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comparison.

I don't know Why the following sentence is wrong. There is no wiser man in this town than he. The answer key is "No one is wiser in this town than he".Read More...
The answer in the book is a grammatically correct sentence, but so are these: "” There is no wiser man in this town than he "” There is no wiser man than he in this town Google has examples of this kind of structure: "” "Well, your own business is of course your own business, and you may say there's no one less in a position than I to preach to you. ... www.online-literature.com/henry_james/wings_dove/2/ "” sinner. My own countrymen, the French Canadian, is the man with the axe. There is no...Read More...

sentence help.!

hi.. Some urgent help needed " You have to make up th etime you missed having children while young" This sentence sounds absolutely incorrect..! Would it be somethinh like this :- " You have to make up for the time you had missed when having children while you were young" Any help will be highly appreciated as usual ThanksRead More...
This is a difficult sentence to fix because it has two similar time clauses in a row. We usually avoid a "while"- clause and a "when"- clause together in either order. The correct tense for "miss" is not the past perfect; it's the simple past, "missed." If there were a past point of time to which to relate the "missing" it would be correct to use the past perfect of "miss," but there isn't any. One of the two time expressions "” the more salient or important one - should be in a finite form,...Read More...

Comma or capital

Hi, I saw this sentence and wonder whether there should be a comma before the start of the quote and if not - should the first word in the quote be in lower case. Or is it ok as it is. If it is ok - why is it? Grateful for your comments: When it comes to home decorations, Marie Low's philosophy could be "One doesn't plan things, they just happen." In Singapore, although British English is used in most areas, for punctuation sometimes American style punctuation is used, so this could be a use...Read More...
Thanks. Siva.Read More...

Tense

Hi, The following sentebce sounds incorrect. " When my childrn are grown up , I am still young" I think the second part is wrong..it should be " When my children are grown up , I will still be young " Help needed please ThanksRead More...
You're right. In a sentence referring to the future, the "when"- clause should be in the simple present but the main clause should be in a future verb form. The correct version is, as you say, "” When my children are grown up, I will still be young MarilynRead More...

ground a family..??'

Hi.. can one use the following expression.." we have grounded a family"? It sounds rather old fashioned. Is there a better phrase? thanksRead More...
Without a context to clarify the intent of the writer, I can only speculate as to the intended meaning. If you take the sentence as written, it can have only one meaning, which is not very likely. The verb "to ground [someone]" means to restrict that person or those persons to a limited area, e.g. their home, which they are not allowed to leave. Parents sometimes "ground" their children (don't allow them to go out) when the children have committed some infraction of family rules. I can think...Read More...

Sure / Surely

Hi Which of the two sentences is correct? 1) Having children while young is sure a good thing for some people. 2) Having children while young is surely a good thing for some people. 3) You sure don't go to the disco. 2) You surely don't go to the disco. ThanksRead More...
"Sure" is sometimes used as an adverb to substitute, informally, for "surely," according to the American Heritage Dictionary (Fourth Edition, 2004, Houghton Mifflin). So, your sentences 1) and 3) are informal ways of expressing sentences 2) and 4). From the dictionary: sure adv. Informal. Surely; certainly RachelRead More...

How Vs What

This morning, I and my co-worker had a discussion about the following questions: (1) How is your thesis progressing? (2) What is the (current) progress of your thesis? In your opinion, do you think the two questions above asking for the same information? In other words, what kind of answer one should respond to each question? Thank you very much for your helpRead More...
The two questions ask for basically the same information, but the second one is hyperformal (and, coming from a professor or thesis advisor, possibly intimidating!). To each of the questions one could respond "”It's going well/slowly/fine/OK "”It's coming along [well/slowly/fine/OK] "”I'm making [some/a lot of] progress MarilynRead More...

lead?

