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June 2020

some of his articles

1) He didn't know I had read three of his articles. 2) He didn't know I had read some of his articles. 3) He didn't know I had read certain of his articles. All of these could mean: a) I had read three/some/certain of his articles and he didn't know that. but could they mean: b) There were three/some/certain of his articles that he didn't know I had read. Maybe he knew that I had read some others. In others words, do you have scope ambiguity in 1-3? Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Hello, Naviโ€”Yes, both meanings are possible for (1)โ€“(3), though meaning (b) is much better stated with sentence (b) itself. My default understanding of the three sentences is the (a) reading. If the (b) reading were intended, it would be natural, in spoken English, to emphasize three/some/certain.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

preposition after whom

Mr Lee, whom I spoke to at the meeting, is interested in our proposal. What's wrong here? Look at the attachment below, please. (source: English Grammar in Use; R. Murphy)Read More...
Hi, Freeguyโ€”Nothing is wrong with that sentence. In saying "We do not use . . .," your book incorrectly conveys that it is wrong to use "whom I spoke to." Who is this "we"? If "we" is supposed to mean people who speak English, the book is wrong. People who speak very formally would use "whom I spoke to" as an alternative to "to whom I spoke." If the book had said, "Most people do not use," it would have been correct. Most people do not speak that formally.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Adjectical mayhem

How am i going to punctuate this little pile of poo? Customer-services-management-oriented applications - go for broke Customer-services-management oriented applications - well, maybe Customer-services management-oriented Applications - nah? thanksRead More...
Thanks!I meant adjectival, of course. Christina Lamkin ctina2v@verizon.net 774-249-0790 (m)508-788-9912 (h)Read More...
Last Reply By PunctBadger · First Unread Post

If you're fired from your difficult job........

Could anyone please explain the parts in bold: If you're fired from your difficult job, no one can blame you ๐—ณ๐—ผ๐—ฟ ๐—ฎ ๐—ฏ๐—ถ๐˜ ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐—ฆ๐—ฐ๐—ต๐—ฎ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ณ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐˜‚๐—ฑ๐—ฒ as ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚ ๐˜„๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ฐ๐—ต ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ฟ ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฝ๐—น๐—ฎ๐—ฐ๐—ฒ๐—บ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜ ๐˜€๐˜๐—ฟ๐˜‚๐—ด๐—ด๐—น๐—ฒ ๐˜„๐—ถ๐˜๐—ต ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ฟ ๐—ผ๐—น๐—ฑ ๐˜๐—ฎ๐˜€๐—ธ๐˜€.Read More...
Did you write this sentence, Toaha? Since you haven't cited the source, that is the assumption the reader must make. What did you mean when you wrote it?Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

It may also be mentioned

It may also be mentioned that I have been doing well in all the examinations and my teachers are satisfied with my progress. Can I write the sentence above like this: It also being mentioned that I have been doing well in all the examinations and my teachers are satisfied with my progress.Read More...
Thanks Gustavo ๐Ÿ’–Read More...
Last Reply By Toaha · First Unread Post

every detective's wife

Which is correct: 1) Every detective's wife in every crime movie says the same things. 2) Every detectives' wife in every crime movie says the same things. 3) The wife of every detective in every crime move says the same things. I think in '2' 'detectives' wife' is supposed to work like 'children's book', but I am not sure it does work at all. Maybe 'detective's wife' in '1' works the same way. Not sure. I prefer '3'. '1' makes me feel like the detective is in the real world and the wife is...Read More...
Thank you very much, David, I hadn't thought of that one!Read More...
Last Reply By navi · First Unread Post

differenc between alternative to and for

Is ther any difference of meaning between alternative to and for ? itโ€™s an important issue for my student in korea she may lose 3pts in english test please help meRead More...
Hello, pattaya, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange. To be able to help you, we need some context. "alternative" can be an adjective or a noun. Supposing it is used as a noun in the test, the choice of the right preposition will depend on what follows: Oxford Collocations Dictionary for Students of English, 2nd edition alternative noun [...] preposition ~ for There is no ~ for those with no car of their own. ~ to Is there an ~ to surgery for this complaint? [...] ยฉ Oxford University Press, 2009Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

