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Usage of "present perfect" and "simple past"

Hi there, can anyone please tell me if I should use have learned or learned in the following contexts? Here is the first context: Me: Hey Tom, I gave you 100 dollars and told you to divide the money between you and your three siblings equally. Did you do that? Tom: Yes, I kept 50 dollars for me and divided the rest money between them. Me: Nope!! Where did you learn/have you learned to count? Here is the second context: John: Subha, do you know spanish? Me: Yes, I learned/have learned it in...Read More...
Hello, Subhajit: In each case the past tense is needed. If you used the present perfect, native speakers would identify you as a nonnative speaker. In your first example, the questioner is presupposing that his interlocutor has learned to count (incorrectly). The question is where he did so. "Where have you learned to count?" could work in a context in which the interlocutor is presupposed to have learned how to count at various places. Maybe he has learned different styles of counting.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

few words

Which are correct: 1 ) He explained it to me in no few words. 2) He explained it to me, not in few words. 3) He didn't explain it to me in few words. 4) He explained it to me, not in a few words. 5) He didn't explain it to me in a few words. Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Hello, Navi: Sentence (1) is the only idiomatically correct sentence of the bunch. I don't find any of them ungrammatical. The others are bad to various degrees. I can't decide whether I find (2), (3), or (5) the worst. If you don't like (1), I don't recommend ruining it by changing it to one of the other four sentences. I recommend this instead: 6) He spared no words in explaining it to me.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Burger King burgers vs. Burger King's burgers

grammarcrazed
Hello everyone: Which of the following would you guys write? a. He came back with more Burger King burgers . b. He came back with more Burger King's burgers . ThanksRead More...
Hi, Grammarcrazed: I'm doing well. Thank you for asking. Adapting to this new Web platform has been a bumpy ride, but things are looking up, overall. I'd label it incorrect. Labeling it ungrammatical would be going a bit too far, I think, since the descriptive genitive does exist ("He came back from the store with more lady's gloves / men's shoes / children's clothing " -- examples taken from George Curme's 1931 grammar) and there is no reason, in principle, that burger joints shouldn't...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

"Should" vs "Should have"

Hi there, I have a question regarding use of "should have" and " should ". Can you please tell me which one is correct in the following context? Ram slapped a man who was molesting a woman. He did what he should have done . Ram slapped a man who was molesting a woman. He did what he should do . I think both are correct. Please explain.Read More...
Hi, Subhajit: That one doesn't work so well, unfortunately. I think what you mean to convey by that sentence is what the following sentence actually expresses: " He did what any decent person would have done. " And that sentence can have either "would have done" or "would do." With "would have done," the sense is "would have done in his shoes ." With "would do" (" He did what any decent person would do "), the sense is "would do in such circumstances ."Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Due in?

Could you please help me choose the correct answer? When does your plane (come - arrive - get - due ) in?Read More...
Hello, Sedo: Both "get" (" When does your plane get in ? ") and "come" (" When does your plane come in? ") are correct answers, the question with "get" being the more idiomatic of the two. "Arrive" doesn't work, because of "in." If you want to use arrive, then you need to delete "in" (" When does your plane arrive? "). "Due" doesn't work, because of "does." "Due" is an adjective and takes the collocation "due in." But you must change "does" to "is" (" When is your plane due in? ").Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Will or going to

Could you help me choose the correct answer? Thank you. Sally thinks she ........ a medal after seeing some of the competition. (wins - will win - win - is going to win)Read More...
Hello, Sedo: The most natural choice there (though not the only grammatically possible choice) is "is going to win." How do I know that? Because I'm a native speaker and know that's what would likely be said. But that's not the answer you want to hear. We can analyze "be going to" here as expressing both present intention concerning the future and evidence-based prediction about the future ("after seeing some of the competition").Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Who

Choose the correct answer, and say why: My only brother( ,who I love, / who I love / that I love / ,that I love, ) is an engineer.Read More...
I am sorry, sir. I didn't mean to give you an order. Thanks for your answer. I really appreciate your efforts.Read More...
Last Reply By sedo · First Unread Post

... has been 30 minutes behind "the rest of" the Korean Standard Time...