Hello I'd like to check how to use "lead." Would you take a look at #1? #1 Business took my father to New York last week. Can I interchange "took" and "led" like #2? Or should the subject of "lead" a road like #3? #2 Business led my father to New York last week. #3 This street leads you to the station. Thank you.Read More...
One's business by itself doesn't lead one somewhere. Definition 7 for "lead" in the Longman Advanced American Dictionary (2001) says "to be the thing that makes someone decide to do something: [lead sb to do sth] Several factors led us to choose Austria for our study" There are actually other kinds of things that can influence someone to do something. Here are a few Google examples: "” My journeys led me to New York and then Los Angeles, where I developed my craft as a screenwriter, writing...Read More...

contaminated areas/areas contaminated?

tommy
Dear all can i write all the sentences below something like this please? 1.) After knowing the groundwater flow direction, our environmental engineers can plan to reduce some contaminated areas around the site. or 2.) After knowing the groundwater flow direction, our environmental engineers can plan to reduce some areas which're contaminated around the site. or 3.) After knowing the groundwater flow direction, our environmental engineers can plan to reduce some areas contaminated around the...Read More...
How about: · After learning the groundwater flow direction, our environmental engineers can plan to reduce the contamination in some areas around the site. OR · After learning the groundwater flow direction, our environmental engineers can plan to minimize the contaminated areas around the site. OR · After learning the groundwater flow direction, our environmental engineers can plan to reduce the amount of contamination in areas near the site. OR · After learning the groundwater flow...Read More...

definition of 'perceive'

Hi! One of my students has written some sentences which are supposed to show that he understands the definition of 'perceive'. For the life of me, I can't explain why he's wrong! He writes: "This letter isn't obvious, but I must perceive it. It's important to me." He wants to know how he should write it, using 'perceive'. I want to suggest that it's the message within the letter that is not perceivable to him. I hope you can untangle this for me! Thanks.Read More...
From the student's sentences, it appears as though "it" in both the first and second sentences refers to "this letter." "It" should refer to the message within the letter. How about this: "¢ The message in the letter is not obvious, but I must try to perceive it. The meaning of the message is important to me. _______ Here's a passage from a usage note in the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition (Houghton Mifflin, 2004): " Perceive and discern both imply not...Read More...
Last Reply By Rachel, Moderator · First Unread Post

So...that

tommy
So...that The sentence: The subjects of conversation are not so numerous that one can neglect an opportunity of adding to one's store. Does this usage of 'so...that' make sense? Souldn't it be The subjects of conversation are not numerous, so that one can neglect an opportunity of adding to one's store. or The subjects of conversation are not so numerous that one can not neglect an opportunity of adding to one's store. ?Read More...
The example sentence is grammatically correct but hard to understand right away. Maybe that's because it has a negative main verb. Neither of the suggested alternatives works. Tommy's example has SO + adjective+ THAT plus a result clause. The relation in "so ... that" is of cause and effect. For example, "” I'm SO busy these days THAT I often forget to eat lunch When you make the main verb negative, you get a sentence like "” But I'm not SO busy THAT I can pass up a chance to see you Here...Read More...

fisnish vs. end and start vs. begin

Can you pleas state the difference between FINISH vs END and START vs BEGIN. Please show some examples. Thank you MirekRead More...
"Finish" and "end" have similar meanings, and are often interchangeable. There are some differences, though. According to Michael Swan*. "1. 'finish' + object: When we talk about getting to the end of something or completing an activity, we usually prefer 'finish'. He never lets me finish a sentence. She's always starting something new, but she never finishes anything. You'll never finish that hamburger – it's too big for you. Have you finished cleaning the floor yet? Note that 'finish' can...Read More...

