All Forum Topics

"If only because"

Does "if only because" introduce hypothesis or cause? It's a memorable experience, if only because it is so frustrating.Read More...

"If not more so"

1. The use of chemical pesticides in this country is as extensive as it was ten years ago, if not more so . What is the role of "if not more so" in 1?Read More...

Negatives in questions

Hello All, Could someone please tell me the difference between the following two sentences. Do you not understand what I am saying? Don't you understand what I am saying? I am sure it is a simple explanation but I feel unsure about it. Thnxs a lotRead More...

Appositive or complement or participial phrase?

Please look at the sentence (1). (1) The truth is that newborns arrive in a presocial state, ready and eager for contact. Although I'm fine with the meaning, I'm not sure what syntactical role the phrase in bold plays. Is it a complement to the verb "arrive" or could it be an appositive to "a presocial state"? Is it technically possible to say it's a reduced form of a participial phrase with "being" before "ready" omitted? appleRead More...

"Not until ---"

The following two sentences are said to have same meaning; A) Not until the meeting was half over did Alice came. B) Alice didn't come until the meeing was half over. I wonder if Alice actually showed up both in A and B sentences. Please kindly let me know. Thanks.Read More...

Present perfect tense

Dear all, Please take a look at the following sentences : A) I've taught teenagers who didn't know how to write. B) I've taught teenagers who do not know how to write. Am I right in saying that in (A)the teenagers started off not knowing how to write but now they do. In (B), the teenagers started off not knowing how to write and they still do not know how to write. Also, are both sentences natural ie how native speakers would say ? Many thanks. RickyRead More...

"Are you," or have you been," with "these days"

"Take a look at the question an interviewer asks Bob Dole in TIME magazine. (1) What else are you up to these days? Now, how would the sentence sound different if it were "What else have you been up to these day?" Is there a particular reason the interviewer used the present tense rather than a present perfect? My non-native guess is that the question is strongly focused on Dole's present interest and activities rather than those in the near past time frame. Am I anywhere close? appleRead More...

Coordination of adjectives

Which one of the following is acceptable? 1. Their ancient and nearly forgotten language 2. Their ancient, nearly forgotten languageRead More...

Reputation of/Reputation for

Which one of the following is preferred? 1. It had a reputation of being haunted house. 2. It had a reputation for being haunted house.Read More...

Infinitives to split or not to split?

Hi all: The perennial question in English Can the infinitives in English be split or not? I was taught not to; however, I have Ed Good's book: A Grammer of you and I (....ooops me) He argues that infinitives can be split and cites numerous examples from well known authours. Ok what's the state of the consensus about split infinitives among English teachers/grammar experts? Thanks! xavierRead More...

"Very much" and "very well"

Is there a grammatical reason why we say "I don't know her very well," rather than "I don't know her very much"? We say, "She doesn't cry very much" and "I don't like her very much." Or is it purely a matter of collocation? appleRead More...

What kind of phrase?

I have a question regarding the phrase in italics below: Long a paladin of civil rights , Martin Luther King, Jr., was also a spokesman on behalf of nonviolent protest. What do grammarians call this kind of phrase? By the way, can you explain the origin of paladin in this sense? As long as I know, a paladin refers to a military leader. Thank youRead More...

"...So much so that..."

1. Language is in a state of chaos, so much so that nothing is certain. What is the role of "so much so that" in (1)? Is it a subordinator?Read More...

Adverbial phrase

1. That disease afficts some people in a contaminated area while sparing many others . Does the italicized portion modify the bold one--contaminated area?Read More...

Some/any

Hello. I am so embarrassed to ask this,but I need to confirm it. " Some people skate even in summer." When we ask about this sentence with Yes/No question, "Do any people skate even in summer?/ Do some people skate even in summer?", Which of them is correct? I think "Do some people~?" is correct, but some people say that when "some" is in a sentence,we have to put "any" in place of "some" in the question. Is it really correct? In my point of view,"any people" means anybody, and "some people"...Read More...

Nouns ending in "-y"

Hi all: Here's a question that's always intrigued me: why does the word "city" when it's pluralized, change its y to i before adding -es but not "Mary"? The grammar reference make a vague reference that if a y is preceded by a vowel, the y converts. OK is that because the y is considered a vocalic y (i.e. y is treated as a vowel) In any case, I would like to know about the historical background as to why "city" changes y to i+es in plural but not "Mary." Thanks! xavierRead More...

"We entering"?

Is the following sentence correct? It's getting hotter now that we entering June. Can a prounoun "we" be a subject of a participial construction? appleRead More...

What's wrong with this picture?

The Grammar Exchange spotted this sentence in a daily newspaper of a large North American city: "And, make sure your child knows that tissues must be thrown away immediately following hand washing in a trash receptacle." RachelRead More...

One of the men who "enjoy" or "enjoys"?

Please take a look at the sentence (1). (1) Tom is one of the few young men who enjoys golf. Is "enjoys" not "enjoy"? My understanding is that " the few young men" is plural and "who" refers to "the few young men", thus "enjoy" without an S. There are not many, but some young men who enjoy golf, and Tom is one of them. appleRead More...

"Will" or "going to"?

On another forum, it was discussed whether going to + verb and will + verb could be equal in usage in the eyes of the speaker. The example sentences were: I'm going to get you a doctor. I'll get you a doctor. Below are my thoughts on why we use the (be) going to example. Do you think the same could apply to will+ verb? I wonder if, when choosing to say "I'm going to get you a doctor.", we can follow the general explanation associated with the form (be) going to : The future is an...Read More...

Coordination and Comparative Clause/Phrase

I somewhere read that there exist similarities between Coordination and Comparison. I appreciate if somebody demonstrate which one of the following is correct using coordination test. 1. Failure to advertise as prominently the highest price in a range of prices for a service or product as the lowest 2. Failure to advertise the highest price in a range of prices for a service or product as prominently as the lowestRead More...

Past or past perfect?

I heard that Jean (just moved , had just moved)into a nice condominium overlooking the lake. Which is correct? If both are correct, is there any difference in meaning? thanksRead More...

Let's...

I found the following sentences from CNN: If you are a younger couple without a lot of assets, a joint account can work well. This let's you build together from the ground up . Jeff Opdyke, author of "Love & Money," calls this "financial intimacy." I first thought there was an error mistyping let's for lets here. However, when I did a search in google, I found a number of examples using let's when lets should be called for. I wonder whether this use of let's is grammatical. Thank youRead More...
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