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Phonetics

Can anyone tell me how the pronunciation of a vowel will be affected by the consonant following it? For example, leg is pronounced like 'lig' and egg as 'ig'. (Some native speakers insist that they are pronounced with the e as the e in bed or Ted or FedEx.That means, there is no change.) To me,the properties of 'e' or 'i' seem to have changed when they are followed by 'k' or 'g' as in 'leg' or 'tick'. Does this change take place only when 'e' or 'i' is followed by the velar consonants 'g'...Read More...

'Goodbye, George. May you and John be together...'

(Reposted from old newsgroup on 3/14/03) A touching note on the occasion of George Harrison's death over the weekend appeared in Central Park's Strawberry Fields. Maybe you saw a picture of this in the newspaper or on television: Goodbye, George. May you and John be together forever. How can "may you" be explained? We tell our students, when discussing modals, that "may you" does not exist. We use ""May/Can I?" and "Could/Can/Would/Will you?"Read More...

Subject-verb inversion with 'nor'

(Reposted from old newsgroup on 3/14/03) The blue Azar, Third Ed. introduces coordinating conjunctions for combining independent clauses (page 355, chart 16-3). there are examples given for each of the conjunctions except for 'nor'. My students asked me to give an example using 'nor', which I did. Then we realized that the subject and verb are inverted when using 'nor' in this construction, but they are not inverted for the other coordinating conjunctions (and, but, so, for, yet). examples:...Read More...

The plurals of 'fish' and 'fruit'

(Reposted from old newsgroup on 3/14/03) I wonder what the plural of fish is. Some people told me it is "fish" for different species, but if we are talking about fish of the same kind, we can say "fishes." The same happens to "fruit." What is the grammatically correct answer?Read More...

'Whole' and 'all' -- interchangeable?

(Reposted from old newsgroup on 3/14/03) In what kind of contexts are the words interchangeable? As far as I understand, the difference between these two words lies in being countable or uncountable. However, we can say: the whole world and all the world. Why is this possible?Read More...

'There is' or 'there are' a variety?

(Reposted from old newsgroup on 3/14/03) Would you say: There is a variety of ways in which a vacation can be spent. or There are a variety of ways in which a vacation can be spent. I say "there is" because it has to agree with "variety" (singular), but some say "there are," or that both ways are correct. What do you think? DianeRead More...

'I could/couldn't care less'

(Reposted from old newsgroup on 3/14/03) While reading an editorial in today's New York Times, I found this sentence: "America could care less about that." I have always used that expression as an expression of not caring at all about the subject being discussed. A friend always corrected me and said it should be, "I couldn't care less." Which is correct? jskolnik@nycap.rr.comRead More...

'Expect' and 'hope'

(Reposted from old newsgroup on 3/14/03) I'd like to know all the possible uses of the verbs "expect" and "hope" and if there is any important consideration about them. Thanks. María Elisa Sánchez. alvarezsanchez@cpenet.com.arRead More...

Noun clauses in indirect speech

(Reposted from old newsgroup on 3/14/03) I would appreciate your reply on the apparently simple error in the sentence: I'd like to know what did he say. Obviously, the correct form is: I'd like to know what he said. However, I am not sure exactly which rule of grammar is being violated. Do you think the following is correct? ˜What did he say' is used when ˜what' is being used to ask a question, whereas in ˜what he said', ˜what' means ˜that which'. Thanks in advance. Hoping to hear from you soon.Read More...

'During' and other prepositions

(Reposted from old newsgroup on 3/14/03) What about prepositions that cannot be followed by gerunds, such as "during"? Are there other cases? GiseleRead More...

Gerund or Participle

(Reposted from old newsgroup on 3/14/03) I have a sentence as follows: That girl is guilty of premeditatedly killing her dog. I want to know whether "killing" is this sentence is a participle or a gerund. Thank youRead More...

Nouns as adjectives

(Reposted from old newsgroup on 3/14/03) I wonder if it is correct to say 'women jobs'? Wouldn't it be better to say 'woman jobs'?Read More...

'Didn't use to' or 'didn't used to'?

(Reposted from old newsgroup on 3/14/03) On page 52 in the grammar box, there is "Didn't used to" and "didn't use to." We have always taught "didn't use to." If there is not a consensus, why put it in the book? It really messed up my students. Has anyone seen the same structure in other grammar texts? Unless a thorough linguistic data base is assembled, we should refrain from teaching our students something which departs from the "standard written language". Thanks. Osmond Duffis-SjogrenRead More...

'Much less interesting'/ 'much less fat'

(Reposted from old newsgroup on 3/14/03) Hi My question might sound a bit stupid & primitive for so called native speakers, but anyway I have to ask it. I know that I can say a phrase like : this book is much more interesting than that one. Or: far more interested/a lot more interested than that one. But can I say : this book is much/a lot/far less interesting than that one? Would the second phrase be grammatically correct? And what about short adjectives like "fat, sad" ? I guess , I...Read More...

'It's me' or 'It's I'?

(Reposted from old newsgroup on 3/14/03) I know that "It is I" is correct, yet I hesitate to use it. And, I always hear "It is me." What is correct, and, what should I say? Thanks. MC in New York State [This message was edited by Admin on March 13, 2003 at 09:01 AM.]Read More...

Reduction of adjective clause to adjective phrase

(Reposted from old newsgroup on 2/13/03) I have a question about page 290, chart 13-5, letters (e) and (f) of the Advanced Azar. I was wondering if you might know a more precise rule to explain when it is possible to omit the subject pronoun and change the verb to its -ing form when changing an adjective clause to a phrase. I am helping a student prepare for the Toefl test, and he recently asked me why it was not possible to write, "It is gravity pulling objects toward the earth," instead of...Read More...

What is aspect?

(Reposted from old newsgroup on 2/13/03) Hi! I'm a second year student,and I cannot understand what is the category of aspect? What is the difference between aspect and tense?I've consulted Longman Contemporary Grammar,but still,it's not clear for me. AnonymousRead More...

Singular or plural verb?

(Reposted from old newsgroup on 2/13/03) Researchers have found a combination of substances that helps you to lose weight without post-reduction problems. The above sentence uses "helps" as a singular verb of "that" ( which can represent either "substances" or " a combination of substances"). Is it correct to use "helps" in this particular sentence? ananja ananja@mychi.comRead More...

'Can't have' vs. 'couldn't have

(Reposted from old newsgroup on 2/13/03) Can these two modal perfect forms be used interchangeably or is there any formal usage restriction in either case? I´have found it difficult to explain this to my students.Thanks.Read More...

'Results' + ? preposition; 'the' + names of banks

(Reposted from old newsgroup on 2/13/03) Could you mind telling the following sentence is correct or not? Results of ABC Bank, Bank of China and HSBC Bank have been obtained. Thanks Kennethckh kennethckh@hotmail.comRead More...

'We' or 'us'?

(Reposted from old newsgroup on 2/13/03) I'm embarrassed to ask, but I've done my best to try to definitively ascertain which of these sentences is correct. Still, when I apply the one rule that sounds like it should be THE answer to my question, it simply doesn't sound right. The sentences: 1) It always seems to come back to that, for us parents--responsibility to the children. 2) It always seems to come back to that, for we parents--responsibility to the children. Searching the internet...Read More...

'Was' or 'is'?

(Reposted from old newsgroup on 2/13/03) Here's a "tense" question I was hoping you could help me with: "I often think about my mother...I saw her one year and four months ago in Poland. I have great respect for her because he WAS or IS always very helpful to me... OR is there another better possibility??? Thank you, LaurieRead More...
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