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Use of Quotes

David, Moderator
Our Policy on the Use of Quotations We understand that members occasionally desire or need to ask grammar-related questions about sentences or phrases that were written by others, and it is perfectly acceptable for you to do so. However, if you wish to include sentences or phrases in a post that were not originally written by you, you must do two things: 1) You must show punctuationally that they are not your words. 2) You must cite what you have taken the text from. The easiest way to...Read More...

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Changes were made...

Please let me know if the sentences are correct : 1. Changes were made in the web page. Please review it. 2. Please review the changes done it. Thank you!-Read More...
Hello, 4n4, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange. (1) is fine as long as the purpose of the review is to check the web page after introducing the changes. Otherwise, you should say: 1b. Changes were made in the web page. Please review them . I would revise (2) as follows: 2b. Please review the changes made/introduced .Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

the definite article

1) He boxes like the boxers of the fifties. 2) He boxes like boxers of the fifties. 3) He boxes like the great boxers of the fifties. 4) He boxes like great boxers of the fifties. Are the sentences grammatical? Is there a difference in the meanings of '1' and '2' and the meanings of '3' and '4'? What is the difference? Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Hello, Navi, Yes, all four of those sentences are grammatical, but I think (2) and (4) would sound better with some slight adjustments: (2a) He boxes like a fifties-era boxer. (2b) He boxes like a boxer out of the fifties. (4a) He boxes like a great fifties-era boxer. (4b) He boxes like a great boxer out of the fifties.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

When he (the baby) saw his mother, he (the baby) smiled happily.

Hello, When the baby saw his mother, he smiled happily. When he saw his mother, the baby smiled happily. Of the two sentences above, I think 1 is better than 2, but is there a situation where 2 is preferred? AppleRead More...
That's an interesting question, Apple. The effect is rhetorical. When someone hears or reads a personal pronoun and does not yet know whom that pronoun refers to, a subtle sense of suspense is created. A similar effect is created when "the" introduces a noun phrase headed by a common noun whose referent has not previously been identified -- e.g.: I had seen the movie before, but she hadn't, and that surprised me, because I thought that everyone my age had seen Dead Poets Society .Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

will always play / plays

Which is correct? Why? He will always play / plays well in the competition.Read More...
I'm glad I asked you to write them as separate sentences, bear_bear, because you are making precisely the error that I thought you might be making. But I thought you might know better, since you have been a learner for many years. Sentences (2) and (4) are ungrammatical. Whenever a modal auxiliary verb ( will, would, can, could, shall, should may, might ) is part of the verb phrase, the following verb ( play, score , etc.) must be in base form: " will play ," " will score ." This rule is not...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Question Tags

Hi there. So happy to join you. I am a fan of English. Recently some other friends and I had a discussion about three tag questions. Of course there were different ideas about them and finally we couldn't come to any specific conclusion that which option is the correct one and why. I'll post the three multiple choice tests here and if possible, would you please share your ideas about the correct ones? Thanks a million. 1. Jane believes that her team members won the game because they are...Read More...
First of all, a tag question must relate to a certain clause. Secondly, sentences with tag questions usually have only one clause. But in certain cases a tag question will relate to a "that"-clause following "I think" or "I believe": "I believe it's raining outside, isn't it?" Apart from such sentences, it is generally safe to assume that a tag question should relate to the root clause. All of the sentences you have presented have multiple clauses. In each case, you have tested tag questions...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Clause Ordering

ahmad
Hello, everyone, Are these sentences correct? 1. My fingers aching, I kept on writing the draft, having little time left for submitting it. 2. My fingers aching, I kept on writing the draft, having little time left to submit it. 3. Having little time left for submitting it, I kept on writing the draft, my fingers aching. 4. Having little time left for its submission, I kept on writing the draft, my fingers aching. 5. Having little time left to submit it, I kept on writing the draft, my...Read More...
Thanks a lot, Gustavo.Read More...
Last Reply By ahmad · First Unread Post

