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August 2020

got up / have gotten up

If I want to express, while late in the morning, that I got up (from bed), I would normally say: "I got up this morning." However, if I say it early in the morning, I would say " I have got up," and never say, "I have gotten up." I would have thought it correct to use the present perfect every time, as the time period "this morning" does not expire until the afternoon. Can someone please explain this piece of grammar, as it is somewhat confusing.Read More...
Thanks David. I think I understand now. Much appreciated.Read More...
Last Reply By Steven 123 · First Unread Post

correct verb

Please what's the correct verb to use with "sleepover"?: I'm going to have/ make a sleepover at my friend's house. thanks a lot in advanceRead More...
Hi, JessyA, You can say: - I'm going to sleep over at my friend's house. You can also say: - We are going to have a sleepover party at my friend's house. (This suggests that you will have fun and perhaps stay awake all night long.)Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

used to (work - working)

Hello. Please, which one is correct? Why? My brother couldn't get used to (work - working) in hot weather. Thank you.Read More...
It is possible to parse "work" as a noun. Very clever. In the context of the test question, such an interpretation makes no sense, since it's like comparing apples and oranges, "working" being a verbal form. The sentence also sounds a bit off on that interpretation. "In hot weather" reads more easily as an adverbial modifier than as a noun modifier there. For the noun interpretation, I'd rephrase the sentence like this: My brother couldn't get used to hot-weather work.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Thesis heading

Hello, Could you please help me with the right wording for my thesis heading. I'm hesitating between "Cash culture implementation in a company"/ "Implementing cash culture in a company". Also, should it be A/THE/no article before 'company' word? TksRead More...
Hello, Allo, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange. Both titles are correct and similar. The gerund carries a stronger process connotation (the process of implementing cash culture), while the noun can point more clearly to the process and result of having implemented cash culture.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

that I know of

a. Tom didn't talk to Jane that I know of. b. Tom didn't talk to Jane that I know. c. Tom didn't talk to Jane that I saw. d. Tom didn't talk to Jane that I heard. e. Tom didn't talk to Jane that I heard of. Are the above sentences grammatically correct? Are they natural? Many thanks.Read More...
Hello, Navi—Sentence (a) would be correct and natural if there were a comma before "that I know of." Sentences (b) and (d) are ungrammatical and unnatural. Sentences (c) and (e) I find marginally grammatical and marginally natural. The "not that I know of" construction is a construction that is commonly used and one which interests me. However, I won't attempt to explain its syntax or the possible other verbs it can work with. HERE is a 30-page article on the topic.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

He saved a labour party..

Is there any difference in meaning between these following sentences? 1) He saved a labour party which, lest we forget, came close to extinction. 2) He saved a labour party, lest we forget, which came close to extinction.Read More...
Hi, Toaha—In (1), the understood complement of "forget" is "that the labor party he saved came close to extinction"; in (2), the understood complement of "forget" is "that he saved a labor party."Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

infinitives again

Are these sentences correct: 1) You have to be the man to get this job done. 2) You have to be the one to get this job done. Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Hello, Navi—Both sentences strike me as very awkward if you mean for "the man/one to get this job done" to be interpreted as one noun phrase, as opposed to viewing "to get this job done" as an adverbial of purpose: "You have to be the man/one (in order) to get this job done." Contexts could be imagined in which the sentences would be natural and correct on the latter ("in order to") interpretation. However, if you want the single-noun-phrase interpretation, related to, e.g., "We're looking...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Past Simple & Past continuous

Could you help me with the following sentence ? From 2000 to 2003 I ( was doing - did ) sports I think BOTH Past simple and Past continuous can work here. What do you think ?Read More...
Hi, Dr. Ahmed—Yes, both the past simple and the past continuous work there. Normally, for your information, we speak of playing sports rather than of "doing them," but contexts can be imagined in which "doing sports" works.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

