December 2019

Older - elder

My (older - elder) daughter is a nurse. The other one is a teacher. H What is the right answer in this sentence?Read More...
Hi, Emad Ragheb, In that position before the noun, both are correct. After the noun, only "older" is correct. - My daughter who is a nurse is older than the other one who is a teacher.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Mandative should vs Putative should.

Hi, everyone. The following 2 paragraphs are quoted from: https://www.thoughtco.com/puta...ould-grammar-1691554 1, In English grammar, putative "should" is the use of the word should in contexts that indicate surprise or disbelief, or that refer to the occurrence (or possible occurrence) of some situation or event. This usage differs from the should of obligation (i.e., the mandative "should"). 2, In addition, putative should "occurs in subordinate clauses as an alternative to the...Read More...
Thanks for correcting me, Gustavo. I've also noticed that I make basic mistakes frequently, even if I know those rules. Probably it's because those rules are only rules to me: I haven't developed a habit in accordance with those rules.Read More...
Last Reply By Robby zhu · First Unread Post

Comma location

Are the commas in the correct location in this sentence: I'm hopeful we can schedule a brief interview in January instead, but if not, I will be sending over some questions. I cannot feel certain as to where they go or if I need one or two or none.Read More...
Hello, Aliciaballerina, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange. You have used the two commas correctly. An additional comma could be added after "but," but that is not required. I recommend revising your sentence and splitting it into two sentences, as follows: I'm hopeful that we will be able to schedule a brief interview in January. In case this doesn't work out, however, I will be sending over some questions.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

"dwarfing runner up Apple", What does it mean?

ceedhanna
When I was reading this article ( https://edition.cnn.com/2019/12/12/investing/saudi-aramco-2-trillion/index.html ), I came across this phrase "dwarfing runner up Apple", and I wonder what it means. ThanksRead More...
Hello, Ceedhanna: It means that the company Saudi Aramco is worth so much in monetary value that it dwarfs (i.e., renders small in monetary value by comparison) the company Apple, which is a runner up (i.e., a contender), being worth around $1.2 trillion. Saudi Aramco is worth much more than that.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

be-verb tense

I am confused in be-verb tense. He is/was my high school classmate. (Now I study in college). Bill Clinton is/was the 42nd president of the United States. This is/was my high school. (Now I study in college. When I pass through the place, I introduce it to my friend) This is/was Apple's 2016 income. (In the presentation, I show my boss Apple's 2016 income). According to my understanding, both of is and was are allowable. Is it right? Thank you!Read More...
Suppose you got married three times. You can refer to your first wife by saying: - She was my first wife. or - She is my ex-wife. We use "was" because "first" brings us back to the time when you were married to her (she was your first wife ten years ago , for example). We use "is" because "ex" refers to her current status ( now that you are no longer married to her she is your ex-wife).Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

And the more we spoke, I knew why.

Hi! When I was reading Jay Asher's 13 Reasons Why , I came across this sentence, " And the more we spoke, I knew why ," and I was wondering what it might mean. Here is the context: It seemed like you could know me. Like you could understand anything I told you. And the more we spoke, I knew why. The same things excited us. The samethings concerned us. (p. 210) The sentence in question reminds me of the structure "the+comparative, the+comparative" as in The more I know him, the more I like...Read More...
Thank you so much, Gustavo!Read More...
Last Reply By yasukotta · First Unread Post

Capitalisation

I have seen some grammar advice that suggests one should capitalise the name of a document even if the name is also a description of the document. For example, if I am writing a business plan and the title of the document written on the front page is "Business Plan", I should refer to the document as the Business Plan rather than the business plan. What are people's views on this? Does the need to capitalise change if we are referring to the document in the plural. For example if I was to...Read More...
Thanks for your response.Read More...
Last Reply By wpc205 · First Unread Post

perfect progressive with (a lot / many times)

