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don't go out and...

1) Don't go out of the house leaving the front door open. 2) Don't go out of the house and leave the front door open. These sentences are supposed to mean: If you go out of the house, close the front door. 3) Don't have an affair breaking your wife's heart. 4) Don't have an affair and break your wife's heart. These two are supposed to mean: Don't have an affair. If you do, you will break your wife's heart. Do the sentences 1-4 work with the intended meanings? Do they need commas? Gratefully,...Read More...
I agree with Gustavo's preferences. However, Navi, I think that all of your examples are a little awkward, and would benefit by rephrasing that would shift the focus: 1a: Close the door behind you when you leave the house. 4a: Don't have an affair; that would break your wife's heart. DocVRead More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

Theme line

When the sentence, “Creating a better world through design.” Is changed to... “Creating a better world for people through the power of design.” does the grammar change? It feels clunky.Read More...
Hello, William, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange! In each case, you're not dealing with a sentence but with a gerund or participial phrase. If the phrase is supposed to be the subject of a predicate-less sentence, then it is a gerund (noun phrase) and could be expanded into a sentence like this: (1a) Creating a better world through design is what we do . (1b) Creating a better world for people through the power of design is what we do . If, by contrast, we suppose that the phrase is the...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Weekly Report (.......... to ...........)

Dear Sir/Madam, Please review my below draft and kindly advice. Thanks Please find attached my weekly report for the week from 06th Jan to 10th Jan for your kind record.Read More...
Hello, Shaikh. Are you aware that you have joined a website for discussing questions about English grammar? Do you have a question about English grammar that you would like to discuss?Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Singular countable nouns after "there isn't any"

Can I ever use singular countable nouns after there isn't any ? I have read many books that say any can be used with both singular and plural countable nouns. Though plural nouns is more more common in negative sentences. I sometimes see native speakers also use any with singular countable nouns in negative sentences. What is the rule? Here's the example: There isn't any pen in my bag. I know most people would say "There are no pens.." or "There are not any pens..." but when can I use any...Read More...

Past simple VS past perfect with 'until'

Hussein Hassan
Good morning, our teachers, Would you please, help me to clarify the difference in meaning between the following two sentences: People hadn't travelled easily round the world from west to east until they dug the Suez Canal. People didn't travel easily round the world from west to east until they had dug the Suez Canal. Many thanks ...Read More...
Thank you, David for your reply and your recommendation, but I'd like to know why the two sentences above are awkward? Thanks a lot, Gustavo for your perception.Read More...
Last Reply By Hussein Hassan · First Unread Post

all/each/every

Which is correct: 1) All of the people who walked down that street before me should have picked up that banana peel. 2) Each of the people who walked down that street before me should have picked up that banana peel. 3) Every one of the people who walked down that street before me should have picked up that banana peel. Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Thank you very much, David, How about: 4 ) Anyone who walked down that street before me should have picked up that banana peel. Does that one work? Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Last Reply By navi · First Unread Post

infinitives yet again

Which are correct: 1) His suit to wear at official meetings is at the cleaner's but his suit to wear at parties is here. 2) His pen to sign official documents is on the desk, but his pen to take notes is in his pocket. 3) His tools to fix cars are in the garage, but his tools to repair electronic devices are here. 4) His tools to fix cars with are in the garage, but his tools to repair electronic devices with are here. 5) I stole his tools to fix cars. 6) I stole his tools to fix cars with.Read More...
Hi, Navi, I think the sentence above is correct considering that we can say " a suit to wear at official meetings/at parties," where "to wear" is passive in meaning, being equivalent to "(suitable) to be worn." Same as above, with the only difference that the infinitive indicates the purpose for using the pen. I think both are correct. (3) is similar to (2). (4) introduces a preposition of instrument, being more idiomatic, less formal than: 4') His tools with which to fix cars... / with...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Grammar

