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May 2020

Despite + perfect gerund

Hello, I want to transform the following sentence: "Although the items had been packed properly, they were destroyed during shipment. I want to use despite, but I am wondering whether I should use perfect gerund or not. "The items were destroyed during shipment despite having been packed properly." OR "The items were destroyed during shipment despite being packed properly."Read More...
Hello, Nateng, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange. Both sentences are correct; you can use either "despite having been packed properly" or "despite being packed properly." The sentence with "having been" is semantically equivalent to your past-perfect "although"-clause: "Although the items had been packed properly . . . ." The sentence with "being" is semantically equivalent to the simple-past version of that "although"-clause: "Although the items were packed properly . . . ." Both meanings...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Postmodification by infinitive clauses (Part 2)

I want to express my gratitude to David and Gustavo for the kind replies once again before I ask another related question. First of all, I gotta admit that I didn't know the meaning of the question mark next to sentences on page 1268 of "A comprehensive Grammar of the English Language" by Quirk et al . On the page mentioned above there are other sentences that the authors thought are questionable. The following sentences are the ones that are marked as dubious. 1. I've got letters to be...Read More...
Thank you again for your reply.Read More...
Last Reply By KDog · First Unread Post

Present/Presents (verb)

Hello. Something has been bothering me lately, its such a silly little thing but the more I think about it... the more I can't get my head round it. I'm a big music collector and have a couple of CDs that have written 'X present Y' ...as in '*the name of the artist* present *the name of the album*' These are a couple of (very bad) examples: -Whitehouse Present Birthdeath Experience -To Live And Shave In L.A. Present An Interview With The Mitchell Brothers The problem I have is that I think...Read More...
Thanks for the reply! That explanation does make a lot of sense. The fact both could technically be correct is kind of funny. Much the same thing occurred to me the more I thought about it, although I couldn't figure out the reasoning for it: Someone could say "my favourite band is U2", which sounds right, but then again if that sentence were reversed, saying "U2 ARE my favourite band" somehow sounds more natural. I think I would be more likely to say "U2 ARE a great band" rather than "U2...Read More...
Last Reply By Andy380 · First Unread Post

'would' and 'used to' expressing past habits (question about UUEG's exercise)

Hi. I have a question about Exercise 2 #5 in Azar and Hagen's Understanding and Using English Grammar, 5th edition (p. 185). "I loved visiting them. I would feel really sad each time I said good-bye." "I loved visiting them. I used to feel really sad each time I said good-bye." According to the answer key, both sentences are correct. I am wondering whether the sentence with 'would' is really correct, because as far as I understand, 'would' is only for past actions, and not for past states or...Read More...
I see. Thank you so much. Now I can understand 'would' and 'used to' better.Read More...
Last Reply By shmom · First Unread Post

Usage of the word Humbled

It seems that over the past twenty years or so that it has become very common for someone who has been honored or received a prize to say publicly that he is "humbled" by the event. This usage of the word humbled grates on me because the person is not humbled by the event. He is honored. In fact one could even argue that to say one is humbled by the honor could be taken as an insult. Was the prize or honor so meagre that the recipient feels denigrated and humbled? I'm interested in your...Read More...
What you say makes sense to me, so I won't cringe the next time I hear it. Thanks.Read More...
Last Reply By John L. · First Unread Post

Postmodification by infinitive clauses

I've been wondering why one of the following phrases is not grammatically correct. I found the phrases in one of my grammar books called 'A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language.' 1. The animals to find in Kenya... (incorrect) 2. The animals to be found in Kenya...(correct) Why I'm trying to seek some kinds of explanations about this is that both of the following sentences that, I think, have the same grammatical structures as the phrases above are correct. I also found the sentences...Read More...
'The animals to find in Kenya...' Actually in the phrase above 'to find' modifies the animals so I think the infinitive phrase (to find) functions as an adjective.Read More...
Last Reply By KDog · First Unread Post

Helped

May I know "helped" is a verb or adjective in the sentence below? Group assignment, analysis, and group discussion helped towards the grasps of other course outcomes.Read More...
Hi, Joshua, Where have you taken this sentence from? "grasps" is incorrect, and the sentence as a whole does not make much sense. In answer to your question, "helped" is always a verb.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

"This is the worst example I've seen so far."

