All Forum Topics

"Why to verb"

Hello, teachers! Could you please tell me if these are correct or incorrect; common or uncommon? 1-1. I told him why to go to bed early. 1-2. I told him the reason to go to bed early. 1-3. I told him why he should go to bed early. 1-4. I told why he should go to bed early. 2-1. I don't know why to go to bed early. 2-2. I don't know the reason to go to bed early. 2-3. I don't know why I should go to bed early. 3-1. I told him to go to bed and why to go to bed. 3-2. I told him to go to bed and...Read More...

"Knowing it was wrong"

Hello, teachers! - He lied to her, knowing it was wrong. Which does this sentence mean, 1, 2, or both? 1. Knowing it was wrong, he lied to her. 2. He lied to her, but/and she knew it was wrong. Thank you very much. Enjoy the warm weather.Read More...

conditional ?

Hello, Can someone please explain what kind of sentence is the following ( i.e. is it a special kind of conditional sentence ?) : "If ever there was a US presidential election that exposes the lazy lie that it does not matter which man wins, it is this one." Thank you. RickyRead More...

tense

Please look at this; Several years ago, when he was 52,Anderson was informed by his superior at an aircraft corporation that he could no longer be a test piolot. He was told that he was being relieved of his duties beccause of his age. In the last sentence, I don't understand the usage of 'was being relieved'. Why is past progressive used? And can it be replaced with other tenses? thanksRead More...

"Seem/look/appear/sound + the Noun complement"

Hello, teachers! I knew that we can't the structure [look/sound + noun] and we can use [look/sound/seem + like + noun] form, but I met the following sentences. - Your room looks a mess. - Do you compose music for a living, or for a hobby? / Right now it's my hobby, but I hope to make a living with it later in life. / Sounds a great plan to me! Here are my questions. Can I use all these sentences? 1. Your room seems/looks/appears a mess. 2. Your room seems/looks like a mess. 3. Your room...Read More...

"Their place" or "their places"

Please look at the sentence below Lecturers need to prepare their notes carefully so that they do not lose their place while they are delivering their speech(es). They use these expressions: 1)their notes, 2)their place and 3)their speech(es). I understand the use of 1)their notes, but I think 2)and3) should be their places and their speeches respectively. Help me! thanksRead More...

"Finding living"

Hello, I can across this sentence: 1) How are you finding living in London? Is this the Present Continuous tense here? " finding living " sounds odd to me..any clarifications to understand it would be highly welcome. Thank youRead More...

"important to helping", or "to help"

I found the following sentence (1) in an English newspaper. (1) It's often hereditary, and spotting dyslexia early is important to helping children succeed in school. What is the grammatical category of "helping"? "helping children succeed in school" is a noun phrase? What difference does it make if "helping" is changed to "to help"? (2) (2) Spotting dyslexia early is important to help children succeed in school. Is there a difference between (1) and (2)? appleRead More...

"The payment " or "payment"

Please tell me which of the following is correct: 1- We demand " the payment of the rent". 2- We demand " payment of the rent". I have come across many count nouns that apparently do not take " a/an/the " articles, even though, it is my understanding that count nouns need to be identified with articles. For example, we see: Please acknowledege receipt of this e-mail. What is the position of " receipt" in the sentence? is it a count noun? if yes, why it does not take an article? Thank you for...Read More...

"Cake" or "a cake"

I saw a sentence, which says; What delicious cheesecake, Amelia! Is it okay to say 'what A delicious cheeccake, Amelia!' And any differences in meaning? Thanks.Read More...

Subjunctive

This question has been sent in by Komine. ________________________ Hello I'd like to ask about the subjunctive. When I tried to solve the exercises, I came across the following sentence which was required to change the word in the parenthesis. What should I do if my request ( be ) refused? 1) What should I do if my request should be refused? 2) What should I do if my request were to be refused? 3) What should I do if my request were refused? Are 1),2) and 3) acceptable? If so, do the...Read More...

"The summer"

Hello, teachers! 1. Come (the) summer, we will be married. - I guess both are correct with or without "the," but using "the" is better. Am I right? 2. When (the) autumn comes, leaves of trees turn red and yellow. - I guess we can't use "the" here even though we often use "the." Am I right? Thank you very much. Enjoy the nature.Read More...

impersonal pronouns;one

Are those sentences possible or not? And what are the reasons? 1. One can't enjoy themselves if they are too tired. 2. One should ask oneself if one is doing everything in one's power in order to solve..... 3. One should take care of their health. thanksRead More...

