All Forum Topics

The use of "dare" in negative sentences

When "dare" is used as a modal verb in a negative sentence like (1)She dares not express her feeling. (2)She dare not express her feeling. Should dare agree with the subject as in (1)? Thank you so muchRead More...

a million dollars is/are

In Ex 14-28 in UUEG, the answer key says both "is" and "are" are fine verb form for "a million dollars." Could you give me an example of the case where plural verb is used?Read More...

perfect progressive/perfect

"I have been reading/ have read many novels all my life, but this is the first Saul Bellow novel." "In my life time, I have read/have been reading many novels, but this is the first Saul Bellow novel." In these two sentences, is it the case that both the Present Perfect and the Present Perfect Progresive are possible?Read More...

Phraseological variants?

Dear experts, Would you say that the expressions below are somewhat different in meaning: be in one's blood # run in one's blood Thank you, YuriRead More...

There is not much doubt that...

The following sentence is from Oxford Pocket Fowler's Modern English Usage edited by Robert Allen. "There is not much doubt that will win and shall lose in the end." Though I agree with him about the winning of "will" over "shall", I'm not sure about the use of present subjunctive (i.e. win, lose) in this sentence. Could I possibly change the sentence to: "There is not much doubt that will win s and shall lose s in the end."? Thank youRead More...

The measurement of time

Hello, teachers! - [_______]. I don't remember anything. Are these all natural everyday expressions in the brackets? 1. It is five years. 2. It's been five years. 3. It was five years ago. Thank you very much. Best Regards.Read More...

Have been built for

Hello, teachers! Would you please help me with this? - I guess that this building has been built for five years. Which does this sentence mean? 1. I guess that this building was built 5 years ago. 2. I guess that this building has been under construction for five years. Thank you very much. Best Regards.Read More...

To advise without an object

Collins Cobuild English Usage states that you do not use advise without an object . You do not say, for example, "He advised to leave as quickly as possible". If you do not want to say who is receiving the advice, you say "His advice was to leave as quickly as possible." [p.26] Betty Azar, however, states in UUEG that "a gerund is used after advise (active) if there is no (pro)noun object." Ex: He advised buying a Fiat. (p.307) According to these authorities, I'm not sure which one I should...Read More...

Using comma to set off "because-clause"

Quite a while ago, one of the posts in this Grammar Exchange has briefly discussed about using comma to set off the because-clause. If I remember correctly, the writer advised not to use it because because-clause is likely an essential element in the sentence. If that is true, could you comment on the following comment from Microsoft Encarta Reference: "Because" puts a greater emphasis on the cause: He liked her because she was witty and lively. "Because" and "for" are both used to introduce...Read More...

plan/am planning - intend/am intending

In _Fundamentals of English Grammar_, the use of both "I plan" and "I am planning" and "I intend" as well as "I am intending" show up in Chapter 4, Exercise 30. Since both are given (rightly, in my opinion) in the Answer Key, students ask about the reason on a regular basis. The only explanation I have for students is the arbitrary "These verbs can be used either as progressive or nonprogressive." They do not appear to fall under the umbrella of "duration of a habitual or usual...Read More...

as long as/so long as

In the answer key of Azar textbook, it is said that "As long as I live, I'll not forget her" is right but "So long as I live, I'll not forget her" is not good. Why? Is 'so long as' akward at the beginning of the sentence?Read More...

generic count noun

can I say "The/An encyclopedia contains information about many things" in addition to "encyclopedias contain..."?Read More...

reported speech

Dear All, Please take a look at the following three scenarios and I would be grateful for your comments/corrections, regarding the reported speech. On Sunday, Neil says to me, " If my wife has not had the baby by Wednesday, the doctors will operate on her." Scenario 1 On Monday, A asks me if Neil's wife has had her baby and I reply , " I don't know, but, Neil said if she has not had it by Wednesday, the doctors will operate on her." Scenario 2 On Wednesday, B asks me if Neil's wife has had...Read More...

Verb and tense agreement.

Hi, I would be most grateful for your assistance: In the restful sitting room, a pair of antique horse-shoe chairs, which Serene's husband picked up in Hong Kong a few years agao, is combined with a modern sofa and lighting, Is combined - is this correct. If it, could you explain why. Thanks for your assistance. SivaRead More...

perfect/perfect progressive

Can I say "So far this week, you have been giving me a lot of assignments every day" rather than "....you have given me..."?Read More...

position of adverbs

"I will still be studying in my room then" and "I will be still studying in my room then"-- Are both correct with the placement of the adverb?Read More...

it's best...

Dear All, Which of the following two is correct or are both correct ? A) I think it's best if you come on Sunday. B) I think it's best if you came on Sunday. Thank you. Regards, RickyRead More...

It's hard to learn, or...is hard to learn

Of the following two sentences, (1) sounds more natural to me, although they are both technically correct. Am I the only one that feels this way? (1) This Chinese character is hard to learn. (2) It's hard to learn this Chinese character. Thank you always. AppleRead More...

bring to an end.

Hello~ Great teachers! THE Football Association are to bring to an end a lucrative film contract after being embarrassed by the notorious Vinnie Jones video, writes Rob Shepherd. I wonder how the phrase is used as transitive.Read More...

About past perfect tense

It's clear that past perfect tense is used to refer to actions that took place before another past action. However, what is not clear, at least for me, is whether the action in past perfect needs to complete before the action in the past tense takes place. For example: Ryan arrived at store but Mr. Johnson had closed the store. Here: The closing of the store was complete before the arrival of Ryan. But: I had been waiting for more than an hour when they arrived. Here: Although the waiting...Read More...

The use of 'should"

Consider the sentence below: An effective vaccine is still needed, should the disease reemerge. However, several factors, including the lack of a clear market, has slowed research, but work is ongoing. I was taught that when "should" is fronted in a sentence, it might be an alternative way of expressing conditional sentence. However, when I changed the sentence above into the if-clause I got: An effective vaccine is still needed, if the disease should reemerge. The sentence sounds odd...Read More...

Relative clause.!!

Hi.. The following sentences seem wrong. An explanatin will help me understand better, why are they wrong 1) We renovated our parent's house where I enjoy the beautiful view of the mountain. 2) The villagers shop in Reim where you are within easy reach by bus. We are asked to use the relative clause, but it is wrong usage. Can someone help please. ThnaksRead More...

Using coordinating conjunction in a sentence

Please consider the sentence below: The chance always exists that viruses such as SARS and H5N1 will mutate and make newly developed vaccines obsolete, but that is one of the challenges of vaccine science. The writer of the sentence uses "but" to coordinate two independent clauses. However, I don't think that the two clauses show enough contrast to use "but" here. In my opinion using "and" should be more appropriate. I wonder if "and" is possible here and if it is, whether the meaning of the...Read More...

Less increase

tommy
"Less increase in the oil's viscosity" what's its meaning? Less increase the viscosity is increased or not?Read More...

past perfect/past progressive

Can you say "The science of medicine had advanced a great deal during the 19th century" or "The science of medicine was advancing a great deal during the 19th century" to emphasise "duration"?Read More...
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