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follow-up to PUT THE LID ON

Dear experts, As regards my previous query concerning the expressions PUT THE LID ON / TAKE THE LID OFF will it be right to assume that they may express opposite meanings when substituted in: sexual development may have been arrested and unable to grow naturally in an environment that tended to PUT THE LID ON / TAKE THE LID OFF those things. At the same time NO antonymous substitution is possible in the context such as: I sympathized with Master Jimmie's desire, but I very promptly PUT THE...Read More...
' Only PUT THE LID ON can be used here, because of "but."Read More...

hear / listen a joke

Can i say, (a) The boys laugh after hearing / listening the jokes. (b) The boys laugh after hearing / listening to the jokes.Read More...
Can i say, (a) The boys laugh after hearing / listening the jokes. (b) The boys laugh after hearing / listening to the jokes _______ You'd probably say, "The boys laughed after hearing the jokes." _______ It would be possible to say, "The boys laughed after listening to the jokes," but in that case, the boys would have to be prepared to hear the jokes, to set themselves up for it. If you listen to something, you are trying to hear it. _______ These definitions are from the American Heritage...Read More...

on / in /at/ by the field?

Which ones are acceptable? (a) He plays football on / in / at/ by the field. Is there any other acceptable preposition?Read More...
No, we wouldn't mind answering your question! We enjoy answering the questions you send in. We are trying hard to keep up with you! Actually, there are times and places it's possible to use "in" or "at" in your sentence. Google shows 229 instances of "play football in the field," like this: "¢ Our young friends are not eager to go and play football in the field or take up athletics. They are very much interested in watching love stories and other ...Read More...

take a lesson with/from/ somebody

Which ones are acceptable? (a) He is taking a lesson from / with his coach. (b) He have tennis lessons with his coach. (c) He learn the lessons from his badminton coach.Read More...
Not correct, unless she writes some lessons (assignments) under the direction of her coach, which isn't very likely. MarilynRead More...

During the last summer?

Can i use the sentence in this way: (a) We go camping last summer. (b) We go camping during the last summer.Read More...
The example sentences are not English. The main verb in a clause has to be marked for tense. English verbs have a present tense and a past tense. The present tense is not used for past actions or states. With past time expressions, the verb in a sentence must be in a past tense form, not a present tense form. The correct past tense form for the verb "go" is "went." The sentences should be (a) We went camping last summer (b) We went camping during last summer If you make the noun "summer"...Read More...

Reference to / With reference to ..

Dear Rachel & marilyn, Would you please tell me whether both of the following expressions are correct ? . 1- Reference to your letter ... 2- With reference to your letter ... ** If any of them is wrong , please tell me why ? *** Also please tell me , when I want to mention date of that letter , Shall I say for example : - dated on 1/4/2006 OR - dated 1/4/2006 . Would you please write the correct expression in full . Thank you very much for your kind and great help . SayedRead More...
I prefer In reference to your letter dated 1/30/2004 (or of January 30, 2004) but "with" is also valid, and a bit more prevalent in Yahoo searches, it seems. Check this link: Guide to Basic Business Letters http://esl.about.com/cs/onthejobenglish/a/a_basbletter.htmRead More...

pseudo antonyms?

Dear experts, Would you agree that PUT THE LID ON SOMETHING and TAKE THE LID OFF SOMETHING are not antonymous in meaning: put the lid on something – (also: put the tin lid on something) 1. spoil or cause a plan, an activity, etc. to end: When he came out pointblank one morning with a request to go with us as cabin boy... I sympathized with Master Jimmie's desire, but I very promptly put the lid on his hopes. 2. suppress or ˜clamp down on' smth.: I would say their sexual development may have...Read More...
I agree that they are antonyms in their proper/direct/straight interpretation and that they are less than that in their figurative interpretation.Read More...

putting on the gloves

Dear experts, Could you provide definition for the phrase PUT ON THE GLOVES as in: This was the day Newt Gingrich put on the gloves against Lyndon Johnson. Newt scored a clean knockout over the late president in the Medicare championship bout. When you have the guts to debate the issues on merit instead of intolerance, I'm ready to put on the gloves. Thank you, Yuri P.S. As regards my previous query concerning the expressions PUT THE LID ON / TAKE THE LID OFF will it be right to assume that...Read More...
this is put on the FIGHTING/BOXING gloves, get ready for the fight, and enter the fray ... all figurative in many cases, say fighting over ideas, ideologies, etc.Read More...

