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June 2020

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

namely

Hello. If someone has read the novel "The Prisoner of Zenda", could you please help me choose the correct answer? Choose: Who was namely declared King of Ruritania? a- Rudolf Elphberg b- Rudolf Rassendyll Thank you.Read More...
Hi, David, I whole-heatedly agree with you. That's similar to what I told two of my friends last year, but they objected to me saying that that question is related to the novel we teach, not grammar, and that the most important thing was the answer to the question. In brief, all that they care about is the meaning of the question and its answer. However, it is great that you have referred to the fact that 'namely' is used wrongly this way. That will benefit so many people. The answer I've...Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

Grammar

Iam your father and lam telling you, you........ Study now. must / have toRead More...
Like Ahmed, I prefer "must" to "have to" here. I'd probably use "need to." Bassem, please note that "Iam" is incorrect; it should be two words: "I am." Also, when titling a discussion thread, do not use "grammar" or "choose," etc. Try to use a title that is descriptive of the thread. Here it could be " must or have to. "Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Until + a verb in the negative

Dear Mr Evans, I was wondering whether you could help me with these two sentences: 1- I'm not going to buy a new phone until mine doesn't work any more. 2- I'm not going to buy a new phone until mine stops working. I feel only sentence 2 is correct, but I can't explain why. Is it because the main clause is in the negative and the idea is "something is not going to happen until something else does"? The idea that "something is not going to happen until something else doesn't happen (either)"...Read More...
Hello, Miné, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange. (I'm happy to see that you are, just like me, from Argentina.) I was writing an answer when I saw David had already replied. Further below are some additional comments I think might be of use. Those are two excellent points, David. To be frank, I had seen the first one but not the second one. The answer I had written read as follows (I've changed "mine" to "the one I have," following David's wise recommendation): "until" is not usually...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

It's the same for.

Do we use 'it's the same for' in the following ways: 1) "You'll be punished if you don't turn in your homework tomorrow. And it's the same for everyone." 2) "You get a free gift if you buy any of these shirts. Is it the same for shoes?" Please let me know if my sentences are correct.Read More...
Thank you very much for the answer.Read More...
Last Reply By Ashraful Haque · First Unread Post

Is police a countable noun?

Hi. I'm kind of confused about this question. I think a word is either countable or uncountable. Since, apparently, "police" isn't the later, it must be the former. But Longman dictionary of contemporary English : a countable noun has both a singular and a plural form. "Police" only has a plural form as in "The police are annoying.",but it doesn't have a singular form, * a police . So is it really a countable noun?Read More...
Hi, Robby zhu—When we wish to use "police" in a countable way, we use "police officer" (or "policeman"/"policemen"/"policewoman"/"policewomen"). I saw a police officer at the scene of the accident. I saw two police officers at the scene of the accident.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Comma splice

Hello. I am new so I apologise if I am covering something previously discussed. My question concerns comma splicing. I have always been unsure in my writing as to whether a particular type of sentence construction is or is not a comma splice. Example: The war taught him to be suspicious, especially of foreigners. (Here a semi-colon would not work. Would a colon?) The water was warm and lapped at his feet, just as he liked it. (Again is a colon better?) David could feel the cup against his...Read More...
Hello, SeanP, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange. You don't need to apologize. The Grammar Exchange has a long history and it's inevitable that some topics are discussed once and over again. You can, if you wish, make a search for "comma splice" by using the magnifying glass at the top. None of your sentences above contains a comma splice which, as you say, occurs when two independent clauses are merely separated by a comma. I find your commas above to be perfectly used and introducing...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

Help identifying tenses

Hi, Which tenses are these two sentences using please? Mr. Thompson began to wonder if his daughter’s smartphone usage could be affecting her academic performance. (Past Simple?) Mr. Thompson’s daughter had always been a high academic achiever. (Past Perfect Continuous or Past Simple?)Read More...
Hello, Jack Boost, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange. It is unclear which verb you are referring to, but "began" is in the past simple tense and "could be affecting" is formed by a modal verb followed by a progressive infinitive. If the latter verb is the one that confuses you, you can think of it as a past progressive to which the modality of possibility has been added: Mr. Thompson began to wonder if it was possible that his daughter’s smartphone usage was affecting her academic...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

Settling a grammar question

Hi, Here are two versions of a sentence: What percentage of online accounts have been taken over? or What percentage of online accounts has been taken over Does the verb need to agree with the subject (percentage) or with the prepositional phrase (online accounts)? Help appreciated!Read More...
Hello, yarden, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange. Next time you ask a question, please try to be more specific when you give it a title. In this case, you could have written something like: Is "percentage" singular or plural? / Does "percentage" take a singular or a plural verb? Thank you. If you make an advanced search including the words percentage singular plural on this forum, you will find several interesting threads. A good summary can be found on page 353 of the American Heritage...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

Hi, could you please help me with these two questions?

