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March 2021

Subordinate and superordinate clauses - difference

Examples for my thread: 1. I work, but my wife looks after the kids. 2. I cleaned the bathroom because my flatmate cleaned the toilet. Whenever they explain the difference between subordinate and ordinate clauses, they say that "my wife looks after the kids" is an ordinate clause because it can stand on its own (its complete), whereas "because my flatmate cleaned the toilet" is a subordinate clause because it cannot stand on its own (its not complete). My concern is that they always happen...Read More...
I'm closing this thread, Lucas. If you want to look at the OED , subscribe to it. Learner's dictionaries are simplified for ESL learners. "Yet" in "and yet" is an adverb. Deal with it. You have consistently been wrong in this thread and have never admitted it. You are wasting my time. But you are very welcome for my having given you my time and expertise, not that you would ever dream of taking the trouble to say "thank you" after an expert has gone the trouble of helping you and correcting...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Postmodification

Hi, the following material is cited from A comprehensive grammar of the English language by Quirk et al, sec 17.108. - A hyphen before the singular form is normal in expressions denoting age, time, weight, size, etc of the followinng type . Do both " denoting..." and "of the following type" modify "expressions"? I ask because it contradicts what I have been taught: when modifying something, a proposition phrase should be placed before a non finite clause.Read More...
Thanks, Gustavo. And I'd say, unfortunately, indeed, it does.Read More...
Last Reply By Robby zhu · First Unread Post

for or to

Hi, why can't we use "for"? "She went to the kitchen.......the dishes." a-to wash b-for washingRead More...
That doesn't work. Nor does " She went to the kitchen for washing the dishes ." "What for?" questions are generally not answered with "for"-phrases. For example, if I told someone I was responding to a grammar post, and he asked me, "What are you doing that for?," I could not say " For answering Lucas ," " I am responding to a grammar post for answering a question I was asked ." I could respond with " To answer a question I was asked " or " Because I was asked a question " (not a fragment in...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Relative clauses with "to be"

The following is a grammatically correct sentence: - This is the magical object, about which the book is written. However, why does the sentence below not sound right? - This is the magical object, about which the book is. Is there a particular grammar rule that addresses relative clauses with "to be" as a lexical verb?Read More...
Thank you, MlleSim, for your post above. Strictly speaking, if actually classified as a multi-word verb be about is a prepositional, not a phrasal verb. Notice that we cannot say: * The book is a magical object about. In the case of be about the object, whether a full noun phrase or a pronoun, will always be placed after the preposition: - The book is about a magical object . - The book is about it . I think that, even though it does not form part of a phrasal verb stricto sensu , the verb...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

meaning of 'sentential'

Hello, everyone, “The same phrase can be used as either predication or sentence adjunct, according as it pinpoints new information in the predication or provides general background information for the sentence as a whole: “(I looked everywhere for it and eventually) I found the letter in the kitchen.” [3] “(I had totally forgotten about the matter, but then, almost by chance,) I found the letter(,) in the kitchen.” [4] The contexts supplied show that the adjunct in [3] is predicational while...Read More...
Hello, David, you do have really surprising teaching method!!! I guess I got the meaning, and then the above 'sentential' should be interpreted as not the usual definition - 'relating to a sentence' but 'relating to the tense phrase(TP)'. Really appreciate your special help. RGDSRead More...
Last Reply By deepcosmos · First Unread Post

An English grammar question concerning the use of COMMA

Firstly, thank you for taking the time to read the question. I have encountered a sentence tackling the question in the SAT, and I'd really appreciate it if you could provide an answer to the question. The sentence goes like this: "They wanted a series of statues to adorn the cathedral's exterior, placed high on buttresses so that the art could be admired from afar." PLACED is the correct one above A) placing, B) they were placed, C) which were placed. I know why A, B, and C are incorrect,...Read More...
Hello, Deku, I see this is your second question here, so it is now my turn to welcome you to G.E. I see no problem whatsoever with "placed" being preceded by a comma. I find that past participle suitable to describe how they wanted the statues to adorn the cathedral's exterior: they wanted them in that elevated position. Please note that your version with "to be placed" could be interpreted as being in the passive and thus give the idea of their wanting somebody else to place them there,...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

