All Forum Topics

is or are ?

Dear All, Which is the right saying please ? 1) There IS no two ways about it. OR 2) There ARE no two ways about it. Thank you. RickyRead More...

First Decade of the Twentieth Century.

Hi, my name is Grisel, 25, and I am from Argentina. I have two questions related to YEARS and I think I can find the answers here in this forum. These are my questions: A)We know that an expression such us "the 1910's" makes reference to the second decade of the Twentieth Century. But the expression "the 1900's" refers to which one of the following concepts: 1)The first ten years of the Twentieth Century? 2)The complete Twentieth Century? (I found expressions like "the early 1900's", "the...Read More...

dim sum vs dim sums

Which sentence is correct? 1. I would like to have dim sum for lunch. 2. I would like to have dim sums for lunch. According to some dictionaries,dim sum is an uncountable noun. But I can find so many dim sums on the Internet that I begin to doubt that dim sum can now be used as a countable noun.Read More...

"In search of" or "for"

There are many more hits for the phrase "in search of" than "in search for". Is "in search for" acceptable? Any differences? Apple.Read More...

Omitting "to be" before the object complement

Hello, teachers! Would you please help me about omitting 'to be'? Please check out my thoughts! - I divided the cases by the criterion; 1) whether the object is a person or a thing, 2) the complement is a noun or others. 1. I want you [to be] finished within ten minutes. [Both are OK. Using 'to be' is much more common, right?] 2. I want this [to be] finished within ten minutes. [Both are OK. Omitting 'to be' is much more common, right?] 3. I want you [to be] proud of yourself. [Both are OK.Read More...

Tenses in "as if" clause

I read the "as if" section in the Key Word Index and would like to ask one more question regarding tenses in "as if" clause. I know that we should use "were" or a past verb in a present unreal situation. But I would like to know what verb we should use in a past unreal situation and when we should use "had pp." Thanks for your kind reply in advance.Read More...

Word order in noun clause

Hello!! I read the following sentence; One has only to watch the efforts of children who are starved of love ... to realize how desperate is their need . In my knowledge, the word order in noun clause is WH+SV, and the clause should read "how desperate their need is." But, I feel that "how desperate is their need" is also acceptable. So, I am confused where my knowledge is wrong. Please kindly help.Read More...

"See if ... have

Dear All, Is the following sentence correct : "Ask her to exercise daily and see if her aches have gone after a month." Thank you and thank you for all the other replies. Very much appreciated. RickyRead More...

The correct punctuation mark in asking expressions

Hello, teachers! Which is the correct punctuation mark, the period or question mark? 1. Could you come and help me with the spaghetti, please[_] 2. Would you please take me as your pupil[_] Thank you very much. Best Regards.Read More...

Tenses with "hardly," "scarcely," and "no sooner"

In "hardly/scarcely A when/before B" and "no sooner A than B" clauses, should the tense in "A" part be past participle or could it be past tense as well? If both can be used, is there any difference in usage or meaning? For example, are both of the following sentences right in all aspects? "I had no sooner closed the door than somebody knocked." "I no sooner closed the door than somebody knocked."Read More...

"Not" + "both"

Hello, teachers! Would you please check my thought? - You don't like the twins. / No. I don't hate both of them. IMHO, this is logically and grammatically correct, but we hardly ever use 'both' and 'not' together, so it should be "I only hate one of them," or "I hate just one of them." Am I right? Thank you very much. Best Regards.Read More...

"Has" or "have"?

Dear All, Which is correct please ? 1) There HAS to be rules. 2) There HAVE to be rules. Thank you. RickyRead More...

"Him" or "his," "me" or "my" with gerunds ?

Dear All, I've been told the following are wrong : 1) I remember HIM telling me.... 2) Would you mind ME looking in and saying goodbye to Jane ?, 3) Everyone's upset about YOU going away. and the correct versions are : 1a) I remember HIS telling me.... 2a) Would you mind MY looking in and saying goodbye to Jane ? 3a) Everyone's upset about YOUR going away. What are the rules please ? Thank you. RickyRead More...

why "get off" and not "gets off" ?

