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Agreement with correlative conjunctions.

Hello to all. Would you please give me any advice about "either" and "neither"? Either the libraly or book stores have current magazines. Neither book stores nor the library has the novel. Do either horror stories or a suspenseful story appeal to you? Has neither Tom nor the other students read the book yet? I hear the verb should agree with the noun after "or" or "nor" in affirmative sentences, but, in interrogative sentences, the verb agree with the nearer noun. Is it true? I've seen some...Read More...

since 3 months ago

Is "Since 3 months ago"... acceptable if I would want to express that the patient has been e.g. doing a certain thing for the past 3 months?Read More...

'Think' and 'not'

I have a question about the following sentences: 1. I don't think he is coming. 2. I think he is not coming. As far as I know, the first sentence is correct (where 'not' is used in the subordinate clause). But is the second sentence correct or wrong? Any rules here?Read More...

Unreal mixed with real

Dear All, Are the following sentences correct ? 1) I was wondering if I wrote to you and you were away, would I have to wait till you got back before I get a reply ? 2) I was wondering if I wrote to you and you have gone away ( or are away), would I have to wait till you got back before I get a reply ? Am I right in saying that (1) is totally 'unreal' while (2) is 'unreal' except for the bit about the person being away. Also, does ' before I get a reply' indicate a present situation that I'm...Read More...

"I've known I had" or "I've known I have"

Dear All, Please take a look at the following sentences : 1)I've always known I had bad skin. 2)I've always known I have bad skin. Q: Are both sentences grammatically correct ? Q: If yes, is the differecence being that in (1) I no longer have bad skin whereas in (2) the bad skin remains ? Thank you. RickyRead More...

if there ever was (X)

Dear All, A while back I asked about a sentence with the phrase "If ever there was ..." in it and Marilyn Martin explained that the phrase "is an idiomatic expression ...". My question now is to ask if the following sentence falls in the same category "If John was ever smart, I'm Albert Einstein." Thank you. RickyRead More...

"It felt as if" and "I felt as if"

I have recently come across the following sentence(1) in an article of a newspaper. Does the phrase "it felt as if" mean something similar to "I felt as if"? This "it" doesn't have a particular meaning. Is that correct? I mean this "it" doesn't refer to anything particular. (1) Sometimes during those rough high school years, it felt as if that little dog was my only friend. AppleRead More...

'Do you think'

"What time do you think you leave?" [when do you leave, do you think?] what is the rule for forming such a question within a question? Is this a form of embedded question? Thanks...Read More...

"Best/the best"

Are both sentences correct? 1.What kind of food do you like best? 2.What kind of food do you like the best? When will we use the phrase "the best"Read More...

"Earlier than her" or "earlier than she"

I am somewhat confused by what is explained in Basic Grammar in Use published by Cambridge university: S1: I can run faster than him. S2: I can run faster than he can. The book says you can say either S1 or S2. I thought "him" is used when comparing objects and "he" is used when comparing subjects. What is really the correct way? In S2, can I omit "can" and just say S3: I can run faster than he. ? Is there a difference between British way and American way of expressing comparative?Read More...

Hyphen in 'Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation' ?

From the cover of the famous book on punctuation: Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation. Does the compound word, like zero tolerance, need to be hyphenated here? That is the title should read "Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero- Tolerance Approach to Punctuation." Does the initial capitals in this title render the hyphenation optional?Read More...

"Finished" as an adjective

Hi. It's been a long time. Would you check out this sentence? I'm not finished eating. Is it okay? I think it needs 'with' after 'finished' thanks a lotRead More...

"Happen to" or "happen with"

Dear experts, Would you say that HAPPEN TO and HAPPEN WITH are freely interchangeable in their respective contexts. Thank you, YuriRead More...

"About" with a capital letter?

This question was sent in by Susan McKenzie My question is - is the word "about" in capitals in a heading like this - And Finally... Something about Me and What I Do. About is a preposition but it is 5 letters. Some say about should be lower case and some because it is 5 letters it can be in capitals. Grateful for any assitance.Read More...

Country with personal pronoun

I realise that we may use a personal pronoun to refer to a country. However, I'm not sure about whether it is usual in business writing or it is just limited to something related to poetry. What is the rule of the usage I should follow regarding this issue?Read More...

Cambridge Grammar of the English Language

I don't know if this is a right place to ask about reference grammars, but does anyone have any comment on this new book: The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language This is a HUGE volume. Is it a good source to turn to when non-native English language teachers like me have problems about grammar? If this question isn't appropriate for this forum, I am sorry and please delete it.Read More...

"Follow on from / up to"

I would like to know which of the following is really correct: 1- Following on from our conversation today. 2- Following up to our conversation today. Thank you CyrusRead More...

"All / Everybody"

Please advise which one we can correctly use in a sentence: I hope "All is well", or I hope "Everybody is well". Thank you again. CyrusRead More...

"How/why do you know?"

These below are from a Japanese textbook of English. A: Did you visit the folk village there? B1: yes, but how do you know that place? B2: Yes, but why do you know that place? They are both correct. Could anyone tell me if they are different in any way? B1 sounds like the person is interested in the way or the process in which the first person got to know that place. But B2 also is asking the reason. One more question: In case of B1, wouldn't a past tense make it sound more natural? B1: Yes,...Read More...

"Classes" or "hours" at school?

Hello Would you help me with the question about a class? The situation is this: Some schools have five classes in a day. Others have six classes in a day. The number of classes depends on school. One class hour is usually 50 minutes. When I ask about the number of classes Can I use the word" hour" instead of "class"? If so, would you tell me if #1~4 are correct or not? #1 How many hours a day are there in your school? #2 How many hours in a day are there in your school? #3 How many hours...Read More...

In the windows?

I came across the following sentence recently: "I sat in the windows on the world restaurant on the 45th floor." I don't understand two points. 1. Why use 'in the windows'? Why not 'by'? Doesn't 'in' mean something like being enclosed by something? 2. Why use 'on the world restaurant'? Why not 'in' here? I'm very puzzled. Can anyone help? Thanks in advance. HenryRead More...

Plural or singular?

Dear All, The following sentences sound natural to me but the grammatical principles appear contradictory. Are the sentences correct? 1) There WERE/ARE John and Mary in the room. 2) There WAS/IS a boy and a girl in the room. 3) There GO John and Mary. 4) There GOES the boy and his sister. 5) Where (Wh-questions) ARE John and Mary now ? 6) Where IS the boy and his sister now ? 7) HAVE John and Mary arrived ? 8) HAS the boy and his sister arrived ? Finally, 9) ARE football and tennis on TV...Read More...

"Soybean feed grains"

I hope someone will tell me what "soybean feed grains" in the following sentence. It's a part of an article by Reuters on genetically engineering technology. The company already has successfully commercialized Roundup Ready corn and soybean feed grains and had hoped to spread its herbicide-resistant technology in the vast wheat-growing industry. Is "soybean feed grains" a compound noun? Is "feed" an adjective or a noun? AppleRead More...
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