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'based as it is on...'

How would you interpret the 'as' in 'based as it is on...' in the following sentence? Can 'as' in this usage be equivalent to either 'though' or 'because' in meaning, depending on the context? (1) There remain ample grounds for judges to continue to sustain a belief in the common understanding doctrine as applied to eyewitness behavior, based as it is on the two premises. In other words, can the relevant part be paraphrased as either of the following? (2) a. ... because it is based on the...Read More...
Of the hundreds of examples of "based as it is on..." that turned up on a Google search, I found no instances of meaning relation other than cause-effect ("because/since..."). A Google search uncovers more examples of cause-effect. She was kicked in the head by your horse, Sherbert, though I'm sure that no blame can be attached to Sherbert, frightened as he was by the fire in the barn. Tired as he was , he was quickly fast asleep. This same kind of grammatical device can signal a contrast,...Read More...

"Not that I know of"

In colloquial English, you say "Not that I know of" in reply to a yes-no question when you think the answer is in the negative but you are not 100% sure. I was wondering about the function of "that" in this expression. What is this? Is this the same 'that' (a subordinate conjunction) as in "I know that he is coming to the party"? Or is it the same as 'that' (a relative pronoun) in "This is the person that I talked to you about"? Or is it something else? Thank you in advance for your help. ...Read More...
Rachel, Thank you for your detailed illustration. CuriousTRead More...

The use of "wish" in the past tense

I have question regarding how to use "wish" in its past tense. I know you use "wish" to say that you want things to be different from what they are. For example, if you are poor, and if you don't want to be poor, you might say "I wish I were rich. " If you said something stupid and you regret it now, you can say "I wish I hadn't said that." How about if you were poor in the past and you didn't like to be poor back then but you don't mind being poor now. Can you say "I wished I had been rich"...Read More...
The Grammar Exchange is basing this response on logic, and on the one reference we've found so far.* (If other readers find additional citations or have a different interpretation, please do post here.). To wish about the past time, as in the situations you've described, you could say, just as you have: "I wished (last December 10th) that I had been rich (during my life up to and including December 10th.)" That might or might not indicate that you would still like to be rich, but it does...Read More...

Issues with tense

Sometimes different tenses are used in very similar contexts. For example, in the following sentence: If it should fail for any reason other than physical abuse, we will replace the part free of charge. The first part can be also written as: If it fails for any reason... If it has failed for any reason.... Or the following two sentences: Anticipating his arrival, she cleaned up her place. Having anticipated his arrival, she cleaned up her place. Are there any significant differences between...Read More...
Here's a more technical explanation. The distinction between ...when the part becomes available and ...when the part has become available ...is very subtle. It's a difference in aspect. Let's call the action of "becoming available" the "event." If the present simple "becomes," is used, the focus is on the moment of "becoming available." In contrast, if the present perfect "has become" is used, the focus is on the time immediately following the event of "becoming available"--the "aftermath"...Read More...
Last Reply By Grammar Exchange 2 (Guest) · First Unread Post

'Much"

(Originally posted May 10, 2003 02:10 AM) S1 Have you been in Paris much these late years? S2 I am sure you are tired, if you've been out much this wet relaxing day. S3 Come to think, I HAVEN'T seen her out much this season. Is "much" semantically related to the preceding adverbial ("in Paris"; "out") or to the following time expression ("these late years"; "this wet relaxing day"; "this season")? Thanks. Chuncan FengRead More...
It's no wonder that Chuncan Feng finds these uses of much difficult to explain. They are not examples of modern English. They are not even examples of old-fashioned English of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. They are written in very archaic English--the English of probably more than three hundred years ago--in a style which is difficult and sometimes impossible for modern English speakers to process. The best way to explicate the meanings and functions of much in the examples is to...Read More...