What tense is that statement?Read More...
Hello, Dusklawn, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange. The sentence above is a complex sentence, formed by a main and a subordinate, relative clause. Main clause: This is the worst example Subordinate clause: (that) I' ve seen so far The verb in the main clause is in the present simple tense, and the one in the subordinate clause is in the present perfect. You can have different finite (conjugated) verbs in a sentence, and each verb can be in the same or in a different tense. Since the main...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Pour - fall

In our country the rain (pours - falls) mostly near the northern coast.Read More...
Hi, Emad, The model answer here is 'falls' . Why? Because 'pours', which is mostly followed by 'down' in this context, refers to a special case where there is heavy rainfall whereas 'falls' refers to a normal 'geographical' condition (You do see the adverb 'mostly' in your sentence above). The sentence as a whole doesn't refer to a special case, but it refers to what happens naturally in this country.Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

Include & contain

What is the right answer to these sentences : 1- The dictionary (includes - contains) many words. 2- Does this novel (include - contain) any of the writer's beliefs?Read More...
The dictionary contains many words, including XXX, YYY and ZZZ. The novel contains many writers' beliefs, including XXX's. ### I think "contain" means "have, hold" while "include" basically means "besides" . The bag contains several books, including one that is written by you. (a non-native)Read More...
Last Reply By Mengxin_2009 · First Unread Post

difference in nuances

What is the difference in nuances between the following? 1. You must not go out in this weather. 2. You have to not go out in this weather.Read More...
Hi fujibei, I'm afraid it's not a question about nuances. Sentence 2 is wrong. "must" and "have to" are modal verbs very close in meaning, but that is in positive statements only. In negative forms, as is your case, it is "must not" and "do not have to", so sentence 2 should first be corrected as: "You don't have to go out in this weather." And they no longer share a close meaning in negative forms. In this case, sentence 1 "must not" is forbidding = NECESSARILY NOT. It means I strictly...Read More...
Last Reply By Kinto · First Unread Post

Noun, adverb, and adjective clauses: there are mistakes in some sentences. Find and correct them.

1. It is interesting that some identical twins can have such different personalities. 2. Robert had a long excuse for being late for their date, but Any didn't know should she believe him or not 3. Indonesia, that consists of thousands of islands, is the fourth most populated country in the world. 4. I read a scary article detailed how easy it is for someone to steal your ID. 5. Tell me about the other cities that you went to. 6. The first time I met your parent at the party for Nicholas and...Read More...
Hello, kosmonavt, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange. We don't do members' homework on the forum, but would be willing to help you if you could at least tell us which sentences you think are right and which should be corrected and how you would revise them.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Position of the adverb probably

Hello, Can someone please tell me if there is a rule that determines where the adverb probably is placed when its used with the modal verb will (and with other modals) . I have seen sentences such as the following: 1. Probably, I will go tomorrow. 2. I will probably go tomorrow . 1, sounds a little clumsy to my native ear. 2. Sounds better. Also, what type of adverb is probably? Thank you.Read More...
Hi, Mrchuffie, Some grammarians call "probably" an adverb of certainty or probability. In this site you can find the usual position of adverbs. According to this, "probably" usually takes mid position: Some go in mid position: probably, possibly, certainly . Others go in front position: maybe, perhaps or in end position after a comma. Front position will be mostly reserved for sentence adverbs, that is, those that do not merely modify the verb but the sentence as a whole, or state the...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Conjunction required or not? Me versus industry giant

