March 2019

Mixed Conditionals

Could you please help me? In a typescript, I heard the following sentence: If you listened to last week’s programme, you would have heard Professor Jeremy Beech answering some of your questions about trees. Is this sentence correct relating to conditionals? If so, could please explain it? I think there is something wrong with it but I'm not sure. Thank you.Read More...
Hi, David, Ahmed Imam Attia seems to be confused by this explanation he got on another forum: It is my understanding (and it also seems to be yours) that "would" does not work with a perfect infinitive to express a present statement about the likelihood of a past event . "will" and "may" definitely work to express that meaning. "could" and "might" would work if the probability of that past occurrence were deemed to be more remote, but I don't think "would" would be a good choice. Let's...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

subject and verb agreement.

Hello~ I wonder if the subject and verb agreement rule can be applied in both (a) and (b) to represent the abstract thing, making any distinction of count and non count nouns. a) The next thing on the list is cheese. b) The next thing on the list is egg. Thank you.Read More...
Interesting. I'm sure you're right, David, that these are standard grocery items, and that I have seen them, but I've never noticed them, to the best of my recollection. This is probably because I wasn't looking for them. I'm not adverse to eggs, but the idea of bottled liquid egg(s) doesn't appeal to me. The same is true of powdered egg(s), which, I understand, was standard breakfast fare when my father was in the army. DocVRead More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

to improve one's condition

1) "I hold the value of life is to improve one's condition. " The sentence is by Abraham Lincoln. Source: https://books.google.com/books...prove%22&f=false I have a problem with: The value of life is to improve one's condition. I don't get the meaning of the sentence. One could read it as saying "The value of life is supposed to improve one's condition." The sentence would be similar to: I am to see John this afternoon. I don't think the sentence is supposed to be read that way. But 'to...Read More...
Navi, For what it's worth, David left out one minor point, which is that the full infinitive (to + V) and any clause that is introduced by this construct is, in fact, treated as a noun, not a verb. Thus the noun phrase "the value of life" can be equated with the noun phrase "to improve one's condition" using a simple copulative. If the main verb requires the particle "to" to introduce the subordinate clause ("it is supposed to ...", "I meant to ...", "I intend to ..."), then "to" is properly...Read More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

perfect tenses

a. I have been seeing that guy at our office for at least five years. b. I have seen that guy at our office for at least five years. Is there any difference between the meanings of (a) and (b)? Which could be used if I won't see that guy again? Which could be used if I will keep on seeing him at our office? Could either be used if that guy passed away a couple of days ago? Wouldn't one have to use the past perfect and past perfect progressive in that case? Many thanks.Read More...
Azz, (a) implies that the two of you are dating. DocVRead More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

Lightning or electrical storm

Hi, "A/An .......occurs when we hear loud noises and see bright flashes of light". A- electrical storm B- electric storm C- lightning Thank youRead More...
Ahmed and Ahmed, I apologize for my prolonged absence from the forum, hence my long delay in responding to this. As a native speaker, I would never say "an electric storm". We always say "an electrical storm" instead, so (A) is the best choice among the options given. Ahmed_btm is quite right in saying that we commonly refer to these as "thunder storms" and "lightning storms". These terms, especially "thunder storm", are much more common than "electrical storm" where I live. DocVRead More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

booklet, pamphlet, brochure, leaflet

Could you help me please? I'm really confused about how to differentiate between : booklet, pamphlet, brochure, leaflet. I have looked them in many dictionaries as well as collocations dictionaries but in vain. For example, I cannot choose the correct word in the following sentence: I have a (booklet, pamphlet, brochure, leaflet) for the exam. It contains a few pages. Thank you.Read More...
Possibly the term you're looking for is 'test paper'. I have a test paper for the exam. It contains a few pages. ~ ~ ~ Example sentences below are from > https://eng.ichacha.net/zaoju/test%20paper.html The Entrance Test Paper will have 175 Objective Type Questions with Multiple Choice Answers. In exams, test papers are university entrance questions. ~ ~ ~ Definitions are from > https://www.thefreedictionary.com/test+paper test paper Also found in: Thesaurus , Medical , Legal ,...Read More...
Last Reply By Erudite_Birdy · First Unread Post

