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May 2022

Present perfect or past perfect

Hi, moderators. I came across this sentence: I haven't visited Sharm for years, so a month ago, I went there with my family. I think that as long as the action, going to Sharm , finished a month ago, the best tense to use is the past perfect, right? Is using the present perfect OK here?Read More...
Yes, the past perfect works well in the sentence in question. The present perfect does not work there at all; you can't say that you haven't been somewhere in a while and then say you just went there. That is a contradiction. I'd say: "A month ago, I went to Sharm with my family. I hadn't been there for years."Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

The word "Equated" is verb or adjective?

Dear Teacher, I read a sentence. In which I just wanted to know the usage of "TO BE". Please help me with a detailed explanation. Here goes the sentence. " Sometimes, we Indians get touchy about such things. In our culture, disagreement has come to be equated with disrespect, unfortunately". = Could explain this I paraphrased the above sentence with my limited knowledge. Please correct me, if I am wrong. "Sometimes, we Indians get touchy about such things. In our culture, disagreement has...Read More...
Yes. No. In "am being kept busy," "am" is functioning as the progressive auxiliary, which is why the next verb is in the -ing form; "being" is functioning as the passive auxiliary, which is why it is followed by a past participle ("kept"). The copula is not involved in the construction at all. There is a passive auxiliary in that sentence: "being." The sentence itself is not a passive auxiliary! No. In that sentence, "the first case being reported" refers to an event: the reporting of the...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Abbreviation

Hi, Does the beginning letter of all abbreviations need to be in upper case? e.g. If there is a binding death benefit nomination (BDBN), then the death benefits will be distributed in accordance with the deceased's will. or If there is a Binding Death Benefit Nomination (BDBN), then the death benefits will be distributed in accordance with the deceased's will.Read More...
Hi, Tony, I think both options are valid in this case because the phrase can be conceived of as a common noun ( a nomination) or as the title of a document ( Binding Death Benefit Nomination ). A similar example that comes to mind is IPO .Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

Try + gerund or infinitive

Susan tried ( run) after the pickpocket but although she's a good runner she couldn't catch him. Hello, everyone! Could you help me? My student wrote to run (=made some effort), but the textbook says that we should write running (=experimented, tried smth new). Do you think two options are possible? Or only one?Read More...
Hi, Annetik, I agree with everything mentioned above. The Free Dictionary provides the following example: “ Try getting some rest.” ( Try this as a possible solution to the problem .) “Try to get some rest.” (Attempt to do this.) https://www.thefreedictionary.com/Infinitives.htmRead More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

Should "right-wing" be hyphenated here when it's a noun? My friend hyphenates it.

https://theintercept.com/2017/05/29/we-need-memorial-day-to-obscure-the-unbearable-truth-about-war/ Every country has a militaristic right-wing , and nothing helps that right-wing triumph over their domestic enemies more than a state of war.Read More...
Thanks!Read More...
Last Reply By Andrew Van Wagner · First Unread Post

Vigilant

Say that someone has not slept for 24 hours or more. I am not talking here about someone who is insomniac. I am talking about someone who has not slept for a day or two due to some work or the like. Is there a single word that describe the situation? Can I say He or She has been vigilant? Thanks.Read More...
Very clear. Thank you very much to you all.Read More...
Last Reply By izzylovesyouall · First Unread Post

offered a role

Is this sentence correct: 1) He was offered a role to play Superman. I think I have heard sentences like that, but I don't seem to be able to parse it. Is it equivalent to: 2) He was offered a role in order to play Superman. '2' doesn't make much sense. Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Hi, Navi, I think that infinitive complementizes the noun "role." Actually, it defines the role. A possible paraphrase would be: 1a) He was offered a role as Superman.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

always

I wonder if you can help me understand the difference between: 1) I always do it this way. 2) I've always done it this way.Read More...
Hi, Rasha Assem, 'Always' is used here to emphasize that this is a repeated action. IMO, 'always' is used here to emphasize both a certain period of time and the continuity of the action. - I have always done it this way. = I have done it this way for all my life (or, for example, since I have worked here) and I still do.Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

Is it or are they?

