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Future time clause

Hello I happened to find the question which I think is strange. Would you look at this? I should choose the words in the parenthesis. #1 Children (are sleeping / sleep / will be sleeping ) by the time I get home. I think there is not appropriate answer in the parenthesis because of " by the time I get home." Is that right? If I use "will be sleeping", what should I change this part? Is #2 or #3 OK? If it's not, would you give me some sentence that make sense? #2 Children will be sleeping at...Read More...
It would be possible to use "come home" if you are speaking the sentence from your home. For example: Wife: Good morning, honey. Husband: Good morning, sweetheart. Wife: Honey, the kids love it when you read to them at night. Do you think you could read them a story tonight? Husband: I wish I could, but I know I'll be working late at the office. By the time I come/ get home at 9:00 o'clock, they'll be sleeping for sure. "Go home" would have a little different meaning. "Go home" means to...Read More...

At ease & at home

Hello, teachers! Would you tell me which verb is correct and natural, please? 1. Let go of it and have a drink. It will put/make you at ease. 2. Try this pillow. It will put/make you at home. And how about these variants? 1a. Let go of it and have a drink. It will make you feel at ease. 2a. Try this pillow. It will make you feel at home. Thank you very much. Best Regards.Read More...
Sentence 1, 1. Let go of it and have a drink. It will put you at ease ... is correct and natural. "Put [someone] at ease" is a fixed expression. Sentence 2, Try this pillow. It will put/make you at home. ...is not correct with "put" and not very natural with "make." True, "make [someone] at home" is sometimes used, but the grammatical subject is usually human or something in the general environment that has the effect of making a person feel as if s/he is at home. Here are a few examples...Read More...

want - hope 2

Hello I found the following sentence in the grammar exercise. #1 I hope my daughter to be an artist. I think " hope " should be " want", because " hope" cannot follow a person as an object or " hope" should fallow that-clause. Is this right? I'd like to know if #1 is grammatically right or not. Thank you.Read More...
You are correct. The sentence is not correct. The verb should be "want," like this: · I want my daughter to be an artist. _______ If you want to use "hope," you can do it this way: · I hope (that) my daughter will be an artist. · I hope (that) my daughter is an artist. RachelRead More...

Follow-up (WATCH OUT FOR SOMETHING)

Dear Marilyn, Many thanks. How do the three meanings of the expression WATCH OUT FOR you mentioned, correlate with those of WATCH FOR and LOOK OUT FOR, i.e. do they overlap and to what extent? Gratefully, YuriRead More...
All three verbs are used to mean "be alert for possible danger or other unpleasantness that is unforeseen ." "Watch for," "watch out for,"and "look out for" also mean "be alert for something that is going to come or happen ." They are used to prepare people for future events that are known about, for example, announcements, the appearance of a new product, or changes to be made in something. The event that is coming may be good or bad. (An idiom related to "look out for" is "be on the...Read More...

advertising/advertisement

What is the difference between these two sentences: 1.The advertising of tobacco is outlawed. 2.The advertisement of tobacco is outlawedRead More...
Both sentences are correct. "Advertising" refers to the activity of trying to influence people to buy a product or service. "Advertising" is an abstract, noncount noun. In contrast, "advertisement" is a count noun, which refers to the actual announcement, image, or audio promoting the product or service. "The advertisement of" can also be used to mean "the advertising of," as it is in your sentence. _______ Here are definitions from the American Heritage Dictionary*: advertising n. 1. The...Read More...

infinitive or bare verb

1. She did nothing but cry. 2. We had no choice but to cut back on wholesale costs. In 1, the verb "cry" takes a root form, but in 2, the verb "to cut" is infinitive. Why is this so? Are a root form of the verb "cut" or a gerund "cutting" also acceptable? Apple.Read More...
Additionally, on March 29, 2004, our member Ricky asked a smilar question. It was comprehensively addressed by our members Kathryn and by Marilyn Martin. It is currently listed on page 17 of this Newsgroup. RachelRead More...

