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September 2020

Need to

Hi, "There is no bread at home, so I ....... buy some." a- have to b- need to Is "need to" close in meaning and use to "must" or to "have to" ?Read More...
These are essentially interchangeable: - There is no bread at home, so I need to buy some. - There is no bread at home, so I have to buy some. - There is no bread at home, so I should buy some. In other situations, there will be slight distinctions between these phrases, but for simple things like this there really is no difference. They all sound natural and fit the situation well. On the other hand, we usually only use "must" for obligations when the meaning is quite strong; it implies a...Read More...
Last Reply By Scott Winterstein · First Unread Post

John's cars

a. The best cars in the lot are John's. The worst ones are John's too. b. The best cars in the lot are John's cars. The worst ones are John's cars too. I think (a) works and (b) does not. Am I correct? I think (b) means the same as: c. John's cars are the best cars in the lot. They are the worst cars too. And that doesn't make much sense, unless one is saying in a jocular fashion that all the cars are John's. Many thanksRead More...

Omitting "to be"

Hi! Can you please help me to make a sense out of this following passage? "The steep spiral staircase up to the top of the tower seemed the easiest thing in the world after that." As far as i understand, we must not omit the "to be" after seemed because it is followed by an object compliment. Correct me if i am wrong, thank you!Read More...

Modal + also

Hi, I would like to know, which one is grammatically correct, I can also or I also can? If both are correct, then what is the different between them. I can sing. I can also dance. I can sing. I also can dance. You may sit here. You may also sit there. You may sit here. You also may sit there. Hope to get the details here. Thanks in advance.Read More...
Thanks, David. Appreciate your help.Read More...
Last Reply By Danny Ooi · First Unread Post

I might say one of these sentences

While commenting on a few sentences, someone says: 1) I might say one of these sentences, depending on the context. 2) I could say one of these sentences, depending on the context. What is the difference between 1) and 2)? Are they indirect suggestions?Read More...
Thank you very much! Actually, I wanted to know whether sentences 1) and 2) in the OP were some kind of implied conditionals or not, and from what we have discussed here, it seems that they are.Read More...
Last Reply By Language learner · First Unread Post

TO or -ING in this case?

Which one sounds better? Are both correct? "The red button is for turning the machine off." OR "The red button is to turn the machine off." Another example: "A ladle is a big spoon used for serving soup." "A ladle is a big spoon used to serve soup."Read More...
Hello, rm, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange. I agree with Gustavo's answer and would simply like to note that the simple present tense is a very natural-sounding alternative to "is to V" and "is for V-ing" in the first example set. The red button turns the machine off. This use of the present tense works when a thing has a set function. Parts of a machine, including specialized buttons on a machine, tend to have set functions. We can ask, "What does this do?"Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Articles with the names of dishes

Hello, I wonder if there are any rules how to use articles with the names of dishes ? Thanks a lot !Read More...
Please note that, even when selecting a dish from a menu, you can use the zero article, but in that case no reference is made to the menu. I'll have the macaroni means I'll have the macaroni offered / appearing on the menu.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Using as

I've read this structure with " as" ( He became as good a man). I know the structure ( so good a man), could you please clearify this structure with (as). Does ( as ) have the same meaning like ( so ).?Read More...
Well, just as I told you, you can see an "as"-clause after "as good a man," the meaning of your quote being that Londoners had never seen such a good man as the one Scrooge became.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

The focus position of it-cleft sentences

Dear Grammar Exchange members, I'm currently wondering if the as -clauses in manner use can be placed in a focus position of a it -cleft sentence. Take (1) as an example. (1) Question: How did Mary played the piano? The answer: It was as Bob (did) that she played the piano. I think that the most appropriate answer is like "She played the piano just as Bob did" (although I am not a native English speaker). However, I was wondering if you could tell me whether the answer in (1) is possible or...Read More...
Dear Moderator David, I really appreciate your valuable feedback. Thank you very much for taking time out of your tight schedule, and for your instructive examples, which broaden my English knowledge.Read More...
Last Reply By Toowoomba · First Unread Post

Grammar Ask

Hello Sir! Please help me with this sentence whether it is correct or not. I wrote the sentence in my IELTS essay. "23% and 10% of the government budget in Italy and the UK was spent on roads and transport". I am not sure if I wrote the verb "was" in this sentence whether it is correct or not because I think in this case, the phrase "government budget" is uncountable noun. Thank you.Read More...
Thank you so much !Read More...
Last Reply By Moon Le · First Unread Post

Can You Imagine A Context Where You Would Use Sentence "X"

Suppose I give someone a sentence and say: I can't imagine any context for this sentence. Can you imagine any ? Now consider the sentence: a) Can you imagine a context where you would use sentence "x" ? Q: Are we requesting the person to try to make an effort to imagine a context where..., or are we just asking whether he is able to imagine (or capable of imagining) such a context?Read More...
Thank you very much.Read More...
Last Reply By Language learner · First Unread Post

'Improve' or 'Make improvements?'

