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May 2019

Adjectival or adverbial?

James, hiding under the bed, was completely silent. Is "hiding under the bed" adjectival? Some say it is adverbial. (Source: Complete English Grammar Course by Peter Herring. Entry: participle)Read More...
Hi, Freeguy, Yes, "hiding under the bed" may be analyzed either way in that sentence. According to the adjectival interpretation, the sentence is short for this: James, who was hiding under the bed, was completely silent. According to the adverbial interpretation, "hiding under the bed" is a participial phrase that specifies why James was completely silent. Compare: James, hiding under the bed, felt claustrophobic. I personally find the adjectival interpretation more natural in your example.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

which vs. who

Can one say a. Which are happier: the Americans or the Greeks? b. Who is happier: the Americans or the Greeks? c. Who are happier: the Americans or the Greeks? ? Many thanks.Read More...

Causative " have "

I came across this question while I was looking at some questions related to the causative form. * They had their lawyer ................. their will. a) changed b) to change c) changing d) changes According to what I know, " have " in the causative form is followed by an "infinitive". Can you give me the answer to this question ? Thanks.Read More...
Thank you all.Read More...
Last Reply By Yama · First Unread Post

to last a week/infinitives!

1) He has food to last a week. 2) He has enough food to last a week. Is the food going to last a week or he? ================================= 3) They have money to buy a house. Is '3' correct? I'd either use 'enough money' or 'the money'. I don't like '3'. But '1' seems fine. Gratefully, NaviRead More...

have someone to teach...

1) She has someone to teach to dance. 2) She has someone to teach dancing. 3) She has someone to teach dancing to. In which cases: a) The 'someone' in question is taught dancing by her and in which cases: b) The 'someone' in question teaches dancing. I think '3' is clear. It seems to me that '2' means the 'someone' is doing the teaching. I am not sure about '1' at all. Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Right you are, Navi. I did mean 'meaning (a).' Sorry about that. I've just edited that comment, notating that I edited it. Sometimes I accidentally jumble the letters and numbers when we're playing syntactico-semantic Connect the Dots.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

ten more dollars

a, I had to pay ten more dollars to get what I wanted. b. I had to pay another ten dollars to get what I wanted. c. I had to pay ten dollars in addition to what I had paid to get what I wanted. d. I had to pay ten dollars more than I had paid to get what I wanted. e. I had to pay ten dollars more than what I had paid to get what I wanted. I think the sentences are all grammatical, but do the last two mean the same as the others? I am not sure about that. Let's say I had paid 40 dollars to...Read More...
Hi, Azz, I see your point and agree with you that (d) and (e) can mean that. However, they can also be used to mean what (a), (b), and (c) mean. Imagine that you just paid John the $40. He might say, "You need to pay $10 more." The obvious meaning is that he needs to give John $10; the cost is $50. But suppose you don't understand John. "Ten dollars more than what?" you ask. "You need to pay ten dollars more than (what) you just paid me," he would reply. John would understand himself to be...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

seemed / looked / was very pitiful

Do we accept the following sentences? 1 The beggar seemed / looked / was very pitiful. 2 They felt pitiful to the beggar. Thanks.Read More...
Hi, bear_bear, Sentence (1) is OK, but (2) is not -- assuming you are trying to say what I think you are trying to say in (2). You can say: (2a) They pitied the beggar. (2b) They felt bad for the beggar.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

connector - which / that

IS there considered correct? 1 Susan helped the elderly woman which was not for her money. 2 The laptop has a powerful processor that is energy saving. ThanksRead More...
Hi, bear_bear, Sentence (1) is incorrect. What are you trying to say? Are you trying to say this? (1a) Susan helped the elderly woman, but not because she wanted her money. In (2), you need a hyphen between "energy" and "saving." I recommend: (2a) The laptop has a powerful, energy-saving processor .Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Make Interesting / Find Friends?

Are these sentences considered correct? 1 I want make interesting friends around the world. 2 I can find more friends from another country. 3 I can meet interesting friends from korea, England and many more (countries) through the website. ThanksRead More...
Hi, bear_bear, Sentences (2) and (3) are OK, except for the fact that you didn't capitalize the "K" in "Korea." But (1) is incorrect. You can't say, " I want make interesting friends around the world ." You can't ever say " I want make ." You can say, "I want to make . . ."Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

login to / into / on

Which are considered correct? 1 I must login to / into / on the website. 2 I must go into / onto / on the website. Thanks.Read More...
Hi, bear_bear, You can use (2) -- all three variations are OK -- but (1) is wrong. "Log in" is two words, though it is commonly spelled as (1) by people who don't know better. You can tell from the -ing form that "log in" should be spelled as two words. We speak of " logging in ," not of " logining ."Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

relative clause

a. Yi Sun-shin was one of the greatest admirals, who made the Turtle Ship. b. Yi Sun-shin, who made the Turtle Ship, was one of the greatest admirals. Are they both correct and natural? Thanks!Read More...
Hi, Kis, Both are unnatural (outside of context, at least), and only (b) is correct. Is there a reason you are making "made the Turtle Ship" a subordinate piece of information? Why not use an appositive? There are two options for appositives, depending on what you want to make the main point of the sentence: c. Yi Sun-shin, one of the greatest admirals, made the Turtle Ship. d. Yi Sun-shin, designer of the Turtle Ship, was one of the greatest admirals.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

reach you

May I know whether the sentence below is grammatical? " Please request for receipt if it doesn't reach you'?"Read More...
Hi, Joshua, No, the sentence is not grammatical. Since you haven't said what "it" refers to, I don't know what the sentence means. I'll pretend the sentence doesn't include the "if it doesn't reach you" part. One problem is that the sentence isn't a question, so your punctuation doesn't make sense. But the main problem is the use of " request for receipt ," which doesn't work. You can change the beginning part of the sentence like this: Please request a receipt. Please ask for a receipt.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Passive voice

