July 2018

Present perfect simple VS Present perfect continuous

Hussein Hassan
Hello, all. I need your help. - My hands are muddy because I __________ some flowers. a. have planted b. have been planting c. bOth "Aim High" (a book is published by Oxford university press, and the curriculum I teach) says that ONLY the present perfect continuous is possible. I wonder why we don't use the present perfect simple in such a context, i.e. there is an influence in the present (my hands are muddy). Furthermore, there's no indication that the action is in progress nor completed.Read More...
Again could anyone clarify if my understanding is right or wrong? Thanks in advance.Read More...
Last Reply By Rasha Assem · First Unread Post

"or" vs "otherwise"

Do the words "otherwise" and "or" mean the same in the following context? Are they both correct? Here is the examples: John, you should follow the instructions that teacher said, or/otherwise you will not be able to complete the project.Read More...
Subha, My sense is that "or" is a conjunction that can join two co-equal (is that redundant?) clauses within a single sentence, whereas "otherwise" is an adverb that should introduce a separate sentence. Hence: A: John, you should follow the instructions that teacher said, or you will not be able to complete the project. B: John, you should follow the instructions that teacher said. Otherwise, you will not be able to complete the project. I hope this helps. DocVRead More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

Usage of "the"

Hi everyone, I have a question regarding the usage of the . Should I use the in the following sentence? Suppose I am a sports teacher in my school. I enter a class in my school and want to know if the students in the class would like to play soccer today. So, should I use the in the following sentence? Here's the context: Hi everyone, Today we will play soccer. (The)students who want to play join me at the school ground. I know it is better to use those or "anyone who wants to... instead of...Read More...
Than you..😄Read More...
Last Reply By subhajit123 · First Unread Post

Verb patterns

Hussein Hassan
Good afternoon, our teachers, Could you please, help me choose the correct answer to the following question and give a reason, if possible? - The two performers were only pretending _____________ a good relationship. a. having b. to have c. to have had Thanks in advance 🌹Read More...
Thanks a lot, David.Read More...
Last Reply By Hussein Hassan · First Unread Post

newbie, willing to learn

I would like to take this opportunity to say hello to everyone. I have recently begun to write creatively; I am hooked on writing, though my grammar lets me down. I now wish to develop my craft. That drive has brought me here! I am hooked on both the complexity and the flexibility of the subject. I bow down to those of you who have mastered this, and hope you rub off on me. For fun please correct my above paragraph. After that, I graciously ask, if you see me on here asking a question, know...Read More...
Hello, Bisleybob, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange! Your Displayed Name is very amusing. I assume it's a play on "Beelzebub." You haven't made any major mistakes in the paragraph in question. The semicolon in the second sentence is questionable, as is your use of "this" in "those of you who have mastered this." If you mean for "this" to refer to "the subject," I recommend using "it" instead. If you mean for "this" to refer to "the complexity and the flexibility of the subject," I...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Past simple and Past continuous

ceedhanna
• Which sentence is correct? (1) When the dog barked , they were trying to sleep. (2) When the dog was barking , they were trying to sleep. (Is it preferred to use while?) ================= • Does (when) mean (after)? (3) When the dog barked, they tried to sleep. ================ • Are there two choices for this sentence? When Sami was drawing, his sister ………………… a poem. a) had writing b) was writing c) has written d) wroteRead More...
Yeah, I am so sorry. Thank you.Read More...
Last Reply By ceedhanna · First Unread Post

End / Ending

Hi, again What's the difference between: 1- The end of the film / book 2- The ending of the film / book Will the difference be that 'the end' means the last event whereas 'the ending' means the events or the part of the plot that leads to the end?Read More...
I have edited your title for you, Rasha. The point also applies to your other recent "Vocab" thread, of course. Years from now people may Google the grammar of "end" and "ending." When they find this thread, they will not care one bit about the trivial, irrelevant detail of its being the second of two vocabulary questions you happened to ask around the time the thread started. This is common sense. I agree completely with Gustavo's answer. Sometimes we do say things like "I've forgotten what...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

grammar check please

, we haven't seen each other for a long time but it feels like ive seen you yesterday. -we are going to throw a reunion soon in December, want to join? - my sister is about to get on my last nerve. i dont know why she wont listen to me -- calm down. some people just won't be told. you are the one who needs to put up with her. - i wonder why he is not replying my text. he hasn't been replying any of my texts these days. -i got to go back to home. or i've got to go back to home. -i have texted...Read More...
Hi, welcome to the forum. Would you like to ask a focused question?Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

"simple past tense" vs "present perfect"

I have a question regarding the usage of "simple past tense" vs "presen perfect tense" . Sometimes I see they are both possible to talk about a finished action. I know we cannot use "present perfect tense" to talk about a finished action that have mentioned time frame. But my question is different. Suppose, something happened yesterday but I do not want to mention the time rather I want to describe what happened. In this kind of situation which tense is appropriate? Here's the context: I...Read More...
Hi, Subhajit: You can use a sentence like "I bought a new cell phone" without a time adverbial if the context in which you are using the sentence contains an implicit indication of the time frame. For example, if you are talking with a friend of yours and are asked, "What have you been up to?," you could reply, "I bought a new cell phone." It would be clear implicitly, from the surrounding social context, that you meant that you had bought a new cell phone recently. Otherwise, without an...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

the meaning of "only some students"

