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March 2020

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

Reported speech

Hani told me a moment ago that he....... football then. (is watching_was watching_had watched_watched) . I think the maker of the question needs IS WATCHING, but what about THEN.Read More...
"was watching" is the answer. "then" means "at that moment", which is a past time indicator and goes consistently with the past tense verb form "told" and "a moment ago", another past time indicator.Read More...
Last Reply By Kinto · First Unread Post

Preposition choice?

Windward
Please, help me with this sentence: "There in draughts the wind is going to moan overhead until morning." Is this sentence correct? (Meaning that the wind passes through draught-gaps between buildings such as narrow lanes, archways and so on, producing moaning or howling sound.)Read More...
Hello. This is a literal translation of a line in a poem that's why it may sound weird. There is nothing before it, it is the beginning of the verse. It describes gloomy weather, depression, a vagabond goes along a dark narrow street and the wind is going to wail above his head in draughts. But it is literal translation, that's why I want to know whether it conveys the mood in a grammatically correct way.Read More...
Last Reply By Windward · First Unread Post

Reported Speech - Backshiftng or not?

I've seen a lot of exceptions for the reported speech and I would like to debate and thereby clear the things that are on my mind regarding this subject. I've seen these types of "Rules" of Backshifting (I.g - Move one tense back to the past; eg. - Present Simple -> Past simple) The problem to me is: how am I going to know when backshifting is okay?Read More...
Hi Harry After past reporting verbs, we usually change the original tenses even if the things said are still true. ‘ I’m British. ’ ⇒ I told the police I was British . (The speaker is still British.) ‘ How old are you? ’ ⇒ Didn’t you hear me? I asked how old you were . However, a reporter can also choose to keep the speaker’s present/future tense if the situation has not changed – that is to say, if the original speaker’s present and future are still the reporter’s present and future. This...Read More...
Last Reply By Kinto · First Unread Post

Relative pronoun

It's by sorting and recycling our garbage ......... we can save the planet. that / by which / how / whichRead More...
I too would go with "that," and "that" is the only answer that works. The other three choices are ungrammatical. " It's by sorting and recycling our garbage that we can save the planet " is a cleft sentence deriving from " We can save the planet by sorting and recycling our garbage ."Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

She or he

Windward
Hello. I am puzzled with this phenomena I have met lately in written English: is it a rule or courtesy to refer to any character's unknown gender as to "she" no matter how improbable she is. (I know we assume that Death is he, Sun is she, boat is she ). But here for example: I read a sentence in a science book "A green monkey can yell to its comrades, ‘Careful! A lion!’ But a modern human can tell her friends that this morning, near the bend in the river, she saw a lion tracking a herd of...Read More...
There is actually a rather simple and strict grammatical rule which directs gender personification in English: everything good comes from female and everything bad - from male source. Is it not enough for political correctness, chivalry and such? Indeed, this matter is well beyond a grammar book. There is one unpleasantness in this situation: we all perfectly know that women had had zero decisive power in the world until XX century. If we now start refer to historical figures in general as...Read More...
Last Reply By Windward · First Unread Post

Reported speech

Bill asked....,if I got the job,I'd move to York(whether/if/where/weather) Look at the car displayed there,it's amazing .How about asking .....? (How much it is/for its price) I asked my neighbour....is kind how to get to the train station(which/where/that/whether)Read More...
I agree that the sentence is terrible with that conditional clause at the beginning of the reported question. A possible sentence would be: - Bill asked whether I'd move to York if I got the job. Using "if" twice would sound repetitive, even if it has a different function in each case.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

This summer will be sparse at best. Someone have a word.

The following is from The Guardian of Mar. 25. What does the last sentence “This summer will be sparse at best. Someone have a word” mean? Hosting the Tokyo Games in the spring would have at least one major advantage – it would be far cooler than in the summer. But Dai Greene, the former world 400m hurdles champion, warned it would give athletes less chances to qualify, especially if coronavirus leads to the 2020 summer of sport being cancelled. “When do we get the chance to compete and...Read More...

