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June 2020

Can non-restrictive participle clauses be used on objects?

Hello! I’m wondering if a non-restrictive participle clause can be used on non-subjects. For example: I lied to my mom, looking at me. I find this sentence extremely odd. However, this one isn’t: I lied to my mom, who is looking at me. If the first example is odd to native speakers as well, I would like to deduce that perhaps a non-restrictive participle clause is not a simplified, reduced relative clause, but an adverbial participle clause? Thanks!Read More...
Thank you so much! I should have come up with more examples before reaching my premature conclusion. Now I have to figure out why the odd sentence is odd.Read More...
Last Reply By Jasper · First Unread Post

Capitalization of quoted commands and single words

I'm having trouble deciding how to punctuate and capitalize commands and other single words of dialogue: 1a. When I say "start," I want you to... or 1b. When I say "Start," I want you to... Also, does this need a comma? 2a. Martha and Bill waved their hands, yelling "Stop!" as loudly as possible. 2b. Martha and Bill waved their hands, yelling "stop!" as loudly as possible. Does this need a comma? 3a. He made eye contact, calling out "Taxi!" 3b. He made eye contact, calling out "taxi!" Are...Read More...
Hello, Ian—Sorry for the delay. Your punctuation questions are interesting and remind me of ones asked here a long time ago by a member named Weave. If you search for his threads, you will find plenty of head-scratching issues. I recommend using a capital letter at the beginning of the quoted single-word command, since each single-word command is a single-word sentence, and sentences, as you know, conventionally begin with a capital letter. I like it that you have not used commas before the...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Is this sentence okay?! If so what is the answer?!

I take hard exercise every day. It's useful .......... I get fitter and fitter. (in that - for which - in which - when)Read More...
Hi, Muhammad—Please give your threads meaningful titles, titles that will inform potential readers about the grammatical subject matter of the thread. The only answer choice that works is "in that": "I exercise hard every day. It's useful in that I get fitter and fitter." Do you understand the sentence?Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

How to punctuate sounds in creative writing?

hello everyone! I am working on ps right now, and i have a problem, in which i do not the right way to punctuate sounds in my essay; for example: the coming sentence is in my essay: “ Inhale! ” my chest gets higher. “ Exhale! ” my chest gets back. i want to give the sound of inhaling or exhaling and then describe what will happen next, which is the move of my chest. is this the right way or not? if not what is the right one so?Read More...

I was on something

hi, "Nowadays you can buy golf balls at Wal- Mart that have been retrieved from ponds. I was on to a million-dollar idea way back then, but didn’t know it! I made thousands of dollars over the next couple of years selling lost golf balls." What does the sentence (I was on to a million-dollar idea way back then...) mean? Does he mean that he had the idea that would make him earn a million dollar but he didn't know?Read More...
Thanks.Read More...
Last Reply By izzylovesyouall · First Unread Post

Using the definite article before of phrases.

Hello, I have been trying to find a rule or pattern that determines whether you use the in sentences that are followed by prepositional phrases that start with of. e.g 1 I can't pronounce the names of fruit, cakes and vegetables . e.g 2 I can't pronounce names -- of fruit,cakes and vegetables. Which example is correct and why? Both sound natural to me. Thank you for your helpRead More...
Thank you for your helpRead More...
Last Reply By Mrchuffie · First Unread Post

I work as a programmer, mostly building ASP.NET

Consider this sentence, please: 1) I work as a programmer, mostly building ASP.NET applications with SQL Server as the database. Question 1) : Can we remove the comma, without changing the meaning of the sentence? Question 2) : Is sentence 1) equivalent in meaning to: I work as a programmer. I mostly build ASP.NET applications with SQL Server as the database.Read More...
Yes, you can use either of those replacements.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

the conditioning of society got to me

Hi, "Somehow, when I was in high school, [the conditioning of society got to me] and I went looking for a job—because that’s what everyone said I should do." Here is my understanding of the part in brackets above, and please correct me if wrong. The condition of the society then forced me to work... The society forced me to work becuase this was the norm for a high school student. Please tell what is meant exactly by the part in brackets. Thanks.Read More...
clear! Thanks a lot.Read More...
Last Reply By izzylovesyouall · First Unread Post

Included or including

Which of the following is correct (or more correct)? 1. "How would you like your name included in the minutes?" 2. "How would you like your name including in the minutes?" If the explanation could include an explanation (eg, in terms of the verb form/tense/mood), that would be great. Thanks!Read More...
Many thanks for such a swift explanation.Read More...
Last Reply By SpiderJon · First Unread Post

