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'Too' & negation

Hello, teachers! 1. I, too, haven't heard of it before. 2. I haven't heard of it before, either. Which is the correct answer, A or B? A. Both are correct, but #2 is better. B. Only #2 is correct. Thank you very much. Best Regards.Read More...
You don't use "too" with a negative verb. The correct version is Sentence 2: "”I haven't heard of it before, either You could use "too" with a negative adjective: "” I, too, had been unaware of it until now MarilynRead More...

Parallelism

Hello, teachers! 1. It is more difficult to learn Norwegian than English. 2. Norwegian is more difficult to learn than English. Which is the correct answer, A or B? A. Both are correct, but #2 is better. B. Only #2 is correct. Thank you very much. Best Regards.Read More...
The clearer and more straightforward version is #2: 2. Norwegian is more difficult to learn than English For Sentence 1 to embody perfect parallelism, one would have to say, "” It is more difficult to learn Norwegian than it is to learn English ... but that form is hyperformal and most speakers don't say it that way. You don't have to repeat "it is." The sentence is usually rendered as "” It is more difficult to learn Norwegian than to learn English This is a "careful" version, and the one...Read More...

Assistance with sentence contruction including commas and semicolons

Hi, I would like some help with 2 sentences. They are as follows: 1. A penchant for shoes "they make an outfit, you can't cheat with cheap shoes" and Hermès scarves has her sporting them as tops. I think this sentence is totally wrong and have reworded as below. Does the sentence at point 2 work? 2. A penchant for shoes "they make an outfit, you can't cheat with cheap shoes" and sporting Hermès scarves as tops. I think there should be a semicolon after the word outfit, do you agree? Should...Read More...
"¢ A penchant for shoes – "they make an outfit, you can't cheat with cheap shoes" – and for Hermes scarves has her sporting the scarves as tops. The sentence is probably understandable if you remove the quotation and change the vocabulary a little to simplify. How's this: A penchant for shoes and for Hermes scarves= subject. Let's change to Her love of Hermes scarves has = verb. Let's change to makes her = object of verb "sporting the scarves as tops" = complement. Let's change to buy a lot...Read More...

Based on

Hello, teachers! Look at these sentences, please! 1. People tend to be initially attracted to someone based on appearances. 2. Based on appearances, people tend to be initially attracted to someone. I feel Sentence 2 is strange, but I don't know why. Is it because it is dangling or just a word/phrase order problem? Or is it also acceptable? Thank you very much. Best Regards.Read More...
Sorry, neither sentence is fully acceptable. Sentence 1 is not acceptable for one reason, and Sentence 2 is not acceptable for two reasons. "Based on" is not a preposition, and it is not an adverb. It should not be used where a preposition or an adverb is needed. It's correct to say "” His attraction to her was based on her appearance ("based" is a past participle modifying "attraction.") "” The choice of a life partner based solely on appearances is risky (reduced relative clause with past...Read More...

few/ a few

tommy
Hi, Teachers please let's me know what's difference between few and a few by this sentence. The transfer of Tom from A company to B company has been delayed for a few/few weeks. Very thank youRead More...
Very thank you Rachel the answer is very clear and helpful.Read More...

Meaning of 'even'

tommy
Hi, everyone please take a look this sentence * She conceded even before all the votes had been counted. i am not native English speaker, but ,eventually, i have found even , in this case , "even = in plain emotional manner" or "even = quietly" . it's obvious that ,in my opinion, English, sometime it's beautiful ,and sometime it's quite hard to understand. my question is that why they didn't write it easier She conceded quietly before all the votes had been counted. Anyway i have to use...Read More...
in English, a word is used with its various meanings troubles me a lot, because i'm not native speaker.Read More...

Colons

Dear Rachel, Sill, I am not sure when to use a comma before quotes or can I always use a colon? Some examples: 1. International training manager Laura Nicholson cites what she believes sets La Prairie apart: "We truly believe in what we do because we have fallen in love with the brand." I think a colon is ok here. 2. Her long-standing tried and tested personal experience is the best credit to the brand. "I have used La Prairie for years now and I know many who have stayed loyal to us for...Read More...
I've placed Siva's sentences at the bullets. My comments are beneath the sentences. Then, I placed the citations from my references at the bullets, with my comments beneath. _______ "¢ 1. International training manager Laura Nicholson cites what she believes sets La Prairie apart: "We truly believe in what we do because we have fallen in love with the brand." I think a colon is ok here. Yes, this sentence needs a colon after "apart." It's a citation, and explains the first statement. "¢ 2.Read More...

south of France - should south be in caps?