"Since 2015, 'Pyongyang Time' has been 30 minutes behind the rest of the Korean Standard Time (KST) zone." (July, 2018 Ivy League Analytical English magazine) Why does the author use the rest of , not all of in this sentence? According to the Longman Dictionary , the rest means "what is left after everything or everyone else has gone or been used, dealt with, or mentioned." And here is one of its examples, "Does anyone want the rest of this pizza?" In view of such a definition and my...Read More...
Hi, Barry, That sentence makes perfect sense to me. Geographically speaking, Pyongyang is within the UTC+9 time zone ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_in_North_Korea ). According to the mentioned wikipedia article: On 5 August 2015, the North Korean government decided to return to UTC+08:30 , effective 15 August 2015, and said the official name would be Pyongyang Time or (PYT). That meant its being 30 minutes behind the rest of the zone (UTC +8:30 as opposed to UTC +9). If, as I said...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Difference between "In" and "of"

Can anyone please tell me what's the difference between in and of in the following sentences? Are they both correct? Lionel Messi is the greatest player of/in the Argentina football team. John is the best student in/of the class. The roads in/of the USA are wider than those of Russia.Read More...
I am very sorry that the post you wanted to link to, Gustavo, is imprisoned inside the Moderation Queue and hope soon to be able to rescue it, along with the many thousands of other posts in the same boat. As you know, I am waiting for a guarantee from Tech Support that content that has been "approved" (i.e., released) from the Moderation Queue will in fact manifest in the actual threads. Once I have that, I will release all of those posts ASAP. In American English, the best preposition to...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Critic for v.s critic of

What is the difference between " a critic for sth" and " a critic of sth" ? This question poped out after i saw this sentence : He was appointed as critic for multiculturalism and religious pluralism. ** And why it was not " ..as a critic.." ? Thank u in advance .^_^Read More...
Hello, Al-Shadly, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange! The collocation is "critic of " when the preposition introduces the issue being criticized . I have found that in Canada the members of the opposition shadow cabinet are known as critics, with "for" introducing the area that those parliamentary members deal with . "critic of" would mean that they are against, not that they devote their time to those aspects or fields. We thus find examples like this one: - Mable Elmore is a Canadian...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Inversion in comparative sentence

novice
Hi, The larger the area of forest is destroyed, ....... A. the most frequent natural disasters are B. the most frequently natural disasters occur C. the more frequent are natural disasters D. the more frequently natural disasters occur Which option is the best to fill in the blank? It's obvious that D is correct, but when it comes to inversion in comparative sentences, I can't rule out the option C. Are there two equally good answer to that question?Read More...
Hi, Gustavo: Yes, I definitely prefer the use of full inversion here to subject-auxiliary inversion, and I agree that the heaviness of the subject noun phrase makes the use of inversion especially natural and elegant. However, I don't find the use of inversion necessary. Although it would have been less elegant, Harriet Beecher Stowe could have grammatically written: The more hopelessly sordid and insensible he appeared, the greater Mrs. Shelby's dread of his succeeding in recapturing Eliza...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

I intend to or I am intending to?

Hi, I'd like to know the correct grammar for this sentence: would you say I haven't washed the dishes yet but i intend to. or/ I haven't washed the dishes yet but i am intending to. Thank you :)Read More...
I agree that the simple form is more logical here. "Intend" is one of the few verbs that I don't think I would ever use in the present progressive . I can't think of a single example in which it would make sense or sound natural to me to do so. But, Gustavo, I'm very glad you found that lovely post authored by Betty Azar, and will make a point of looking for the coverage of the present progressive with "intend" in the Azar books. I have the utmost respect for her grammatical judgments. If...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Formal or informal English

Hi, I have this question concerning teaching English (grammar): Should we teach formal English only or we should teach the informal form too?Read More...
Hi, Ayman, I think we completely agree that a good teacher, like you, should / must know formal and informal English, and that the most important thing is to teach students what they have in their books. Students shouldn't be given information that may confuse them in the exam. If there are two correct options as you have mentioned above, you will find the correct answer is the formal one in all our model answers. Again, I agree that it is sometimes annoying, but we know the weakest point in...Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

