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December 2021

plural or singular

It was therefore near seven o'clock; but his anxiety had put all____of time out of his head. Which one should be put in the blank, thought or thoughts? Thanks.☕️Read More...
Hi, Ruifeng—Either works: "all thoughts of time" (count) or "all thought of time" (noncount). You can also say, "his anxiety made him forget about the time."Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

On usage of commas

Which one is correct (and why)? A."Many young women in quest of husbands also travelled to india." B."Many young women, in quest of husbands, also travelled to India."Read More...
Both are correct, and each technically has a different meaning. Sentence (A) speaks of a subset of young women, namely, those young women who are in quest of husbands; the prepositional phrase "in quest of husbands" is restrictive. Sentence (B) speaks of young women in general, commenting that they are in quest of husbands; the prepositional phrase is nonrestrictive.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

The use of being

Secret Santa An arrangement by which a group of friends or colleagues exchange Christmas presents anonymously, each member of the group being assigned another member for whom to provide a small gift, typically costing no more than a set amount. Is the use of the underlined word "being" correct here? If so, what does it mean in this context?Read More...
Hi, Omar—Yes, "being" is correct there. The part of the sentence from "each member" to the end is an absolute construction. Have you ever heard of absolute constructions? They are nonfinite clauses that attach to the beginning or end of a main clause and typically have a present participle as their verb.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Require or requires

Hi there, I’m in the process of writing an introduction to an article, and I’m trying to start in an impactful way. However, I’ve become confused about whether to use ‘require’ or ‘requires’. Here is the extract: ‘A person is an asylum seeker out of necessity, not out of choice. A person is an asylum seeker because they are fleeing serious human rights abuses and urgently require protection and the chance to rebuild their life.’ I think because I’ve said ‘they’, it’s making me think it...Read More...
Hi, Cameron Boyle, That should be ' require '. 'And urgently require protection and chance to rebuild their life' is part of the dependent clause beginning with 'because'. It has nothing to do with the main clause. BTW, in the last line, that should be 'begun'.Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

More than half of

On the worksheet I found a sentence which seems to be not correct. More than half of the class likes soccer. I thought "more than half of the class" implies plural, so I think using "like" is correct for me. Could you give me some advice about this grammar?Read More...
Hi, Ichigolove430, You have asked a similar question before and David, the moderator of this forum, has given you a good answer here: https://thegrammarexchange.inf...-class-likes-or-like 'Class' is a collective noun. According to Michael Swan, in American English singular verbs are normal with most of these nouns in all cases. In British English, it depends. In your example, although class refers to a group of pupils, we can argue that it still refers to a single class. So, it can be argued...Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

’As significant’ at beginning of a sentence

Hello, everyone, “... In experimental research by Arpan and Roskos-Ewoldsen, stealing thunder in a crisis situation, as opposed to allowing the information to be first disclosed by another party, resulted in substantially higher credibility ratings. As significant , the authors found that "credibility ratings associated with stealing thunder directly predicted perceptions of the crisis as less severe. ...”*source; ‘Strategic Communication Practices: A Toolkit for Police Executives’ by Darrel...Read More...
Hi, Gustavo, really appreciate your additional comment. Meantime, I would also be looking forward to seeing David's.Read More...
Last Reply By deepcosmos · First Unread Post

sentence structure

The last sentence in "A" is complex. "If the antibodies in their plasma fend off Omicron" is the dependent clause. I've been told that "scientists are testing the blood" is the independent clause. I thought that all words in a sentence had to be a part of either the dependent or independent clause. How does "of vaccinated people to determine" fit into this complex sentence? Also, "B" is a complex sentence and "when they have lost their way" is the dependent clause. That means that "It is an...Read More...
Hi, Clueless, The main clause is "Right now, sciencists are testing the blood of vaccinated people to determine [something]" That "something" is expressed by means of a dependent clause of content: "if the antibodies in their plasma fend off Omicron." The one above is a cleft sentence where "it" anticipates the subject "to run faster when they have lost their way." Within the subject, we find an adverbial clause of time, which is "when they have lost their way." "Run faster" implies "run...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

Regarding "as if"

Which of the following is correct( or both?) ? 1. You look as if you are angry 2. You look as if you were angry.Read More...
Hi, youknowwhowantstolearn, Both are correct but (1) is more assertive, that is, the speaker is more certain about the other person's anger. Instead, the subjunctive "were" implies uncertainty — it may be the case that the person looks angry but actually is not.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post
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