December 2019

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...
Thanks Gustavo.Read More...
Last Reply By Hussain · First Unread Post

noun phrase complementation

please can any one tell me the difference between noun complement and post modifier .Iknow that pM is optional and nouncC is necessary but i still have difficulty please see these examples and tell me they are noun complements: that great experience THAT WAS BOTH AMUSING AND INTEESTING .and why these are post modifiers: THE DECISION TO MARY might be intriguing. The fact THAT THE INQUIRY RAISES A NUMBER OF ISSUES should surprise me . please any suggestion can help me .😣Read More...
Hi David, Apologies for the delay reading your comments and thank you for clarifying the book reference. I'll continue researching as I only have about 85% understanding. The gap description has helped and Payne mentions it in his book (which I now have). Kind Regards, PhilipRead More...
Last Reply By Philip · 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...
Hi, Freeguy, Initially when you asked this question, the line made no sense to me whatsoever. Have you considered writing to Coldplay or consulting a Coldplay fan group? This is just a guess, but today I think that perhaps the singer means that their heads are (screwed) on such that each is a science apart from the other. If that grammatical interpretation is correct, the meaning is probably that they process things in life in two completely different ways.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Past tense

I want to know the meaning behind the past tense. (1) I was happy. Could we realize I was happy, but now I am not happy. (2) I lived in New York. Could we realized I don't live in New York now. (3) I was a teacher. Could we realized I am not a teacher now. Thank You!Read More...
Hi, Levy, There are a number of grammatical errors in the text of yours that I have quoted above, but I am going to overlook them so that I can go straight to the point. While it is true that the past tense is often used in reference to things that are no longer true, the notion of "discontinuation" is not inherent in the past tense. To see this, imagine someone asking you where your friend is. You might say, "I don't know, but he was in the kitchen about five minutes ago." Your friend might...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Correct preposition for superlative adjectives

Although the English language doesn't have the largest number of native speakers in the world, (1) it has the widest reach of any language spoken today. Or (2) it has the widest reach than any other language today. Or (3) it has the widest reach among all the languages spoken today.Read More...
Thanks very much. Much appreciated.Read More...
Last Reply By Shivam Raj · First Unread Post

Gerund

" It was a difficult business getting everything ready in time." " It was a difficult business to get everything ready in time." Which one is correct? Is it wrong with 'to get'? why? I don't know the difference of the two.Read More...
So, you mean that both are correct and have same meaning, don't you?Read More...
Last Reply By sly · First Unread Post

A crammed sentence?

Hello everyone, The apartment that the maid who the service had sent over was cleaning every week was well decorated. source: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.co...l/10.1111/cogs.12247 The first sight of this sentence makes me think of the word "cram", though the term for such sentences is "embedded ones". This sentence can be broken into three smaller ones, so it is not so hard to understand. Honestly, I cannot remember seeing such crammed ones outside my grammar books, though embedding itself...Read More...
It's really interesting and it's really a slicing the salami thin thing. I like your example and thank you very much, David.Read More...
Last Reply By Mengxin_2009 · First Unread Post

Plays on

Hi, "The story plays on the idea of perspectives ..." What does plays on mean here exactly? According oxford advanced learners dictionary the phrasal verb 'play on' means ' to take advantage of somebody’s feelings, etc.' and the synonym listed is 'exploit'. Also, would it be more correct to say "the story plays with the idea of perspectives"? Thank you. Prashobhini.Read More...
Thank you!Read More...
Last Reply By prashobhini · First Unread Post

weekday engineer/ engineer on weekdays

Hello, what is the correct form if I want to say as short as possible that I am en enginner on the weekdays? Is "weekday engineer" ok form? I would like to use it for a tattoo but I am not sure if it is correct or not. The tattoo text should be: "weekday engineer weekend punk" Thanks a lot for your help.Read More...
Hello, thank you very muchRead More...
Last Reply By Tundi · First Unread Post

During

It is clear that we use either a clause or a noun after "during". Some colleagues insist on using nouns only after "during" and refuse to use the gerund at all. What about the verbs that their noun is formed by using "ing" as ( swimming, reading ........ etc). Note: I am not asking dangling modifiers.Read More...
Hello, elsayedelsaidy, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange. I agree with your colleagues. This is what the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English says: ► Don’t say ‘during doing something’ or ‘during someone does something’. Use ' while' : They chatted while waiting for the train (NOT during waiting for the train). | He stole her money while she slept (NOT during she slept).Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Ing clauses in final position

Hello. Sentence: -He broke the glass, thus being scolded by his mother. Out of context, I came up with 2 interpretations of this sentence: 1. He was scolded by his mother almost right after he broke the glass. Considering this sentence has the same formulation as: -He fell off the bike, breaking his knees. The time differential between these 2 actions is very small. 2. He broke the glass some time ago and he is being scored by his mother now. Which interpretation is correct? or maybe both?Read More...
Thank you,GustavoRead More...
Last Reply By Robby zhu · 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...
Hello, Navi, Neither sentence aptly expresses what it is intended to express. Grammatically, it appears as though it is the trip, rather than the man, that will be doing the talking. The impression wouldn't really go away if "talking" were changed to "to talk" and "interviewing" to "to interview." However, the intended reading would at least be possible, since "for a trip" can charitably be interpreted as "to take a trip." For the best results, don't rely on reader charity. If you use...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

The Fewest or least number

What is the difference between using the fewest or the least with the word (number) e.g. Fridays have the( fewest / least ) number of cars on roads. Thanks in advance.Read More...
Hi, Mr.Musa, Here you can find the answer to your question. In addition to what David explained, you could also say "the lowest number of cars" (as opposed to "the highest number of cars").Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Article usage in "X wrote a book entitled XYZ."

