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Singular or plural verb?

This question has been sent in by Susan McKenzie: I wonder if you could help me. 1. I don't know whether it should be "stem" or "stems." "¢ and his vibrant depictions of everyday life stem from his own recollections. Thanks.Read More...

"Do good," "do well" and "make good"

Dear Experts, So we never DO GOOD ON SOMETHING though we DO WELL on tests, exams, etc. Granted. What about DO GOOD, DO WELL and MAKE GOOD used absolutely. Will you confirm the following distinctions: do good do well make good do good – 1. be of help; be beneficial: I wonder if it will do good. I wonder if it will help the children. 2. help through charitable work, etc.: Sometimes I doubt if she will be as ready to begin doing good again. 3. (followed by Infinitive) is used to suggest acting...Read More...

Construction of "when" clause

Which one of the following correct? 1. A silkworm has glands that secrete a liquid that hardens into silk when comes into contact with air 2. A silkworm has glands that secrete a liquid that hardens into silk when it comes into contact with air Thanks.Read More...

Article before a singular count noun? Before a proper noun?

Dear teachers, I found in my English textbook and workbook an idea expressed with two different sentences. For example, A: What is that sound? B: It sounds like a violin / violin. A: Who does he look like? B: He looks like a Santa Clause / Santa Clause. My question is whether we need the article "a" or not in the second sentence of each pair? Thanks a lot for your reply!Read More...

"Than ever" & etc.

Hello, teachers! Could you please tell me if these expressions are acceptable and natural? 1. He is studying harder than ever. 2. He is studying harder than he [was, did, studied]. 3. He is studying harder than he [has, has been, has done, has studied]. Thank you very much. Enjoy the sunlight slanting through the trees! Best Regards.Read More...

"Calm down" & "calm oneself down"

Hello, teachers! Is there any difference in meaning or nuance? If there is, would you let me know, please? 1. She tried to calm down. 2. She tried to calm herself down. Thank you very much. Best Regards.Read More...

"It's time (that)" + which form of the verb?

Hello, A student of mine asked me about the answer to the following question: He is already on the wrong side of forty. It's about time he _____ himself a wife and settled down. My instinct tells me that the answer to this question should be "found" and not "find." However, I can't give any good explanation why the past tense would be needed here. Is "find" possible? I keep saying it over and over to myself and now I can't decide if it sounds correct or incorrect, and I'm a native speaker!Read More...

"Pull out"

This question has been sent in by Yuri : Would you say that the use of PULL OUT in such contexts as 'pull out an idea', 'pull out an answer' is colloquial rather than neutral in style?Read More...

Order of phrases

This question was sent in to the Grammar Exchange by Lina : Dear teachers: Would you help me with the order of the phrases? Which is the right order? 1) That park is twenty minutes by bus from my house. 2) That park is twenty minutes from my house by bus. Is there any rule or just a custom? Yours truly, LinaRead More...

"Do good" and "Do well"

This question has been sent in by Yuri : Is it OK to use DO GOOD ON SOMETHING to mean DO WELL ON SOMETHING in the following contexts: I'll be sure to work hard and do good on this. I hope that I do good on all of my tests and paper...Read More...

"Cut loose"

This question has been sent in by Yuri : Would you agree with the following differentiation in meaning of the expressions: cut loose from something cut loose with something cut loose from something - get away from smth.; break ties with smth.: When these farm boys get to town, they really cut loose from convention. cut loose with something - (sl.) speak or act without restraint: cut loose with a string of curses; cut loose with a loud cheer.Read More...

Using "and" and "to"

I would like to find out the difference between the following sentences: 1- To go to see. 2- To go and see. Thank you for helping me. CyrusRead More...

The positions of "only" & "just"

Hello, teachers! Would you please tell me which is the correct word order? Someone told me only #2 is correct. However, IMHO, both are correct; moreover #1 seems more logical or more grammatical. Is my thought rubbish? 1. It's a very good sports team; it has lost only/just two games this season. 2. It's a very good sports team; it has only/just lost two games this season. Thank you very much. Enjoy drowsiness in the middle of spring. Best regards.Read More...

"Since" vs. "from"

Hello, teachers! Would you please tell me which is correct, since or from? - I have known him [since, from] his childhood. Thank you very much. Enjoy the stillness of night. All the best.Read More...

Present perfect or past tense?

Are both of them correct? I think a) is correct, but I'm not sure about b). a. Fatima has never seen snow in her entire lifetime. b. Fatima never saw snow in her entire lifetime. thanksRead More...

Conditional sentences

Which is correct? And why? 1.a. How old would human beings live to be if all diseases in the world were completely eradicated? b. How old will human beings live to be if all diseases in the world are completely eradicated? 2. Can you imagine what the world would be like today if dinosaurs still existed? Do you think it (would be, is)possible for dinosaurs and human beings to coexist on the same planet? THANKSRead More...

"In the winter" or "in winter"

When you talk about seasons in general, do you need a determiner "the"? It looks like "in the winter" is used when you talk about a particular year as in (1) (1) He didn't participate in the competition in the winter of 1994. And when you talk about the winter in a certain part of the country as in (2). (2) Do the kids ski a lot in the winter around here? But it looks like (2) will sound just fine without "the". Then what would you say is the difference? Apple.Read More...

"For" & "during"

Hello, teachers! In both sentences, can we use both 'for' and 'during'? 1. I went to the Philippines last year. / How long were you there? / [For, During] the whole summer. 2. He lived in the Philippines [for, during] his whole boyhood. Thank you very much. Enjoy the getting-warmer weather. Best Regards.Read More...

"Since[time] ago"

Hello, teachers! I think I was taught that the expression 'since [time] ago' is incorrect and it should be 'for [time]'. However, I often hear that 'since [time] ago' is also correct and common, and on the Internet through Google, I have found so many sentences with the expression. Is it really correct? - Please check my thoughts. I haven't heard of anything about him [_____]. a. since many years ago. [I think this is common, but it is very informal or incorrect.] b. for/in years. [I think...Read More...

"Layabout"?

This is a "lie" vs. "lay" question: Why is it that a person who lies around a lot, doing nothing, is a "layabout," not a "lie about"? HowardRead More...

Past verbs in conditionals

Dear All, Swan in his Practical English Usage writes the following : "Instead of would + infinitive, past verbs are generally used with conditional meanings in subordinate clauses." My question is this : do we change ALL the verbs into past verbs ? For example, take a look at the following sentence ( which does not follow the principle in Swan's): "We do like visiting your websites but we would appreciate it if you slow down and think about what you're doing and where you're submitting to."...Read More...

Past forms for verbs referring to future

I have these future in the past questions that I hope you could help me with: 1) I was wondering if you could tell me where he is now. 2) She promised we would talk about it when I come to your party tonight. 3) She promised me she would come to your party tonight/tomorrow. 4) At first we didn't know if we should approach you. But finally we thought we should let you know that there are other people out there who are agaist the act too. _______ For the first question, I don't know if I...Read More...

"Or" + "be"

When a subject is connected by "or," does the verb always agree with the nearer one? "He and his parents are here" is correct. But what about "You or I am here" or "I or you are here"? What is the verb? RobertaRead More...
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