Slogan on Packaging for a homedecor Brand

Dear Grammar Exchange Members, I´m having difficulties in phrasing this sentence correctly. I have the feeling something is missing or incorrectly but I lack the necessary knowledge to correct it. " Feel the sunshine and peacefulness of building yourself the place you belong to. " This sentence is aimed to evoke the feeling you get when you start to furnish your own place and it slowly starts to feel like home. When it goes from being foreign to a place you feel you belong to. The part with...Read More...
No problem. It's gonna be a great project for sure! Take care.Read More...
Last Reply By Former Member · First Unread Post

comfortable ~ing

Hello, Grammar Exchange members! I ran into the following sentence and had a question about how to use the word 'comfortable' in a sentence. a. Americans have always been quite comfortable getting their food on the streets. I was just curious about whether a gerund can be used after 'comfortable.' I know it can be used after 'comfortable', otherwise it wouldn't be written that way in a book. But when I looked up the word 'comfortable' in dictionaries...Read More...
Thank you for letting me see this from a different angle. I really appreciate it. Today I've learned something new again! Love this website!Read More...
Last Reply By KDog · First Unread Post

seems like (as if)?

Hello, David and Gustavo, While my following question has been unanswered for about 2 years, could I ask you, masters to kindly share your time to find/answer it? For your reference the last thread is on https://thegrammarexchange.inf...c/seems-like-as-if-1 Since I'm not in a hurry, please feel free to answer it when you're free. My reference; 1. The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language by Rodney Huddleston, p.960-961 2. John Lawler's (retired professor from Michigan University) post in...Read More...
Hello, David, Sincerely appreciate that you have broaden my view. RGDSRead More...
Last Reply By deepcosmos · First Unread Post

Causative or subjunctive

I ( asked / had ) Tom take my car to the mechanic so as to repair it. Do we have to use (that) after ask as a subjunctive or we can omit it? Thanks in advance.Read More...
Hello, Mr. Bashir, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange. If you use "asked," you NEED "that" to introduce the subjunctive clause: I asked that Tom take my car to the mechanic. If you use "had," you CANNOT use "that"; it would be ungrammatical to do so: I had Tom take my car to the mechanic. They are two entirely different syntactic structures, even though they can each be used in the same context. The causative structure is not a subjunctive.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Why is (1) correct and not (2)? (1) I let him visit the park. (2) I let him visits the park.

I know (1) is correct and not (2), but I can't explain why. Can someone please explain why?Read More...
Hi, GreenThunderBolt, Next time, please include the question inside the text box. The title could have been "Let him visit(s)." Please refer to our Guideline (7) in the toolbar at the top. The verb "let" is one of only a few causative verbs that take the pattern Verb + Direct Object (DO) + Bare Infinitive. "Visit" is a bare infinitive; "visits" is not. Other verbs following the same pattern are "make" and "have": - I made him visit the park. - I had him visit the park. Notice that the verb...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

Tenses

Choose the correct answer When you called me, I (had sent- had been sending) messages to ten of my friends for hours. Thanks in advanceRead More...
Hi, Adel El-Safty—Given those two options, only "had been sending" is correct. "Had sent" would be incorrect (barring absurd science-fiction contexts). We would only use the past perfect simple there with stative verbs, such as "be": " When you called me, I had been in the garden for hours ." But "send" is a punctual verb. Sending messages for hours involves repeating the action of sending messages again and again. Transposing the main clause to the present, you will see that the perfect...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

