rainy afternoon of May 3, he began to evacuate his lines west of the city and head for the multilayered defenses of Richmond. There he could make a more effective ...Read More...
Last Reply By Marius Hancu · First Unread Post

as is the case

Which are correct: 1) The true value of his artistic work will be determined by later generations, as is always the case in art. 2) The true value of his artistic work will be determined by later generations, as it is always the case in art. 3) The true value of his artistic work will be determined by later generations, as that is always the case in art. Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Hello, Navi, If the "as"-clause is to mean that the true value of an artist's work is always determined by later generations, then only (1) is correct. If "it" and "that" referred to an antecedent that can't be ascertained from the first part of the sentence, then (2) and (3) would be correct and (1) incorrect. In (1), "as" functions like a relative pronoun introducing a sentential relative clause. In (2) and (3), "as" is a subordinating conjunction meaning "because."Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

easiest/the easiest

Which are correct: 1) We can use one, two or three cameras to shoot this scene, but I think two cameras is easiest. 2) We can use one, two or three cameras to shoot this scene, but I think using two cameras is easiest. 3) We can use one, two or three cameras to shoot this scene, but I think two cameras is the easiest. 4) We can use one, two or three cameras to shoot this scene, but I think using two cameras is the easiest. Are there any differences in the meanings? And could one replace 'is'...Read More...
Hello, Navi, I find all four sentences correct, though, if you want to be picky about "the," I suppose we should say that it should technically be used, since we are dealing with a set number of options in each case. It appears, then, that we must choose between (3) and (4). They mean exactly the same thing, and both are correct; however, (3) utilizes an abbreviated way of speaking. We could say (3) is somewhat informal and (1) even more informal. "Are" cannot be used instead of "is" in the...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

as only

Who stole your mother's ring? 1) Obviously the butler did it, as only he could. 2) Obviously the butler did it, because only he could. (I am saying the butler did it, because nobody else could have done it.) 3) Nobody else could have saved them. So I saved them, as only I could. 4) Nobody else could have saved them. So I saved them, because only I could. (I saved them, because nobody else could have done it.) 5) She played the concerto as only she could. (She played it in the way only she...Read More...
Thank you very much, DocV, I'd like to ask a follow-up question if I may. What will happen if we take 'only' out of 'as only'? Who stole your mother's ring? 6 ) It is possible that the butler did it, as he could. 7) I saved them, as I could. 8) She played the concerto as she could. Do those sentences work? Are '6' and '7' ambiguous? Does '8' imply that she didn't play it well? Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Last Reply By navi · First Unread Post

More than

”The notion that pets need more than a minimum of care has been slow to catch on, perhaps because until recently the only animals that come into close contact with humans were those on farms.” 1. How is ‘more’ and ‘than’ functioning here? Which word is ‘more’ modifying? 2. I am I correct in saying that ’perhaps’ as an adverb is modifying verb phrase ‘catch on’. 3. Can we use ‘are’ in place of ‘were’. Please explain.Read More...
Thank you for explaining the mistakes and for the detailed response. I took this sentence from a piece of news paper sometime back for understanding sentence structure. It was not from a website, otherwise I would have cited the source and copied correctly. I noted it incorrectly as ‘come’. Is ‘more’ a determiner and ‘more than a minimum of care’ a noun phrase as direct object.Read More...
Last Reply By symphony · First Unread Post

is or are?

The following is from https://books.google.co.kr/books?id=83s7DwAAQBAJ&pg=PA91&lpg=PA91&dq=%22we+do+not+make+them,+if+by+we+is+meant+our+conscious+minds%22&source=bl&ots=cRwgKztESw&sig=mabZVQexVf8ygF-bMVSDBt-VndA&hl=ko&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjbgKPJzL_eAhXOFIgKHaLUBfcQ6AEwAHoECAEQAQ#v=onepage&q=%22we%20do%20not%20make%20them%2C%20if%20by%20we%20is%20meant%20our%20conscious%20minds%22&f=false The choices we make typically reflect our desires: we choose...Read More...
Thanks a lot, DOC V. As you mentioned, I did make a mistake, when I wrote " The report fails to define what the term 'key issues' mean ". You wrote: Here, as with my previous examples, "we", although a plural pronoun, represents a singular concept that requires a singular verb. Now, by putting "our conscious minds" in quotation marks, it should be clear that the same applies to that phrase; although it is a plural noun phrase, here it stands for "the phrase ''our conscious minds" or "the...Read More...
Last Reply By Lee78 · First Unread Post

Due to and because of

Is "due to" synonmous with "because of" - or they are different in meaning? For example, can I say: he left the class because of illness/due to illness...?Read More...
Hello, Takashi0090, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange! Yes, "due to" is synon y mous with "because of." Indeed, it is defined thus: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/due%20to "Because of illness" and "due to illness" are almost equally common in AmE. Incidentally, in your profile, I have deleted the link to the proofreading site.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

as lovers can

a. You will write poems as lovers can. b. You will write poems as only lovers can. (You will write poems the way (only) lovers can) c. Your love will fade away as certain memories can. d. Your love will fade away as only certain memories can. (Your love will fade away the way (only) certain memories can fade away.) Are the above sentences grammatically correct? I have rarely heard 'as' used this way with 'can'. I can only think of: "He does it as only he can." and "He did it as he could." I...Read More...
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