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February 2020

Is this an incorrect usage of a comma before coordinating conjunction?

As the sentence after 'or' is not an independent clause: Here's the rule: "When a coordinating conjunction joins two independent clauses, a comma is used before the coordinating conjunction (unless the two independent clauses are very short)" https://writing.wisc.edu/handbook/grammarpunct/coordconj/Read More...
I'm done having this discussion with you, des3. Have a nice day.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

unless in 2nd and 3rd conditionals

Hello. Are the following two sentences correct or not? If not correct, what's wrong with them? - Tarek would not have caught that bus unless he had run very fast. - Unless you had rung me, I wouldn't have come to see you. Thank you.Read More...
See the answer to these questions here: https://thegrammarexchange.inf...1#622256385764267831Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

Capitalization: The Earth or the earth

I have read conflicting guidelines for when the proper noun the EARTH, meaning our planet, used with the article the, should be capitalized. I understand that earth, as in soil, is not capitalized, and that idioms have their own guidelines, so I am just asking about when the EARTH, used as a proper noun, should be capitalized. Here is the conflicting information I have found: 1) YES! The word the Earth should be capitalized if it refers to our planet. If Earth is used as a proper noun, then...Read More...
Thank you! I will do that search.Read More...
Last Reply By susanm 2 · First Unread Post

Fixed vs fixing

Hello. He lay in bed, with his eyes___ (fix) on the roof. Given answer: fixed My answer: fixed or fixing Collins dictionary says: If you fix your eyes on someone or something or if your eyes fix on them, you look at them with complete attention. So I think this word can be used transitively and intransitively, right?Read More...
Excellent explanation. Everything is clear in now!Read More...
Last Reply By Robby zhu · First Unread Post

article a / an / -

Which articles are correct? 1 I'm sorry to hear bad news / the bad news. 2 I stepped on a / - broken glass.Read More...
Hi, bear_bear—Ahmed has recommended some good sentences. Both the sentences in (1) are correct, however; they simply have different meanings. "I'm sorry to hear bad news" means that you are sorry whenever you hear bad news, i.e., bad news makes you feel sorry. "I'm sorry to hear the bad news," on the other hand, means that there is, in the context, some specific bad news that you are sorry to hear. Both sentences in (2) are also correct, again with different meanings. "I stepped on a broken...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Do / play

Which is correct and sound natural? A: What sports do you do? B: (a) I like swimming and volleyball / playing volleyball. (b) I do karate and ice-skating (c) I play / like football and ice-skating / like ice-skating. (d) I do karate and swimming / I like karate and (go) swimming. (e) I do karate and football / play football / like football. Thanks.Read More...
Hi, Bear-Bear, I'm sure you know that team sports that are played with a ball take 'play' and activities ending with 'ing' take 'go', while violent and recreational activities take 'do'. However, when you ask the question 'what sports do you do?', you can use 'do' before all sports. See here: http://www.learnenglishlanguag...ports-play-do-or-go/ So, I see that 'a' and 'e' are perfect. 'B' and 'd' are acceptable answers (because of the form of the question that precedes them). 'C' is ...Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

three times

a. Three times he had books stolen from him. b. He had books stolen from him on three occasions. Could those sentences be used if each time one book was stolen from him? ============================= c. He had a book stolen from him three times. Is that one correct? Could it be used if each time a different book was stolen from him. Many thanksRead More...
Hi, Azz, Both 'a' and 'b' don't tell the exact number of books stolen from him. If the addressee knows that exact number, he / she will understand the speaker's intended meaning. It is correct, but funny, as it means that a certain book was stolen from him more than once. It doesn't convey your intended meaning above. I think you can better use your words above: He had three books. Each time, one book was stolen from him.Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

Apostrophe

Can this omitting of an apostrophe be justified? Would be interested to get your views. :-)Read More...
When to Form a Plural with an Apostrophe By Maeve Maddox This reader wants to know why we write 1980s and not 1980’s. A lot of writers share this reader’s understanding that non-letter characters are pluralized by adding apostrophe s. Alas. Alas, indeed. That pesky apostrophe raises a lot of blood pressure for writers of English. I can’t really answer the reader’s question. What I can do is lay out what the Chicago Manual of Style says about when to use an apostrophe and when not to. And it...Read More...
Last Reply By E D · First Unread Post

Grammar correction from Microsoft Word

I just typed this sentence into Microsoft Word, "A total of four people were going", and it wants to correct the 'were' to 'was'. Why? 'Was' definitely sounds wrong when I say it out loud.Read More...
Hi, Kezi, and welcome to G.E, I see this question is highly problematic, so I'd like just to express my opinion about it. On 'LDOCE', we have two examples that summarize my opinion: 1. A total of thirteen meetings were held to discuss the issue. 2. A total of $950 million was spent on the new transportation system. I see 'a total of' works like 'collective nouns'. It could be followed by a singular or a plural verb depending on how the speaker sees the individuals of the group. I think that...Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

is it "he's never had them" correct?

hi, i saw a video on youtube, the boy had to express his emotion when he lose airport ( actually he does not use it) so the other said :"he's never had them". so i want to know what does that sentence mean. if my question has something wrong, pls forgive me :>Read More...

who do "oddballs" refer to?

Dear Contributors, The following article is from a test paper. I have troube understanding: who do "oddballs" refer to? Some say that "oddballs" refer to scientists like Sir Isaac Newton; others say that "oddballs" refer to the young scientists giving up imaginative thought. I would appreciate it if yoiu could give me an explanation.Read More...

phone

Hello, In olden times, when people said "the phone" it meant a traditional type of a home phone that couldn't be carried in your pocket . But today most people use smartphones, iPhones, mobile phones that can be carried anywhere. So, today, does the word "my phone" refer to any kind of handheld phone, no matter which kind you have? Can you say " I have lost my phone" regardless of which kind? AppleRead More...
Hello, Apple—Yes, that is correct. "My phone" can be used in reference to your phone no matter what type of phone you have, and "I have lost my phone" can likewise be used no matter what type of phone you have.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

will increase / will have increased

THE POPULATION OF THE WORLD WILL BE INCREASING/will increase/will have increased TO AROUND TEN BILLION BY THE YEAR 2100. I think the progressive form is wrong. What about the other two forms? I think they can work. Thanks!Read More...
I agree with Ahmed that "will have increased" is the best answer, and with you, Muh, that the progressive is wrong. While "will increase" is possible, it improperly conveys that the increase may be a sudden jump. What is needed is the idea that a process of increase will have reached a certain level by a certain date, and for that the future perfect is needed. Here is a simpler example for comparison: Your child will have grown to a height of at least 4 feet by the time he or she is a teenager.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · 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 would the world 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...
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