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August 2020

When+v. ing

I do know that"when" can work as a preposition. Yet, is it correct to say"When meeting Tom,I was walking home". Can "When" work as a prepostion or be part of an abridged adverbial phrase with all tenses?Read More...
I edited your question above because it was a mess. As I said, "when" is a conjunction in the sentence above.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

The amount of....or an amount of....

The amount of $5000 was paid by the LA bank. or an amount of $5000 was paid by the LA Bank. Should I use the amount of.... or an amount of.... what's the difference?Read More...
When used as a subject, "the amount of" implies that you have already mentioned it before, while "an amount of" is used to introduce new information. When used as an object, "the amount of" can be used to refer to known or new information (although the indefinite article may sound better to refer to new information): - LA Bank paid the/an amount of $5,000.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

While with past simple

In "Practical English Usage , the author points out that we can use the past simple with while or as in sentences like: Jack cooked supper while I watched TV. As I sat reading the paper, the door burst open. Would you please give more explanation about the use of past simple after while or as in spite of the duration of the action. Thanks in advance.Read More...
Hello again, Ahmed—Cooking supper and watching TV are both activities that are engaged in for a period of time. When the duration of the supper-cooking time period is compared with the duration of the TV-watching time period, there are three possibilities: no overlap, partial overlap, or complete overlap. Since "while" (or "as") is being used as the coordinating conjunction, we can rule out there being no overlap; it is a question of whether the TV-watching period overlaps partially or...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

rapidly again

1) Do it rapidly again. 2) Do it rapidly, again. 3) Do it again rapidly. 4) Do it again, rapidly. Which of the above correspond to which of the below: a) You have done it rapidly. Do it again. b) You have done it. At times you did it rapidly and at times you did it, but not rapidly. Do it rapidly again. c) You have done it, but not rapidly. Do it again and do it rapidly this time. Gratefully, NaviRead More...

everything or anything

a. I stopped eating anything. b. I stopped eating everything. c. I stopped eating anything he gave me. d. I stopped eating everything he gave me. Are all of the above sentences grammatically correct? Do (a) and (b) mean the same? Do (c) and (d) mean the same? Are (a) and (c) ambiguous? Maybe I stopped eating some things/some of the things he gave me.. Many thanks.Read More...
I think they can both mean the speaker started to eat nothing (with this meaning, "anything" seems more usual to me), or started to be selective: the speaker started to eat only certain things, not just anything or everything. I think the same ambiguity stated above applies here.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

because

a. He refused to close his bar because of the pandemic. b. He refused to close his bar because there was a pandemic. Are the above sentences grammatically correct, and do they make sense? The intended meaning is: He had to close his bar because of the pandemic and he refused to do it. AND NOT Because of the pandemic, he refused to close his bar. Many thanksRead More...
I agree with Gustavo that the intended meaning, represented by the first (1), is possible. Of course, the other meaning, represented by the second (1), is also possible. To disambiguate in favor of the intended meaning, you could say: c. He refused to let the pandemic, or the government's response to it, prevent him from keeping his bar open.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

improve the sentences

"The first part of my job is to handle building services repair work inside the housing estate." " These experiences facilitate me to carry out the job duties of assistant engineer" How to improve the above 2 sentences in job application. Thank you.Read More...
Hi, Mooninsky—You're using "facilitate" incorrectly. Use "help" instead.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Punctuation

Which is correct ? 1 (a) John: Look at my knee, it's bleeding. (b) John: Look at my knee. It's bleeding. 2 (a) John: Mark, let's go with them too. (b) John: Mark. Let's go with them too. 3 (a) John: Help! I'm bleeding. Call 999 ! (b) John: Help, I'm bleeding! Call 999 ! (c) John: Help, I'm bleeding! Call 999. 4 (a) John: Thanks. Sue but I'd rather go home. (b) John: Thanks, Sue but I'd rather go home. (c) John: Thanks, Sue, but I'd rather go home. (d) John: Thanks. Sue. But I'd rather go...Read More...
Hi, bear_bear, The correct options are: 1(b), because independent sentences are separated by periods, not commas. 2(a), because after vocatives we use commas. 3(a), for the same reason stated for 1(b). Help! is, in fact, an independent sentence. (You don't need to leave a space before exclamation marks: Call 999! ) 4(c), because vocatives are set off by commas, and "but" also needs to be preceded by a comma.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

In trust distribution or as trust distribution

Dear Sirs, In the tax return, people need to disclose a separate type of income. I wanted to say Donald T has declared an amount of $10K in trust distribution from the Trump family trust in his tax return. Should I say in trust distribution or as trust distribution ?Read More...
I think you meant to say: In their tax return(s), people need/are required to disclose their types/sources of income separately. " as distribution" sounds better (you don't need to repeat "trust"). Both "as" and "in" work when what follows is a more concrete item: compare as/in assets/liabilities/earnings/expenses with as compensation/distribution . - In his tax return, Donald T has declared an amount of $10K as distribution from the Trump family trust.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