Like -ing vs. like to

Hello, teachers! Do you have any preference between gerunds and to-infinitives with the verb "like"? I was taught that these are equally correct and common. However, IMHO, there is difference in nuance and preference. Moreover in BrE, there is a distinct difference in meaning and in usage, I think. Am I right? 1-1. I like swimming. [This is better, isn't it?] 1-2. I like to swim. 2-1. I like swimming when it's hot. 2-2. I like to swim when it's hot. [This is better, isn't it?] Thank you very...Read More...
Like + the gerund or like + the infinitive are both correct and interchangeable according to most English speakers and references. However, some references do note a very slight difference. In British English, like + -ing is used mostly to talk about enjoyment, and like + infinitive mostly to talk about choices and habits, according to Michael Swan*. In that case, your selections of sentences 1-1 and 2-2 might be very slightly preferred. _______ However, the infinitive is also used to...Read More...

fruit

Which one is correct? My favourite fruit is mango. My favourite fruit is the mango. My favourite fruit is mangoes. My favourite fruits are mangoes.Read More...
Here's a repost of the answer from November 21, 2004: The first three sentences are grammatically and logically correct, but the two most natural are "” My favorite fruit is mangoes "” My favorite fruit is mango It's possible to say "My favorite fruit is the mango," but that's a formal generic, which is not common in everyday speech. If you say "my favorite fruits...," you are referring to more than one kind of fruit. You could say "” My favorite fruits are mangoes and strawberries MarilynRead More...

Preposition: 'in' or 'at' your home/house

Dear teachers, What preposition is used in the following sentence? Does anybody .... your house wear eyeglasses? Can I say, ˜Does anybody at your home wear eyeglasses?' ? Thank you. Aneeth PrabhakarRead More...
The preposition you want here is IN: Does anybody IN your house wear eyeglasses? Does anybody IN your home wear eyeglasses? It means: "Does anybody living IN your house/ home wear eyeglasses? RachelRead More...
1. I am interested in this book. 2. This book interests me. 3. This book is interesting . - I'd like to know that all the sentences are grammatically correct? and which one is the most formal writing? - All the sentences have the same as meaning? - Can i write it as I'm interesting in this book . ? and - " interesting " on sentence3 is an adjective right? ThanksRead More...
The verb BE in the sentence "I am interested in this book" is already continuous in its aspect. You don't say *"I am being interested/happy, surprised, angry, tired,depressed, etc." BE and other stative verbs "” "love, like, know, own, believe, want," etc. "” are not used in the continuous form, except for special meanings such as "you're being ("acting") very difficult" or the passive ("My house is being painted this week.") Stative verbs are ongoing in nature. If you say "she knows the...Read More...

A pair of bell-bottoms

Hello, teachers! Would you please tell me which is natural with the phrase 'a pair of', plural or singular? 1. I bought [a pair of] bell-bottoms at a low price, but, [they were] damaged. 2. I bought [a pair of] bell-bottoms at a low price, but, [it was] damaged. Thank you very much. Best Regards.Read More...
An article of clothing does not qualify to be called a "lemon." You use the term "lemon" only for something that is supposed to perform, like a car, an electric tool, a computer, or other device, whether electronic or not. "Lemon" can also be used for software programs. The most common usage is for cars. The Longman Advanced American Dictionary (2000) gives this definition: "3. [C] Something, especially a car, that is useless because it fails to work correctly: Our van turned out to be a...Read More...

Visiting professor/teacher

Dear experts, Would you agree that VISITING PROFESSOR and VISITING TEACHER mean altogether different things. Thank you, YuriRead More...
VISITING PROFESSOR In the U.S. the title "visiting professor" is used for a professor from a different institution who holds that official title and status at a college, university, or other institution of higher education. Visiting professors can be from an institution in the same country or from one in a different country, and their appointments are temporary. The Free Dictionary at http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Visiting%20professor ...gives this definition: Visiting professor n. A...Read More...

"watch out for": opposite meanings?

