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Past participle vs. "being" + past participle

Hello, teachers! [2] I think that #1 and #2 have the same meaning, but #3 is incorrect. Am I right? 1. I have two books that will be published next week. 2. I have two books being published next week. 3. I have two books published next week. Thank you very much. Best Regards.Read More...
The sentence could be an example of a causative sentence if the tense of the verb were different: I'm having two books published next week. I'm going to have two books published next week. With the simple present tense, the time expression would have to be changed: I have two books published every year. RachelRead More...

Plural or singular verb with "who"?

Hello, teachers! Which is correct, the plural or singular verb? 1. Who are/is living in the buildings standing over there? 2. Who on earth are/is driving all the cars filling that road? Thank you very much. Best Regards.Read More...
In both cases, the singular is is correct. When "who" is the question word and there is no subject complement, the verb is singular. This is true even though you know the answer may be plural – many or even billions: Who knows the answer to this question? Who speaks Spanish in this class? Who likes chocolate ice cream? Who is living in those buildings? Who on earth is driving all those cars? When, however, "who" has a plural subject complement, then the verb is plural: Who are those women in...Read More...

Past participle vs. "being" + past participle

Hello, teachers! [1] The difference in meaning; I think that the simple passive forms mean "When I saw, the behavior is finished, and/or I saw the entire procedure." And the progressive forms mean "When I saw, the behavior is progressing." Am I right? 1-1. I saw the boy carried to the ambulance. 1-2. I saw the boy being carried to the ambulance. 2-1. I saw him beaten by his father. 2-2. I saw him being beaten by his father. Thank you very much. Best Regards.Read More...
Yes, you are right. In 1-1 you saw the entire action of carrying, and in 2-1 you saw the entire action of beating. In 1-2 you saw at least part of the action of carrying, but possibly all of it. In 2-2 you saw at least part of the action of beating, but possibly all of it. RachelRead More...

Difference in word order in restricted clauses

1. The secular story that The LOTR is, could never be a religious story. 2. The secular story that is The LOTR, could never be a religious story. What is the difference between the restricted clauses italicized above.Read More...
In the first sentence, the grammatical subject is "The LOTR," and the noun phrase "secular story" is the subject complement. In the second sentence, the roles of the two noun phrases are reversed: "secular story" is the grammatical subject, and "The LOTR" is the subject complement. Note: neither sentence should have a comma separating the grammatical subject and the verb. Marilyn MartinRead More...

Parallels

It will be sent to us for repair or________ at no cost. a)replace b)replaced c)to replace d)replacing I can't understnd why the correct answer is replaced. Personally, I will use replacement instead. What do you think about this?Read More...
The correct form is b, "replaced." The verb phrase "will be sent" is the first member of the alternative "or" pair, "will be sent," and therefore the second member of the pair would, in its full form, be "will be replaced." It will be sent to us for repair or will be replaced at no cost Since we do not normally repeat auxiliaries, we have It will be sent to us for repair or replaced at no cost Marilyn MartinRead More...

What is the antecedent of "it"?

This question is from Lina _______ Hello Woud you help me get the meaning of the following paragragh, which is in the translation exercise? I'd like to ask what two "it"s refer to ( I capitarized "it" ). Here is the exercise paragraph: My mother accepted things as they were and was determined to make the situation work out well. Her love and devotion for my brother and me made our lack of material possessions seem insignificant. Even today, if I were given the choice between having wealth...Read More...
it = having love at home and no wealth. The sentence--I grew up poor in material things but rich in love--clears the issue.Read More...

is made / was made ?

Hello All, 1) This chair is made by Tom. 2) This chair was made by Tom. When does one use "is made" and when does one use "was made" ? Because "made" is past, and both the sentences are in the passive form.From the present point of view the chair is already made so which sentence would one use..so explanation would be highly appreciated as usual ThanksRead More...
1. This chair is made by Tom The present tense is not used in speaking of a single event, such as the construction of an object, since you can make something only once. If the word "chair" refers to a kind/style of chair, rather than a single item, the action can be seen as repeated, and the present tense is OK. It means This [kind/style] of chair is made by Tom [in his studio] Tom, then, is the manufacturer of that kind of chair. When talking about the material(s) used in the construction...Read More...