The following is an excerpt from a CNBC article. What does "only some students have to worry about what that means for their chances" mean? Who are "some students?" Are they legacy students or non-legacy students? Legacy students account for about 30% and non-legacy students about 70%. I'm having trouble interperting the word "some" in this context. "Top schools now have record low admission rates, but only some students have to worry about what that means for their chances. Legacy...Read More...
Hi, Fujibei, Those who have to worry in the face of low admission rates are non-legacy students. "only some" there is used as opposed to "all" ( not all students have to worry) and is anticipating information that will be provided later: legacy students are said to be at a distinct advantage, being three times more likely to be admitted than non-legacy students, and therefore have no reason to worry. For those who want to know what "legacy students" means, let's quote the definition from...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

long enough

Which are correct: 1) I'm going to make sure you'll live long enough that you may go to trial. 2) I'm going to make sure you'll live long enough so that you may go to trial. 3) I'm going to make sure you'll live long enough, so that you may go to trial. Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Hello, Navi: I strongly dislike all three of the sentences. One problem is the use of "(wi)ll live"; the present simple is the tense to use there. The other problem is the "(so) that"-clause, which wants desperately to be changed to an infinitive clause: (4) I'm going to make sure you live long enough to go to trial .Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Particularly and in particular

can anyone please tell me if the following is correct:- "I have never meant to be nasty to anyone, above all else my wife, and especially all of my family, above all else my wife, and in particular all of my wife's family."Read More...
Hi, Nick. Welcome back! No, the sentence is not correct. But it looks as if you forgot what you were typing midway through the sentence, repeating yourself and then blundering through to the end. It's always a good idea to reread what we have written. What would improve your sentence greatly is a shift from "above all else" to "least of all": I have never meant to be nasty to anyone, least of all to my wife, to my family, or to my wife's family. I have also changed "and" to "or," since "or"...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Usage of "from" and "since"

Can anyone please tell me if I should you since or from in the following sentence? Here are the example: 1- I had a chronic liver disease from/since my childhood days. Now I am fine after the operation. 2- I had a liver operation in my liver last year because I had pain in my upper abdomen. I had had a liver disease since/from my childhood.Read More...
I think you mean "use," Subhajit. Example (1) would be better with the present perfect rather than the simple past. Then you can use "since my childhood days" or "from my childhood days on" ("on" is an important addition: "from then on"): (1a) I have had a chronic liver disease since my childhood days, but now I am fine. (1b) I have had a chronic liver disease from my childhood days on , but now I am fine. Example (2) is fine with "since." If you use "from," add "on" after "childhood."Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Make inverted verbs agree

misssalinas
Hello, I'm using the Longman complete course for the TOEFL test and even though the skills are very good I hate that the instructions call for some elements to be identified and determine if the sentence is correct or incorrect, the answers only tell you the last part so I have no way of knowing if I identified all the elements correctly. I'm in skill 22, make inverted verbs agree and I can't identify the word or group of words that causes the subject and verb to invert in #6 The computer...Read More...
Thank you for the explanation, David. At first I fast read it and didn't get all the information you added but I once I read it again it all made sense and I understood what you mean when you said that there was no inversion in the sentence. The book is a preparation to take the test that will give you a score on your English knowledge. It's one of the standards that a lot of companies here requests, and you need to get a high score to be considered to be hired. This is why I would have...Read More...
Last Reply By misssalinas · First Unread Post

the ordering of noun, adjective, and enough

Hi! I'm interested in the ordering of a noun, an adjective, and the adverb enough as shown in the following pair: (1) a. "He is a soldier brave enough to attempt it." b. "He is a brave enough soldier to attempt it." I found (1a) and (1b) in a dictionary and they seem to be treated as synonymous (or at least syntactically possible options). I would like to know the difference between them if any in terms of meaning, context in which they tend to appear, etc. (2) a. I don't have a jacket big...Read More...
Thank you so much, DocV!Read More...
Last Reply By yasukotta · First Unread Post