Dear experts, Would you agree that the expression WATCH OUT FOR SOMETHING may be used to convey two opposing meanings: 1. be on guard for smth. dangerous or undesirable: I'm always watching out for mistakes that I may have missed before. 2. a positive statement meaning try to find or partake of something. Thank you, YuriRead More...
"Watch out for" is used with three possible meanings. 1) It is used mostly, but not exclusively, in the sense of "be careful," "be on guard against," be on the alert [for danger]." Google examples: "” Watch out for a silent, mysterious, nearly invisible killer, the Irukandji jellyfish, which can be found in the seas off northern Australia, and know what to ... goaustralia.about.com/b/a/031913.htm "” This is a warning to watch out for a guy who uses stolen credit card details to purchase RC...Read More...

Near vs. close to

Hello, teachers! Please help me with the difference between 'near' and 'close to'! 1. After the accident Paul didn't go near a horse for two years. 2. After the accident Paul didn't go close to a horse for two years. - A native speaker (Englishwoman) says that both are correct, but we much more prefer #1 to #2. Is it true? If it is true, would you please tell me what difference in meaning makes the preference? Thank you very much. Best Regards.Read More...
Google has examples of both: "” It might be easier for you to tell your child who is not a stranger. Explain to them that they should never go near a car that has pulled over to talk to them. raisingboys.allinfoabout.com/features/403strangers.html "” CHILDREN'S ROAD RULES: NEVER go close to a car with a stranger in it, because they could pull you into the car; NEVER ... www.brockvillepolice.com/community/safety_strangers.htm But on Google, there are 22,500 examples of "go near a...," while...Read More...

Music sheet/sheet music

Dear experts, How would you define: MUSIC-SHEET and SHEET MUSIC Thank you, YuriRead More...
"Sheet music" is music printed on paper. It's a mass (noncount) noun. You can buy sheet music at a music store. It's the printed form of the music that musicians and amateurs use when they play. I've never heard of "music sheet," and haven't found any examples on Google. The only expression I know is "sheet of music." A sheet of music is an actual piece of paper with musical notation on it. The usual form for the noun is the singular, even though the actual item may consist of many actual...Read More...

Where to go

What does the "where to go" mean in the following excerpt from "Wal-Mart's Gender Gap" by Lisa Takeuchi Cullen Wilson, taken from Time, July 5, 2004: When she learned that a man she had trained was earning $3,500 more than she was, " they told me it was a fluke." But as other male colleagues leapfrogged past, her salary never rose above $60,000 and she never landed the promised job of store manager. When she complained, "they told me where to go," says Adams, 57. She quit at the end of 2001.Read More...
What they told her didn't mean that she could quit if she wished to. The utterance only implied that she could quit if she didn't like the unequal pay situation. "They told me where to go" means that they told her to "go to h**l." Telling someone to "go to h**l" is a very strong way of rejecting what the other person has said and at the same time of expressing great contempt for him/her. MarilynRead More...

grainy looking interviews

I have trouble understanding what "grainy looking interviews" in the following sentence means. It's about a recent animated movie "The Incredibles". This is still a fun film even if the pleasures are front-loaded, starting with the grainy looking interviews of the superhero stars that open the show. AppleRead More...
The noun phrase "grainy looking interviews" is really about the images in the film, not the interviews themselves. "Grainy" is how you describe a photo that looks as if it's made up of tiny grains. The term comes from the photo developing process, when grains of the emulsion used in the developing process stick together and give a "grainy" look to the picture. The result is a picture with a grainy texture. MarilynRead More...

Not in the same street

Dear experts, Would you say that the expression NOT IN THE SAME STREET combines two opposing meanings: 1. not nearly so good as smb.; much inferior to smb. or smth. (also: not in the same league): As a scholar he is not in the same street with his predecessor. 2. greatly superior to smb. or smth. Thank you, YuriRead More...
"In the same street" is like "in the same league" when they occur with "not" or a negative verb or adverb. But there's a difference between the two expressions. I haven't found a single instance of "in the same street" in an affirmative utterance. The only examples of "in the same street" that I've found are with "not" or a negative verb or adverb. It appears that "in the same street" needs a negative context. "In the same league," in contrast, occurs in both negative and affirmative...Read More...

