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December 2020

Bank statement vs bank statements

Hi, If we refer to bank statement of a different accounts, should I use bank statement or bank statements? e.g. the total interest expenses of $15,000 were reflected in the bank statements of the following accounts: a. Account number #1234 b. Account number #9999Read More...
Yes, you can use: - The total interest expenses of $15,000 were reflected in the bank statement s of the following account s : a. Account number #1234 b. Account number #9999 (two bank account s ⇒ two statement s ) or - The total interest expenses of $15,000 were reflected in the bank statement of each of the following account s : a. Account number #1234 b. Account number #9999 (each bank account has its statement)Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

Subject of present participle

Merry Christmas everyone! “In hindsight, knowing what we know about the pandemic and who was most affected, it perhaps should not have been a surprise,” said Thomas Brock, director of the Community College Research Center at Teachers College, Columbia University. https://www.wsj.com/articles/tumbling-community-college-enrollment-highlights-pandemics-broad-impact-11606064400 My understanding is that the subject of the present participle should be the same as the main sentence. The above...Read More...
Hi, Jason and Gustavo—I agree with both of you that the participial phrase is not properly attached to the main clause, and that the subject of the main clause should be one, such as "we," that is capable of functioning as the implied subject of the nonfinite participial clause. I also like Gustavo's solution of changing the "knowing"-phrase to a prepositional phrase beginning with "considering." Another option would have been to change "Knowing what we know" to the prepositional phrase "In...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Doubts on the full stop

Thank you for your time. I've been trying to understand the use of the full stop. Yes, that one. I've found a few paragraphs where, I believe, the full stop either is incorrectly missing or should not even be present. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to understand what's going on. Here my two examples: 1) In her Eats, Shoots & Leaves , Lynne Truss, discussing the use of the apostrophe, writes: 'Singular possessive instead of simple plural (the “greengrocer’s apostrophe”): Trouser’s...Read More...
Thank you David I understand better now. I'm studying to improve. Evidently, I have a lot to learn. LeonelRead More...
Last Reply By Leonel · First Unread Post

The total number of + noun

The total number of men that wore glasses were five. In the example above, please kindly confirm the following. a) Is it the number or the “men” that determines the use of auxiliary verb “is” or “are”? I think it is the men. b) D oes the “total” work as an adjective in that sentence? Thanks!Read More...
Hi, Tony—Your example sentence is incorrect. "Were" should be "was." The subject is "number." The number was five. "Total" does function as an adjective.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

what is the difference between these two sentences?

Interestingly, such a design would not be permitted under current Japanese building regulations. Interestingly, such a design is/was not permitted under current Japanese building regulations.Read More...
In the negative would not can be used to express persistent objection, meaning she refused to agree. The form didn't agree is equivalent to disagreed. The sentences with would express a hypothetical situation ( if the number of cars were reduced, that would mean a reduction in pollution / in a certain hypothetical situation, it would be easier to find parking spaces in urban areas ), while those with will express a more certain result in the future. Next time please number your sentences...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

"A love letter from Canada"

This is the title of a song hit in Japan a couple decades ago. According to the lyrics (which is Japanese, naturally), a young woman got a love letter from her boyfriend who happened to live in somewhere in Canada. OK, fine, but I want to know if this title sounds natural to native English speakers. Thank you very much.Read More...
Hi, Ken—I agree with Gustavo that the phrase is fine. It is grammatically correct, semantically sound, and perfectly natural. It may be compared too "a phone call from Canada." "From Canada" refers to the point, or region, of origin.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

present participle, costing

Hello. Is the following sentence correct using present participle? If not, why. - The camera costing 10000 pounds is over there. Thank you.Read More...
Yes, Ahmed, it is correct. "Costing 10000 pounds" is a reduced relative clause. The sentence means: " The camera that costs 1000 pounds is over there. "Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

reporting complex sentences with while

Hello. Could you please help me to correctly change the following sentence into reported speech? - Tom said to me,"While I was cooking, I burnt myself." I tried the following but I am not sure. 1- Tom told me that while he was cooking, he burnt himself. 2- Tom told me that while he had been cooking, he burnt himself. 3- Tom told me that while he had been cooking, he had burnt himself. 4- Tom told me that while he was cooking, he had burnt himself. Thank you.Read More...
Hi, Ahmed, Since there is no backshift in (1), that could work for a recent past event, or for informal reporting: Tom: I burnt myself while I was cooking. X: I couldn't get what he said. What did he tell you? You: He told me he burnt himself while he was cooking. (Notice that adverbials will generally appear at the end in reported speech.) I think (4') is the best for conventional reporting, but (3') could also work: 4'- Tom told me (that) he had burnt himself while he was cooking. 3'- Tom...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

