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I have been able to live until now because my wife was by my side.

Suppose: I married my wife 50 years ago. I have been married to my wife for 50 years. Is it OK to say, #1: I have lived (have been able to live) until now because my wife was by my side. ? What about #2? #2: I have lived (have been able to live) until now because my wife has been by my side. This is the same kind of question as I posted last time. #3: The other continents have been able to exchange various species because they were linked by land bridges. #4: The other continents have been...Read More...

Please: word squabble; help me save my marriage!

Yesterday, I learned that my wife dislikes one of my favorite songs because it's about a prostitute. But the song is very clearly not about that. We had previously discussed this song 7 or 8 months ago, at which time she voiced her dislike, claiming that the song is "vulgar". But she did not say it was about a prostitute back then. Yet she says that she had, and is accusing me, "you don't listen". Well we bickered at length and finally she concedes that she probably voiced the term "whore"...Read More...
Come on, man! Sure, you're correct about the song title, so complain to Ms. Bonoff. But I need yours and everyone's opinion about the use of the word whore. Are you chicken? C'mon: spill your guts, man!Read More...
Last Reply By wv_hilltop · First Unread Post

restrictive clauses

In the sentence below, "at their origin" is a non-restrictive phrase and "that these two motions......equal" is a restrictive clause. Is it ok to have a non-restrictive clause (with two commas) within a restrictive clause? Thanks. As a consequence, the real shape of the moon must be an ellipsoid or somewhat egg-shaped body, major axis of which is directed toward the Earth. A guy name Laplace said, and I quote, "It would be against all probability to suppose that these two motions had been,...Read More...
Hi, clueless—There are no restrictive or nonrestrictive clauses or phrases in the sentence you are asking about. The clause "that these two motions had been, at their origin, perfectly equal" is functioning as the complement of the verb "suppose." The phrase "at their origin" is simply a fronted element within the "that"-clause: "to suppose that these two motions had been perfectly equal at their origin."Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

when and where

Hello! I’d love to hear your valued opinions.. ‘Many evolutionary biologists posit that humans developed language for economic reasons. We needed to trade, and we needed to establish trust in order to trade. Language is very handy when you are trying to conduct business with someone. Two early humans could not only agree to trade three wooden bowls for six bunches of bananas but arrange terms as well. What wood was used for the bowls? Where did you get the bananas? That transaction would...Read More...
Hello again, Linguamama—I understand the referent of "this" to be the idea expressed by the first independent clause. We can reduce this idea to the phrase "Language's allowing us to be specific": Language's allowing us to be specific is where conversation plays a key role. The property of letting us be specific is a property that language always possesses, as an eternal attribute. It is not a property that arises only during times of conversation. Conversation is where that property stands...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

TO BE

The top court said, "We have allowed a review application on the issue of sentence...we impose a sentence of imprisonment of one year to be undergone by the respondent..." The order in the matter will be uploaded later in the day....... Read more at: https://english.mathrubhumi.com/news/india/1988-road-rage-case-sc-sentences-navjot-singh-sidhu-to-one-year-jail-1.7529316 Read more at: https://english.mathrubhumi.co...-year-jail-1.7529316 Dear Team I assume "To be undergone" means "will be...Read More...

Have you been working long/for a long time?

Hello! Would you please explain to me the difference in meaning between: a) Have you been working long? b) Have you been working for a long time? In the negative form the difference is clear: c) You haven't been working long = You started to work just recently. d) You haven't been working for a long time = You haven't had a job for a long time. I have some assumptions. Could it be that (a) is more likely to refer to a single event/a particular task while (b) is referring to a general...Read More...