A questionable PSAT question

There has been a debate about a sentence in the PSAT test. The sentence is: "Toni Morrison's genius enables her to create novels that arise from and express the injustices African Americans have endured." Could the pronoun her be used to refer to the adjective, Toni Morrison's? .Do you think that this sentence is a gramatical glitch? You can read the entire news at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A51947-2003May13.htmlRead More...
Fikrat writes: "Toni Morrison's (to me) is not an adjective, it's a proper noun in the Genitive case." Yes, that's what is in the posting above. Here it is, again: Traditional grammar calls "Toni Morrison's" a "possessive adjective." Modern linguistic grammars call it the "possessive or genitive form of the noun ." (italics added) Marilyn MartinRead More...

point of view

I have come across both "from my point of view" and "in my point of view"; the first much more frequently than the latter. According to traditional "textbook" grammar, is it okay to say "in my point of view"? Does the same apply to "viewpoint"? If we just use the noun "view" or "opinion", we would say "in my view" / "in my opinion", right? Thank you for any comments. Gisele São Paulo BrazilRead More...
I don't recall ever hearing or reading the expression " in my point of view." A Google search, however, turns up a few instances of it. " From my point of view" is about ten times more common than " in my point of view." Here are some example figures: From my point of view, it...(7,700) In my point of view, it...(596) From my point of view, the...(9,060) In my point of view, the...(928) From my point of view, he...(936) In my point of view, he....(94) I don't know how the expression "in my...Read More...

"Wood" or "wooden"?

What´s more common to say: a wooden bench or a wood bench? Thanks Gisele São Paulo BrazilRead More...
Rachel: What is most interesting to me about this duality is not the "wood/wooden" pairing, but the other two pairs mentioned: "wool/woolen" and "gold/golden." All three pairings are examples of noun/adjective, but the difference is that the adjective "woolen" when made plural becomes the noun "woolens," which doesn't happen with the other two. "Goldens" isn't a plural version of the adjective, nor is "woodens" a plural of the adjective "wood," to my knowledge. But another adjective "woody"...Read More...

Do nouns in English have gender?

Hello everyone I am writting to you from Portugal. I studied for several years English in scholl and college. I´ve always learned that nouns in English are mostly considered as having no gender, except on cases where there is a diference, such as "boy-girl", "widow-widower", "actor-actress". Recently someone who has studied English Linguistics told me that certains nouns in English can be considered "masculine" and "feminine". She gave me the example of "car", which she says it´s masculine...Read More...
Does English have gender? Yes and no. There are two kinds of gender. Gender that is marked by inflection (word endings or other grammatical means) is known as grammatical gender, while gender that is based on the biological sex of a noun referent is known as notional or covert gender*. European languages such as Spanish, French, and German have grammatical gender; casa ("house"), for example, is a feminine noun and therefore requires a feminine article, a feminine ending on adjectives, and...Read More...

Much

S1 Have you been in Paris much these late years? S2 I am sure you are tired, if you've been out much this wet relaxing day. S3 Come to think, I HAVEN'T seen her out much this season. Is "much" semantically related to the preceding adverbial ("in Paris"; "out") or to the following time expression ("these late years"; "this wet relaxing day"; "this season")? Thanks.Read More...
Many thanks for the explanation of the use of "much" in the previous 6 sentences. Presently I'm working on 2859 sentences of "much" extracted from literary works. Sentences involving such as "much homework" and "like the play very much" are not included. Here are 7 other sentences I find it difficult for me to explain the use of "much": S7 It was her long contemplated apple of discord, and much her hand trembled as she handed the document up to him. S8 Ay, much his temper is like Vivien's...Read More...

Inversion and use of auxiliaries -- wrong or highly unusual?

I was wondering whether strange-sounding sentences such as these are grammatically possible. They advised me to stay, and stay I did He was ready to travel, and travel he did The children wanted to eat everything, and eat everything they did Similarly, is it possible to say: They have been suggesting that I give a party, and give a party I will It´s important to practice, and practice she does They emphasized the importance of being punctual, and punctual they were My immediate reaction...Read More...
This word order pattern looks like inversion but it is not. It's a device known as fronting . There are many kinds of fronting, of which this is one. It is possible to "front" the verb or verb phrase, with the verb usually in the base form, followed by the grammatical subject and with an auxiliary to complete it, as in Gisele's examples. There is no inversion of the grammatical subject and the verb; only the bare infinitive part of the verb precedes the grammatical subject, while the...Read More...

