September 2018

can't often

1) I can't often breathe normally. 2) I often can't breathe normally. 3) I am unable to breathe normally often. 4) Often, I am unable to breathe normally. Is there a difference between '1' and '2'? How about between '3' and '4'? Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Thank you very much, DocV, I think this is just idiom. It seems to me that logically the same difference should exist between '8' and '9', but as you say, it doesn't. I never really got into Crosby, Stills, Nash (and Young). It's just a matter of taste, I guess. I do appreciate their craftsmanship, but do not like the way they sound that much. I listened to 'Helplessly Hoping' just now. I sort of like that one. It is good that you make these references. I discover stuff! I like it.Read More...
Last Reply By navi · First Unread Post

Question Tag with (seem)

Hi I know introductory verbs like seem, appear, ...etc don't affect the question tag. But what if there wasn't there a finite verb ? - He doesn't seem to be enjoying himself, (is he?/doesn't he) ThanksRead More...
I am in complete agreement with David. I'll also add one more thing: If the initial statement is positive: 3'a: He seems to be enjoying himself ... the tag still needs to be a negation of the verb "to do": 3'b: ... doesn't he? unless the initial statement contains an auxiliary: 3''a: He isn't enjoying himself, is he? 3''b: He is enjoying himself, isn't he? 3'''a: He hasn't been enjoying himself, has he? 3'''b: He has been enjoying himself, hasn't he? In these examples, the main verb is "is"...Read More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

"To be" in past and present.

1. When I point to something or someone, I can say "Who is this/that? - What is this/that? - What are these/those?", so when I can use "Who was this/that? - What was this/that? - What were these/those? or what do they mean?" 2. I saw a video on youtube, its name is "What was this?", what does it mean? Link : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q289WrcIA00 3. I saw a video on youtube, its name is "What was that?", what does it mean? Link : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QTfcEo0S3vM Thank you!Read More...
Yes, of course. Please note that, except in the example of the person being shown a picture, in all the other cases "that" may be more suitable to refer to somebody or something that is distant (in terms of place or time). In sentence number (2), where the speaker has not seen who left the milk outside, it might be more appropriate to ask: Who was it ? The same question could be used in other situations where there is no pointing or any visual or audio -- but only conceptual -- reference, as...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

tear off / out

1 Which phrasal verb is correct? He tore off / out / tore the page and stuffed it into his pocket. 2 How do we know the actual position of phrasal verb? (a) He tore out the page .... (b) He tore the page out ... (c) Both answers are correct. Btw, somehow it might be incorrect.Read More...
Bear_bear, I agree with everything David says here. In your original post, the options that you present are confusing. By the way the words are positioned among the slashes, we must understand the choices to be: 1a: He tore off the page and stuffed it into his pocket. 1b: He tore out the page and stuffed it into his pocket. 1c: He tore tore the page and stuffed it into his pocket. Again, David's answers are excellent. It's only the question that is confusing. I hope you understand this in...Read More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

Can I say?

1 I can say "This is John, Mike and Mary.", so can I say "That is John, Mike and Mary."? 2 Can I say? Who are these people? - These people are John, Mike and Mary. / This is John, Mike and Mary. / They are John, Mike and Mary. 3 Can I say? Who are those people? - Those people are John, Mike and Mary. / That is John, Mike and Mary. / They are John, Mike and Mary. Thank you for your help!Read More...
Thank you!Read More...
Last Reply By Kimconu · First Unread Post

When talking about the people on the team (plural) we would say "they" or "we."

When talking about the people on the team (plural) we would say "they" or "we." Ex : They are Bigbang. (They are the Bigbang team.) We are Bigbang. (We are the Bigbang team.) So can I say: These (people) are Bigbang. / These (people) are the Bigbang team. Those (people) are Bigbang. / Those (people) are the Bigbang team. Thank you!Read More...
Thank you for your help!Read More...
Last Reply By Kimconu · First Unread Post

recommend (that)

Hussein Hassan
Good afternoon, our teachers, LDOCE says that the following sentences are right: 1. I recommend (that) she speaks to a lawyer. 2. I recommend that she (should) speak to a lawyer. https://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/recommend Is it correct as well to say: 3. I recommend she speak to a lawyer. ( Without that )? Thanks in advance.Read More...
Thanks a lot, David.Read More...
Last Reply By Hussein Hassan · First Unread Post

Each /every

Can we say "each one of them" or we must say "every one of them "?Read More...
Hello, Emad, You can use either phrase: "every one of them" or "each one of them." However, "every one of them" is more common. Incidentally, when we wish to emphasize "every one of them," it is idiomatic to conjoin "each" to that phrase: "each and every one of them." We spoke with each and every one of them. He gave a book to each and every one of them.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Simple Present or Simple Past

