November 2019

How to parse "This is so they can help..."

Greetings! Ligaments connect bones to each other. This is so they can help stabilize the joints and provide structure to the skeletal frame. source:http://solidlifefitness.com/2014/03/16/muscles-tendons-ligaments/ Parsing one: "so they can help..." is predicative. Parsing two: "so" is predicative and there is a "that" omitted, i.e. "This is so (that)they can help stabilize...". That-clause is a result adverbial clause. Which parsing do you think is correct?Read More...
I agree with you that, unlike the other cases David and I dealt with further above in this thread, "so that we could meet her new boyfriend" specifies the "idea of going." Here "idea" means "purpose." In my view, that clause is a subject complement: - What was the idea (= purpose) of going? - The idea (= purpose) of going was so that we could meet her new boyfriend / The idea (= purpose) of going was that .Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

with the original cast

Which of these sentences are correct and correctly punctuated: 1) Directing the play is easier now than in the early days with the original cast. 2) Directing the play is easier now than in the early days, with the original cast. 3) Directing the play is easier now than in the early days when we had the original cast. 4) Directing the play is easier now than in the early days, when we had the original cast. Which mean: a) There were the early days with the original cast and then there were...Read More...
Hello, Navi, Taking a hard line with the restrictive-nonrestrictive distinction, as I generally do when talking about grammar, I interpret (1) and (3) as meaning (a), and (2) and (4) as meaning (b). That said, as we know, not all writers who write in English pay punctuational heed to the restrictive-nonrestrictive distinction, especially with prepositional phrases. It may therefore be expected that (1) and (3) would be intended to mean (b).Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

How to determine if a clause is a Be pattern or a Passive form of a verb

In the book Understanding English grammar by Martha Kolln and Robert Funk, ninth edition I was working through some of the passive voice exercises (pg 89) and wanted to ask two questions on my made up sentences: I was broken - broken is adjective (Be pattern) I was broken - broken is -en form of the verb (passive form of break) 1) Firstly, do both sentences have the same meaning? and 2) Is my understanding correct to write and explain my question this way? Kind Regards, PhilipRead More...
Much appreciated. I feel I'm starting to understand this language now. In a way, it is like Sudoku on steroids - very satisfying.Read More...
Last Reply By Philip · First Unread Post

the other entrance

a. Use the other entrance at the east side of the building. Is there on entrance at the east side of the building or two entrances? Are we being told to use the entrance on the east side, or to use the second entrance on the east side? If there is only one entrance on the east side, should one write b. Use the other entrance, at the east side of the building. c. Use the other entrance, which is at the east side of the building. ? Presumably, we are standing on the north side, there is an...Read More...
I agree that (a) is ambiguous. I think the sentence parses differently on each interpretation. On the interpretation where there are two entrances at the east side of the building, "at the east side of the building" is an adjectival modifier, modifying "the other entrance." On the interpretation where there is one entrance at the east side, "at the east side of the building" does not modify "the other entrance." Rather, it is an adverbial modifier, modifying "use." Compare: "At the east side...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

some of them

a. Some of them who were fast managed to get out in time. b. Some of them, who were fast, managed to get out in time. c. Some of the people who were fast managed to get out in time. d. Some of the people, who were fast, managed to get out in time. Is there any sentence which is saying or implying that all those who were fast got out in time? Is there any sentence that leaves that possibility open? Many thanksRead More...
Hi, Azz and Gustavo, I agree with Gustavo that his example (e) says that all those who were fast got out in time. Regarding your four specimens, Azz, although none of them says that all those who were fast got out in time, (b) and (d) imply that idea -- cf.: b'. Some of them, namely those who were fast, managed to get out in time. d'. Some of the people, namely those who were fast, managed to get out in time. As for (a) and (c), they do not say or imply that all those who were fast got out...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Help on a word