Decompose "I have something important to tell you"

Hi everyone, I heard this on a film and when I try and decompose it using sentence diagramming I get stuck trying to define what each word's function is. Is it possible someone define each each word please? The sentence: "I have something important to tell you." The movie was: Conspiracy Theory; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...piracy_Theory_(film) Many thanks, PhilipRead More...
Thank you David. It is deeply satisfying reading your answers.Read More...
Last Reply By Philip · First Unread Post

first conditional

1. If she smiles more, people will like her. 2. If she smiled more, people would like her. The above sentences come from "Oxford English Grammar Course." The latter works for me. However, I cannot think of a context in which the first fits. Can you expand the first one for me?Read More...
Many, many thanks. What about this version: She's getting ready to begin a presentation and she's nervous about that. People are talking about "her" and decide that she'll be more likeable if she smiles. .... I know that here, "she would be more likeable if she smiled" is not correct. But I wonder if the above sentence sounds natural to you.Read More...
Last Reply By Freeguy · First Unread Post

Why is "rode on the wrong bus, taking me ..." incorrect?

I have written down my friend's sentence below. (1) I received my previous employer's letter, praising how hardworking I was. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Next, I will use the same logic to make up a sentence with a gerund like the one in bold above. (2) I rode on the wrong bus, taking me to the west side of the city. Some of my non-native English speaking friends think (2) is wrong. I don't understand why it is wrong when I am...Read More...
Hi, Ansonman, I agree with your friends that (2) sounds wrong. In the first place, in AmE we say: "I rode (or took) the wrong bus" (no preposition). In the second place, when the participial clause refers to a later time, it needs to refer to the subject for it not to dangle. 3) I rode/took the wrong bus, arriving at the meeting later than expected. (3) is correct because "arriving" refers to the subject "I." Instead, in (2) "taking" refers to the object "bus," and it is that that makes it...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

certain, sure

Hello, I know sentence 1 and 2 are correct, but what about 3? If sentence 3 is also correct, does it sound natural enough and what is the difference between 2 and 3? 1. I' m sure he will come. 2. He is sure to come. 3. He is certain to come. apple.Read More...
Thank you, David. appleRead More...
Last Reply By apple · First Unread Post

have never seen it before or have never seen it in my life

Suppose that you are showing your friend your collection of seashells. You are now pointing at a very rare one and start talking about it. (1) I have never seen such a rare seashell before. (2) I have never seen such a rare seashell in my life. Which sentence makes sense? Thanks a lot.Read More...
Hi, Ansonman, Both sentences make sense in that context, but (2) would be better if it were phrased like this, with inversion: (2a) Never in my life have I seen such a rare seashell.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

"to" as a preposition

Michael. MICHAEL KINSLEY: Barry Rubin, what do you think of CNN and the other networks playing all over the world this tape of Terry Anderson's little girl? Is this kind of thing helpful or harmful to getting the hostages released and to Americans' - America's interest in general? Source: SPOK : CNN_Crossfire Is "to" prepositional here?Read More...
In answer to (1), gerunds can be preceded by objective pronouns and possessive determiners. Anyway, here follow a couple of examples I found on the Internet where the gerund comes immediately after "to": - Unrest can lead to rioting . - Some folks understand what it means to pay attention to finding the right balance with respect to diversity. In reply to (2), I don't like sentence (a), since the presence of the preposition "of" renders the definite article necessary: a'. It was argued in...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Other/The Other

ahmad
Hello, everyone, Would someone kindly help me understand the difference among the following? 1. The other conditions shall remain the same. 2. Other conditions shall remain the same. 3. The other conditions shall remain same. 4. Other conditions shall remain same. Thanks.Read More...
Thanks a lot, Gustavo.Read More...
Last Reply By ahmad · First Unread Post

