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contact clause

dear I have this sentence so strange, so I want you to explain it to me -There is a man next door says you know him- that is so strange In grammar book calls it CONTACT CLAUSE Please tell me this way being very common in English? Thank youRead More...
The sentence is indeed strange! This sentence might be heard in a conversation. The sentence is "contracted" – it is really two sentences run together, as they might be in spoken language. The correct statement, in standard written English, would be: There is a man next door. He says you know him. OR There is a man next door who says you know him. "Sentence" like your example might be heard in a movie, like this: [Knock, knock] Resident: Who is it? Detective: The police, ma'am. Here's my...Read More...

it was he

dear I have these sentences so strange to me, so I write you a question to ask if they are right or wrong It was very HE to steal my money Not It was ver Him to steal my money I saw it in in grammar book so I wnat to ask if I can change it into the following sentences It was very HE that/who stole my money It was very HE stealing my money Please explain them to me. Thank you for your relyRead More...
None of the sentences above is correct. The sentence can be: It was he who stole my money. It was he that stole my money. It was he (who was) stealing my money. _______ "Very" is an adverb. "He" is a pronoun. An adverb can modify a verb, an adjective, another adverb, or a sentence. It cannot modify a noun or a pronoun. Some adverbs are in the category of "intensifiers," which means they intensify, or make stronger, the meaning of the adjective or adverb they modify. "Very" is one of these...Read More...

hyper and hypo

dear I have the thought of using hyper- and hypo- in the comperative like this Instead od saying He is more active than I Can I write it like this He is hyperactive than I ? Because hyperactive = more active Please tell me about this point Thank you for relyRead More...
"Hyper" is a prefix. It means excessive, or much more than the usual. However, it does not serve as a comparative; you can't use it instead of "more," and the word it attaches to is not followed by "than." A comparative sentence would be: a) He is more active than I. A possible comparative sentence would be: b) He is more hyperactive than I. Sentence b) would be somewhat unusual. For this sentence to be true, both the speaker and the listener would have to know that the speaker is...Read More...

Internet or internet? E-mail or email?

I have seen "internet" both capitalized and not capitalized. I have seen "e-mail" with a hyphen and without. Which forms are correct?Read More...
All the references I've consulted give only "Internet," with a capital letter, as in "the Internet." This is the Internet that we know, and that we are using right now. However, according to Wikipedia , an online encyclopedia, there is a generic meaning for "internet" that does NOT begin with a capital letter: " This article is about the Internet , the extensive, worldwide computer network available to the public. An internet is a more general term informally used to describe any set of...Read More...

'Try to do' vs. 'try and do'

Dear colleagues, This question has been sent in by Olga Kuzmina Will you please explain the difference between 'try to do sth' and 'try and do sth'? Best regards, Olga KuzminaRead More...
The expressions mean the same thing, but they belong to different registers. Standard English, the style you would use for most purposes, uses "try to." "Try and" is a colloquial variant. It is not strictly grammatical, nor does it make logical sense, but it's widely used in casual conversation. Some speakers never use it, while others are comfortable with it. "Try to" can be used in any verb tense: – I try to/will try to/have tried to/tried to call my mother every day "Try and" works only...Read More...

Is "Rawhide" a slang for "chaps"?

Some of you may remember a classic TV western series "Rawhide" and its theme song by Frankie Lane. (Rollin', rollin', rollin' ...) ttp://www.coquet-shack.com/lyrics/Laine_Frankie/Rawhide_2675.php A friend of mine says the word "rawhide" is used in the lyrics as a slang for "chaps". I think the word rather means "a whip made of rawhide" and/or a metaphor for "cowboy". I searched for examples with google but unable to get definite result. Any clarification on this issue would be appreciated. kenRead More...
"Rawhide" is defined in Merriam-Webster's Collegiate as "1. a whip of untanned hide. 2. untanned cattle skin" So it refers to the material, or the whip itself. Chaps were and are normally made from leather; less expensive ones could possibly be made from rawhide, but they wouldn't be very durable. I don't think "rawhide" is a slang for "chaps." BarryRead More...

capacity x capability

Hi, Is it possible to use the word capacity with the meaning of capability? thanks ElianeRead More...
In some situations, "capacity" and "capability" are synonyms. Here is the entry for "capacity" from the American Heritage Dictionary*: ca"¢pac"¢i"¢ty n., pl. -ties. 1. a. The ability to receive, hold, or absorb. b. (Abbr. c.) A measure of this ability; volume. 2. The maximum amount that can be contained: a trunk filled to capacity. 3. a. Ability to perform or produce; capability. b. The maximum or optimum amount that can be produced: factories operating below capacity. 4. The power to learn...Read More...