Hello! My question is about article usage in sentences like, (a) "X wrote a book, song, etc. called "XYZ". On one hand, such sentences provide new information, which is the reason for using the indefinite article. On the other hand, objects in such sentences are obviously definite and unique. If I said, (b) "X came to the conclusion that..." , I would use "the" because there were only one conclusion which X came to, though the sentence also provides new information. Why is it incorrect to...Read More...
Maybe "an idea + a complement" implies that one can come up with many ideas in contrast to "the conclusion + a complement"?Read More...
Last Reply By Alexey86 · First Unread Post

clauses of result in final position

Hello, everyone. Sentence: 1, In order to put out the terrible fire in a high building, 20 firefighters in Hengyang, Hunan province succeeded in rushing into the building, unfortunately caught in the fire. 2, He walked a long way home, exhausted. Sentence 2 seems correct. "Exhausted" expresses the state after his walking home. I want to know if sentence 2 also works if I understand "caught" as a state after they rushed into the building. The question derives from a previous discussion:...Read More...
Thanks, Gustavo, my idea was that "caught" probably needs to parallel with "losing", and that is part of the reason why "caught" doesn't work there. So I dropped the "losing" part. Now I get it .It doesn't work on its own with or without "losing"Read More...
Last Reply By Robby zhu · First Unread Post

"and" vs "or"

There are two kinds of English-English dictionaries: dictionaries for learners and dictionaries for native speakers. Dictionaries for native speakers are used by Americans, Britons, etc. to look up rare words, such as inextricable ____ tintinnabulation. Dictionaries for learners are used by people who are learning English as a second language. 1) or 2) and .... As for the usage of coordinating conjunctions, which one fits the blank space better? I prefer “or” because it suggests that there...Read More...
"2" because they are talking about being together in one dictionary.Read More...
Last Reply By Alejandro · First Unread Post

Is "absolutely anything" B1 or B2 on the EGP?

Can anyone see the difference in complexity? I can't... I am trying to see the difference between two entries on the English Grammar Profile. They have this point of grammar under adverbs and under pronouns but have given it different proficiency levels (I tagged the example with claws 7 tagset): B2 degree adverbs to modify pronouns. This_DD1 is_VBZ the_AT most_RGT crowded_JJ place_NN1 in_II my_APPGE town_NN1 and_CC you_PPY can_VM buy_VVI absolutely_RR anything_PN1 you_PPY like_VV0 ._. B1...Read More...
Hi Gustavo, Thanks for the extra information. I too see useless ambiguity in this case, but generally find there is potential value in the overall system for those who make thousands of level placement decisions for new classes. I'm trying to automate the tedious parts to leave more time for the rest. Your grammar points were helpful. Unfortunately, they don't explain the complexity criterions since they seem poorly exemplified in the first place. Thanks again.Read More...
Last Reply By EG · First Unread Post

Settling a discussion

Hello, so I wanted to settle something about the grammar of two sentences and the conclusions I drew from the grammar of these sentences that caused quite a heated discussion with my dad. Quick brief, I receive Youth Allowance and one of my parents started receiving a new income, and I had to update my parent's financial details via my account. I received a letter on the 16th Dec (got the notification on the 19th) about needing to update my parent's financial details so they can (maybe)...Read More...
@David, Moderator Thank you for the wonderful help! Appreciate the elaboration and other grammar options.Read More...
Last Reply By jono123 · First Unread Post

something & anything

Hello all, 1. The police haven't confirmed if the man has _______ to do with the murder. A. something B. anything 2. She lost herself in doing homework so that she didn't hear ____ knocking at the door at all. A. somebody B. anybody How I look at the two or such questions? The two questions can boil down to one, “How should one use “some-“ and “any-“ in a sentence correctly?” In fact, the two are questions raised by several English beginners who are enthusiastic about English grammar. They...Read More...
Thank you, David. I've compared my "My fry first" with your reply, I think what you say is more concise. in (1), the first impression "something" gives me is the police are entrapping "the man", while in (2) is, "somebody" is more open to discussion, but it needs some unusual context to bolster the whole sentence. That said, suppose the right context is given or is established, what is the usual way to say what is suggested by the "something" or "somebody" in each case? ----------------- 1.Read More...
Last Reply By Mengxin_2009 · First Unread Post
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