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March 2020

as your Dad told you

a. You didn't come home late last night, as your Dad told you to. b. You didn't come home late last night, as your Dad told you. Do these mean Your Dad told you to come home late last night or Your Dad told you not to come home late last night ? I think (b) might mean that you didn't come home late last night, and that is a fact that your Dad mentioned to you. =============================== c. You didn't come home late last night, as your brother did. Does (c) mean Your brother did come...Read More...
I think (a) means the person's dad told him/her to come home late, and the person did not. (b) may mean the same as (a) or what you say above: Your dad told you you didn't come home late last night. I think (c) means that, unlike what the person did, his/her brother came home late last night.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

A complicated relative clause

Hello everyone, Source: How to use your initiative at work Do you ever have an idea you’re so excited about you want to tell everyone about ? Does the underlined part mean "you’re so excited about the idea that you want to tell everyone about it (=the idea)"? Or should I view the underlied part as 2 relative clauses(" you’re so excited about " and "you want to tell everyone about" ), which, by themselves, modify the antecedent? Thanks a lot in advance!Read More...
Okay, I get it. Thanks a lot!Read More...
Last Reply By Robby zhu · First Unread Post

relative pronoun

Hello, 1.The man was a police officer. 2.He answered the phone. 3. The man who(that) answered the phone was a police officer. 4.The man was a police officer who answered the phone. When you are asked to combine sentences 1 and 2 by using a relative word, I would make sentence 3. But if someone else makes sentence 4, is it grammatically correct? I have an impression that 3 is better, but what would be the explanation? AppleRead More...
OK. Thank you, Gustavo.Read More...
Last Reply By apple · First Unread Post

high-placed or highly placed / No secret, forgotten preservatives... / (a) broader meaning

I have some questions from this article , called Mummy from TOEFL MUST WORD 5000. 1. In the second paragraph: Is the expression of " high-placed individuals " correct? I think it should be changed into " highly placed individuals ". 2. In the third paragraph: The body was then steeped in chemicals. No secret, forgotten preservatives were involved. Common substances such as beeswax.... What does the sentence in bold mean? Do "secret" and "forgotten" both modify preservatives? If so, that...Read More...
Hi, Barry, I cannot find the article you mention. 1. According to The Columbia Guide to Standard American English by Kenneth G. Wilson, both "high" and "highly" can be used before a participial adjective like "priced" ( a high-priced car/a highly priced car ) and, in the case of "placed," "high-placed" is correct but less frequent ( a high-placed official/a highly placed official ). 2. In this case, "no secret" comes from "It's no secret that..." The comma is used to mark a pause as stated...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

Object complement

To what extent would it be appropriate or pertinent to describe the prepositional phrase "into the target" as an adjectival with the function of an object complement in "She threw the arrow into the target, as for "open" in "He pushed the door open"; instead of describing it as an adverbial with the function of an adjunct or complement, for example, of spatial location?Read More...

gapless relative?

Which are correct? Which would be acceptable in formal English? Which would be acceptable in informal English? 1) There are movies that you think must be great when you see their previews, but when you see the movies themselves, you find out that they're terrible. 2) There are movies that when you see their previews you think must be great,but when you see the movies themselves, you find out that they're terrible. 3) There are movies that when you see their previews you think they must be...Read More...
Navi, I think all three sentences are faulty because of the second "they," which is -- as David said in this other thread -- a nonstandard, resumptive pronoun. In my humble opinion, a better option would be: 4) There are movies that you think must be great when you see their previews, but you find (to be) terrible / but you find out are terrible when you see the movies themselves. I don't think it's a good idea to interpose an adverbial clause between the noun antecedent and the relative clause.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

To Swedish Society or to the Swedish society?