About the date

I know that the correct way to write the date as below: (a) 25 July 2006 or 25th July 2006 (b) July 25, 2006 or July 25th, 2006 by the way, how do i spell out the word ?Read More...
There needs to be a comma after the name of the month: UK English: "”25 July, 2006 "”25th July, 2006 US English: "”July 25, 2006 "”July 25, 2006 The full spelling is "”The twenty-fifth of July, two thousand sixRead More...

Arrive at ?

Which ones are acceptable? (a)The fire engine arrived / arrived at the scene.Read More...
Yes, "the fire engine arrived AT the scene" is correct. You do need a preposition after "arrive." Another possibility is, "The fire engine arrived ON the scene." _______ You might say, "The fire engine comes to the scene" in a sentence like this: "¢ If there's a fire, the fire engine comes to the scene. "The fire engine is coming to the scene": "¢ Look! There's a fire! The fire engine is coming to the scene! In directions in a play script or movie script: "¢ There is chaos on the stage / at...Read More...

food(s) and fruit(s)

When talking about food, I have a problem .There are a lot of both countable and uncountable . Please explain how they are used. Examples would be very helpful indeed. Here are my questions. Are these sentences correct? Any difference in meaning? 1. I had an egg for lunch. ( countable noun) 2. I had some eggs for lunch. ( countable noun) 3. I had some egg for lunch. ( uncountable noun) 4. I had an scrambled egg for lunch. ( countable noun) 5. I had some scrambled egg for lunch. (uncountable...Read More...
Count nouns and noncount nouns are sometimes used in ways that are not typical. For example, The noun "fruit" and the noun "food" are usually noncount, but when they refer to "kind[s] of..." they are countable. A noncount noun like "coffee," which is usually not treated as a singular or a plural, can be used as a count noun when it means "kind of [coffee]" or "portion/serving of [coffee]." Other such nouns are beer, wine, whisky, oil, cheese, bread, and rice. Paint, wood, plastic, and metal...Read More...

In reply to / Replying to

Dear Rachel & marilyn, Would you please be so kind and tell me which of the following expressions is wrong ? . Also , would you please tell me why it's wrong . 1- In reply to your letter .... 2- Replying to your letter .... 3 - In respond to your letter .... 4- Responding to your letter .... 5- In response to your letter ... Thank you very much . SayedRead More...
Two and four are awkward. I would call them incorrect. RachelRead More...

About the number of floor

I really don't know how to spell out the number of floor. Eg, 1st floor, 2nd floor, 3rd floor, 4th floor ... by the way, how do spell? Is there any rule of the number?Read More...
In writing text, the general rule applies to ordinal as well as cardinal numbers: In nontechnical contexts, the following are spelled out: whole numbers from one through one hundred, round numbers, and any numbers beginning a sentence. For other numbers, numerals are used. Examples: Robert stole second base in the top half of the eight inning. The restaurant on the forty firth floor has a splendid view of the city. She found herself in the 125th position out of 360. The 122nd and 123rd days...Read More...

''which of the (plural noun)" 'do' or 'does'

Which ones are acceptable? (a) " Which of the following plants does not / do not have soft stem?"Read More...
Jerry is correct. The question appears to be from a test. If the test writers are looking for only one correct answer, "does" is correct. If the test writers are looking for more than one correct answer, "do" is correct. So the wording of the question may give away the answer -- one or more than one. If, however, the test writers don't want to tell you how many are correct, they should change the wording. Perhaps in an overall direction line, they would say: "One or more of the following...Read More...

'the more + noun' and 'the comparative adjective' -- OK?

