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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...

Whose is this pen, or Whose pen is this.

I know the following two sentences are both correct and there is very little semantic difference. But pressed for an explanation in regard to the minute difference in nuance, if there is any, what would that be? Whose pen is this? Whose is this pen? AppleRead More...
The only way to make a question with "whose" as an adjective, with the present or past tense of "be," is: "Whose pen is this?" This is modern conversational and written English. _______ You may find examples of "whose is this X?" in Biblical English, , as in these examples: Pistis Sophia: A Third Book: Chapter 113 ... piece ofThe piece of money which was brought unto Jesus. money and thou didst see that it was of silver and copper and didst ask: 'Whose is this image? ...Read More...

Is 'for' somehow a formality marker?

peteryoung
Here's this excerpt from a history textbook: As the new elements in medieval society, town-dwelling merchants and manufacturers had to struggle to obtain acceptance for their activities, which did not fit the traditional concept of the three estates. The word, which have been troubling me for so long, which is 'for', occurs again. And, once again, it occurs in a place which would normally seem to be occupied by 'of'. (I've consulted at least four dictionaries all of which have given examples...Read More...
Let's take the first sentence: "”As the new elements in medieval society, town-dwelling merchants and manufacturers had to struggle to obtain acceptance for their activities , which did not fit the traditional concept of the three estates. The preposition "for" is correctly used, although, given that the direct object is "acceptance," it's in a relatively rare construction. This is because the noun "activities," which is the grammatical indirect object of "obtain," is an abstract noun.Read More...

the perplexing 'the' problem

peteryoung
Hi, My question is: why do the word 'the' appear in the second sentence and not in the first when the two relative clauses both serve the function of narrowing down the reference of the head noun? 1. Like kings and princes who strove to create stable and effective governments, medieval religious leaders endeavored to centralize the organization and improvethe quality of the medieval church. 2. Who was the actor who played Romeo? In the first sentence, the relative clause 'who strove to...'...Read More...
About the first two sentences: "¢ Who was the actor who played Romeo? The reason that the second sentence must have an article is that it is a singular count noun. Singular count nouns need an article or a determiner in front of them. In addition, the conversation is most likely about one particular person who played in a particular performance; therefore, the definite article is necessary. _______ "¢ Like kings and princes who strove to create stable and effective governments, medieval...Read More...

About " a lot"

Hi, I alread know that a lot is sometimes a noun and sometimes an adverb. But I don't know what the following is. Do you have many books? Yes, I have a lot. I am confused wheter this " a lot" is deleted form from " a lot of books"- this is noun, or it is just an adverb which means " a great extent or degree". I'll wait for the answer.Read More...
In the sentence you present, "a lot" is a pronoun. It can't be an adverb, since it doesn't modify a verb. "A lot" can be a quantifier (with "of"), a pronoun, or an adverb. "A lot of " is a quantifier: "”I have a lot of friends who still don't know how to use a computer. "A lot" can be a pronoun. "It's an ellipted (shortened) form of "a lot of [noun]": "”Do you have many friends who've been to Antarctica? "”Yes, I have a lot now. When "a lot" is an adverb, it means "to a great extent or...Read More...

adjectival passive

dear I do not know the Adjectival Passive . Please tell me more about this Thank youRead More...
"Adjectival passive" is not a common term in English grammar; it's used more often for some other languages. English does, however, have an adjectival passive. An adjectival passive is a verb phrase that contains the verb "be" or another linking verb such as "look," seem," "appear," sound," taste," etc. plus an adjective formed from a past participle. It is not a full clause, only a verb phrase. When you say "I am satisfied with the service at my bank" you are using the adjectival passive.Read More...

Noun and gerund

dear i have this sentence Observation of th Sun,Moon,and stars has enabled humans to determine both the seasons and the time from day. I want to ask why there is no determiner to the word"Observation?" .is it better to change it to the observation? if not,why And Can I use "Observating" instead of Observation"? If possible, tell me difference in using Observating" and Observation"?Read More...
"Observation" can be either a count or a noncount noun. It is a non-count noun in certain phrases like "under observation" and "powers of observation," or when it has a general, abstract meaning as in "Observation and record-keeping must be in progress at all times." In your sentence, however, "observation" would be better as a singular count noun, and therefore needs an article. The observation refers to a specific observation, so the definite article is appropriate here. You could also...Read More...

