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August 2020

Tense Sequence

Hi all I was walking peacefully when I realized that I ...... along the street. a) was following b) was being followed c) had been followed d) followed I think (C) is the answer here. What do you think?Read More...
Hi, Dr Ahmed—Both (b) and (c) are grammatically correct. Answer (b) ("I was walking peacefully when I realized that I was being followed along the street") would be used if the speaker was being followed at the time of his realization. Answer (c) ("I was walking peacefully when I realized that I had been followed along the street") would be used if the speaker was no longer being followed at the time of his realization. I suspect that the test-makers think the answer is (b), not (c), because...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

how much

Is this sentence correct: 1) How much time after that day did you meet her in person? 2) How much time that day did you meet her in person? Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Thank you very much, David, The sentences are so bad that you missed the meaning I thought they might have. The idea was a) How long after that day did you meet her in person. I think there's no way one could use 'much' there. One needs 'long'. In my languages one uses 'much'. I tried it in English, found the result strange and thought I might make sure it didn't work. Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Last Reply By navi · First Unread Post

Order of modifiers

1) According to his own account, Schoenberg, in his String Trio of 1946, was depicting in musical terms a severe physical debility he suffered in the summer of that year, during which his pulse temporarily stopped and he was given an injection to the heart. 2) According to his own account, in his String Trio of 1946, Schoenberg depicted in musical terms a severe physical debility he suffered in the summer of that year, when his pulse temporarily stopped and his heart was given an injection.Read More...
Hi, Nousher, There are no fixed rules when it comes to placing adverbials in different positions (notice that "Schoenberg" is not an adverbial, but the subject of the sentence). The only advice I can give you is to ensure clarity. If I had to write that sentence, I'd probably choose (2) but I'd eliminate the comma between the adverbial of place and the subject: 2') According to his own account, in his String Trio of 1946 Schoenberg depicted in musical terms a severe physical debility he...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

all of the things he liked

Are these sentences correct: 1) He stopped talking to all of the people he used to talk to. 2) He stopped talking to everyone he used to talk to. They would normally mean he didn't talk to any of them any more, right? Can they mean he stopped talking to some of them? How about these two: 3) He stopped buying all the things he liked. 4) He stopped buying everything he liked. I think they'd normally mean that he only bought some of the things he liked. Could they mean he stopped buying any of...Read More...

How would this be improved grammatically?

I am more proficient in English than my native language due to the age at which I immigrated from Romania to America, but despite a strong academic background I still struggle often with deciding the most grammatically appropriate way for writing my sentences. I often delete and rewrite sentences repeatedly, rearranging words, and finally going with something that I don't think is ideal, but that will have to suffice because I can't afford to spend any more time editing. I appreciate any...Read More...
No problem, Empathy. Our forum came into being more than 18 years ago and, as you can imagine, things have changed a lot since then, though its essence continues to be the same. Here you can find an old posting by our late moderator which contains some of the main guidelines published on the 4th anniversary of the forum. After that, in 2013 an important addition was made to clarify which topics are not welcome. In 2014 a maximum of postings per day was set. In 2018, David, our current...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

(spend - fill) up the evening

Hello. Which verb is correct to use in the following sentence? - She went to her yoga class just to (spend - fill) up the evening. Thank you.Read More...
"spend" cannot be combined with "up" there. You can spend the evening doing something, but not spend it up. "fill up," instead, is a possible phrasal verb.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

Export vs Exports

Hello !! Sorry to trouble you all but worrying about the correct use of the word export vs exports for a publication in a scientific journal about riverine nutrient export(s) !! At present, i have written sentences such as 'the export of X is affected by X', which i feel confident is grammatically correct. However, i am unsure whether to use export or exports in sentences such as the following ...'reducing export(s) of X and X'. Would love any advice about the correct form. I am English if...Read More...
I'd definitely use "exports" there. I'd use "Fe exports" if reference were being made, as I suspect, to the volume of iron exported. I'm not sure that "Si" can be used alone. How about this?: - Exports of Fe show contrasting trends to those of Si. or - Fe export trends contrast with those of Si.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

Touchy feely

I asked my assistant to help me to check this and that and make a comprehensive report, but he just rushed things up and not checking things as supposedly. I wanted to describe him in a sentence using the word a"touchy feely" Can I say, I don't like his work ethic as he always does thing touchy-feely. Many thanks!Read More...
David, thanks for that, I like the use of a half-assed jobRead More...
Last Reply By Cristi · First Unread Post

to your bank account or into your bank account

You provided the LA bank term deposit repayment advice which discloses the repayment of the term deposit to/into your bank account. Should I use to or into?Read More...
There are a number of possibilities, including the six-word sandwich you began with. Without compound nouns, perhaps " LA bank term deposit repayment advice " means " LA Bank's advice on how to repay the deposit for the term ." But feel free to use whatever business jargon your company likes to use.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

I ate food as if there would not be tomorrow

Hello, everyone! I have one question about "I ate food like there was no more tomorrow." Though I know "There is/was no more tomorrow" is the idiomatic expression for the case someone does something very fast, in large amounts and without thinking carefully, I would hope to hear from you following alternatives are also acceptable or not: 1) I ate food as if (like) there would be no (more) 'tomorrow'. 2) I ate food as if (like) there would not come 'tomorrow'. 3) I ate food as if (like) there...Read More...
David, thank you million times with note, Best RGDSRead More...
Last Reply By deepcosmos · First Unread Post

Know of someone.

Hello, I am trying to find out which nouns commonly collocate with the phrasal verb Know of (I couldn't find any references in the Oxford collocation dictionary). It seems to me that this phrasal verb seems to be used more naturally with pronouns and improper nouns compared to the name of a person. 1.e.g Yes, I know of him/her/them. = OK to me. 2 e.g Yes, I know of a good mechanic.= OK to me. However, when I say: 3. Y es, I know of Mr Jones then it somehow sounds a bit odd. Perhaps I'm...Read More...
Thanks again for such a great answer. You confirmed what my instinct was telling me.Read More...
Last Reply By Mrchuffie · First Unread Post

In the 2020 income year or in 2010 income year

Mr X advised that full amount loan was repaid in the 2010 financial year. Should I say in the 2010 financial year? just say in 2010 financial year. Any difference in meaning? Thanks so muchRead More...
Syntactic factors are questions that have to do with syntax, that is, with the position of the words or phrases, with what precedes or follows them, etc.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

Talking about Rima it reminds me...

A friend was talking about someone we both know and as soon as he mentioned her name I said: " Talking about Rima it reminds me she sent me a friends request a few months ago." I want to know if this expression is natural/correct given the context.Read More...
The version with "it" might be more usual in conversation. There is a significant grammatical difference: In: Talking about Rima, it reminds me she sent me a friend's request a few months ago "talking about Rima" is an adverbial clause of time, and "it" refers to something mentioned in the context, or to the situation (now that we are talking about Rima, what you just said/this situation reminds me ...) In: Talking about Rima reminds me she sent me a friend's request a few months ago...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post
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