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Use of Quotes

David, Moderator
Our Policy on the Use of Quotations We understand that members occasionally desire or need to ask grammar-related questions about sentences or phrases that were written by others, and it is perfectly acceptable for you to do so. However, if you wish to include sentences or phrases in a post that were not originally written by you, you must do two things: 1) You must show punctuationally that they are not your words. 2) You must cite what you have taken the text from. The easiest way to...Read More...

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give me time vs give me a time

Hello! I know that ''time" can be both countable and uncountable, and has different meanings. When I ask someone to give me time, I mean that I need time to think something over, and I don't want to make a hasty decision. In what context can I use "give me a time"? My only guess is when I want to make an appointment and ask the interlocutor to propose any convenient time.Read More...

Being written in haste,the composition is full of mistakes. (from a grammar)

Dear Contributors. Do me a favour please. I feel puzzled about the following sentence. My questions: 1. Is the composition finished or not when the speaker utters this sentence? 2. Does "Being written" mean the acting of "writing" is being continued? If your answer is yes, then the composition is not finished. If your answer is no, then what does "being" mean? 3. Some say "wirrten" is an adjective in the sentence.I don't think it makes sense,because the adjective "wirrten",usually used...Read More...
According to your interpretation of Quirk, there are not even the slightest chances for the Chinese grammarians (whose position I thought you were defending) to be right about the correctness of "being written in haste." What I understand is that "being examined" can be interpreted as solely passive (in which case it can be reduced to "examined") or as passive progressive (in which case "being" needs to remain): This could be transposed to the original sentence: - The composition written in...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Use of the word already

Is that a correct usage of the word already in the example sentence given below? Please suggest any other word or phrase if it is better suited here. Example : Give her the prize already! Little bit of context : I was watching a video on Facebook in which a beauty pageant contestant answered a question so well that that I felt like there's no need to ask her any more questions.Read More...

will - are going to

Hello. Could you please help me? Which form is correct or both? Simple explanation please. You (will - are going to) pick up all of those toys right now. This room is a mess! Thank you.Read More...

Going to or will

Meteorologists predict that the temperature ................. during the weekend. a) is dropping b) is going to drop c) will drop d) drops Which one is the correct answer? I prefer (b) because this sentence represents a prediction based on evidence. By "evidence" I mean "Meteorologists" * This question is taken from an ESL book called "The Best" Thanks.Read More...
According to what you said, In the following question, I should use "will" instead of "going to". The doctors predicted that the patient ............... live for a month. a) will b) is going to However, "going" sounds better. Normally, doctors wouldn't predict something like that out of nothing. The same applies to the original question. You're implying that using the subject "Meteorologists" is the same as using any other subject like: "Tom" , "Dick" or "Harry". That's why I respectfully...Read More...
Last Reply By Yama · First Unread Post

Present Perfect or Simple past In this sentence?

Could you guys see this sentence and say if I should use Present Perfect or Past Simple? I think it is Past Simple, because it sounds odd using the Present Perfect tense. Although, I think I should use the present perfect tense because there no time expression either here in the sentence, nor in the context. **Furthermore could you tell why it was used Simple Past or Present Perfect?**Read More...
Hello, Harry O'Neil, Stories are always narrated in the past tense, so you should use the Past Simple even if there are no time adverbials: - Once upon a time there was a man who had everything and still wasn't happy => This story is about a man who had everything and still wasn't happy.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

as-would tense

Hello, what is the mood or tense of the following sentence: "she finds the same thrill in playing football as other girls would in dolls or sewing" Is that the conditional or the subjunctive or some other?? thanks!Read More...
Hello, jccohen, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange. As far as I know, "would" cannot be used to express subjunctive. It is a modal verb that can be used to express different ideas: future from a past perspective, obstinacy or persistency in the past, express or implied conditions of a tentative nature, etc. In your sentence, an implied condition is involved: - She finds the same thrill in playing football as other girls would in dolls or sewing = She finds the same thrill in playing...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

countable/uncountable

Which are correct: 1) Tom's and Pete's intelligence was put to good use in that project. 2) Tom's and Pete's intelligences were put to good use in that project. 3) Tom's and Pete's talent was put to good use in that movie. 4) Tom's and Pete's talents were put to good use in that movie. Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Yes, Navi, I agree with you.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Whom question

What is the meaning to the sentence: "Whom should audience members tell about opportunities to work at the paper?" Is it like asking: Who are the people who audience members should talk to, if they want to tell someone about work at the paper?Read More...
Hi, Evy, I agree with Gustavo's answer completely and would simply like to add that "whom" is also possible, in a formal register, in the sentence you used to paraphrase the meaning of the sentence you were asking about. That is, you can say, " Who are the people whom audience members should talk to if they want to tell someone about work at the paper ." "Whom" is the object of the preposition "to," as is more obvious with the preposition fronted: Who are the people to whom audience members...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

gap in time between two actions

hi all. Please have a look at the sentence below. Of all the three options, are A had B imply that he went in immediately after gazing, while C suggests there is a gap in time between "gazing" and "going in"? He ________the display for several minutes before re-entering his shop. A gazed at B had gazed at C had been gazing atRead More...
Hi, Robby zhu, In the absence of any further information (context) to the contrary, (A) and (B) do suggest that he re-entered his shop immediately after gazing at the display. Answer (C) does not suggest what you think it might. I see no justification for using the past perfect progressive there, but it works in the following example: He had been running from the authorities for years before getting caught. In that example, the past perfect progressive indicates that his running from the...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

