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November 2020

Where or when

Why do we use " where" after " stage" in this sentence I'm at that stage of my life where I keep my self out of arguments. By the way: Can we use ( when) Another question: In some sentences l find the word ( situation) sometimes followed by ( when) or ( where).? Would you made it clear for me when we use when or where after situation.Read More...
Thanks for your reply. I know (myself) is written in this way but these mistakes are made during writing. I noticed I wrote ( Would you made) instead of ( make). Here is an attachment about the word(situation).Read More...
Last Reply By Ahmed towab · First Unread Post

not everyone

a. Not everyone who is here can go anywhere. Can (a) have two different meanings? 1. Some people can go anywhere, but not all. 2. Some people can't go anywhere. Many thanks.Read More...
Thank you so much David! Would you please check this one out as well? b. Not everyone who works for me knows anyone in your office. Does that one have only one meaning as well, or is it ambiguous? Many thanks. PS. Or maybe it is just plain wrong?Read More...
Last Reply By azz · First Unread Post

In the or just the article "the"

e.g. Based on your explanation, the balance of your unitholding in XYZ trust is 1000 units. However, in the /the XYZ trust register shows the following: Should I use in the or just the in the above sentence? Thanks!Read More...
Hi, Tony, The verb show is transitive there, so you need to say "the register shows XXX." To use in , you should use a verb in the passive voice or the verb appear : - However, in the XYZ trust register there appears the following: - However, the following appears in the XYZ trust register: - However, the following is shown / is reflected / is recorded in the XYZ trust register:Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

isn't/doesn't/won't

1 The computer won't work. Does that mean that it refuses to work regularly or on one occasion only? Or I can say it either way. My computer won't work every other week. or My computer won't work now. 2 The computer is not working. Does that mean that it's not ON or that's it's on the blink? Or can it mean either? 3 The computer doesn't work. Can that mean 1 on a regular basis?Read More...
Either of those sentences is fine in that context.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

I have always thought

1 I have always thought he was an actor. Does that mean that I still think that he IS an actor or WAS an actor? I heard natives say that it means that if he is still alive it may mean both "is and was". But isn't it confusing and wrong? 2 I always thought that he was an actor. Does that mean that I used to think that he was an actor in the past? 3 I have always thought he is an actor. I think it's wrong but why is it wrong? 4 I have always thought him to be an actor. Can I say that if I...Read More...

It is + adjective + that clause

Hello, I wonder if it is possible to say: It is important for the school that the headteacher changes the school's policy. Should I use 'to' instead of 'for'? Thank you!Read More...
Hello, Reo—Both "to" and "for" are possible there. What concerns me about your sentence is the use of the simple present in the "that"-clause. As written, with "changes" in the "that"-clause, the sentence indicates that the headmaster has an ongoing habit of changing the school's policy. If the intended meaning is that the school wants to the headmaster to change the policy, you should use the present subjunctive ("change") and "to": It is important to the school that he change the school's ...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

As that of

What's the replacement word for "as that of" so that it can be easily understood. e.g. Where a trustee of a trust makes a statement resulting in a shortfall amount for a beneficiary of the trust, section XYZ treats the shortfall amount a s that of the trustee for penalty purposesRead More...
Hello, Tony—As you can see from Gustavo's paraphrase, it is not the word string "as that of" that has a replacement word. Rather, "that" (which functions as a pronoun here) can be replaced by its antecedent: "the shortfall amount." that = the shortfall amount as that of = as the shortfall amount ofRead More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

What's the difference between "learn of" and "Learn About"

1. We learned of his death with great sadness. Can we also say: 2: We learned about his death with great sadness.Read More...
Hello, Kim, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange. As Gustavo has indicated with his fine explanation, it only makes sense to use "of" in your sentence, at least in a normal context. Normally, students do not become sad when they, say, learn about the demise of historical personages. What I would like to add here is that, even with "of," the sentence is not very natural. Sentence (1) would normally be phrased by native speakers as a cleft sentence, with the "with"-phrase focused: 1a. It was...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Question on the use of Semicolons

Hi, this is my first time posting. I usually can find the solution online but I've gotten some mixed messages from a few people in person. I understand semicolons when used in the following case [sentence/clause] ; [more description] i.e. I ate pizza; it was pepperoni. But can you use it to separate 1. [a term]; [definition] 2. [a premise]; [a conclusion] 3. [a conclusion]; [logical deduction] I dislike using semicolons since they are usually unnecessary and glare at you when used where a...Read More...
All three of your categories, Limelight, collapse into the category of explanation. Normally, we use a colon, not a semicolon, to introduce such clauses. Or we use a semicolon followed by a conjunctive adverb (as in my last post), or something else. The only one of your three examples that I find natural is (1).Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

beach, shore

Choose: I believe both are OK, right? Why? - I spend a day on the (shore - beach) with my family. Thank you.Read More...
Hello, Ahmed—Both are OK, yes. However, certain contexts will render one more appropriate than the other, or both of them inappropriate. (Are you staying next to the beach/shore or travelling to it? Are you on a boat?) Also, it is very strange that you are using the present simple. Did you mean to use the past simple ("spent")? If not, you should add an appropriate time adverbial. I spend a day on the shore/beach with my family every summer .Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Grammar SOON which is the correct use?

