June 2019

preposition after "enthusiasm"

I'd like to know if the preposition should be "for or in" in the following sentence: He has enthusiasm for / in his studies When we decide which preposition we should use in a sentence, do we always look at the word before the preposition, i.e. "enthusiasm" in this case? Thanks a lot.Read More...
Hi, Taiman, Both prepositions are possible, though Ahmed is right that "for" is more usual. The meaning is different depending on which you choose. "He has enthusiasm for his studies" means that his enthusiasm is directed toward his studies. "He has enthusiasm in his studies" has a much more general and abstract meaning. It does not necessarily mean that his studies awaken his enthusiasm, but that he has enthusiasm when he studies. You can also use "enthusiastic": He is enthusiastic for his...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Problem with multiple choice

___________ they should have bought the tickets last week, ty in fact waited until the last minute to buy them 1. Nevertheless 2. Despite 3. However 4. WhereasRead More...
Hi, Adroit33, You seem to be asking us to do some exercise for you. We expect at least some effort from our members. Which do you think is the right answer? If you can't decide, at least give us an example with each of those linking words so we can understand where your difficulty lies.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Problem with multiple choice

Arriving late in the movie theater, he missed the beginning of the movie,. By the time he got to the movie theater, the movie ______________ started. 1.Wouldn’t have 2.Hadn’t 3.Had 4.Will haveRead More...
Hello, Adroit33, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange! I'd like to know where you have you taken this exercise from. The first sentence contains at least two mistakes. "having arrived" is better than "arriving," and "at" should follow the verb "arrive" when referring to specific places like a theater or a restaurant ("in" is only mostly used with cities and countries). It'd also be useful if next time you could tell us which you think is the right answer. In this case, the answer is (3): when...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

The preposition 'from':

Do we include the preposition from in this question or not? _ Where do we buy bread? (or) _ Where do we buy bread from?Read More...
Yes, that's right. In case it's not mentioned in the historical thread Ahmed_btm has linked to, the reason "from" is not needed is that "where" can have the syntactic status of a locative prepositional phrase. It need not have a nominal value. This is also why it is better to say " Where are you? " rather than " Where are you at? ," though the version with "at" is fairly common in colloquial speech.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Is it a rhetoric Question?

Which alternative is the correct one? xxx ________________he_______________? 1.Doesn't/play tennis very well 2.isn't/very good at playing tennis 3.Doesn't/play tennis well 4.isn't/a very good tennis player [Please help me answer the question, and your explanation is also desperately needed.]Read More...
Hello, Kru Mart, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange! It is almost impossible to decipher the question you are trying to ask, but I'm assuming that the auxiliary verb before the slash in the answers is meant to go in the first blank in "xxx ________________he_______________?" and that the words that come after the slash are supposed to go in the second blank. If my assumptions are correct, then the third answer is the best: Doesn't he play tennis well? That question could indeed be used as a...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

visit (with) my brother and family

Hi! Could I ask you a question about this sentence I came across on the internet: (1) We had a great time visiting with my brother and family yesterday. I have a question about the "visit" in this sentence. I looked it up in a dictionary and it says it can be used intransitively, especially in American English, which I found kind of surprising because I thought it is normally used transitively. So, my question is whether the persence/absence of the preposition "with" in (1) (or in any...Read More...

How can I see my previous posts?

Hello, How can I see my previous posts and replies to them? BTW, reply for or reply to? AppleRead More...
Hi, Apple, You should click on the magnifying glass at the top, on your right: go to Advanced Search, then write your name where it says "Add By Display Name": and press Search. You will thus find any threads started by you and the replies to them. You can of course add other details (words, dates) for your search to be more specific.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

(for) all of the winter/all through the winter

I have made up three similar sentences below. (1) I will be available to volunteer for all of the winter. (2) I will be available to volunteer all of the winter. (3) I will be available to volunteer all through the winter. As a non-native English speaker, I think they all sound okay. However, some of my non-native speaking friends think all of my sentences sound unnatural. Do they sound OK to native speakers? Please give me your opinion. Thanks a lot for your help.Read More...
Hi, Ansonman, From a native standpoint, (3) is perfectly correct and natural, and (1) and (2) are extremely unnatural. You can use (3), or you can say: (4) I will be available to volunteer all winter. (5) I will be available to volunteer all winter long. (6) I will be available to volunteer for the entire winter. (7) I will be available to volunteer throughout the winter.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

My passport *expires/will expire* in three months.

