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The Devil spawn or Devil's spawn?

Hi there! I'm a bit confused and I need help with this. I've seen both "The Devil spawn" and "The Devil's spawn" Which one is correct or are both correct?Read More...
Sadude, Welcome to the Grammar Exchange. I can't help but wonder why this question should be so important, but I'll answer it anyway. "Spawn" here means "child" or "offspring", and as such needs a proper possessive: "the Devil's spawn". DocVRead More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

Countability of "turnover" and "income"

Hi everyone! Could you please explain to me in what sense "turnover" and "income" can be countable? Cambridge Dictionary gives the following examples of "turnover" use: "Large supermarkets have high turnovers (= their goods sell very quickly)." "The business has an annual turnover of £50,000." Would it be incorrect to say that large supermarkets have high turnover , and the business has annual turnover of £50,000 ? And here are examples for "income": a high/ low income additional / extra...Read More...
Thank you for your help anyway, Gustavo!Read More...
Last Reply By Alexey86 · First Unread Post

After I (got - had got) to the stadium, I realized that the match had already started

Hello. Which tense is correct or both? After I (got - had got) to the stadium, I realised that the match had already started. Thank you.Read More...
No, but using past perfect there would make the sentence unnecessarily heavy.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

checkered past

Hi, According to urban dictionary online, 'checkered past' means "bad history of someone due to unreputable actions from the previous years." Does it mean the person has a checkered past because he committed a crime before or not necessarily? Can it be used in a positive way? Could you please give me some examples of it? Many thanks.Read More...
Kuen, As the Urban Dictionary says, the person has a history of unreputable actions. Not just one action, but actions plural. They might not have been crimes per se ; they may have been acts of dishonesty or betrayal that were unethical but still within the law. The point is that because of his checkered past, you should take extra care when deciding whether or not to trust him. I can't imagine any way that this term could be used to mean something positive about a person. DocVRead More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

They had been staying with us (since - for) the previous week.

Hello. In the following sentence, Which one is correct? If both are correct, what is the meaning of both? They had been staying with us (since - for) the previous week. Thank you.Read More...
Ahmed, 1: They had been staying with us since the previous week. Meaning: At the time of the event in question, they were staying with us, and had been since some time during the previous week. 2: They had been staying with us for the previous week. Meaning: At the time of the event in question, they were no longer staying with us, but had stayed with us the entire previous week. DocVRead More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

Ahmed was left (to dream - dreaming) about his new life as a teacher.

Hello. Which verb form is correct? Ahmed was left (to dream - dreaming) about his new life as a teacher. Thank you.Read More...
Hi, Ahmed Imam Attia, IMO, both are grammatically correct. Using 'dreaming', the emphasis lies on the progressive meaning, i.e. it refers to a present state then. Using 'to + inf.', the emphasis lies on something that would happen (in the near future).Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

morphemes

Hello, dear fellows; I am in doubt about this. I don't know if I can ask this question here, but that, you will let me know. How many morphemes make up the word 'imposition'? Someone told me this and i want to verify if it is correct not. It is formed by derivational and inflectional morphemes. Is this right?. Is there any other?. Thanks a lot for any help.Read More...
Eddy, Welcome to the Grammar Exchange. Your question is more about syntax than grammar, but I'll allow it. I think that it helps to have a working knowledge of Latin to understand some of this. There are at least three morphemes present: 1: posit This is a free morpheme as it is the root to which the other morphemes are attached. In Latin, it is the third-person singular perfect active indicative form of the verb ponere , "he/she put", or "he/she has put". 2: -ion This suffix is a...Read More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

he's seated

The following is an excerpt from the CNN News of August 28 about an autistic boy moving around in an airplane. Can "until he's seated" mean "until he was seated?" “That’s when a flight attendant came over and told us the flight couldn’t take off <until he’s seated>.”    “I told her the boy has autism, we’re trying, give us a minute.”  The flight attendant walked away, while Gabriel was still trying to keep the boy on his seat. She came back with two other flight attendants who asked...Read More...
Yes, Fujibei, it should be "until he was seated." The text mixes direct and indirect speech. After that clause, which being in the present clashes with "the flight could n't take off," we find something similar after "I told her..." It should be something like: I told her the boy had autism and we were trying so I needed her to give us a minute.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

locked in

Which are correct: 1) They got locked in. 2) They got locked in the storage room. 3) They got locked in in the storage room. Gratefully, NaviRead More...

in or of

1. He wants to become a good writer in the world. 2. He wants to become a good writer of the world. 3. He wants to become the best writer in the world. 4. He wants to become the best writer of the world. Of 1 and 2, which is better? Of 3 and 4, which is better? Thanks.😀Read More...
Hi, Ruifeng, "in/of the world" does not make sense to me in (1) and (2). I'd just say: 5. He wants to become a good writer. Or perhaps you want to say: 6. He wants to become a (good) world-class writer. The situation changes if a superlative is used -- the adverbial specifies the limits of that superiority. We tend to use "of" to introduce a group and "in" to introduce a place. Thus, (3) is much better than (4). Now, see what happens if a group is used for reference: 7. He wants to become...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Can I take out/get/withdraw

Hello~ I'm a Korean student who has been studying English for about 9 months. There are some questions. If I wanna get 1,300 dollars in a bank Can I say 'Can I take out 1,300 dollars? Can I get 1,300 dollars? or Can I withdraw 1,300 dollars?' Which one is more common used?Read More...
Thank you so much! It's really helpful for my English~ Have a wonderful dayRead More...
Last Reply By jonghun · First Unread Post

Is the when-clause an adjectival clause or an adverbial clause?

