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December 2020

Earmark

ahmad
Hello, everyone, 1. Every year, he earmarks a month for his studies. 2. Every year, one month is earmarked by him for his studies. A. Is the use of 'earmark' in above sentences acceptable? B. Is 'his' expendable in '2' above? Thanks.Read More...
Thanks, Gustavo.Read More...
Last Reply By ahmad · First Unread Post

What does "50-strong mission" mean?

Hi all GE members and moderators Please help me with the meaning of " 50-strong mission" in the following sentence: The first 2 members of the 50-strong mission arrived at the weekend. Many thanks.Read More...
Thank you so much Gustavo for showing the definition from LDOCE. Now everything is crystal clear.Read More...
Last Reply By tonyck 2 · First Unread Post

Can And Could Usage

Suppose "A" is a student and "B", their teacher. A: What does "take" mean in this sentence? B:1) You'll need to provide more context for a good answer. In the sentence, the verb "take" can/could mean "remove" or it can/could mean "move" or it can/could mean "accept", depending on context. In sentence 1) above, speaker B is trying to say that from whatever context they have right now, they can only conclude that in the particular sentence (given by "A"), the verb "take" will have any one of...Read More...
Yes, Language learner. Both are possible, and "could" is more tentative, or less certain, than "can."Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

have just grown

Hello. What's wrong with the following sentence? Find the mistake and correct it pls. - I have just grown my first vegetables. Thank you.Read More...
Hi, Ahmed, The verb "grow" describes a process, so I think that, in reference to a recent action, it'd be more suitable to say something like: - I have just harvested my first vegetables.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

After No is a plural noun or a singular noun?

Greetings Admin! Could you explain for me the differences between "No + Plural Noun" and "No + Singular Noun". For example: -No students in class have done their homework. -There is no desk in this class. Thank you for your consideration <3Read More...
Hi, Moon Le, The determiner "no" can modify both count and non-count nouns and, in the case of count nouns, nouns in the singular or in the plural. "no" + singular count noun can be understood as "not a single." It can also be used when only one person or object is expected. Thus, in the sentence: the speaker may have expected for there to be one desk, possibly the teacher's desk, and it was not there. If you say: - There are no desks in this class. more than one desk was expected, probably...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

cover of the book

a. The kid whose book's cover you tore is crying. b. The kid whose book cover you tore is crying. c. The kid the cover of whose book you tore is crying. d. The kid whose book you tore the cover of is crying. Which of the above sentences are grammatical? Which are natural? Many thanks.Read More...
Hi, Azz—All four sentences are grammatical, and they all mean the same thing. I find (b) the most natural and (c) the least. I find (a) a little more natural than (d).Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

they, a person

Hello, Please look at the following sentence. Although some might think Canadians are calm and polite, they may behave like a whole different person when it comes to their national sport, ice hockey. My question: Can “a whole different person(singular)” mean “they(plural) “ ? Is this grammatically correct? Do native speakers often mix up plural and singular in informal situations? If the sentence is changed like the following, does it sound more correct? They may behave like whole different...Read More...
Hello, Apple—The sentence "They may behave like a whole different person" is very awkward and is, at best, of questionable grammaticality. "They" and "a whole different person" conflict, as you observe, in their number. Changing the sentence to " They may behave like whole different people " moves in the right direction but doesn't solve the problem, because " whole different people " is unidiomatic in the extreme. The following adjustments are better: They may behave like...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Preposition

Mandela went on to play a prominent role ___ the world as an advocate ___ human dignity in the face ___ challenges ranging from political repression to AIDS.Read More...
Hello, Raihan, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange. Taking the title of your thread together with what you have written here, I assume you mean to ask what preposition(s) should be used to fill the blanks. In the future, please use your English words and ask an actual question. Another thing that is obvious to me, since no ESL learner would be able to write that sentence, is that it must have been written by someone other than you. In the future, cite your sources. You can find the sentence...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

truth is/is truth

What do they mean? 1 I don't know what truth is. (I don't understand the concept of truth) 2 I don't know what the truth is. (I don't know what is true in a certain situation) 3 I don't know what is truth. (What does that mean?) 4 I don't know what is the truth. (What does that mean?)Read More...
Hello, Me_IV—In each example, the "what"-clause complementing "know" is an embedded question. Sentences (1) and (2) mean "I don't know the answer to the question 'What is (the) truth?" Sentences (3) and (4) use subject–auxiliary inversion within the embedded question. That is generally wrong, but can work in certain special cases, or with special emphasis. For example: (3a) I don't know what is truth and what isn't anymore. (4a) I've thought about this from all angles and can't seem to come...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

I'd rather ........ +?

Anna C
Hi Everyone We have a problem with a grammar question and us teachers are divided between 2 answers. The grammarical problem is... Person A .I'rather..............so much all the time. Person B. So would I. a) they not talk b) they had not talked Some of us insist a is right. Most insist b is right. Could you please tell me what you think?Read More...
Thank you so much on behalf of many teachers in Greece!!!!Read More...
Last Reply By Anna C · First Unread Post

"Used to do" vs "used to"

Hi there, which of the following sentences sounds natural? 1- Nowadays, John is studying more than he used to do . 2- Nowadays, John is studying more than he used to.Read More...
Hi, Subhajit, Only (2) is correct in American English . In Swan's Practical English Usage , Fourth Edition, under item 28 dealing with do as a substitute verb or a proform we can read: In AmE, however, "do" does not work with modals and semimodals , as we can read in this old thread , where David said (the bolds are mine):Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

love badminton / love playing badminton

Which is considered correct? a. I love badminton because it is fun. b. I love playing badminton because it is fun. Thanks.Read More...
There is a slight difference in meaning. In (a) the person likes badminton but he/she may not play it but just watch it. In: "love" is the verb and "badminton" is the object: What sport do you love? I love badminton. In: "love playing" is a verb phrase and "badminton" is the object: What sport do you love playing? I love playing badminton. Thus, we have: a1. Badminton, the sport I love, is fun. b1. Badminton, the sport I love playing , is fun.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