Sentence

Hi, can anyone help me with this minor confusion I am dealing with? I was conducting a research about a disease and came across with this sentence: It is possible to catch that disease from ejaculating. Shouldn't that be: It is possible to catch that disease by ejaculating? Or It is possible to catch that disease from ejaculation? I really am confused about the propwr word usage here. Can anyone help me? I apologize about the inappropriate word usage here.Read More...
Hi, Kyle, You can catch a disease by doing something or from a physical source (an infected person, an infected fluid, contaminated food, etc.)Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

"costs" or "is costing"

I'm having a new house built. It (costs / is costing) a fortune. Which one is the correct choiceRead More...
I'd say it's the more natural answer in that context, and that is what Gustavo's answer suggests, as well. The reason "is costing" is the more natural answer is that the first sentence speaks of a process that is ongoing, in which the speaker keeps spending and spending, and the cost keeps mounting higher and higher: it is costing a fortune. With "costs," on the other hand, the "it" would simply be interpreted differently. Instead of referring to a process which is happening, it would refer...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Born & borne

Which one is OK? 1. He was born in Italy. 2. He was borne in Italy. 3. Both are OK.Read More...
What didn't you understand in the explanation I gave you? If we wish to refer to the place of people's birth (where they were born, where they issued forth from their mother, having been begotten by their parents), then we speak of their having been born somewhere. If we wish to refer to a place where someone was carried (perhaps in someone's arms, perhaps on the back of a camel in the Sahara desert), then we use "borne." We use them in two completely different types of case. If you still...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

To comma or not to comma?

In the sentence "It’s an ambitious promise that resonates with many Americans who are tired of the Trump administration's stumblings", should I place a comma before the word "who"? Also, I'm aware that "stumblings" isn't really the appropriate word. Assuming you understand what I'm trying to say, can you think of any better words to use instead? Thanks :)Read More...
That's really helpful, thank you! Now that you've explained it, it's much clearer in my head - and I altered the sentence to reflect your second bit of feedback. Thanks!Read More...
Last Reply By smatpat · First Unread Post

Articles

Good afternoon! Could you, please, explain to me the functions of the articles in the following example: "In this type of review, the names of the reviewers are hidden from the author . This is the traditional method of reviewing and is the most common type by far" ( https://www.elsevier.com/reviewers/what-is-peer-review ) Why does the author place the article (THE) if reviewers and authors are unknown for us from the context? It's like general information for publication of scientific...Read More...
Gustavo, thank you for your letter! But, as far as I know, the generic function is when we want to indicate that the noun is a composite image of the class (we place the article THE before the noun, not the zero article). "But bear in mind that despite the above, reviewers can often identify the author through their writing style, subject matter or self-citation – it is exceedingly difficult to guarantee total author anonymity". ( https://www.elsevier.com/revie.../what-is-peer-review )Read More...
Last Reply By DoraD · First Unread Post

can and could

George: Man, I'm starving! Elaine: How can you be hungry after what you ate at that Mets game? George: Because ballpark food doesn't count as real food. ...... ——part of a conversation from Seinfeld My question is, when Elaine says "How can you be hungry...", is it also correct to say "How could you be hungry...", using "could" instead of "can" to express "It's unbelievable"? "Could" is used to ask about past situations, right? 1.How could you do something like that? (That already happened.)...Read More...
Yes, (3) is incorrect. If you want to ask someone how they manage to do something, you don't say "how can you do that", but "how do you do that?" The "can" in Elaine's question is asking about the current situation - how can he currently be hungry - how is it possible that he's still hungry, right now? Whereas "could" used in that sentence would make it more hypothetical, and that wouldn't be set in a certain time - just hypothetical, of any time period. She could say "how could you possibly...Read More...
Last Reply By Former Member · First Unread Post

am/is/being adjective: 'be' in progressive

I was thinking of types of adjectives that may appear in 'am/is/are being + Adjective' pattern to express temporary behavior. I get why adjectives like 'old, tall, angry, etc.' cannot be used in the patter. How about 'wise'? Can I say 'Mary is being wise'? It doesn't sound good to me, but it also seems like having an opposite meaning from 'foolish' that allows such a pattern.Read More...
You can definitely say "Mary is being wise". It's describing her current actions. If you said "Mary is wise", then you mean something different - that she's always wise (like in using 'tall' or another word that is always descriptive of someone). The reason you don't use "angry" in this way is because we don't use that word to describe how someone always, regularly is (which is how present simple is used), unless we put that limit in: "Mary is always angry/is an angry person". "Mary is...Read More...
Last Reply By Former Member · First Unread Post