"My passport will expire in three months." This sentence is from my textbook. I'm wondering why it's not written as "My passport *expires* in three months." Here is an example from LDOCE Online : My driving licence expires in March. In this case, it goes with the present tense, which is grammatically correct to me, because we're taught that when it comes to a sure thing to happen in the future, we should use the present tense instead of the future tense. Why is this sentence in the future...Read More...
Hi, Barry, When talking about events that are part of a timetable, we can use either the simple present or 'will + inf.' . See Michael Swan, page 190: "We can sometimes use the simple present to talk about the future. This is common when we are talking about events which are part of a timetable, a regular schedule or something similar. The summer term starts on April 10th. What time does the bus arrive in Seattle? My plane leaves at three o'clock. Are you on duty next weekend? The sun rises...Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

on a stage

1) I can act as well as John on a stage. Can't this sentence have three meanings: a) John doesn't act well on a stage. He acts well in another place (say, in front of a camera). I can act as well as him on a stage. b) I can act as w ell as John acts on a stage. c) I can act as well on a stage as John acts on a stage. Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Thank you very much, David, Point taken. My bad! I was pushing it! But isn't this a possibility Can you act as well as John? I have never acted in front of a camera and I have never seen John on a stage. All I can tell you is that I can act as well as John (does in front of a camera) on stage . Can't the part in parentheses be ellipted without any loss in meaning? Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Last Reply By navi · First Unread Post

walk like Brando

1) I could walk like Brando right into the sun. Source: https://genius.com/Bruce- springsteen-its-hard-to-be-a- saint-in-the-city-lyrics Does '1' mean: a) I could walk right into the sun the way Brando walked right into the sun. or: b) I could walk right into the sun the way Brando walked. Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Hello, Navi, I don't know if Springsteen was thinking in terms of the line's being subjected to a strict semantic analysis, but my sense is that it probably means (c): c) I could walk like Brando in that , like him, I could walk right into the sun. That reading would be more natural if the sentence had a comma: "I could walk like Brando, right into the sun." I wonder if it's sung as if a comma were present.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Form a question

What is the best question for this answer ...........................................................................? I like English best.Read More...
Hi, Abdullah, How do you want us to form a question without knowing the whole dialogue?! What are they talking about? Are they talking about their favorite subjects, languages or what? Gustavo's answer is possible in a certain situation in which the speaker knows more than two languages, but there are many other options. See: Speaker A: Which subject do you like best? / Which subject is your favorite? / What is your favorite subject? / I like Arabic best. What about you? / And you?Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

Past participle

Hello, "She entered......by her mother." A- accompanied B- being accompaniedRead More...
That's a very good example, David. Thank you for your clarification. A comma would obviously also be required if the participle appeared in front position: - Accompanied by her mother, she entered that place she had always dreaded entering alone.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

before all of you were born

Could one use a. That happened before all of you were born. instead of b. That happened before any of you were born. ? Could one use c. The doors were closed before all of the guests arrived. instead of d. The doors were closed before any of the guests arrived. ? To me, there is a difference between (a) and (b), but I get the feeling that some people use (a) instead of (b). I doubt that anyone would use (c) instead of (d). Many thanksRead More...
Hello again, Azz, Yes, that is a very nice observation. I agree with you that (c) has that implication. The reason (a) doesn't have the corresponding implication that all of them were born (more or less) at the same time seems to be that that would be a very strange state of affairs and perhaps even stranger for the speaker to know about it. In short, that type of interpretation is unnatural in (a). Yes, I think it's ambiguous, but in a different way. It has one of the possible readings that...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Difference between 'from' and 'of'

Hi everyone, can anyone please help me understand the difference between from and of in the following sentence? 1- John: Hey, have you watched the movie 'avengers the end game'? Me: yes. John: What's your favourite scene from / of the movie?Read More...
I completely agree. That combination of a possessive and a quasi-superlative like "favorite" renders an "of"-phrase unidiomatic.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

enter college, go to college

Hello, How do you use these two phrases? Which sounds more natural? I personally use "go to college" more often. "My sister went to college " seems to mean she is still in college or she finished her college education, while "My sister entered" college sounds like she has just passed the exam and is now a college student. appleRead More...
Thank you, David. AppleRead More...
Last Reply By apple · First Unread Post