Hello there, I am new to the forum...so...nice to meet you all. I have a difficulty in trying to convert two sentences from active voice to passive. The sentences are as follows: 1: Everyone believes the actor has had plastic surgery. Is it correct if i say: The actors is believed to have plastic surgery? and 2: They know he sustained third-degree burns in the fire. Is it correct: He is known to have been sustained third-degree burns in the fire? Thanks in advance guys!Read More...
Hello Gustavo and thank you very much; I really appreciate your help!!! Thanks!Read More...
Last Reply By Ioannis Giakalis · First Unread Post

Zero conditional

I was planning a lesson on conditional sentences and I came across a site that talked about types of conditional statement one of which is 'zero conditional.' It says this kind of conditional statement is used to express general truths or scientific facts in which one thing causes another. It also says that the verbs in both the conditional clause and the main clause in the statement should be simple present tense, e.g. 1. If people smoke cigarettes, their health suffers. Then, it says it is...Read More...
Wow! Thank you so much, Mr David. You cleared my doubt. Thanks so much. I'm so sorry for not providing the link to the site. I'd wanted to, but I thought it might not be considered proper. Here's the link to the site where I got the information from: https://www.grammarly.com/blog/conditional-sentences/ I must commend and appreciate your effort here on GrammarExchange. You don't have least idea how this site is really helping those of us who are ESL learners and teachers.Read More...
Last Reply By Yale Wale · First Unread Post

there's only three people

Hello, Here is a part of an article in TIME magazine. The article was written by the famous parents who raised super kids. My question: Is it acceptable in speaking to use singular “there is” for plural nouns such as “there’s only three people”? ************** “We’d eat at Sizzler and my mom would be like ‘there’s only three people here, there’s not five,’” recalls Anne, noting that the other two sisters would be hiding in the bathroom, ready to take their turn at the all-you-can-eat buffet.Read More...
Hi, Apple, Native speakers rarely use "there is " with plural nouns, but it is very common in informal conversation for native speakers to use "there 's " with plural nouns. Even though "there 's " is short for "there is ," the reduction is important here. It doesn't sound nearly as bad to have lack of plural concord with "there's." Please note that Time has not itself committed the "error." The "error" occurs in quoted speech. Time would also not use "be like" instead of "say."Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

tea hot / hot tea

Which is correct? 1 I would like my tea hot / hot tea. 2 (a) Do you want your tea hot or cold? (b) Do you want your hot tea or cold tea? ThanksRead More...
Hello, Bear_Bear, (1) can be correct either way, but with a different meaning: 1a. I would like my tea hot : this means that the speaker would like to have the tea he/she usually drinks to be hot on this particular occasion . 1b. I would like my hot tea : this means that the speaker always has his/her tea hot , so he/she is simply asking for his/her hot tea to be served as usual. The presence of "or" in (2) makes (a) the only possible choice. Somebody (possibly the waiter) is asking the...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Must or have to?

From the book "Gem" Choose 1-You ....phone him before 3 pm .He won't be available after that (Must-have to-don't have to-hadn't to) 2-You ....phone him now.It's very urgent (Must-have to-dont have to-hadn't to) I think the first is "have to" because there is an outer conditions The second I think it's "must" as it's an individual opinion so it's an adviceRead More...
Thanks 😀Read More...
Last Reply By Ahmed55 · First Unread Post

have been able to do/could do

Hi there, should I use "have been able to do" or "could do" in the following context? Liverpool have just beaten Chelsea by 10-0, which is quite unbelievable. They have done something that no other team have been able to do/could do .Read More...
Hi, Subhajit, In your variation, I recommend using "has done" rather than "did." They have done something that no other team has done . You could even elide "done" and end the sentence with "has." They have done something that no other team has .Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

restrictive or nonrestrictive clause?

Restrictive clauses are not set off by commas, and yet we often see commas deployed this way, even in the work of mainstream journalists. This is the lead paragraph in a piece by Ronda Kaysen in today's NY Times: "In the suburbs, homeowners take their lawns seriously. A neighbor, who maintains an impeccable bed of grass in his backyard, once spent a full hour explaining to me how he’d had a sample of his soil analyzed to help him attain optimal growing conditions. He glanced at my backyard...Read More...
Hi, Freeguy, In context you've provided, it makes sense that the relative clause is nonrestrictive. The purpose of the sentence is to illustrate the point made in the previous sentence, that homeowners in the suburbs take their lawns seriously. What shows that this neighbor of the author's takes his lawn seriously? Is it the fact that he maintains an impeccable bed of grass in his backyard, or the fact that he had his soil analyzed to help him attain optimal growing conditions? Both facts...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Let alone

Hello everybody Translating a book, I faced below sentence: "Our society is unrecognizable from fifty years ago, let alone one hundred." What does it want to say simply? Thanks.Read More...
Thank you again, Gustavo, for your kindly and useful helps.Read More...
Last Reply By M.hob · First Unread Post
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