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in which vs which

From the following sentence: On the front page of today's newspaper is an article in which experts express shock and are stunned upon learning that college graduates, while increasing in number, are inadequately literate. Is it still grammatical to replace in which with which ? Also, if one wants to move the preposition to to follow which , where in the sentence it should go? Thank you very much for your helpRead More...
The sentence with "in" in any other place is awkward and not comfortable. While you can change the position gramatically, and you might certainly do that with other sentences, the result in this particular sentence is not smooth. In addition to the way it feels, the sentence is of an academic or literary genre, so the formal way of placing the preposition before the relative pronoun is very appropriate here. RachelRead More...

'house' or 'home'

Dear experts, Is it possible to use BROKEN HOUSE as synonymous to BROKEN HOME: Chances are if you come from a broken house, you're going to be broken yourself –that has nothing to do with friends. Likewise if you come from a loving, caring house, you're going to be more apt to show affection. Harriet and David have extremely different backgrounds, Harriet comes from a ˜perfect happy household' while David comes from a broken house. Thank you, YuriRead More...
Hi Yuri. That's a tough one, but I would have to say this: A BROKEN HOME most likely refers to the actual FAMILY ( the people ) in a house/home/household, whereas a BROKEN HOUSE most likely refers to the actual HOUSE ( the building/the structure ). If someone is in a situation at their house/home where they are not happy with their life/etc... then I would say that person comes from a BROKEN HOME, not a BROKEN HOUSE. Hope that helps. KNDURead More...

Past unreal

Would you please tell me with examples when do we use the unreal past? Thank you very much . SayedRead More...
"Past unreal" refers to the past tense of a verb when it is used to express "unreal," or contrary-to-fact, ideas in the present. You use the "unreal past" in sentences like "”If Richard's girlfriend Lisa knew that he's seeing Alison she'd drop him like a hot potato "”I sometimes wish that I were able to live my life over again "”He acts as if he owned the place You will find several discussions of "unreal" utterances that use the past tense on the board. One, from February 23. 2004, is...Read More...

phrase order

peteryoung
John Stuart Mill wrote: It is proper to state that I forgo any advantage which could be derived to my argument from the idea of abstract right, as a thing indepedent of utility. Now, this seems to me that he is saying: ..I forgo any advantage to my argument which could be derived from the idea of abstract right... My question is: Does modern grammar allow for the kind of phrase order that Mill uses? If I write a sentence that way, will I get condemned? Is that kind of construction something...Read More...
The writer is using a sentence structure that is not characteristic of modern usage. Your paraphrases are much easier to read. I've found a few examples on Google that resemble the example sentence, but they are few and far between. "”society in which the race itself may be considered as in its nonage." He then disclaims any advantage which could be derived to his "argument from the idea of ... conservativeforum.org/EssaysForm.asp?ID=12608 In fact, not to do so endangers the economic...Read More...

"the way in which"

peteryoung
One of my foreign teacher said: Kuhn also stresses the way in which scientists see the world through the paradigm . They see things through the paradigm, rather than just seeing things objectively. It seems to me that the phrase 'the way in which' should be replaced with 'that'. Am I right? I think the phrase 'through the paradigm' is kind of an answer to the phrase 'the way in which', and if we insist on preserving 'the way in which', we should delete the phrase 'through the paradigm'. For...Read More...
"The way in which," in its literal sense, is an adverbial of manner. You're right to perceive that "the way in which," followed by a detailed statement telling exactly what is done, and how it is done, makes a manner adverbial logically unnecessary. When the construction is used with such a detailed statement following, it's not really a manner adverbial; it has come to mean simply "the fact that...." It's redundant, if the following statement tells the manner in which something happens, and...Read More...

be vs. do

Whether to use "be" (and its variations) or "do" (and its variations) in questions and statements is a very common issue in English Language Learning. I've searched for a resource, either online or physical, that provides a complete side by side comparison of these verbs' usages. Does anyone know of such a resource?Read More...
This is a vast area, and can be covered only briefly. (Since the question is about BE and DO, this answer doesn't include utterance formation for either the auxiliary HAVE or the modal auxiliaries.) In order to understand the uses of BE and DO, you have to start with identifying their roles in utterances. 1. If BE is the main verb, use BE in forming statements, questions, and negatives. Dinner IS ready IS dinner ready? Dinner ISN'T ready Besides being a main verb, BE is an auxiliary verb.Read More...

