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Use of Quotes

David, Moderator
Our Policy on the Use of Quotations We understand that members occasionally desire or need to ask grammar-related questions about sentences or phrases that were written by others, and it is perfectly acceptable for you to do so. However, if you wish to include sentences or phrases in a post that were not originally written by you, you must do two things: 1) You must show punctuationally that they are not your words. 2) You must cite what you have taken the text from. The easiest way to...Read More...

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it is good

Which are correct: 1) It is good taking these medications. 2) It is good, taking these medications. 3) It is good for me taking these medications. 4) It is good for me, taking these medications. Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Thank you very much, David, How about these sentences: 5) It is good staying here. 6) It is useless staying here. 7) It is not much use staying here. Would you say they need a comma? I don't know why '1' and '3' seem very bad to me and these three don't seem that bad. I assure you that when I am speaking or writing I try to stay clear of this structure altogether and use the infinitive, just as you suggested. Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Last Reply By navi · First Unread Post

playing pool

Which are correct: 1) He is amazing playing pool. 2) Playing pool, he is amazing. 3) He is amazing when playing pool. 4) He is a god playing pool. 5) Playing pool, he is a god. 6) He is a god when playing pool. Gratefully, NaviRead More...

future perfect

Hi every one, I am a little confused about that question. I appreciate your help. " I think people ........ on the moon by the end of the 21st century. Who knows." a) will live b) might live c) will have lived d) might have lived That question is on one of longman websites: newhelloforenglish secondary stage. http://www.newhelloforegypt.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Sec_S_03_U03_struct.pdfRead More...
Hi, Islam Mohamed, "Explanation" is a count noun, so you need to use "the" before it in this case. I find that example extremely awkward, and not just because American speakers never use "maths" to refer to math; I find its use of "might have improved" to be truly terrible and would not recommend that sentence to anyone, precisely because "might have V-ed" has a strong tendency to refer to the past, as I have already explained to you. I did NOT say that it was impossible for it not to do so.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Must

Can we use must + be + ing to express obligation or necessity? For example: You must be studying. I think that it can only mean a deduction that I'm so sure of and that it can't mean necessity or obligation. Am I right? Thanks for helping me with this weird question.Read More...
Hello, Rasha, While I agree with you that it is natural to hear the example you have given as expressing a deduction (for obligation or necessity, native speakers would naturally use "You need to be studying" instead), the example does not prove that "must + be + ing" can never express obligation or necessity, or even that it is impossible to interpret "You must be studying" in that manner. One sentence that comes to mind in which "must + be + ing" is commonly used to express obligation or...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

when playing pool

Which are correct: 1) He is amazing playing pool. 2) Playing pool, he is amazing. 3) He is amazing when playing pool. 4) He is a god playing pool. 5) Playing pool, he is a god. 6) He is a god when playing pool. Gratefully, NaviRead More...

2 Synonyms in 1 Sentence/ A comma before "and"

Hi everyone, I’m wondering whether it looks well-written and, most importantly, grammatically correct to use 2 synonyms at once in my following sentence: If it looks well-written and is grammatically correct when the audience read it, do you recommend me using a ‘comma’ after ‘muscle cells’ to prevent it from sounding too long for a sentence? Original Quote: Thank you!Read More...
Hi, Blue_Delta_47, and welcome to G.E. I'm not sure that I understand what you mean by: Non-restrictive or non-defining clauses are used to add extra information about the noun. I personally found David's comment and the ensuing solution perfect: The fact that some information appears between commas in a non-restrictive clause does not make it sound as information that belongs to the public domain, that is, as information that is known by everyone and has therefore secondary importance when...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