Overrode? Overridden?

This question has been sent to the Grammar Exchange by Chiara Termini. I am a bit confused about the verb 'override' and its use in the past (or present perfect) form. Is it correct to use the past tense 'overrode' or do we have to use always the present perfect 'have overriden' ? My collegue is stating that 'overrode' is never used... Can I say: ' I overrode the warnings on my screen (yesterday)' and not 'I have overridden the warnings on my screen'? Or is it 'override' a 'special' verb?Read More...
"Overrode" is perfectly correct. It is the past tense form, as you note, of "override," so it is used where the simple past tense is called for. There are 524,000 examples currently on Google. Here are several from the first two pages: "¢ BBC NEWS | Politics | Blair ' overrode terror warnings' Tony Blair opted for war against Iraq despite warnings it could raise risks of terrorists getting weapons of mass destruction, it emerges. http://www.bbc.co.uk/go/homepage/int/...Read More...

Coordinating conjunctions

1-They can have positive and negative functions in different situations. 2-They can have positive or negative functions in different situations. 3-They can have positive or negative functions depending on the situation. Which of the sentences above corresponds to which of the sentences below: a-In any given situation they can either have positive functions or negative functions. b-In any given situation they can both have positive functions and negative functions at the same time (they could...Read More...
You have sent quite a puzzle! With some thought, a person can match up the meanings of the sentences, but the meanings are not apparent, or even unambiguous. These sentences need coordinating conjunctions to clarify them. I believe that your description (a) describes sentences 2 and 3; description (b) describes sentence 1. How about these sentences: 1 – They can have both positive and negative functions in any given situation. They can have both positive and negative functions, depending on...Read More...

TOO MUCH OF A MUCHNESS

Dear experts, It seems the expressions below are not interchangeable in any contexts. Please comment: AS MUCH # AS MUCH AGAIN Thank you, YuriRead More...
The two expressions don't mean the same thing. "As much as" can express equality (she doesn't earn as much as her husband) or a maximum amount that can be reached (A full-grown panda can weigh as much as 300 pounds). "As much again as" means "twice as much as." Google examples: – Also, it does radiate heat "” almost as much again as it receives from the Sun. This heat is released by the radioactive decay of elements within the planet ... calspace.ucsd.edu/virtualmuseum/ita/08_1. – is not the...Read More...

"Including" + a prepositional phrase

I have been bothered by journalists' increasing use of the word "including" immediately before a prepositional phrase. (See example below, from today's Washington Post .) Instinctively, I chafe when I see this, but I have a hard time explaining to communication professionals WHY it is wrong. Can anyone help? The more thorough the explanation, the better... [The example below comes from a report on special prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald's investigation into the possible involvement of Vice...Read More...
The problem is that "including" is a preposition, and a preposition is followed by a noun, a pronoun, a noun clause, or a gerund. The definition of "preposition," according to the American Heritage Dictionary is this: "¢ preposition n. (Abbr. prep.) A word or phrase placed typically before a substantive and indicating the relation of that substantive to a verb, an adjective, or another substantive, as English at, by, with, from, and in regard to . _______ Your sentence would certainly be...Read More...

Auxiliaries to avoid repetition

Is it correct? He ought to see the doctor, and so ought I. You oughtn't to smoke so much, and I oughtn't either. I used to smoke a lot, and so used he. I used not to go out so often, and he usedn't either. ElianeRead More...
Yes, "didn't use to" (without the final "d" at the end of "use") used to be considered by some as the correct way to write this phrase. And it still is. However, "didn't used to" is also considered correct by many. _______ Betty Azar addresses the lack of consensus on this point in the Teacher's Guide to the Fundamentals of English Grammar*. Click on the attachment to read it. Additionally, in the current edition of Fundamentals of English Grammar, page 52, in a note under Chart 2-11, she...Read More...