I found a sentence in a research paper: " In the first study mentioned above, respondents were also asked if they agreed or disagreed with the statement that the organisation provided valuable contributions to Swedish society." Is "to Swedish society" an example of correct use?Read More...
Hi, Hopra, and welcome the Grammar Exchange, Yes, it is. a. If you are asking about the correctness of using the preposition 'to' after 'provide', I see that it is perfectly fine. See: https://www.macmillandictionar...nary/british/provide b. If you are asking about using the zero article before 'society' here, I see that is also grammatically acceptable. If you look up 'society' on this link https://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/society, you will see that it is used as a countable and...Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

adjectives that look like adverbs

Hi In the clause '...the eggs get body heat to stay warm.' Why is warm not a adverb when it seems to modify the verb 'to stay'?Read More...
Again, "warm" is not an adverb and does not modify the verb. Moreover, it should not be an adverb or modify the verb. ("The body heat stays warmly" is meaningless.) "Warm" is an adjective, just as it is in "It is warm today. I hope it stays warm." The adjective is predicated of the subject.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

With or without an article for "exercise"

Which of the following two is correct? 1. Jogging is good exercise. 2. Jogging is a good exercise.Read More...
Hello, Fujibei, When "exercise" is used as an uncountable noun, it usually takes a determiner ( some exercise, a lot of exercise, more exercise ). I think it can only do without a determiner in a verb phrase like "do exercise," or when used as a term, as in: - Jogging is equivalent to good exercise. That said, in your sentence I'd use "exercise" as a count noun: - Jogging is a good exercise.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

Is there major mistakes in this text?

So I wrote this little funny text for a friend of mine, but English is not my first language, so I'd like to know if there are grammar or any other kind of mistakes in it. I'd love to read anything you have to say or correct about it. Thank you! "You wake up with a song stuck in your head. What's its name? You can't— Where are you? You look around and all you see is... trees? There are people running around, they're naked, they speak a strange language and you...understand them? You hear...Read More...
Words spoken or written bear a power, and having value. Whenever we are writing any thing,we need to set out a complete order of words,having harmony and the lines should follow in a proper way or there should be a connection between sentences. Writing, also includes a particular theme or a topic, your writting should be simple ,easy to understand.Read More...
Last Reply By Shabb. · First Unread Post

in the meeting or at the meeting

Hey, I am just thinking there seems to be tiny difference between in the meeting and at the meeting. In the meeting is likely to express the meaning that one is just taking part in a particular meeting, but at the meeting seems to be able to show a future state, like I will raise a constructive suggestion at the next meeting. Could anybody tell me whether what I think is right or wrong. Thank you!!Read More...
Thank you very much!!!Read More...
Last Reply By Simon · First Unread Post

definition, secret

Hello. Which word is correct or both are? - Careful planning is the (definition - secret) of success. Thank you.Read More...
Hi, Ahmed Imam Attia, This is a question of meaning rather than grammar. Success cannot be defined as equivalent to careful planning. Instead, careful planning leads or is the key to success. "secret" (similar to "key" in this case) is therefore the right choice.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

Middle Voice

Ali Reza
"My girlfriend always checks herslef in the mirror before we go out," was written on an English Grammar Book. Why did author use "s" at the end of the verb even though there is modal auxiliary verb before the verb?Read More...
Hello,dear respectful teacher. I have made a mistake. I thought that "always" is auxiliary verb, but it is adverb not an auxiliary verb. So now I know that the sentence is completely correct. By the way, I really thank and appreciate your patience. Thanks so much!Read More...
Last Reply By Ali Reza · First Unread Post

exaggerating/downplaying/underplaying

Which are correct: 1) I thought he was exaggerating when he complained about Jeff's hardheadedness. But actually he was understating the facts. 2) I thought he was exaggerating when he complained about Jeff's hardheadedness. But actually he was downplaying the facts. 3) I thought he was exaggerating when he complained about Jeff's hardheadedness. But actually he was underplaying the facts. Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Hi. It's probably the first one but you wouldn't start a sentence with the word "but" usually as far as I'm aware.Read More...
Last Reply By CraigJ · First Unread Post

whether this sentence makes any sense

"Advertising affects what people think is important and sometimes has a negative influence on people’s lives." I cannot tell why there is "is important", or I can just take "people think" as a parenthesis? It is so weird. Thank you in advance.Read More...
Now I see, yes, indeed, it's very simple and correct sentence just taken out of context. I was thrown off the track because thought that 'advertising can't affect anything what people might think to be important' (or at least I can't imagine) because naturally advertising is about household items, cars, real estate, resorts, no matter of life and death.Read More...
Last Reply By Windward · First Unread Post

if you do/if you were to/if you will/would/if you can

If you spend more than $100, I will be able to offer a discount of 10% off your order. If you were to spend more than $100, I would be able to offer a discount of 10% off your order. If you will/would spend more than $100, I will/would be able to offer a discount of 10% off your order. If you can spend more than $100, I will be able to offer a discount of 10% off your order. Is there any difference in meaning among the above four sentences? Am I right to think #2 and 3 sound more polite?Read More...
Thanks very much Ahmed and David!Read More...
Last Reply By catchan · First Unread Post

