May 2020

The criminal is suspected of being aided by other individuals

Is it correct to say "The criminal is suspected of being aided by other individuals"?Read More...
I strongly favor the perfect form, but context might help. David, would you mind telling us your opinion about a sentence like this one?: - The criminal is suspected of being aided by other individuals in his last two robberies . I personally prefer The criminal is suspected of having been aided ... or The criminal is suspected of relying on the aid of ... , but your view will prevail.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Usage of "in your face" and "on your face"

When do we say "in your face" and "on your face". When we literally refer to an object on someone's face; it's "on your face". Apart from this are there rules for the usage "in your face" and "on your face"?Read More...
Hi, Angelica and Gustavo—I agree with your explanation, Gustavo, and would like to add a footnote about "in your face." As a native AmE speaker, I cannot hear "in your face" in isolation without thinking of its idiomatic, slang uses: https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/in+your+face https://dictionary.cambridge.o...english/in-your-face As the Free Dictionary points out, "In your face!" can be used, rather rudely, as a stand-alone interjection, an "aggressive exclamation of triumph." This...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

"some of them, most of them"

⁠How are you, everyone? I have following two questions; 1. As far as I understand, we don't use THE with possessives or demonstratives; * Is this Mary's car? (NOT ... the Mary's car ?) * This is my uncle. (NOT ... the my uncle .) Then, how do they use THE in the following sentence in BBC news, "Addressing Parliament for the second time in less than three months, the Queen said the priority for her government was to deliver Brexit on 31 January, but ministers also had an 'ambitious programme...Read More...
Marilyn's post is indeed very good. I especially like this assertion of hers, which should be borne in mind at all times: Absolute constructions are effective in the hands of skilled writers writing formal discourse. That said, I think this other assertion applies to the examples in that thread but may not apply to others: In the sentences in that thread the relative does contain background information which cannot be reduced to an absolute clause, but there are cases where that final...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

What will be the active voice of these sentences? Please explain:

1. I don't think you can do that without being seen. 2. I don't like being told what to do. 3. He hates being kept waiting. 4. We managed to climb the tree without being seen. 5. Sometimes the children were abused by being ignored. 6. Out professor has no tolerance for being treated disrespectfully. 7. It may not be directly related to the subject being discussed. 8. The minister underwent the experience of eggs being thrown at him. 9. You have undergone the experience of its being...Read More...
Follow my example and make a try.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

ordered

Which are correct: 1) He ordered the machines to be sold. 2) He ordered for the machines to be sold. 3) He ordered a table to be placed in the room. 4) He ordered for a table to be placed in the room. Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Hi, Navi, To the ambiguity I pointed out here as regards the two possible interpretations of the verb "order," we now have to add a third meaning as "put in order." My understanding is that "order" can mean "place an order for the purchase of" and "put in order" in (1) and (3), and "instruct" in (2) and (4).Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

By the way vs After all

Can I use "By the way" instead of "After all" in these sentences? 1. I don't know why you're so concerned - it isn't your problem after all. = I don't know why you're so concerned - it isn't your problem by the way. 2. I don't know why you're so concerned ; after all, it isn't your problem. = I don't know why you're so concerned ; by the way, it isn't your problem. 3. You don't need to call him. After all, he never calls you. = You don't need to call him. By the way, he never calls you.Read More...
Hi, I completely agree with Gustavo that there is a very big difference between 'by the way' and 'after all' when 'after all' is used for contrast. However, in your examples above, 'after all' is used to add further information which supports something you have just said. This information should be totally connected to the subject you are talking about and must be highly valid. Here's an example: I do like her - after all, she is my sister. (Cambridge dictionary) Your first example is found...Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

Get started on something

Are these following sentences correct? I have used the phrase "get started on something" to make these following sentences: 1. I am just getting started on reading the book. 2. I am going to get started on doing my homework. 3. I have to go home and get started on preparing dinner. 4. You should get started on cleaning the kitchen. 5. What should we get started on making for you today?Read More...
Thanks David 💖💖💖💖Read More...
Last Reply By Toaha · First Unread Post

must, need to, have to wear a seat belt

Hello. Which one is correct. Really I'm confused. - When people drive somewhere, they (have to - need to - must) wear the seat belt. It's a rule. Thank you.Read More...
I agree with Ahmed_btm that all three choices are correct. For what it's worth, it is a bit more common and natural, at least in American English, to speak of fastening or buckling a seat belt in contexts where one is beginning to wear it. When people drive somewhere, they should/have to/need to/must : buckle their seat belt buckle their seat belts fasten their seat belt fasten their seat belts More colloquially, we can say: When you drive somewhere, you've got to buckle up.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Could be vs Can be

Which one sounds natural? Is there any difference in meaning between them? Do I need to change those for sounding natural? 1. You can't even imagine how beautiful Hindi songs can be unless you listen to it. 2. You can't even imagine how beautiful Hindi songs could be unless you listen to it.Read More...
Thanks for this informative explanation David 💖💖💖Read More...
Last Reply By Toaha · First Unread Post

CONDITIONAL

I have come across sentences using past tense in if-clause and present tense in the main clause, such as: 1) A hamster is pregnant for only about three weeks and up to 20 babies can seemingly appear overnight in a hamster's nest if you didn't know your hamster was pregnant. 2) Hamsters will eat more when they are pregnant and nursing, but otherwise their diet will remain the same as if they weren't. Are they grammatically correct and do you classify them as "mixed conditionals"?Read More...
Thanks Gustavo 💖Read More...
Last Reply By Toaha · First Unread Post

Could anyone kindly explain this sentence for me yet ?