Mr. Ashraf is........man that you can trust him. (such a _ such an _ such the _ so). Mr. Aashraf is ........... man that you can trust. (such _ such an _ so_ such the)Read More...
Hello, Ahmed elsadony, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange. Grammatically speaking, the only option that is correct is such a . However, the sentence does not make sense and an adjective would be needed because the noun "man" cannot be intensified (and "such a" combined with a clause of result works as an intensifier). These sentences would make more sense: - Mr. Ashraf is such an honest man / such a reliable man / such a respectable man that you can trust him. Only certain nouns can be...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

Technology

Hi everyone! I have a question. When does the noun "technology" used as an uncountable and countable noun? Thank you.Read More...
Hi, Moon—You question requires "is" rather than "does": " When is the noun 'technology' used as an uncountable and countable noun? " As a count noun, "technology" refers to forms of technology and is often found in the plural: "technologies." As a noncount noun, "technology" is an abstract noun and often appears without an article: "Advanced technology is one of humanity's great achievements."Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

confusion

Thanks a lot for your cooperation Can you shed a light on the following please ? 1-These two words are confusing . 2-These two words are confused .Read More...
I think the second sentence can give us the meaning that these words aren't clear https://up4net.com/uploads/up4...confused-in-Longman-Read More...
Last Reply By zonzon · First Unread Post

Embedding lists within quoted speech

Hi all, I'm scouring the Chicago Manual for guidance here, but to no avail. How do you punctuate the lead-in to a quote when you are also introducing a list? Here is an example: 1. “There are three primary states of matter,” the teacher said. “Solid, liquid, and gas." Or would it be: 2. "There are three primary states of matter," the teacher said: "Solid, liquid, and gas." The colon looks odd to me, but I also feel uncomfortable making the list stand alone after a period. Any insight?Read More...
Hi, iankms—Yes, the colon looks odd in (2), since it properly belongs to the quoted sentence rather than to the clause of attribution. I think that you are unlikely to find your question covered in style guides. In my opinion, the punctuation you have used in (1) works just fine. "Solid, liquid, and gas" may be considered a separate utterance, even though it is part of the preceding sentence. Here's another way you could punctuate it: 3. "There are three primary states of matter—," the...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

grammar

Is this sentence correct ? There is she standing by the wall .Read More...
Hello, ilko mitrikov, No, that sentence is incorrect for two reasons: 1) the position of "she" 2) the absence of a comma When "there" is used as an adverb of place at the beginning of a sentence, full inversion only takes place if the subject is a noun phrase other than a pronoun: a. There is the girl . b. There is Mary . c. There she is. Also, for the sentence to be correct a comma needs to be added: - There she is , standing by the wall.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

Possession and apostrophes

So, I have always had a doubt regarding the usage of the apostrophe in possessions. If someone says John's car, I understand we have to use the apostrophe because the car belongs to John, but if I say "Japanese food", why can I place an apostrophe after Japanese like this: "Japanese's food" indicating that this is about a food that belongs to japanese people?Read More...
Hello, cindy92, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange. John is a noun, while Japanese is an adjective in a phrase like "Japanese food." See what happens if we use the noun Japan : Japan's culture (= Japanese culture).Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

A Yorkshire accent

When we say 'he speaks with a strange accent' we imply that there is a class of strange accents and that he speaks one of them. The sentence answers the question 'What kind of accent?'. By analogy, he speaks with a Yorkshire accent would imply a class of Yorkshire accents and that this is one example of the class with the same question: 'What kind? However, none of this is true. There is no class of Yorkshire accents, the Yorkshire accent is unique, specific and well defined, everybody in...Read More...
Hi, Katze, The expression is "to speak with an accent." Depending on how specific the attribute is, the accent will be more broadly or more strictly defined. Thus, while "a strange accent" or "a foreign accent" comprise a wide variety of possible accents, "a Yorkshire accent" is indeed much more specific -- actually, "unique," as you say. However, this does not justify the use of the definite article because, as I said at the beginning, the expression includes the indefinite article.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

Really, I'd appreciate your help. Are thes two sentences correct in grammar and in meaning ? 1-The new storty took me three hours to write . 2-The new story took me three hours to be written.

Really, I'd appreciate your help. Are thes two sentences correct in grammar and in meaning ? 1-The new storty took me three hours to write . 2-The new story took me three hours to be written.Read More...
I totally agree. Just for rasaa to know, a possible title would have been, for example, "Took me three hours to write or to be written?" Your reference to Swan is great, Ahmed, and I agree with you that only the first sentence in rasaa's posting is grammatical: - The new story took me three hours to write. However, I would like to clarify that, at least in my opinion, the passive infinitive is also possible when the verb "take" is not followed by the person engaged in the task . Notice that...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

Quotation without comma?

As a native English speaker and freelance proofreader, I'm kicking myself that I can't work out the answer to this question. I'm working through a short story right now that uses quotations in a way I'm struggling mightily to format. The issue is here: Lewis had often heard his dad say “Don’t let the bedbugs bite,” but he had never thought about what it meant. And here: "It was all in my mind,” Lewis said, but he still didn’t feel any better. “But why did Dad say, ‘Don’t let the bedbugs...Read More...
David, I think you are spot on. It's wonderful to finally be able to articulate my intuition here. Many thanks! IanRead More...
Last Reply By iankms · First Unread Post

Choose :

* Buildings in the brutalist style of architecture are ________________ all over the world . • an eye for an eye • an eyesore • an eye for something • giving the eyeRead More...
Hi, Bassem—Each of the answers has an idiomatic meaning. If you look those phrases up in a dictionary, you will see that only one of the answers ("an eyesore") makes sense in the blank. Buildings can be an eyesore (unpleasing to the eye); they cannot be an eye for an eye, etc. The "eyesore" answer is reinforced by the meaning of the style of architecture: "brutalist." Incidentally, please try to use thread titles that are descriptive of the grammatical topic of the thread. Please don't use...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

I'm in the transition phase/stage/process?

I know transition means 'the process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another.' I was asked someone how it feels to be in your thirties. I said I'm in my late 20's and I'll be turning 30 very soon. The I said the following just for a laugh: " I have started balding and getting fat. So I guess I'm in the transition phase/stage/process ." I'm not sure which one's most idiomatic here.Read More...
Thank you very much.Read More...
Last Reply By Ashraful Haque · First Unread Post
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