Hi, Should south of France be in caps in this sentence and if so why? This time of year the south of France is a wonderful place to appreciate the joys of topless motoring. Thanks. Siva.Read More...
No, no capital is "south" here. "South" in this case is not a recognized political entity, like South Africa, South Korea, South America. Nor is it a generally recognized concept of an area, such as the American West, the South (as in the American South) or the Far East. RachelRead More...

many/a lot of

tommy
i had [many/a lot of] letters yesterday. 1.) many or a lot of? we had [many/a lot of] rain yesterday. 2.) many or a lot of? please help and very thank youRead More...
Both expressions are grammatical, but they're not equally appropriate in all contexts. "Many" is used with plural count nouns in questions and negative statements, but it is not generally used in affirmative statements, except in formal style. Because Sentence 1 is affirmative, and because the subject matter is informal (as far as we know), "many" is not very natural. If we don't know the nature of the letters, the more appropriate version of the sentence is 1. I had a lot of letters...Read More...

an optimal/optimum point?

tommy
Dear, Teachers i am designing something and calculating by using computer programming to achieve an optimum/optimal point. i am still doubtful. please help me what's difference in deeply detail of them? Very thank youRead More...
Both adjectives are used, but "optimal point" far outnumbers "optimum point." Here are the figures from Google, along with a few examples: Optimal point = 6,930 examples "” Optimal Golomb Ruler (OGR) [6,7] . This proposed technique allows the gradual computation of system performance to result in an optimal point where degradation ... www.doc.ic.ac.uk/~vlt/Publications/OECC2003_WDM.pdf "” In general, we cannot be sure that the Excel Solver or any nonlinear programming algorithm will...Read More...

have been/are and of/in?

tommy
Hi, Teachers I had read some books and i saw something like this "Tom and Jim are in the room." Later, i have seen this sentence Tom has agreed that Jim's performances "have been of" the highest standard recently. - What's difference between have been and are ? - What's difference between in and of ? please take a look at these sentences. Set A. 1.) Tom has agreed that Jim's performances "have been of" the highest standard recently. 2.) Tom has agreed that Jim's performances "are of" the...Read More...
Let me clarify further my posting. First, Rachel reminds me that she had a posting on January 11, 2005 on this question that also discusses many uses of the preposition "of." Next, I should make it clear that the tense of the verb BE has nothing to do with the use of phrases beginning with OF. OF- phrases are separate entities, and are not connected to the tense of a verb. You can use BE in any tense, depending on what you need to say, but phrases with OF do not change. Here are some Google...Read More...

for/to ?

tommy
ABC Company made an offer of $1,000,000 for/to XYZ Company's Tom. for/to ? very thank youRead More...
Since companies do not "buy" or "sell" their employees, the offer would have been made to that person himself. The correct version is "” ABC Company made an offer of $1,000,000 to XYZ Company's Tom Smith/Jones/Swift (We need a surname here.) MarilynRead More...

natural or not

Hello I'd like to know whether these following sentences, whose subjects are not person, are naturally used or too formal. 1) This road will lead you to the city hall. 2) A twenty-minute walk will take you to the station. 3) The typoon prevented us from going out. 4) Your help enabled me to finish this project sooner. 5) The weather forecast says that it will rain tomorrow. Thank you.Read More...
All of the sentences are natural. The fourth one -- Your help enabled me to finish this project sooner -- could also be expressed differently: I was able to finsih this project sooner because of your help. RachelRead More...

nominate, select, and appoint

Hello, teachers! Would you please tell me which is the correct choice? 1. President Carter nominated him [nothing, to be, as, for] Secretary of State. 2. President Carter selected him [nothing, to be, as, for] Secretary of Defence. 3. President Carter appointed him [nothing, to be, as, for] Secretary of Commerce. Thank you very much. Best Regards.Read More...
The choices are these: 1. President Carter nominated him as Secretary of State. 1. President Carter nominated him to be Secretary of State 1. President Carter nominated him for the post of Secretary of State 2. President Carter selected him as Secretary of Defence. 2. President Carter selected him to be Secretary of Defence. 2. President Carter selected him for the post of Secretary of Defence. 3. President Carter appointed him [nothing] Secretary of Commerce. 3. President Carter appointed...Read More...

waiting/awaiting

tommy
Tom has to postpone his transferring for two weeks waiting/awaiting a decision to grant a work permit. waiting or awaiting? very thank youRead More...
Both versions need some repair work. First, though, if you want to preserve the grammatical construction of the sentence and not create two separate sentences, you have to use the term "pending": This version would be – Tom has to postpone transferring/his transfer for two weeks, pending a decision on granting a work permit "Pending," although it looks like a present participle, is a preposition in this function. "Pending" is a preposition like "following." Neither "waiting for"...Read More...

about "and"

Hi teachers, I was taught to use "and" when I needed to connect a serious of things. I don't understand the following sentences. Why is "and" not used in these sentences? (1)You could hear women lamenting, children crying, men shouting. (2) Some were calling for parents, others for children or spouses.Read More...
In Sentence 1, the omission of "and" creates a stylistic effect. Quirk et al. (Longman, 1985) state: "Asyndetic coordination [coordination without a conjunction] is usually stylistically marked. It is used for dramatic intensification,... to suggest an open-ended list." (p. 918) Sentence 2 is different. When you have a pair of noun phrases in a symmetrical relation, you don't need a coordinator. The pair of noun phrases in Sentence 2 is "some" and "others." Quirk et al. offer this further...Read More...