The following sentence is the key to a Chinese-English translation exercise: (1) The biggest change in my life was that I am busier than before. I think "is" is better than "was" here because the sentence is about a current change as suggested in the that -clause. Am I right? By the way, how can I search here for a particular topic? I cannot find the search button on the webpage. Thanks for your help.Read More...
Welcome back, Chuncan Feng! It's good to see you again. I hope you haven't been finding the new platform too disorienting. The Search function is located in the toolbar at the top. Click on the magnifying-glass icon and you will have the option to use Search and Advanced Search. I generally use Advanced Search. I agree with you that "is" is better. "Was" sounds rather awkward to me. If I used the past tense ("was") there, I would change "am" to "became" and delete "than before": "The biggest...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

be going to vs. will

mohsen
hey everybody, which is correct? 1.my dad will be 60 next year. my dad is going to be 60 next year. I have seen both ! and now confused. thanks a lotRead More...
Again, Mohsen, both "will be" and "is going to be" are perfectly correct in that sentence and in any sentence like it. When English speakers speak of someone's being a certain age at a certain time, we frequently and correctly use either form.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Distributives

1 There are two restaurants by the park and they ( both / each ) are very good 2 My parents ( both / each ) have a mobile phoneRead More...
Hello again, Egyptian2017, If the circled answers in your attached images are the answers provided by the textbook, it appears that the textbook thinks that "each" should be used instead of "both" in "My parents each have a cell phone" and that "both" should be used instead of "each" in "There are two restaurants by the park and they are both very good." I wonder, then, if you have misread the answer to "My parents ___ have a mobile phone." The book appears to think that "each" is the only...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Can vs Could

The key to the following multiple choice question is "can you find": (1) Maybe you have been to many countries, but nowhere else ____ such a beautiful palace. A. can you find B. you could find C. you can find D. could you find I think "could you find" is also right. "Could" is more tentative than "can". Am I right? Thanks for your help.Read More...

nobody

Did he help anybody? 1) No, he didn't help anybody. 2) No, he helped nobody. What is the difference on '1' and '2'? Are you waiting for somebody? 3) No, I am not waiting for anybody. 4)) No, I am waiting for nobody. What is the difference between '3' and '4'. 5) Time doesn't wait for anybody. 6) Time waits for nobody. Any difference here? Gratefully, NaviRead More...

Each / both

Is this sentence correct My parents each have a mobile phone Or I should say My parents both have a mobile phoneRead More...
Usually we use 'each' with subjects and objects in singular, but for the emphasis it can used with plurals. So both examples are correct Each of my parents has a mobile phone. Both of my parents have a mobile phone.Read More...
Last Reply By graham · First Unread Post

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!

It's the Mid-Autumn Festival. We are watching the moon and eating moon cakes. To me, the best part about this festival is that family members from wherever they are get together before the moon rises on this occasion. We are also a family here. I am very thankful to all of you for the unconditional great help. Thank you!Read More...

made from potatoes

On Career Day Student: The ice cream here is not melting. What's the secret? Food Stylist: I'm glad you noticed. It's made from potatoes. ------------------------------------------------------ from a Korean English textbook Can I use 'It's made of potatoes.' here instead? How can I use them correctly ? Thanks!Read More...
Hi, Kis, No, you can't use "It's made of potatoes" there. When something is used to make food, we use "made from." We tend to use "made of" when referring to things that are used in the construction or production of other things. You can say, "The can is made of aluminum," "The table is made of oak," "The shirt is made of cotton," etc. Accordingly, we could imagine a different context in which "It's made of potatoes" would work: Student : Why does that sculpture look so peculiar? Teacher :...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Placement of relative clauses

Hi, I'm hoping someone can provide some advice on the above subject. Are the following sentences grammatically correct: Polar bears have dermal bumps on the soles of their feet, which help prevent them slipping on the ice. This huge mammal possesses razor-sharp claws on its forepaws, which help it to dig through solid ice. I know that the convention is to place a relative clause after the noun it relates to but the prepositional phrase is throwing me out a little. Seems to read nicely but...Read More...
Yes, Matt, your second pair of sentences are grammatically correct, but they are extremely awkward. If I were you, I would not advise your students to use them. The "President of the United States" example I gave is ungrammatical with the relative clause coming before the "of"-phrase. "Of"-phrases tend to be special.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

may never be happier

1) I may never be happier than I am today. 2) I may never be as happy as I am today. Do these imply than I haven't been happier than/as happy as I am today in the past? 3) I may never play better than I played in yesterday's concert. 4) I may never play as well as I played in yesterday's concert. Do these imply that I haven't played better than/as well as I played yesterday any time before yesterday? Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Thank you very much, David, I didn't feel anything was 'off' about 'again'. The sentence seems to be perfect to me. What do you think of: 7) The game I played yesterday might be the best I will ever have played. or: 8) My performance in yesterday's game might be the best I will ever have. To me '7' is a bit ambiguous. Are we talking about the game or about how I played? But what interests me more than that is the tense of the verb. I think in these cases we are encompassing the past and the...Read More...
Last Reply By navi · First Unread Post
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