February 2020

Apostrophe

Can this omitting of an apostrophe be justified? Would be interested to get your views. :-)Read More...
You are right, David. I merely focused on the possessive meaning and on the habit of ommitting apostrophes on signs especially 0when plural nouns are involved. If we google images of signs reading "Doctors Surgery" or "Doctors Office," we'll find several examples of the absence of the apostrophe, i.e., of cases where the plural noun is either used attributively (in which case the absence of the apostrophe is grammatically correct) or of cases of plural nouns where the meaning is possessive...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

restrictive clause and -ing

Hi, here a question from a non-native: I see often in scientific articles sentences such as: Animals have approximately 20000 genes encoding proteins. That sound a little bit odd to me. Would it be more correct to use the restrictive clause? Animals have approximately 20000 genes that encode proteins.Read More...
Hello Gustavo, thanks for the fast reply!Read More...
Last Reply By jack001 · First Unread Post

third or mixed conditionals

Hello. Could you help me? The following sentence is third conditional. - If the wheel hadn't been invented, the world would have been very different now. However, some colleagues say that it's wrong and it must written "mixed conditionals like that: - If the wheel hadn't been invented, the world would be very different now. Which one is correct, please? Thank you.Read More...
Hi, Ahmed, I prefer to see it as a third conditional sentence, without 'now'. When you see the link below, you will see that the original source of this sentence doesn't include 'now' . https://books.google.com.eg/bo...very+different+now.+ However, I agree with your colleagues that inserting 'now' would mean that you are thinking about a present state 'counterfactual', and that would require 'would + inf.' For example: 1. A: How different the world would have been if the wheel hadn't been...Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

Grammar verb agreement

In book 8 of the Pendragon series, Pilgrims of Rayne, there is a line that I have a question about. It is a statement made by one of the character's of the book, it occurs on page 397, in the top half of the page, and is as follows: "You're going to wish this were a trick," I said bluntly. I believe this is incorrect, however, I am not 100% sure. I believe it should be: "You're going to wish this was a trick," I said bluntly. I know "You are" is correct, however, shouldn't it be: "this was"?Read More...
Hello, SoulReaver09, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange. Both were and was are correct. According to (mainly British) grammar purists, "were" is more correct than "was," which is considered more informal. This has to do with the subjunctive form of the verb be (in some grammar books, you may also find it under the name of unreal past , that is, a past form that does not convey past meaning): - I wish this were (was) a trick. - If only this were (was) a trick. - It's time the trick were...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

too/as well/also

Which are correct: 1) His eyes can't see and his ears can't hear either. 2) He was wearing an eye-patch, and his arm was in a cast too. 3 ) He was wearing an eye-patch, and his arm was in a cast as well. 4) He was wearing an eye-patch, and his arm was also in a cast. Gratefully, NaviRead More...

could+noun+Verb VS noun+could+verb

May I know which of the statement below is grammatical ? (1) Explain how could a CEO explores them to plan and implement organizational strategies. (2) (1) Explain how a CEO could explore them to plan and implement organizational strategies.Read More...
Hi, Joshua—Both sentences are totally ungrammatical. You haven't used "explore"/"explores" grammatically in either sentence, and (1) suffers from the additional error, common among English language learners whose grammar is weak, that you have used inversion in an embedded question. You can't explore someone to do something . Maybe the word you're looking for is "implore." If you changed "explore" to "implore," then (2) would be correct: (2a) Explain how a CEO could implore them to plan and...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

is vs being

May I know which of the sentence below is appropriate? (1) In view of strategic evaluation is an important tool for assessing how well your business has performed. (2) In view of strategic evaluation being an important tool for assessing how well your business has performed.Read More...
Hi, Joshua—Neither (1) nor (2) is correct or appropriate: (1) is an absurd inversion of " An important tool for assessing how well your business has performed is in view of strategic evaluation ," which makes no sense at all, and (2) is not even a sentence (it's a fragment, an introductory phrase). You could use (2) as part of a larger sentence, however. The following would be correct: (2a) In view of strategic evaluation being an important tool for assessing how well your business has...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

an army to fight/from here to infinitive!