Of this

Example 1: Your tax return disclosed interest related expenses deductions of $10,000, of this $10,000, $5,000 of interest related deduction s were related to interest paid to overseas lender. Example 2: Your tax return disclosed interest related expenses deductions of $10,000, of this, $5,000 of interest related deductions were related to interest paid to overseas lender. Do I need to repeat the $10,000 after the noun phrase "of this"?Read More...
Hi, Tony, The plural "expenses" does not work well before the noun "deductions." This is better: interest-related expense deductions. In my opinion, this would be a better linking mechanism: - Your tax return disclosed interest-related expense deductions of $10,000, of which / out of which $5,000 was related to interest paid to an overseas lender.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

Unknown subject

Am I right saying that the sentence below is not structured well because we do not now what is the subject of the sentence (what the pronoun "it" refers to)? Depending on the placement of a participle, it changes the order of events in a sentence.Read More...
That's a very clever analysis, David. Unlike other participles above, "depend" does have an implicit subject (there has to be something that depends on something else). With considering, speaking and judging , the closest I can get to a subject-verb structure is by using a conditional clause: if we consider, if we speak of ..., if we judge by ...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

Show/showed : Reporting verb

Hello, Q1: Is "show" a reporting verb? Q2: Are the two sentences below grammatically correct? Q: If the bank statement have few pages, do we use plural form, so statements? Example 1: ABC Pty Ltd's bank account statement shows that $100K of interest expenses were paid during 2020 income year. Example 2: ABC Pty Ltd's bank account statement showed that $100K of interest expenses were paid during 2020 income year. Thank you!!!Read More...
The same to you! According to my reasoning and considering that "statement" is singular, you should use "show s ."Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

Sentences only with subjects no predicate

Merry Christmas everyone! The following two sentences are from recent WSJ articles; they only have a subject and don't have a predicate; are they grammatically correct? A pandemic, urban violence, the machinery of electoral democracy—all carefully repurposed and packaged in a gauzy wrapping of useful lies to ensure above all else their gain. https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-bipartisan-moral-rot-of-americas-institutions-11607969301 And to a deeply flawed, often dysfunctional disrupter in...Read More...
Thanks a lot! Could you comment on another question I just posted - https://thegrammarexchange.inf...-present-participle?Read More...
Last Reply By JasonHouston · First Unread Post

can vs could

1) You can / could get very nasty skin diseases from bathing in dirty water. 2) You can / could get into even worse trouble if you're not careful. 3) Bobby Reynolds did not win at Wimbledon on Thursday, or did he? The scoreboard showed the world No. 1 Novak Djokovic defeated Reynolds, 7-6 (2), 6-3, 6-1, on Centre Court, and after winning three qualifying matches and a gutsy five-setter in his opening round, Reynolds’s 2013 singles campaign at the championships was over. He lost to a better...Read More...
Hi, Language learner Yes, (1) and (2) are similar in that "can" expresses a higher likelihood of getting skin diseases or getting into trouble than "could." I see the use of "can" or "could" here as different from (1) and (2). In (3), we can naturally reinforce either "can" or "could" with the adverb "possibly": - He won in every other way one can / could possibly imagine. Both "can" and "could" can be used to refer to the present (in which case "can" is more certain than "could"), but...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

Merry Christmas

I wanted to say Merry Christmas to all members of Grammar Exchange (even if you don't celebrate this holiday). Special Merry Christmas to David, the Moderator, for having created a place for learning English grammar and his willingness to share his impressive knowledge in the field with every member (what makes this site so great). I couldn't forget to mention Gustavo, whose great contribution to Grammar Exchange undoubtedly makes him deserve his nickname. Merry Christmas, everyone ;)Read More...
You're very welcome Oh, I didn't know that - I thought Gustavo was just an outstanding member with a passion for spreading his linguistic knowledge. Yeah, it makes sense since, I believe, everyone no matter the faith celebrates New Year's Day; I just felt like saying Merry Christmas, anyway 😊Read More...
Last Reply By Former Member · First Unread Post

Grammar Assistance

Hi all, I enjoy creative writing, but because I dropped out of high school I struggle with basic grammar. Can someone tell me what's wrong with a sentence like this: Tall, rigid trees stretch back in every direction, fading into the fog. Would this be a run-on sentence or something? Should it be "and fade into the fog"? I don't know why I feel like the latter feels too "mechanical," for lack of a better word. Thank you in advance! Best, JoeRead More...
Merry Christmas, Gustavo. Participle phrases are quite problematic. Taking into account the phenomenon of misplaced participles (because I incorrectly called them before as dangling), this sentence should not be ambiguous because participle phrases modify the nouns they are the closest to in a sentence, thus in your sentence, "fading" would have to refer to "shores." Otherwise, the participle would have to be moved to the front: Fading into the fog, tall, rigid trees stretch along the...Read More...
Last Reply By Former Member · First Unread Post

Season’s Greetings

The year 2020 is a tough year for everybody. Some people have lost their family members and friends; some, their jobs. We are being forced to live in the “new normal”. Maybe this is what we called - the vicissitude of life. Farewell to the year 2020 does not translate into a brighter new year ahead. You can tell that we will be living in grey years in the foreseeable future, just different shades of grey. That being said, life still goes on! We just have to bite the bullet. Hope that we all...Read More...