to let fresh air in

-Why did you open the window? 1) -It was to let fresh air in. 2) -It was in order to let fresh air in. 3) -That was to let fresh air in. 4) -That was in order to let fresh air in. 5) -What I did was to let fresh air in. 6) -What I did was in order to let fresh air in. Are sentences 1-6 correct in this context? I opened the window in order to let fresh air come in. Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Hi, Navi, If by "context" you mean to say whether sentences (1) to (6) are correct replies to the question "Why did you open the window?," my answer would be no, because, being fragments of cleft sentences (1 and 2) or pseudo-cleft sentences (5 and 6), those sentences contain an emphatic component that is absent in the question. In the case of (3) and (4), my feeling is that some further context is required for the reply with demonstrative "that" to sound more natural: 1/2a. Why was it that...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

form or forms

Hello, In the following sentence from TIME, should "form" be "forms"? His proposal was insect protein. More than two-thirds of Madagascar’s population already eat insects in some form, usually as a seasonal snack. Apple https://time.com/5942290/eat-insects-save-planet/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=sfmc&utm_campaign=newsletter+brief+default+ac&utm_content=+++20210227+++body&et_rid=21411757Read More...
Yep, I'm glad my thread could help with this question And your example nicely fits use 4 in the excerpt from my dictionary.Read More...
Last Reply By Former Member · First Unread Post

had been or was or both

The bus left at 5 o'clock. 50 minutes before I …stuck in a traffic jam. (a) had been (b) was (c) a) and b) (d) have beenRead More...
Hi, M, You usually don't, but in this particular case you presented an exercise without explaining where your doubt lay or which you thought was the correct answer. Guideline (3), to which David rightfully drew your attention, clearly says: "You may, however, ask about an individual exercise that may be giving you trouble, provided you state what you believe the answer to be and give your reasoning ."Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

maintenance / overhaul/ repair

The printer needs a complete …..... .These copies are so bad. a maintenance b repair c overhaul d renovationRead More...
I understand you are referring to "do homework" and "make homework," right? Both can work in different contexts: - I did my children's homework (I did the homework for them). - I made my children's homework fun (I made them enjoy their homework).Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

tenses in a hypothetical / an imagined scenario

Hello everyone I came across the following sentence and can't figure out why the past perfect is used. "Several days later, when the paper is returned, the student is dismayed to learn that the grade is not as high as she had hoped ." 1. Is it a natural way to use the past perfect? 2. Can we use some other tenses? If so, do they carry the same meaning? Thanks in advance for your help. CheersRead More...
This is inspiring. Thanks David, and Taiman for creating this.Read More...
Last Reply By Kinto · First Unread Post

Singular countable noun with "some"

Hi, guys. I've come by just for a quick question because as you've surely have noticed I often seem to have a lot more questions to my original, making my threads very long. Also my eyes hurt a lot, so I can't spend much time on my phone. I hope you're doing great. But let's cut to the chase... :D Everyone knows that we can't use "some" with singular, countable nouns, e.g., I need to borrow some book. However, according to my favourite dictionary, it seems that we actually can. Please have a...Read More...
Oh yeah, I didnt notice the sentence consisted just of a subordinate clause. I used "otherwise" here as a substitute of "if it can't," and that's why I didn't spot this error. Lol Btw, I've remembered something about subordinate clauses but will create another thread for it.Read More...
Last Reply By Former Member · First Unread Post

a the case

What's the difference? 1 He made the case for buying a new TV. 2 He made a case for buying a new TV. 3 It's not the case of being 'correct' or 'incorrect'. 4 It's not a case of being 'correct' or 'incorrect'. 5 Let me express my thanks to the President Bill Clinton who made last night the case for change as only he can make it! 6 Let me express my thanks to the President Bill Clinton who made last night a case for change as only he can make it!Read More...
Hi, Me_IV—In (1) and (5), a specific case (argument), which is assumed to be known by the listener, was made. In (2) and (6), all that is asserted is that a case (argument) was made. Sentences (3) and (4) are bad, unless you have a very special context in mind for them. Use (4) and change "case" to "matter."Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post
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