Are these sentences correct: 1) My father contributed three sons to fight for the country. 2) My father contributed three sons to fight. 3) Our king gave your country an army to fight your enemies. 4) Our king gave your country an army to fight. 5) Our king contributed to your country an army to fight. Could '2' mean that the sons were supposed to fight for those they were contributed to? Could '4' mean that the army was supposed to fight FOR your country? I'd interpret '4' to mean that your...Read More...

Colon, semicolon, comma, or something else?

Hi, what would be the correct way to punctuate this sentence after the word 'city'? I would usually opt for a comma in this situation but it becomes confusing with the list and another comma directly after. Woven into the fabric of each city: laneways, hidden nooks and rooftops deliver undiscovered gems.Read More...

Indirect speech

The boss asked me if I (would be - am - will be) willing to stay after the limited working hours. Which one is correct?Read More...
Hello, Emad—"Would be" is the only answer that works from a native standpoint in a normal context. However, this is not to say that "am" and "will be" are ungrammatical or that they are absolutely impossible in any conceivable context.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

A meaning of a phrase

What does "few people would question the role that computers could play in eduacation"mean ? 1/many people are certain about the importance of computers 2/some people ask questions about computers 3/Not many people doubt the importance of computers The suggested answer is "3" but what about "1"?Read More...
Hi, Ahmed55—The fact that few would doubt does not mean many are certain.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

this time tomorrow

Hello. Could you please help me? What is the difference between the following sentences? - This time tomorrow, my mother will have had an operation. - This time tomorrow, my mother will have an operation. - This time tomorrow, my mother will be having an operation. Thank you so much.Read More...
Hi, Ahmed, It means that by this time, the operation with have been finished and my mother will be in her room, but not the operating room. It means that the doctors will start the operation at this time tomorrow. It is scheduled. At this time tomorrow, the doctors will be in the process of doing the operation to my mother. It is something arranged.Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

Noun clause and adverb clause

Ali Reza
Hello. There is one thing about adverb clause and noun clause that blows my mind. We can use "wheter or not" and "if" in both clauses, so what is the diffirence between these two? Best regards! AliRead More...
Yes, the idea is correct. Note, however, that your post above is full of grammar and spelling mistakes, which you really should try to avoid.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

grammatical structure "as many as..."

Dear Sir: I am an English teacher. Another English teacher asked me about this grammar structure: Galatians 3:10, King James Version: "For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse;...." She asked how to explain why there are 2 verbs ("are"). She wonders if there is a word missing. I said the part "as are of the works of the law" is modifying the subject "many," answering the question "how many?" Then the subject "many" goes with the predicate "are under the curse." She...Read More...
Thank you both for confirming my thoughts. When my friend asked this question, it made me think hard, and so I thought it was a really interesting question. I really do appreciate your taking time to answer and adding similar structures.Read More...
Last Reply By PamelaH · First Unread Post

Restrictive vs nonrestrictive

Hello! The 2 people are talking about the Coronavirus: - Don't worry, young people will be fine. - The problem is the elder relative which we all have. Question: Is "which we all have" a restrictive relative clause? If it is not, is a comma needed before it?Read More...
Hi, Robby zhu, "which" is wrong there, and I'd use "elderly" rather than "elder." - The problem is the elderly relatives we all have. In this sentence, "we all have" is a restrictive clause.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Expressions of time limits

Regarding the expressions of time limits or some quantities as an object of prepositions, is it possible to make a generalization such as below? "If the reference point is the point of arrival , include it. If the reference point is the starting point, do not include it (they constitute comparisons)" Under these rules, objects of “until” and “by” are arrival points, so the referenced points are to be included, but these of “before”, they are starting point and to be excluded. For example, by...Read More...
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