This question has been sent in by Vincent. The more paper clips a magnet can holds, the stronger is the magnet. (Is there any mistake?)Read More...
The more paper clips a magnet can holds, the stronger is the magnet. _______ While JerryS' sentence is fine, Vincent's is fine as it is, (except for the "–s" at the end of "hold"). First, a modal in one part of the sentence does not require that the verb in the other part be a modal too, either the same modal or another: These sentences are from the New York Times: "¢ ''So the more they can read about trends, see makeovers, know what's cool and then buy it, the better ." "¢ The more...Read More...

"see that you understood"

I've heard and read sentences like this: I want to make sure that you understood (the situation, etc.). Why is "understood" used here? If the understanding "continues" up to now, can "understand" be used instead?Read More...
Yes, you can use "I want to make sure that you understand ," to make it crystal-clear that your desire continues in the present. It may be, however, that a speaker wants to "downtone" the idea, so as not to be too direct. The past tense form is a way of "softening" the impact of the statement. An even gentler way of making the statement would be "”I wanted to make sure that you understood [the situation... It's very serious right now...] This is similar to downtoned statements like "”I...Read More...

Mile or Miles?

Hello, I recently ran into the question of phrasing. There was a piece entitled "50 Miles Roundtrip" and I was told that it is supposed to be "50 Mile Roundtrip." I understand that within the context of a sentence "50 mile roundtrip" is correct, but if it is a title, is it still improper to use the phrase "50 Miles Roundtrip?"Read More...
The title is ambiguous, and there's no way to know how it's supposed to be understood. If "50 miles" is intended as an adjective modifying "roundtrip" it isn't correct. It should be hyphenated and with "mile" in the singular: "”[A] 50-mile Round Trip (The noun phrase "round trip" is two separate words. As an adjective phrase, the term is hyphenated, as in "a round-trip ticket.") If the title means that a round trip is 50 miles from start to finish, it would imply "”[It's] 50 miles round trip...Read More...

in / on/ at / by the sea?

Which ones are acceptable? (a)The man caught fish in / at / on the sea? (b)He saw a yatch on / in / at / by the sea?Read More...
This sentence is correct: "¢ The man caught fish in the sea / ocean. If you use "at," there's no "the." There's an idiomatic expression, "at sea" (but NOT "at ocean." "¢ The man caught fish while he was at sea. Fish swim in the water. _______ These sentences are correct: "¢ He saw a yacht on the sea / ocean. OR "¢ He saw a yacht in the sea / ocean. You'd see a large ship, like the Queen Mary, in the water. A medium-size ship, like a yacht, could be in or on the water. A small boat, like a...Read More...

Thanks to members,the GE's 4th anniversary, and posting of updated guidelines

Dear Grammar Exchange members: The Grammar Exchange is celebrating its 4th anniversary this week. We're very pleased with our site. In the course of four years, we have posted almost 3,000 topics on the Newsgroup, and we have over 5,000 postings from all our members. We've learned a lot in our discussions, and we hope you have, too. The guidelines for the Grammar Exchange Newsgroup have been updated and just posted on the site. Please take a look. We want to keep our site as vital,...Read More...
Congratulations and many happy returns of the day!Read More...

answer is a lemon

Dear experts, Please comment on the expression THE ANSWER IS A LEMON as in: The moment that that proposal is made, I know that the first answer will be: ˜But the quality of the stone is not suitable for our business at all.' But the answer is a lemon. Of course, it is not the ideal stone for this purpose. Thank you, YuriRead More...
Phr. the answer is a lemon: used to denote that a reply is unsatisfactory or non-existent. http://tinyurl.com/pcc2f check the slang mentioned here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lemon_(automobile)Read More...

Non-action verbs

Dear Rachel & Marilyn, How are you ?. Would you please help me with this question ?. I want to ask about the following verbs : care - cost - doubt - feel - want . These verbs are called non-action verbs and they are not normally used in progressive tenses but sometimes they can be used with a special meaning . *** Would you please give me an example for every verb of them in the present continuous ? I want to see how they will be different in meaning . Waiting for your kind reply . Thank...Read More...
There is a very informative thread on the board called "Understand/understanding" that deals with stative verbs in the progressive. The thread was started by Tommy and answered very thoroughly on February 8, 2005 by Rachel. There's another enlightening thread posted on February 13, 2003, and also answered by Rachel, on "Stative verbs in the progressive form." MarilynRead More...
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