I was talking about my English fluency and said: 1) I'll keep trying and see how much I can improve. 2) I'll keep trying and see how much improvements I can make. Are both 'improve' and 'make improvements' correct and natural?Read More...
Yes, Ashraful, that's right. But it's also OK to say "how many improvements": (2a) I'll keep trying and see how much improvement I can make. (2b) I'll keep trying and see how many improvements I can make.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Tall

Ahmed is the tallest boy at school. This exactly means ......... a) Ahmed is tall b) No one at school is taller than Ahmed c) No one at school is as tall as Ahmed d) No one at school is less tall than Ahmed What is the correct answer, please ?Read More...
Thank you sir Throught the thread of that question, most of our colleagues tend to choose "c".I also chose "c" 🔵Only c If you choose "b" it gives the possibility that there may be someone is as tall as Ahmed.In other words the same height.Read More...
Last Reply By Mohamed Awad said · First Unread Post

all of the pets

a. Tom couldn't stand all of the pets his housemate had, so he moved. b. Tom couldn't stand all of the pets, so he moved. c. Tom couldn't stand all the pets, so he moved. Could these be used if Tom could stand all of the pets individually, but it was the fact that all of them were together that was unbearable for him? He liked each pet individually, but it was the combination that got on his nerves! Many thanks.Read More...

What part of speech is 'as good' in this passage?

'It must be imagined that a walking tour is merely a better way of seeing the country. There are many ways of seeing landscape quite AS GOOD; and none more vivid than from a railway train'Read More...
Hello, May123, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange. The phrase "quite as good" is a postposed adjective phrase (normally, adjective phrases are preposed). It seems to come from a relative clause: - There are many ways of seeing landscapes that are quite as good. It is used in that position because, formed by an adjective and two adverbs (with as modifying good and quite modifying as good ), it would clash with "many" if preposed.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

into or in

I believe, the following sentences need to use the preposition into, thought I'd just double check. I have copied him into this email so that you can contact him directly. I would appreciate if you could kindly assist with my queries attached into this email.Read More...
Thanks so much David, why do we use copied him on (not to this email), do I just memorise this or there is a logic behind we use on this particular instance.Read More...
Last Reply By Cristi · First Unread Post

After this red-tailed..

I am having problem in understanding this sentence, in particular this part "sending the device plummeting to the ground". Does "sending the device plummeting to the ground" modifying "its territory"? Are "sending" and "plummeting" both gerunds here? â–Ş After this red-tailed hawk spots the unwanted guest, it goes on the offensive by swooping down to mark its territory, sending the device plummeting to the ground .Read More...
Hi, Toaha, Do you know the meaning of "plummet"? If you did, you would easily understand that "plummeting" cannot modify "territory."Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Money or monies

My mum gave me $10K, I used the monies/money to buy my fiance a ring. If the above is to use "Monies", in what circumstances/context do we use money, other than talking about money in general. Does it mean if it is a dollar then we use money, instead of monies.Read More...
Tony, you have to use "money" above (notice there should be a period between both sentences). The term "monies" is only used to mean "amount s of money" mainly in legal and also in financial contexts.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Past future tense - would have

If I knew you were in casino last night, I would have joined you. Conditional formatting type 2. In what other situation/circumstances do we use past future tense (would have).Read More...
Hi, Tony—That conditional is not type 2 and is not correct. Type 3 is needed: If I had known you were in a/the casino last night, I would have joined you. "Would have" is generally used when making counterfactual inferences with reference to the past, as is done in type 3 conditionals: If I had been there, I would have seen her. If I had had a million dollars, I would have bought that house. If he had paid his bill, they wouldn't have shut off his power.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

difference

Is there a difference in meaning between: 1-When I was eating, father phoned 2-When father phoned, I was eatingRead More...
Hi, zonzon—I agree with Ahmed_btm that both sentences have the same meaning, in that they both convey the same informational content. That does not mean, however, that either sentence will be equally felicitous and natural in any context in which one of them works well. In (1), the speaker's eating is backgrounded (in the subordinate clause) and the father's phoning foregrounded (in the main clause). In (2), the reverse is true. In order to decide which works better in a given context, you...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

scope of negation

1) He didn't like all of the guests. 2) He didn't like all the guests. 3) He couldn't stand all the guests. 4) He couldn't stand all of the guests. Could these sentences ever be used instead of: 1a) He didn't like any of the guests. 2a) He didn't like any of the guests. 3a) He couldn't stand any of the guests. 4a) He couldn't stand any of the guests. respectively? I think that could only happen in informal spoken English with a particular emphasis. Generally, the meaning would be 'some but...Read More...
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