As are we vs As we are

What's the difference between "as are we" and "as we are"? ▪Does this dialogue sound natural to you? A: OMG! You also like Messi. B: Like-minded as we are/as are we.Read More...
Hi, Toaha—"As are we" will relate to a preceding clause. E.g., in "They are vegetarians, as are we," "as are we" means "we are vegetarians, too," except that "as are we" is a dependent clause, incapable of standing alone. "As we are" is not complete, even as a dependent clause. It could begin an "as"- clause of reason: "As we are vegetarians, we don't eat meat." Or it could begin a fancy clause like this: "Cold as I am, I don't feel the need for a jacket." No, it doesn't sound natural at...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

then and now

Which are correct: 1) The technology then and now are quite different. 2) The technology of then and now are quite different. 3) The technology then and the technology now are quite different. 4) The technology of then and the technology of now are quite different. Gratefully, NaviRead More...

Someone/Someone else.

A conversation between two married men: A: You have a crush on your sister in law. Don't you? B: Yeah I kind of do. But I'm pretty sure you have a crush on someone else/someone too. I think it should be 'someone else' here. I feels like if I say 'crush on someone' it can be his wife as well and when I say 'crush on someone else' it implies 'crush on someon else other than your wife.' Please let me know if I'm mistaken.Read More...
I think I get it. I don't think this sentence would be right wihtout 'else?' "Oh my god you don't like Lisa any more. You like someone else. "Read More...
Last Reply By Ashraful Haque · First Unread Post

Feel + adj or noun

Sometimes, we find the verb feel followed by adj or noun ( for example : feel happy \ feel happiness) Is there a rule for it? Is there a difference when using the noun or the adj from the noun?Does this rule apply to any noun that has an adj, namely, can we say I feel concern about or I feel conerned about...... Thanks for your help.Read More...
Hi, Ahmed, I don't think there is a grammatical rule, but rather a semantic difference. As it works as a subject complement, the adjective will sound more personal, more attached to the subject. Instead, the noun will function as a direct object and thus sound somewhat more detached: - feel happy / feel happiness - feel sorry / feel sorrow - feel desperate / feel despair - feel lonely / feel lonelinessRead More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

loan or loan funds

Should I say "loan only" or "loan funds"? The $100K represented part proceeds of loan funds/loans advanced by coy ABC to the XYZ company.Read More...
Hi, Cristi, It would be more correct to say "loan funds" there (meaning "funds obtained through loans"). "part proceeds" is not correct. Perhaps you wanted to say "part of the proceeds," but we use the term "proceeds" to refer to the funds obtained as a result of an operation intended to make a profit, such as a sale ( the proceeds of/from a sale ).Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

Use or non-use of the definite article "the'

Hello, I listed more than five institutions in my sentence. Each would come with “the” when used independently, I believe. Is it possible to omit them in a formal sentence? Or, is it more correct to keep all of them? Here is my sentence. ”The issuing bodies of the reports included the Research and Training Institute of the Ministry of Justice, (the) Legal Training and Research Institute, (the) National Personnel Authority, (the) National Tax Administration, … and (the) Lawyers Association."...Read More...
Hi Professor Gustavo, I am so glad to finally learn the logic behind it. I wondered this question so many times before. Thank you so much! Kina On Sun, Aug 23, 2020 at 9:35 AM The Grammar Exchange < alerts@crowdstack.com > wrote:Read More...
Last Reply By Kina · First Unread Post

Why is there no subject in the following phrases?

Hi all GE moderators and members I wonder why there are no subjects in the following cases with AS As can be seen from the chart , ... As is the case with many men , he seemed to be having a midlife crisis. As was only to be expected , the election was very close. He is a foreigner, as is evident from his accent . It rained that day, as often happens. The car is being sold as is . If possible , will you please give me more similar patterns with "as" as above? Many thanks.Read More...
Thank you so much for your enlightenment, David. I had been confused about this use of "as". Now it's really a relief thanks to your detailed and easy to understand explanation. Once again thank you.Read More...
Last Reply By tonyck 2 · First Unread Post

Although or But?

