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a time to/a time for

a. This is not a time to mourn. It is a time to fight. b. This is not a time for mourning. It is a time for fighting. c. This is not the time to mourn. It is the time to fight. d. This is not the time for mourning. It is the time for fighting. Which of the above are correct? Many thanksRead More...
Hi, Azz—I agree with Ahmed that all four sentences are grammatically correct. In actual contexts, one or more of them would be more natural than the others.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

How often should you allow some ambiguity?

The bold text has a potential ambiguity where it could mean "mood function" and "brain function"; there's no such thing as "mood function" as far as I know but who knows...if I put "mood function" into Google Scholar I might get something. How can I eliminate the ambiguity regarding the bold? And should I bother eliminating an ambiguity like this where it's pretty clear (though actually, like I said, I'm not sure) that there's no such thing as "mood function"? Some fascinating emerging...Read More...
Hi, Andrew—You might find it therapeutic, cumbersome though it is, to drive a knife between the two phrases with "one the one hand"/"on the other": how food affects mood, on the one hand, and brain function, on the otherRead More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

must or have to

Hello. could you please help me? Which one is correct? - A: What is the rule about visiting people in hospital? B: You ( must - have to ) go between 2 and 5 o'clock in the afternoon. Thank you.Read More...
I agree with Ahmed's answer. Conditional meaning is implied here, and there are external/institutional constraints involved. If you wish to visit someone in the hospital, you have to go between 2 and 5 o'clock in the afternoon.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Something is important <to do vs doing>

Hi, Do you think the following two versions are both correct? The first one is from the dictionary, the second one being mine. 1. Recycling is important to help protect our environment. ( https://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/recycling ) 1a. Recycling is important to helping protect our environment. I always think of the “to” after important is a preposition, just like the "to" in 2. Resolving this issue is crucial to making peace work. (Macmillan Dictionary) The answer to the question...Read More...
Hi, Robby Zhu and f6pafd, Although I don't find any information about the usage of 'important to + v.ing' in my grammar books, I trust at least two people on the following site: https://forum.english.best/t/i...-do-something/5490/4 IMHO, when 'it' is the subject, it is better to avoid using 'important to + v.ing' whether 'it' is specified or not. From 'A Comprehensive Grammar Of The English Language', page 1226: (vii) It is important to be accurate. "For types (v-vii), on the other hand, the...Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

Can you say "essential unanimity"?

See this sentence (you might think that "essential" should be "essentially"): These studies will give you a sense of why there’s essential unanimity when it comes to those three pillars.Read More...
Hi, Andrew, It all depends on what you want to say. With other words, it might be clearer, for example: - There is basically consensus when it comes to those three pillars. (Here, consensus is not limited. What is limited is how many people reach it.) - There is basic consensus when it comes to those three pillars. (Here, "basic" restricts the extent of consensus.)Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

How can I be more clear regarding "mostly"?

Suppose that you write: We should eat mostly unprocessed—or lightly processed—foods. The "mostly" is ambiguous; it could apply to "unprocessed" instead of "foods". So is the following the best solution? We should eat mostly foods that are unprocessed or lightly processed.Read More...
Hi, Andrew, I agree that "mostly" is ambiguous, as it can refer to "unprocessed" or to "eating unprocessed foods." Yes, that seems fine to me.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

gladly

a. John was gladly sent to Germany. Could the adverb 'gladly' refer to the subject of the sentence in this sentence? Could it have been 'John' who was glad about his being sent to Germany? Many thanksRead More...
Hi, Azz, It could refer to either the agent or the the subject. That's why context is everything here. From 'A Comprehensive Grammar Of The English Language', page 576: "Passive sentences with personal subject and agent leave the adverbial equivocal ." - John was willingly sent to friends for the summer (by his mother). (Either 'John was willing' or 'his mother was willing'.)Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

Coordinating two unlike elements

Hi, 1. He left his office . 2. He left unhappy. Can those two elements be coordinated: 3. He left his office and unhappy. This sentence doesn't feel right. I think it should be: 4. He left his office , and unhappy (with an additional comma). What do you think? ThanksRead More...
Thank you, Gustavo.Read More...
Last Reply By Robby zhu · First Unread Post

Part of speech

In "One year later/on, he is still devastated by the tragedy." 1. Could someone please tell me what of speech are "later" and "on" in that sentence? (I googled, but I couldn't find the answer.) 2. Could someone please use the Reed-Kellogg method to diagram that sentence? Thank you.Read More...
Thanks so much for the revised diagram, David.Read More...
Last Reply By TheParser · First Unread Post

pick up [phrasal verb]

[The baby has dropped its toy, I'll .............] odds are: 1. pick up it. 2. pick it up > in this Question I know the answer must be No. 2 [pick it up] I just need any source [grammar book or dictionary] that affirms the answer. that also assure not to use the pronoun [it] after the phrasal verb [pick up] like the first answerRead More...
And if the multi-word verb is a prepositional verb, the object will always follow the particle: - I'll look into the matter. - I'll look into it.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

Which is the correct answer and why?