"...who knows as much...as is...

I have found a sentence and I have difficult time interpret it. Please help me. My friend Strickland of the Police, who knows as much of natives of India as is good for any man , can bear witness to the facts of the case. What does the author mean when he says the highlighted phrase? The structure is confusing to me. Thank you so much.Read More...
The construction is hard to understand because it has two ellipses (omitted parts). The omitted parts would complete the comparison. Here are some possible full forms: "”My friend Strickland..., who knows as much of natives of India as [the amount that] is good for any man [to know], can..... "”My friend Strickland..., who knows as much of natives of India as [that amount which] is good for any man [to know], can..... "”My friend Strickland..., who knows as much of natives of India as [what]...Read More...

Absolute construction?

I've come across the sentence below that I'm not sure about its structure. East of Suez, some hold, the direct control of Providence ceases; Man being there handed over to the power of the Gods and Devils of Asia, and the Church of England Providence only exercising an occasional and modified supervision in the case of Englishmen. Is the hightlighted part considered an absolute construction? If so, I wonder why the author didn't use the "comma" but "semicolon" here. If it's indeed absolute...Read More...
The construction is an absolute, not a clause. It has two subjects but does not contain finite (marked for tense) verbs. The appropriate punctuation mark to separate it from the previous part of the sentence is indeed not a semicolon but a comma. Since the absolute does not contain a finite verb, it cannot be connected to the previous clause with "and." A more explicit and simpler version of the sentence would be "” Some hold (claim) that, east of Suez (in Asia), Providence ceases to exert...Read More...

Verb form after 'see' + object

This question was sent in by Elaine: Why do we say: I saw him /shoot/ the dog. (simple verb)Read More...
Certain verbs of perception are followed by an object and then just the simple form of the verb. In your sentence, "see" is the verb of perception, "him" is the object of the verb, and "shoot" completes the verb complementation. Here are some other similar sentences: I heard the door close . We watched the soccer team practice . I felt someone touch my shoulder. Did you see anyone get into the car and drive away? Did you see the accident happen ? We observed the earth's shadow eclipse the...Read More...

one another / each other

Dear teachers, Which of the following sentences is correct / more correct? Danny and Ricky quarrelled with one another. Danny and Ricky quarrelled with each other. Thank you. Aneeth Prabhakar.Read More...
As an addendum, here is a very succinct entry from the New York Times Manual of Style and Usage: each other, one another Two people look at each other ; more than two look at one another . RachelRead More...

in this summer vacation

Is the following sentence correct? Is in obligatory? What do you want to do in this summer vacation?Read More...
Well, "in" would not be the preposition to use with "vacation." You might use "on" instead: "¢ What do you want to do on this summer vacation? The "on" is not obligatory. In fact, with the determiner "this," the sentence sounds more natural without "on": "¢ What do you want to do this summer vacation? There are other prepositions you might use, too, or you could omit them: "¢ What do you want to do (during) this summer vacation? "¢ What do you want to do (for) this summer vacation? "¢ What...Read More...

Postcards

Dear experts, Would you agree that a POSTAL CARD and a POSTCARD are not absolute synonyms? Thank you, YuriRead More...
Yes, agreed, not absolute synonyms although sometimes "postal card" and "post card" are used interchangeably. When a card from the official post office or other government agency comes in the mail, it is often referred to as a "postal card." "Post card" would probably not be used to refer to this item. Certainly the government or an official body would NOT say: "You must return the enclosed postcard by December 31." A post card that comes in the mail has a picture on one side, and a written...Read More...

as or for homework.

Are the following both correct? What is the difference, if there is any? The teacher gave us this book for homework. The teacher gave us this book as homework. AppleRead More...
Both sentences are correct. The only differences is that "as homework" is more formal than "for homework." MarilynRead More...
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