Exam result or exam results

Hi, I have finished four papers already, and took the fifth paper in Decembre last yeaer. I am waiting for my result. I think it should be results. Is it ok to say result or results? When do you say result and when do you say results and why. I asked someone and they said we say results because there is more than one person taking the exam and so it is results collectively. My response - well is it result if only one person is taking the exam and there is only one paper? Thanks. Siva.Read More...
The most common form, even if one has taken a single exam, is "results." The Collins COBUILD English Language Dictionary says: "5 Your results are the marks, grades, etc. that you get after you have taken an examination." The notation in the margin says "N COUNT; USU PL." We use the plural "results" also when we talk about a medical test. MarilynRead More...

have, make, a causative verb

Please take a look at the two sentences below. (1) What made you think so? (2) What had you think so? Are they both correct? I know (1) is correct and can be rephrased as "Why do you think so?" What about (2)? It sounds a bit awkward to me. But in the following site, there is a sentence (3). (3)I don't think I've yet read a book that had me think so much on life before. http://216.239.57.104/search?q=cache:JQUL8nFBVewJ:www.brandewyne.com/titles/...Read More...
In answer to M.T.'s question: Yes, the subject of "have" + object + bare infinitive has to be a person. In Understanding and Using English Grammar (Longman, 2002), B. Azar says: "Causative have is followed by the simple form of a verb, not an infinitive.... Have gives the idea that "X" requests "Y"to do something. In ['I had the plumber repair the leak'] The plumber repaired the leak because I asked him to." (p. 339) (I would qualify this with the observation that the "requester" needs some...Read More...

'Either' with 'or'

This question has been sent in by Ricky. "It's always my mum or my brother who annoys me." "It's always either my mum or my brother who annoys me."Read More...
Both versions are OK, but the version with "either" creates a stronger distinction between the two people. "Either...or..." also differentiates more strongly between these two people and anyone else who might be, but is not, involved in the annoying. It's like saying "” It's always my mum or my brother [and no one else] who annoys me MarilynRead More...

Magistrate(-s / 's / s') Court?

This question comes in from Esme : I would like to know whether you think there should be an apostrophe after the word Magistrates in the description of Magistrates Court i.e. should this be Magistrates' Court or Magistrates Court?Read More...
Here is the entry from the Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law*: magistrate court n. A court presided over by a magistrate that has minor civil and criminal jurisdiction called also magistrate's court _______ I would go with the definition from this dictionary. However, here is an interesting thing: "magistrate," "magistrates," "magistrate's" and "magistrates', appear frequently on Google. There are 145,000 examples on Google of "magistrate court," like these: -Webster's Dictionary of Law...Read More...

Help with adjectives and adverb constructions

Hi, I would be grateful to know if the following sentences and phrases are ok. 1. Arguably the town's swankiest restaurant i.e. is swankiest used correctly here. 2. The shop has a service counter out front. Is out front or in front best? Thanks for your help. Siva.Read More...
THANKS.Read More...

Commas and a hyphen

These questions have been sent in by Siva 1. A grilled skewered fowl -- i.e. no comma needed after grilled? 2. Is there are colon or a comma after gratifying: For I-Ming it is gratifying: "A place that serves up really good sushi and sashimi is not easy to find; I think it boils down to the technique and the way raw seafood is cut as well." 3. (quite over zealously at time). Is over zealously two words, one word or a hyphenated word in this situation?Read More...
Dear Rachel, Many thanks for this help - however I am still really confused when to use a comma and when to use a colon before quoted material. Are there any general principles to decide when to use a comma and when to use a colon. Are there times when it is wrong to use a colon and a comma should be used. There are some style books that say whenever one full sentence is quoted then a colon must be used. There are others that say that if there are two or more sentences then a colon must be...Read More...

Difficult sentences

These sentences have been sent in by Siva . Hi, I would be grateful to know if the following sentences and phrases are ok. 1. When leaving, Yoshida cermoniously bids us farewell with hearty Japanese gestures and bows at the door, and we do muse if he notices the show of rounder bellies that we now feel we have." We do muse if - can you say this - like this? 2 . Is this quote ok "Although it is surprising that no matter how much we don't always have the same craving for a particular type of...Read More...
Dear Rachel, Many thanks for this very detailed answer. SivaRead More...

Which tense ?

Dear All, When do we use: A. "Let me know how you get on. " and "Let me know how you got on." Many thanks. RickyRead More...
"Let me know" indicates that you are referring to a future time. In a dependent clause referring to the future, use the present tense form: "Let me know how you get on" or "Let me know how you're getting on": A: I'll be leaving this job, you know. Next Friday. B: Where are you going? A: I'll be working for Judge Black. B: Oh? He's quite difficult to work with. Let me know how you get on with him. I know him from my club, and maybe I could put in a good word for you. _______ It would be...Read More...
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