FANBOYS

Notwithstanding the argument that the very idea is a false construct - why are the conjunctions 'as' and 'because' never included as FANBOYS i.e. as ways to form a compound sentence from two simple sentences? What is the difference between, say: I was late for work. The bus broke down. I was late for work, for the bus broke down. I was late for work, because the bus broke down. Or, similarly: I visit the library every week. I love reading. I visit the library every week, for I love reading.Read More...
Hello again, Johnโ€”You're on the right track in your thinking here, but a little off the mark. Most budding writers of English don't need an alternative to the semicolon, since most budding writers of English have no idea how to use a semicolon in the first place. It's the least common punctuation mark. What budding writers of English do need is the ability to differentiate between dependent and independent clauses. As you know, in conversation, we often hear utterances beginning with...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Present perfect tense and Past tense in a single sentence

I'm wondering whether consistency of tenses should apply in the following sentence: I've attended festivals like Coachella and I always felt physically awful. Should "I've" be replaced with "I" to be consistent with "I always felt"? I read that using "I have" means emphasizing the life experience itself (attending festivals) which should be the case for the sentence. But if "I always" would be replaced with "I've always", it would mean that the subject still feels that way until now, which...Read More...
Hello, Clem, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange. The example you have asked about is correct; however, it would be good to add a comma before the second independent clause and place "physically" (which clarifies the respect in which you felt awful) at the end with a comma: (1) I've attended festivals like Coachella, and I always felt awful, physically. It is actually the change in tense that does create a logical relationship between the two independent clauses. The sentence has the same...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Are nonsense answers to questions incorrect grammatically?

I'm sorry if this has been answered before. Is it grammatically incorrect to answer a question incorrectly? For example if someone were to ask "Would you take the bins out please?" and another answered "The time is quarter past three". It's obviously nonsense and doesn't answer the question, but does that mean it is grammatically incorrect? Even if the separate sentences are grammatically correct individually? Thanks.Read More...
Hello, Wrow, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange. To add to what the others have said, I think it really comes down to what one means by grammatical correctness. As a sentence, "The time is quarter past three" is faultless. As a reply to the question "Would you take the bins out, please?," it is what many would call a non sequitur . When I place ungrammaticality asterisks (*) before sentences on this forum, it is because I judge the sentence ungrammatical because of its violation of...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Are there any hard and fast rules literary rules for determining the antecedent when encountering a pronoun?

Is there any help for interpreting a passage written like this? 1. Jane thought the car was ugly. Because she thought it was necessary, Mary washed the car. If I were personally writing this, I would rewrite it to be more clear. But, if I'm not the author, are there any rules to help me determine whether 'she' is Jane or Mary? When trying to find out the answer to this question, I ran across the "last antecedent rule". (I am not a lawyer, or studying to be one.) It is a doctrine for the...Read More...
Thanks, Gustavo. I'm not a lawyer and not studying law. I was trying to learn about rules for determining the antecedent when I ran across the supposed legal rule online. My understanding is that the rule is intended for use in cases where a document is poorly written, it is not guidance for how documents should be written. I found on Wikipedia this morning that the rule is a little less stringent than the post I saw lead me to believe --- the rule is not intended to override obvious...Read More...
Last Reply By cwm9 · First Unread Post

Why should I use past perfect not past simple?

In November 2001, he ran onto the pitch to play for Inter Milan against Lecce. The fans cheered; he hadn't played almost two years, since he _______ (damage) his knee... He fell down and didn't get up. He___ (injure) his knee again. The answers are๏ผš had damaged, had injured . I don't understand. Why can't I just say damaged, injured ?Read More...
Thank you very much. I think I understand now. So it's nothing to do with the verb "damageโ€œ. No matter if the verb โ€œdamageโ€ can last for a while or not.Read More...
Last Reply By alexandra · First Unread Post