"for" as conjunction

When used as conjunction, can "for" be put at the brginning of a sentence? such as " In doing so they deserve not only our help and encouragement, but also our gratitude. For their triumphs put our own struggles in perspective and inspire us to rise above our own weaknesses."Read More...
Hi, Pal, "for" can introduce clauses of reason. It is a formal conjunction equivalent to "because" but, unlike "because," "for" does not usually come after a period but after a comma: - In doing so, they deserve not only our help and encouragement but also our gratitude , for their triumphs put our own struggles in perspective and inspire us to rise above our own weaknesses.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

On hearing of his father’s death, he burst into tears.

Dear Contributors, please do me a favour. I know that the followoing sentence is perfectly logic and idiomatic. However, I am not sure whether it is acceptable to say: Here are more examples: I was hoping you could give me an expanation. Thank you.Read More...
Thank you sincerely, Gustavo.Read More...
Last Reply By sunshine · First Unread Post

such as

Hello, Contributors. Would you please do me a favour? I know Sentence 1 is correct. I am not sure whether Sentence 2 is acceptable according to general knowledge or actuality. I would appreciate it if you could give me an explanation.Read More...
DAVID, MODERATOR , thank you very much for proving me with a clear explanation.Read More...
Last Reply By sunshine · First Unread Post

every, each

Hello. Which one is correct? There are three glasses, but (every - each) one is a different shape. Thank you.Read More...
Like Ahmed_btm, I prefer "each." The sentence needs improvement, though. It would be better to say that each of the classes has a different shape, or that each of them is of a different shape, or that each of them is shaped differently . It is not the case that each of the glasses is itself a different shape.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Is it future in the past?

The old man sank his face in his hands. “God help me!” he cried. “But I would not have let the young man come to harm. I give you my word that I would have spoken out if it went against him at the Assizes .” The Boscombe Valley Mystery, short story Hi. The context is that the old man was the real murderer but the young man was wrongly charged with murder instead of the old man. The young man was going to be tried by the Assizes. Question: since the young man’s trial is in the future in...Read More...

is - are

Hello. Which one is correct? Half of the ships' crew (was - were) asleep when the ship started to sink. Thank you.Read More...
Both of them work in American English, too. On the COCA corpus there is one (1) result for "half the crew was" and one (1) result for "half the crew were," and zero (0) results for the versions with "of."Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

both - all

Hello. We had a great weekend as the weather was perfect (all - both) days. Thank you.Read More...
Hello, Ahmed and Ahmed, "All" would certainly be better if the reference were to all the days of the week. In the United States, however, a weekend is normally two days. So we would use "both days," unless it was understood that the "great weekend" being referred to was an extended weekend. Perhaps you have longer weekends in Egypt. We sometimes have three-day weekends -- for example, when there is a holiday. And Thanksgiving weekend is normally four days long. If Ahmed Imam Attia's sentence...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

well-patroled or well-patrolled

Hello, Wondering whether well-patroled or well-patrolled is more acceptable in wriitng? Thank you.Read More...
Hello, Pal, "Patrolled" is the customary spelling. "Patroled" is a variant spelling that is sometimes encountered in American English, according to The Oxford English Dictionary (OED). Interestingly, my computer automatically flags "patroled" as incorrect.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

high-speed

We say "a warm-hearted person", but why not "a high-speeded train"?🤔 Thanks a lot!😛Read More...
Hi, Ruifeng, The mechanisms for word compounding (i.e. the rules for forming compound words) are varied. With parts of the body, we always add "-ed": fair-hair ed , long-leg ged , red-hand ed , blue-eye d , and I think this might be because of the relationship of possession, which is closer if we speak of a person having a warm heart than if we speak of a train having (?) (better: showing, developing, running at) high speed. If you find examples of both types of compounding, you will see...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Past & Present Perfect

I was thinking of what's the difference between: I don't understand what you said. I don't understand what you have said.Read More...
Hi Rasha, According to the Cambridge Dictionary*, Both the present perfect and past simple can be used for 'Recently completed events.' On the other hand, Swan** insists that recency for itself is not a reason for using present perfect (Swan, page 457). The reason should be 'connection to the present,' for example, an event with present results or new information. Anyway, I guess that both of your sentences are right since, at the moment, the speaker is confused by the listener's words...Read More...
Last Reply By Yaniv Kimelfeld · First Unread Post

Possessive with “number + noun”, “noun + noun” and “adjective + noun”

Can I use possessive with "number + noun", "noun + noun" and "adjective + noun"? 0 I guess this is one man 's shirt. 1 I guess this is two women 's house. 2 I guess this is three boys ' house. 3 I guess this is some boys ' house. 4 I guess these are an ancient man 's weapons. 5 I guess these are a big man 's shirts. 6 I guess this is a giant mouse 's tail. Or have I to use "of": 0' I guess this is the shirt of one man. 1' I guess this is the house of two women. 2' I guess this is the house...Read More...
Thank you for all your help!Read More...
Last Reply By Kimconu · First Unread Post
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