Want you to or want for you to

Hi, I want to know whether these expressions are correct and if they mean the same thing: 1. I'd like for you to study law. 2. I'd like you to study law. Thank you so much.Read More...
Thanks so much, everyone. I'm so happy to be back here. From what I read, it seems Rachel isn't on the site any longer. Those months I was without a browsing phone I must have missed a lot. Thanks again for the quick responses. I always like this site.Read More...
Last Reply By Yale Wale · First Unread Post

Unusual Plural

My school uses an alligator as a mascot. His name is Navi (pronounced Nav-ee) the navigator. We frequently use his name in the plural as we have various versions of his image. How should we make his name plural? Navis Navies Please...anything but an unconventional use of the apostrophe.Read More...
Heather, I apologize for taking so long to respond here. I agree with everything GrammarCrazed says here. An apostrophe with "s" can only be used for possessives or contractions of "is" or "has": Navi's been missing for a while, hasn't he? I agree with what Ahmed says about Nazis, but not for the same reason. Even with common nouns ending with "i", the plural is almost always made with the addition of a simple "s"; hence "skis", "khakis", and "taxis" (although I've seen some sources that say...Read More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

Zero and First Conditionals

ceedhanna
I read in an Egyptian reference that if we want to differentiate between zero and first conditionals we generalize the facts or define them like in these examples: 1a- If a cube of ice is heated, it turns into water. 1b- If this cube of ice is heated, it will turns into water. 2a-If it rains , streets become wet 2b- If it rains tonight , streets will become wet. 3a- If it rains, streets become wet 3b- If it rains, the streets of our town will become wet. How far is this true?Read More...
Hi, Ceedhanna: I agree with Gustavo's answer, particularly with his point that the "generalized" (a) sentences may be suitably expressed with either the zero conditional or the first conditional. I think that a better way to differentiate the two, for a learner who is trying to decide between them, is to try to express the conditional using "whenever" instead of "if." If "whenever" works, so will the zero conditional: 1d- Whenever an ice cube is heated, it turns into water. 1e- * Whenever...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

"play a role (in) V-ing"

The phrase "play a role" can be followed by "in V-ing" as in (1) below: (1) This NPO plays a central role in proposing environmental policies. My question is whether the preposition "in" can delete as in (2): (2) This NPO plays a central role proposing environmental policies. I got this question because I sometimes come across the phrase like "play a role V-ing" without the presposition "in." If the preposition in this phrase can delete, I wonder whether there might be any difference between...Read More...
Hi Gustavo, Thank you so much for your comments! I understand. It is interesting to see the preposition "by," not "in" or zero, sounds better if the V-ing phrase is put in the focus position of the cleft sentence.Read More...
Last Reply By yasukotta · First Unread Post

Inquiry

I have been using and benefited of learning English through Grammar Exchange since many years ago. Recently, I noticed the format / platform has been changed. May I know whether it is still serving the same purpose? I still prefer the previous one, so I can see other comments.Read More...
Noted, thanks. Capt (Rtd) Joshua Loo On Wednesday, 27 June 2018, 4:36:47 AM GMT+8, The Grammar Exchange < alerts@hoop.la > wrote: Reply By davidmoderator: Inquiry | == To reply by email, write above this line. == | | | | | Hello, joshua: We're sending you this notification because you are either following the forum, the content, or the author listed below. New Reply To Topic | Subject: Inquiry Reply By: davidmoderator In: | | Hi, Joshua: Yes, the website platform of the Grammar...Read More...
Last Reply By joshua · First Unread Post

no more ... than

The following is an excerpt from The Japan Times of June 22. What does "It's no more glaring than in the early hours of a developing story" mean? The spread of misinformation ‒ "fake news" if that's more your speed ‒ has long been an issue, but social media has accelerated it significantly. It's no more glaring than in the early hours of a developing story, where facts are scarce but the Twitter timeline moves at a rapid pace.Read More...
Thanks. It's now crystal clear what the sentence means.Read More...
Last Reply By fujibei · First Unread Post

not six feet

Can one write a. A group of not well-educated people are very happy with the new measures. b. A group of people not well-educated are very happy with the new measures. c. b. A group of people, not well-educated, are very happy with the new measures. d. A man, not six feet tall, walked into a store. e. A man, not six-foot tall, walked into a store. ? Do (d) and (e) mean that the man was shorter than six feet? Many thanks.Read More...
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