I've been doing this exercise a lot. I've been doing this exercise many times. I have read that we use the perfect progressive to talk about repeated events that are still true in the present. So do the two sentences above mean that the actions are still true? Or do you think it's better to use the perfect simple instead? Thanks!Read More...
Hi, Mo.Anwar, I agree with David and find his explanation perfectly convincing. I especially like this definition of his: "many times" expresses the repetition of an action (an action that starts and finishes, then starts and finishes again, and so on) and this does not fit in with the present perfect continuous which indicates, as the name of the tense goes, continuity . If instead of "do an exercise" (or "do exercises") we used "practice" (which can be deemed to be a close synonym of "do...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

impossible construction

We see these expressions often. ' He's gone camping ', "He' s been camping'. I know they have slightly different meanings, the second one conveys the experiential one, and the first one suggests we had to travel to somewhere first, before our having this kind of experience. Assume that we want to make these both phrases in the perfect continuous. Only the first one is possible - ' He's been going camping '. I had to do this test for making myself sure whether the second is a possible...Read More...
I accidentally saw the usage of such phrases in a school text book. It was in a lesson which introduces the present perfect for the first time. I asked myself how incredibly hard would it be for a teacher to explain that the sentences containing these phrases are in the perfect simple tense but not in the perfect progressive. Of course, a teacher can decide not to mention the perfect progressive existence. No matter of the teacher's choice, what will follow is that students will do these...Read More...
Last Reply By Former Member · First Unread Post

a trip

Are these sentences correct: 1) He thinks this is a good time for a trip to Washington talking to senators. 2) He thinks this is a good time for a trip to New York interviewing artists. If they are, do 'talking to senators' and 'interviewing artists' modify 'a trip'? Would it make any difference if one had 'to talk to senators' and 'to interview artists' instead of 'talking to senators' and 'interviewing artists'? Gratefully, Navi PS. I think these are a bit like 'He found a job teaching ...Read More...

Any markers to identify Relative Clauses

Hi Guys, In the book Understanding English Grammar by Kolln and Funk, pg 149, they talk about adjectivals modifying nouns. In this instance, the relative clause. The use the following sentence as an example: (1) You can choose a color that you like and also say it is also grammatical without the that, as in (2) You can choose a color you like My question: If you only see the text in (2), is there a way to identify that a relative pronoun is missing? For instance, nouns are easily identified...Read More...
Thank you - it has made it much easier for me.Read More...
Last Reply By Philip · First Unread Post

School Question

" Jonty walked into the classroom late. Copy the sentence above and identify the objective, adjective and adverb." My kid was given this question as part of his homework. Am I missing something? We have a noun, verb, preposition, article, noun, adverb.. right? No adjective. And what is an objective? Do they mean object? Thanks.Read More...

like X better than Y

A teacher's note for the lesson on expressing preferences with " like ... better than... " says that "It is also possible to use an infinitive after like ; the text presents only the gerund pattern here. Using an infinitive with like ... better than can lead to awkward sentences and confusion with placement of the to . Native speakers would be likely to avoid such structures and, therefore, they aren't presented here. Recommended Pattern in the text: 1. I like tea better than coffee. (Like...Read More...
Hi, Hussain, What your teacher must have told you is that "than" + to-infinitive does not sound right . We expect a noun, a gerund or a bare infinitive, NOT a full infinitive, after than . On page 204 of Fundamentals of English Grammar , 4th Edition, we can read the following in chart 7-15: (g) I'd rather visit a big city than live there . (h) INCORRECT : I'd rather visit a big city than to live there. You should stick to the patterns in chart 7-15: (a) prefer + noun + to + noun: I prefer...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

A vague lyrics

Come up to meet you, tell you I'm sorry You don't know how lovely you are I had to find you Tell you I need you Tell you I set you apart Tell me your secrets And ask me your questions Oh, let's go back to the start Running in circles Coming up tails Heads on a science apart Nobody said it was easy It's such a shame for us to part Nobody said it was easy No one ever said it would be this hard Oh, take me back to the start I was just guessing At numbers and figures Pulling the puzzles apart...Read More...