For opening&For open

Hi, colleagues, I have read this sentence in ONE of the famous outside books. Keys are not used .......... doors. (for open_ for opening_to opening _to open). My question "is this question OK?!"Read More...
Hi, Wael Shaltoot, Grammatically speaking, you can use both "to open" and "for opening." Now, the sentence does not make much sense. Keys are used for closing and opening doors. Perhaps what the author of that sentence meant to say is that keys are not needed when doors are already open: Keys are not used for open doors.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

defeated&defeatist

Do not Let yourself look so sad and....... Life is a mixture of gains and loses. (defeatist _defeated_defeating_defeat)Read More...
Welcome to the Grammar Exchange, Wael Shaltoot. Please note that the correct spelling is "gains and lo ss es." I'm curious. What did that author say that made you doubt?Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

pronoun, it or them

"There isn't room for the slightest mistake-- and yet we can't avoid making them." I think "them" should be it, or "mistake" should be "mistakes" for the sake of noun and pronoun agreement. Or is "them" acceptable in this sentence? AppleRead More...
Hi, Apple, I personally find the sentence above to be fine, and that might be because the plural "mistakes" is somehow implicit in the first coordinate clause: - There isn't room for (any) mistakes, not even the slightest one -- and yet we can't avoid making them . "them" would then refer to mistakes in general, of which "the slightest mistake" is just one possible type.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

That is the (a) woman we saw at the station three days ago.

Hello, Is there a difference between using "a" and "the " in the following sentences? 1.This is a (the) picture that made us smile. 2.That is the (a) woman we saw at the station three days ago. In sentence 2, "the" sounds more natural to me. I'm not sure about sentence 1. AppleRead More...
Thank you, GUSTAVO. So when "a" is used that picture is just one of several or many. When "the" is used, it implies, that this is the (very) picture(I was talking about) that made us smile. AppleRead More...
Last Reply By apple · First Unread Post

adjectival or adverbial? No.3

The dog, frightened by the thunder , trembled. What type of participle is the above sentence? To me, it's adjectival, deriving from: - The dog, who was frightened by the thunder, trembled However, the link below says it's adverbial: http://grammarpuss13.blogspot.com/p/adverbial-clauses.html?m=1 Thanks.Read More...
Perfect! Can you introduce a comprehensive grammar book which explains these nuanced points?Read More...
Last Reply By Freeguy · First Unread Post

Look (at) what you've done!

Hi! Could I ask you this question? Practical English Usage (fourth ediction) says that the preposition "at" following the verb "look" is often dropped before a wh -clause. (1) Look (at) what you've done! I was wondering whether there is any semantic difference when the preposition is present/absent. I was also wondering whether the preposition can appear after "look" in the following sentences (taken from Practical English Usage ): (2) Look who's here! (3) Look where you're going. I would...Read More...
Thank you so much, Gustavo! I really appreciate your comments.Read More...
Last Reply By yasukotta · First Unread Post

all havoc breaks loose

Hi, What does "all havoc breaks loose" mean? Thanks a lot.Read More...
Hi, Kuen: I think you mean to ask about "all hell breaks loose." It should be "hell," not "havoc." If you Google "all hell breaks loose," you'll find definitions. The basic meaning is this: when all hell breaks loose, all sorts of things go wrong; many problems need to be solved. Think of a volcano erupting—a volcano of problems.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

a falling tree, a tree falling

Hello, 1. A falling tree made a sound like a thunder. 2. A tree falling behind me made a sound like a thunder. 3. A tree falling made a sound like a thunder. I think sentences 1 ,2 are correct, but not 3, because a single participial adjective "falling" has to be placed before the noun. Am I correct? AppleRead More...
Thank you, David, for clarifying that. I was in fact only agreeing with Apple's comments on the correct or incorrect position of the participle depending on whether it is used alone ( falling tree) or with some adjunct (tree falling behind me ).Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

infinitive/gerund

1) Why do they complain about cleaning the house taking too long? They have a servant to clean the house! 2) Why do they complain about cleaning the house taking too long? They have a servant for cleaning the house! Can we tell if they have only one servant or more? If they have one servant, is cleaning the house the only thing that servant does? If they have more than one servant, does the same servant clean the house every time? Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Thank you so very much, David, Yes, I agree with you. Having a cook does not mean one also has a chauffeur! But I wasn't even going for that interpretation. I find your analysis of my '1' very astute. But the 'restriction' you discovered in this construct (the sentences marked with *?) is a true gem! I hadn't thought of that at all. It looks like a real discovery to me. I wanted to mention that in my last post in this thread, and I hope this will be my last post in this thread, but I suspect...Read More...
Last Reply By navi · First Unread Post