Punctuation with appositives

Hello, teachers! Could you please tell if these are correct? 1-1. Susan, a kind person, was loved by all. 1-2. Susan, being a kind person, was loved by all. 2-1. She, a kind person, was loved by all. 2-2. She, being a kind person, was loved by all. [I guess 2-1 & 2-2 are incorrect, but someone says both are correct and including "being" is better. Will you be the judge?] 3-1. Treat it in/within two days, or I, myself, will get involved. 3-2. Treat it in/within two days, or I myself will...Read More...

"None too" vs. "not too"

Is there any difference in meaning or usage between "none too" and "not too" as understatement devices? Perhaps "not too" is more American English and "none too" more British English?Read More...

Plural of "aspirin"

A question came up in class today. Our pronunciation text, Targeting Pronunciation, had a sentence (page 33), "Which is better when you have a cold, several aspirin or homemade vegetable soup?" Doing a concordancer sample with the British National Corpus, I came across both "Took seventy aspirin!" and "He flies to the aspirin bottle for everything, but I'm afraid aspirins won't cure what I've got, which is a great indigestible lump" Google produced an almost infinite number of "Take two...Read More...

Meanings of "would"

Hello, teachers! Would you please help me with this? I guess original sentences can be interpreted as [A] or [B] according to the context. Am I right? [Original]*********** 1. I would have/eat pizza with hot/chili sauce. 2. I would have/drink some wine with boiled lobster. 3. I would live in a house on the beach. [A]** the present or near-future intention expression 1a. I [will, would like to] have/eat pizza with hot/chili sauce. 2a. I [will, would like to] have/drink some wine with boiled...Read More...

Expressions of quantity

What do the sentences mean? And are they correct? 1. Some of the students in my class are a little lazy. Some students in my class are a little lazy. 2. Sam has't met any of the students in the other class. Sam hasn't met any students in the other class. 3. Most of the students in our class are very smart. Most students in our class are very smart. 4. All of the students in my class are here. All students in my class are here. 5. Both of the birds in the picture are incapable of flight. Both...Read More...

Preposition -- "on" or "for"?

Hi All, Which of the following two is correct? 1) I went for a short holiday to Cornwall. 2) I went on a short holiday to Cornwall. I read that one says " on holiday" so is " for a short holiday" also correct. Because to me it sounds right, but I might be wrong. Please help ThanksRead More...

"No matter ..."

Hello, teachers! Could you please tell me if I can use these expressions with the basically same meaning? 1. No matter what the cost [is, will/may/might be], I will get it. 2. No matter what I [pay, will/may/might have to pay] for it, I will get it. 3. No matter how much I [am, will/may/might be] charged for it, I will get it. 4. No matter how much it [costs, will/may/might cost], I will get it. 5. No matter how much it [costs, will/may/might cost] me, I will get it. 6. No matter what it...Read More...

"work clothes" or "working clothes", any rules?

What is the rule applied to compound words? I have found 169 examples of "paintbrush", 8 examples of "paint brush" no examples of " painting brush", 8 examples of "work clothes" 3 examples of "working clothes" no examples of "workclothes", which example I knew I would not find. When and how do you decide to use a hyphen or not, combine two nouns or use a present participle as an adjective? I've seen/used/heard/ "swimming pool" but not "swim pool". I've found both "swim suits" and "swimsuits"...Read More...

"Only" and "alone"

Hello, teachers! Could you please tell if these are acceptable? 1. He couldn't quench his thirst for knowledge only with books. 2. He couldn't quench his thirst for knowledge with only books. 3. He couldn't quench his thirst for knowledge with books only. 4. He couldn't quench his thirst for knowledge with books alone. Thank you very much. Enjoy the nature.Read More...

Grow up

Hello, teachers! Could you please tell if these are acceptable? 1. I want to grow up to be a teacher. 2. I want to be a teacher when I grow up. 3. I want to be a teacher when I've grown up. 4. I want to be a teacher when I'm grown up. 5. I want to be a teacher when I'm a grown-up. Thank you very much. Enjoy the nature.Read More...

Get oneself something

1)Get a good dictionary. 2)Get yourself a good dictionary. Could you tell me what is the difference between these two? Is 2) equivalent to "Do yourself a favor and get a good dictionary."?Read More...

Gerund vs. Infinitive

Hello, teachers! Could you please check my thoughts? [1] I think these are all correct. We can use the ones with the gerund ("-ing" form) only if you are actually doing (or did) the given action. We can use the ones with the infinitive ("to" form) in any case. And in any case, the infinitive forms are common. Am I right? 1-1. It is difficult to solve the problem. 1-2. It is difficult solving the problem. 2-1. It was difficult to solve the problem. 2-2. It was difficult solving the problem.Read More...
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