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since+past perfect/past simple

He has lived/has been living since he was born here. - OK. What about the past? He had lived/had been living/lived/was living since he was/had been born there. Which ones are correct?Read More...
The first sentence is fine. The second sentence is incorrect without a comma, or a pause in speech, before "since"—except with one very strange meaning. If you use such a "since"-clause or "since"-phrase as a restrictive modifier in a sentence like "He had lived there for two years," the meaning will be that the two-year period of his living there came at some subinterval between his quitting his job and whatever past time is understood in the context. For example: Let us suppose that the...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Choose

Help me choose the correct answer. I .................English during the last a few months. ( studied or have studied) I .................English in the last a few months. ( studied or have studied) Is it right that "During the last a few months " can be used as a key word to the present perfect. Meanwhile " in the last a few months" can be used as a key word to the past simpleRead More...
Hi, Poet 20, Neither of them works. The usage of 'a' before 'few' is ungrammatical. Do you mean 'in the last few months' VS 'during the last few months'? Both of them can be used with the present perfect when there is a suitable context.Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

How do you deal with an [adjective, noun, noun] construction?

See the bold (the issue is whether to write "chronic-disease burden" or "chronic disease's burden" or something else...it's of course true that common sense will cause someone to create the hyphen in their mind, since "chronic disease" is obviously a unit, but I'm just being finnicky and also seeking to make parsing as smooth as possible): Estimates indicate that lifestyle accounts for a large chunk of chronic disease burden in the West.Read More...

"That which"

“That which is measured improves. That which is measured and reported improves exponentially." -Karl Pearson. This seems to be a famous quote. I wonder if this sentence is grammatically correct. It seems to me that "That" is redundancy, as "which" is enough to funcion as a conjunction indicating a subject. Thank you in advanceRead More...
Hi, Jiho, "That" is grammatical and required there, because it is the head of the noun phrase " that which is measured [and reported]." You can imagine "that" as being equivalent to "the thing" or "the one." "That which" can have an indefinite meaning, being equivalent to "what" (= the thing), or refer to one in a group.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

possessive

Hi, Which sentence is correct? Let's have lunch at the museum restaurant. or, Let's have lunch at the museum's restaurant. Looking around seems that the correct expression is the first one, if that is the case, why the regular possessive form doesn't apply here? Thank you.Read More...
Once again problem solved, Thank you.Read More...
Last Reply By Felipe · First Unread Post

forms part

Hi, Client was wondering whether there is a separate form to be completed when applying for a membership, specifically declaring the household income. Should I say? The household income forms part of the membership form or The household income is formed part of the membership formRead More...
Hello again, Tony—As f6pafd says, it should never be used, because it is ungrammatical. The reason it is ungrammatical is that "is formed" is either a passive construction or a linking-verb-plus-adjective construction. If it is a passive construction, it cannot be followed by the direct object, since the direct object will have been promoted to subject. If it is a linking-verb-plus-adjective construction, then a preposition is needed after the adjective.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

How can I be more clear when an adjective precedes a list?

Consider this: Your dietary pattern should be low—or moderate—in added sugar, salt, and alcohol. The only issue is that "added" seems to apply to the entire list (to all three of the items). So is the below a good solution? But we have to assume that "added" is only meant to apply to "sugar" and not to "salt"; is it fair to assume that? (Someone suggested to me that "added" must apply to "salt" to and that it therefore must apply to "alcohol" as well; do people speak of "added salt" and...Read More...
My friend mentioned this information: Many fermented foods will have a little bit of ethanol in there from the fermentation process itself, although its usually only present in very small amounts. Although I'm not familiar enough with food labelling laws to know if that's labelled as added or not (I don't think so though, I've never seen an added alcohol label on fermented foods). Salt is present in small amounts in any type of plant or animal cell, but the vast majority of salt in food is...Read More...
Last Reply By Andrew Van Wagner · First Unread Post

Any idea why some capitalize "Type 2" in "type 2 diabetes"?

Sorry for posting about a small little detail, but I checked the NYT and the New Yorker and I found that they both write "Type 2 diabetes". But Wikipedia does "type 2 diabetes" and look at this: https://www.nih.gov/nih-style-guide/medical-language Type 1 and type 2 diabetes should be lowercase unless beginning a sentence, per the American Diabetes Association. I just wonder what the story is on this front. Why do major publications capitalize regarding this term? I just checked the...Read More...

What does the comma do in this sentence and is the comma advisable?

See the bold (I think that maybe the comma prevents "with" from attaching to "medicine", but I'm not sure what with does in fact attach to in the sentence below and whether the comma is advisable): Our channel focuses primarily on health and medicine , with some content on environmental science.Read More...
Thanks. So the comma is important, right? Without the comma, does "with" attach to "medicine"? Also, would you say that a ", with" construction like this is "dangling" (or something?) in the sense that it attaches to nothing even if the meaning is clear?Read More...
Last Reply By Andrew Van Wagner · First Unread Post

Is this a good case where common sense is completely triumphant over syntatical concerns?

See the bold (note that the adjective "whole" could attach to everything in the list but common sense 100% prevents such an attachment even though syntax allows for it, right?...I wonder if this is an instance where common sense 100% triumphs and the "OCD" concern about ambiguous syntax is 100% irrational): A 2019 study shows that foods associated with improved health outcomes— whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes , nuts, olive oil, and fish—tend to have lower environmental impacts than...Read More...
Well, what would " whole olive oil " mean? I don't think the perverse interpretation you have envisioned can sensibly be forced upon the sentence.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

How do I deal with this ambiguity regarding "with"?