I think that + infinitive

I know in the following examples, infinitive and gerund are interchangeable, although they differ a bit in register and (1) may sound a bit unnatural. They are technically correct, I suppose. (1) To know your future is sometimes scary. (2) Knowing your future is sometimes scary. But what about the following? (3) I think that knowing your future is sometimes scary. (4) I think that to know your future is sometimes scare. Doesn't (4) sound a little strange? If so, could anyone tell me why? AppleRead More...
All four sentences are correct. Maybe Sentence (4) seems strange because the infinitive construction as subject of the noun clause after "think" is about half as frequent as the gerund as subject of the noun clause after "think." There are 2,060 examples on Google of "that to know is," used as it is in your sentences: "¢ The constructivist view holds that to know is to construct conceptions of reality that fit my experience, that are viable and useful to me; it is not to ...Read More...

Cure or treat

Hello, teachers! - There isn't any medicine yet that can [_____] the disease. What verb can I use in the place of [_____], cure or treat? Some say 'cure', and some say 'treat'. Which is correct? Are both OK? Thank you very much. Best Regards.Read More...
Let's me join to the topic please. I agree with Rachel's explanation. In my opinion, "cure" is better choice. best regardsRead More...

Inversion

tommy
He is a patriot, as are his brothers. Can anyone help me to analyze the sentence? Does it equal"He is a patriot, so are his brothers" or can we say"He is a patriot, as his brothers are"? and There are some sentences in the textbooks like "A better understanding of the environment is necessary, as is the willingness to act How to analyze " ...as is the willingness to act"? Thank you very muchRead More...
Yes, "He is a patriot, as are his brothers" is a more formal version of "He is a patriot, and so are his brothers" or 'He is a patriot, and his brothers are, too." Quirk et al.* give these examples of inversion with "as": "” She looks forward, as does her secretary, to the completion of the building "” They go to concerts frequently, as do I (p. 1382) All of these examples of inversion with "as" are formal style. Marilyn *Quirk et al., A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language...Read More...

About causative verbs....

Why do causative verbs have bare infinitive as a complement? I mean, in reported speech, 'She made me open the door.' we can speak like this. But, in general, like 'She told me to open the door.', we use 'to-infinivive' as a complement. And, causative verbs have to-infinitive in passive sentences. Why?... just by usage? ...thanks. p.s. ... always I get so much help in this site. I am always thankful.Read More...
Verb complements are hard to learn at first. The secret is in the properties of the individual verb. The causative verbs "have" and "make" take the bare infinitive after the direct object, while the others, such as "force," "require," and "compel," take the full infinitive. Some verbs of suasion, like "tell," and "order" also take the full infinitive. But other verbs of suasion, such as "demand" and "suggest," take a that-clause (e.g. "I demanded that they release my medical records.") You...Read More...

cry

Hello I found the following sentences. 1) Mary gave a cry of surprise. 2) She uttered a cry of joy. Questin 1 Are these expressions commonly used, or formal? Question2 How can I rewrite 1) and 2) ? Would you give me some expressions? Thank you.Read More...
Both expressions are very common, and are not formal. Google has 10,700 entries for "cry of surprise" and 19,000 for "cry of joy." Most expressions with "cry" are of negative feelings: "” a cry of anguish/pain/distress/desperation/alarm/outrage/defiance Still, there's at least one that's positive: "a cry of hope." I can't think of any other ways to express the kind of sound made to convey each emotion, but maybe some other members can make some suggestions. MarilynRead More...

ever

Hello Would you take a look at the following sentences? 1) This is the best book I have ever read. 2) This is the most difficult problem I have ever had. In these sentences "ever" is used. A grammar book say that if the subject are "This is the first / second etc. time that ..." or "This is the only ..... that ...", " ever" is not used in that-clause. However, I found that " ever " is used in these sentences. Which is grammatically correct, with or without "ever"? Or are both correct? Thank you.Read More...
Without having the full reference at hand, I can't tell exactly what the grammar book explanation says. I can't think of a reason to prohibit "ever" in relative clauses whose head is modified by an ordinal numeral like "first" or "second," or by the determiner "only." In some cases, "ever" might be considered redundant, but in other cases it makes a difference. Which would you rather hear, "” You're the only woman/man I've loved OR "”You're the only woman/man I've EVER loved You'd probably...Read More...

