All Forum Topics

Omitting 'being' in the participial construction

Hello, teachers! In the sentences below if we use 'being', they mean on-going actions, and if we don't use 'being', they mean finished actions. Am I right? 1. (Being) Carried to the ambulance, he told the fire-fighter that there were some more people in the fire. 2. (Being) Beaten by them, he promised to himself that he would certainly make them pay for that. Thank you very much. Best Regards.Read More...
For an action in progress, it is possible to use "being carried" as in your first sentence, although this kind of adverbial phrase construction is not as frequent or as natural as this one: "¢ While being carried to the ambulance, he told the fire-fighter... or an adverbial clause: "¢ While he was being carried to the ambulance, he told the fighter... _______ In the second sentence, "being beaten by them, he promised himself..." is not clear. Use an adverbial phrase or an adverbial clause:...Read More...

Non-restrictive relative clauses as sentences

I found two "strange" illustrations of nonrestrictive relative clause in two OUP books reprinted in China by a Chinese publishing house with permission by OUP. * The hotel is very expensive. Which is a pity. ** I didn't enjoy the work. The weather was atrocious. I felt thoroughly homesick. And the locals were unpleasant. Which is why I have never been back there again. I was taught that a nonrestrictive clause is separated by a comma, not a full stop. And the two books involved here are...Read More...
A nonrestrictive relative clause beginning with "which" that makes a comment on the entire preceding idea is called a sentential relative clause . Sentential relative clauses written as separate sentences are technically sentence fragments, and we know that sentence fragments are generally discouraged. Such fragments do, however, have a place in writing. The tricky part is knowing how and when to use them. Bryan Garner's Modern American Usage (Oxford, 2003) has quite a lot to say about...Read More...

No vs Not

Is there any difference between these sentences in either meaning or acceptability? 1a. He wrote not a single paper the whole term. 1b. He wrote not one single paper the whole term. 2a. He wrote no single paper the whole term. 2b. He wrote no one single paper the whole term. 3. Not a/one single paper did he write the whole term. 4. No (one) single paper did he write the whole term. Thank you. Chuncan Feng Ninbo, ChinaRead More...
Yes, you have the distinction clearly in mind. Now we need to work on the sentences, to make them more natural and illustrative of the meaning of "not a single [X]." I would suggest the following revisions and amplifications, to make the meanings completely clear: 1. When I arrived at the hall I saw not a single person ; the place was empty. I wondered whether I had the date wrong. Then suddenly all my friends burst out from the next room, shouting "Congratulations!" I have to say that,...Read More...

please rest assured that ....

How would you explain the construction of the bold part of the following sentence? What is the function of the word "rest"? Is "assured" a past participle? please rest assured that all information will be kept strictly confidential. AppleRead More...
"Rest assured" can be classified as an idiom. The main verb in your sentence is "rest" and yes, "assured" is a past participle. It's similar in meaning to "be assured" but it has the added connotation that you don't have to worry. "Rest assured" appears in the American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms* like this: rest assured You can be sure, as in Rest assured that the police will recover your diamonds. This expression uses assured in the sense of "certain" or "confident," a usage dating from...Read More...

Word order with as-clauses

Eve's very tall, as was her mother. I voted Labour, as did my wife. Q1: Is the inverted word order compulsory in such as-clauses? Q2: Can we move such as-clauses to, for example, the beginning of these sentences? Q3: What about using "which" instead of "as" here? Thank you. Chuncan Feng Ningbo, ChinaRead More...
"As" clauses with "substitute" verbs (BE, DO) and with inverted word order are rarely found in everyday usage, but are often found in formal and academic writing. Q1: Is the inverted word order compulsory in such as-clauses? The inverted word order is not compulsory in all cases. When the "as" clause follows a statement, the normal (uninverted) word order is sometimes used, as long as the second grammatical subject is not very long. For example (from Google), "” Learned men devoted to the...Read More...

"be certainly to"

The day when his dream will be realized is (certain/certainly) to come. the answer key is "certain". but I looked up the following sentances in the BNC. - Improvements are certainly to be expected. - TNCs are certainly to be found in a wide variety of economic sectors. I don't know what is the right key.Read More...
The test/exercise writers dropped the ball on this one. Both "certain" and "certainly" are grammatical in the original sentence. They perform, however, two different functions. The construction "be certain to" means "be sure to." The adjective "certain" modifies the grammatical subject. In the intended answer, "” The day when his dream will be realized is certain to come ...the adjective "certain" modifies the grammatical subject, "day." You can't change the position in the sentence of...Read More...