Which of the sentences below is correct? a. Is it less kids in the other room? or b. Are they less kids in the other room?Read More...
That should be 'meant', not ' was meaning '. No, this is meaningless. If you want to know about the usage of 'less', read the following usage notes: https://www.merriam-webster.co...t-play/fewer-vs-lessRead More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

Is there any recommendation anywhere that the line that divides the subject and the predicate should be as close to the sentence's start as possible?

I wonder if anyone has ever recommended that; does doing that maybe make it easier on the reader? Compare this: Until we run down the street and go to the store and grab some apples and grab some bananas, we will never be satisfied. With this: We will never be satisfied until we run down the street and go to the store and grab some apples and grab some bananas.Read More...

Can you help me out?

I was just reading some bill gates quotes , but this one quote I think there is a grammar mistake. can we change the sentence and turn it in better? Can anyone help me explain? “We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next ten. Don’t let yourself be lulled into inaction." Don't you think that the first sentence in the quote has been stretched? Can we express the same thing in a small sentence? and is there a...Read More...
got it, dear Gustavo. thank you for your valuable feedback.Read More...
Last Reply By Divya Soni · First Unread Post

Is there any syntactic ambiguity in either of the two quotes here?

I suspect that common sense (based on the meaning/context) will prevail over any syntactic ambiguity in either of the two quotes below, but nonetheless I'm just checking with you guys. https://join.substack.com/p/are-we-depoliticized So the obvious solution is for activists to counteract these efforts to depoliticize people and stimulate distrust and isolate people and destroy social bonds —people need to join activism and fight back against these efforts before it’s too late. [maybe the...Read More...

Do I need hyphens on "inside-and-out" when I say "they were gaming the process inside and out"?

See here my example: https://join.substack.com/p/how-can-i-improve The process makes it way easier for special-interest groups and corporations to get away with what they do because they have the money and resources to game the process inside and out , get the best talent to go on the Hill for them, and donate to the right candidates so that they feel indebted to them to some degree. Thanks!Read More...

Should I hyphenate "special interest groups" to make it "special-interest groups"?

The NYT is all over the place on this one, so I'm not sure what to do; usually the NYT provides some guidance on such matters, but they're all over the place on this particular front. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/23/us/politics/ohio-redistricting-aclu-voting-rights.html “The commission map is both constitutional and compliant with the directives approved under the Constitutional amendment passed by voters in 2015,” Mr. Huffman said. “Make no mistake, special interest groups tried very...Read More...
Thanks! I'll indeed go with hyphenation on this front.Read More...
Last Reply By Andrew Van Wagner · First Unread Post

To be putting herself out there

"When I started watching it I really got enamoured by the that fact somebody is so willing to be putting herself out there and her wounds out there along with the fact that you were making people laugh." What could be the meaning of "to be+Verb ING in the above sentence? I rewrite the sentence with my limited knowledge. Please have a look on it. "..... to be putting herself out = that she is putting herelf out there..." Kindest regards SundaranRead More...
David, thanks a million for your help!Read More...
Last Reply By Sundaran · First Unread Post

Do you or Does you?

Dear Team I know we should use "do" in front of "you" to ask questions about "you" and use "does" in front of "you" about "your dog" or "your friend" etc. But here I have a confusion in this post. Could you see to it?Read More...
Dear David Thanks for your reply. I had slept over this post before posting here. But I couldn't get the head and tail of her English. She is the renowned English Subtitler for the movies in our state. So I thought she couldn't have made mistake in regard to English grammar but it proved wrong. Many thanks, DavidRead More...
Last Reply By Sundaran · First Unread Post