Usage of 'dare'

Hi there, How should I use dare in the following sentence? If John dares to go there, I will tell his Mom. If John dares go there, I will tell his Mom. If John dare go there, I will tell his Mom.Read More...
Hi, Subhajit, An "if"-clause is a non-assertive context (cf. negative statements and questions), so it is possible to use "dare" as a modal in them. When we use "dare" as a modal, it is uninflected and used without "to" -- "dare go" in your example. You can also use "dares to go," in which "dare" is a main verb, not a modal, and needs "to." The only option that is incorrect is "dares go," which confuses the modal and the main verb. However, "dares" + [base form] is occasionally found.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

for five days

a, The library will be closed for five days in June and July. b. The library will be closed on five days in June and July. c. The library will be closed five days in June and July. Which of the above sentences could be used in the following situations? 1. The library will be closed for a period of five days. That period extends from the last days of June to the first days of July. 2. The library will be closed on five different days, some of them in June and some in July, but we don't have a...Read More...

possessives

1 When I say "This is a pig's trough.", so is the word "a" describing or attached to "pig" or "trough"? 2 When I say "This is the pigs' trough.", so is the word "the" describing or attached to "pigs" or "trough"? 3 When I say "These are the women's wallets.", so is the word "the" describing or attached to "women" or "wallets"? Thanks!Read More...
Thank you all your help!Read More...
Last Reply By Kimconu · First Unread Post

will vs be going to. 2

Here is no cloud in the sky. It --------- a lovely day. 1) will be 2) is going to be ......... In grammar-related books, there is a common sentence showing the usage of "be going to". - Look at those clouds. It's going to rain. However, to me, the OP is different. I think "a lovely day" is a mere opinion, and has nothing to do with "what is likely to happen in the near future". So, both #1 and #2 sound correct to me. What do you think?Read More...
Hi, Freeguy, I think you meant to write "There." The natural, native choice here is "is going to be." If you use "will be" instead, the sentence won't be ungrammatical, of course. Your sentence will simply be perceived as nonnative by native speakers. I am planning to write an extended, fabulously researched post on the differences between will and be going to sometime in the near future, since questions in this area crop up regularly on the Grammar Exchange, so stay tuned. As to "a lovely...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

a well-written sentence?

Look below, please: - The design of the new house is similar to those that have already been built, so they prefer to look for modern ones. To me, the sentence is not well written. I believe the correct sentences are: 1) The design of the new house is similar to those houses that have already been built, so they prefer to look for modern ones. 2) The new house is similar in design to those that have already been built, so they prefer to look for modern ones. What do you think? Are you OK...Read More...
The first part is fine. I wasn't actually wondering about the meaning of "they" but about their preferring to look for modern houses/designs as a direct consequence of what was said before.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Is this language formal enough?

"More than 20 million people have some kind of mental issue" My problem is with "some kind of". I would rather have said, "... have one kind of mental issue or another"Read More...
Thank you, David. And just like "kind of," we also have "sort of": - He has some sort of mental issue (= some type of mental issue). - He has sort of a mental issue (= a condition that could be roughly defined as a mental issue).Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Individual things that make us, us.

The following is an excerpt from the blog posted by "a third culture kid" in the Japan Times. What does "Individual things that make us, us." mean? This sentence looks incomplete and how can you make it complete? “Everyone is different, and that’s what makes life interesting,” Osaka tweeted last year. “We all have our own backgrounds and stories. Individual things that make us, us.” I couldn’t agree more with her statement.Read More...
Hi, Fujibei, I agree with Gustavo's parsing and suggestion for revision. Another option besides "individual things that make us who we are " is to use a reflexive pronoun: "individual things that make us ourselves ." You are right that the sentence is incomplete. It is incomplete even with the revisions we have suggested. The sentence is a deliberate fragment. It can be parsed as an appositive or as a conjunct in relation to the preceding sentence: appositive reading : We all have our own...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post
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