I am sure there is a word that describes the following theoretical idea but I can’t remember or find anywhere the word. scenario. I would have gone out with her if I wasn’t with you, but I would never have met her if I wasn’t with you so therefore the whole scenario is imposible because the future outcome needs a different outcome to something that has already happened. please help, it’s driving me nuts!Read More...
Hi, Tracey, I can't think of a single term, but how about contrary-to fact (counterfactual/unrealistic) hypothesis ?Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

as compared to

From the Chicago Tribune, a construction I am constantly trying to get my student writers to avoid: "One independent publisher whose Amazon order was 75% lower as compared to last year told Publishers Weekly that they were facing a 'nightmare scenario.'” 75% lower THAN. There is absolutely no reason for "as compared to" unless you are getting paid by the word, and students writing theses and dissertations are not. ... The above is a post from one of my friends on FB. Do you agree with her? I...Read More...
Hi, Freeguy, First of all, it's clear that we are comparing the orders, not the years: - This year the order was 75% lower than / (as) compared to (the one) last year. I think (as) compared to is stylistically a good option to substitute for than . There is no grammatical reason to prefer one over the other: it's just a question of choice, in my opinion.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

time expressions

Is there a difference between " each day " and " every day " ?Read More...
Hi, Islam, Sorry for taking a long time to reply, but I have never given an answer without having a reliable source of information. Concerning your question above, I'll just provide my opinion. IMO, both are quite similar in meaning. When you focus on a habit or a repetitive action, especially over a long period of time, 'every day' sounds better. For example, you can say: - My grandfather used to go swimming every day when he was young. However, when you focus on each day individually ,...Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

As of

Does " as of now" mean both "starting from now" and "up until now"? I used to think only "starting from now", but then I came across sentences like the following two examples that seem to suggest otherwise, and now I am not sure. " As of December 31, 2108, the company had $12 billion in consolidated assets..." " As of writing, the US government still requires companies to pay..."Read More...
Thanks very much DocV. You're right - the date should be December 31, 2018 and I forgot " this " in my second example. Both my bad, sorry! CatchanRead More...
Last Reply By catchan · First Unread Post

X was first, and (the) second was him.

Hello! Let's say I comment a contest or competition. Then, someone asks me who took what place, and I reply, "X was first, and Y was second." Is it grammatical to reword the answer as follows, "X was first, and (the) second was him (pointing my finger at him)." Should I put "the" before "second"? I know that "X was first, and he was second" sounds better, but I'd like to know if my rewording is correct.Read More...

noun+noun or genitive? or the Of construction?

Re-good say.. next dilemma : Would you say: General customers enquiry or General customers' enquiry or Enquiries of General customers ? is it perhaps a matter of style ? Thank you IvanoRead More...

In the mountain or on the mountain

Good day to everyone Basically I was taught at school to use the in preposition when referring to be in the mountain but I found an English publicity that would use ON THE MOUNTAIN..... I am aware of that ON can be used when something or someone is at the summity of the mount mound knoll mountain but not if it Is not at the top of it. Thank you IvanoRead More...

Why isn't there “is” in “They did it, thinking it more glamorous than…”?

Could you please help me with the grammar of this sentence? It's from an essay in a book on IELTS by Cambridge University Press. People turn to buying the new brand from overseas nations, perhaps thinking it more glamorous than the one they are used to. As a result, local companies are likely to maximize their profits as they import foreign products. Is it more glamorous grammatically correct, and if yes, why isn't it it IS more... ? Thank you!Read More...
Thank you very much, Gustavo and DocV. You've been really helpful.Read More...
Last Reply By mmd · First Unread Post

My appointment is (on/at)

I have made up the sentences below. (1a) My dental appointment is 2 o'clock. (1b) My dental appointment is at 2 o'clock. (2a) My medical appointment is Thursday, January 7th. (2b) My medical appointment is on Thursday, January 7th. Do I need the prepositions in the b versions? Thanks a lot.Read More...
Simple answer: yes. DocVRead More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

pay for (the) lunch

I have made up the example below. (1) Let's eat in a restaurant at noon. I will pay for lunch. My non-native speaking friends think I need to add the definite article to ''lunch" because I am talking about that specific lunch. (2) Let's eat in a restaurant at noon. I will pay for the lunch. Do I need the definite article or not? Thanks for your help.Read More...
Anson, The short answer is no, the article is not needed, and it sounds unnatural in context to a native speaker. Consider: this would be a normal conversation among native speakers: A: Let's go out for lunch. I'm buying. B: I'm sorry, I didn't hear you. A: I said we should go out. I'll pay for lunch. This is idiomatic. The way I see it is that in both instances, "lunch" is a mass (uncountable) noun. There are other circumstances in which it might be countable, but here no article is...Read More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

I have never seen ... when I drive to work ...

