All Forum Topics

Gerund vs. Infinitive?

Dear experts, Would you confirm that the use of gerund or infinitive in the sentences below is not random (i.e. gerund and infinitive are not interchangeable there) without detriment to the meaning: regret doing something regret to do something regret doing something - feel sorry to have done smth.: I don't regret leaving my last job at all. regret to do something - be sorry that one must do smth.: Dr. Wimpole regrets to say that he cannot answer readers' letters. remember doing something...Read More...

Meaning of "keep its peace"?

Dear experts, When the expression KEEP ITS PEACE is used with reference to a country does it refer to keeping peace inside the country or to refrainig from warfare, or both meanings may be possible? What about: Mr. Izetbegovic keeps convincing the public that the rejection of the Belgrade agreement was his great victory, since Bosnia has kept its peace. Thank you, YuriRead More...

Dated or current euphemism: "on one's way"?

Dear experts, Is the euphemistic expression ON ONE'S WAY familiar to contemporary speakers: on one's way - pregnant (also: on the way): The party is gone, fellow Hector, she is gone; she is two months on her way. Thank you, YuriRead More...

"Get" and "be"

Hi, I'd like to know about the difference between get and be. 1)I'm nervous. I'm excited. 2)I got nervous. I got excited. Thank you.Read More...

Syntactic category of "it"

What syntactic category does IT in the following sentence belong to? I am fine with the meaning of the sentence. I just want to be able to explain what that IT is when asked. How do you like it here? mitsukoRead More...

Which tense when talking about someone who has died?

Hello, I'm sorry to ask a question about a sad topic, but which tense do I use when talking about someone who has died. I ask this because in obituaries,I often see the past and present tense being used. For example : The following sentence is from Elvis Presley's obituary: "Sources close to the Presley routine said he has recently been a heavy cocaine user." Why is it 'has' and not 'had' as Elvis is already dead? We also read 'He is survived by his wife and daughter.', but we say "He had 2...Read More...

Sharing a meaning: "get onto someone" and "get to someone" ?

Dear experts, Many thanks for the previous and I'd rather you relied more on your native speaker's 'feel' and not so much on dictionary data which, as often as not, lags behind the actual usage and is mostly prescriptive in nature, whereas I am after describing 'what is' and not what 'should be'. Now, would it be right to assume that the expressions below share only ONE meaning in common? Just try substituting one for the other and see in which cases it may 'jar' on the 'sensitive native...Read More...

"Was" or "am" or both ?

Hello, Please take a look at the following sentence - 'You must have seen that I WAS no longer the thoughtless person who had urged you to do selfish things ?' I'm inclined to use 'AM'. What do you think ? Many thanks. Regards, RickyRead More...

"In" and "for": interchangeable?

In the following examples I have gleaned from the corpus, are IN and FOR interchangeable? In (2) only In seems to sound natural, but in others both seem to sound acceptable. Any comment would be appreciated. (1)Many hostages hadn't eaten in days and were immediately given dinner, Russian Television reported. (2)ISI says the system is particularly valuable in accelerating cash flow. An invoice that once was processed in days or even weeks can be processed within minutes after delivery has...Read More...

"To" -- part of infinitive phrase or not in these examples?

In the following sentences, are the phrases beginning with "to" examples of infinitive phrases? 1. The president is to arrive this evening. 2. You are to finish the report by tomorrow. 3. Our new ads are to be seen in all the newspapers. 4. After their fight, John and Mary were never to see each other again. 5. If you are to sell products, you must be an aggressive salesperson. Thanks!Read More...

Noun + Passive Present Participle(PPP) & Absolute Phrase

The main difference between Noun + PPP and Absolute Phrase is that the former can function as object or subject in a sentence, object of a preposition, whereas the latter is independent of mainclause, though Noun+PPP and Absolute Phrase have same forms. Comments are appreciated.Read More...

