September 2019

The teacher gave us all (tasks - duties). Mine was to interview four students.

Hello. What is the difference between "task" and "duty"? I can't choose the correct one in the following sentence. The teacher gave us all (tasks - duties). Mine was to interview four students. Thank you.Read More...
Hi, Ahmed Imam Attia, Since your follow-up question here does not ask about the difference between "task" and "duty" -- "duty" is not among the answer choices -- it would have been better to start a separate thread. The best answer in this new example is "responsibility," and "duty" would also work if it were among the answer choices: " When Ali's parents go out, it is his responsibility/duty to look after his younger sisters ." "Task," "work," and "assignment" do not work in this example.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Ahmed was left (to dream - dreaming) about his new life as a teacher.

Hello. Which verb form is correct? Ahmed was left (to dream - dreaming) about his new life as a teacher. Thank you.Read More...
Thank you, Gustavo, for clarifying that. Ahmed_btm sent me an e-mail pointing out the same thing. I apologize for misreading the answer choices. It had seemed to me that the choices followed "to," whereas "to" was only part of the first answer choice, as if the choices had been "(dreaming -- to dream)" or as if Ahmed Imam Attia's question had been more clearly presented, as follows: Ahmed was left ______ about his new life as a teacher. a) to dream b) dreaming Indeed, when the question is...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

How to parse the predicative

Hi, there ~ If I want to express that "he has come back and now he is on the phone;the person he is talking to is his mom" can I say: He is back on the phone talking to his mother. If it works,how do you parse this sentence? (the predicative is very complicated.)Read More...
You've made a great point, David. I like your analysis very much. I have to say I had inadvertently anticipated that alternative parsing when I said at the end of my latest post: I think my analysis would be more plausible if the verb in -ing denoted a state, or a secondary action, and could perhaps be set off by a comma and be placed in front position. (6a) He is back on the phone , trying to strike a conversation with his mother after so many months in silence. (Here the participial clause...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

start

Hi, Which sentence is correct? How do we use 'start' in a situation like this below? 1. He starts every other dog in the neighborhood to barking. 2. He starts every other dog in the neighborhood to bark. 3. He starts every other dog in the neighborhood barking. Thanks a lot.Read More...
Hi, Kuen, Actually, both are similar and carry the meaning of "persuade" or "force." In the Longman Dictionary both patterns (with infinitive and V-ing) appear under the same entry: - to persuade or force someone to do something get somebody to do something : I’ll get Terry to check the wiring for me. We couldn’t get him to sign the agreement. get somebody doing something: In the end, we got the children clearing the playground. The use of V-ing suggests that an action ( barking , in your...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

How many

Hi, "How many people.......in the city?" A-live B-living C-do they liveRead More...
Hi, Yes, is a correct question. No auxiliary needs to be used because, as explained here , the information required is the subject of the question. The answer will consist of replacing "how many people" with the number of inhabitants, for example: - One million people live in the city.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

correct usage of "cause" as a verb

I have made up a few examples with the verb form of "cause" below. (1a) Scientists think the upcoming hurricane will be the next natural force that causes fear in people. (2a) Psychologists believe that too much homework is one of the factors that cause misbehavior in teenage pupils. (3c) Tom shouted at his classmate and then gave him a punch. The teacher thinks their chronic conflict might have caused anger in him. Some of my non-native English speaking friends think I am using the verb,...Read More...
Ansonman, For (1) and (2) I prefer the (a) version over the (b), but I won't say that either is wrong. We can also say: 1c: Scientists think the upcoming hurricane will be the next natural force that causes people to be afraid. 1d: Scientists think the upcoming hurricane will be the next natural force that makes people afraid. 1e: Scientists think the upcoming hurricane will be the next natural force that scares people. 2c: Psychologists believe that too much homework is one of the factors...Read More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

Phrasal verb

Help me out please. I am so confused. She gave up tom vs She gave tom up. Can I use both?Read More...
Hello, Tomkit, I guess, yes, you can use either of them as the object is a noun , i.e. if the object is a noun, it can come between or after the two parts. However, when the object is a pronoun , it must come between the two parts, so you can say: She gave up Tom. She gave Tom up. She gave him up. But you can not say: She gave up him. (Ungrammatical)Read More...
Last Reply By Hussein Hassan · First Unread Post

confusing question

choose the correct answer Eventually, Mary .................... a job as a waitress in a new restaurant. (had / got)Read More...
Hi, I agree with Ahmed_btm that "got" is the correct answer. I'd say that the difference between "getting a job" and "having a job" lies in the fact that the former refers to the action of becoming employed while the latter refers to the state of being employed: One day Mary got a job as a waitress. She had that job for five years until she got a better one.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

does 'successive manifold of shapes' make any sense?