"All that" or "all what"?

Isn´t it wrong to say something like: I´m in favor of all what he does In this case, wouldn´t we necessarily have to omit "all"? Isn´t the correct form: I´m in favor of all that he does (where the use of "all" is optional) Thanks Gisele São Paulo BrazilRead More...
Yes, right in both cases. "I'm in favor of what he does" includes the noun clause "what he does." The noun clause can't be directly preceded by "all" or by any other determiner. (It could, however, be preceded by "all of" or "some of" or "much of.") "I'm in favor of all (or everything) that he does" is also acceptable. In this case, "that he does" is the relative clause modifying an indefinite pronoun – "all" or "everything." If you have the relative clause "that he does," you do need...Read More...

Possessive adjectives -- nomenclature

I am really riled at the classification of possessive adjectives as pronouns in some circles. And I am writing to you because Longman belongs to these circles. There is a Longman book I just bought at the TESOL conference which compounds the error by calling possessive adjectives pronouns and then setting up some weird categories for these 'pronouns.' The simple answer is the better answer. New categories of pronouns do not need to be invented. The definitions of the parts of speech, which I...Read More...
Thinking of the words my, your, his, her, its, our , and their as adjectives seems to make a lot of sense. They precede and modify nouns, and tell "which" noun(s) is/are being referred to. In fact, the traditional grammar that many of us learned in school and that is still widely taught calls them "possessive adjectives ." They seem to fill the "job description" for adjectives. Why, then, do some modern linguistic grammars call them "possessive pronouns "? For a couple of reasons. First,...Read More...

Two comparative structures

Thank you, Marilyn, for your explanation. I took a close look at the search findings from BNC, Cobuild and my own corpus and found that none of the "twice more" sentences is of the "twice more than" structure. I should have done that before my second post.Read More...

Fruit

If we want to say a generalization with fruit, can we say, Fruit smells good. It sounds a bit awkward.Read More...
"Fruit smells good" is a perfect sentence. See the discussion on the Grammar Exchange several postings below (previous to) this one, under the heading: "Fruit" -- always a noncount noun? RachelRead More...

"Propose" vs "suggest"

What's the difference between "propose"" and suggest," both in meaning and usage?Read More...
Propose and suggest mean virtually the same thing when they are used to mean "put forward a plan or idea for [someone] to think about":* ....We have to suggest/propose a list of possible topics for next term's seminars.... Might I suggest/propose that you offer your manuscript to Collins?* Likewise, they may both be used when recommending a person for a certain position, or a place to visit: Helen has suggested/proposed Richard as the next chairman of the society....Can you suggest/propose...Read More...

"Lain" or "laid"? Direct object or indirect object?

Which sentence fragmen tis correct: ". . .an argument to which he had lain witness" or ". . .an argument to which he had laid witness"? Why I'm confused: Lay/laid/laid refers the placement of a (material) object (such as a book) while lie/lay/lain refers to the reclining of one's self. Since there is reference to "he," it seems as though the word choice should be "lain," especially since there is no placement of a (material) object. MS Word's "grammar" doesn't agree with this reasoning and...Read More...
Neither the construction "to lay witness to" nor "to lie witness to" is treated in any of my grammar sources. A Google search turns up relatively few examples of either one, but those with some version of lay far outnumber those with lie . 1 present perfect example with lie : I have lain witness t o one of these masterful creatures 13 examples with lay : ... Mr. McMahon was talking about one of most recognized factions this industry has ever laid witness to . After Polly Jean came the camp...Read More...

