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March 2020

Me or myself?

Why does “I took a photo of myself” sound correct, but “I found a photo of myself” sound wrong? while “I took a photo of me” sounds wrong, but “I found a photo of me” sounds right? Does it weirdly depend on who took the photo — portrait or selfie? If the subject is I, I thought the correct choice would always be myself, but does this sound right: “I found a photo of myself standing in front of the Eiffel Tower,” or wouldn’t that sentence sound better as “I found a photo of me standing in...Read More...
Very astute observation, Gustavo. I completely agree. Prepositional phrases can sometimes seem like a Twilight Zone, grammatically, for reflexive-pronoun usage. But when a prepositional phrase is part of a phrasal/prepositional verb, as "take a picture of" is when it means "photograph," then the normal rule holds, that we use a reflexive pronoun when the object is co-referent with the subject of the clause. "She took a picture of her" would naturally be understood as meaning that she took a...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Reported speech {go}

Hello, sir! I'd like to know how to report this sentence "Did you go to school?", mother said. Is it OK to say: Mother asked if I had gone to school. Or, Mother asked if I had been to school.Read More...
Thank you, Abdul. Just be careful when you feel tempted to think of all nonnative speakers of English as "learners." You may not realize this, but some of the greatest users of the English language have been nonnative speakers. I think in particular of novelists like Joseph Conrad and Vladimir Nabokov, writers from whom most native speakers could have taken lessons.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

one of (the) just 16 athletes

Hello, I was reading a following article of the corona virus spread. In the bold italicized part, don't we need "the" before "just" ? https://time.com/5804750/colleges-closed-coronavirus/ That kind of commitment helped her become one of just 16 athletes to qualify for the one-mile race at the 2020 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships. appleRead More...
Oh, it doesn't. Thank you.Read More...
Last Reply By apple · First Unread Post

Of vs. In?

A friend brought me this sentence: "My mother was a viola player in an orchestra." They asked whether "in" could be replaced with "of" in this sentence. It sounds wrong to me, but I'm having a hard time explaining why. They also compared it to being a member of a baseball team, so why can of not be used in this case? The only way I can think to change the sentence to use "of" is: "My mother was the viola player of the orchestra," but the nuance is still difficult for me to explain. Can...Read More...
Hello, akcpenguin, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange. To add a little to Gustavo's response, with which I completely agree, I think it is worth noting that an "of"-phrase after "player," at least where musical instruments are concerned, tends to indicate what it is that the player plays. Indeed, a viola player is a player of the viola. Here are a couple of other natural ways to express the idea: My mother was a violist in an orchestra. My mother played the viola in an orchestra.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Massive

Dr Homles has....... experience in teaching. (massive_impressive_value_available)Read More...
Apart from the quantifiers David proposed, here are the adjectives suggested by the Oxford Collocations Dictionary for Students of English, 2nd edition. Considering that "experience" is used as a non-count noun, I'd go for any of the adjectives on the first line: considerable , extensive , great , long , vast , wide experience noun 1 knowledge/skill obtained by seeing / doing sth adjective considerable , extensive , great , long , vast , wide limited , little companies with limited ~ in the...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Articles

Good afternoon, Could you explain the usage of the article in the following example: Since you are an editorial board member of the collection of scientific papers 'Solar System' Should we place the article the or A here?Read More...
This is my own phrase for a letterRead More...
Last Reply By DoraD · First Unread Post

Using of Past Perfect in a story

The story is, as usual, in Past Indefinite. The events happened before the time of the main action should be in Past Perfect. But I was told that PP should not be overused in a single sentence: "He had remembered that from his childhood", but "He had learned that in his childhood and remembered all his life." But in this example we have only one subject with several predicates. What to do if we have more? E.g. " She remembered a girl from her class who, when they had been/ were(?) nine years...Read More...
In a dictionary of course It was not marked as archaic there. What well-known analog would you recommend? Is it just "nothing wrong" or "the only right"? E.g. the last sentence of the same paragraph: " The suicide attempt hadn’t worked out for her either — she had gotten off with a broken leg, and only then the whole bad story [had become, became, or both possible?] known to the adults." "Read More...
Last Reply By George Yury · First Unread Post

preposition choice

Windward
Please, help me, how should I put this: ' The wind moans in draughts'? or through draughts? I need to convey a gloomy picture of loneliness using this line with the wind blowing through some draughts/gaps, narrow lanes, archways. I've never met a good example with this draught-word.Read More...
Hi, Windward—Would it be possible to speak instead of moaning drafts ?Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

How should I say when I write my address?