"so far" vs "until now": present/past perfect

Hi there, I have been searching the difference between so far and until now and what tense I should use with them. I came across to a post on this site which I have mentioned below. Can anyone please tell me which tense I should use with until now? Here are the examples: 1. I had paid my bills until now. 2. I have paid my bills until now. 3. I have paid my bills so far. Here is the linkRead More...
Hi, Subhajit: The link you've posted is faulty. However, even if the link led to an actual post, the thread itself is technologically defective at the present time. A reply to the original question does exist, but it is in cyber-limbo. This is one of the threads that got broken in the change in platforms. Soon we hope to have all the broken threads put back together again. The best sentence of the three is (3), and the worst is (1). There would need to be a really good justification for...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

impossible in only one country

Which are correct: 1) The establishment of such an economic system is impossible in one country. A few countries have to participate. 2) The establishment of such an economic system in one country is impossible. A few countries have to participate. 3) The establishment of such an economic system is impossible only in one country. A few countries have to participate. 4) The establishment of such an economic system only in one country is impossible. A few countries have to participate.Read More...
And your revision is just as ambiguous as mine. "Only" is no more clear in (5a) than it is in (5). "Only" does not need to follow "in" in order to be clear. In order for there to be clarity, there needs to be something else. In this case, that something else is the second sentence. Let's look at my revision and your revision of my revision side by side: (5) It is impossible to establish such an economic system only in one country . (5a) It is impossible to establish such an economic system...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Usage of "the" before a verbal noun

Hi there, should I use the before the verbal noun in the following sentence? Here is the sentence: 1- John, you should come at 11 A.M before (the) beginning of the game. I know I can write "John, you should come at 11 am before the game begins." My question is, in this kind of context should I need to use the?Read More...
Hi, Subhajit, I'd only like to add something to David's excellent answer, and that is that, whenever you have a postmodifier like " of the game," you will need the article, whether the noun has verbal origin (i.e. is a gerund) or not: - You should come before the start of the game. - You should come before the commencement of the game. (Of course, "beginning" would be the most usual of the three, and "commencement" would be definitely formal.) The gerund has nominal value but has a strong...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Appeal/Appeal To

ahmad
Hello, everyone, 1. The mayor appealed to the people. 2. The mayor appealed the people. Which of the two means: A. The mayor made an appeal to the people. B. The people liked/admired the mayor. Thanks.Read More...
Ahmad, I completely agree with David. I'll add that (1) can also be disambiguated in favor of meaning (B) in these ways: 2c: The mayor was appealing to the people. Or, even more unambiguous: 2d: The people found the mayor appealing. DocVRead More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

but with a thick accent

1) Like you, he can speak French fluently but with a thick foreign accent. 2) Like you, he can speak French fluently, but with a thick foreign accent. 3) He can speak French fluently like you, but with a thick foreign accent. 4) He can speak French fluently, like you, but with a thick foreign accent. 5) Like you, he can speak French fluently, but has a thick foreign accent. Which are correctly punctuated? In which cases: a) you speak French with a thick foreign accent In which cases: b) you...Read More...

"In" vs "during"

Hi there, what's the difference between in and during ? Which one is correct in the following sentence? Here's the sentence : John's total business income during/in March is fifty six thousand dollars.Read More...
Subha, what is the source of this sentence? Is it your own? Is it from a workbook? There are a couple of problems with it. Both "during" and "in" are acceptable, but the verb should be "was", not "is". You could also say "John's total business income for March", in which case "is" works if March has just ended and the final numbers have just been tallied. Otherwise, the verb should still be "was". Also, there needs to be a hyphen between "fifty" and "six", but not between "six" and...Read More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

Pls check my grammar

A few surveys in universities have shown that student's parents encourage youngsters should combine study with part-time job for not only being accustomed to work environment but aslo collecting realistic experience which is useful for their research.Read More...
Hi, Poor Guy, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange! Your sentence contains a number of grammatical errors. What do you think might be wrong with it? If you had to give this thread a meaningful topic, what would it be? We're happy to help you with your English grammar, but we are not grammar-checker robots. Here at the Grammar Exchange, we aspire to have productive exchanges about grammar.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Adjective categories

misssalinas
Hi, I'm using the third edition of the Basic English Grammar book and in chart 14-2, it is mentioned that they are as many as 18 adjective categories but the book doesn't go that far as to mention all the categories. My students are very curious and want to know all the other categories; I did a bit of online research but I cannot seem to find them. Can you please help me with the rest of the categories? Thank you CeciRead More...
Thanks again and sorry for not starting another thread. I'll go ahead and start another one since I have another question.Read More...
Last Reply By misssalinas · First Unread Post

such a quantity

1) There is such an amount of chemicals in the water that no germs would survive in it. 2) There is such a quantity of chemicals in the water that no germs would survive in it. Do the sentences refer to the number of the chemicals or to their concentration in the water? Are we talking about a 'mass' or the number of the chemicals? Gratefully, NaviRead More...
(a) seems wrong to me because, unlike chemicals which can be found to be mixed in a mass of chemical substances, thus allowing for the use of "amount," books don't lose their individual appearance and separate existence. In (b) -- which is correct -- "quantity" is synonymous with "number." Of course, the more the books, the heavier they will be and the larger the space they will take up, but to me "quantity" clearly refers to their number in the case of books or similar individual items.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

When/While

ceedhanna
When/While When could we use (when & while) interchangeably? And in this example: When she was cleaning the room, she found her ring. She was cleaning the room when she found her ring. Do both sentences have the same meaning? Is it possible to use (while) instead of (when)? I would be thankful if you could give a reply.Read More...
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