Addicting vs. Addictive

I recently came across the following admonition: "Warning: This game is addicting!" Would the meaning change if "addictive" replaced "addicting" in the above sentence?Read More...
The word "addicting" appears in dictionaries only as the present participle of the verb "addict." I've searched but have found no dictionaries for native speakers of English that consider it an adjective. The Collins COBUILD Dictionary (1987) does not have an entry for "addicting" as an adjective. The Longman Advanced American Dictionary (2000) includes it, somewhat cryptically, in definition 2 of the adjective "addictive": "(also addicting ) Informal. Something such as a food or an activity...Read More...

The meaning of a phrase

Could you help me understand the bold part of the following sentence? Next, let me say to you that, if I understood you, with a trespass of credibility that excels your best, you said that our position had changed since I spoke here the other day because of the pressures of world opinion and the majority of the United Nations. AppleRead More...
The phrase in bold is uttered at a point in the sentence that makes it hard to process. The sentence comes from a speech in which one ambassador is refuting a claim made by another ambassador that the speaker's country had changed its position on an issue, and had done so for a particular reason. The with- phrase modifies "said," and a clearer version would be Next, let me say to you that, if I understood you, you said, with a trespass of credibility that excels your best , that our position...Read More...

The function of "that" in "in that"

What is the function of "that" in the following sentence? Does it have a grammatical term to refer to? The virus named after the late Princess of Wales is "one of the few nice" computer viruses in the world in that it doesn't destroy material stored in computers. Thank you for your helpRead More...
Marilyn has noted an additional dictionary definition and several examples on Google, which augment my response above. "In that," as defined in the COBUILD*: "You use in that to introduce an explanation of a statement you have just made: I'm lucky in that I've had four sisters. " The construction "in that" in the sentence about the virus means "in the sense that...." and introduces the explanation of use of the adjective "nice." Examples from Google: - Pat's career as a storyteller and...Read More...

past participles used as adjectives

i recently read an artcle with some students and came across this sentence ',for what he and Brad did showed maturity beyond their years.' Is the word 'showed' used as a past participle adjective or as the functioning verb?Read More...
At first glance, the sentence does seem confusing. This is because it has two unrelated verbs next to each other. The verb "showed" is the main verb in the sentence. It's the past tense of "show." The sentence breaks down thus: ... for ... (coordinating conjunction meaning "because") ...what he and Brad DID... (nominal relative clause used as grammatical subject) ...SHOWED maturity beyond their years (main clause) The sentence could be expressed "” with a different emphasis, of course "” in...Read More...

Restaurants or theaters

Would you please tell me which is the most idiomatic expression? 1. I love dressing up and going out to restaurants or theaters. 2. I love dressing up and going out to restaurants or the theater. 3. I love dressing up and going out to a restaurant or the theater. Thank you very much. Best Regards.Read More...
I would say number three because it makes more sense. People don't go out to restaurants, they to a restaurant unless they are really hungry. It is the same for the theater.Read More...

That-clauses as adverbial or nominal

Q1. In the sentence 1, the of-phrase is an adverbial, isn't it? Then, in the sentence 2, is the that-clause an adverbial or a nominal? Can we think of it as either an adverbial or a nominal? 1. He assured me [of its success]. 2. Her doctor assured us [that she would be fine]. Q2. Does this sentence make sense with or w/o 'of'? 3. What did he assure you [of]? Q3. In the sentences below, is the that-clause an adverbial or a nominal? 4. I'm happy [that I see you here]. 5. I'm sure that you will...Read More...
You are correct that the to- infinitive phrase in Sentence 1 that is the adjective complement of "happy" is not a nominal. In no way can an infinitive complement be considered a nominal. Nominals function as nouns in sentences. Infinitive phrases function as nominals when they are grammatical subjects (" To survive the interrogation was my sole aim") or subject complements ("My sole aim was to survive the interrogation "). But they are not nominals when they are adjective complements. "To...Read More...