Dear All, Please take a look at the following sentences : 1) "In New York, I have always found, one GET off the mark quickly in the matters of the heart." 2) "He GETS off at the fifth bus stop everyday." Why is it "get" in 1) and "gets" in 2) ? What is the rule please ? Thank you. RickyRead More...

Third conditional

Dear All, Are the following sentences correct ? 1) "If he had had his own class teacher as his tutor instead of his aunt, the teacher would have been better placed to assess what he needed (would have needed ?) to do to improve his grades." 2) "If he had had his own class teacher as his tutor instead of his aunt, he might have then been better assessed and improved his grades." Thank you very much. Regards, RickyRead More...

"It is...that" or "they are ...that"

Which of the following sentences is correct? Is it acceptable to use "It is" for plural compliments? Or do you say, "They are Mary and Jane that introduced me to Jack". It sounds a bit odd to me. 1. It is Mary that introduced me to Jack. 2. It is Mary and Jane that introduced me to Jack. AppleRead More...

Prepositions: "by," "in"?

I want to know if the following sentence is correct: He goes to work by his car. or is it better to say: He goes to work in his car. I need more details about in-on-by.Read More...

Uncountable nouns and the pronoun "one"

Hello, teachers! In these sentences, can we use the pronoun "one" even though "wine" and "war" are uncountable? 1. I prefer red wine to [white, white wine, the white one]. - in the same clause 2. I like red wine, but my brother likes [white, white wine, the white one]. - in different clauses 3. I don't like war, but I agree with this [war, one]. Thank you very much. Best Regards.Read More...

"... and (that) ...."

Hello, teachers! In this kind of sentence, can we omit "that?" - It is said his eyes bulge, and [that] his nostrils flare when he gets mad. Thank you very much. Best Regards.Read More...

Commas and quotes

This question has been sent in by Susan. I just don't know where the comma is to go - before or after the quotes and why. When he heard the word "palace", Bangsat thought, "I wonder who this man is? But never mind, I am being promised lots of gold." Does the comma go before or after the word palace?Read More...

Because & since

Hello, teachers! Please help me with this! 1-1. Because it is very important, you shouldn't forget this. 1-2. You shouldn't forget this because it is very important. I think both 1-1 and 1-2 are OK. However, I doubt what if I replace "because" with "since." 2-1. Since it is very important, you shouldn't forget this. 2-2. You shouldn't forget this since it is very important. I think 2-1 is alright. Would you please tell me if 2-2 is also correct or not? Thank you very much. Best Regards.Read More...

The comma with 'while' and 'because' clause

Hello, teachers! Can we put a comma in front of the 'while' or 'because' clause? If so, is there any difference in meaning between with and without the comma? 1. I drink black coffee[,] while he prefers it with cream. 2. She would have liked to listen to the radio[,] because it had been broken a few days ago. Thank you very much. Best Regards.Read More...

Punctuation; comma

Hello, teachers! Please help me with these! [1] He sprayed his car with water[,] to clean it thoroughly. I know that generally we don't use a comma here, but I often see some people use it. Can we use a comma? If so, is there any change in meaning? [2] I am sleepy today because of my dog[,] he was barking all night. I think that here we need a period, a semi-colon, or a dash, especially a semi-colon, but I often see some people use a comma. Can we use a comma in this kind of sentence? [3]...Read More...

"Certain" or "sure"

Hello, teachers! In these sentences, can I use either 'certain' or 'sure'? 1. That she loves Martin is certain/sure. 2. Her success as an actress is certain/sure. Thank you very much. Best Regards.Read More...

Simple present or present progressive?

Hello: Is there a difference between the following sentences (cf permanence): (a) Do you live in Canada? (b) Are you living in Canada? as statements (c) I live in Canada. (d) I'm living in Canada. ThanksRead More...
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