All Forum Topics

"Will" in if-clauses

In the following sentence written by Malcom X, I am puzzled by the "will" in 'if' clause. It must not indicate future as future "will" is not allowed to be used in time and conditional clauses. But, in this case, I don't know what the "will" means. Please kindly help. Quote: If the Americal black man will start thinking about his human rights, and then start thinking of himself as part of one of the world's great peoples, he will see he has a case for the United Nations.Read More...

"Can" and "may"

- *(The)* Bamboo is the fastest growing plant there is. Bamboo shoots *may/can* grow up to 90 centimeters a day! This plant reaches its highest, which is 40 meters, in just a few months. [3] Another question! What is the difference when we use 'may' or 'can'? HogelRead More...

Definite article or not for generalization?

Hello, I'd like to ask you some questions. Would you please help me? [1] I've learned that when we generalize a species, we use 'the' like the following sentences. Here, I'd like to know if these sentence are well-formed. - The rose has been appreciated for its fragrance and beauty since ancient times. - The rose is the most popular and widely cultivated garden flower in the world. [2] Some days ago, I saw the following sentence in a book, and the book says that in this case, we generally...Read More...

"No man but would.."?

How does the verb phrase, would recognize, fit in the sentence 1? 1. There is no man but would recognise that he was beautifulRead More...

"Where" as contrastive subordinator?

Is where introducing a contrast or place? 1. Where once the union had acquiesced to the prejudices of its English-speaking members by supporting the imposition of an alien tax on immigrant workers, after 1897 the United Mine Workers made a determined effort to enlist Italian and Slavs in its ranks.Read More...

"If only because"

Does "if only because" introduce hypothesis or cause? It's a memorable experience, if only because it is so frustrating.Read More...

"If not more so"

1. The use of chemical pesticides in this country is as extensive as it was ten years ago, if not more so . What is the role of "if not more so" in 1?Read More...

Negatives in questions

Hello All, Could someone please tell me the difference between the following two sentences. Do you not understand what I am saying? Don't you understand what I am saying? I am sure it is a simple explanation but I feel unsure about it. Thnxs a lotRead More...

Appositive or complement or participial phrase?

Please look at the sentence (1). (1) The truth is that newborns arrive in a presocial state, ready and eager for contact. Although I'm fine with the meaning, I'm not sure what syntactical role the phrase in bold plays. Is it a complement to the verb "arrive" or could it be an appositive to "a presocial state"? Is it technically possible to say it's a reduced form of a participial phrase with "being" before "ready" omitted? appleRead More...

"Not until ---"

The following two sentences are said to have same meaning; A) Not until the meeting was half over did Alice came. B) Alice didn't come until the meeing was half over. I wonder if Alice actually showed up both in A and B sentences. Please kindly let me know. Thanks.Read More...

Present perfect tense

Dear all, Please take a look at the following sentences : A) I've taught teenagers who didn't know how to write. B) I've taught teenagers who do not know how to write. Am I right in saying that in (A)the teenagers started off not knowing how to write but now they do. In (B), the teenagers started off not knowing how to write and they still do not know how to write. Also, are both sentences natural ie how native speakers would say ? Many thanks. RickyRead More...

"Are you," or have you been," with "these days"

"Take a look at the question an interviewer asks Bob Dole in TIME magazine. (1) What else are you up to these days? Now, how would the sentence sound different if it were "What else have you been up to these day?" Is there a particular reason the interviewer used the present tense rather than a present perfect? My non-native guess is that the question is strongly focused on Dole's present interest and activities rather than those in the near past time frame. Am I anywhere close? appleRead More...

Coordination of adjectives

Which one of the following is acceptable? 1. Their ancient and nearly forgotten language 2. Their ancient, nearly forgotten languageRead More...

Reputation of/Reputation for

Which one of the following is preferred? 1. It had a reputation of being haunted house. 2. It had a reputation for being haunted house.Read More...

Infinitives to split or not to split?

Hi all: The perennial question in English Can the infinitives in English be split or not? I was taught not to; however, I have Ed Good's book: A Grammer of you and I (....ooops me) He argues that infinitives can be split and cites numerous examples from well known authours. Ok what's the state of the consensus about split infinitives among English teachers/grammar experts? Thanks! xavierRead More...

"Very much" and "very well"

Is there a grammatical reason why we say "I don't know her very well," rather than "I don't know her very much"? We say, "She doesn't cry very much" and "I don't like her very much." Or is it purely a matter of collocation? appleRead More...

What kind of phrase?

I have a question regarding the phrase in italics below: Long a paladin of civil rights , Martin Luther King, Jr., was also a spokesman on behalf of nonviolent protest. What do grammarians call this kind of phrase? By the way, can you explain the origin of paladin in this sense? As long as I know, a paladin refers to a military leader. Thank youRead More...

"...So much so that..."

1. Language is in a state of chaos, so much so that nothing is certain. What is the role of "so much so that" in (1)? Is it a subordinator?Read More...

Adverbial phrase

1. That disease afficts some people in a contaminated area while sparing many others . Does the italicized portion modify the bold one--contaminated area?Read More...

Some/any

Hello. I am so embarrassed to ask this,but I need to confirm it. " Some people skate even in summer." When we ask about this sentence with Yes/No question, "Do any people skate even in summer?/ Do some people skate even in summer?", Which of them is correct? I think "Do some people~?" is correct, but some people say that when "some" is in a sentence,we have to put "any" in place of "some" in the question. Is it really correct? In my point of view,"any people" means anybody, and "some people"...Read More...

Nouns ending in "-y"

Hi all: Here's a question that's always intrigued me: why does the word "city" when it's pluralized, change its y to i before adding -es but not "Mary"? The grammar reference make a vague reference that if a y is preceded by a vowel, the y converts. OK is that because the y is considered a vocalic y (i.e. y is treated as a vowel) In any case, I would like to know about the historical background as to why "city" changes y to i+es in plural but not "Mary." Thanks! xavierRead More...

"We entering"?

Is the following sentence correct? It's getting hotter now that we entering June. Can a prounoun "we" be a subject of a participial construction? appleRead More...

What's wrong with this picture?

The Grammar Exchange spotted this sentence in a daily newspaper of a large North American city: "And, make sure your child knows that tissues must be thrown away immediately following hand washing in a trash receptacle." RachelRead More...
×
×
×
×