"rather than" and "instead of"

Dear all, I've been confused with the two phrases "rather than" and "instead of". They seem to function the same and carry similar meanings. For example, (1)She used her English name instead of/rather than her Latin one. (2)He watched TV instead of/rather than doing his homework. The two phrases seem to be exchangeable in both (1)and (2). However, (3)is correct and (4)is incorrect. (3)She is cute rather than beautiful. *(4)She is cute instead of beautiful. Besides, which category should we...Read More...
The phrase "rather than" can serve as a preposition or a conjunction. It has two functions. One of the descriptions of "rather than" is as a phrasal preposition in the Collins COBUILD Dictionary.* Example sentences are The problem was psychological rather than physiological.....Sedge is similar in appearance to grass but has a solid rather than a hollow stem...The dark star in Nova Musae 1991 is a black hole rather than a neutron star...When I'm going out in the evening I use the bike if I...Read More...

Either...or; Neither....nor.....

Is it acceptable to use plural verb after subjects joined by either.... or...., neither..... nor....if the last item is singular? Ex.: Neither Robert nor Diana are Brazilian. Thanks ElianeRead More...
In formal English, the verb agrees with the second subject, so your sentence would be: Neither Robert nor Diana is Brazilian. However, in informal English, the plural verb is frequently used: Neither Robert nor Diana are Brazilian. If you are looking at a test, you would want to use the more formal construction. You should also use the more formal construction in a written paper or article. Rachel _______ There are several relevant comments under "neither" on this Newsgroup. Do a search for...Read More...

which or whose.

Which is the correct choice, which or whose or both? The answer key says メwhichモ is the correct choice. Is there a reason メwhoseモ cannot be a correct choice also? He told me to stop smoking, ( ) advice I followed.Read More...
"Which" can be used in your sentence, but not "whose." "Which" is a relative pronoun, introducing a relative clause. In this case it would used alone, and NOT followed directly by a noun. The sentence with which would be correct if slightly rephrased: "¢ He advised me to stop smoking, which I did. OR "¢ He told me to stop smoking, which was advice that I followed. "Which" can modify the entire clause that precedes it, as in these sentences. _______ A clause beginning with "whose" must...Read More...

MAKING A MEAL

Dear experts, Do you think we should discriminate between MAKE A MEAL OF SOMETHING and MAKE A MEAL FROM SOMETHING? Thank you, YuriRead More...
In literal terms, the expressions mean the same thing: to create a meal using certain ingredients. "Make a meal OF," however, has become a metaphor for "take advantage of [an event or situation]/triumph over [someone] easily." Google examples: "”I easily could have made a meal of the spinach salad with sweet/hot bacon vinaigrette surrounding a couple of tenderly smoked quail ($11). ... http://www.austinchronicle.com/issues/ dispatch/2004-08-20/food_feature.html "”Predictably, anti-biotech...Read More...

whenever

1-Knowing that I haven't taken any exercice during the day, I'll have a light meal at night. 1a.Knowing that I haven't taken any exercice during the day, I have a light meal at night. 2-Whenever I know that I haven't taken any exercice during the day, I'll have a light meal at night. Can 1 and 1a be used instead of 2 (for a habitual action)?Read More...
Either Sentence 1 or 1a is possible, but they can be slightly misleading. Usually, when a present participial phrase begins an utterance, it refers to an actual situation, as in "”Knowing that you don't eat meat, I've prepared Eggplant Parmigiana for dinner "”Knowing that the alligator was after him, Felipe climbed the nearest tree If the speaker wants to characterize habitual actions that take place only when a certain situation exists, it's best to use "whenever": "”Whenever I know that I...Read More...