Hello, contributors. Is the when clause an adjectival clause or an adverbial clause? Then one afternoon when I was shopping at Diamantis Department Store , there he was standing in front of me. (from: Fit for Fate: A Tale of Byzantine Intrigue in Modern Athens ) Hoping for your explanation. THANK YOU.Read More...
They are all adverbial -- the "when"-clause provides a wider time frame, and the phrase "one day/morning/evening," a more restricted or specific one. In most of the cases, the order can be changed: - One day/morning/evening when I was ...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

she's been tranced and may need waking.

Hello, everyone. Please do me a favour. I have trouble understanding the following sentence. she's been tranced and may need waking. (https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/trance) My questions: 1. What does the word "tranced" mean? 2. How to paraphrase the sentence? I would appreciate it if you could give me an explanation.Read More...
DocV, thank you very much. I am from China, me an English learner and lover.Read More...
Last Reply By sunshine · First Unread Post

Is the TV title “2 Broke Girls ” correct

Hello, everyone. Sorry to bother you again. According to Merriam-Webster's Advanced Learner's Dictionary and The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) , when “broke” serves as an adjective, it should not be used before a noun. So my question: Is the TV title “2 Broke Girls ” correct? (2 Broke Girls is an American television sitcom that aired on CBS from September 19, 2011 to April 17, 2017. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2_Broke_Girls )Read More...
Docv, thank you sincerely.Read More...
Last Reply By sunshine · First Unread Post

What light is to the eye, that knowledge is to the mind.

Hello, everyone. Would you please do me a favour? I have trouble understanding the word “that” in the following sentence. What light is to the eye, that knowledge is to the mind. [from Henry Cowles : The Revelation of John (1871)] My questions are as follows: Is the word “that” is a determiner or a conjunction? What does the word “that” refer to? What is the predicative in the part “that knowledge is to the mind”?Read More...
Thank you very much, GUSTAVO.Read More...
Last Reply By sunshine · First Unread Post

"as hard as you can" vs "as hard as you could"

I have made up two similar examples below. (1a) John is a lazy student. He is not trying as hard as he can . My non-native English speaking friends think revised my second sentence to make (1b) below. (1b) .... He is not trying as hard as he could . My friends think "could" sounds better. I don't understand why they are using that. I think "can" is better because my entire example is in the simple present. What is your opinion? Thank you very much for your time and help.Read More...
Hi, Ansonman, The reason above does not justify the use of "can." In many present contexts, "could" can be used, for example: - I' m tired. Could you help me? The only difference I see is that "can" is more positive, while "could" is more remote: (1a) He is not trying as hard as he can . (The implication is: I know he can try harder, and perhaps he will.) (1b) He is not trying as hard as he could . (The implication is: If he wanted, he could try harder, but he's unwilling and therefore...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Once I get 'em, they're got.

Hello everyone, John Dickinson : I trust, Caesar, when you're through converting the poor fellow to independency, you'll give the opposition a fair crack at him. Caesar Rodney : [chuckling] You're too late, John. Once I get 'em, they're got. source: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0...characters/nm0534577 (In fact I saw them in a video, though they are the same with the linked text.) What do the parts in bold mean? I am having a hard in figuring them out. Many thanks in advance.Read More...
Got it. Thank you.Read More...
Last Reply By Mengxin_2009 · First Unread Post

it is important that

a. It is important that she comes here. Does that mean 1. The fact that she comes here is important. or 2. It is important that she should come here. ? Many thanks.Read More...
Azz, Only (1) is correct here. For the meaning to be (2), it would have to be: b: It is important that she come here. DocVRead More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

it is important for him

a. It is important for him to win the tournament. Does that mean 1. To him, winning the tournament is important. or 2. It is important that he should win the tournament. ? Many thanks.Read More...

I have been cheated five times when I was shopping ....

I have made up the sentence below. (1a) I was cheated five times when I shopped at ABC. My non-native speaking friends found two mistakes in my sentence. Their revised sentence is given below. (1b) I have been cheated five times when I was shopping at ABC. What confuses me in my friends' sentence is the use of the present perfect " have been cheated ". The fact that the store cheated me happened in the past when I shopped there. The present perfect makes the sentence sound like I am still...Read More...
Hi, ansonman, One thing is for sure, the use of the present perfect above is grammatically wrong . I prefer: I was cheated five times while shopping at ABC.Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

Is the present continuous "have been looking for" the wrong tense?

One of my non-native English speaking friends made up the example below. (1) For the last twenty-five days, I have been looking for an inexpensive stove in most of the local stores. Luckily, I bought one for a very low price at ABC. I think my friend is using the wrong tense being the present continuous because it suggests that his search for a cheap stove is still continuing. Since he purchased a cheap one, he has stopped his search. So, "have been looking for" would no longer apply. Do you...Read More...
Hi, ansonman, Yes, I agree. The past simple in the second sentence doesn't work here and doesn't go with the present perfect continuous in the first one. He could better say: After twenty-five days of a continuous search for an inexpensive stove, ........... .Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

Do or win

We want to take part in the competition to (make-do-gain-win) something.Read More...
Hi, Ahmed55, My guess is that whoever made up this sentence has just done one thing: He looked up the definition of the word 'competition' on 'LDOCE' and found something called 'competition to do something', then he wrote the example above and used 'do' as a model answer, without -even- looking up the examples on 'LDOCE'. In fact, I see more than one correct choice here. What is that something ?! Normally, you take part in a competition to win it. If there are many prizes and you don't have...Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post
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