All Forum Topics

<is/was> supposed to have done

Hi, Sentence: 1. She is/was not supposed to have been angry about that. What the difference between "was" and "is"? I feel there is no difference. They all convey the idea that she shouldn't have been angry, but she indeed was. Am I right?Read More...
That's partly right. The problem is that you seem to understand "be supposed to" as a passive construction, and it is not naturally understood that way in examples like these. If I say, "It was supposed to be sunny today," I am not reporting on someone's past supposition: " John supposed it to be sunny today "; " It was supposed by John to be sunny today ." No, "It was supposed to be sunny today" just means "It should be sunny today." The sentence is neutral about whether it really is sunny...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Comparative construction

Hello! Sentence: And today, almost twice as many voters identify themselves as independents than as members of either the Democratic or Republican parties. Questions: From a grammar standpoint, we need to have "more(or -er) ...than...", but I don't find a "more" to collaborate with "than", so is the sentence ungrammatical?Read More...
I agree with you, Gustavo, that the original sentence is flawed, and I like your fix. Nevertheless, the fix that comes naturally to me here is slightly different: Almost twice as many voters identify themselves as independents as those who identify themselves as members of either the Democratic or Republican parties/party. The basic structure of that sentence is this: Almost twice as many Xs do Y as those [Xs] who do Z. And the meaning of that structure is different from the one Gustavo...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Just saw it.

Is it correct to use the word forgetting in the sentence after the word never? E.g: Never forgetting to remember......... Thanks for the instant responseRead More...
I think the person who wrote that was referring to themselves. Colloquially, you could do without the subject and say: Will never forget the roots of ... or Will always remember the roots of ...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

made her seem

a. She was a better person than she was made to look by her detractors. b. She was a better person than she was presented by her detractors. c. She was a better person than her detractors made her seem. Are the above sentences grammatically correct? Are they natural? Many thanks.Read More...

The definite article 'the'

Hussein Hassan
Hello, everyone, With regard to the "definite article," I've taught my students the following rules: 1. Use 'the' for the range of mountains, e.g. the Alps, the Himalayas, the Rockies, BUT "Everest" without 'the' as it's just one mountain. (Or Mountain Everest) 2. Use 'the' with unique things, e.g. the Nile, the sun, etc. One of my students said: "It's ONLY one Everest, Mr. Hussein, right? so it's unique, and you told us to use 'the' before unique things, so why it's "Everest" not "the...Read More...
Thank you.Read More...
Last Reply By Hussein Hassan · First Unread Post

Comma before "before" or "with a smile"

When, if ever, is there a need to put a comma after he/she said and in front of "before..." or "with a smile"? For example: "What a night," Shelia said, before disappearing into the crowd. "That was delicious," Shelia said, with a smile. Are either of those commas after said ever necessary? I see it done differently all of the time and can't get a clear understanding of why/when.Read More...
Hello, ForestDreams, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange. The following sentences are not incorrect: (1b) "What a night," Shelia said before disappearing into the crowd. (2b) "That was delicious," Shelia said with a smile. However, I prefer the original versions, with those commas restored: (1a) "What a night," Shelia said, before disappearing into the crowd. (2a) "That was delicious," Shelia said, with a smile. I think the "before"- and "with"-phrases are most naturally understood as...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Since

Since the bridge has been built / will be built / was built, it will help the traffic flow. What is the better choice, please? Thanks!Read More...
Hi, Muh1994, You can chose either "has been built" or "was built." The meaning will be that because the bridge has been/ was built, it will help the traffic flow. Since the bridge has been built, it will help the traffic flow. Since the bridge was built, it will help the traffic flow. If you would like "since" to have a meaning related to time (a completely different meaning), the sentence would need to be changed to something like this: Since the bridge has been built, it has helped the...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Tenses

It (rained /was raining) for three days. The farmers were happy to water their land. What is the right answer?Read More...
Hello, Emad, Both answers work in the first sentence: (1) It rained for three days. (2) It was raining for three days. The more normal, matter-of-fact sentence is (1). Sentence (2) has the same basic meaning, but the past progressive there conveys that the speaker found the period to be rather long and is suggestive of slight irritation about the weather. What makes the sentence pair of the example strange is the second sentence, which doesn't work in the context of the first, no matter...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

tense

Hello, I have two questions about the use of tense. 1) Today, Wichner Industries announced that it ( will be opening) an office in Kuala Lumpur to coordinate its overseas operations. 2) First City Bank assured its customers that it ( will maintain) exceptional service in spite of the ongoing renovations in several branches. Q) I wonder what the difference is if I use simple future tense in the question #1. Q2) I wonder if we can use "would maintain", instead of "will maintain". It seems to...Read More...
Hi, Jiho -- The future simple ("will open") or the future progressive ("will be opening") can be used in (1) and (2) with basically no difference in meaning, and the "will" can be backshifted to "would" in each case: (1a) Today, Wichner Industries announced that it will open an office in Kuala Lumpur to coordinate its overseas operations. (1b) Today, Wichner Industries announced that it would open an office in Kuala Lumpur to coordinate its overseas operations. (1c) Today, Wichner Industries...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

More/much (of) A than B

Greetings. Question 1: It was ____ we had hoped. A.more a success than B.a success more than C.as much of a success as D.a success as much as Key: C I kind of doubt it. I feel that A is also correct. What do you think? Question 2: I made some sentences, which relate to the formulation "more A than B": 1, John is very much (of) a musician. 2, John is not very much (of) a musician. 3, John is too much (of) a musician. 4, John is not too much (of) a musician. 5, John is not as much (of) a...Read More...
OK. And I will take some time to digest.Read More...
Last Reply By Robby zhu · First Unread Post

"Used to + verb" vs "simple past tense"

Hi there, can anyone please tell me the difference between "used to +verb" and "simple past tense"? Which ones of them is correct in the following sentences? 1- When I was a child, I used to play/played in my uncle's garden every day. 2- I lived/used to live in France for five years. Now I live in India. 3- Rabindranath Tagore was a great poet. He won nobel prize in 1913. He composed many songs in Bengali. He used to live/lived at Jorasanko, Kolkata. He did not go to school. He used to...Read More...
Hi, Subhajit123, "used to live" is wrong in (2) because it does not work with definite adverbials like "for five years." In the other cases, both the past simple and the "used to" form work. Note: You should day "He won the (or a ) Nobel prize in 1913."Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

How to parse "This is so they can help..."