anyone/just anyone/everyone in conditional sentence

1) How would you feel if your dog attacks anyone? 2) How would you feel if your dog attacks just anyone? Is there a difference in the meanings? Isn't '2' basically the same as: 3) How would you feel if your dog attacks everyone it sees? Gratefully, NaviRead More...
How would you feel if your dog attacks someone? ---> 'if your dog attacks anyone, how would you feel?' You think the person wants the dog to not ever attack but is training the dog in a way that could lead it to attack a person. You are not allowing any exceptions, even for robbers or murderers. You donสปt think the dog will always attack; rather, you believe the owner thinks or should think that one attack is an attack too many, and the person attacked would be that one "someone". How...Read More...
Last Reply By cwm9 · First Unread Post

such that

Hi Sentence: 1. By COREFERENCE we understand a relation between the two noun phrases such that they have the same reference. (CGEL) Can I rephrase it as, 2. By COREFERENCE we understand such a relation between the two noun phrases that they have the same reference. Does "that" introduce a relative clause๏ผŸRead More...
Hello, Robby zhuโ€”The answer to both your questions here is no. In "such that"-clauses, "that" does not introduce a relative clause, as may be seen by the fact that (a) there is no "gap" in the clause it introduces (namely, "they have the same reference") and (b) "that" cannot be replaced by "which": " a relation between two noun phrases such which they have the same reference ." The correlative "such . . . that . . ." structure you have used in (2) does exist, as you probably already know;...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

sign, signal

Hello. I have looked up the words "sign" and "signal" but I can't decide which one is correct to use in the following sentence! - The result of the election is a clear (sign - signal) that voters are unhappy. Thank you.Read More...
Hello, Ahmed Imam Attiaโ€”The better word to use there is "sign": "The result of the election is a clear sign that voters are unhappy." The word "signal" would work nicely, however, if the sentence were rephrased: "The result of the election signals that voters are unhappy." I omitted "clearly" there; it could be placed in a few different places: before "signals," before "that," or after "are."Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

meaning of "top" and "exceed"

The following is from The Asahi Shimbun, an English paper in Japan, of May 30. "As the nation remains on alert for a surge in novel coronavirus cases, Tokyo recorded 14 new infections on May 30, the fifth consecutive day the number has topped double digits in the capital. In the southern city of Kita-Kyushu, 16 new confirmed cases were reported, the third straight day exceeding double digits." The number of novel coronavirus cases both in Tokyo and Kita-Kyushu was in double digits and the...Read More...
Hi, Fujibeiโ€”You raise an interesting point. I agree with you that topping or exceeding double digits means surpassing double digits, which I suppose means going into triple digits, contrary to the writer's intended meaning. It would have been better if the writer had used "has topped the double-digit mark," "has exceeded the double-digit mark." That is the intended meaning. The double-digit mark is ten. The number of new cases surpassed ten.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

future perfect

President Trump said in his address yesterday, โ€œGeorge Floyd will not have died in vainโ€ as you see in the following excerpt. โ€œTrump vows โ€˜ George Floyd will not have died in vain โ€™ as National Guard arrives in Minneapolis. The president urged residents of Minneapolis to honor Floyd's memory, assuring them that his death will not be in vain.โ€ (disrn.com) Is the future perfect grammatically correct in this context when George Floyd is already dead?Read More...
Hi, Fujibei, I agree with Kinto that using the future perfect here is grammatically correct. It simply means that Trump is going to do something concerning this issue at some point in the future. After this point, this man's death or the reasons behind his death will no longer be in vain.Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

Starting a sentence with "An"

I've been asked to proof-read some wording for a website and public documents and something about the wording isn't sitting right with me. I could be wrong, but it reads funny starting with " an evidence-based..." I'd like to be able to support my commentary, but I don't know for sure what, if anything, is wrong grammatically. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated! Variation 1: An evidence-based program that has been adopted by over 20 countries, Mental Health First Aid teaches adults...Read More...
The sentence above, where the phrase in question is in apposition to the head of the subject, also sounds fine. Some might argue that, being somewhat long, it separates "Mental Health First Aid" from the verb a bit too much, but I find it nice too. It is, as you said, a matter of preference.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post
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