Grammar check

Windward
Pardon me for a long topic, but please, dear members and teachers of profound knowledge of English, check this piece for mistakes. This is my translation of the greatest and most complicated poem written in octaves by the greatest Russian poet Alexander Pushkin. I October came – the grove already throws The last leaves off its naked limbs. The autumn cold had blown – the road froze, Purling the brook beyond the mill still streams, But frozen is the pond; my neighbor promptly goes To distant...Read More...

Grammar check request

You are chatting to Craig, I am a specialist advisor in Webchat. Hi. Can anyone please tell me the above is correct or not and if not, why? / the correct way and why (I'm hoping it is incorrect, but unable to explain why). Any information gratefully appeciated.Read More...

who is that young man? He, That, It is.....

Hello, I'm aware I've asked a similar question before, but allow me to post one more. Suppose you are looking at a small crowd and someone asks, "Who is that young man between Rob and Jane?" You answer, 1. It's my brother, Joe. 2. That's my brother, Joe. 3. He is my brother, Joe. Are all the three answers grammatically acceptable? Do native speakers prefer one to the others? Thank you. AppleRead More...
Thank you, David. appleRead More...
Last Reply By apple · First Unread Post

Reduction in relative clauses

Hello guys! Please have a look at this link, guys! https://www.grammarbank.com/reduced-relative-clauses.html What do you think of the following reduction rules involved? I think they are off the mark, but I'm not sure. *Jenna, who has lived in Florida for 20 years, has gone through several hurricanes. *Jenna, having lived in Florida for 20 years, has gone through several hurricanes.(Perfect Participle) *Having lived in Florida for 20 years, Jenna has gone through several hurricanes.(Perfect...Read More...
Thanks, David! Ca I reduce this sentence "The bridge which connected the two parts of the city was destroyed yesterday." into "The bridge connecting the two parts of the city was destroyed yesterday."?Read More...
Last Reply By Muh1994 · First Unread Post

The trouble is that,,,,,,

Hello, 1. I think (that) it will rain tomorrow. 2. The trouble is that he is not very healthy. "that" is often omitted from sentence 1. What about sentence 2? I have an impression that in sentence 2, that is not omitted very often. I guess it's OK to omit "that" from both sentences, but do you omit "that" from sentence 2? The trouble is he is not very healthy. Does this sentence sound perfectly acceptable? AppleRead More...
Hi, Apple and Gustavo, I agree with Gustavo that a pause is often felt in such sentences between the copula and the "that"-clause functioning as subject complement. Indeed, it is conventional to use a comma before such a "that"-clause when "that" is omitted: The trouble is, he is not very healthy. The problem is, the store isn't open today. The thing is, we have too much work to do. Yes, we could have "The point is, in this case there is no contact between the subject and the verb." But we...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Apostrophe or no

I am making a sign for someone with the last name of Little. Underneath of Little it will just say something to the effect of Established 2020. I want it to read The Littles. Based off of everything I understand and have read online, I do not need to add an ' before the -s as I am not trying to make it possessive. Can someone please confirm or dispute my thinking so that I make this grammatically correct for my customer? What if they are implying that it means Little's household or Little's...Read More...
Hello, Zlittle, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange. Yes, you have learned correctly; there should be no apostrophe in "Littles" in that usage. Whenever we pluralize a last last name to refer to a family (for example, instead of "keeping up with the family with the last name of Jones," we have the famous phrase "keeping up with the Joneses "), we do not add an apostrophe. Thus, the family with the last name of Brown becomes "the Browns"; the family with the last name of Obama, "the Obamas";...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

splitting verbs

Windward
Please, someone, enlighten me on the correctness of this verse 'From now on all their vanity and pride shall in this man alone reside'. Is it a grammar mistake to put 'in this man alone' between 'shall' and 'reside'? Please support your opinion with some practical grammatical evidence if it is possible.Read More...
Thank you very much, sir.Read More...
Last Reply By Windward · First Unread Post
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