Everything is copy

Hi, “For writers, as the tentacles of the coronavirus unfurl each day, everything is copy,” What is meant by (everything is copy)? Here is the link to the whole article. https://lithub.com/what-will-happen-to-the-novel-after-this/Read More...
Thanks a lot. So can we say (every thing is documented)?Read More...
Last Reply By izzylovesyouall · First Unread Post

proper nouns and capitalization

Hi, Which one is correct? 1. the Sorbonne, the Sorbonne University, Sorbonne University 2. the Solar System. Solar System. the solar system Thanks.Read More...
Hi, Freeguy: "Solar System" is capitalized in all the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) examples for "solar system." Here is a link to Wikipedia on the Sorbonne.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Success isn't measured BY?

Are all the sentences correct? 1) Success isn't measured by the car you drive. 2) You can't measure success by the number of certificates you have. 3) Success can sometimes be measured by how happy you are. I'm not sure if 'by' is the correct preposition to use here.Read More...
Thank you very much!Read More...
Last Reply By Ashraful Haque · First Unread Post

how true

Hi, Please tell me what "how true" exactly mean in the context below. Does he say, by using the expression "how true", that he completely agree with what the preacher said? I like what a preacher said about this. He said, “You never fail one of God’s tests. You just keep taking them until you pass.” How true! Thanks.Read More...
thanks a lot.Read More...
Last Reply By izzylovesyouall · First Unread Post

Usage of the phrase “ I have no idea”

Hello, I’m very confused of using the phrase “I have no idea” and “ I don’t know”. I’m wondering is the phrase “I have no idea” considered rude or impolite to native speakers? Or can it be used in the same context as I don’t know? Thank you.Read More...
Hello, Jessica, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange. I think it all depends on how you say it, and in what context. You can even emphasize the idea of not knowing by saying things like: - I have no idea whatsoever . - I don't have the slightest / faintest / foggiest / haziest idea. Any of those phrases will sound more polite, I guess, if you start by saying you're sorry: - Sorry, but I have no idea.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Either

I bought two books but l haven't read (either - both) of them yet. Which one is the right answer?Read More...
Hi, Emad, The better answer is ' either '. 'Neither' and 'Not ... either' are used in negative clauses and are much better than 'not ...both'. See Cambridge Dictionary here: https://dictionary.cambridge.o...british-grammar/bothRead More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

mustn't vs needn't

ayman
Hello, teachers Mr @David, Moderator and Mr @Gustavo, Contributor Is it OK to use either "mustn't" or "needn't" in such a context? Writing this report is not important. You [ mustn't _ needn't ] bother yourself. I came across some sentences using "mustn't / needn't worry" . I think " bother " has the same mea ning and can be used the same way with both modal verbs. I know " mustn't " refers to something that is prohibited / negative obligation. However, " needn't " refers to "lack of...Read More...
Thank youRead More...
Last Reply By ayman · First Unread Post

As if & as though

She looks ..... she ........ a ghost. 1) as if, saw 2) as though, had seen Which option is right here? (Source: A mock test which was held in Iran)Read More...
In my opinion, "were seeing" seems a little bit odd. Its meaning is different from the others. I agree with you concerning 'b', however, if I weren't a believer in ghosts, 'saw' (without using just) might be in the subjunctive mood (if I believe we don't see ghosts as they aren't found).Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

noodles and spaghetti

Hello, I have seen "noodles" used as plural a lot more often than it used as singular. I found 155 examples of "noodles" on COCA but only 18 of "noodle". On the other hand, "spaghetti " is almost always used as singular. Both noodles and spaghetti are made of flour. I don't think they can be counted like an apple or a pen. They look similar, but why are they grammatically treated differently ? appleRead More...
Interesting. Very interesting. Thank you, David. AppleRead More...
Last Reply By apple · First Unread Post

Simple past or present perfect !!

In the last two hours, I ..........my lessons. (Studied - have studied)Read More...
Please be aware that there is a big difference between " In the last two hours, I have studied my lessons " and " For the last two hours, I have studied my lessons ." With "for," the meaning would have been that the speaker's studying of his lessons had taken place throughout the last two hours . With "in," the meaning is that the speaker has studied his lessons for some interval of time within the broader interval of the last two hours . If the speaker had studied his lessons for only a few...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post
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