See the bold ("with" is supposed to attach to "reviews" and not to "books"; it's not that the books have "a lot of scientific rigor"): Red Pen Reviews is a great—and completely free!—resource that reviews popular nutrition books with a lot of scientific rigor .Read More...
Thanks! I really appreciate it!Read More...
Last Reply By Andrew Van Wagner · First Unread Post

Is "the" needed before "health benefits"?

The scientific evidence mainly shows the health benefits of including some low-mercury fatty fish in your diet.Read More...
Alas, such are the problems that arise when one does corpus research. Happily, I believe this particular problem has an easy solution. Simply take the number of results for "health benefits of" and subtract from it the number of results for "the health benefits of." Do the same for "(the) heath benefits from."Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

What is the order of the actions?

INTRO 1 When I gave him 10 dollars, he told me the news. (First, I gave ten $, second, he told the news) 2 When I gave him 10 dollars, he had told me the news. (First, he told the news , second, I gave ten $ ) 1 and 2 are clear. Now. The problem. 3 When I met him, he knew the news. (THIS IS NOT CLEAR.) Is it: a) I met him first and then he learn the news. OR b) Before I met him he had already known the news 4 When I met him, he had known the news. (Before I met him he had already known the...Read More...

How do you write the letters after a name?

I'm working on a piece that says this (I changed the name): Bob Smith, MD PhD , is a research scientist and science communicator. What am I supposed to do regarding the bold? I can't find examples in the NYT or anything; maybe some other publication has some examples of this?Read More...
Thanks!Read More...
Last Reply By Andrew Van Wagner · First Unread Post

Worse, more worse, or much worse?

It is known that women are............surgeons than men. a. worse b. more worse c. much worse The model answer to this question is "b". Is this answer correct?Read More...
Hi, Omar Ahmed, I see that both 'a' and 'c' are correct answers. 'B' can't be the right answer here. 'More' is in the comparative form and the same thing applies to 'worse'. They can't be used together. Let the exam maker see the following link: https://www.britannica.com/dic...atives-grammar-usageRead More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

‘to change ..., to persuade ...’

Hello, everyone, “ Well, I am about to change your perception of the importance of me time, to persuade you that you should view it as vital for your health and well-being .“ While there is a parallel structure with two infinitival phrases in the sentence above, should’t we put the coordinating conjunction – ‘ and ’ between them after the comma? Isn’t it obligatory to put an ‘ and ’? Otherwise, can I be understood that in such a case above where two infinitival phrases are very long, the use...Read More...

The or no article with explanation

I like ...........cold weather this winter. (The or no article)Read More...
I agree with both f6pafd and Gustavo that it is important to use "the" if the meaning with "the," which they have described well, is intended. Gustavo has also nicely described the meaning without "the," which takes a special context: Normally, in the winter, I hate cold weather. But it's really strange. I like cold weather this winter.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

adverbs

a. This play presents visually a sharp challenge to a discerning audience. This sentence is from Quirk et al., "A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language", p. 566, section 8.8 According to Quirk et al. "visually" here means "as a visual experience". That makes perfect sense. The question is whether there is any possible ambiguity in the sentence. Could 'visually' also mean 'using visual methods'? And what would b. This play presents a sharp challenge to a discerning audience visually.Read More...
Yes, Azz, I think that one could force such an interpretation. Compare: Hopefully, they sat in prayer.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

a time to/a time for

a. This is not a time to mourn. It is a time to fight. b. This is not a time for mourning. It is a time for fighting. c. This is not the time to mourn. It is the time to fight. d. This is not the time for mourning. It is the time for fighting. Which of the above are correct? Many thanksRead More...
Hi, Azz—I agree with Ahmed that all four sentences are grammatically correct. In actual contexts, one or more of them would be more natural than the others.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

How often should you allow some ambiguity?

The bold text has a potential ambiguity where it could mean "mood function" and "brain function"; there's no such thing as "mood function" as far as I know but who knows...if I put "mood function" into Google Scholar I might get something. How can I eliminate the ambiguity regarding the bold? And should I bother eliminating an ambiguity like this where it's pretty clear (though actually, like I said, I'm not sure) that there's no such thing as "mood function"? Some fascinating emerging...Read More...
Hi, Andrew—You might find it therapeutic, cumbersome though it is, to drive a knife between the two phrases with "one the one hand"/"on the other": how food affects mood, on the one hand, and brain function, on the otherRead More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

must or have to

Hello. could you please help me? Which one is correct? - A: What is the rule about visiting people in hospital? B: You ( must - have to ) go between 2 and 5 o'clock in the afternoon. Thank you.Read More...
I agree with Ahmed's answer. Conditional meaning is implied here, and there are external/institutional constraints involved. If you wish to visit someone in the hospital, you have to go between 2 and 5 o'clock in the afternoon.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Something is important <to do vs doing>

Hi, Do you think the following two versions are both correct? The first one is from the dictionary, the second one being mine. 1. Recycling is important to help protect our environment. ( https://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/recycling ) 1a. Recycling is important to helping protect our environment. I always think of the “to” after important is a preposition, just like the "to" in 2. Resolving this issue is crucial to making peace work. (Macmillan Dictionary) The answer to the question...Read More...
Hi, Robby Zhu and f6pafd, Although I don't find any information about the usage of 'important to + v.ing' in my grammar books, I trust at least two people on the following site: https://forum.english.best/t/i...-do-something/5490/4 IMHO, when 'it' is the subject, it is better to avoid using 'important to + v.ing' whether 'it' is specified or not. From 'A Comprehensive Grammar Of The English Language', page 1226: (vii) It is important to be accurate. "For types (v-vii), on the other hand, the...Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post
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