Special adjective clause - some of whom are / some of whom being

We often come across sentences like: They have invited lots of guests, some of whom are specialists The chidren, all of whom had played the whole day long, were quite exhausted It's imperative that we go over the main points, a few of which are still not clear The products, several of which have been recently launched, seem to be well accepted Celso Charure, all of whose teachings revolved around developing one's awareness as fully as possible, was an exceptional man It seems to me that...Read More...
Chuncan Feng is correct in the posting below: a relative clause (a.k.a. adjective clause), whether restrictive or nonrestrictive, must have a fully tensed verb . A nonfinite form of a verb, e.g. a present or perfect participle, is not tensed and therefore cannot serve as the verb in a relative clause. In some cases, as Chuncan Feng says, an absolute construction could be used with expressions of quantity such as some of or many of , instead of an adjective clause, but then the relative...Read More...
Last Reply By Grammar Exchange 2 (Guest) · First Unread Post

There is or There are

According to the following sentences: [S1] Like having more than one way to meet someone in real life,there is more than one way to meet someone in cyberspace. [S2] There are more than one way of recovering from an economic downturn. These sentences are selected from google.com. The question is whether we should use "there is" or "there are" for such a phrase as ...more than one way...Read More...
Corpus findings of "more than one" from my own written English corpus: A. When it is used alone, it can be treated as either singular (the focus is on "one") or plural (the focus is on "more"): S1 LADY STUTFIELD. Oh! ... yes. I see that. It is very, very helpful. Do you think, Mrs. Allonby, I shall ever meet the Ideal Man? Or are there more than one? S2 MRS. ALLONBY. There are just four in London, Lady Stutfield. Were there more than one, dolt, that you ask the question?--If that gentleman...Read More...

Verb "to have"

Is it correct to say "I don´t have" instead of "I haven´t got" ?Read More...
Is it correct to say "I don´t have" instead of "I haven´t got" ? _______ Yes. In American English, "I don't have" is used most of the time. In British English, "I haven't got" is sometimes used.. Both are conversational. In British English, "have" – with the "do" auxiliary – would be used to refer to something of habit or repetition, whereas "have got" would be used to talk about something happening at one point in time. Compare: Do you often have meetings? Have you got a meeting today?*...Read More...

"Travel," "journey," and "trip"

Can someone help me with the difference among: travel,journey, and trip? HerlindaRead More...
Trip is common as a noun to refer to a journey . Like journey, it is a count noun, and can be singular or plural: Bob and Lana met on a trip to the Caribbean. Our family has taken many trips together. How do we embark on this inner journey to understand ourselves? In your journeys throughout the world, have you found the meaning of happiness? A trip is routine, and, you might be able to buy a ticket for it. A journey is somewhat more poetic, and can refer to more spiritual things. _______...Read More...

As well as

Can we put the phrase 'as well as' at the beginning of a sentence? Is the following sentence correct? As well as making the corridors smelly,this also attracts cockroaches and even rats.Read More...
By all means, yes. Here's a sample sentence from the Collins COBUILD English Dictionary*: As well as a good academic record, I look for people who have climbed mountains or been captain of a team . Here are beginnings of sentences from the Collins COBUILD concordancer online**: As well as lending her services, purely for... As well as putting up the finance for the... These last two sentence fragments were two of forty items containing "as well as." The thirty-eight others did not begin the...Read More...

Impressed AT?

Can "impressed" be used with a preposition "at" as used in this sentence? though impressed at the company's incredible winning streak through such acts as Britney Spears, R. Kelly, Nsync, The Backstreet Boys and Joe. PromegaXRead More...
1. Of the 1295 occurrences of "impressed" in my written English corpus (mainly literary works): impressed by 249 impressed with 210 impressed at 6 2. The Longman Contemporary English-Chinese Dictionary (1988), adapted for Chinese people from the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, gives the following example under the word item "impress": I was very impressed by/at/with his performance.Read More...

Verb forms in questions

Why is it that sometimes helping verbs are necessary in forming questions and sometimes they are not? example - "who visited you?" vs. "who did you visit?"Read More...
A simple way to look at it is to consider the following. In general you don´t need to use an auxiliary/helping verb when you´re interested in the performer of the action, in other words, in the subject part of the answer: Who visited you? Many people visited me Who usually wins? Bob usually wins Who has been practicing? Everybody who wants to improve has been practicing Who will go? Some people will go Who would have prefered to stay? A few people would have preferred to stay What...Read More...
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