any/no matter II

1-I can't find what I want anywhere I go. 2-I can't find what I want everywhere I go. 3-I can't find what I want , anywhere I go. 4-I can't find what I want , everywhere I go. 5-I can't find what I want just anywhere I go. Which of the above mean: A-There is no place where I go and where I can find what I want. B-I can't find what I want in every place where I go but only in some of them.Read More...
1. I can't find what I want anywhere I go. This has meaning A. 2. I can't find what I want everywhere I go. This sounds very odd if uttered alone. It would be appropriate in response to someone saying "You can find what you want everywhere you go." The response would be "”No, I CAN'T find what I want EVERYWHERE I go (either "can't" or "everywhere" or both, would be stressed.) Then the speaker could say something like "But I can find what I want in a few places." This is meaning B. 3. I can't...Read More...

More on possibly passive verbs

This posting was sent in by Sayed as part of another question - Can this sentence be changed into passive ? If not , please tell me why ? 2) I go to school . Thank you very much and best wishes . SayedRead More...
In order to prevent any possible future confusion, here's a simple piece of logic that is easy to remember: (An INTRANSITIVE VERB is one that does not take direct objects . Typical intransitive verbs are "go," "arrive," and laugh." You can't *go something, or *arrive someone.) 1. Intransitive verbs do not passivize. 2. "Go" is an intransitive verb. 3. Therefore, "I go to school" cannot be passivized. MarilynRead More...

'Home' -- an adverb?

Would you please help me with these questions ? 1) I want to ask about the following sentences : - He arrived home . - He returned home . a) What kind of ( home ) in these sentences ? Is it an object or an adverb ? SayedRead More...
"Home" in your sentence is an adverb. "Home" after a verb like go, arrive, return, etc. means "to that place which is home." The phrase and the idea are adverbial. Here is part of the entry from The American Heritage Dictionary* for "home:" home adv 1. At, to, or toward the direction of home: going home for lunch . _______ Rachel _______ *The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. Fourth Edition. 2004Read More...

'there is a sense in which'

peteryoung
This lexical bundle has produced about 285,000 results in Google. I wonder what this actually means (especially as regards the sense of the word 'sense') and also what its function is (a downtoner or what?). For example:: There is a sense in which every Christian is a "creationist," for every Christian believes that he or she lives in a universe that is a creation. Now, this bundle here does seem to me to be toning down what the rest of the sentence is saying but is it the same as saying,...Read More...
"There is a sense" seems to mean, in this context, that there is one way, one category, one meaning, at least. So the sentence could be paraphrased as: "¢ Although there are several meanings for "creationist," there is one meaning in which every Christian is indeed a creationist: every Christian believes that he or she lives in a universe that is a creation. This meaning is not really a downtoner. It is stating a fact – at least in the writer's viewpoint – that while among Christians there...Read More...

no matter/any

Which are correct: 1-Anything I do, I can't open this door. 2-No matter what I do, I can't open this door. 3-Anywhere I go, I can't find what I want. 4-Everywhere I go, I can't find what I want. 5-No matter where I go, I can't find what I want.Read More...
Sentence 1 is not really standard English; it's casual style. I've found a couple of examples of very casual usage on Google: "”Anything I do I can't activate the hardware acceleration back ! (Please notice it was activated on my machine before I just desactive it manually for test ... discuss.microsoft.com/SCRIPTS/WA-MSD. EXE?A2=ind0110c&L=directxdev&D=1&P=18080 "”I have it chmodded right, and even tryed logging in as root, and chmodding it that way(Server computer). Anything i...Read More...

Object or complement?

I would like to ask about the following sentences : 1) I have a car. Is the word ( car ) an object or a complement ? 2) I had breakfast. Is the word ( breakfast ) an object or a complement ?. Thank you very much for your kind help . SayedRead More...
Most definitions of "complement" (in grammar) refer to the nouns, adjectives or adverbials that complete the meaning of a verb. One type of complement occurs with "be" or another linking verb, like this, in a subject complement (the complement completes the meaning of John): John is a student. John is good. John seems sick . John is on his way. Another type is an object complement. These complete the meaning of the object: John gave Mary a gift. They elected him president. _______ Some...Read More...

