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August 2021

Really confused about hyphenating words after the noun and other words

Please explain how to use a hyphen, or not, in the following sentences: "The flowers are finger-sized" / "The flowers are finger sized" "The ring is heart-shaped" / "The ring is heart shaped" "The water is ankle-deep" / "The water is ankle deep" ... I learned to hyphenate adjectives that come before the noun as in: "heart-shaped ring," and "ankle-deep water," however, what do we do after the noun? In instances where the dictionary defines the word, such as "ankle-deep," must it always be...Read More...
Hi, imaginegrammar—My recommendation is to use the hyphen in each of those examples and others of the same type(s), whether the noun + adjective/past participle adjectival compound is in attributive position or predicative position. The best guide I have on American punctuation conventions ( The Writer's Digest Grammar Desk Reference , by Gary Lutz and Diane Stevenson) says the following about such compounds: They give the following examples: The software is user-friendly . Her friends are...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Fill in the blanks/gaps

Hello friends. Is fill in the blanks and fill in the gaps the same thing, or is there a subtle difference in giving them as instructions for written language exercises? Thanks for your help.Read More...
Hi, Gustavo! Thank you so much for answering my question, and also for the added information *( that ) you have given me. It's all been very helpful. (* I just wanted to say that I have this irritating habit of using that unnecessarily in my sentences. I've been trying to kick the habit but it's really difficult! )Read More...
Last Reply By gilbert · First Unread Post

HOW

Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age Sherry Turkle · 2015 · ‎Social Science Children develop the capacity for solitude in the presence of an attentive other. Consider the silences that fall when you take a young boy on a quiet walk in nature. The child comes to feel increasingly aware of ' what it is to be alone' in nature , supported by being “with” someone who is introducing him to this experience. Gradually, the child takes walks alone. How about if I use 'how', not...Read More...
Thank you for your reply.Read More...
Last Reply By Dude · First Unread Post

Sentence structure trouble

Hello Members, I'm new to the forum and have just recently started exploring the avenue that leads to better writing. I've been having trouble with the correct way to write this sentence grammatically: Dr. Bob, who has recently acquired his practice from the antecedent doctor, Dr. Moran, is a young upstart in the dental field with only a few years practice.Read More...
That's so helpful. I'll look at it again in the morning, thank you.Read More...
Last Reply By Chop4lop · First Unread Post

guarantee something to or for

Please check the followings. #1 We guarantee all our clients complete satisfaction. #2 We guarantee complete satisfaction for all our clients. #3 We guarantee complete satisfaction to all our clients. Which is correct, #2 or #3? Or both?Read More...

a complete sentence without a verb

A complete sentence from https://www.travelawaits.com/2688996/southwest-texas-state-parks/. "The craggy mountains and enormous skies that West Texas is known for extending far beyond the boundaries of the region’s iconic national parks." I can't find a verb in this sentence; Grammerly does not find any error in the above sentence. I think "extending" should be "extend", which should be the verb in this sentence. Any comments?Read More...
Hi, JasonHouston—Grammerly is a robot. It has good programmers, but it makes a lot of mistakes. If I were you, I would never trust Grammerly to edit accurately.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Correct or not?

Is the following quote grammatically correct? Is it correct to start a sentence with an adjective + is to _ inf.? “Easy is to judge the mistakes of others. Difficult is to recognize our own mistakes.”Read More...
Hi, Omar—No, that structure does not work. You should use one of the following structures instead: It is easy to judge the mistakes of others, but difficult to recognize our own mistakes. It is easy to judge the mistakes of others. What is difficult is to recognize our own mistakes. If you really wanted to begin with the adjectives, you could say, "Easy it is to . . ." and "Difficult it is to . . .," but those sound rather old-fashioned and awkward.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Trying

Can we change the "trying" to "try"? If can't, why? Should we use "are trying"? One week after the Taliban takeover of Kabul, the situation at the capital's airport has become increasingly desperate, with more than 20,000 people in and around the facility trying to board flights and another seven Afghan civilians killed in crushes, amid one of the largest airlifts in history. https://edition.cnn.com/2021/08/22/asia/kabul-airport-chaos-evacuations-intl/index.htmlRead More...
No, Joshua, you need "trying" there. You always need a present participle (V-ing) after the noun in "with"-clauses used to describe a concomitant circumstance. Here is another example: - With so many people wanting to leave, evacuation is difficult.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

help with

Can we eliminate "with" from the sentence below? If can't, why? The Department of Defense is mobilizing commercial airline flights to help with the United States' evacuation efforts in Afghanistan, which has been chaotic as thousands are desperate to leave the country after the Taliban swiftly took control. https://edition.cnn.com/2021/08/22/politics/pentagon-us-airlines-american-delta-united-afghanistan-evacuation/index.htmlRead More...
If the sentence was constructed as the sentence that rephrased by you, then I am clear and understood the meaning. - help (the US government) with the evacuation of Americans from AfghanistanRead More...
Last Reply By joshua · First Unread Post