excessive/large/unrestrained

tommy
Alcoholism refers to an abnormal and persistent desire to drink excessive amounts of alcohol. 1.large 2.unrestrained please select and give supported information?Read More...
I agree with you that "large" is not the best choice. It doesn't express the idea of "more than justifiable, desirable or proper." I should qualify my previous statement that "unrestrained" can't be used with "amounts." I've found a very few examples of "unrestrained" with "amount" on Google: 22 with "amount" and 21 with "amounts." This number of examples is, however, hardly a rousing vote for this collocation. "Excessive amount," in contrast, shows up 226,000 times, and "excessive amounts"...Read More...

my throat ached to look at them

Could you help me with the meaning of the following sentence. The hills glowed so green that your throat ached to look at them. AppleRead More...
Thank you for the reply. I suspected the use of "throat" in my original posting was unusal, but it was in a popular novel by an American author, so I was wondering if I was missing something. AppleRead More...

"Britain forward not back"

I've recently found the following news article. Just wanna hear what you think about it. **************** Where's the verb, Tony? 04/02/2005 21:54 - (SA) London - Britain's governing Labour Party stood accused on Thursday of improper English usage after it rolled out a new slogan aimed at wooing voters ahead of an expected general election. "Britain forward not back" goes the slogan, which according to Labour's election supremo Alan Milburn neatly sums up the mood and desire of the nation as...Read More...
Thank you, PromegaX for your research into the history of the word "backward." Who would have suspected that centuries ago, it was a verb. MarilynRead More...

the way how...?

hello. happy new year actually I have a question about the relative adverb, especillay "how". I know using "the way how" is wrong, but I don't know the exact reason. ex. Tell me the way. I can copy the document in the way. → Tell me the way which I can copy the document in. → Tell me the way in which I can copy the document. → Tell me the way how I can copy the document. is that wrong? why should we omit "the way" or "how"? please explane it to me. thanks.Read More...
The options are these: "” Tell me the way I can copy the document "” Tell me the way that I can copy the document "” Tell me the way in which I can copy the document (formal) Although we say "the place where," we don't say "*the way how." Huddleston and Pullum* state "When the antecedent is way , in either the path or the means sense, we have non-wh- relatives or wh relatives introduced by preposition + which : [62] 1. Go back the way [(that)/by which you came ]. 11. I admired the way...Read More...

as soon as

maria
The expression 'as soon as' can be used to refer to both future and past situations? Ex. 'as soon as she comes we'll have dinner' or 'as soon as he had gone out...' Are they both correct?Read More...
Thanks a lot Marilyn. Somehow it didn't sound so well in the past, don't know why really.Read More...

"both" position

tommy
Hi teachers, i saw this sentence from somewhere Greece and Denmark will both be anxiously looking for only their second victory in five games can i change the position of "both" in the same meaning as followings? 1.) Greece and Denmark both will be anxiously looking for only their second victory in five games. and 2.)Both Greece and Denmark will be anxiously looking for only their second victory in five games. Very thank youRead More...
All three versions are correct. The two most natural positions are "” Greece and Denmark will both... "” Both Greece and Denmark will... But it's also OK to say "” Greece and Denmark both will... MarilynRead More...

'Still', 'yet', & negation

Hello, teachers! Would you please tell me which is acceptable? 1. There isn't still/yet any medicine for the disease. 2. There isn't any medicine for the disease still/yet. 3. There is still/yet no medicine for the disease. 4. There is no medicine for the disease still/yet. Thank you very much. Best Regards.Read More...
Here are the choices: 1. There isn't yet any medicine for the disease. (not very common) 2. There isn't any medicine for the disease yet. 3. There is still/yet no medicine for the disease. 4. There is no medicine for the disease yet. As they say on TV, that isn't all. There's more: "” There still isn't any medicine for the disease ("still" before a negative verb is OK) "” There is as yet no medicine for the disease ("as yet" = "as of this moment") "” There is no medicine as yet for the...Read More...
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