singular & plural nouns

1. When should 'contents' be used in the plural form? For example, in the expression 'Table of contents', why -s? And should we say 'the content of the bottle' or the 'contents of the bottle'? 'The content of the document' or 'the contents of the document'? 2. Similarly, some people seem to say 'teaching materials' while others say 'teaching material'. When should the singular and plural forms be used?Read More...
A bottle has contents . A document can have content (what is said in the document) and contents (the sections that are contained the document). Here are some definitions from various dictionaries for "content" and "contents." Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary http://dictionary.cambridge.org/define.asp?dict=CALD&key=16634 content (SUBJECT) noun [S or U] the ideas that are contained in a piece of writing, a speech or a film: It's a very stylish and beautiful film, but it lacks...Read More...

without reserve

Dear experts, Would you differentiate between WITHOUT RESERVATION and WITHOUT RESERVE? Thank you, YuriRead More...
"Without reservation" means without withholding anything, without any limits or restrictions or qualifications: Futures, options, commodities, stocks - financial astronomy ... ... This completed form serves as an agreement to the chosen terms chosen by you as the subscriber in direct reference to all the above said without reservation . ... https://ssl.gibsonet.com/star-seed/subscriptions.asp - The Battle of Antietam, Part I ... but it must be said without reservation that it is impossible...Read More...

know + that clause

Hello, I'm wondering what the grammar rules are regarding the following: 1. I know you are American. 2.*I don't know you are American. 3. I didn't know you were American. 4. *I didn't know you are American. Why can't we say sentence 2 or sentence 4? Why do we have to use the past for the negative of Sentence 1? Thank you.Read More...
Sentence 2 is grammatically correct but unrealistic with "you" (but see below). If you change the "you" to third person it's entirely natural: "”I don't know that Vladimir's wife is American, but I'm pretty sure she is It would be a reasonable thing to say Sentence 1 with "you" in a possible, albeit special, context. For example A: You can't arrest me! I'm American! B: I don't know you're American ; you could be any nationality, as far as I know. You'll have to show me some proof of American...Read More...

spend last summer in Chicago

"I would rather have gone to a quiet country town than spend last summer in Chicago." Does this sentence mean that the speaker actually spent the "last summer" in Chicago and didn't like it, and he is now wishing that he had gone to a quiet country town instead? To have "last summer" immediately after "spend" sounds a bit uneasy for me, but the sentence must be correct. I found it in a TOEIC training book. Thank you. KenRead More...
In the second sentence, I meant to indicate that the speaker actually did go to a quiet country town last summer, and not to Chicago. Let me try a better sentence: "¢ I would rather have gone to a quiet country town last summer as I actually did....than have spent it in Chicago. OR "¢ I would rather have gone to a quiet country town last summer, and not have spent it in Chicago as I did. If the speaker spent the summer neither in Chicago nor in a quiet country town, the sentence would have...Read More...

up in the air???

Hi, I came across a sentence which reads; "This story leaves you up in the air." I am not quite sure what this sentence means as there were no context to this sentence. Please kindly help. Thanks always. MoonRead More...
The Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English has this definition for "up in the air": "If something is up in the air, no decision has been made about it yet: Our trip is still very much up in the air ." As the expression applies to a story, it means "The story is not resolved at the end; it leaves you wondering what the final outcome is." Google examples: "”He was still up in the air about whether to make the Navy his career. He told me the Navy would be giving him extensive training...Read More...

selling things

Dear experts, How would you differentiate between: sell something at a certain price sell something for a certain price We sell these oranges at... How much are you selling your bike for? Thank you, YuriRead More...
"Sell something at" and "sell something for" can often be used interchangeably. In these sentences from the New York Times, "at" and "for" could be interchanged: "¢ Mr. Brown was selling the Oregon salmon for $20 a pound; farm salmon typically sells for half that amount. "¢ The Cheddar is $9.95 a wedge at Ideal Cheese. Barefoot Contessa in East Hampton, N.Y. and Market Basket in Franklin Lakes, N.J. sell it for $11.99 a pound (These two sentences come from the very same article.): "¢ Wheat,...Read More...

swear on a stack of bibles

Dear experts, Would you say that the expression SWEAR ON A STACK OF BIBLES is only used foguratively (cf.: swear on the bible). Thank you, YuriRead More...
The idiom is used today only figuratively. Answers.com, at http://www.answers.com/topic/swear-on-a-stack-of-bibles ...gives this explanation: Idioms swear on a stack of Bibles 1. Promise solemnly that what one is about to say is true, as in I swear on a stack of Bibles that I had nothing to do with his dropping out . This term alludes to the practice of placing one's hand on a sacred object while taking an oath, which dates from the mid-10th century. It is still followed in courts of law...Read More...