Me or I

Which is correct, me or I? - A bunch of boys and [me, I] were sitting on the grass. < A bunch of [boys and me] > or < [A bunch of boys] and [I] > Thank you very much. Best Regards.Read More...
"¢ A bunch of boys and I were sitting on the grass. It's correct to use the subject pronoun I here because – I is part of the subject. _______ You can always test which pronoun, subject or object, is the correct one by trying it alone, in the singular. You would NOT say "Me was sitting at the game. You would say: "¢ I was sitting at the game. _______ Similarly, you would say: "¢ Our professor came along and sat with a bunch of boys and me on the grass. or "¢ Our professor came along and sat...Read More...

Other words for "realize"

Hello Would you help me with this expression? #1 Then he realized that he had made a big mistake. I'd like to know how to express instead of using the word " realize." #2 Then he found that he had made a big mistake. Can I rewrite #1 to #2? Would you give me other expressions? Thank you.Read More...
"Realize" is a very difficult word for which to find a close synonym. "Find" isn't an accurate substitute, since it depends on exposure to some kind of evidence. It's not an internal mental act, like "realize." Maybe you could use one of the following: 1. Then it [suddenly] dawned on him that he had made a big mistake 2. Then he [suddenly] became aware that he had made a big mistake 3. Then it became clear to him that he had made a big mistake 4. Then it became obvious/apparent to him that...Read More...

eat and have

Hello Would you help me to know how to use "have " and "eat"? #1 Have you ever eaten this dish? #2 Have you ever had this dish? I know both words are used interchangeably. Which word is preferable when "have " has been already used in the sentence ? Or does this make any difference when deciding which word to use? Thank you.Read More...
With most foods, it doesn't make any difference whether "have" has been used before. If the food is considered unusual or exotic, sometimes the speaker uses the verb "eat" to represent the experience of actually eating the unusual or exotic substance. MarilynRead More...

active, passive

Here are four sentences in active voice. When written in passive voice, the sentences are like 5.6.7.8. below. But sentence 8 is quite mouthful. Is sentence 8 actually used? Does it sound natural? Or can 7 be substituted? 1. Someone is following you. 2. Someone was following you. 3. Someone has followed you. 4. Someone has been following you. The passive voices of the above sentences are: 5. You are being followed by someone. 6. You were being followed by someone. 7. You have been followed...Read More...
Your instinct is correct: speakers of English avoid the perfect progressive in passives. Quirk et al.* explain the aversion thus: "The perfective progressive does not ... combine freely with the passive voice. The following sentence is felt to be awkward: The road has been being repaired for months The awkwardness of the perfective progressive passive is probably due in part to the juxtaposition of two forms of the verb be...." (p. 213, note a) In other words, the sequence "been being" is...Read More...

taking tests

Is this sentence correct: 'Familiarize students with mechanics of the taking tests-"short trials". How can I re-phrase the sentence? What is the meaning of the word 'taking'? Is it an adjective?Read More...
The sentence seems to have a misplaced article: "the." The sentence makes sense like this: "¢ Familiarize students with THE mechanics of taking tests – "short trials." _______ "Taking" is a gerund, which is the noun form of the verb, in this case, "take." RachelRead More...

on/ at/ in Xmas holiday?

Which preposition shall we put before Xmas holiday? 1. on Xmas holiday 2.at Xmas holiday 3.in Xmas holidayRead More...
If the phrase is just "____ Xmas holiday," almost certainly you would use "on." A common idiom is "on holiday," and that can be extended to "on Xmas holiday," "on summer holiday," etc. There are 410 examples on Google, like these: "¢ ... Hello..back after a while i am...went on xmas holiday to see tigers at a wildlife reserve..absoulutely spectacular....The Arjun is an underachievement IMHO ... www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread101977 "¢ Hello to destinylouise, kaylagmay and Soloman from...Read More...