There is a sentence : The game requests that players advance in a map,following a specially-designed route,buying properties as they move on. Why is not like this: add "and" …advance in a map,following a specially-designed route, and buying properties as they move on.Read More...
Hello, Sunnytzuching, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange, where we hope to see many more questions from you! I agree with you that "and" should be used there (as there are only two gerunds, I wouldn't use a comma before it): The game requests that players advance in a map, following a specially-designed route and buying properties as they move on. Both gerunds express how players should advance during the game, or what they should do to do so.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

There was no/not a/not any

What is the difference between there was no, there was not a and there was not any ? Yesterday I visited a very undevelopped area in my tour of Africa. I rented a room in a hotel there. The hotel lacked basic facilites. There was no television set/ not a television set/ not any television set in the room. To negate the sentence "there are some televison sets in The US." We can say either "There are not any/no television sets in The US." But To negate the sentence "there is a twlevision set...Read More...
Hi, Subhajit, "There is/was no television set" and "There are/were no television sets" are by far the most usual forms. "not a" and "not any" are emphatic ("not" will be usually contracted): A: Well, at least you had a TV set. B: What are you speaking about? There was n't a TV set! A: Well, you can watch the TV. B: But there are n't any TV sets here!Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

suggest

A: What did you ( ) to him? B: A piece of advice on study. 1. send; 2. advise; 3. suggest; 4. carry Which one should I choose? My choice is 1, but the answer is 3. I thought the answer was wrong as they often are.:D 3 sounds redundant to me. Thank you.Read More...
Hi, Ruifeng, You can chose (1), (3), or (4). Each is correct, but each has a different meaning. The only incorrect answer is (2).Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

omission of "any"

Can I omit any in the following sentences with uncountable nouns? Do they still sound natural without it? If philosophers were made presidents instead of politicians, There would not be (any) war. if we keep on wasting drinking water like this, in future there will not be (any) drinking water.Read More...
Hi, Subhajit, I like the idea that you are trying to express in your first example. You can omit "any" from those sentences. However, if you do, I recommend also changing "would/will not be NP" to "would/will be no NP": If presidents were philosophers rather than politicians, there would be no war. If we keep on wasting drinking water like this, in the future there will be no drinking water. I have made some other adjustments to the sentences. When I read the "if"-clause of your first...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

"Will" vs "would"

Hi there, do will and would both sound right in the given context as an English speaker to you? Communism is an ideological and a socialpolitical movement. Its aim is to set up a communist society. This society would/will be based on the common ownership of the means of production and would lack social classes, money, and a state. Communism - Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia In this article on Wikipedia would is used. As I have understood I think it is like conditional...Read More...
Hi, Subhajit, Neither "will" nor "would" sounds right. It would be better to combine the third sentence with the second: Communism is an ideological and a social-political movement. Its aim is to set up a communist society—a society based on . . . . There are other problems with the passage. I'd rather not fix the whole thing.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

to and of

(1) Poor introduction to the scenario of the topic. (2) Poor introduction of the scenario of the topic. May I know which of the above sentence is grammatical?Read More...
Hi, Joshua, Neither (1) nor (2) is a sentence. They are each noun phrases, and even as noun phrases they are not well formed. "Introduction" is a count noun and takes an article: "a" or "the." If you began the noun phrases with "a" or "the," either noun phrase would be possible. To decide between "to" and "of," one would need to take into account the context, and you haven't provided a context. Once you fix the noun phrase, you will be well on your way to, but still a long way from, having...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

such ... that

cocoricot
Dear teachers, Please tell me which is correct among these sentences: 1. Such a strong public opinion was it that he had to resign. 2. Such was a strong public opinion that he had to resign. 3. Such was the strength of public opinion that he had to resign. Thank you.Read More...
Thank you, Gustavo and David. Both your explanations solved all my problems. Thank you so much.Read More...
Last Reply By cocoricot · First Unread Post

he read/ he had read

Did he have the necessary information to understand the lecture? 1) He said he read the relevant material before coming. 2) He said he had read the relevant material before coming. 3) He said he read the relevant material before. 4) He said he had read the relevant material before. I see three possibilities here: a) He read the relevant material a short time before the lecture in preparation for it b) He read the relevant material a short time before the lecture but not in preparation for it...Read More...