Antecedents

A few questions regarding antecedents: 1) When a relative pronoun immediately follows a comma, is the antecedent always the nearest preceding noun [on the other side of the comma] provided that the relative pronoun does not refer to an action. For example: The frisbee and the flying saucer, which had white marking on it, are easily confused. e.g. of prounoun referring to an action: Eating raw vegetables, which I rarely do, is often recommended but rarely practiced 2) How about appositives:...Read More...
Once again, very helpful. Here's some real questions taken from a test writer: 97. Iguanas have been an important food source in Latin America since prehistoric times, and they are still prized as game animals by the campesinos.... The pronoun "they" refers to "iguanas," not to the nearest plural noun "times." 103. Students in the metropolitan school district are so lacking in math skills that it will be difficult to absorb them into a city economy.... --> The pronoun "them" refers to...Read More...

Vocabulary for maritime commerce

I would be very grateful if you could help me with this question. Please correct the following sentences : 1- The ship has transited Canal ( with - under ) Ex-name . 2- The ship has transited Canal ( with - under ) name " ....." . 3- The ship has transited Canal ( on - under - for - with ) our agency . ( NB : Here I want to say that we were the agent of the ship during her transit Canal . So, what is the correct preposition here ? ) ------------------------------------------------ Also , I...Read More...
For this specialized vocabulary, I consulted a representative of a commercial vessel operating company, and a lawyer. I asked if there are differences in the meanings of the prepositions used before "the name of" in referring to a ship or its agent. In, with, for, by , and of probably would not be used in the context. Under might be used in some circumstances. Here are some suggestions. Let's say that the ship is named "Barbara," and the company is "ABC Transport." 1. "¢ The ship Barbara has...Read More...

prick up one's ears

Dear experts, Do you think the expression 'pick up one's ears' although represented by numerous examples, is merely a corruption of 'prick up one's ears' and is not part of the standard vocabulary? Thank you, YuriRead More...
The original expression is "prick up one's ears." Some speakers say "pick up one's ears," but that's a later version and not so prevalent as "prick up one's ears." I wouldn't call it a "corruption," since the meanings are so similar. MarilynRead More...

possessive case

The following appears archaic usage. I have heard it only in old movies. It is still correct to use this possessive case? 1.- He didn't mind my listening. 2.- She agreed my driving her car. 3.- He couldn't assent to my going along. Thank you very much for any explanation.Read More...
All the sentences are correct, and natural in modern English. The construction possessive + gerund (my listening) is, however, more formal than the construction object pronoun + gerund (me listening). Google examples: "”So, I hope you do not mind my listening ". To which Shatalov said:. "Not at all". So, this is the story of how I met these luminaries in the history of space ... www.svengrahn.pp.se/spaceper.htm "”"I wonder if you would mind my listening to the record 'Roses of Picardy' that...Read More...

there is or it is

I don't know if these clauses are correct or correct but not commonly used. 1.- Try to go to the bank when there is still time. 2.- He tried to go to the bank when there was still time. 3.- Try to go to the bank when it is still time. 4.- He tried to go to the bank when it was still time. Thank you for any correction.Read More...
1.- Try to go to the bank when there is still time. OK "Time" here is a noncount noun. 2.- He tried to go to the bank when there was still time. OK 3.- Try to go to the bank when it is still time. Not OK. "It's time" is a different expression, an idiom meaning that the time (the hour) has arrived to do something, e.g. "”It's time to get the windows washed for spring "”I thought it was time to confront him about his marks in school 4.- He tried to go to the bank when it was still time. Not...Read More...

Rules for forming compound expressions

Would you please be so kind and help me with these questions : 1) which of the following expressions is correct to indicate the possessive case : a) Hospital account OR hospital's account ? b) Chemist account OR chemist's account ? c) Departments accounts OR departments' accounts ? 2) Which of the following expressions is correct : a) Survey fees OR survey fee ? b) Translation fees OR translation fee ? c) Night attendance fees OR night attendance fee ? 3) Also , would you please tell me what...Read More...
In Section 1) of your question, comments on the different kinds of compounds that are possible have been posted previously under other topics, currently named: "noun modifiers ('disbursement' + 'account')" and "door of the room" and "plural possessives." However, these answers are not entirely satisfactory, I realize, as there is no black-and-white, one correct phrase for these expressions. Let me try to give some more examples: "¢ The items were charged to the doctor's hospital account ,...Read More...
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