Dear all Here’s a sentence - ”[Glad to have an opportunity to] help realise [brand name]’s vision of digital expansion, financial inclusion and support all our key stakeholders and consumers...” I feel that there should be an ‘and’ between digital expansion and financial inclusion, instead of the comma. That’s because this A and B is a subset in the larger A and B construct, and the conjunction ‘and’ is therefore necessary in both places. But the marketing heads of the corporate giant seem...Read More...
Thank you so much for clarifying and confirming what I thought was correct, Gustavo. It brings me huge relief! BhavaniRead More...
Last Reply By Bhavani Rajesh · First Unread Post

adjective + Gerund

May I know if I can omit 'good' / adjective in the below sentence? Is 'uderstanding' a noun or gerund? (1) They exhibited good understanding of the course and its intended learning outcomesRead More...
Hi, Joshua, "understanding" is a noun there, meaning "comprehension." The adjective "good" is required to mean that they understood the course well. If "good" were not necessary, then we'd just say: (2) They understood the course and its intended learning outcomes.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Use of two prepositions.

Can two prepositions be used together in a sentence? Eg: "This is the document I came across in Sam's folder (folder on system)". Or should it be just "This is the document I came across Sam's folder"?Read More...
Hi, Angelica, "come across" is a phrasal verb meaning "find by chance." "in" is required to state where the document was found. Therefore, both particles are required: - This is the document I came across in Sam's folder .Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

'Those' or 'Them'

In Rudyard Kipling's 'Rewards and Fairies' occurs the following paragraph: ‘Hobden’s up!’ Dan pointed to the open door of the Forge cottage. ‘What d’you suppose he has for breakfast?’. ‘One of them . He says they eat good all times of the year,’ Una jerked her head at some stately pheasants going down to the brook for a drink. A commentator closely examining the text found the 'them' anomalous - he claimed Una, as an educated upper-middle class 10 year old would have said 'those'. It seems...Read More...
Hello, Wolstan Dixie, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange. Both they/them and those (unless it is followed by a noun) are pronouns. Both are plural, and the main difference between them is that while the referent of they/them can usually be found in the (written or spoken) text, the referent of those can be found where someone is pointing (that's why those is physically deictic). In the text you quoted, one of those could also have been used to mean "one of the pheasants over there." I think...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

right form of "come"

Hello all, Recently I stumbled upon a Chinese website, and met such a question: With the application of 5G technology _____ (come) profound changes in almost all fields throughout the world. A. will come B. are coming C. come Of the three options, the first that springs to mind is B. "are coming", because 5G technology is still in the process of development. However, we don't know when this sentence is written, and we cannot get a clue from the sentence itself, so I think A is possible, at...Read More...
Hello, Professor Gustavo, First of all, thank you for your time and kindness. However, I don't think you've answered my question fully, though I believe you're right -- at least I believe you've given me an idiomatic solution here. ----- I've googled a lot and found that, certainly , "be doing" has its inversion form in a sentence: A strange old man dressed in black was sitting in the middle of the road. ----> 01 In the middle of the road was sitting a strange old man dressed in black.Read More...
Last Reply By Mengxin_2009 · First Unread Post

Use of 'the' with the word 'reunification'

When talking about the reunification of Germany in 1990 in English we say' after reunification...' without a 'the' even though it's clear which reunification we are referring to so it's not a statemnt in general about something called reunification. In German they say ' nach der Wiedervereiningung..' with a definite article in the Dative (die>der) because they are referring to a specific event known to the reader/hearer the same event we are referring to. In this respect the rules are the...Read More...
Hello, Katze, In English, even if the noun is well specified sometimes the definite article is omitted in phrases like the one you mention. In my experience, this is typical of deverbal nouns (nouns of verbal origin). In cases like these, the zero article sounds more idiomatic than the definite one. However, the definite article may be required if a prepositional phrase postmodifies the noun: - After reunification, the world changed. - After the reunification of Germany, the world changed.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Accomplishment verbs with "for"

Hello all, Accomplishment verbs, if necessary, they're usually followed by an "in" adverbial, for example, 01 John built a house in 5 months. However, there seems to be some exceptions: 02 He wrote a letter for/in two hours. Though I don't like "for" in this case, I learned somewhere it is correct or at least not wrong. What do you think of sentence 02 with "for"? Many many thanks.Read More...
Yes, thank you for the confirmation. David.Read More...
Last Reply By Mengxin_2009 · First Unread Post
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