'dressed in' or 'dressed after'

She was dressed (in,after) the western fashion. which one is correct?Read More...
The usual way to describe how someone is dressed is to use the preposition "in" with the verb "dress": "¢ She was dressed in the western fashion. "¢ The children were dressed in native costumes and performed songs and dances for the ceremony. "¢ All the bridesmaids were dressed in light blue silk. "¢ The musicians in the orchestra dress in black for all their performances. _______ You might use "to be dressed after" to describe what someone is wearing to try to approximate an old style. Here...Read More...

leave

Hello, teachers! - She left the door open. Which does this sentence mean, 1, 2, or both? 1. She let the door open. 2. She left when the door was open. If the sentence can mean the same thing as #1, which is the everyday expression, let, leave, or another expression? Thank you very much. Best Regards.Read More...
Neither. "She left the door open" means that she had already opened the door and that she permitted the door to remain in the open position; she did not close the door. Your sentence # 1 – "She LET the door open" – means that she was in a position to decide whether the door was opened or not. She decided not to stop any impediment from opening the door, and she permitted the door to open itself, or permitted someone to open the door. Your sentence # 2 – "She LEFT when the door was open" –...Read More...

Occupation/Position + Proper Name

Hello, teachers! In these expressions, which is natural, with or w/o 'the'? 1. [The] farmer Henry Miller stops by the pub every day. 2. [The] novelist Henry Miller stops by the pub every day. 3. [The] Major Henry Miller stops by the pub every day. 4. [The] Mayor Henry Miller stops by the pub every day. Thank you very much. Best Regards.Read More...
There's an informative posting in the Archives, under "Articles and appositives," about articles with names of occupations or professions (but not titles) and proper names. (There is a punctuation error in one of the examples under (5). The example sentence should not have a comma after the word "player"; it should read "” A similar sentence is: "She was married to baseball player Joe DiMaggio.") If a person is being introduced for the first time, the word order is usually with the proper...Read More...

have been of

tommy
i have found a sentence from somewhere. you have agreed that tom's performances have been of the highest standard recently. 1.) i have never seen have been + of before. is it correct? 2.) can i change it and is it correct? you have agreed that tom's performances have been the highest standard recently. (without of ) please help and thank you very much.Read More...
No, the sentence can't be without "of." The preposition "of" in your sentence does not go with the verb "have been." It goes with "the highest standard," which describes "performances": -- performances of the highest standard – meaning "performances having the highest standard." You can use "of" to indicate a characteristic or quality that someone or something has. "Of" introduces the noun or noun phrase (the highest standard) to connect it to the noun which it describes (performances).Read More...

Before & when

Hello, teachers! - You had gone to London [before, when] she was here to see you. In this sentence I know 'before' is the natural and correct choice, but I wonder whether we can use 'when' instead of 'before'. Is 'when' natural or strange? Thank you very much. Best Regards.Read More...
The sentence can be: "¢ You had gone (or, "went") to London before she was here to see you. In this sentence, Action 1 is: You went to London. Action 2 is: She was here to see you. _______ The sentence would not be clear with the past perfect "had gone." You would need "already" to make the sentence clear: "¢ You had already gone to London when she was here to see you. In this sentence, Action 1 is: You went to London Action 2 is: She was here to see you. _______ You could, however, have a...Read More...

-what is infinitely more important-he

tommy
This employer gained more profit, more leisure and -what is infinitely more important-he found far more happiness in his business and in his home. i have seen something like this at first time. is the sentence grammatically correct? or what's it about grammar issue? please help and thank you very much.Read More...
The sentence is grammatically correct (except that it has imperfect parallelism). It contains an "aside," a parenthetical clause or phrase that interrupts the main statement to make a comment on what is coming next. A stylistically better version would be This employer gained more profit as well as more leisure and "” what is infinitely more important "” far more happiness in his business and in his home. OR This employer gained more profit and more leisure. What is infinitely more...Read More...

i have, since, been

tommy
i have found a sentence from a text book. * i have , since, been conducting educational courses for business and professional men and women in New York. it's first time to see since is in middle of the sentence. i always see for example, "i have been doing something since 2000." in English grammar books. in the sentence *, is it correct? if it's correct, what's difference? please help and thank you very much.Read More...
The sentence is correct (except that it has too many commas, but we'll ignore that fact for now.) "Since" is, as you say, usually found at the beginning of a clause, not in the middle. It can, however, be used between the auxiliary verb HAVE and the past participle in perfect constructions. The usual form of the sentence would be Since that time/then , I have been conducting educational courses for business and professional men and women in New York. OR I have been conducting educational...Read More...
×
×
×
×