Hi everyone! I'm trying to write an essay in English, but as this is not my first language, I need some help! I was wondering whether I could say 'a successive manifold of shapes'. The context is that there is a thing, that can take various shapes, but does so in a set order. So first it will have shape A, then shape B, then shape C, etc. The sentence I'd like to use is this: ' To this end he has designed a system, in which ‘the consciousness’ manifests itself in a successive manifold of...Read More...
Hello, Wapper, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange. As you may have guessed from our silence, your sentence does not in fact make any sense. I've only seen "manifold" used in technical texts. How about saying something like "a succession of shapes"?Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Which one? (Week/Week's/Weeks')

Hi there, could someone please check my text. I need it right away for a school project. I decided to take everything out of my survival bag to see what I had. In there I found: a two-week supply of water and a (week/week's/weeks') supply of food. There was also a knife, fifty feet of fishing line with three hooks, and one first aid kit. Thank you for helping! :3Read More...
Hello, Clearwater, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange. I agree with Ahmed_btm that you need "a week's" there. Being a singular article, "a" can be used there to mean "one." Alternatively, though less frequent in use, you may find "a one-week supply." For further information, you may want to check this old thread.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

enjoyed - have enjoyed

Hello. Which word is correct? - Yesterday, I told the manager that I hadn't finished the report (by then - yet). Thank you.Read More...
Hi, Ahmed Imam Attia, enjoyed - have enjoyed May I draw your attention to the fact that the title of your thread has nothing to do with your question? I see that ' yet ' works perfectly well in your context. If you add a specific time like 'at 10 yesterday', 'by then' would be fine, too.Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

a (pilot - flying) school. collocations

Hello. Could you please help me? Which one is correct? She became the first woman teacher at the (pilot - flying - fly - flight) school. Thank you.Read More...
'Flight school', 'aviation school' and 'pilot training school' are all correct, but not mentioned in our books. I wouldn't recommend using 'pilot school'. Although it is found on Coca, I see that it isn't commonly used. BTW, the following link gives more information about another type of 'pilot schools': https://www.bostonpublicschools.org/Page/941Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

Correct this sentence please

Hello everyone Im new english learner on the forum, I want to know what's the best correction for this sentence: Thank you soo much doctor, I appreciate this formation, and I'm waiting for another session. Thank you.Read More...
Hi! "Thank you soo much doctor, I appreciate this formation, and I'm waiting for another session." In the above sentence, something that I can automatically point out is that "soo" should only have one 'o'--"so". Moreover, in the phrase "I appreciate this formation", I think you mean to say "I appreciate this INformation". "Formation" means something like the structure or arrangement of something. Finally, I would suggest reconsidering your word choice. Instead of using "waiting for", which...Read More...
Last Reply By Pablo · First Unread Post

Can absolute clauses be infinitive clauses?

Hi, everyone. The following is from the book A comprehensive grammar of the English language by Mr. Quirk: Nonfinite and verbless adverbial clauses that have an overt subject but are not introduced by a subordinator and are not the complement of a prepositionare ABSOLUTE clauses, so termed because they are not explicitly bound to the matrix clause syntactically. Absolute clauses may be -ing, -ed, or verbless clauses, but not infinitive clauses.(chapter 15.58 ) He means that absolute clauses...Read More...
I really appreciate your help!Thanks,DAVID and GUSTAVO.Read More...
Last Reply By Robby zhu · First Unread Post

for one lunch, for two lunches and for other lunches

I have made up an example below. (1) Next week, I will have spaghetti for one lunch , macaroni for two lunches and sandwiches for other lunches . I am not sure which day I will eat what. Is it grammatical to say the phrases in bold? Thank you very much for your time and help.Read More...
Hi, Ansonman, I don't think that sentence works very well. I wouldn't say it's ungrammatical, but just unidiomatic. Combined with the verb "have," we use the phrase "for lunch" or the word "lunch" in the singular. "two (or more) lunches" could be used to refer to different occasions on which you have a meal (making reference to the the social event rather than the physical meal itself) , or to different meals being charged or paid for. I'd rather say: 1'. Next week, I will have spaghetti for...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Right question structure in Present Simple

Why do we say " What inspires you?" instead of "What does inspire you?"Read More...
footnote : There is one rare circumstance in which we do use do-support in subject-oriented wh-questions. It is when the context makes it natural to emphasize the question. The emphasis can be accomplished by adding do-support. But, again, this requires a special context. If in doubt, don't do it: A: What inspires you? B: Those things don't inspire me. A: What about this? B: That doesn't inspire me, either. A: What does inspire you? "Does" would be stressed in that sentence. In such...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Question about comma for compound participle.