"Has" or "have"?

Dear All, I had always thought that it was "It is you who HAVE to ...." until I read "It is you who HAS to ..." the other day. Which is right ? Thank you. RickyRead More...
According to Michael Swan*, there is a formal/ informal difference in sentences like these: a) It is I who am responsible. (formal) b) It's me that's responsible. (informal) c) It's you who are in the wrong. (formal) d) It's you that's in the wrong. (informal These sentences use the relative pronoun "that," not "who," in the modifying clause, so your sentences can not be compared exactly with these. _____________ A search on Google produced 377 examples of "it's you who have" in sentences...Read More...

Parallel structure

Hello, teachers: Could you please tell me which is the correct choice? 1. I will choose to stay home instead of [to go, going] to see the movie. 2. I'd rather stay home than [go, to go, going] to see the movie. Thank you very much. Best Regards.Read More...
Ven's sentences with the infinitive after "instead of" can be considered correct according to this entry in Quirk*: "Instead of" may be classified as a marginal preposition....it can have an infinitive clause as complement: ˜It must be so frightful to have to put things on in order to look better, instead of to strip things off.' (Margaret Drabble: A Summer Bird Cage) Although "instead of" + infinitive has been attested in good written English, many would here prefer.... instead of stripping...Read More...

"Should": advisability or expectation

I know 'should' has two primary meanings showing advisability or expectation. But sometimes I am confused without the context. Please look at the sentences below. 1.She should do well on the test. She should have done well on the test. 2. The letter should have been sent last week. 3.James should have been told the news a long time ago. 4.The class should be divided in half. Do we know what the 'shoulds' in the sentences mean without additional contexts? thanksRead More...
thanks. it really helps.Read More...

distancing using the past tense

Hello, Please take a look at the following sentences : 1) "I would suggest that you left London as soon as possible," he said. 2) "I suggest that you leave London as soon as possible," he said. Question : Am I right that both sentences mean the same thing but sentence (1) is more polite because of the past tense 'left' and that the past tense is possible because of 'would' ? Thank you RickyRead More...
That's right. The past tense in both verbs makes the request super-super-polite. Such a level of politeness shows a high degree of tentativeness. Marilyn MartinRead More...

What's the word?

Hi, I have been scratching my head but can not get the word for the "snow patterns" formed on windows panes in winter. Are they also called icicles? Thank youRead More...
I've found that "frost crystals" is the proper term. You can see an amazing display of frost crystal art at http://www.judyarndt.ca/galleries/frost_2001/ Marilyn MartinRead More...

To ride in the MRT

Dear teachers, I got the question from a test paper and a textbook. (1) Can we say "It's also very comfortable to ride in the quiet, clean, air-conditioned cars"? (2) Which of the following answers is more appropriate? Mary and Cathy rode home (A) took the MRT (B) on the MRT (C) by MRT (D) in the MRT I know (A) is incorrect. But what about (B)、(C)and (D)? Thanks a million for your help! P.S. MRT means "Mass Rapid Transit". It's like London's underground.Read More...
"IN the MRT" is not correct, since you are referring to a train or a subway.Read More...

Transitive verbs; easy way to memorize verb + gerund and/or infinitive?

I am curious as to the exact definition of a transitive verb. I had been under the impression that it is a verb which takes a direct object; however, I read something in 501 English Verbs which gives the impression that a transitive verb is one which is followed by an object (direct OR indirect). Also, is there an easy way to memorize the verb lists (verb + gerund and/or infinitve)? Students often ask me this. Thank you!Read More...
I found the following message in the archive. Hope this answers your second question. *************** I agree with Ann Raimes, a respected grammarian, who says: "Grammarians have attempted to establish systems to explain the use of the infinitive or -ing after certain verbs, but these systems are, for the most part, complex and full of loopholes and exceptions. Rather than trying to master these systems, you can save time by simply memorizing the verbs that are regularly followed by either...Read More...