Future simple or continuous

In 2030, we will treat people with diabetes .. Is "will be treating " incorrect here?why?Read More...
Hi, Ahmed55, I think "will be treating" is much better than "will treat" there, because the treatment involves an ongoing process consistent with the use of the progressive, but some more information would be necessary for the sentence to make sense, for example: - In 2030, we will be treating 100,000,000 people with diabetes. - In 2030, we will be treating people with diabetes by means of this new method .Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

which or where

The shop, ..........I visited last week, has good souvenirs. ( which/where) with explanation,please. Thanks in advance.Read More...
Hi, poet 20, (and my greetings from El-Madina El-Monawara), Choose: 'which'. There is an easy way to choose between 'where and which' here. Make a complete sentence without using any relative pronouns. That will be: I visited the shop. You see the object comes directly after 'visit' without using any propositions, which means that 'which' is the right choice. Change your example above to be: The shop..... I work, has good souvenirs. Making a complete sentence would result in: I work in a...Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

Help Required: Is this a dependent clause?

The opposing army were masterful at spreading lies and hate throughout their region, people hated them and therefore feared them. Is this a dependent clause: "People hated them and therefore feared them".Read More...
It doesn't make much sense to say that a clause is dependent, let alone adverbial, nominal or adjectival, if no context is provided. The only section that makes sense on that website is "Dependent Clauses in Sentences ."Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Using 'of' correctly

A few weeks ago I casually wrote out the sentence ''It was about time to see what he wanted of her.'' and didn't really think anything of it, even after reading through it again. Today however it made me question if 'of' was used correctly here. In context, the person is wanted to do something, not give something.Read More...
Hello, JayK, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange! To me, "want something of somebody" sounds similar to "expect something of somebody" and "demand something of somebody" (alternatively, from can also be used in all three cases, as far as I know). I don't find any possession meaning there as long as "somebody" is "somebody" and not "somebody 's ." Compare: - He wanted something of her. (which may mean: He wanted her to do something for him/to act in a certain way.) - He wanted something of...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

trust believe

Hello, 1.I don't believe your story. 2. I trust you. 3.I cannot trust this research result. 4.I cannot believe this research result. I think 1,2,3,4, are correct, but what about the following sentence. 5. I can trust none of his success stories in business. Doesn't "trust" have to be replaced with "believe"? Or does "trust" work in this sentence? AppleRead More...
Thank you, David. AppleRead More...
Last Reply By apple · First Unread Post

Since or That

It was only ten days ago ...... she started her new job. a) that b) since c) both A & B are OKRead More...
Yes, you are right, Coco. Very good. The answer is (a): It was only ten days ago that she started her new job. ( comes from : She started her new job ten days ago.) Des3 has given an incorrect answer. The answer is NOT (c) or (b). In order for "since" to work, two things would need to be different. "Ago" would need to be deleted, and "was" would need to be changed to "is" or "has been": It is only ten days since she started her new job. It has only been ten days since she started her new job.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

not only but also

cocoricot
Dear teachers, I have two simple sentences. I want to connect them using ''not only'' and ''but also''. I don't know where to place them properly. He is interested in gardening. He is interested in raising fish, too. 1. He is interested in not only gardening but also raising fish. 2. He is interested in not only gardening but he is also interested in raising fish. 3. He is not only interested in gardening but also raising fish. Can you tell me if ''not only '' ''but also'' can be placed...Read More...
Thank you, David, for your help. I got it.Read More...
Last Reply By cocoricot · First Unread Post
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