Prefixes and suffixes

Is there a fixed rule of the prefixes and suffixes? AppreciatedRead More...
Hello, Muhammad Hassan, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange. This is a big question. I don't know what you mean by "fixed rule" for the use of prefixes and suffixes. The only general rule that comes to mind is that, in general (there are exceptions), suffixes change the category of the word to which they are added while prefixes don't, e.g.: kind (adjective) / kind ness (noun) // kind (adjective) / un kind (adjective). If you are more specific or provide examples, we might come up with a...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

Question

Which one is correct (had been to / or / hadn't been to, and whyRead More...
Hi, Maged—Please read through the Grammar Exchange Guidelines and revise your post. Your post has at least three violations. You have used an uninformative title, you haven't asked your full question in the body of your post, and you haven't stated what you personally think the answer might be.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

COULD HAVE / TO HAVE

Hi team First of all I'm very thankful for what you've done and adding me to your family. I have come across two sentences and would like to have your thoughts on this. 1) "He told to my face that I was good, and it started reflecting in the way he worked with me after that. I could have a point of view different from his, and he would be okay with it I have learnt "could have" can be used in conditional sentences. But it is used here, I assume, not as conditional sentence or past...Read More...
Mr.Gustavo, thanks for your prompt response much appreciated!Read More...
Last Reply By DAVID HOUSTEN · First Unread Post

where

1) Fox isn't a channel where you can say I don't want it. (He's talking about cable subscriptions. He is basically saying that when you get cable you cannot refuse Fox. There are channels that you can decide not to get, and not to pay for, but Fox isn't one of them. It doesn't mean you can't say you don't want it on Fox). source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hsdCIzCXHO0 From: 52:00 to 52:10 Is '1' grammatical? Is it natural? What does 'where' mean here exactly? Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Hello, Navi—I don't find the sentence grammatical with the intended meaning. It would be grammatical if the intended meaning were "The headquarters of Fox is not a place where one can make the statement 'I don't want it.'" With the intended meaning, the sentence should be rephrased—e.g.: Fox isn't a channel you can decline to have as part of your cable package.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Was + perfect infinitive

"I was to have dined out along with Mrs Merdle. But as I didn’t feel inclined for dinner, I let Mrs Merdle go by herself just as we were getting into the carriage, and thought I’d take a stroll instead.’ From Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens Does the sentence mean that the speaker's dinner was arranged to take place at a time before a certain point of time in the past or in the present? ThanksRead More...
No, that change would not make much difference. The only difference would be that there would not be the implication of counterfactuality. To take a similar example, Elton John (in the song "Candle in the Wind") sings, "I would have liked to have known you, but I was just a kid." He could have sung, "I would have liked to know you, but I was just a kid," but then it would not have been evident from the infinitive that it didn't happen.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Would or used to

Which is correct? a- I would always play tennis during this week when I was at school b- I used to play tennis during this week when I was at school. Model answer : a This question is taken from https://www.ecenglish.com/learnenglish/lessons/used-would-always My question is : why is ( a ) is the model answer? Does because ( this week ) is a short period and ( ( (used to ) needs a long period? or because ( the week is still going on)? I think the second sentence can work, too. What do you think?Read More...
'During the week' means the 'entire week'. If you apply Swan's rules, 'b' doesn't work. According to Swan, page 595, " It (Used to) is not used simply to say what happened at a past time, or how long it took, or how many times it happened." However, I cannot say that 'used to' here is ungrammatical, but somehow it sounds unnatural with 'during the week'. IMO, 'would always' works much better here.Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

on vs. onto

Hello, Grammar Exchange members! I'd like to ask about the difference between 'on' and 'onto.' (a) A small branch fell on Jerry as he passed beneath the tree. (b) A small branch fell onto Jerry as he passed beneath the tree. I know for sure that the preposition 'on' in (a) is grammatically correct. What about the preposition 'onto' in (b)? Is it also correct? If it is, what's the difference between those two sentences in meaning? Thank you in advance. I always learn a lot from you! KDog :)Read More...
Thanks to both of you, Ahmed and David! I got it very clearly!Read More...
Last Reply By KDog · First Unread Post