It is past time to

Hi! I happened to learn this strucure: it is past time to. (1) It is past time to update your resume. I was wondering about this structure. Is the meaning (more or less) the same as the structure "It is (high) time to/that"? Is it possible to paraphrase (1) to (2) below, using that-clause just like "It is (high) time that"? (2) It is past time that you updated your resume. Which part of speech is the "past" in this structure? I would appreciate it if you could kindly give me information...Read More...
Hi, David, Thank you so much! Your comment is helpful!Read More...
Last Reply By yasukotta · First Unread Post

go to temple / to the temple

Normally we say, I go to church. I go to school. We don't put any article before "church" or "school". I got 2 questions. (a) If I put articles before them, do we accept? (b) what about temples and mosques? - go to temple/go to the temple? - go to mosque/go to the mosque?Read More...
According to AS Hornby, who first compiled the famouse Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary , it is wrong to say “ I am going to temple” . He says that we must use THE before mosque, synagogue and temple whether we are going there for prayers or not. We should say “I am going to the temple to pray” or “I am going to the temple to whitewash it” . Likewise, we should not omit THE before cathedral unlike CHURCH. It is before CHURCH that we omit “the” if we are going there for prayers.Read More...
Last Reply By oabootty · First Unread Post

'in' vs without 'in' vs "per"

May I know which sentence is correct? (a) The handout of the slides should be two slides in a page. (b) The handout of the slides should be two slides a page. (c) The handout of the slides should be two slides per page.Read More...
Hi, Joshua, The verb "be" establishes equivalence when what follows is a noun or a noun phrase: - Joshua is a GE member (Joshua = GE member) "two slides a page" does not express what the slide handout is but what it contains or consists of . That is why "have" is more appropriate.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

play piano vs play the piano

Hello, I play the piano. I play piano. I used to think that we need "the", but now I often see the phrase without it. What is the difference? I have also heard that when someone plays clarinet in the orchestra, then you say "I play clarinet" without "the". Is this true? AppleRead More...
Thank you, David and Gustavo, for the interesting discussion. Since I'm more used to American English than British English, it was a surprise to me that" the" is often omitted before the name of musical instruments. AppleRead More...
Last Reply By apple · First Unread Post

Refer

ahmad
Hello, everyone, Are the following sentences correct? 1. Kindly refer the page 5. 2. Kindly refer to the page 5. Thanks.Read More...
Gustavo, I have always used refer that way; however, the abundant abuse of the expression (with to skipped over) by people around me made me seek expert opinion, which now having come from you has put my doubts to eternal rest. Thanks a lot.Read More...
Last Reply By ahmad · First Unread Post

Grammar question - list

I've got a sentence that starts, "As much as we – Tom, Charles, myself and a few others – saw the need for..." I've set it up that way because in the context of what had come before in the piece, while all of us were a group the first three were the most important involved. My question is whether or not the use and placement of "myself" in the list is acceptable grammatically, vs. sticking me at the end ("I") or making it "Tom, Charles and I and a few others," which seems a bit awkward. Thanks,Read More...
Thanks.Read More...
Last Reply By highstream · First Unread Post

emotional vs. abusive

Hi, This is not a question of grammar, but a definition of words in context. In the following sentence, "You should recollect a past event that was highly emotional/abusive for you." do you think that the two words 'emotional' and 'abusive' are synonymous here or not? Here, the past event is a bad experience and the author insists on addressing the wound by writing and/or talking about it. I am posting because we (not native speakers) have some controversy. So I am asking for intelligent...Read More...
Hello, Moon, I'm afraid that "emotional" and "abusive" are never synonymous. Have you looked the words up in a dictionary? The sentence doesn't work at all with "abusive" and is only marginally acceptable with "emotional." You might consider using one of these sentences instead: You should recollect a past event in which you were highly emotional. You should recollect a past event in which you felt very abused.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Which sentence is better?

a. The purpose of the chores should not be getting an allowance. b. The chores should not be the purpose of getting an allowance. Are they both correct? If so, which is more natural? Thanks!Read More...
I agree with David. This is my suggestion to improve the sentences: - The chores should not be intended as a means to get an allowance.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Correct question

Can anyone advise me which question would be asked by an immigration officer in an airport? Where are you traveling from? Where are you traveling in from? Where are you coming from? Where are you coming in from? Where are you flying from? Where are you flying in from? Are all grammatically correct? What would be the difference? Thank you!Read More...
Hello, Markus, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange! "Coming" is spelled with only one "m." I recommend the following question for that context: Where are you arriving from?Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Who