really

1) It really was not safe. 2) It was really not safe. 3) It was not safe really. 4) It was not really safe. How do you understand sentences 1-4? I see three possible meanings: a) It was not safe at all. b) In reality, it was not safe. c) It was not completely safe. Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Hello, Navi, I understand none of the sentences to mean (c), (1) and (3) to mean (b), (2) to mean (a), and (4) to mean (d): (d) It was not very safe. That is assuming normal emphasis. With special emphasis on "really was," (1) would naturally be used to affirm somebody else's assertion: A: Tom said that riding elevators at that period in history was not safe. B: Tom was right. It really was not safe. Incidentally, instead of (2), most people would say: "It was really unsafe ."Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

<could> for single past ability?

grammarcrazed
Hello everyone: According to grammar books, when you are refereeing to a general past ability , you can use both “ could ” and “ was/were able to ”, but when the reference is to a single occasion in the past , only “ was/were able to ”, “ managed to ”, or “ succeeded in ” should be used. But while I was listening to an audible book, “ English Grammar Boot Camp” by professor Ann Curzan, I heard her say “ and I could find it ” in the following context. “Off of” tends to be colloquial, but it...Read More...
Thanks, Gustavo.Read More...
Last Reply By grammarcrazed · First Unread Post

Difference between "will" and "would"

What is the difference between will and would in the following sentence? In the following news link, why is would used instead of will ? Here is the link: Here is the Headline: Why the US would never win a trade war with ChinaRead More...
It is true that the use of conditional "would" can be deemed to involve the implicit existence of a type 2 conditional clause (i.e., a conditional clause in the unreal past) in the context: Why the US would never win a trade war with China (if there was/were a trade war between both countries) I don't think he would leave FCB (if he was/were offered a lot of money). However, it is no less true that "would" can be used to emphazise the improbability of the event even if the condition is...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

tenses under influence!

1) As a writer, I was influenced by the work of Kafka, which I read at a very young age. 2) As a writer, I am influenced by the work of Kafka, which I read at a very young age. 3) As a writer, I have been influenced by the work of Kafka, which I read at a very young age. Are all three correct? Is there a difference in the meaning? a) I read Kafka before I started writing, but the influence was there when I started to write b) the influence was there but is not there anymore c) the influence...Read More...
Thank you very much, Gustavo, Yes, what you say makes perfect sense. In my mind, 'I am influenced' was not like 'I am affected' but like 'I am washed', if you will. I think that is the influence of my native language. I am under the influence of my mother tongue. I am not sure I am expressing myself clearly and you can see where I had gone astray, but I think things are clear now for me. Respectfully, NaviRead More...
Last Reply By navi · First Unread Post

yet/still

1) I might beat this cancer yet. 2) I might still beat this cancer. Is there any difference between the meanings of '1' and '2'? 3) Our team might win yet. 4) Our team might still win. Is there any difference between the meaning of '3' and '4'? Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Hello, Navi, To make the sentences synonymous, it would be better to place "still" right after the subject (before the modal): "Our team still might win" <--> "Our team might win yet"; "I still might beat this cancer" <--> "I might beat this cancer yet." With "still" placed where you have it, after the modal but before the verb ("Our team might still win"; "I might still beat this cancer"), it is as if there were an implicit "in spite of" or "regardless of" or "even with," etc.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Happy New Year

What are your New Year resolutions? Settle your debt? Learn a new language? Go on diet? Do more physical exercise? Get taller? No matter what. Happy New Year!Read More...
Gustavo. Instead of 11 minutes, one of my New Year resolutions is to run for at least 25 minutes a day; well, once in alternate day is not bad; maybe twice a week is still better than nothing, etc. Reason: I have to get a new identity card soon with a new photo!Read More...
Last Reply By terry · First Unread Post
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