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July 2021

to be

"Some believed I looked too old to be 90." In the above sentence why did use "to be" and what is the meaning "to be" here? Can you write couple of examples like this?Read More...
I will just say that these constructions can all take infinitives of other verbs: "She was revealed to have had a sex change operation." "A prime number is defined to have no divisors other than 1 and itself." "You are too young to get plastic surgery." Nothing special about be here. Beyond that, I don't know.Read More...
Last Reply By lagrange · First Unread Post
Page

commas

This is a variation that I tried not to muddle but I'm sure that I have the last part right. I thought only semi-colons (is, however) come before a conjunctive adverb. Experts agree that the South American apple, a red fruit grown in the summertime, inspired the North American apple; exactly how the South American apple came to North America is, however, unknown.Read More...
By the way, I'm thinking about 100 questions per topic. Thanks.Read More...
Last Reply By clueless · First Unread Post

"while"

"Kullar says that while masking is mandate and typically enforced by flight attendants while aboard the plane, you should also be careful while at the airport, where it’s more crowded and mask-wearing may not be closely monitored by staff. " [from CNBC ] “while” is a conjunction that connect two sentences. The first "while" acting as a conjunction means "although" and it is followed by a complete sentence, right? I think that the second and third "while" also acts as a conjuntion and means...Read More...
Hi, Sarah—You are right that the first "while" is acting as what is traditionally called a subordinating conjunction and could be replaced by "although." The phrase "masking is mandat ed and typically enforced by flight attendants while aboard the plane" would—if it stood alone—be a complete sentence. You are also right about the second and third "while"s. Both "when" and "while" can introduce reduced clauses (e.g., "Be careful while [you are] at the airport").Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Independent clauses

Hello there everyone, I'm having some trouble recognising independent and dependent clauses. 1 I've got a sandwich and an apple. 2 They were poor but hardworking. With reference to the sentences above, I believe that " I've got a sandwich " and " They were poor " are independent clauses that are complete thoughts and can stand alone. I'm just not sure about the second half of my two sentences above. I know that if I include what has been elided/omitted from the first sentence i.e. " I've got...Read More...
David, thanks for the reference. I shall check out the two Andrews to know what tree diagrams are all about! Thanks again.Read More...
Last Reply By gilbert · First Unread Post

Which one is the same as <those>? <ones> or < the ones>?

Hi, I am still having trouble understanding the usages of <ones>, <the ones>, and <those> respectively. I understand that <those> and <the ones> are often interchangeable. What makes me understand this is the use of <the> . But I don't know what is the important difference between <ones> with no article and < the ones>, especially followed by the relative pronoun such as <which>. As far as I know, both can be followed by the relative...Read More...
Super clear! Thank you for the additional explanation. I do really appreciate your time and consideration.Read More...
Last Reply By GBLSU · First Unread Post

where

Are these sentences correct: 1) You want to give her enough instruction where she can't beat you. 2) You want to give her enough instruction so that she can't beat you. '1' is from here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uspaYHV5Xt8 Go to 4:20 He's saying that if you take a woman to a bowling alley on a date, you want to give her some instruction, but not enough for her to beat you. He's a native speaker and is speaking naturally. Obviously he can make mistakes, like everybody. But I see this...Read More...
Hello, Navi—I wonder what the speaker was smoking. He should have said: You don't want to teach her so much that she can beat you.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Is ’wait for’ a phrasal verb?

Hello, everyone, “He got up and stood patiently in front of the door, waiting for the door to open in the subway train.” I understand " he waited for the door to open " means "he waited for the opening of the door“ When I parse the underlined part of the sentence, which one is natural to you between following two?; 1) he [waited for] (the door) the door to open; - waited for; a transitive phrasal verb (but I’m not sure if this is a phrasal verb, based on the separability of the two words) -...Read More...
Hi, David, thank you so much. I've learnt many things!Read More...
Last Reply By deepcosmos · First Unread Post

“as may”