we're leaving soon , so can you get your bags ready? Soon we're leaving , so can you get your bags ready? we're soon leaving , so can you get your bags ready?Read More...
Hello, Sil, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange. The only natural, normal position position for "soon" in that sentence is after "leaving." With "will be leaving" instead of "are leaving," the positions of "soon" in the other two sentences would also work. All of these work: We will be leaving soon , so can you get your bags ready? Soon we will be leaving, so can you get your bags ready? We will soon be leaving, so can you get your bags ready? Please remember that the first word of a...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

-ing clause vs having + past participle

To the moderators, please. I came across this sentence in 'English Grammar in Use': _______a hotel, we looked for somewhere to eat . [Finding - After finding - Having found - We found] and the answer key of the book is ' After finding & Having found' , which I completely agree with. Yet, why not 'Finding' as well. Is it because as is mentioned in some grammar books to avoid ambiguity and to indicate that 'Finding a hotel' took place first, then it was followed (not immediately) by the...Read More...
Thank you, Abdul, for such a well-documented question. Exactly. "Finding" does not work for the reasons you mentioned. See how these work: - Looking for a hotel, we found somewhere to eat. (As we were in the process of looking for a hotel, we found...) - Seeing that there was no hotel available, we decided to find somewhere to eat. (As soon as we realized our search for a hotel was to no avail, we decided ...)Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

How to Answer an Embedded Question

Hello everyone, would someone here kindly enough take a look at the following question, which was published in a test paper in Taiwan? Martha: Did you notice if she was in her office or not? Anne: No, __________ (A) she wasn't (B) I didn't (C) she didn't (D) I wasn't This answer provided in the test paper is (B). Yet, is (A) acceptable, I've been wondering? Is there a grammatical rule or any convention suggesting that we should always answer the main clause, not the embedded one only? Thanks...Read More...

Asleeping/sleeping people

A question from my book: Thieves avoid making any noise in order not to wake up _______ people. A. Sleep B. Sleepy C. Asleep D. Sleeping The answer is B, which feels natural. However, option D makes sense. Which of the previous options is grammatically sound?Read More...
To add to what Gustavo has said, the correct choices are redundant. We can say: Thieves avoid making any noise so they won't wake people up .Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Singular form or plural form

Assuming each year I was issued a penalty assessment. In the scenario below, should I use assessment or assessments? e.g. I am not satisfied with the penalty assessments/penalty assessment issued for the 2018 and 2019 financial years.Read More...
Hi, Cristi—I recommend using the plural in that context. With the singular, it could appear that there was one assessment for a two-year period.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Correct Tense to use with 'before'

In the following context, Should I use 'present perfect' or 'simple past' with before ? 1- I worked for this company before but now I work for another company. 2- I have worked for this company before but now I work for another company. 4- I told you before that we should not trust John. 5- I have told you before that we should not trust John.Read More...
Have you forgotten, Subhajit, that you just asked almost the same question?Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

titled, named in an email

Hi, I am writing an email and wanting to include an attachment. The attachment is in word document. The word file is named Biden and the title of the word document is President elect Biden's life history. And I am confused what "entitled" and "named" refer to. Please let me know if I have not used it properly in the following sentences. (a) Please find attached the word document entitled Biden/President elect Biden's life history . (b) Please find attached the file named Biden/President...Read More...
Noted, thanks!Read More...
Last Reply By Cristi · First Unread Post

Can someone help me fix these sentences? Pls

1. A University of Hawaii team led by Dr. Craig Smith found the crabs using a remotely operated submersible. 2. The man’s attorney asked that he be admitted to a mental hospital because he was insane. 3. The sisters were reunited after 38 years at the I-10 rest area. I have gone through so many sentences for my homework assignment and am stuck on these three. These are the instructions for the assignment: Find the error or issue in each item and correct it. It may involve a misspelling, a...Read More...
I know it is the man, not his attorney, the one who was likely to need mental attention. The point is that, being in the genitive case, it is not syntactically clear. The sentence could be fixed as follows: - The attorney asked that his client / his principal, who was insane, be admitted to a mental hospital. (An attorney can be a lawyer (an attorney-at-law), in which case he acts for his client, or an agent (an attorney-in-fact), in which case he acts for his principal, that is, for the...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

a best or the best?

When should one use the/a with BEST? 1 Is there a best way to live your life? 2 Is there the best way to live your life? 3 What is the best way to live your life? 4 What is a best way to live your life? 5 There is the best way to live your life. 6 There is a best way to live your life. 7 That morning she did the best time of 21 seconds. 8 That morning she did a best time of 21 seconds.Read More...
Hi, Me_IV, "there is" usually requires an indefinite article (except with lists of items), so only (1) and (6) work. In both cases, "best" means "ideal." In the mentioned sentences, we can of course also use "better," though with a different meaning. I think (5) can work if "there" is not a pronoun but an deictic adverb, meaning that one is the best way to live your life. In the other cases, "the" is required to express absolute superlative in (3) and in the last pair I think both "the" and...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post
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