clauses

Which are correct: 1-For the book to be lost is bad. 2-It is bad for the book to be lost. 3-For the book to be lost is a pity. 4-It is a pity for the book to be lost. These sentences are supposed to mean: It is bad (a pity) that the book is lost. (I don't mean that the book is going to suffer because of its having gotten lost).Read More...
Both versions of each sentence are correct. The versions that begin with "for" are more formal style than those that begin with the "it" construction. They may or may not refer to an actual situation in which the book is lost. It's most likely an actual situation, but it could be a theoretical one, too. If the situation is still unrealized, the main verb can be the simple present of the verb, or the modal "would" plus the bare infinitive: "”It is bad/a pity for the book to be lost "”It would...Read More...

is certain to climb, or is certainly to climb,

And the death toll, already over 40,000, is certain to climb. The sentence above is from a webpage, world vision service. Which is correct, "is certain to climb" or "is certainly to climb"?Read More...
I should add that the original sentence could be rewritten with "certainly" thus: "”And the death toll, already over 40,000, is certainly going to climb . MarilynRead More...

comparative

Which are correct: 1-I buy books as much as I did when I was in high school. 2-I buy books as much as when I was in high school. 3-I buy books as much as in high school.Read More...
Thanks a lot. Very clear and very comprehensive reply. I won't come back to thank you every time, because I don't want to waste your time, but I had to show gratitude at least once.Read More...

Inversion

Are these sentences correct: 1-Only in this way is it possible to do it. 2-Only in this way it is possible to do it. 3-Not once I had seen her beautiful face before. 4-Not once had I seen her beautiful face before.Read More...
Thanks a lot! Extremely comprehensive reply!Read More...

semicolons with interrogative clauses

Hi, Can a semicolon connect a declarative clause to an interrogative clause? I'm going; are you coming with me? How about two interrogative clauses? Should we go; do you think it's safe? PeterRead More...
I've found one and only one example on Google. It's on a guitar bulletin board at http://www.guitarseminars.com/ubb/Forum1/HTML/008450.html Somebody posted a comment on the cost of Gibson guitars, and I thought that was a subject on which a great deal more could be said. Gibson's prices are outrageously high; I can get a direct equivalent from any number of manufacturers for a fraction of the cost. They're usually more comfortable too; whatever you might think of the Gibson tone, the guitars...Read More...

He said that...and that...

What are the differences among the following sentences? 1. He said that he is not coming and that he will call me tonight. 2. He said he is not coming and he will call me tonight. The first "that" is not necessary but what about the second "that"? Is it always necessary? Since "and" is a conjuction, it should be able to link the two S+V, right? Could you please answer my question. Many thanks.Read More...
Using "that" to introduce the noun clause helps the reader make sense of the sentence. Without "that" to introduce the dependent clause, the reader thinks the main idea is "she believed her boyfriend." That's because "believe" can take a personal direct object or a noun clause object. It isn't until the verb "was lying" that the reader finds out that she has misread the sentence and has to go back and read it again. If you use "that," the meaning is clear right away: "She believed that her...Read More...

both books

In Azar (p 127) I bought two books. Both books were expenseive. --> why noy "both of the books" or "both the/those books"? Isn't it specific (because it refers to the two books in the preceding sentence?)Read More...
Of course you are right: "both of the books" or "both the/those books" are also correct. However, the exercise instructs the student to use of or 0 . This particular exercise does not go into all the possibilities for "both." All you have to decide in this exercise is whether or not "of" is possible in the particular sentence. In # 4, the sentence we are considering, "of" is not possible. When "the" is used with "books," then "of" is possible. In this particular sentence, "the" is not used...Read More...

as well as

Are these sentences correct: 1-John drives not as well as expected. 2-John drives not as well as Harry. 3-John drives not better than expected. 4-John drives not better than Harry.Read More...
No, none of the sentences is correct. All of them require a negated verb: 1) John doesn't drive as well as expected 2) John doesn't drive as well as Harry 3) John doesn't drive better then expected 4) John doesn't drive better than Harry You can use "not as well as" and "not better than" after an affirmative statement plus "but": 5) John drives, but not as well as expected 6) John drives, but not as well as Harry 7) John drives, but not better than expected 8) John drives, but not better...Read More...
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