“And Britain is not the only country beset by labour shortages. In America job vacancies are at their highest level for almost two decades. Manufacturers in eastern Europe are struggling to attract workers, with Hungarian wages up by 9.2% in March, year on year. Australian miners, Tasmanian fruit farmers and Canadian restaurateurs all report trouble with hiring. This has left workers with something they have long lacked: bargaining power. It may all turn out to be transitory, as may the...Read More...
Yes, Sarah. You have understood it perfectly well.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

an adverbial clause

I have an adverbial clause that begins a sentence and the independent part of the sentence is a list (with commas) of more than three items. I think that I should use a semi-colon to separate the dependent and independent clauses but I'm not sure. helpRead More...
Hello again, Clueless —The semicolon after "swim" is incorrect. You need a comma there instead. You also need a comma after "swimmers," for a grand total of 5 commas. There is no limit to the number of commas a sentence may have, provided the sentence calls structurally for the insertion of each comma. Although only ten percent of the population of this country knows how to swim, many of its citizens are world-class swimmers, including entrepreneur James Levitt, President Dwight Eisenhower,...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

thanks

What is the meaning of "thanks" in the sentence below? It is a verb or noun? The train appears to be "floating" thanks to an electromagnetic force that sends it gliding above the tracks. https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.cnn.com/travel/amp/china-fastest-maglev-train-intl-hnk/index.htmlRead More...
Last Reply By joshua · First Unread Post

I Bought A Knife To Cut Bread With.

(1) I bought a knife to cut bread with . I think possible interpretations of (1) would be: a) I bought a knife with which I/you/one can cut bread. (This implies that not all knives are appropriate for cutting bread; I bought one with which it's possible to cut bread) b) I bought a knife with which I intend to cut bread. (This is talking more about my intentions than the type of knife) (2) I bought a knife to cut bread . (This means I bought the knife in order to cut bread; purpose,...Read More...
Hi, Language Learner, My interpretation is that "to cut bread with" is an infinitival relative clause, and can only be used to define the type of knife (meaning (a): with which to cut bread ). The infinitival "to cut bread" expresses the purpose of, or the reason for buying a knife. I think it can also be used to describe the type of knife, but I find it to be less idiomatic than (1). To express purpose, you can also say: (3) I bought a knife to cut bread with it .Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

The use of "AWARD" as a verb

Greetings to you all, We have had the following sentence in our GSCE exam: "He was awarded because of his scientific research." Is this use of "award" with the indirect object (He) correct? Or should the sentence be reworded to have a direct object, like this: "He was awarded the Nobel Prize for his scientific research"? Thank you very muchRead More...
Thank you very muchRead More...
Last Reply By Abdullah Mahrouse · First Unread Post

to be considered something

Hello, The eastern bluebird is considered an attractive bird native to this continent by many bird-watchers. (Source: Iran's university entrance exams) 1. Is "attractive bird" a subject complement? 2. Can we say "consider" is functioning as a linking verb here? 3. To me, It is not clear whether many birdwatchers consider it to be ‘attractive’ or ‘native to this continent’ or both. Isn't it an awkward sentence?Read More...
Because he is busy, I did not expect him to answer me, And when I asked my questions here, I hadn't received any response from the professor. Also you always provide us with good explanations.Read More...
Last Reply By Freeguy · First Unread Post

those of you who

a. You who stayed up last night should go to bed early tonight. Does that mean a1. You, who stayed up last night, should go to bed early tonight. or a2. Those of you who stayed up last night should go to bed early tonight. ? ---------------------------------------- b. They who came here yesterday will come here tomorrow, Does that mean b1. They, who came here yesterday, will come here tomorrow. or b2. Those who came here yesterday will come here tomorrow. ? Many thanksRead More...

which we don't want

a. He will start drinking, which we don't want. b. He will start drinking, which is something we don't want. c. He will start drinking, which we don't want him to do. d. He will drink, which we don't want him to do. Are any of the above sentences grammatically correct? Are any natural? If '3' is correct, what does 'which we don't want him to do' modify? Many thanks.Read More...

Past perfect

Hi, "After I ..........my lessons yesterday, I went for a walk." a-had studied b- studied I think (b) is the correct answer because (yesterday) refers the to past simple.Read More...
Hi, Ahmed.A.A.—You can use either the past simple or the past perfect in the "after"-clause. I personally find it more natural to use the past simple there.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Is I will cure the world of cancer grammatically correct

Is using of alright here or is from a better choice.Read More...
Hello, djSham, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange. The sentence "I will cure the world of cancer" is grammatically correct. Please read our guidelines to learn how to ask a question properly at this site.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

To China now, which less then a decade ago ~

Hello, Grammar Exchange members! I ran across the following sentence while listening to a short NPR News clip. 1. To China now, which less than a decade ago was still forcing women to get abortions if they had more than one child. What bothers me is the part in bold print. First of all, is #1 a sentence? I'm not sure whether it's a sentence or not because of "To China." What do you think? Thanks in advance -KDogRead More...
Hi, Gustavo! I've never thought about that. Thank you for your insight!Read More...
Last Reply By KDog · First Unread Post

What does the reflexive/personnel pronoun refer to?