During

ahmad
Hello, everyone, The following is from Gulliver's Travels. http://www.literaturepage.com/read/gulliverstravels-11.html 1. "We made a long march the remaining part of the day, and, rested at night with five hundred guards on each side of me..." If I were to insert "during" between "march" and "the", would that change the meaning of the sentence in any way? Thanks.Read More...
Thanks, David.Read More...
Last Reply By ahmad · First Unread Post

the position/role of somebody

I applied for the position of manager. (means that I wanted to work as a manager. I applied for the position of a manager. (I think WRONG) Have you ever been in the role of adviser? (Does that mean the position of adviser?) Have you ever been in the role of an adviser? (What does it mean?)Read More...
Yes, that is what the sentence means. Yes, you are right that the sentence is wrong. The indefinite article is misused. Yes, it does. That sentence doesn't work well. It would be better if "been in" were changed to "acted in": " Have you ever acted in the role of an adviser? " That means: "Have you ever acted as an adviser would act?"Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Emphatic 'do'

Hi there, are the both following sentences correct? 1- I have written many things regarding the climate change. Do read them on my website. 2- I have written many things regarding the climate change. Read them on my website.Read More...
Yes, Subhajit, (1) and (2) are both correct; however, "the" should not be before "climate change." Also, the second sentence of (1) would be more likely to occur in live speech than in print, and it would generally be accompanied by something more: 1a- I have written many things regarding climate change. Do read them on my website when you have a chance . The second sentence of (2) is a bit blunt. It could be softened and made more polite with "please." Or you could revise it like this: 3- I...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Grammar and Semantics

Is the following sentence grammatically and semantically right? "Despite what was in the past, nowadays extended family is an integral part of our lives"Read More...
As I told you, not being a proofreading service provider, I focused on the most problematic clause, that is, the one that was in my opinion most notoriously incorrect. It's good to see that other learned speakers also found your use of "despite what was" ungrammatical.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

those vs the

Hello, I understand the use of demonstrative pronouns. Howver, I am not sure about when you can use a word like those in place of the when you are writing, Example: 1. The three cars invovled in the accident were towed away. 2. Those cars involved in the accident were towed away Sentence 2 sounds slightly unnatural to me. Is there a rule that determines when you can use those i n place of the when writing?Read More...
Thank you very much. Great answer as always. This forum is so helpful to me .as a volunteer with newcomers ,as they often come up with these real life everyday questions.Read More...
Last Reply By Mrchuffie · First Unread Post

Well

ahmad
Hello, everyone, Is the following sentence correct, especially in terms of punctuation? 1.Well, that well has welled up (oil) quite well well in time as well. Thanks. PS: I am not sure about the placement of the phrase "well in time".Read More...
Thank you, Sir.Read More...
Last Reply By ahmad · First Unread Post

than we've been used to

Which are correct: 1) He's been more straightforward than we've been used to seeing people working for that company be. 2) He's been more straightforward than we've been used to hearing people working for that company be. 3) He's been more straightforward than we've been used to hearing from people working for that company. Gratefully, NaviRead More...

It is grateful / happy / glad to ...

Hello friends, While I believe “It would be grateful if you could meet us this week.” is problematic because “grateful” describes people, not an empty “It”, I’m not so sure about basic adjectives like “happy” or “glad”. Can I say, for example: A. It is happy to be alive. B. It is glad to hear that. C. It is happy that we are friends. D. It is glad that you can come. ?Read More...
Thank you very much once again, David, for your illuminating insight. I love the “baby / baboon / robot” trio example, which I believe has exhausted the topic.Read More...
Last Reply By Kinto · First Unread Post

Explain what's contained in the table

Dear sirs, I am having troubles in explaining each item contained in the table as an introduction (especially introducing the column next to each other). Your guidance is appreciated. For example: The table below summarises the name of the patient that was admitted to the hospital with the corresponding admission date. I have also included the brief reasoning as to why the patient was admitted. Patient name Admission date Reason why they were admitted Mr Bob 1 January 2020 Heart attack Mrs...Read More...
Hi, Cristi, Please note this is not a question of grammar. I think it'll be enough if you just mention the titles of the columns: The table below includes the name of the patient, ...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

where as a fused relative or a subordinate conjunction?

Hello, everyone! I have seen following sentences today; 1. Every day hundreds of people pass through the San Francisco Ferry Building, a place where a variety of products and services are available. The San Francisco Ferry Building is the place where commuters catch their ferries at. It is also a place where people come to walk and watch activity on the bay. The area inside in which people shop for food is also where people can find restaurants and shops. Shops where you can buy meat,...Read More...
Who won't sincerely appreciate on the kind replies and explanations from all of you, which are being made even during weekend!! Best RGDS,Read More...
Last Reply By deepcosmos · First Unread Post

Necessity

Hi, "Drivers......carry a driving license when driving a car." a- must b- have toRead More...
Hi, Ahmed—Both answers are OK. With "must," the sentence is one that might be found in a book of driving rules. With "have to," the sentence is one that might be used to indicate the necessity of following the rule; drivers have to carry a driver's license when driving, whether they like it or not.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Could or Might

Hi, "He..........have told her the truth, but he didn't." a- could b- mightRead More...
Hi, Ahmed—"Could" is the better answer: "He could have told her the truth, but he didn't." Although "might" is possible, it is inferior because "He might have told her the truth" can be understood as implying he didn't tell her the truth, and that renders the second independent clause ("but he didn't") redundant.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post
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