Not only...but also

Is it necessary that when "Not only"... is in the beginning of the sentence, an inversion of subject must follow? What do you think of the following sentences? Not only the constant silence but also the refusal to even provide us some small measure of assistance in our quest for justice reflects the strong interests behind the fire. Not only the CBI but all crime detection forces and prosecutors need to be independent of the administration.Read More...

"Give someone fits" and "have someone in fits" -- the same?

Dear experts, Would you say that the expressions below DO NOT correlate in the ir respective meanings, or may it be that my list of their meanings is incomplete: give someone fits have someone in fits give someone fits - (coll.) 1. strongly surprise or outrage a person: Mom said I'm cursed - my first pie was perfect and the rest, apparently, will give me fits. 2. inflict humiliating defeat on a person: Timmy was up against a big Australian kid who'd given me fits at Wimbledon. 3. scold smb.Read More...

Absolute Phrase

Can absolute phrase be substituted for noun phrase (1) He being unable to communicate caused problems. (2) His being unable to communicate caused problems. In (1), subject is Absolute Phrase, whereas in (2), subject is a Gerund.Read More...

"Change of" or "change in" plans?

Hello, Which is correct please ? 1) There has been a change IN plans. 2) There has been a change OF plans. Thank you. RickyRead More...

Dates

jluis
Is it correct to use dates like this: Monday, January 12th, 2004 Or should we avoid using Ordinal numbers: Monday, January 12, 2004 JLUIS José Luis MuñozRead More...

"Front man" and "frontsman"

Dear experts, Which of the meanings of FRONT MAN can be rendered by the compound FRONTSMAN: front man - (also: frontman) 1. a man who publicly represents a person or an organization: The former adviser now serves as a front man for a large foundation. 2. a usually respectable man who serves as a cover for illegal activities: Department of Justice investigators believe that Earl Browder is a mere front-man. 3. the leader of a band: To hire New Orleans players and then leave them free to play...Read More...

Phraseological variants?: "get in/ into the way"

Dear experts, Would you say the expressions below share ONE or BOTH meanings (in which case the preposition is not semantically relevant): get in the way of something get into the way of something get in the way something - hinder smth.; interfere with smth.: She would never try to get in the way of his career. get into the way of something - 1. acquire the habit of doing smth.: Once I got into the way of it, we spent the afternoon riding the horses down to the beach. 2. = get in the way...Read More...

Leaving out 'to'

1. They turn out to cost more than they originally seemed. 2. They turn out to cost more than they originally seemed to. Which one of the above is true?Read More...

"Fight for dear life" and "fight for one's life."

Dear experts, Would you OK my assumption that the following expressions coincide in ONE meaning only: fight for dear life fight for one's life fight for dear life - 1. fight to protect one's life: Still he fought for dear life and as long as he held his pistol no Redman dared come near to take him. 2. (fig.) fight as though one's life were at stake: Your success could be resented by others, which may mean that you have to fight for dear life to hang on to what you've got. fight for one's...Read More...

Repeat "don't" for clarification?

My first question: Are all the four phrases grammatically correct? The second question: Can they all mean the same? The third: Can (1) mean that the word I don't know but use unconciously? The fourth: In order to make sure I mean I don't use that word and don't use it, should I repeat "don't"? 1. The word I don't know and use. 2. The word I don't know and don't use. 3. The word I neither know nor use. 4. The word I don't know or use. appleRead More...

"Preferred status to" or "preferred status over"?

Which one of the following sentences is correct? (1) Some litigants have a preferred status to another in the use of the courts. (2) Some litigants have a preferred status over others in the use of the courts.Read More...

"Leave someone alone" or "leave someone to oneself"

Dear experts, Would it be right to assume that the expressions below are interchangeable in only ONE of their meanings: leave someone alone leave someone to oneself leave someone alone - 1. go away from a place leaving people by themselves: Her parents had gone on holiday for a week, and left us alone in their big house. 2. (also: let someone alone) abstain from interfering with a person: I think, if you haven't the guts to act like a man in the matter, you ought to leave this girl alone.Read More...
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