Found

Dear Sir Is the word "found" an Adjective apart from a Verb? And why? In the below sentence, I believe, the word "found" seems to be adjective. Am I correct? If not, why? I believe after "to be" the following words shall be either a Noun or an adjective, or an Adverb or a prepositional phrase as adverb. At the same time, "to be" follows a verb in the passive voice. Correct? "Waiting" here works as Noun. Correct me if I am wrong. 🙏 "Those who recognize the real talent of an artist and give...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

past perfect vs. past perfect continuous

Hi all - re-posting my query. Would greatly appreciate some advice. Which is the best answer for the following: I ___ for 40 minutes when the bus finally came. (a) have waited (b) had waited (c) had been waiting I first thought (c) because of the use of 'when' and to emphasise ongoing activity. Is (b) also acceptable? Thx. FayRead More...
Thanks Ahmed and David. Cheers, FayRead More...
Last Reply By Fay · First Unread Post

assist with

"Assist with" is used to indicate helping someone with something, right? Is "flying US citizens" something that to assist? The Pentagon announced Sunday that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin ordered the commander of US Transportation Command to initiate stage one of its Civil Reserve Air Fleet to assist with flying US citizens, Special Immigrant Visa applicants and other vulnerable individuals out of Afghanistan . ...Read More...
Hi, Joshua, "Assist with" can be used with two different patterns: assist somebody with something or assist with something . In the latter case, the person or people being assisted may be tacit or included within the V-ing after "with," as is the case with the text in question: In this case, the pattern used is "assist with a task." The people being assisted are mentioned within the object to the verb "flying ... out of Afghanistan": US citizens, Special Immigrant Visa applicants and other...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

had been or have been?

OverlyCurious
I am very confused as to which one I should use. Is it, My parents had been to Paris and they took the train? or My parents have been to Paris and they took the train? Which one should I use and why? Your help is greatly appreciated!Read More...
Gustavo and David, thank you very much for your different points of view. I understand how that sentence can be correct and incorrect at the same time!Read More...
Last Reply By OverlyCurious · First Unread Post

Vaccine vs Vaccinated, what are your thoughts?

OverlyCurious
These two words are both nouns and I often hear them used interchangeably. However, I am pretty sure they are used differently because vaccination is the "act of getting the vaccine" while vaccine is "the fluid they inject into you or the aerosol you inhale". For example I can say: A lot of people need to GET the VACCINE. (correct) A lot of people need to BE VACCINATED. (correct) or Today I GOT my VACCINE, I'M now VACCINATED. (correct) I hear many people say "I got my vaccination today" but...Read More...
Thank you very much for the help Gustavo and David!Read More...
Last Reply By OverlyCurious · First Unread Post

subordinating conjunctions and independent clauses

There's a subordinating conjunction at the beginning of this dependent clause which ends with "future" but the clause after the comma is not a complete sentence. Help!! Positive thinking is more than just a phrase. Because believing that things will improve in the near future, will give you the strength to follow your dreams even when you have serious doubts.Read More...
Thanks, David!!Read More...
Last Reply By clueless · First Unread Post

before

Are these sentences correct: 1) I am talking about before the war started. 2) I am talking about prior to the beginning of the war. 3) I am thinking about before the war started. 4) I am thinking about prior to the beginning of the war. Intended meaning: I am talking/thinking about the period before the war started. Gratefully, NaviRead More...

Demonstratives

Hi! I'd really appreciate it if you could help me clear this little confusion that I have with the use of demonstratives. In the sentence, " This rabbit is mine", this is a demonstrative determiner/adjective as it doesn't replace the noun (rabbit), but merely introduces it. If the sentence were " This is my rabbit", would this now function as a demonstrative pronoun (or would this still be a determiner) since this is not followed immediately by the noun rabbit? Thank you.Read More...
Hello David and thank you so much for your reply. You mentioned generative grammar and so I looked it up. I read an article--a part of it, anyway--entitled Generative Grammar: Definition and Examples by Richard Nordquist and found it very interesting. Will read up more on it soon . This is very helpful. Thank you.Read More...
Last Reply By gilbert · First Unread Post

Top down or bottom up to break down a sentence?

I'm still learning grammar. I'm trying to figure out the steps to break down a sentence. My process now is to look at the sentence as a whole first. Then work out the subject and predicate. Then I break them down into clauses by type; main, subordinate, adjectival, noun. Then I break the clauses into structures like subject+verb , subject+transverb+direct object etc etc. Now I'm trying to identify all the phrases and I'm getting stuck .. so I'm moving to a bottom up approach by looking at...Read More...
OK, Alana, now tell us how you're inclined to analyze it. Let's see how you do.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

restrictive or non-restrictive

I took a quiz online and a part of a sentence had the words "rarely, if ever." I inserted commas before and after "if ever" but I was corrected. I've seen "if ever" used in other sentences and some of them have two commas and some don't have any commas. Can "if ever, be a restrictive or non-restrictive phrase? The officials of ABC corporation gave its managers the permission to say "Tell the press about the new product line so that the public will be on our side." But they rarely if ever do...Read More...
Thank you very much, Ahmed!! Great!!Read More...
Last Reply By clueless · First Unread Post

Thriving or Striving

Hi All I am working on my resume, and I'm not sure which is the correct word to select. I want to say that I am doing great efforts in order to create a sense of engagement within my employees, so which one should I use: " I am constantly thriving to create a sense of engagement within my employees," or: " I am constantly striving to create a sense of engagement within my employees" ThanksRead More...
"Striving" is indeed the correct word within (or in) that context. We use "among" with plural nouns (as in among my employees ).Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post
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