All Forum Topics

Plural or singular?

Dear All, The following sentences sound natural to me but the grammatical principles appear contradictory. Are the sentences correct? 1) There WERE/ARE John and Mary in the room. 2) There WAS/IS a boy and a girl in the room. 3) There GO John and Mary. 4) There GOES the boy and his sister. 5) Where (Wh-questions) ARE John and Mary now ? 6) Where IS the boy and his sister now ? 7) HAVE John and Mary arrived ? 8) HAS the boy and his sister arrived ? Finally, 9) ARE football and tennis on TV...Read More...

"Soybean feed grains"

I hope someone will tell me what "soybean feed grains" in the following sentence. It's a part of an article by Reuters on genetically engineering technology. The company already has successfully commercialized Roundup Ready corn and soybean feed grains and had hoped to spread its herbicide-resistant technology in the vast wheat-growing industry. Is "soybean feed grains" a compound noun? Is "feed" an adjective or a noun? AppleRead More...

Compound noun

Which of the following compound nouns is the best word choice? 1. plastic producing factory 2. plastic production factory 3. plastic factoryRead More...

Needless to say...

I've recently had a discussion with my co-worker about the popular phrase "Needless to say..." . He believes that the phrase is not necessary in most, if not all, situations. However, I don't totally agree with him. I think that there must be situations that this phrase is called for. Unfortunately, I cannot come up with the one I am sure of. Could anyone here suggest sentences properly using this phrase?Read More...

"Prepare" or "prepare for"

Are these sentences correct? 1.The lawyers asked for 2 more days to prepare for the case. 2.The lawyers asked for 2 more days to prepare the case. 3.Mother is preparing for the birthday cake. 4.Mother is preparing the birthday cake. 5.Mother is preparing dinner. 6.Mother is preparing for dinner What is the difference between prepare and prepare for?Read More...

The position of particles in the two-word verb and two objects

Hello, teachers! [1] Would you please tell me if these sentences are grammatically acceptable? I think they are all ok, but I doubt about #5. Is it also acceptable? 1. After grading them, the teacher handed back the students their exam papers. 2. After grading them, the teacher handed the students back their exam papers. 3. After grading them, the teacher handed back their exam papers to the students. 4. After grading them, the teacher handed their exam papers back to the students. 5. After...Read More...

Indirect Object or emphatic 'oneself'

Hi, I have a question about the status of "myself" in the following examples: (1) I found myself a perfectly smooth stone. (2) I'm going to have myself some fun. Are these instances of "myself" to be considered to be indirect objects which happen to be reflexive pronouns or instances of emphatic "myself" as in the following sentences, which happen to sit between the verb and the object? (3) a. I myself found a perfectly smooth stone. b. I found a perfectly smooth stone myself. (4) a. I...Read More...

Prepositions of time.

In the following sentences is the "at" obligatory or optional? 1. Call me at any time after 9:00. I have often heard/seen this sentence with "at". Is the "at" obligatory or optional? 2. He usually comes home at around 6:00. AppleRead More...

the reflexive pronoun as a subject

Hello, teachers! - Jack and myself are going to Paris on business next week. Here, I know that the use of myself - reflexive pronoun - is incorrect. However someone says that the use of myself is correct in the following sentence, because it is for emphasis, especially in contrast with another person. - Jack and Jill are going to Paris, but Peter and myself are staying here. IMHO, even though it can be used colloquially, it is still no standard English. Am I right? Today I'd like to express...Read More...

"Cannot have" or "must not have" + past participle

Of the two sentences below, (1) sounds more natural and acceptable than (2), but I can't explain why. Is (2) as good as (1)? Any semantic difference? It's only 5 in the morning. (1) They cannot have arrived yet. (2) They must not have arrived yet. AppleRead More...

"Be confident to infinitive"

Hello, teachers! I think S2 is very natural and common, and that S3 is also acceptable, but I'm doubtful if I can use S1. I think it's strange, but someone says it's Ok even though it's uncommon, and Google shows me some sentences with this pattern. Is it acceptable? S1. He is very confident to win the game. S2. He is very confident of winning the game. S3. He is very confident he will/can win the game. Thank you very much. Best Regards.Read More...

Is /Has

Hello All, Which of the following two sentences is correct? 1) The morning is finished. 2) The morning has finished. Thanks very much..an explanation as to why would be welcome.Read More...