Ellipsis of subject in comparative constructions

Please compare these 2 sentences. source: https://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/overqualified In sentence 1, there is a blank after "than", while, in a similar case, sentence 2, a "what" is put in that blank. I want to make sure if, in both of the the sentences above, a what is optional. A relevant sentence: 3, As (it) appears from her essay, she has read widely in Romantic literature. (CGEL by Quirk et al) Is "it" in this case optional?Read More...
Aha, my spelling... I didn't mean what I said.Read More...
Last Reply By Robby zhu · First Unread Post

subject vs genre

Hi, If you're searching for a book in the library, you can do a search by title, author, or subject. Would genre be the same thing as subject? Thank you for your help.Read More...
Hello, Manaka, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange. Actually, your question is not about grammar, but, being your first question, I'll help you all the same. In a library you can find poetry (lyric genre), plays (drama), fiction (narrative genre: novels and short stories), and non-fiction. In this Wikipedia article you can find a long list of different types of books. "subject" means an altogether different thing, being closer to "topic" or "theme." For example, you can find books of...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Usage of the

Is the needed in the following sentences? What does the sentences with and without the mean? ( The ) people who stand by you in your tough times are the best friends of yours. This notice is for ( the ) people who want to donate blood in the camp near the university ground. (The) students who used to read at this school are very successful now. Nikolas Maduro betrayed (the) people who voted for him. Another question, please tell me is it necessary to use the ? 5- John: What do you think...Read More...
Hi, Subhajit123, As I told you in this other thread which you seem to have overlooked, the article "the" before postmodified plural nouns seems to have a totalizing effect ( all the students, all the people). Only in (1) is "the" actually required, and that is because the subject complement is quite definite: 1. The people who stand by you in your tough times are the best friends of yours (I prefer: your best friends ). When the article is not there, it may sound more natural to use "some"...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

How "much" emissions or how "many" emissions?

The following is what I found in the website of US Energy Information Administration. Is the word "emissions" usually used with "much" as in the quotation? If so, why is the verb "are" used instead of "is?" How much of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions are associated with electricity generation?Read More...
Hi, Fujibei, This question: https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=77&t=11 does appear in U.S. EIA site and seems to be quoted by other scientific publications. "how much" refers to the volume of the emissions. "how many" could perhaps be used to refer to different instances or occurrences of emission, which is not the meaning that wants to be conveyed. I would definitely have used "is" instead of "are": - How much of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions is associated with electricity...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Usage Of Plural Nouns With And Without 'The'

Hi there, can I use the plural nouns in the given sentences with and without the . What difference in meaning does the create in the sentences? And as an English speaker which one sounds best to your ears? John, I have been to many countries in my life. I can tell you one thing that (the) people in America are politically very aware. (The) students at this school are diligent, intelligent and smart. As an ESL learner it confuses me a lot because I have seen sentences like these are used both...Read More...
Hi, Subhajit123, Before dealing with the article issue, please notice that "be aware" requires the preposition "of" if the object one is aware of is mentioned (in this case, the object is "one thing"). Also pay more attention to your spelling. In such cases, even if you refer to all the people or all the teachers (and not to some specific ones), you can use the definite article. I'd say that in this particular case the definite article makes the phrase more comprehensive than the zero...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Questionable sentence

Hi, I'm working on an essay that contains the following sentence: "No taller than two men and naked and spindly, there ought to be nothing remarkable about it." The "it" here refers to a tree, which was the subject of the previous sentence. I like the sentence the way it is, but it seems more grammatically correct to say: "No taller than two men and naked and spindly, it ought to have nothing remarkable about it" -- but this feels awkward. Is the first sentence permissible? I'd love your...Read More...
Thank you so much for all the great feedback, DocV. I really appreciate it. I know what you mean about the two men in question, but I figured the reader would make the adjustment in her mind. I'll give it some thought. Thank you for "wrested"! I was indeed wondering about that. Re: "by some stroke of happenstance...", the word "manufacture" always felt too industrial to me. And perhaps "happenstance" isn't right either. I wonder if it was the words or the structure that you found...Read More...
Last Reply By Taney Roniger · First Unread Post
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