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That [be] the last time + 'will'

Hello, teachers! Would you please tell me which tense is best? 1. If you do this again, it will be the last time I [forgive, will forgive, am forgiving] you. 2. This is the last time we [are, will be, will have been] together before you move to Tokyo. Let's make the most of it. Thank you very much. Best Regards.Read More...

the perfect continuous

Hello I'd like to ask about the perfect tense. If you want to talk about the action which began in the past and is still continuing, you will use the present perfect continuous. However, sometimes the present perfect simple seems to be used for the same situation. Would you take a look at the following sentences? 1) It has been raining hard since last night. 2) It has rained hard since last night. Instead of 1) do you use 2)? Here is another sentence. 3) Mary was angry because she had waited...Read More...

'Harder than,' 'more than,' 'better than'

Hello I'd like to ask about how to use "more". Would you take a look at the following sentences? 1) If I had studied harder, I could have passed the exam. 2) If I had studied more, I could have passed the exam. Can I use "more" instead of " harder"? If so, do they express the same meaning? Thank you.Read More...

It won't be long before + "will"

Hello, teachers! Would you please tell me which is better, with or without 'will'? - It won't be long before we [will] suffer from a shortage of water. Thank you very much. Best Regards.Read More...

Long since

What is the function of "since" in (1)? (1)They have long since disappeared I'm fine with the meaning. It's not a conjunction as in "I haven't seen her since last week". Apple .Read More...

It looks like rain.

What is the part of speech of"rain" in the following sentence (1)? (1) It looks like rain. Is it a noun? AppleRead More...

'Deliver' or 'delivery'?

This question has been sent in by Soraya. I am really curious about signs that say: FREE DELIVER. Is this right? Shouldn't it say FREE DELIVERY? I couldn't find the word "deliver" as a noun, but only as a verb. I am correct?Read More...

Antecedent in a nonrestrictive relative clause?

This post from Ananja was inadvertently removed from the board, and is herewith reposted. Marilyn Martin posted August 28, 2004 08:39 AM I've recently come across an interesting sentence from a news article. It says: Thailand had slaughtered 30 million birds, about the same number as Vietnam , where at least 14 people have died of bird flu and which reported two more cases of the disease. (Reuters) It seems to me that where and which share the same antecedent, Vietnam . What intrigues me is...Read More...

It/I feel (like) the flu.

Hello, teachers! A. I'm not feeling all that well. / What do you have? / [____] B. I'm not feeling all that well. / What's wrong with you? / [____] Would you please tell me if these are all acceptable in the blanks? [Meaning; It seems I've got the flu.] 1. It feels like the flu. 2. It feels the flu. 3. I feel like the flu. 4. I feel the flu. Thank you very much. Best Regards.Read More...

'Dreamed' or 'dreamt'

Last night I (dreamed/dreamt) that I was doing a century ride on my bike. What is the difference in usage between 'dreamed' and 'dreamt'?Read More...

compound noun or possessive "of"?

One of my students asked me to distinguish these sentences. But I'm unsure about the proper way to explain to them. Maybe experts here can give me a hand. 1. We're learning how to solve the computer problem 2. We're learning how to solve the problem of computer. 3. We're learning how to solve the problem for computer.Read More...

'Left school' -- completed or not?

When you say someone left school, does that mean he graduated or he dropped out? We'd never know what level of education, would we? James left school in 1993. AppleRead More...

'Olympic Games' -- 'is' or 'are'?

I've heard 'the Olympic Games is/ has/ was,' as well as 'the Olympic Games are/ have/ were.' And, 'the Games is/has/was,' and 'the Games are/ have/were.' To complicate the matter, announcers have said 'Every Games....' 'Olympic Games' -- singular or plural? Thank you. HowardRead More...

'Check that...' or 'check whether'

Which one is correct? A) I want you to check that you have locked the door. B) I want you to check whether you have locked the door or not. Which one do you choose -- "that" or "whether"?Read More...

What's their intent(ion)?

Yesterday, while waiting in line at my bank, I noticed a sign that read, "It is our intent to provide prompt access to funds deposited by customers." It got me to wondering: Could they have used intention instead of intent ? Is there a difference in meaning between the two words? Was their choice of words intentional?Read More...

'Sympathy' vs 'empathy'

I said to a friend today, "You have both my sympathy and my empathy." What is the difference in usage of the two words? Are they synonomous?Read More...

'During' and 'in'

Sometimes "during" and "in" are interchangeable , and sometimes they are not. Which of the sentences are wrong and why? 1. I visited my aunt in Tokyo during the summer. 2. I visited my aunt in Tokyo in the summer. 3. We first met during the tour. 4. We first met on the tour. 5. I'll call you during the lunch time. 6. I'll call you at lunch time. AppleRead More...

'I haven't done this for a long time' vs. 'I haven't been doing this for very long'

Hello, teachers! Would you please explain the difference in meaning between S1 and S2? I heard that S1 can mean both A and B but usually means A, and that S2 means B. Is it correct? [I don't understand this at all, and moreover this is very awkward, especially about S2.] S1. I haven't done this for a long time. S2. I haven't been doing this for very long. A. It has been a long time since I did this. B. It has not been a long time since I did this. Thank you very much. Best Regards.Read More...

'Will' + 'have had'

Dear All, Please take a look at the following sentence from a novel : " Being 50 will be the hardest birthday I have had, mostly because I have grown fonder of the world the longer I've been in it. " Q : Is the part in bold correct grammatically ? I feel puzzled by it because "will" gives the impression of not having happened yet and "have had" gives the impression of having happened. Thank you. RickyRead More...

Tense - conditional; mixed or past unreal

Hello, teachers! In these sentences, I think both tenses are correct. Am I right? If so, which is the natural, everyday expression? 1. Did you watch yesterday's football match? / If I [had, had had] a TV, I would have watched it. 2. If I [were, had been] rich, I would have bought that sport car we saw yesterday. 3. If he [spoke, had spoken] English, he could have translated the letter for you. Thank you very much. Best Regards.Read More...

Tense - Who had the tea?

Hello, teachers! Please look at this short dialog. [At a restaurant] Waiter; Who had the tea? Guest 1; Oh, she had the tea. Waiter; You had the tea? Guest 2; Yes. Waiter; Yeah. Tea for you, and coffee for you. Do you want cream and sugar? Guest 1; I'll take some cream. [Question 1] Why do the waiter use the past tense here; "Who had the tea?" [Question 2] Can we use other tenses instead? 1. Who is having the tea? 2. Who is going to have the tea? Thank you very much. Best Regards.Read More...

'All day' vs. 'all the day'

Hello, teachers! Would you please explain the difference in meaning between using and not using 'the' in these sentences? 1. Lucy spent all [the] evening on the game. 2. Lucy spent all [the] day on the game. Thank you very much. Best Regards.Read More...

Typing error-- 'has' or had'?

Dear All, Please take a look at the following : "My own sense of invulnerability is badly dented. Yes, against all the odds it HAD survived since my teenage years." Q: Is "HAD" correct or should it be "HAS" ? I feel "HAS" is the correct tense because his sense of invulnerablility is still there - it's only badly dented, not gone for good. Am I right ? Thank you. RickyRead More...
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