Content vs. contented

Hello, teachers! I'd like to know the difference in usage between content and contented. Please help me with this. [1] Can both be used as the attributive? 1. He put on a content/contented look. [2] Can both be used as the predicative? 2. He is content/contented with his marks at the finals. [3] In this case, which is correct or natural? 3. He is quite easily content/contented by a small thing. Thank you very much. Best Regards.Read More...

"Come to his aid" or "come to her aid"...or...?

The following sentences are taken from Some Widely-used Dictionaries: 1. One of the station staff saw he was in difficulty and came to his aid (= helped him). (OALD 6th edition) 2. I didn't speak any French, but a nice man came to my aid and told me where to go. (LDOCE 4th edition) 3. A woman in the street saw that he was in trouble and came to his aid. (CALD) 4.Horrified neighbours rushed to his aid as he fell. (Collins-Cobuild English Dictionary for Advanced Learners, 2001) I don't...Read More...

Multiple conjunctions

Is the following sentence with multiple conjunctions *correct*? As the housing affordability gap widens, middle-income families are especially hard-hit, for these families can no longer qualify to buy homes, yet rising rental rates force them to use far more than the standard 25 percent of their incomes for housing, leaving them with no equity or tax write-offs to offset the expenditures.Read More...

The superlative with two things

Hello, teachers! Would you please tell me if we can use the superlative even though there are two choices? 1. Which do you think the correct answer is, 'a' or 'b'? / I think both are correct, but that 'a' is better/best. 2. Although both of them have tried, she has the highest grade. 3. The book is the most interesting of the two. 4. This book is most interesting than that. Thank you very much. Best regards.Read More...

is or are ?

Dear All, Which is the right saying please ? 1) There IS no two ways about it. OR 2) There ARE no two ways about it. Thank you. RickyRead More...

First Decade of the Twentieth Century.

Hi, my name is Grisel, 25, and I am from Argentina. I have two questions related to YEARS and I think I can find the answers here in this forum. These are my questions: A)We know that an expression such us "the 1910's" makes reference to the second decade of the Twentieth Century. But the expression "the 1900's" refers to which one of the following concepts: 1)The first ten years of the Twentieth Century? 2)The complete Twentieth Century? (I found expressions like "the early 1900's", "the...Read More...

dim sum vs dim sums

Which sentence is correct? 1. I would like to have dim sum for lunch. 2. I would like to have dim sums for lunch. According to some dictionaries,dim sum is an uncountable noun. But I can find so many dim sums on the Internet that I begin to doubt that dim sum can now be used as a countable noun.Read More...

"In search of" or "for"

There are many more hits for the phrase "in search of" than "in search for". Is "in search for" acceptable? Any differences? Apple.Read More...

Omitting "to be" before the object complement

Hello, teachers! Would you please help me about omitting 'to be'? Please check out my thoughts! - I divided the cases by the criterion; 1) whether the object is a person or a thing, 2) the complement is a noun or others. 1. I want you [to be] finished within ten minutes. [Both are OK. Using 'to be' is much more common, right?] 2. I want this [to be] finished within ten minutes. [Both are OK. Omitting 'to be' is much more common, right?] 3. I want you [to be] proud of yourself. [Both are OK.Read More...

Tenses in "as if" clause

I read the "as if" section in the Key Word Index and would like to ask one more question regarding tenses in "as if" clause. I know that we should use "were" or a past verb in a present unreal situation. But I would like to know what verb we should use in a past unreal situation and when we should use "had pp." Thanks for your kind reply in advance.Read More...

Word order in noun clause

Hello!! I read the following sentence; One has only to watch the efforts of children who are starved of love ... to realize how desperate is their need . In my knowledge, the word order in noun clause is WH+SV, and the clause should read "how desperate their need is." But, I feel that "how desperate is their need" is also acceptable. So, I am confused where my knowledge is wrong. Please kindly help.Read More...

"See if ... have

Dear All, Is the following sentence correct : "Ask her to exercise daily and see if her aches have gone after a month." Thank you and thank you for all the other replies. Very much appreciated. RickyRead More...

The correct punctuation mark in asking expressions

Hello, teachers! Which is the correct punctuation mark, the period or question mark? 1. Could you come and help me with the spaghetti, please[_] 2. Would you please take me as your pupil[_] Thank you very much. Best Regards.Read More...
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