1. Should I say 13th cluster / cluster 13 or 13 cluster? 2. Should I say 3rd lane / lane 3 or 3 lane? 3. Should I say 3rd alley / alley 3 or 3 alley? 4. Should I say 1st/3rd alley or alley 1/3? (1/3 = alley 1 / lane 3) 5. Should I say 3rd street or street 3? 6. Should I say 2nd Hamlet/ Hamlet 2 or 2 Hamlet? 7. Should I say 1st Ward / Ward 1 or 1 Ward? 8. Should I say 3rd District / District 3 or 3rd District ? Thanks!Read More...
Hi, Kimconu—You should use the address-writing customs in your area.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

ellipsis

The number of people at the meeting is larger than last week. Some of my colleagues think it should be "last week's". However, I believe this is ellipsis: "The number of people at the meeting is larger than [it was] last week." Ellipsis occurs when the missing elements are recoverable from the context, even if, as here, adaptation is necessary. What do you think? (Source: A mock exam held in Iran)Read More...
I like Gustavo's recommendations above. It seems that the book is aiming to give learners practice in using "that" as a pronoun. For what it's worth, I'd naturally express the idea like this: There are more people at the meeting than there were last week.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Future forms

1_I have won a million pounds. I..........a new car. (buy_am buying_am going to buy_will buy). 2_They.......their grandmother any more. She is dead. (do not visit_are not going to visit_ will not visit_are not visiting)Read More...
Hi, Wael, The expected model answer is 'will buy' to express a quick decision after winning the million pounds. However, in real life, if that was my intention before winning the million pounds, then 'am going to' is also correct. There is more than one correct choice here and they are all possible. 'Don't visit' expresses a present reality. 'Will not visit' expresses a perdition and a future reality. 'Aren't going to' expresses a prediction based on evidence.Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

*A friend of me

Hello everyone. This is __ 1. a photo of mine 2. a photo of me 3. a friend of mine 4. a friend of me(x) 5. a friend of Tom 6. a friend of Tom's I know that only 4 is incorrect. But isn't it the counterpart of 2 or 6? What makes it wrong? Considering there is a difference in meaning between 1 and 2, is there any between 5 and 6?Read More...
Thanks, David. I got it.Read More...
Last Reply By Robby zhu · First Unread Post

Is it possible to change the normal order of words in a song?

From "you cannot tame them" to "you cannot them tame " or "them cannot you tame"? (I think "them you cannot tame" is correct, like "to the battle we go". but that is not what I need.)Read More...
I know. I'm asking if this is the necessary and sufficient condition.Read More...
Last Reply By George Yury · First Unread Post

Remember&Forget

I didn't.................................................. to bring my book with me this time, so which page do we open? (remember_forget_stop_regret)Read More...
Hi, Wael, The logical answer here is 'forget' . I didn't forget to bring...= I remembered to bring... BTW, 'remember' could work here in a certain situation. That's if I am sitting beside you and holding your book. Then, I would explain that ''I didn't remember to bring my.... '' I also see that using the present perfect and 'shall we' is more natural than the past simple and 'do we' in your sentence above.Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

for it to cook

Which are correct: 1 ) The place for this casserole is on the stove to cook. 2) The right place for this casserole is on the stove to cook. 3 ) The place for this casserole is on the stove for it to cook. 4) The right place for this casserole is on the stove for it to cook. Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Hi! I would go with “The place for this casserole to cook is on the stove,” which is slightly rearranged. As the reader, I can assume the place you’re telling me to put the casserole is right. Hope this helped!Read More...
Last Reply By Emmarose · First Unread Post

Which sentence makes sense?

Which sentence makes sense? Quarantine got me back to using my treadmill again.. Or Quarantine got me back into using my treadmill again..Read More...
Both are fine. Macmillan Dictionary Online in definition nunmber (5) says: Get back to/into means to start doing something again after not doing it for a period of time. https://www.macmillandictionar...ary/british/get-backRead More...
Last Reply By Hussein Hassan · First Unread Post

Articles

Hussein Hassan
Hi, all, Would you please tell me why we say 'Chinese food' , but ' the Chinese language'. Cambridge Dictionary Online crossed out the following examples: Do you speak Chinese language? I love the Japanese food. Thank you.Read More...
Thank you, all for your comments. I also would like to welcome you, @Kinto as this is the first time I have had a discussion with you here.Read More...
Last Reply By Hussein Hassan · First Unread Post

Reported speech

Mona told me that she........ the room after she had had her breakfast. (cleaned_had cleaned_is going to clean_was going to clean). Myself, there are two correct options.Read More...
Hi, Gustavo, Yes, you are right that 'had cleaned' is a third possible answer here. In fact, I normally don't backshift in time clauses because this sometimes causes confusion. Above all, we don't backshift in time clauses in our exams. This is part of "A Practical English Grammar" Fourth Edition page 271:Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

might live / might have lived

Hello everyone! People (might live/might have lived) on the moon by the end of the 21st century. Who knows?! What is the better choice? I think "might live" is the only correct answer since it's an ongoing action. Thanks!Read More...
Hi, Muh1994, You are right that "might live" is the only correct answer, as it expresses probability about an action expected to take place at a future time.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Reported speech

She told me....... quiet because the baby was sleeping. (to be_to have been_that I was_that I am). I think the maker of the question needs the perfect infintive. What about the bare simple one?Read More...
Hi, Kinto, I agree that the simple infinitive is the correct form. This is only to clarify that we use the term "bare infinitive" to refer to the infinitive without "to," as in: - He made me be quiet. "that I was" would also be a possible answer in a special context. Suppose a child asks his/her mom: - Why am I quiet? and the answer is: - You are quiet because the baby is sleeping. The child may then report the answer as follows: - She told me that I was quiet because the baby was sleeping.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Different and Difference

What is the difference between different-and-difference? any advice... I found only this article https://differencebtwn.com/what-is-the-difference-between-different-and-differenceRead More...
"Different" is an adjective. e.g. You sound different today. "Difference" is a noun. May I quote your question: e.g. What's the difference between "different" and "difference"?Read More...
Last Reply By Kinto · First Unread Post
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