All Forum Topics

Why 'brideSmaid'?

This question has been sent in by Carlotta . I have a question about the word bridesmaid/bridesmaids. Why is the first part of the word plural? I can't find any part of grammar which can help me.Read More...

As per

Many people like to use "as per" in their e-mails. However, my professor told me to avoid using "as per" in the letter. Can anybody explain the correct usage, please? Thanks a lot!Read More...

'ON / IN / AT the premises'

Dear teachers, What preposition is used in the following sentence? The book festival will be held .... the school premises on October 26, 2004. Thank you, Aneeth PrabhakarRead More...

some, any

The following is an exercise I came across in one of the textbooks. The answer key says the correct answer is "some", but "any" seems to work. Any comment? The noise outside prevented me from having (a, some, a few, any) sleep. AppleRead More...

grapefruit/grapefruits

Are both sentences correct?If so, which sentence is more common or natural? 1. Grapefruit is sour. 2. Grapefruits are sour.Read More...

The past participles of intransitive verbs

Hello, teachers! Would you please tell me if these are acceptable or if we should use the bare forms? 1. I'm sad to see the flowers [withered, wither] away. 2. I'm sad to see the flowers [faded, fade] away. 3. I'm sad to see the flowers [shriveled, shrivel] up. Thank you very much. Best Regards.Read More...

wither and wither away

Hello, teachers! Can we omit 'away's and 'up' here? 1. I'm sad to see the flowers withered/wither [away]. 2. I'm sad to see the flowers faded/fade [away]. 3. I'm sad to see the flowers shriveled/shrivel [up]. Thank you very much. Best Regards.Read More...

a number of, the number of, the numbers of

"a number of X" means "a lot of X" and takes a plural verb, as in "Recently a number of violent crimes have been reported" "the number of X" merely means the mass or the group of X and takes a singular verb as in "Recently the number of foreign cars is on the increase" I saw the following sentence in Nature . I am fine with what the sentence means, but is it possible to say "the continent's dwindling number of wild elephants is being...."? The continent's dwindling numbers of wild elephants...Read More...

"fee" and " fare"

We all know it's "admission fee" not "fare" and "bus fare" not "fee". Is this something we just have to know? Does anyone have a good explanation for students? lesson/admission/tuition fee, bus/train/air fare, Are there cases where these two are interchangeable? AppleRead More...

"everyone" and "everybody"

In most situations "everyone" and "everybody" are interchangeable, as I understand, but what is the difference if there is any? In class, I prefer "everyone" as in "Attention please, everyone", but really don't know why. Is there a difference between "nobody" and "no one", "anybody" and "anyone" and so on? AppleRead More...

"never" and "before"

Hello I'd like to know if we can use "never" and "before" in the same sentence. #1 Yuki has never been to London before. Is #1 grammatically accepted? Or does this sound strange? Thank you.Read More...

Passive with "for"?

Hello I find the following sentence in the exercise. In the case of the verb "buy", I wonder if person can be the subject in the passive sentence. I know it is OK with the verb "give" The sentence is this: #1 I was bought a nice bicycle for my birthday by my father. Is this grammatically accepted? Thank you.Read More...

used to

Hello I wonder if I can use " used to " instead of " would " in the following sentence. #1 My mother would often bake bread on Saturday mornings. #2 My mother used to often bake bread on Saturday mornings. If #2 is OK, do both sentences have the same meaning? Thank you.Read More...

what is the difference ?

Dear All, What is the difference between the following two sentences ? 1) Not a day has gone by when I didn't think of him. 2) Not a day has gone by when I have not thought of him. Thank you. RickyRead More...

Expressions for not feeling well

Hello I'd like to ask about how to express the reason of bad condition. 1) I'm sick with a fracture. 2) I'm sick with a cold. 3) I'm in bad condition with a stomachache. Would you give me some better expressions? Thank you.Read More...

Questions with "by whom"

Hello When I'd like to ask about the agent of passive voice, can I use both sentences? Or is "By whom" not used in daily life? For example: 1) By whom was the cake eaten? 2 Who was the cake eaten by? Thank you.Read More...

Transforming sentences from active to passive

Hello I'd like to ask about passive sentences. In the exercise we change some active sentence to passive sentences. If a sentence have two object, two sentences can be made. However, are both sentences natural to native speakers? Or is one of them too awkward? For example: I changed 1) to 2) and 3) 1) My uncle gave me a nice watch. 2) I was given a nice watch by my uncle. 3) A nice watch was given me by my uncle. Do 2) and 3) sound natural? Thank you.Read More...

The position of 'enough'

Hello, teachers! S1. Do we have enough bread? S2. Do we have bread enough? Is there any difference in usage or nuance? Please check my thoughts. Case I; usage While S1 is natural and common, S2 is archaic and uncommon. Case II; nuance While S1 asks if we have bread or not, S2 asks if the bread we have is enough or not, Thank you very much. Best Regards.Read More...

"near" or "near to"

I came across the following sentence in a book by Macmillan Press. I was on duty in the area of Witley Gardens, near to the Blackburn Road. "to" is optional, right? What difference does it make, with and without "to"? Google yields 24700 examples of "near the station" and only 829 of "near to the station". AppleRead More...

The position of 'never'

Hello, teachers! Would you please tell me if these are correct? 1. You [can never, never can] do it. 2. I [will never, never will] do that. 3. The course of their love [did never, never did] run smooth. Thank you very much. Best Regards.Read More...

"think it best, "know it best"

Why is #3 out, while the other two seem OK? Or is #3 also acceptable? 1. I find it best to go by subway. 2. I think it best to go by subway. 3. *I know it best to go by subway. AppleRead More...

The usage of "in which"

I'm not quite clear about how the phrase "in which" should be used. For example, There are several other ways in which President Bush can turn the problems he demonstrated in the first debate into assets. Why in which is used here in stead of which alone? Thank you very muchRead More...

Which tense(s) in reported speech?

Hello!!! This time, I want to inquire about the relation between main verb and verb in subordinate clause. That is, I wonder if a main verb limits the scope of verb tenses in a subordinate clause. For example, I think that the following combinations are possible. 1. She said that she loved me. 2. She said that she loves me. 3. She said that she had loved me. 4. She said that she would love me. In the meantime, I wonder if the following combinations are possible or not. 5. She said that she...Read More...

have or had or both ?

Dear All, Please take a look at the following dialogue : A : Have they caught him yet ? B : I've not heard that they HAD. Is 'HAD' correct? Shouldn't it be 'HAVE'? Many thanks. RickyRead More...

sequence of tense

Dear All, Please take a look at the following paragraph : "In my last letter, I mentioned that I had been experiencing considerable pressure. You may have suspected that this was connected to the difficulties which we are having in the publishing department. Sadly, tensions within that department have existed for some time. I've been doing all I can to resolve these but have not been successful . As a result, I resigned as chief editor last month. " Q : As the writer has already resigned...Read More...
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