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modals

Which are correct: 1) Before leaving we'll check what the weather is like. If it may rain, we will take our raincoats. 2) Before leaving we'll check what the weather is like. If it might rain, we will take our raincoats. 3) Before leaving we'll check what the weather is like. If it can rain, we will take our raincoats. 4) Before leaving we'll check what the weather is like. If it could rain, we will take our raincoats. The idea is: If there is a chance of rain, we'll take our raincoats.Read More...

verbs

I'm just going to think aloud here so let me know if I stumble upon something that makes sense. In sentence (A), "could be" sounds like it's transitive and the phrasal "patched over" is the direct object. Is it more likely that the group of words "could be patched over" is something like a verb phrase? In sentence (B), "helped" is a transitive verb that needs an object. "To" and an action verb usually is an infinitive but here, "to smooth" doesn't make sense unless "over" is added. "To...Read More...
Thanks, Gustavo!!Read More...
Last Reply By clueless · First Unread Post

Relative clause

Su's
Hello, I don't know if this sentence is grammartically correct. " I am Suzie, a freshman from X University, whose major is IT." * Note: + This is the whole sentence, I wonder if I have used relative clause effectively and whether it is a fragment sentence. + This sentence is a part of an introduction, so there are many sentences coming after this one. It's not a whole paragraph. Thank you so much.Read More...
I view the "whose" relative clause as restrictive and would not use the comma. It modifies "freshman." Consider this dialogue: A: "Do you know any freshmen from X University whose major is I.T. ?" B: "Yes. I know one freshman from X University whose major is I.T. Her name is Suzie." Incidentally, there is a much easier way of saying "I am Suzie, a freshman from X University whose major is I.T." I am Suzie, a freshman I.T. major at X University.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Independent clause

Hi, everyone. I would be very happy if you could help answer my questions about sentences (A) and (B) below: A) Did you know that Timbuktu is a city in Mali and is located on the southern edge of the Sahara Desert ? 1) Is the part of the sentence after the conjunction and an independent clause? If it isn't, would it become an independent clause if I inserted the subject it immediately after and , as shown in (B) below: B) Did you know that Timbuktu is a city in Mali and it is located on the...Read More...
Hi, Gilbert—Yes, you would. That question is one independent clause, as is the corresponding declarative sentence. Eliminating do-support, undoing the question, using the present tense, and substituting "I" for you, we have: I know that Timbuktu is a city in Mali and is located on the southern edge of the Sahara Desert. But, just as we would more naturally say, "Timbuktu is a city in Mali located on the southern edge of the Sahara Desert," so too we would more naturally say: Did you know...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

conditional part II

1) If Tom had not helped you with your math problems yesterday, you would probably fail your exam tomorrow. 2) If Tom had not helped you with your math problems yesterday, you would have probably failed your exam tomorrow. 3) If Tom had not helped you with your math problems yesterday, you might fail your exam tomorrow. 4) If Tom had not helped you with your math problems yesterday, you might have failed your exam tomorrow. Which are grammatically correct? Is the speaker sure that the...Read More...

perfect vs simple

1.Frank will return the book if he has finished reading it. 2.The project will not start until all the preparations have been made. They are from a workbook. I'm wondering if the perfect in the subordinate clauses are necessary, ie whether 1a and 2a work: 1a. Frank will return the book if he finishes reading it. 2a.The project will not start until all the preparations is made. I think 2a is fine, 1a is not, but I can't tell the reason. What do you think? Thanks in advance.Read More...
Hi, Robby zhu, Both are correct. (1) makes the sequence of events clearer. I think I'd use "once" rather than "if" in those sentences. (2a) is ungrammatical. You need "are" instead of "is" because "all the preparations" is plural. The present simple works finely because, unlike "if" in the sentences above, "until" makes it clear that the preparations must precede the start of the project. The present perfect, though equally correct, is slightly more emphatic.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

might still

Tom hasn't had cancer. He might get cancer in the future. He used to smoke. And there's a history of lung cancer in his family. 1) So even if he had never smoked, the possibility of his getting lung cancer would still exist. 2) So even if he had never smoked, it would still be possible for him to get lung cancer. 3) So even if he had never smoked, it would still be possible that he would get lung cancer. 4) So even if he had never smoked, it would still be possible that he will get lung...Read More...

When and Just as

Ex. Our father arrived when we were having our lunch. In our Egyptian study for English we teach that you could replace when with just as. But I searched the internet a lot for this and I couldn't find it.Please, I am asking for your help with that.Read More...
Thanks Mr. Ahmed. You can see this in the outside books like Gem, Bit by bit and El-Moasser. And they all Egyptian books.Read More...
Last Reply By izzathanna · First Unread Post

transitive or intransitive?

a. You are a bit too quick to dismiss. b. Do not be so quick to dismiss. c. You have a tendency to trust. d. You trust too much. Are the above sentences grammatically correct? I think 'dismiss' and 'trust' are transitive verbs and need an object. I am not sure they can be used without an object. Many thanks.Read More...