Today I did not get much done although tomorrow is another opportunity. Today I did not get much done but tomorrow is another opportunity.Read More...
Hi, Lyrical_Art, and welcome to the G.E, I see (2) is the correct one. You didn't get much done today, but you are hopeful that everything will be better in the future. In fact, I prefer to use "...., but tomorrow is another day" instead of '......, but tomorrow is another opportunity'.Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

Nouns as adjectives

What is the difference between: Educational center Education CentreRead More...
Wafiq asks this question because some think that we can say : Student educational centres. Or Student education centres But as we have already discussed this structure before, the second structure is the right one as the two compound nouns here work as adjectives. Am I right?Read More...
Last Reply By Ahmed towab · First Unread Post

Long worn Irish Heritage on sleeve

May I know what does it mean? "Biden, who has long worn his Irish heritage on his sleeve....." https://edition.cnn.com/2020/08/21/politics/joe-biden-democratic-presidential-nomination-speech/index.htmlRead More...
Hello, Joshua—"Wearing something on one's sleeve" is an idiom (see here ).Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Pass Participle Expresses Conditions

Hi, Thanks for reading my post. I don't understand how " stored at home " works in this sentence. - She is concerned that her savings are not secure stored at home, I think of two interpretations: 1. " Stored at home" talks about conditions. She thinks that if her savings are stored at home, they are not safe, but we don't know whether the savings are at home for the time being 2. She thinks her savings are not safe now, and "stored at home" just gives the reader supplementive Information:...Read More...
Hello, Robby Zhu—Yes, both interpretations work. The sentence could mean either that that she is concerned that her savings, which are at her home, are not secure, or that her savings are not secure when they are stored at home.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Tag Questions

I've searched everywhere for an answer to this but cannot find one. If it is cold outside and I say "It's cold outside, isn't it?" the correct answer is "Yes". I keep reading that if the statement is positive ("It's cold outside") then the tag question must be negative ("isn't it?"). What I cannot understand is the function of the word "not" in the tag question. Consider this: If I say "It's cold outside, isn't it?" the tag portion of my sentence can be expanded to "Is not it". Doesn't this...Read More...
That's a neat way of trying to account for the "not," Gustavo. After reading your explanation, it occurred to me that something very interesting happens when we use the formal, contraction-less tag and compare the use of it at the end of the assertion with its use in a sentence separate from the first (where the label "tag" might be inappropriate). Context : Both speakers know that John stole the cookies. A: John stole the cookies , did he not? B: Yes , he did. A: John stole the cookies .Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

I had to wait for my..

I had to wait for my child to go through the 5 stages of grief putting on a pair of pants. ▪ Can I write that sentence above like this? "I had to wait for my child to go through the 5 stages of grief while putting on a pair of pants."Read More...
Hi, Toaha—Where have you taken the sentence from? From the sentence alone, it cannot be determined whether it was the parent or the child who was putting on a pair of pants. Both interpretations are grammatically possible.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

used to live

Hello. Could you please help me? Is the following sentence correct? - I used to live in France five years ago. Thank you.Read More...
Hello, Ahmed_btm—I think you might have mistaken the phrase "five years ago ," in Ahmed Imam Attia's sentence, for the phrase " for five years." Interestingly, Swan's restriction on "used to" with "for"-phrases does not apply to sentences like " He used to run for an hour a day ," where there is recurrence. Hello, Ahmed Imam Attia—The sentence is mildly incorrect. At the very least, there should be a comma before "five years ago": I used to live in France, five years ago. In that sentence...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

as big as

-Give me a box. -How big do you want the box to be? 1) Give me the biggest box you have. 2) As big as you have. 3) Give me a box as big as you have. 4) Give me as big a box as you have. Are 2-4 grammatical in this context? Are they idiomatic? Do they mean the same as '1'? I am not really used to the structure in 2-4, but I think there is a difference between what they mean and what '1' means. '1' assumes that there is a biggest box. The other three allow for the possibility that there are a...Read More...
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