I always thought I understood how to use the pronoun "who" until I read this in a book: " Rawl was the Irish American son of a New Jersey truck driver who had enlisted in the United States Marines, made sergeant, and then... ". I first assumed it was Rawl's father, the truck driver, who had enlisted in the United States and all, but then it became clear later in the book that it was Rawl who was the US Marine. I have read the sentence over and over again but still can't make sense of it.Read More...
Hi, Catchan, Your initial assumption was natural. You assumed that the antecedent of "who" (i.e., what "who" refers to) was the noun phrase "truck driver" rather than "Irish American son." Grammatically, either one can function as the antecedent. The easiest way to parse it is to see the relative clause ("who had enlisted . . .") as modifying the entire noun phrase "the son of a New Jersey truck driver," the head of which is "son," not "truck driver." "Truck driver" is part of the "of"-phrase.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Inform/Informed

ahmad
Hello, everyone, Are the following sentences grammatically correct? 1. This is once again to inform all the candidates who have applied for the post of the principal in this college to report for the interview on the scheduled date and time, as notified earlier, failing which they will forego their right for consideration. 2. All the candidates who have applied for the post of the principal in this college are hereby once again informed to report for the interview on the scheduled date and...Read More...
Hi, David, I am sincerely thankful to you for having pointed out, and subsequently rendered correct, so many mistakes in the maiden post of this thread, which I had overlooked miserably. Your helpful responses, and Gustavo's insights, are more than what I had hoped to get out of this thread. Your observation in your last paragraph is something I failed to foresee, as I was more interested to see if 'This is once again to inform' part, which was provoked by an earlier thread, had the...Read More...
Last Reply By ahmad · First Unread Post

Any Error?

(a)HAVING a membership to a health club has helped me (b) TO LOSE weight, increase my (c) OVERALL fitness level, and (d) INTRODUCED me to new friends. (e) No error. That is an SAT question taken from from page 82 of 'SAT Writing Essentials' by Lauren Starkey. The error picked in the book is (d) INTRODUCED with the explanation that it should be in the present tense since the sentence is in the present tense. But I don't think that is an error; I think it's used because of 'has'. Please help...Read More...
I think it'd be great if you did, David.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Using "for"

Am I using the word "for" correctly here? Should I use "with" or should I add a verb between "for" and "accessories"? Thank you for the help. Sentence: "This is a collaborative resource that provides endless design inspiration for accessories."Read More...
Hello, Helithos, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange! I'd like to have our moderator's opinion about this issue, but I'll give you my view. Even if "accessories" is an object and thus not capable of being inspired, "for" seems to be introducing the beneficiary of that inspiration. I'd prefer this version: - This is a collaborative resource that provides endless inspiration for accessory designers / designers of accessories.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Conditional sentence

hi what is difference between these sentences? if I see him, I will call you. if I should see him, I will call you. in other words, what is the role, or maybe the advantage, of "should" in if-clause? thanks in advanceRead More...
Hello, Leonard-Jones, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange! "should" only adds some improbability to Type 1 conditionals. You can consider your sentence: - If I should see him, I will call you. to be equivalent to: - If by any chance I see him, I will call you. "should" also allows inversion in the condition: - Should I see him, I will call you. Note: We hope to see you here again. Please remember that all sentences should start with a capital letter. I know that in informal communications...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Bearing/Bore

ahmad
Hello, everyone, Is the use of bearing/bore correct in the following sentences? 1. The candidates bearing roll numbers 1,2,5 and 7 were shortlisted for the interview. 2. The vehicle bearing registration number SH-1258 was seen in the neighborhood around the time of the accident. 3. The slates that bore such numbers/markings were distributed among the children studying in the school. Thanks.Read More...

Set

ahmad
Hello, everyone, Which of these sentences sound normal and are less ambiguous? 1. The next day of hearing has been fixed as July 20, 2019. 2. The next day of hearing is fixed as July 20, 2019. 3. The next day of hearing has been fixed for July 20, 2019. 4. The next day of hearing has been fixed on July 20, 2019. 5. The next day of hearing is fixed for July 20, 2019. 6. The next day of hearing is fixed on July 20, 2019. Thanks.Read More...
Thanks again, Gustavo.Read More...
Last Reply By ahmad · First Unread Post

for all my life or all my life

Hello, teachers! I've read this piece of information in "English Grammar in Use -5th edition that we don't use "for + all" in sentences like: "I've lived here for all my life." And that the correct form is: "I've lived here all my life." However, some people claim that it is OK so I'm confused. What do you think, teachers?Read More...
Thanks, Mr David 🌹Read More...
Last Reply By ayman · First Unread Post
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