Dear friends, I am a student who study English as my second language, what a surprised i found out this website, i'm so glad to join in this community ,if any rules i should obey your kindly advice will be appreciated! Here comes my question, how to understand the grammar of this sentence? what is the tense when someone said this sentence? i can't understand why use "was coming " here. "We knew spring was coming as we had seen a robin." Best regards Erica ChanRead More...
Thank you ,David. Your explanation helps me a lot to understand this sentence, after read your letter , I've searched more related information in the internet and i guess i has already understand the past continuous tense. About the wrong description of my question that you've mentioned at last letter , is that this sentence yet ? "what is the tense when someone said this sentence?"In that time ,i was trying to describe " i don't understand the grammar of this sentence." But anyway, thank...Read More...
Last Reply By Erica Chan · First Unread Post

as was ordered

1) I cleaned the room as ordered. 2) I cleaned the room as was ordered. Do these mean: a) I cleaned the room in the way I was ordered to. or: b) I was ordered to clean the room and I did. ================================ 3) He didn't receive a blue kettle as ordered. 4) He didn't receive a blue kettle as was ordered. Do these mean: c) He didn't receive a blue kettle in the way it had been ordered that he should receive it. or: d) He did not receive a blue kettle of the kind that had been...Read More...
Hi, Navi, I find your sentences to be correct and ambiguous. It might be interesting to analyze the source of their ambiguity: Here, the source of the ambiguity lies in the polysemy of "as" (a sentence relative or a conjunction of manner). The same grounds for ambiguity stated above apply here. Also, (c) and (d) are possible interpretations because the verb "order" can be used as a verb of speaking (similar to "instruct") or as a verb meaning "place an order (for the purchase of some...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

paraphrase for past progressive modal

Hi. I am wondering how I can paraphrase the sentence (1)? Does it mean (2) or (3)? I can't interpret (1) properly. Please help me. (1) Dad must have been watching TV a short while before I came into the room. (from Azar and Hagen, 5th edition) (2) I am 95% sure dad was watching TV for a short time before I came into the room. (3) I am 95% sure dad had been watching TV for a short time before I came into the room.Read More...
Hi, schmom, The correct paraphrase of (1) is (3) because the use of an adverbial of duration ( a short while ) and the sequence of events require the use of a perfect form of the verb. Notice this other sentence: (4) Dad must have been watching TV when I came into the room. (This expresses simultaneity and can be paraphrased as: I am 95% sure Dad was watching TV when I came into the room = He was probably watching TV when I cam in.) Sentence (1) thus means that, in all likelihood, the...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Using that after a person and a thing

Dear Sir / Ma'am I would like to know if we can drop " that" as a relative pronoun in the below sentence. She talked about the people and things that she had visited. can it be, She talked about the people and things that she had visited. Thanks in advance AtefRead More...
Hi, Atef—When a relative pronoun functions as the direct object or the object of a preposition in a restrictive relative clause (one that is not set off by a comma), the relative pronoun does not need to be voiced or written, regardless of whether it refers to a person or a thing.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

didn't use to/used not to

Are these sentences all correct: 1) I didn't use to see John at the office. 2) I used not to see John at the office. 3) I used to not see John at the office. Could any of the above sentences be used if I saw John very rarely at the office? Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Hello, Navi, The first two sentences are correct, and the third is not incorrect; (3) is simply a bit awkward. It is generally not a good practice to place "not" between infinitival "to" and the verb it introduces. I can see why you might think that a negated "used to"-clause could be used if the event it described happened but only rarely, since the meaning is presumably just that the subject of the clause was not in the habit of verb-ing. However, the implication (perhaps "implicature"...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

subjunctive?

1) She called to see if I was fine. 2) She called to see if I were fine. Are both sentences correct? Is there a difference in the meanings? I see no reason to use the subjunctive here. '2' sounds very fancy, but to me it is not really correct. Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Hi, Navi, "if" does not introduce a conditional in this case but a noun clause (actually, an indirect yes-no question): ' Are you fine?,' she asked me on the phone -> She called me to see if I was fine.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Future perfect with time clauses/adverbs

I'd like to know which action came first in those sentences. Even though I know the future perfect references the first action, because of the time adverbs/clauses,I don't know which action came first. Does that mean: Does that mean: Does that meanRead More...

at midnight

Are these sentences correct: 1) John on Monday talked about Darwin. 2) Tim at midnight called me up to see if I was OK. Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Hello, Navi—At the very least, those sentences need the adverbial prepositional phrase (PP) following their respective subjects to be set off with commas, to render the PPs parenthetical and give them the quality of afterthoughts: 1a) John, on Monday, talked about Darwin. 2a) Tim, at midnight, called me up to see if I was OK. In (1a) and (2a), the PP set off with commas is not integrated with its clause but stands apart from the sentence as a disjointed appendage clumsily attached. Maybe the...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post
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