Greetings! Ligaments connect bones to each other. This is so they can help stabilize the joints and provide structure to the skeletal frame. source:http://solidlifefitness.com/2014/03/16/muscles-tendons-ligaments/ Parsing one: "so they can help..." is predicative. Parsing two: "so" is predicative and there is a "that" omitted, i.e. "This is so (that)they can help stabilize...". That-clause is a result adverbial clause. Which parsing do you think is correct?Read More...
I agree with you that, unlike the other cases David and I dealt with further above in this thread, "so that we could meet her new boyfriend" specifies the "idea of going." Here "idea" means "purpose." In my view, that clause is a subject complement: - What was the idea (= purpose) of going? - The idea (= purpose) of going was so that we could meet her new boyfriend / The idea (= purpose) of going was that .Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

of vs in

1. This problem is more difficult than that one. Actually, this is the most difficult problem of the book . 2. Sharks are more dangerous than whales. They are the most dangerous animals of the sea . I am not happy with "of the book, of the sea". Shouldn't they be: in the book, in the sea? (Source: Iran's English Coursebooks, grade 12)Read More...
No, because you cannot say "the sea's most dangerous animals." Instead, you can say "New York's tallest building."Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Which one is correct FOUND OUT or FOUND IT OUT?

please help.. Which one is correct and please explain why. I immediately fixed the problem as soon as I found out Or I immediately fixed the problem as soon as I found it out. Someone mentioned that I need to add “it” next to found. Is this correct? Please explain if I should or not add “it” I appreciate your help.Read More...
I appreciate your response. It makes sense to me now. Thank you so muchRead More...
Last Reply By Rose212 · First Unread Post

to know of/about nature

Hello! I've come across the following phrase, "Nothing happens in contradiction to nature, only in contradiction to what we know of it." It's not clear to me why "of" is used here and not "about" . Isn't "of" used when we're just aware of the existence of something or someone without knowing any details, i.e. without having any real knowledge? I would expect to hear, for one, "I'll tell you what I know about nature" and not, "...what I know of nature" . The latter sounds self-contradictory...Read More...
It didn't cross my mind, thank you! I prefer understanding to just memorization. Maybe you know what makes a lottery special? I can think of "the (state/main) lottery".Read More...
Last Reply By Alexey86 · First Unread Post

A vague lyrics

Come up to meet you, tell you I'm sorry You don't know how lovely you are I had to find you Tell you I need you Tell you I set you apart Tell me your secrets And ask me your questions Oh, let's go back to the start Running in circles Coming up tails Heads on a science apart Nobody said it was easy It's such a shame for us to part Nobody said it was easy No one ever said it would be this hard Oh, take me back to the start I was just guessing At numbers and figures Pulling the puzzles apart...Read More...
Hi, Freeguy, Initially when you asked this question, the line made no sense to me whatsoever. Have you considered writing to Coldplay or consulting a Coldplay fan group? This is just a guess, but today I think that perhaps the singer means that their heads are (screwed) on such that each is a science apart from the other. If that grammatical interpretation is correct, the meaning is probably that they process things in life in two completely different ways.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

when you went out

1) I cleaned the windows every day that she was here. 2) I cleaned the windows every day when she was here. Is there a difference between the meanings of the above sentences? I think '2' corresponds to: a) When she was here, I cleaned the windows every day. ============================== 3) I ate an apple every day that you went out. 4) I ate an apple every day when you went out. Is there a difference between the meanings of the above sentences? I think '4' corresponds to: b) I ate an apple...Read More...
Hello, Navi, Sentence (2) could correspond to (a), but it could also correspond to (c): c) She came every day, and I cleaned the windows every day, but I cleaned the windows only during the period of every day which coincided with her being here. I agree. And your meaning (b) is logically parallel to my meaning (c) above.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Tenses

What is the right answer : Prices in the shops (rose - have risen) during the last few years.Read More...
Hello, Emad, "Have risen" (the present perfect) is the correct choice, since "the last few years" refers to a period of time leading up to the present. However, it would be good (more idiomatic) to replace "during" with "over": Prices in the shops have risen over the last few years. If the period of time were not a period of time leading up to the present, but a period wholly in the past, then it would be OK to use "during," and you could use either the simple past or the past perfect:...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

As

What is the rule of "As " in this sentence? As a process over the entire lives of it's members.Read More...
Hi, Youri, Your questions usually lack examples and, when there is an example, you don't mention the source or the example is incomplete, as is the case here. What do you mean by "what is the rule"? If you don't provide more context, it will be hard for us to help you and for you to learn.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Gerund after " to"

Is it correct to use gerund after " to" ?Read More...
Hi, Youri, It is correct when what follows "to" is equivalent to a noun. I invite you and other GE members who might be interested to read an article I wrote about this topic here (click on Descargar -- meaning "Download" in Spanish -- on the first line of the table where it says: AEXALEVI Forum Issue XXXI-DIC-2019, and go to page 9).Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post
×
×
×
×