maybe not anybody

Could one use: 1) Maybe not anybody. instead of: 2) Maybe not just anybody. I think it is done here: THE GRAY MAN | Official Trailer | Netflix - YouTube The dialogue is cut into two parts and action scenes are interposed between the two parts, so you have to go from 1:24 to 1:40. One guy says: I can kill anybody. The other replies: Maybe not anybody. I think it might be acceptable here because the second person is repeating what the first person said. Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Hi, Navi, I agree with you. It might be acceptable because it is closely related to the question. Also, the way it is pronounced lays more focus on 'not' and that makes it better understood this way. 2. Maybe not just anybody. (I think it is more idiomatic and emphatic. It shows that there is a person who is special in some way.)Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

to take care of his dog

1) He gave me five hundred dollars to take care of his dog. I think there is a weird kind of ambiguity in that sentence. One idea is obviously that he paid me so that I would take care of his dog. The other idea is (very unlikely but possible): 2) He gave me five hundred dollars to take care of his dog with. In this case, the money doesn't go into my pocket. He isn't paying me anything. I am probably taking care of his dog as a favor. The money is to be spent on the dog, Is there ambiguity...Read More...
Hello, Navi—I agree with you and Ahmed that the sentence can be ambiguous in the interesting way you have pointed out, and think that, syntactically, the attachment site of the infinitival clause will be different in each case. In practice, however, it is context that will make the difference: He gave me $500 to take care of his dog. How could I refuse? He gave me $500 to take care of his dog and $50 to take care of his bird.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Be careful/ Careful ? In an instruction manual shows

I work for an electronics. And one of our products manual says: "Careful not to drop it." as an attention. But I feel it's not right. It should start with Be, like, Be careful not to drop it. What do you say? Is it right without Be?Read More...
Thank you for your kind advice.  I will ask the manual section to revise it. Have a great weekend, GustavoRead More...
Last Reply By fanofsweets · First Unread Post

Need + V. + ING

Essam Wahba
Please, help **Most of them believe the story, but Tim still needs... a) being convinced b) to convince c) convincing d) convince I believe using the -ing form after NEED refers to situations where something needs fixing or repairing. -Is there a correct option here? Thanks for your help. <textarea id="BFI_DATA" style="width: 1px; height: 1px; display: none;"></textarea> TRANSLATE with x English Arabic Hebrew Polish Bulgarian Hindi Portuguese Catalan Hmong Daw Romanian Chinese...Read More...
I see eye to eye with you @ahmed_btm . Here is a similar sentence, from www.gymglish.com, dealing with 'convincing' as a noun:Read More...
Last Reply By ayman · First Unread Post

here it is or here they are

Supposedly you email someone to look at your draft email before you send. So before you begin with the draft email, should you use 'here it is' or 'here they are' in the following context? Hello John, I have now finished with the draft email and appreciate if you could make any necessary changes you see fit before I send. Here it is / here they are. Dear... We'd like to .................Read More...
Yes, but you need to insert 'it' after appreciate. Yes, that's right.Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

Had dropped

"I still remember that moment last October - a moment that in many ways completely changed my life. I was with a couple of colleagues, and during a break in duty, had dropped by the security room of the company I was working in at the time. What is the meaning "had dropped" here?Read More...
Mr.David, There no need to apologize because you are imparting knowledge to us those are precious than gold for us! On the contrary we are bothering and niggling you asking foolish questions. Sometime you may feel that our questions are silly and fragile but forgive us because we are taking our baby steps. We are quite sure that we will achieve our goal through Grammar Exchange. Kindest regards SundaranRead More...
Last Reply By Sundaran · First Unread Post

Would have to / Would have had to

1) I would have to slap him if he did not return my money. 2) I would have had to slap him if he did not return my money. Hi Teacher, What is the difference of these sentence?Read More...
"Do I look right?" is NOT EVER synonymous with "Am I correct?" Your preference has no basis in English usage or grammar whatsoever. By trying to speak thus, you are basically communicating to your listener that you don't speak English.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post
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