tense

Is there a difference between these two sentences: 1-I pay 20 dollars a day for my hotel room. 2-I am paying 20 dollars a day for my hotel room.Read More...
It depends on which conversation the speaker is engaged in. If the speaker is reporting to a friend, he might say: I pay $20a day for my hotel room (every time I go there). You should stay there. Similarly, the speaker could say: I stay at the Grand Hotel (every time I go to Spring City). It's very convenient. _______ In contrast, the speaker could say: I'm paying $20 a day for my hotel room for my hotel room and I expect to have clean sheets every day. I'm staying at the Grand Hotel. Can...Read More...

corner

Are all these sentences correct? If so , is there any difference in meaning? 1. He sat in the corner reading. 2. He sat on the corner reading. 3. He sat at the corner reading.Read More...
Since most likely he was reading inside a building, IN the corner – at a place surrounded by walls – would be the logical answer. "On the corner" and "at the corner" would refer to an intersection of streets. For example: I'll meet you ON /AT the corner of Broadway and 42nd Street. There are several postings on this very subject on the Newsgroup. Do a search for "on the corner" at "Find," at the yellow folder at the third tab on the top of these postings. RachelRead More...

right thing

Which is correct: 1-You did the right thing in coming to us. 2-You did the right thing coming to us. 3-You did the right thing to come to us. To me it seems that 1 is correct; 2 means: "You did the right thing while you were coming to us. 3 means: "You did the right thing in order to come to us.Read More...
All three sentences are correct, and all three mean the same thing, with no other meaning. They all mean "”You came to us, and that was the right thing If you use "-ing" without a preposition, as in Sentence 2, you can use a comma, to show the pause: "”You did the right thing, coming to us Google example: "”He did the right thing, stopping at the crosswalk, even though he could have beaten the red light by accelerating through the intersection. ... bastion.diaryland.com/1815.html The comma...Read More...

almost

Almost is labeled an adverb. How then are we able to say "Almost everyone (pronoun) came to the party?"Read More...
"Almost" is modifying "every" in "everyone." The adverb "almost" can modify a number or a quantity: Almost a hundred people came. It got warmer today in Antarctica. The temperature was almost 0 degrees F. Almost all the students joined the protest march. The merchandise weighs almost a ton. The candidate did not get every vote, but almost every vote. What a drag! Almost no one came to the party. The poor hostess. _____ Quirk* lists "almost" as a "downtoner" (in addition to being an adverb)...Read More...

noun clause, phrase

dear Please tell me more about NOUN CLAUSE we have THAT-clause WH-clause NOUN phrase To-phrase V-ing phrase but in this example To become a doctor is difficult Becoming a doctor is difficult tell me if two above sentences are different meaning? and these sentences ex You are the first person to tell I am funny You are the first person tellingI am funny Is my two sentences the same or different meaning?Read More...
This is a tall order. I'll try to answer concisely. 1. A noun phrase in a sentence or clause is that part that functions as a noun. It can be a single word, such as "I," a phrase, or a full clause. 2. A noun clause is a full clause that functions as a noun in a sentence. A noun clause can be the grammatical subject or the direct object. Some noun clauses can be subject complements, while others can be the object of a preposition. For example: "” That she is a difficult person is an...Read More...

difficult sentence

dear there is an error in this sentence but i can find it ex because it is often dependent of the conditions of crystallization, the composition of the minerals in a rock can be important in determining the rock's geologic history. Can you finf where this sentence is wrong? thank youRead More...
Yes. The error is "dependent of." The correct phrase is "dependent ON." The verb depend is followed by ON. RachelRead More...

prepositional passive

dear I have this strange grammar about PASSIVE as known, We just can change one sentence from ACTIVE to PASSIVE when the main verb of that sentence is TRANSITIVE verb. (not passive for other verbs). But, I found a point of Passive very strange in book. ex He stays in the bed -> The bed is stayed by him. Can we change sentence with main verb being 'INTRANSITIVE + preposition +Object" into PASSIVE like the above example? please tell me more about that Thanh you for your rely.Read More...
By adding a preposition, it is possible, but not normally used by native English speakers to say that something was "stayed in by" There are only 7 (seven!) examples on Google. Geomancy.Net: Home-> Ask Expert Forum for practical reasons, if the Home is stayed in by three persons eg. 1. husband. 2. wife. 3. son. we can apply the BINDING element of both husband and wife ... 3dglobe.com/phpforum/article. php?bid=2&fid=1&mid=16775&new= - Hotel star rating in The AnswerBank: Travel...Read More...
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