Static verb or Action verb

Hello, teachers! 1. This bread [stinks, is stinking]. * Which is correct or common? 2. You are stinking of/like wine! * Which is correct or common. "of" or "like"? 3. He [stands, is standing] to lose the game. * Which is correct or common? 4. They are/stand waiting to see who takes the first step. * Do these have the same meaning? Thank you very much. Enjoy the rain calling spring.Read More...
The verb in the first two sentences is like "smell," and is used as a stative verb here: smell. The preposition in the second sentence could be either "of" or "like," although probably "like" is more frequent, especially used in such a rude sentence like this one. ("Stink" used to refer to a person is extremely rude.) In the third sentence, "stand to" + the simple form of the verb is an idiom. It means "probably going to." There is no –ing form of "stand" with this idiom. In the last...Read More...

Contributions for?

As I know, contribution goes with preposition to or toward. But this sentence below came into my sight; It will make important contributions for a positive outcome for young people. Is it okay? thanksRead More...
No, it is not. "Contribution to" and "contribution toward," as you note, are the usual word combinations when stating where and for whose benefits the contributions go. However, "contribution for" does exist. Look at these examples from Google: "¢ ... 2003 Tax Guide. Maximum Deductible IRA Contribution for Pension Plan Participants. "¢ ... Iraq: Commission releases first EU contribution for reconstruction in Iraq "¢ How to Value Your Contribution for Tax Purposes "¢ NYS GOER - DCAA Employer...Read More...

Second Conditional

Hi, The following sentence is in the 2nd conditional, but the verb "found" sounds incorrect: If I were you I'd found a company. Shouldn't it be:- If I were you I'd start a new company. Isn't "found" in this context always in the past tense ? He founded the company in 1967. The sentence above sounds more like it, but can one write it in the second conditional? Help needed !!! ThanksRead More...
The verb "to found," meaning "to establish" or "set up" has these principal parts: found – founded – founded The verbs in your sentence are correct. The if clause contains the past form in a present unreal conditional: If I were you... The main clause contains would + the simple form of the verb: I would (I'd) found a company. ___________ It's easy to confuse the verb "find" with the verb "found. The principal parts of "find" are find – found – found. Here are some examples: Whenever I shop...Read More...

Conditional sentence

Hello, teachers! Could you tell me which tense is correct, please? - If you [met, had met] the requirements, you would/should/must have been selected. Thank you very much. Enjoy the spring frost after rain.Read More...
Your sentence, a conditional sentence referring to a past unreal situation would correctly be: If you had met the requirements, you would have been selected. RachelRead More...

"Spoons" vs. "spoonfuls"

Hello, teachers! Would you please tell me which is the correct choice? 1. We need three spoonfuls/spoons of flour. 2. We need three teaspoonfuls/teaspoons of flour. 3. We need three tablespoonfuls/tablespoons of flour. Thank you very much. Best regards.Read More...
A search on Google for each of your items above produced the following number of examples: "three spoons of" 283 "three spoonfuls of" 620 "three teaspoons of": 1,420 "three teaspoonfuls of": 135 "three tablespoons of" 3,000 "three tablespoonfuls of" 227 According to Google, then, "three spoonfuls of" is used more than twice as frequently as "three spoons of." However, with the longer words – teaspoon and tablespoon – the shorter form, without the suffix –ful , is used more than ten times...Read More...

Present perfect or the past simple ?

Hello, The situation is as such:- I had business dealings with Tom from 1992 until 1999. Then after that no more contact.Should I use the past simple:- I knew Tom. OR I've know Tom. Because though I don't have any business dealings with Tom, I do know of him.I am never sure whether one uses the past simple or the present perfect in situations when one has had contact for some time in the past but at the present time none. But in fact you know of the existence of this person. An explanations...Read More...
The present perfect is correct since you still know Tom, even though you don't have business dealings with him now: I've known Tom for a long time. But: I saw Tom frequently until 1999, but I haven't seen him since then. _______ See the Grammar Exchange Archives under "present perfect" for some insightful comments on the present perfect posted by Marilyn Martin. RachelRead More...