No computer or no computers

I have no computer for you to operate and I have no computers for you to operation. What is the difference in meaning?Thank youRead More...
Hello, Cristi, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange. Where you wrote "operation" above, I guess it was a typo — it should be "operate." Both sentences are correct, but while the first one presupposes that "you" only needs one computer to operate, the second one may imply that "you" needs more than one computer, or that there are no computers out of which one could be assigned to the operator.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

have graduated/am graduated/was graduated

"I have graduated from the ABC University with a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering. " I write this sentence in job application. Is there any mistakes? My main concern is "have graduated/am graduated/was graduated". Thank you.Read More...
Hello, Mooninsky, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange. I agree with Ahmed that you should NOT say "was graduated" or "am graduated." It doesn't matter whether it's American or British English; the sentence is quite bad nowadays with "was graduated" or "am graduated." Although you can say, "I have graduated from XYZ with a B.A.," such a sentence would normally be used to announce a recent graduation. On a job application, it would be more normal to use the simple past: I graduated from ABC...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Improve the sentence

"I apply assistant engineer as I can utilize my knowledge learned from work in this job. " Is there any recommendation to improve the above sentence? I want to say that I learned knowledge from my present work can be utilized in the job that I apply for. Thank you.Read More...
Dear 'Gustavo', I completely agree with you. 'An' seems unnecessary here. Also, 'based' is the correct word to use in such a context.Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

It's a great initiative..

Is this sentence grammatical and natural? ▪ It's a great initiative, purposive though it may be. Context: I meant with all great initiatives there is a personal, national etc gain or motive behind it.Read More...
Hi, Toaha, The sentence is grammatical, but the adjective "purposive" is, to the best of my knowledge, rather unusual. I think this could be more usual: - It's a great initiative, no matter what its (real) purposes are / may be.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

Have or has

Could you please answer this question? The vast majority of students ........ arrived. has / haveRead More...
My native ears only accept plural agreement there: "The vast majority of them have arrived." The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) confirms that "majority" is usually found with plural agreement when it functions as a quantifier, as here.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Don't or doesn't

Could anyone answer this question, please? Why ........…...... her? don't / doesn'tRead More...
Hello, Abo—Whether you choose "don't" or "doesn't," the sentence will be ungrammatical. "Her" is the pronominal subject of the question. As subject, that pronoun must be in subjective (nominative) case: "she." The correct question is " Why doesn't she? " You can say, " She doesn't because . . . ,"not " She don't because . . . ," " Her doesn't because . . . ," " Her don't because . . . "Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

How again was it.....

Could anyone please explain the part in bold to me. I didn't get it. ▪ " How again was it that you convinced me to do this?" the boy said to his friend before they jumped out of the plane on their first sky dive.Read More...
Hi, Toaha—If it is "again" that doesn't make sense to you, it signals that the speaker is asking the interlocutor to tell him something that he had told him before. If it is the construction "How was it that you convinced me to . . . ?" that doesn't make sense to you, that is a (clefted) rearrangement of "How did you convince me to . . . ?" Similarly, instead of saying, "You convinced me to jump out of this plane by giving me a hundred dollars ," we can say, " It was by giving me a hundred...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

unlike

Which are correct: 1) In our restaurant, unlike in theirs, guests are treated with respect. 2) In our restaurant, unlike theirs, guests are treated with respect. 3) In your case, unlike in your cousin's, there are no mitigating circumstances. 4) In your case, unlike your cousin's, there are no mitigating circumstances. Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Hi, Navi, With so many postings on GE lately, this one remained forgotten on a previous page but I thought it was worth rescuing. All of these sound fine to me, but according to Fowler both like and unlike are prepositions and can only be followed by nouns (as in 2 and 4). However, in these cases there arises a lack of parallelism ( in our restaurant / their restaurant // in your case / your cousin's case ). According to prescriptivist grammar rules, your sentences could read as follows: 5)...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

the same as

1. This is the same car that you bought me . (Does it mean only one car exists?) 2. This is the same car as the one you bought me . (Does it indicate to two cars? One is the current one we are looking at, and the other is one you bought me?) 3. This car is the same as mine . (Is it correct? Does it indicate to two cars?) 4. This is the same car as you bought me . (Is it correct? Does it indicate to only one car?) All the followings options confused me. All they mean same to me. I cannot...Read More...
I had to wait for some days to get response for the above topic. But the explanation I have seen now is really helpful for me. Probably Azar Grammar Exchange is the only site where we can see this sort of detail explanation. It is the best site I have ever seen.Read More...
Last Reply By Nousher Ahmed · First Unread Post

to infinitive as a subject

Hello I know all the three sentences below are grammatically correct, but sentence 3 sounds a bit awkward to me. Is it only me that feels this way? Speaking English is not difficult. It’s not difficult to speak English. To speak English is not difficult. When an infinitive is used as a subject of a sentence, it almost always sounds a bit unnatural to me. To watch baseball games is fun.(unnatural) Watching baseball games is fun. It's fun to watch baseball games.(better) The only example that...Read More...
Ah.... I see. Thank you. AppleRead More...
Last Reply By apple · First Unread Post

Necessarily

Hello, Can the adverb necessarily be considered to be an intensifier? For example in the sentence below, does it provide some emphasis to the word mean? If you yawn, it doesn't necessarily mean that you are tired. Thank youRead More...
You're right. As you can see, leaving out "necessarily" results in a sentence that does not reflect the truth: when we yawn, it usually means we are tired.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post
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