Quick Question: Hi, is the following sentence grammatically correct? Or do I need a comma before the but or somewhere else- I'm afraid it's a run-on! Thanks. "The afternoon we arrived, I remember stalking from the airport, taking slow steps at first but increasing my pace as the importance of what we did dawned on me. "Read More...
Hi, Trig1968, Yes, the sentence is grammatically correct. A comma is not needed after "first," but it would not be incorrect to add one there, either. It is optional. The only thing I dislike about the sentence is your use of "stalked," which tends to carry a predatory connotation, even if it can be otherwise interpreted.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Meaning of "to hell your colony out"

I can't inderstand the meaning of "to hell your colony out" in this sentence: if you were the ant, will you have lifted a huge crumb to hell your colony out ? Can someone help me ? Tks GilbertoRead More...
Hello, Gilberto, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange. You appear to be asking about a typo. "Hell" should be "help," just as "inderstand" (in your post) should be "understand." There are two more issues. First, we begin sentences with a capital letter. Second, the "were" in the "if"-clause makes "would" desirable in the main clause: I f you were the ant, would you have lifted a huge crumb to help your colony out?Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Tourists went on a Nile (cruise - trip) by felucca.

Hello. Can you help me with the following sentence? Tourists went on a Nile (cruise - trip) by felucca. I think both of them are correct and suitable. Thank you.Read More...
I agree with Gustavo that "cruise" is the more appropriate choice. I needed to look up what a felucca was. When I saw that a felucca is a type of boat, I thought that "a felucca Nile cruise" might work nicely, and discovered a fair number of hits for it on Google. I think "a felucca Nile cruise" works better than "a Nile cruise by felucca," even now that I know that a felucca is a type of boat. "A Nile cruise by [F]elucca" would work nicely if there were a town or city along the Nile called...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Can you use a past tense after a sentence written in the present perfect?

I have made up the example below. (1a) For the past two days, I have read twenty poems. I found ten misprints in them. My non-native English speaking friends think I should use the present perfect tense in the second sentence as well. Their revised example is given below. (1b) For the past two days. I have read twenty poems. I have found ten misprints in them. I think both tenses are correct. These are my reasons. The simple past "found" is grammatically correct because it suggests that the...Read More...
Hi, Ansonman, You are right that the second sentence of each example is correct. The first sentence sets up a recent-past context. Therefore it can quite naturally be followed by a sentence in the past tense, which will be understood as referring to the recent-past time period referred to in the first sentence. The present perfect may alternatively be used in the second sentence in addition to the first. It will only be needed, however, if you add "so far" to the end of the second sentence:...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Question about comma after opening phrase.

So I have the simple sentence: For so long I had disliked eating that sort of food. And my question is, do I need a comma after the opening for so long phrase- or is it fine as is? The general rule for presportional phrases is that you don't need one for <4 words. But I'm not convinced this is acting as a prepositional phrase in this sentence. Thoughts?Read More...
Hello, Trig1968, No, you do not need a comma after the for so long phrase. You can use one there if you like, but you do not need to. You might consider saying this instead: I had long disliked eating that sort of food.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

A lot of trees (came - went - turned) down in the storm.

Hello. Please, choose the correct one. A lot of trees (came - went - turned) down in the storm. Thank you.Read More...
Hi, Ahmed Imam Attia, You need "came" there. "go down" would be used to mean "sink" (for example, a ship). The definition of "come down" and the examples below have been taken from the Cambridge Dictionary: - to fall and land on the ground : A lot of trees came down in the storm . Our plane came down in a field . The snow came down during the night .Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Double "Had" question!

Hey, one quick question about using "had" repeatedly- Which of these would be correct in the context? "I had thought I had known what to work towards" or "I had thought I knew what to work towards" As in, years ago I had a plan, and now I realized I didn't know what I wanted after all. Thanks!Read More...
Hi, I'd go with: I had thought I knew... had thought contrasts with realized , and knew doesn't need to be backshifted. With an appropriate adverbial, thought would also be possible, as in: Years ago I had a plan and (back then) I thought I knew what I wanted, but now I realized I didn't know what I wanted after all.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post
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