"Their way" or "in their way"

I saw this sentence: The party hopes the student vote will swing several marginal seats their way. It says 'their way' not ' in their way'. Doesn't it need the preposition in ? And I don't understand exactly what the sentence means,especially 'swing' and' way'. thanksRead More...
The sentence means "The party hopes the student vote will cause several marginal seats [in a legislative body] to be won by their party's candidates." The adverbial phrase (possessive) + "way" can have two meanings: manner (I did it my way) or "in the direction of"; "toward" (Please aim the camera his way/in his direction/toward him). You can use "in" when the expression means the manner of doing something (he did it in his own way). You don't use "in" with (possessive) + "way" when it...Read More...

"She" or "her"

Hello, Are the following correct ? 1) She's so rude! Well, that's HER (?) for you. 2) Look! It's/that's HER (?) 3) It was SHE (?) who did it. Thank you. RickyRead More...
These sentences are like the ones that address "It is I/ me." "It is/ It's me" is quite well accepted now, especially in informal or conversational English. Your first two sentences fit that category; the pronoun HER would be appropriate. Here's what Michael Swan* says: "In informal English, we use object forms not only as the objects of verbs and prepositions, but also in most other cases where the words do not come before verbs as their subjects. Object forms are common, for example, in...Read More...

"Keep -ing" & "Keep on -ing"

Hello, teachers! Please help me with "keep -ing" & "keep on -ing" [1] Is there any difference in meaning or usage between "keep -ing" & "keep on -ing" [2] Would you please check these sentences and tell me whether it is a present participle or a gerund? 1. He kept on sitting and standing for an hour. [Is "sitting and standing" a present participle phrase or a gerund phrase?] 2. He kept standing there for an hour. [Is "standing" a present participle or a gerund?] 3. She keeps on...Read More...
The "on" in "keep on" adds an element of duration or continuation to the meaning of 'keep." It's similar to the "on" in "go on," as in He went on shouting after we had left Here you can see that "went" by itself is not possible. It needs the "on." "Keep on" is also more informal than simply "keep." The nature of the -ing form after "keep" or "keep on" (and other catenative, or linking verbs, such as "enjoy" and "resent") is controversial. Some grammarians call it a present participle, while...Read More...

past or past perfecf

Please look at the conversation; A: When did the fire in the store break out? B: I heard it happened at midnight. Is it okay to say 'I heard it had happened at midnight'? The fire happened before speakerB heard. thanksRead More...
It's OK to use the past perfect "had happened," but it's not necessary, and sounds odd. There's no reason to use the past perfect, since it's not important to situate the "starting" at a time before the "hearing." The time situation of "hearing" is not important, i.e. it's not part of a fully described past situation. Compare: It happened at midnight, I heard ?It had happened at midnight, I heard The past perfect, although used according to the "rules," is awkward. If the time of "hearing"...Read More...

Countability

Hello, teachers! Would you please check these sentences? 1-1. I preferred roasted coffee to ground coffee. 1-2. There are various kinds of coffee/coffees; (a) roasted coffee, (a) ground coffee, (an) instant coffee, (a) decaffeinated coffee, etc. 2-1. I need some Scotch tape. 2-2. [To my friend] Do you have [Scotch tape, any Scotch tape, a roll of Scotch tape, a Scotch tape]? 2-3. [at a/the stationery store] I'd like three [Scotch tapes, rolls of Scotch tape]? 3-1. Every time I chop [onion,...Read More...
I have deleted the incorrect phrases, and left only the acceptable ones: 1-1. I preferred roasted coffee to ground coffee. 1-2. There are various kinds of coffee/coffees; (a) roasted coffee, ground coffee, instant coffee, decaffeinated coffee, etc. 2-1. I need some Scotch tape. 2-2. [To my friend] Do you have [Scotch tape, any Scotch tape, a roll of Scotch tape,]? 2-3. [at a/the stationery store] I'd like three [Scotch tapes, rolls of Scotch tape]? 3-1. Every time I chop [onions], I always...Read More...
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