Comma use in describing "both of... and with..."

Hi there, I'm getting stuck on this sentence, what is the grammatically correct way to say: "The 49-year-old patient is the niece of, and had come in close contact with, the confirmed case on December 8." Should it be: "The 49-year-old patient is both the niece of, and had come in close contact with, the confirmed case on December 8." Or, should the commas be removed? Thank you, in advance.Read More...
Ah! I hadn't thought of it that way; however, it makes complete sense with your explanations. It's interesting how grammar errors like this can feel 'off,' even though noun and verb phrases were not on my mind at all. So, thank you for explaining with such clarity - now I can see that I was working with a correlative conjunction, which must conjoin parallel phrases, of which a noun and verb phrase together are not. Thank you, both - much appreciated. (And thanks for the warm welcome!)Read More...
Last Reply By jasongows · First Unread Post

since

a. He is growing since he became manager. b. He is growing since he has become manager. Are both sentences grammatically correct? Does 'since' have a temporal meaning in both or could it mean 'because'? Is there any difference in their meanings? Many thanksRead More...
Thank you so much David! c. He has been growing, since he became a manager. I guess in that one 'since' could only mean 'because' unless the clause has been added as an afterthought. But what about d. Since he became a manager he has been growing. e. Since he became a manager, he has been growing. Are those sentences ambiguous? Is the comma necessary? Does it change anything? Many thanksRead More...
Last Reply By azz · First Unread Post

almost

a. Twice, I almost married a French woman. b. I almost married a French woman twice. Do those imply that it was the same woman? Could those be used if I married a French woman once and almost had a second marriage with the same woman? Could those be used if I married a French woman once and almost had a second marriage with another French woman? I think the first one implies that I didn't marry a French woman and the second one is ambiguous as to whether I married a French woman or not. In...Read More...
Hi, Azz, They could be about the same woman, or they could be about different women. I think that it is harder to interpret (a) as being about the same woman than it is to interpret (b) that way. But both sentences can go either way. Sentence (b) works with that intended meaning, but the natural interpretation of (a) is that the marriage did not actually take place either time. It almost did. No, I don't think either sentence works in that context. Again, (a) indicates that neither marriage...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

wish

Hi, "I wish you had traveled to Mecca when you..........." a-intended b-had intendedRead More...
Hi, Ahmed—Both choices are grammatically acceptable. Without additional context, however, there is no need for the past perfect. You can just use "intended." On the other hand, if we had a context in which, say, the referent of "you" was in Mecca, but had intended to travel there sooner than he did, the past perfect would make sense.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Conditional sentences

Q. If you post that picture of Mike, he _____ angry for sure. A) gets B) will get My teacher asked me this question. I am fairly sure it’s (B) but what is the grammatical explanation behind it?Read More...
I agree with Lucas and Gustavo that (B) is the only correct choice, and with Gustavo's explanation of why that is. I'd simply like to add that you might hear conditionals like the one with (A) as the answer in nonstandard, dialectal English, such as African American Vernacular English (a.k.a. Ebonics). However, "if" would likely be omitted. The two clauses would be linked by asyndetic coordination: You post that picture of Mike, he gets angry fo-sho. Obviously, such a sentence would never be...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Government funding or government funds?

Greetings Admin! When I look up the word "fund" in the oxford dictionary. I'm still a bit confused whether I should use "government funds" or "government funding" to talk about the money of the government spent for a particular aspect. Could you tell me any differences between the two above noun phrases ? Thank you very much.Read More...
Yes, they are similar, but "funds" is the money itself while "funding" is the action of providing that money.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

Church event

Hi! Which is correct "New Life Got Talent" or New Life's Got Talent? New Life is the name of our church. Thank you for your help 😊Read More...
Hello, Achi, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange. The correct sentence is " New Life's got talent ." The apostrophe-"s" represents a contraction of "has." The sentence is thus: "New Life has got talent." "New Life got talent" can only be used in Ebonics (African American Vernacular English) to mean "New Life has talent." In standard English, "New Life got talent" is equivalent in meaning to "New Life received talent," which doesn't make sense.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post
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