All Forum Topics

"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...

The position of an adverbial word or phrase

Hello, teachers! Please help me with these sentences. 1. I met my old friend by accident in a bookstore. 2. I accidently met my old friend in a bookstore. 3. I met my old friend accidently in a bookstore. I think #1 & #2 are natural, and #3 is somewhat uncommon. Am I right? Then what about these? 4. I broke the vase by accident. 5. I accidently broke the vase. 6. I broke the vase accidently. I guess #5 is the most common and #6 is ok, but #4 is somewhat unnatural. Am I right? Thank you...Read More...

"Is welcome" or "is welcomed"

I have found many more instances of "is/are welcome" than "is/are welcomed" on BOE and google. Are they both correct? Are both the following sentences acceptable? What should I say is the difference? (1) Your help will be welcome. (2) Your help will be welcomed. Apple.Read More...

The position of "be there"

Hello, teachers! I think #1s are natural, aren't they? Please let me know if #2s are also correct. 1-1. How much work is there to do by next week? 1-2. How many people are there working in your office? 2-1. How much work to do by next week is there? 2-2. How many people working in your office are there? Thank you very much. Best Regards.Read More...

The Present Perfect Continuous or the Perfect Simple ?

Hello Experts, In the following which is correct, and why? 1) I didn't know that you could play the piano. Oh yes, I have had piano lessons for a year. 2) I didn't know that you could play the piano. Oh yes, I have been having piano lessons for a year. An explanation would be welcome. I think both are correct, but I was told only the second one was. In the 1st sentence we know for how long but not when, so why can't one use the simple perfect form ? ThanksRead More...

Why "nothing but" + "eat" and not "eats"?

Dear All, Please look at the following sentence : "He does nothing but eat." Q : Why is it "eat" and not "eats" ? I understand that the sentence could have been formed from 2 sentences - He does nothing. He does eat. = He does nothing but (does) eat. What about - He does nothing. He only eats. = He does nothing but (only) EATS. Thank you. RickyRead More...

"The" or possessive adjective for part of the body?

Hello, teachers! Please judge which opinion is correct! - Uncle patted me on [the, my] shoulder. As to this sentence, some people say that the definite article is correct, some say that the possessive is correct, and some say that both are correct. Would you please tell me which opinion I should follow? If both are correct, which is preferred? Thank you very much. Enjoy the spring wildflowers Best Regards.Read More...

The verb "pretend"

Hi, this is Apple, who still can't log in under my former username. Anyway, here is my question. Look at the following sentences. I know (2) is not correct while all the rest are good. I know that as-if clause can not follow "pretend". Is there a plausible explanation for this, or do we just have to learn it individually? (1) He pretends to be ill. (2) * He pretends as if he were ill. (3) He pretends that he is ill. (4) He looks to be ill. (5) He looks as if he were ill. Apple.Read More...

"Do it," "do so," "do that"

(Note: M.T. is the former "Apple." Because of technical difficulties, she was not able to access the Newsgroup, and had to join up again with a different account.) ______ Is there a rule to decide which to use in the following sentence? A: I asked him to reserve a room in advance but he didn't do (it, so, that.)Read More...

"Regret" and gerund or past gerund?

Some aged people tend to regret (having been lazy , being lazy) in their college days but it is all too late Are both of them correct? Any differences in meaning? How about the sentences below? I regret selling the farm. I regret having sold the farm. I have always regretted selling the farm. I have always regretted having sold the farm. thanks a lotRead More...

Definition for "on trial"

Dear experts, How would you define the meaning of ON TRIAL as used here: On trial we found that the machine would soar on the side of a hill having a slope of about 7 degrees. Thank you, YuriRead More...
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