Apostrophe Question

Should the ownership go to Jane or her life? With the commas of interjection it becomes confusing how to write it correctly. The sentence is. "Suddenly, a new element has been added to Jane, who is now a young adult's, life." or "Suddenly, a new element has been added to Jane's, who is now a young adult, life." or something entirely different. This has be so hung up on how one would write this. It's easily said out loud but writing it has me confused. Thanks!Read More...
Yeah, I would agree with Ahmed's solution - the original sentence is difficult, and it's better to create a new one that works better. If you want to understand the principle of how to use the apostrophe in the original, it needs to go with the main clause about Jane because that's what the new element is being added to, not the subordinate clause, which is interjecting a bit of extra information about her. To use this principle properly in the future (when it's already a smoother sentence),...Read More...
Last Reply By Former Member · First Unread Post

simple past-present perfect interchangeability

The sentence "She has gone to America a nd she'll be back next week " is good because "has gone" suggests that she is away in America now, and because of that, you cannot say "She has gone to America but she's back home now". And the sentence "She went to America but now she is back at home ." sounds good, right? ; my question is whether I can say "She went to America, and she'll be back next week. " To sum, if you use the present perfect there is only one way of continuing, but if you use...Read More...
I see. Now I get it. Thank you so much!Read More...
Last Reply By shmom · First Unread Post

Gerunds

Which one is correct? - I would like seeing you moving your head. or - I would like to see you moving your head. Appreciate it!Read More...
Hi, Alexa—Both sentences are grammatically correct. You could also say "I would like to see you move your head" and "I would like seeing you move your head." Everything depends on context. Do you have a context in mind? If so, what is it?Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Will it be sunny tomorrow?

Which of the following answers is correct? 1. Yes, it will. 2. Yes, it will be.Read More...
Hi, Fujibei—Both answers are correct. Verb phrase ellipsis can occur after a modal ("It will [be sunny tomorrow]") and after copula "be" ("It will be [sunny tomorrow]"). If (2) is used, the stress will (and should) fall on "will," not "be."Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Wish + Simple Past/Would?

I've been struggling to know the difference, even though I've done a thorough research about it. Could you tell the difference between those 2? Examples: Why do we say: And not: What would the difference be if I said either: Thanks in advanceRead More...
I agree with Gustavo's answer above, but would like to add that I find the sentence "I wish it stopped raining" rather weird. As a native speaker, I understand it to imply that the speaker thinks that it doesn't stop raining, and that he doesn't like that fact. He wishes it did stop raining. The reason that's weird is that it always stops raining (in the world as we know it, even those of us who live in places that get a lot of rain). Rain events always have a beginning and an end. Thus, the...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Rephrasing

Hello! Is "I left the party much more late than everyone else." the correct rephrasing having to use the word "lot" for the sentence "I left the party much later than everyone else."? Thank you!Read More...
Hello, GummySloth, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange. Your question is not very clear. The comparative of "late" is "later," and to intensify the comparative you can use either "much" ( much later ) or "a lot" ( a lot later ).Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

Sentence adverbial

By 2019 , they are projected to have fallen off by roughly a third since their peak in 2009. source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/03/23/america-has-fallen-out-of-love-with-diet-sodas-and-possibly-for-good/ I understand that the adverbial "by 2019" is not intended to modify "are prepared". Instead, it modifies "have fallen". So I think it is intentionally fronted from the original position: They are projected to have fallen off by roughly a third by 2019 since their peak...Read More...
Thank you, Gustavo.Read More...
Last Reply By Robby zhu · First Unread Post
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