usual

1) He was behaving crazier than usual. Is '1' grammatical? Is it acceptable in formal English? Is it acceptable in informal English? What part of speech is 'usual'? Is it a noun? Gratefully, NaviRead More...
You are right, Ahmed, but even in that case it may be considered as a nominalized form of the adjective where "drink" or a similar noun has been omitted. David, your paraphrases are much better than mine with what , which, now that I read it, sounds rather impersonal, as if it was unusual for anybody, not just him, to behave that crazy.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

get

1) I got the door open 2) I got the door opened 3) I got the door to be opened Which ones are interchangeable? Could you let me know what are the differences among them? Thanks.Read More...
Your explanation makes my understanding easy. Thank you so much.Read More...
Last Reply By Dude · First Unread Post

accompany

This is similar to the previous question about the "accompany." Then, which one does it make sense? or Are both not correct, either? 1) An opportunity accompanies a responsibility. 2) A responsibility accompanies an opportunity.Read More...
Thanks a lot.Read More...
Last Reply By Dude · First Unread Post

toefl question

only for a short period of time ......run at top speed a) cheetahs. b) do cheetahs. c) that a cheetah can. d) can. the answer was b) do cheetahs but i dont get it why not cRead More...
The C variant is incorrect because we use that after a full sentence. The part "only for a short period of time" is an adverbial phrase, it answers the question "How long?" . To make a full sentence, you should add this is, for example, as Gustavo made it in his comment. But I am curious that you have met this question at the TOEFL test - did I understand it right? I cannot remember such kind of questions there. If you need to prepare for TOEFL, and if you want to answer your questions...Read More...
Last Reply By Dreamy Irene · First Unread Post

More than half of the class likes or like  

Hi, there. Could you tell me which sentence is correct? 1. More than half of the class likes English. 2. More than half of the class like English. I found the No1 sentence on the textbook. But I feel the sentence is weird.Read More...
Thank you for your advice. I'm glad to know how a native speaker uses "more than" and the verb form.Read More...
Last Reply By ichigolove430 · First Unread Post

A list of documents

1) When listing a list of documents that I require and I wanted to use the word "a copy", should the "a" begins with a lower case or an upper case. example: I would very much appreciate if you could provide the following documents: A copy of the initial meeting of the director and the trustee of the .... A copy of the company’s constitution A copy of the application for membership 2) Is it better to say I'd very much appreciate or it would be greatly appreciated? Your assistance is greatly ...Read More...
Regarding the second part of your question, "it would be greatly appreciated" is a more common phrase, in my view. If you want to make it more personal, you can say "I would be very grateful for...", "it would be a great assistance if you could", "it would mean the world to me" (an informal variant). Hope it helps.Read More...
Last Reply By Dreamy Irene · First Unread Post

Grammar

There is no milk in the fridge. I know I .......... the supermarket to get some. 1- will go to 2 - am going to go to 3- bothRead More...
Ahmed gave a good answer, and I also agree that 'am going to go to' is the best choice. I would like to add that it means an immediate action - a person is going to the supermarket right now. "I will go" may sound a bit indefinite, like I will go right now or, maybe, I will go after a couple of days.Read More...
Last Reply By Dreamy Irene · First Unread Post

an infinitive usage

Hello, In the following sentences, do both infinitives function as an adjective? 1. If people take care of them, there is hope for this beautiful animal to live . (Source: A sentence in English coursebooks taught in Iran) 2. Cars may be stuck in heavy traffic because there are no traffic lights to guide them. (Source: a sentence in Iran's university entrance exams) Thank you.Read More...
No, it isn't a purpose infinitive. "Make sure" is an idiom in which "sure" is an adjective that can be complemented by an infinitival clause ("make sure not to waste their time") or a "that"-clause ("make sure that you don't waste their time").Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

even

a. He didn't take the pill even to save his own life. b. He didn't take the pill even in order to save his own life. c. He didn't take the pill even for money. Are the above sentences grammatically correct? Many thanksRead More...
Hi, Azz—Yes, "didn't" makes it clear that he didn't take the pill. With "didn't," the sentences have an entirely different meaning. The meaning is natural, but only if you don't mean "wouldn't." If the speaker means what the sentences mean with "didn't," then they will be natural, and the variants with "wouldn't" will be less natural. Only if the meaning with "wouldn't" is intended will the variants be more natural. If he had the opportunity to take the pill (in order) to save his life or to...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

That or which?

Choose the correct answer: 1. New York is the most beautiful city ............ I have ever visited. a. that b. which 2. Five dollars is all ............ I have right now. a. that b. which 3. What is the problem ............... worries you the most? a. that b. which 4. A book is the first ..............I would take to a desert island. a. that b. which I think that both "that" & "which" are OK. Some people say only "that" is accepted here. Are they right?Read More...
Hi, Omar, In his New Practical English Usage, under item 233 Relatives: Basic Information, Swan says: That is especially common after quantifiers like all, every(thing), some(thing), any(thing), no(thing), none, little, few, much, only, and after superlatives. Although I do not agree with his classification of all of those words as quantifiers, it is true that you will find "that" rather than "which" with that kind of terms: 1. New York is the most beautiful city that I have ever visited. 2.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post
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