Quality or Quantity

1- "Parents should spend some .............. of time with their children every day." A- equality B- quantity C- quality D- qualification 2- "There has been a decrease in the number of applications since the report on environmental pollution ................. in the newspaper." A- was appeared B- has appeared C- appeared D- has been appeared As for sentence number 1, the existence of the preposition "of" after the space makes me confused. If it weren't for it, I would choose "quality time".Read More...
Excellent points, Ahmed. I agree with you wholeheartedly. If the action were repeatable or durative (e.g., "There has been a decrease in the number of applications since we have been here " -- in which "been here" can refer either to something indefinitely durative or to a mere visit), then the sentence would be acceptable. But the appearance of the report of the newspaper falls into neither of those categories. Regarding "was appeared" and "has been appeared," both would be totally...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

"You have our support, whatever you decide"

Hi everyone, I came across this saying "You have our support, whatever you decide." In the oxford advanced learners dictionary when looking up the word whatever. Could somebody please advise what function is being performed by "whatever you decide".... Many thanksRead More...
Thank you. I'll read up on the concessive linker.Read More...
Last Reply By Philip · First Unread Post

reason why ... and reason that ...

Hi! I came across this other exercise on the C2 Level Grammar Test (on this website: https://www.examenglish.com/cpe/CPE_grammar.htm): "I can't imagine any reason _______ he should have behaved in such an extraordinary way." a) for b) how c) that d) why According to the website, the correct answer is "d) why". I understood why d) is correct, but I didn't understand why "c) that" is considered incorrect. According to Michael Swan (Practical English Usage - 3rd edition, entry 492 - reason,...Read More...
Thanks again, David! Speaking of "wordy", can you please recommend a books and/or website that deals with wordiness, faulty parallelism, sentence fragments, run-on sentences, comma splices, misplaced/dangling modifiers and punctuation (preferably that also contain exercises on these topics).Read More...
Last Reply By shantower · First Unread Post

"so enjoyable a party" x "such an enjoyable party"

I came across this exercise on a C2 Level Grammar Test (on this website: https://www.examenglish.com/cpe/CPE_grammar.htm): "Thank you very much — I haven't been to _______ party for ages." a) the so enjoyable b) a so enjoyable c) so enjoyable d) so enjoyable a According to the website, the correct answer is "d) so enjoyable a". Can you please explain how this construction is possible? I would have said/chosen something different: "Thank you very much - I haven't been to such an enjoyable...Read More...
Thanks for the explanation, David! IRead More...
Last Reply By shantower · First Unread Post

Worthwhile

Do we say" worthwhile career "or "rewarding career "?Read More...
Hello, Emad and Ahmed: I agree with you, Ahmed, that both "worthwhile career" and "rewarding career" are correct. To me, they have slightly different connotations. "A worthwhile career" suggests to me that the career is of inherent value --- not just to oneself but to others -- whereas "a rewarding career" need only be beneficial to oneself, in terms of salary, time off, and perks. To make "a worthwhile career" equivalent in meaning to "a rewarding career," I would speak of the career being,...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

future perfect in 1st conditional

Hi, can we use the future perfect in first conditionals? for example; If you read this novel, you will have read all of his works. Thank you.Read More...
Hi, Ahmed, Generally speaking, yes, you can. I remember reading the following example: - If the bus leaves at 6, it will have reached Alex by now. Randolph Quirk on 'Comprehensive Grammar' refers to an interesting point: "When the period in the matrix clause refers to a future situation, a modal perfective (generally will have) is used in the matrix clause: If the promotion is confirmed, you will have been promoted three times since you joined the company. As for your example above, you know...Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post
×
×
×
×