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Pay it back or pay him back?

husseinhassan
Good morning, our teachers, hope that all of you are fine. Could you please help me? I got confused. 🤔 🖋 I've borrowed a thousand dollars from Gustavo. I must pay __________ back next week. 1. it 2. him I think both are correct with difference in meaning, for sure. What's your opinion? Or should I say: "... pay him back the money ..."? as "pay" needs TWO objects here. Thank you.Read More...
Thank you so much, Gustavo.Read More...
Last Reply By husseinhassan · First Unread Post

one of his favorite things

1) Playing chess is one of his favorite things he can do at home. Can't that sentence be understood in two ways: a) A subset of the set of his favorite things to do is the set of the ones he can do at home. Playing chess is one of them. b) A subset of the set of the things he can do at home the set of his favorite things he can do at home. Playing chess is one of them. They don't really mean the same. In 'b', playing chess might not be one o f his favorite things to do per se. Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Yes, Gustavo, those too are very good solutions. They illustrate what I generally do to revise noun (actually, determiner) phrases containing a restrictive relative clause modifying a noun phrase complementing a possessive determiner. Thus, I would change the determiner phrase "John's neighbor who is pregnant" to "the neighbor of John's who is pregnant." I encountered a phrase like the former one in a linguistic article once, and a professor agreed with me that it was off.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

pair

Q: This pair of jeans___very nice. I want to buy___. A. is, them B. is, one This is from my cousin's homework. He goes to junior high. My opinion is that A is right. But how about B? Thanks.Read More...
Ruifeng, "Jeans" belongs to a very select set of nouns in English (along with "pants", "trousers", "slacks", etc) that are singular at the top but plural at the bottom. You are definitely right in matching the singular verb "is" with the actual subject "pair", which is also singular. I see that you don't offer "it" as an option to refer back to the specific pair. Since the subject of the original sentence is " this pair", I really don't see the generic "one" as a viable option. You are...Read More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

English Grammar

Please,can you help me to know what's difference between Visit and Visit to?Read More...
Hi, DocV, I find the sentence above equivalent to: c: I paid her a visit where "her" is the indirect object. I think that interpreting the prepositional phrase as adjectival in (b) is also possible. However, if we consider that "pay a visit" is a verb phrase equivalent to the verb "visit," then the indirect object reading (syntactically speaking) seems more likely. For the adjectival meaning, "a visit" needs to be interpreted as separated from "pay."Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

To come to see/to come and see

Please,help me.In which situation can I use to come to see and to come and see.(What's the difference).Read More...
Sirush, Welcome to our forum. Can you possibly provide a little bit more context for your examples? Apart from that, I can think of a couple of ways to differentiate. The phrase "come to see" can often (but not always) express intent. The phrase "come and see" is more likely to express mere happenstance. For example, can you see the difference between these sentences? 1: The Pittsburgh Zoo was always fascinating. When I was young, I would often come to see the monkeys fling their feces at...Read More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

future arrangements

The Present Cont. and the 'be to do something' structure are both used to talk about future arrangements, so what's the difference, if there is any? 1) He is visiting Paris next week. 2) He is to visit Paris next week.Read More...
Hello, Rasha, The basic difference between (1) and (2) is that, in (1), the "arrangement" or plan is presented simply as something that is going to occur. In (2), which is more formal and less usual than (1), the plan really is an arrangement. He is officially scheduled to visit Paris next week.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

no matter what point of view

"In a debate, you must support no matter what point of view you choose ." from a Korean book Is the part in bold correct? As far as I know, 'support' needs an object. If so, isn't whatever point of view you choose correct? Thanks!Read More...
Hi, Kis, No, it isn't. That's exactly right, Kis. That's why it's wrong. Yes, you can say: "In a debate, you must support whatever point of view you choose." That is a succinct solution. Here is a less succinct revision, which makes use of "no matter": In a debate, you must support your point of view, no matter what point of view you choose. As you can see, "no matter what point of view you choose" is an adverbial.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Tenses

What is the right choice in the following sentence that was taken from a book in Egypt? "Yesterday,we were discussing the new project and (having /had ) a good time as well.Read More...
Hello, Emad, I agree with Ahmed_btm that "and having a good time" is probably the answer that is wanted, but "and had a good time" is also OK. Either way, the sentence is rather awkward with "as well" at the end. The intended meaning, I assume, is that "we" had a good time while "we" were discussing the new project. "As well" suggests that "had/having a good time" was something that occurred separately. I would revise the sentence: (a) Yesterday, we had a good time discussing the project.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Tenses when recounting and analysing a poem or a prose