I have made up the sentence below. (1a) I have never seen a lion on the road when I drive to work every morning. My non-native English speaking friends think my sentence is wrong. Their two revised sentences are shown below. (1b) I have never seen a lion on the road when I was driving to work, which I do every morning. (1c) I have never seen a lion on the road when I was driving to work in the morning. I don't understand why my original sentence is grammatically wrong. Driving to work every...Read More...
Anson, Today is the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States, and in keeping with the spirit of the holiday, I thank you for your question, and indeed for your many interesting and challenging questions. Also, thank you for your courtesy and for making a point of indexing your examples. I understand both your logic and that of your friends. I actually prefer their versions to yours, but none of them sound quite right. What bothers me most about yours is the use of the present perfect "have...Read More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

Adjective modifying

Humans, animals, or physical objects can change as time passes. For example, a calf turns into a bull, a children turns into an adult, and etc. In this context, a bull is here. Could we say "the calf was cuter than the bull is " to indicate the different look of the bull in different stages? If not, what is the better sentence? In this context, the weather changes day by day. Why could we use "yesterday's weather" to indicate what the weather was like yesterday, and "today's weather" to...Read More...
If you are speaking about different roles or stages of the same person, you can say (notice the tenses): - Now that I am a boss I have more responsibilites than I did when I was an employee. - Now that he is a boss he has more responsibilites than he did when he was an employee. If there is no change of table, then you can say: - Today the table is brighter than (it was ) yesterday. (The genitive case will not be possible in this case.)Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

as if he were a child

1) He was feeling foolish, as if he were a child playing a game he didn't quite understand. Is that sentence correct? Does it mean: a) He was feeling foolish and he was feeling as if he were a child playing a game he didn't quite understand. or: b) As if he were a child playing a game he didn't quite understand, he was feeling foolish. Are we dealing with a specific way of feeling foolish? He wasn't feeling foolish like a man who had made a big blunder in a chess game, but was feeling...Read More...

How to parse "I hate it when..."

Please have a look at these two sentences: I hate it when he does that. I hate when he does that. 1,They have the same meaning, but the first one is more common, right? 2,How do you parse the first sentence? My take is that "it" Is dummy object , with when-clause being the real one. Is it also possible to view "when..." as adverbial?Read More...
Got it, thanks.Read More...
Last Reply By Robby zhu · First Unread Post

waking Peter up

1) I shouted at Tom waking Peter up. 2) I shouted at Tom , waking Peter up. Are both correctly punctuated? Is the comma necessary? Does it change anything in any way? Does it change the meaning? Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Or, I shouted at Tom for waking Peter up. DocVRead More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

placement of "only"

I have made up the two similar examples below. (1a) Yesterday, my friends came to my birthday party and ate most of my food. Now, I only have enough food for two lunches. (1b) Yesterday, my friends came to my birthday party and ate most of my food. Now, I have enough food for only two lunches. Which position of "only" is correct? Thank you very much for your help.Read More...
We can also say: Only I have enough food for two lunches. But that changes the meaning considerably. DocVRead More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

Grammar

I just need some help making sure these sentences are grammatically correct : 1.) Because we put wire fencing around the chicken coop, they cannot escape. 2.) When President Nixon met with Chairman Mao, he felt that a new era had begun. 3.) We plucked off the feathers before we roasted them. 4.) Tom's brother is an engineer, and this is the profession that Tom wants to study. 5.) They asked Marla and her to go to the fair. 6.) Any discussion between Jean and him is sure to be heated. 7.)...Read More...
Mason, Welcome to the Grammar Exchange. We are here to help you learn and understand English grammar, especially as spoken in the United States. We do not grade homework assignments, which it seems you are asking us to do, nor stand as a substitute for dictionaries. We want to help, but we also ask you to help yourselves by asking pointed questions about specific points of grammar, and at least making a guess as to the answer. I will take the time to respond to your twenty questions just...Read More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post
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