All Forum Topics

"Not" in the main clause

The following pairs look like they have similar sentence constructions, but some take "not" in the main clause and others don't. I wonder why. Of the two (3)and (4), I have been told (4) is more frequently used, but (3) is a good sentence as well. What is the difference between the two? The same with (7) and (8)? (1)I guess he won't come. (good.) (2)*I don't guess he will come.( bad? I'm not sure.) (3)I think he won't come.( good.) (4)I don't think he will come. (good.) (5)I hope he won't...Read More...

"Arrive in" or "arrive at"

soheilbiglary
I know the difference between "arrive in" and "arrive at," but which one is more correct for such a big airport like Heathrow in Britain or J.F.Kennedy in the U.S.A and even Frank- fort in Germany? Some how they look like a city with transportation. When I was listening to a Video-Casette of Headway book, which is now one of the best in our country, I heard "arrive in Heathrow" so please make it clear for me. Soheil BiglaryRead More...

"In" -- necessary or not in second phrase

I found the following sentence(1) on p. 96 in the Reader's Digest, 2003, Oct. (1) This little sprig is a cutting from a 3000-year-old olive tree. Probably the oldest one in Europe, maybe the world Is another "in" not necessary before "the world"?. If the answer is no, or either is acceptable, what's the difference? Thank you. appleRead More...

"Join" and "Join with "

Hello, I'm confused whenever I use "join + somebody" and "join with + somebody". For example, He joined with me a club. He joined a club with me. What's different? Thanks RachelRead More...

Relative pronouns: "which" or "who," and "that"

Hi, today I have a question. If the antecedent is with a superlative or an other word of exclusive or comprehensive meaning, such as 'all', 'only', 'any', '-thing' etc, it is often used not with 'which' but with 'that': This is the most most beautiful picture THAT I have ever seen. I will tell you everything THAT I know about him. Here, they are used obeying the rule of it. But I have found the exceptions... * The most abominable din and confusion which it is possible for a reasonable person...Read More...

Status quo

Is it correct to say: " We are in the same status quo." Thank you for your help. CyrusRead More...

Simple past or past progressive

Hello, Which of the following is used when I question someone about the scene of the robbery. How many robbers went into the bank? How many robbers were going into the bank? Thanks a lot.Read More...

"provided (that)"

We can say: "I can't bake a cake unless I get some flour. " We should say: "I can bake a cake provided that I get some flour" I hope someone can explain what the rule is for not being able to say: "I can't bake a cake provided I can't get flour." I think it has something to do with a requirement or proviso, but I'm in difficulty figuring out the precise rule. Thanks!Read More...

"The media" - it x they

To college educated native speakers, does one of these sentences sound better than the other? The media was wrong and it did not apologize. The media was wrong and they did not apologize. Thanks GiseleRead More...

"The same" + ???

Hello! I have a question about grammar; is the following sentence grammatically wrong? "I live in the same building with some native workers" instead of "I live in the same building as some native workers." Thank you in advance. OznelRead More...

Concept of (the) world

A student of mine recently produced the following sentence: "Regarding the average citizen, if the television, the radio or newspapers do not forge his concept of world , what will do that?" Is the phrase "concept of world" appropriate, or would it be better to include the definite article before the noun "world" - "concept of the world"? If both are correct, which one sounds better? Thanks. Gisele São Paulo, BrazilRead More...

Future tenses -- differences?

Hello, What is the difference in the following sentences please : a) We are having a grammar lesson next Friday. b) We will be having a grammar lesson next Friday. c) We will have a grammar lesson next Friday. Also, are they all grammatically correct ? Many thanks. RickyRead More...

"Whose" as relative pronoun

I have a doubt concerning the usage of "whose". After the noun which the relative pronoun refers to is mentioned, I believe it is possible to use the personal pronoun "it", in reference to the same noun; at any rate I think I have seen sentences (in supposedly reliable sources) where this kind of structure happens. However, pondering on the question, I´m now not so sure - using a personal pronoun would seem to be wrong; it sounds like a repetitive reference to the noun being qualified.Read More...

"To" + verb or "of" + -ing"

Hello, What rule is applied to choosing between "to" and "of-ing" in the pairs? What is the difference between each sentence in the following pairs? (1)That is the way to understand it. (2)That is the way of understanding it. (3)I have the responsibility to do the job. (4)I have the responsibility of doing the job. (5)He has the ability to finish the work in time. (6)He has the ability of finishing the work in time. appleRead More...

Past conditional

Hello, Is the following reasoning grammatically correct? 'You wouldn't have guessed that her father is Chinese.' = 'Even if you tried, you wouldn't have guessed that her father is Chinese.' Thank you. RickyRead More...

A Want / A Wish

Hello, Could some please formulate the difference between "a want" & " a Wish". ThanksRead More...

Greetings !!! (How do you do?)

Hello, When you are greeted with" How do you do?" what is the reply? Is it also "How do you do?" Is there much difference between: How are you? How do you do?Read More...

A Want / A Wish

Hello, Could some please formulate the difference between "a want" & " a Wish". ThanksRead More...

Tense sequence

Hello, Scenario : A , having just arrived from abroad, meets up with B in a cafe. A has a train to catch later in the evening. A saying to B," The only difficulty was to know where to put the luggages till my train left." Question 1 - Is the past tense 'left' used to show tense sequence ( ie keeping the whole sentence in one tense ) ? If it is, then can we also use 'leave' to show a 'present situation' ( ie The only difficulty was to know where to put the luggages till my train leaves this...Read More...

Double negative

I accidentally read an advertisement of a thesaurus saying that... This all-new edition of the classic reference work is the one thesaurus no home or office should be without. To me, the sentence soulds natural, yet, on the secound thought, I found no and without in the sentence which makes me think that this sentence might have a double negative problem. Is it really a double negative? If so, is it acceptable as allowed to appear on the back cover of a quite well known thesaurus?Read More...

"Was planning" vs. "is planning"

Hello, Please take a look at the following sentence : For more than a year, Canadians have known that 69-year-old Mr Chretien was planning to resign in February 2004. Question - Mr.Chretien is still planning to resign in February 2004, so why not 'is planning' instead of 'was planning'? Or, is the past tense here used to suggest Mr Chretien's reluctance to resign as 'was planning ' suggests to me that he might change his mind? Many thanks. RickyRead More...

Transition vs. conjunction

Azar (in Understanding... ) makes the following distinction: It was hot. Therefore, we went swimming. (Transition) It was hot, so we went swimming. (conjunction) q1: Are 'therefore' and 'so' not conjunctions? q2. Can we use both commas and full stops to introduce the second sentence in both examples?Read More...

"There is "or "there are"

According to the traditional grammar,when a plural noun follows "there" the verb is "are or were" and when singular "is or was"is used, but this doesn't seem to be so these days. Especially when speaking, we tend to add items after we begin speaking with "there is...." But what about in writing? Is it still acceptable to use "is" for plural nouns following "there"? One sentence I have recently come across on the web is; (1)Here's a few guidelines to go by when making your decision. What is...Read More...

Past participle of "clean"

Hi.. She has cleant her room. She has cleaned her room. Is "cleaned" the past participle of "clean"? I have many native speakers use "cleant". I could be wrong. ThanksRead More...
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