Hi there, Should I write the substance of a poem In past tense or in present tense ? Here are a few lines of the poem owl: Downhill I came, hungry, and yet not starved; Cold, yet had heat within me that was proof Against the North wind; tired, yet so that rest Had seemed the sweetest thing under a roof. Here's the link Vintage Poetry: 'The Owl' by Edward Thomas - discourse by Frank McMahon - DIY Poets Here's the substance written by me: Should I use past tense or Present tense? The poet...Read More...
Hi, Subhajit, This is just my humble opinion about your questions: 1. Should I write the substance of a poem In past tense or in present tense ? Well, it all depends. If the poem is in the past, like your poem above, then using the past tenses will be easier and better especially for beginners. However, if you are able to use the present tenses perfectly , go ahead. The most important thing is to convey your message correctly without making mistakes. 2. I think past and present both tenses...Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

the word "Equipment" (Singular/Plural ?)

Which sentences are correct and which ones are incorrect and why ? -these 3 equipment are always maintained. -These 3 pieces of equipment are always maintained. -Each equipment is checked before using it. -Each piece of equipment is checked before using it. -We have a set of 5 equipment which we don't have their specific spare parts. --We have 5 equipment which we don't have their specific spare parts. -All of the equipment must be maintained according to their fault rates. -The equipment...Read More...
I understand now, thank you very much for your answer.Read More...
Last Reply By maestro31 · First Unread Post

accept when

Can one say a. You have to accept when you've done something wrong. b. You have to accept it when you've done something wrong. c. You have to admit when you've done something wrong. d. You have to admit it when you've done something wrong. ? My feeling is that (a) and (c) are natural and the other two aren't, but what are the objects of 'accept' and 'admit' in (a) and (c)? Many thanks.Read More...
Hello, Azz and DocV, If we stick with the original four examples, my feeling is just the opposite of yours, Azz. I think (b) and (d) are fine and the other two are not. Both "accept" and "admit" require a direct object, and the "when"-clause here is not properly the direct object. None of the sentences is analogous to: e. You have to accept what he said. f. You have to admit where you put it. In (e), "what he said" is the direct object of "accept"; and in (f), "where you put it" is the...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Has been

Hello, He has ( been to - gone to - been in) hospital since Monday. Thanks in advance.Read More...
Hello, Menem, None of the options is incorrect. With "has been to" and "has gone to," the meaning is the same: he has made a trip there between Monday and now. With "has been in," the meaning is different. Two interpretations are possible with "has been in." The likely one is that he has been there from Monday till now. I'd like to note that no speaker of American English, including me, would use the sentence with any of the choices. We require an article before "hospital."Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

even more

a. He has done favors for me, and even more for my brother. b. He has done a lot of favors for me, and even more for my brother. c. He can do favors for you, and even more for your brother. d. He can do a lot of favors for you, and even more for your brother. Are these sentences grammatically correct? Many thanks.Read More...

future tesne vs. future perfect tense

When do we have to use future perfect tense? (1) I will finish all this job by 5 pm. (2) I will have finished all this job by 5 pm. Which one is correct and why? If both of them are correct, what is the differece in the meaning?Read More...
Mohamed Emara, Welcome to the Grammar Exchange. As you can see, Richard's reply to Eliud was made nearly nine years ago. Richard is no longer active on this forum. In fact, he's been gone for so long that I have never had any direct interaction with him. I'm not even sure whether or not he's still alive. English is a very complicated language, and even we experts often disagree among ourselves about some of the finer points. David and I practically make a point of finding something to...Read More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

it shouldn't be one or the other

1) It shouldn’t be democratic or Republican to say we don’t target certain groups of people based on what they look like or how they pray. President Obama Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com...m_term=.78bf51453419 2 ) It shouldn’t be either Democratic or Republican to say we don’t target certain groups of people based on what they look like or how they pray. 3) T o say we don’t target certain groups of people based on what they look like or how they pray shouldn't be Democratic or...Read More...