Quite & a bit

That horror film was...... scary ; l will never let you choose a film to watch again! ( not - a bit - such - quite) I think "such" is not possible because it is not used with adjectives but what about "quite" & "a bit"?Read More...
Since we expect horror movies to be scary, one that was not scary must have been disappointing and not up to the viewers' expectations.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

because they were linked or have been linked

Help me, please. The original sentences are: Australia's plants and animals are just about the closest things to alien life you are likely to encounter on Earth. That's because Australia has been isolated from the other continents for a very long time - at least 45 million years. The other habitable continents have been able to exchange various species at different times because they have been linked by land bridges. Just 15,000 years ago it was possible to walk from the southern tip of...Read More...
Thank you very much. I almost understand. But when you say, " The other habitable continents were able to exchange various species at different times because they were linked by land bridges," what about Australia? Australia was also linked by land bridges at least 45 million years ago. So, we could say, "Australia was able to exchange various species because it was linked by land bridge." So," The other habitable continents were able to exchange various species at different times because...Read More...
Last Reply By mmaassuu · First Unread Post

To

Hello Grammar Exchange. I am a new member and I need your help please because I have too many questions to ask you!!!!! In what case do we use the word "to" instead of that and which? Par example: Nice to meet you, a year to remember, we' re lucky to have them. Thank you!!!!!Read More...
Hello, George D., and welcome to the Grammar Exchange. I can't see how you could use "that" or "which" there. "To"-infinitivals can introduce complementizers like the ones appearing above. Relative clauses simply cannot. The only case among the ones above where I find a relative clause possible is: a year (that/which) I will always remember.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

Conjugated Verbs

Hi there! Before I begin, I want to let everyone know that English is my third language. Every sentence should at least feature a subject and a verb. AdditionalIy, I understand that each sentence in the English language should only contain one conjugated verb. However, let's take a look at the sentence below: "I thought you were my friend." So here's my question: Isn't the above sentence a run-on sentence because there are two independent clauses ("I thought" and "you were") mashed together?Read More...
Thank you for much for the clarification, David. The word "that" really threw me off!Read More...
Last Reply By Lee 6657 · First Unread Post

Only to have / only to be

'It can be disheartening to spend a lot of time preparing a meal only to have your kids turn their nose up at it." Sir, Can you shed a light on the meaning of " only to have" in the above sentence. And I attached the same phrase used here that is "only to be intervened". Can you look on two and make me of it? 🙏Read More...
😄😄😄 🙏🙏🙏🙏. I asked such questions with right intention only to get me across completely since English is my second language. I did not want to screw you up. Thanks for helping me over and over again. 🙏Read More...
Last Reply By Francis Stephen · First Unread Post

"make" or "makes"

" You can store it in a wallet on your phone, on your computer, or simply in a USB stick. This (make/makes) it really convenient where ever you go. " Which one is correct?Read More...
Hi, Rashad, ' This ' is singular and should be followed by a singular form (makes) . It refers to the whole idea 'storing it in a wallet on your phone, on your computer, or simply in a USB stick'.Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

Why do you use plurals when "referring indefinitely"?

Look at this: The chief CIA officer in Islamabad, who ran the operations directly, put the main point simply: The goal was to kill Russian soldiers — to give Russia their Vietnam, as proclaimed by high U.S. officials, revealing the colossal inability to understand anything about Indochina that was the hallmark of U.S. policy for decades of slaughter and destruction. I'm pretty sure that "officials" here is supposed to allow for it being just one person (namely this guy:...Read More...
Hi, Andrew—I agree with you that the use of plural is dishonest if the writer knows that only one definite thing or person is involved in each case. We sometimes use "they" and "them" to refer in a non-gender-specific way to one human being, but avoidance of gender specification does not play a role here.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

What's the logical relation when you include the word "also"?

Consider my phrases here: https://join.substack.com/p/will-our-hawks-get-us-all-killed (1) And I would note three things: (2) And I would also make these three important points: We have the verb "make" and the verb "note". 1: So it's not like the word "also" means that "make' is the same thing semantically as "note", correct? 2: And it's not like the word "also" means that the "three things" in (1) are necessarily "important", correct? I could write this: (3) I would declare these things.Read More...
No. You would do one thing, and you would (also) do something else. Correct. Right.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post
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