All Forum Topics

'Left school' -- completed or not?

When you say someone left school, does that mean he graduated or he dropped out? We'd never know what level of education, would we? James left school in 1993. AppleRead More...

'Olympic Games' -- 'is' or 'are'?

I've heard 'the Olympic Games is/ has/ was,' as well as 'the Olympic Games are/ have/ were.' And, 'the Games is/has/was,' and 'the Games are/ have/were.' To complicate the matter, announcers have said 'Every Games....' 'Olympic Games' -- singular or plural? Thank you. HowardRead More...

'Check that...' or 'check whether'

Which one is correct? A) I want you to check that you have locked the door. B) I want you to check whether you have locked the door or not. Which one do you choose -- "that" or "whether"?Read More...

What's their intent(ion)?

Yesterday, while waiting in line at my bank, I noticed a sign that read, "It is our intent to provide prompt access to funds deposited by customers." It got me to wondering: Could they have used intention instead of intent ? Is there a difference in meaning between the two words? Was their choice of words intentional?Read More...

'Sympathy' vs 'empathy'

I said to a friend today, "You have both my sympathy and my empathy." What is the difference in usage of the two words? Are they synonomous?Read More...

'During' and 'in'

Sometimes "during" and "in" are interchangeable , and sometimes they are not. Which of the sentences are wrong and why? 1. I visited my aunt in Tokyo during the summer. 2. I visited my aunt in Tokyo in the summer. 3. We first met during the tour. 4. We first met on the tour. 5. I'll call you during the lunch time. 6. I'll call you at lunch time. AppleRead More...

'I haven't done this for a long time' vs. 'I haven't been doing this for very long'

Hello, teachers! Would you please explain the difference in meaning between S1 and S2? I heard that S1 can mean both A and B but usually means A, and that S2 means B. Is it correct? [I don't understand this at all, and moreover this is very awkward, especially about S2.] S1. I haven't done this for a long time. S2. I haven't been doing this for very long. A. It has been a long time since I did this. B. It has not been a long time since I did this. Thank you very much. Best Regards.Read More...

'Will' + 'have had'

Dear All, Please take a look at the following sentence from a novel : " Being 50 will be the hardest birthday I have had, mostly because I have grown fonder of the world the longer I've been in it. " Q : Is the part in bold correct grammatically ? I feel puzzled by it because "will" gives the impression of not having happened yet and "have had" gives the impression of having happened. Thank you. RickyRead More...

Tense - conditional; mixed or past unreal

Hello, teachers! In these sentences, I think both tenses are correct. Am I right? If so, which is the natural, everyday expression? 1. Did you watch yesterday's football match? / If I [had, had had] a TV, I would have watched it. 2. If I [were, had been] rich, I would have bought that sport car we saw yesterday. 3. If he [spoke, had spoken] English, he could have translated the letter for you. Thank you very much. Best Regards.Read More...

Tense - Who had the tea?

Hello, teachers! Please look at this short dialog. [At a restaurant] Waiter; Who had the tea? Guest 1; Oh, she had the tea. Waiter; You had the tea? Guest 2; Yes. Waiter; Yeah. Tea for you, and coffee for you. Do you want cream and sugar? Guest 1; I'll take some cream. [Question 1] Why do the waiter use the past tense here; "Who had the tea?" [Question 2] Can we use other tenses instead? 1. Who is having the tea? 2. Who is going to have the tea? Thank you very much. Best Regards.Read More...

'All day' vs. 'all the day'

Hello, teachers! Would you please explain the difference in meaning between using and not using 'the' in these sentences? 1. Lucy spent all [the] evening on the game. 2. Lucy spent all [the] day on the game. Thank you very much. Best Regards.Read More...

Typing error-- 'has' or had'?

Dear All, Please take a look at the following : "My own sense of invulnerability is badly dented. Yes, against all the odds it HAD survived since my teenage years." Q: Is "HAD" correct or should it be "HAS" ? I feel "HAS" is the correct tense because his sense of invulnerablility is still there - it's only badly dented, not gone for good. Am I right ? Thank you. RickyRead More...

'On' or 'at' + 'folio'

Hello everybody, Which preposition is used in the following sentence, ˜on' or ˜at' ? The letter is put up _____ folio 124. (ie. in a file) Thank you. Aneeth PrabhakarRead More...

The pronunciation of 'Elizabeth II'

Hello, teachers! How do we pronounce 'Elizabeth II' in these sentences? Elizabeth two, second Elizabeth, the second Elizabeth, or Elizabeth the second? 1. Elizabeth II was crowned in 1953. 2. Queen Elizabeth II was crowned in 1953. And how do we pronounce 'the Menelik II Palace'? Thank you very much. Best Regards.Read More...

Ships' names: 'the' with 'Elizabeth II,' 'Voyager'?

Hello, teachers! In front of the ship names 'Elizabeth II' & 'Voyager II'. do we need the definite article or not? 1. I travelled from England to New York on [the] Elizabeth II. 2. [The] Voyager II is leaving the solar system at 36,000 miles per hour. Thank you very much. Best Regards.Read More...

The finance minister: capitalize?

Hello, teachers! - [The finance minister, The Finance Minister, Finance Minister] was forced to resign last night. Which is the correct choice? Thank you very much. Best Regards.Read More...

The name of a rock band and the definite article

Hello, teachers! - I'm in a rock band. I play base/first guitar in a band called [the] Indians. Do we need 'the' here, or not? I think it is compulsory, but someone says it's an option. Who is correct? Thank you very much. Best Regards.Read More...

'Was forced to xxx' -- happened or not?

Hello, teachers! - [The finance minister, The Finance Minister, Finance Minister] was forced to resign last night. Does this mean 1 or 2? 1. He resigned. 2. It doesn't tell whether he resigned or not. Thank you very much. Best Regards.Read More...

Present perfect or past?

Hi!!! I ran into the following sentence; I am afraid of water. I don't know why I am afraid. I have never had a bad experience in the water. I just never learned to swim. In the last sentence, If I change the tense to present perfect, that is, "have never learned" instead of "learned", I would like to know what kind of difference does it make to the meaning? Thanks for your kind answer. MoonRead More...

'Too' as an intensifier

Here is what Kate Hudson said in her interview with Reader's Digest: Hudson: Well, I got lucky with Kurt, because he was a very present dad. And that doesn't happen to too many people who have divorced parents. I think her way of using an intensifier "too" is wrong. What do you think? It should be "very many people", or "so many people" or just plain "many people". "Too" is used when there is some kind of standard to compare with. For example, "These shoes are too small". In this case, my...Read More...

'Kind' or 'kindly'?

Should we say:"Thank you for your kind (or) kindly support?" Thank you very much!Read More...
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