Dear sir, I came across this sentence in my text book, secondary school. It says: -The manager declared that the company..........brilliant workers the next month. (Had promoted - is promoting - have promoted - was going to promote). I think the answer should be "is promoting" but I don't know why? Second question: why is the word "month" preceded by "the"? I think it should have taken "no pronoun" before it. " Next month".Read More...
Hi, Shahd, I think that, if it is a reported speech exercise, you are expected to choose "was going to promote": The manager said: "The company is going to promote brilliant workers next month." (I feel that "brilliant workers" might require some determiner.) The manager declared that the company was going to promote brilliant workers the next month. You could use "is promoting" if the declaration was made recently and the promotion has not taken place yet. However, in this case you'd use...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

Do you say "dose" or "dosage" here?

See the bold: We know that the productive state has gotten much shorter in duration as she’s spent more time at the current dose .Read More...
Generally speaking, the difference between the two is not always clear-cut. "dose" refers to the amount taken at a time; "dosage" refers to the amount prescribed to be taken at regular intervals. (The administration of medicine in doses)Read More...
Last Reply By f6pafd · First Unread Post

seem

Hi, Swan said: ''It seems a pity, but I can't see you this weekend.'' Don't say: "It seems to be a pity.'' But Swan said: ''She seems (to be) a nice girl.'' So what is the difference between ''a pity'' and ''a nice girl''? Aren't they noun phrases indicating subjective feeling?Read More...
Thanks a lot AhmedRead More...
Last Reply By Ahmed.A.A · First Unread Post

seem

Hi, is the following sentence OK? ''He seems (like) he is catching a cold.''Read More...
Hi, Ahmed.A.A., I agree with Ahmed. Actually, according to Quirk et al "as if"- (or "as though"-) clauses are preferred. In a note to item 16.24 of their Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language , the authors say: The sentence below can be heard but is considered both nonstandard and awkward: (?*) The weather seems like it is improving. We do have this other alternative, which is perfectly grammatical: - The weather seems to be improving.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

There is the

1 There is the Sun in the Sky. It can mean two things. 1 There (pointing to the Sun) is the Sun in the Sky. (people accept it) 2 The Sky exists in the Sky. (people are reluctant to accept it as correct. Why ?) 2 Are there the boys still in bed? I was told it's wrong. It should be "Are the boys still in bed?" but this is correct (as they say) There are the boys [who are] still in bed [who won't be going] Are there the boys [who are] still in bed? Or is it just the girls? Why ? 3 There's the...Read More...
It is meant to be funny. Obviously, an exception to a rule (something that goes against a rule) does not prove that the rule is true; but calling it an "exception" entails that there is something in relation to which it can be called an exception.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Long winded sentence

Hello, It appears the below sentence is grammatically right, but when I read it, it sounds awkward. " As a business, it can be very overwhelming and time consuming to make sure everything is in order and getting the best tax breaks."Read More...
Hi, Tony, "As a business" is dangling, and "(is) getting the best tax breaks" needs a subject. I suggest revising it as follows: A. It can be overwhelming and time-consuming for a business to make sure everything is in order and to get the best tax breaks. or B. It can be overwhelming and time-consuming for a business to make sure that everything is in order and that it is getting the best tax breaks. Please note that (A) and (B) are slightly different in meaning, depending on what you want...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

Is turning or has turned

These days Sharm .......into a destination with something for everyone. A. turned B. is turning C. has turned D. turning The model answer for this question is ( has turned) as a trend , but I think ( is turning) also is correct because of the presence of ( these days)Read More...
I don't think the present continuous works very well in this particular case.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

Is it "a media bias" or "media bias"?

See here: "There’s a media bias toward letting 'working people bear the burden'." I know that you would say "The media has a bias toward..." and not "The media has bias toward"; this fact (about what you'd do in a different circumstance) might be irrelevant, though.Read More...
Thanks so much! I appreciate it!Read More...
Last Reply By Andrew Van Wagner · First Unread Post

Any comma needed before "who"?

Fortunately, there are communicators with different areas of expertise who can cater to different interests.Read More...
A comma is needed before "who" if the relative clause is nonrestrictive and nonrestrictive meaning is intended, that is, if you mean that all the communicators with different areas of expertise can cater to different interest. A comma is not needed before "who" if the relative clause is restrictive and restrictive meaning is intended, that is, if you are speaking of a subset of communicators with different areas of expertise.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Can the em-dashes be removed around the word "instead" here? Why or why not?

Horse-race coverage isn’t about “informing voters so they can make decisions in their best interests at the ballot box”. And is— instead —a form of coverage that “takes space and resources away from the kinds of substantive coverage that would be actually useful”, “obscures the most important issues with its endless guessing games”, “works to shield politicians from accountability”, and substitutes “fortunetelling for substantive reporting”.Read More...
When you use em dashes in your work, they are almost always unnecessary. I have never seen anybody more fond of using em dashes than you. You even use them to produce run-on sentences.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

A higher charge

Is the below sentence grammatically correct? The above fees schedule only applies for internal clients. A higher charge applies for external clients.Read More...
Hello, Tony—It would be more idiomatic and natural to use "applies to " than "applies for" in a context like this. Otherwise your sentences are fine.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post
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