Tense in story telling

Hi there, when someone asks me to describe a character from a story or explain the story briefly, should I use "past tense" or "present tense" Here's the the character of the novel "Devi chaudhurani" (written by Bankimchandra Chattopadhyay) from which I have been asked a question: Prafulla is married but is shunned by her wealthy father-in-law, Haraballabh, because of a spat between him and her father on the day of her wedding. By custom prevalent at that time, a girl, once married, could...Read More...
Subha, Thank you for providing the link. I hope I'll have the opportunity to read this novel. It will have to be in translation, though. I seriously doubt I'll learn Bengali in this lifetime. Generally speaking, in English, as well as the other languages I'm familiar with, we speak of the events in works of fiction, be they novels, short stories, or films, in the present tense. This is because we, the authors and readers, exist outside of time as it is perceived by the characters. For...Read More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

Has been

Hello, My friend ( has been to / has been in / has gone to) hospital since Monday. Thanks in advance.Read More...

caught in the act

Can one say a. He's incapable of the act of stealing something physically, but he may order it done. b. He's incapable of the act of stealing anything physically, but he may order it done. ? Many thanks.Read More...
Thanks again! Yes, for the first part, but I intended 'may' to be interpreted as expressing possibility, not having permission. Maybe 'may' is incorrect there and I should use 'might'? He cannot commit a theft himself, but chances are/he is probably capable of ordering someone else to do it.Read More...
Last Reply By azz · First Unread Post

and I forgot almost everything about him

Are these sentences correct: 1) He is the kind of person you spend an hour with and he changes your vision of the world. 2) He was the man I spent an hour with and he changed my vision of the world. 3) He is the famous actor we met last night and you couldn't remember his n ame. 4) He is a man who talked to me at a party a month ago and I forgot almost everything about him. Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Hello, Navi, I'm going to take them one by one. The idea of the relative clause is supposed to be "You spend an hour with him and he changes your vision of the world," which is a conditional phrased as two conjoined clauses. "You spend an hour with him" is really subordinated to "he changes your vision of the world," as it is in "He changes your vision of the world if you spend an hour with him." The subordination of "you spend an hour with him" is lost within the two conjunct clauses of...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Past perfect & past simple

What is the difference between saying "After I had finished my work, I went home ." and saying "After I finished my work, I went home."Read More...
Hello, Emad, There is no difference in meaning between the two sentences. The perfect (present or past) is often optional in "after"-clauses, and it is optional here. In the sentence "After I had finished my work, I went home," both "had finished" and "after" express that your finishing your work came before your going home. In the sentence "After I finished my work, I went home," only "after" expresses that your finishing your work came before your going home.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

next came the graceful palm tree

"When the gods created the world, the baobob was among the first trees to appear on the land. Next came the graceful palm tree. " from a Korean English textbook a. Next came the graceful palm tree. b. Next the graceful palm tree came. Are they both correct? Thanks!Read More...
Thanks for the input, Gustavo. I agree with you on all counts (the comma in (b), the "normal" word order of (c)). But I'm glad you share my appreciation for the poetic inversion of (a) in this context. DocVRead More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

Answers to Would You Mind....

Hi all GE members and moderators When someone says "Would you mind helping me with the washing-up?", what will we say when we agree to help? and what should we say when we don't agree to help? If I agree to help, is it all right to say "Yes, okay"? If I don't agree to help, can I say "Sorry, I'd rather not"? Many thanksRead More...
Once again, DocV, thanks so much for confirming that the answer should be in the negative.Read More...
Last Reply By tonyck 2 · First Unread Post

think of and think about

Is there a difference between "think of" and "think about"? Please, Help. I'm totally confused after I have been searching online. Ex: I often think (of, about) the time we spent in Rome that I can't forget. Thank You.Read More...
Ahmed, We use "think about" to speaking of something occupying one's thoughts: a: I've been thinking about her all day. We can also use "think of" to mean the same thing: b: I've been thinking of her all day. Thus, in your example, both "about" and "of" work: c: I often think (of/about) the time we spent in Rome. (I would leave off the phrase "that I can't forget". If it were forgettable, you wouldn't often think about it.) However, we also use "think of" (but not "think about") to speak of...Read More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

Present Perfect - Specific Situation

If I say, "I've lived in France for two years.", will a native English speaker automatically understand that I began living in France two years ago and that I continue living there now? I'm asking this because ... Let's say that in the past I lived in France for a period of 2 years (e.g 1998 - 2000, 2000 - 2002 or 2010 - 2012). If I wanted to express this last situation as a past experience (without mentioning the specific years or dates), would I also say, "I've lived in France for two...Read More...
Merci, DocV. D'accord!Read More...
Last Reply By shantower · First Unread Post
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