“There is an irony in all this. Xenophobia has probably existed for as long as people have. But racist attitudes were reinforced in the 19th century by an enthusiasm for physical anthropology and eugenics. The former attempted to classify human beings on the basis of visible characteristics, such as skin colour, head shape and facial features, that are genetically inherited. If this had been a neutral analysis, it would have been unexceptional. But often it was not neutral. It not only...Read More...
Hi, Sarah, In your parsing identified as (1) above, "in minds" is not an object, but an adverbial of place. "The thinking" does not refer to anything mentioned before in the text. It refers to the philosophy or ideology underlying racism. "Them" refers to the prejudices. "It" and "itself" refer to the 3MAG project. "That" refers to eliminating the prejudices. The general idea is that, deep-rooted as racism is, a mere project is not enough to do away with it.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

opposed vs opposing

Can I ask whether I can change < opposing> and <opposed> each to <opposed and opposing> ? The opposing team may be stronger than you thought. We need to discuss the two diametrically opposed viewpoints. The opposed team may be stronger than you thought. (?) We need to discuss the two diametrically opposing viewpoints. (?)Read More...
Thank you for the clear explanation, Gustavo.Read More...
Last Reply By GBLSU · First Unread Post

"...bring with it"

"Genetic diversity brings with it diversity of genetic disease. Cystic fibrosis—in any case rarer in Africa than in Europe—is often caused there by a different mutation from the one involved in the European version, and is thus missed by tests developed in the West." [from The Economist ] The first sentence structure looks wired for me. From my understanding, it means “Genetic diversity brings a variety of genetic disease.” Can anyone help explain it?Read More...
I just made that phrase up to further increase the length of the object and to show you that, the longer the object, the more likely "with it" will appear before it.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

was/is when talking about former positions

Dear GE, May I know how to use was/is when talking about past CEOs pupils etc. For example, when we talk about someone who is longer e.g. Reagan is it 1) Reagan is a past president ofthe U.S.A. or Regan was... 2) Regan is a past pupil of Eureka Colleage or Regan was.. The words past/alumnus/former etc already mention they are not currently in those positions. So, is it necessary to put was instead of is ? Also I want to know does this rule change based on the fact are they still living or...Read More...
The present simple is used when you provide someone with facts. You just use statements of fact. - Reagan is a past president of the U.S.A. and is considered the the GOP political Saint. His era is one of the …... If you want to stick to the past and just give an account of what happened, you should use the past simple. - Reagan was a past president of the U.S.A. and was considered the GOP political Saint. His era was one of the …..Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

“what-clause‘’

“The Three Million African Genomes (3MAG) project, a continent-wide endeavour, proposes to do for the place what has already been done for Europe, North America and parts of Asia —namely to catalogue and analyse the genetic diversity of those who live there.”[from The Economist ] The main sentence is “The Three Million African Genomes (3MAG) project proposes to catalogue and analyse the genetic diversity of those who live there.” I think “what-clause” below is modifying “TheThree Million...Read More...
Hi, Sarah—No, the "what"-clause does not modify that phrase. It does not modify anything. The "what"-clause is a noun phrase that functions as the direct object of "do": The project proposes to do something for the place "something" = "what has already been done for Europe, North America . . .").Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

"yet"

“Most non-Africans alive today trace the bulk of their ancestry to Africans who burst forth on an unprepared world about 60,000 years ago. Indeed, the oldest representative of the species yet found in Britain retained the dark skin of his African forebears.”[from The Economist ] What does “yet” mean in this sentence? Does it mean “but”? Most non-Africans alive today trace the bulk of their ancestry to Africans who burst forth on an unprepared world about 60,000 years ago. But the oldest...Read More...
Hi, Sarah—In the first example, "yet" means "to date"/"up to now"; in the second example, it means "still." You can find both definitions in dictionaries.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post
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