All Forum Topics

Future

Hurry up! Your train (leaves _ is going to leave) in five minutes. What is the best answer here?Read More...
Hi, Emad, This is considered a timetable and the model answer here is: 'leaves'. As I have said before (see: https://thegrammarexchange.inf...topic/future-forms-3 ), there is more than one possible answer here, but I guess now you know the expected answer in our exams.Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

to work without (a) salary, to ask for (a) salary

He worked without (a) salary for three months. He worked as a volunteer for three months but then he asked for (a) salary. Is "salary" countable or uncountable in these contexts? If it can be both, would there be any difference in meaning?Read More...
Thank you! As I see it now, "salary" is like "table" in respect of its countability, and "pay" is like "furniture" .Read More...
Last Reply By Alexey86 · First Unread Post

Subject-verb agreement question

Hi there, I'm proofreading a text and I have a quick question... The text reads: "Your generous gift will support community health care and research that makes breakthroughs for people like Chris possible." My question is about the verb. Makes. It sounds okay in passing, and passes grammar checks with online tools, but should the "makes" not be "make" since there are two subjects to the verb (health care and research)? Thanks! JTRead More...
Thank you Gustavo, that's very helpful! I like your formulation much more and will propose it to the client. Cheers, JayRead More...
Last Reply By Jay_Tee · First Unread Post

Too or enough

The sea isn't ..... to let your brother swim in it (Too calm/calm enough)Read More...
Hi, Ahmed55, I agree with Ahmed_btm. If the sea isn't calm enough , then it is too choppy and, in those conditions, it wouldn't be safe for the guy to swim there. "enough" with an adjective in the negative is equivalent to "too" with the opposite adjective in the affirmative: - This boat is n't safe enough to sail = This boat is too unsafe to sail.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

To infinitive: modifier or clause of purpose

Greetings. 1,Let's find more things to put in the machine 2, You could follow some tips to make your delivery easier. (I re-word it from "there are some tips you could follow to make your delivery easier"to discuss easier.) I am puzzled by the question: Does the to-infinitive serve as a modifier or a clause of purpose in each of the sentence? Could you please help me to distinguish them?Read More...
That's a good point. Parsing (not "pharsing") sentences does help most times. You are certainly welcome to dispel your doubts here. If you understand the grammar, learning the language may be a lot easier.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

GRAMMAR (TENSE DIFFERENCES)

Dear, I work as an ESL teacher and I have stumbled upon these sentences that I need to elaborate on with my students. I understand the differences among tenses, but when it comes to really minute details, I need to consult natives to check how they understand the context or someone who is a real aficionado in the field. 1. a) When Joe arrived, I was making coffee. b) When Joe arrived, I had been making coffee. 2. a) He spoke Japanese because he had lived in Japan for 2 years. b) He spoke...Read More...
Gustavo, thank you, it helped a lot. Enjoyed reading such a thorough explanation.Read More...
Last Reply By Haris · First Unread Post

such......as to do.

Hello. Could you help me choose with simple explanation? Mr Ashraf is such a good father (as to - that) provide everything his daughters need. Thank you.Read More...
Yes, David, that sounds more natural, and that is -- I think -- because all good fathers provide whatever their daughters (or children) need. When I said: I was thinking of "such" as an intensifier leading to a potential result , and the interpretation would be: - His goodness as a father could go to the extent of providing everything his daughters need. But, again, every father who can be regarded as a good father would do that for his daughters. "as to" would be more suitable if the result...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

comparative and superlative

Since in comparative we compare two things or people or groups ,are these sentences correct? I am taller than the others. My phone is more expensive than my friends'. Jane has more toys than Her friends. Mathew is more couragious than Danny and Flint. Thanks in advance.Read More...
Hello, Massi, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange. The sentences above are correct (except for the spelling mistakes I corrected). As you said, in comparative we compare two things or people or groups . You can compare two things, two people, one thing with a group of things, one person with a group of people, or two groups of things or people. If instead of using "than" to introduce the reference against which the comparison is being made you mention the group by using a preposition like...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

the ring of one's girlish laughter

Hi, What does 'the ring of one's girlish laughter' mean? Thank you.Read More...
Hi, Kuen, "ring" is the sound made by a bell: T he ring of the doorbell woke him up. "the ring of her laughter" refers to the shrill sound of her laughter. If the sound is deep and loud, we can say "the roar of his laughter."Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

May I inform you that .....

Hello team, I would like to know if you recommend using "May I inform you that..." when letting people know some important information in written or if it is wrong. If wrong, what are your suggestions. ThanksRead More...
Hi, Guillermo! I join Ahmed in welcoming you back. You've been greatly missed. Apart from me, you must be the only Latin American member on GE. I hope to see you here again soon. The introductory phrases Ahmed proposed are of course correct, and so is: - May I inform you that... which is very formal, as it comes from the question asking for permission: - May I inform you that...? (meaning: Do you allow me to inform you that...?) Something similar occurs with other polite requests where the...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Question tag (No.3)

There happened to be nobody under the wall when it fell down, ____ ? 1) did there 2) was there Which one do you choose? Here's my take: There isn't an auxiliary in the main clause and the finite verb in the main clause is "happened", so we need to use a form of DO. Also, here the main clause is positive, so we need “not” in the tag question. But the main clause is negative in meaning, because we have “nobody”. So, we use "did there". Correct me if I am wrong, please. (Source: A test on the...Read More...
They all sound amazingly fine. What looked strange to me -- but no longer does -- was the question tag with "do" + "there." The clue, then, lies in the raising verb being in the negative, which answers Freeguy's question perfectly. Thank you, David, for making things so clear to all of us.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Articles: "A book I took home" or "the book I took home"

Hello, everyone. A book I took home yesterday is missing. Theoretically, a phrase that refers to something identified uniquely should take a definite article. So does "a book" ,in this case, indicate that I took home more than one book yesterday? And, if I took home only one book, should I rephrase it as "The book"?Read More...
Got it,thanks David.Read More...
Last Reply By Robby zhu · First Unread Post

as if in

a. Those kids were talking as in gangster movies. b. Those kids were talking as if in a gangster movie. (Meaning: They were talking the way they do in gangster movies.) ============================= c. The workers in the toy shop were wearing masks and capes, as in superhero movies. d. The workers in the toy shop were wearing masks and capes, as if in a superhero movie. (Meaning: They were wearing masks and capes, and in that respect they were similar to people in superhero movies.) Are the...Read More...
That's a nice set of sentences for comparison, Azz. I find all four sentences to be grammatically correct. I don't see the difference you point out between a/b and c/d, with the first pair emphasizing the manner and the second pair stressing a similarity not based on manner. I think both pairs are similar, with (a) and (c) describing the manner or similarity, and (b) and (d) adding a conditional meaning: b'. Those kids were talking as they would if they were in a gangster movie. d'. The...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Which punctuation to use?

Should I use a period or semicolon between these two sentences? Or would it be more proper to add a word such as "One" before "that?"Read More...
Thank you for your comprehensive reply! This is a segment of an essay I'm writing for a scholarship, specifically about the role I believe mentors will play in my undergraduate career.Read More...
Last Reply By Lusioner · First Unread Post

We each has something to tell you about.

Hello. Is the following sentence correct using "has" or it must be "have"? We each has something to tell you about. Thank you.Read More...
Hi, Ahmed Imam Attia, The subject is "we," so you need "have" there. It is better to say: - Each of us has something to tell you. - We all have something to tell you.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Is backshift required in this case?

Hi, everyone. Because she buried herself in her books, she didn't know it was raining outside. Some people say the sentence above can also be phrased as: 1, Burying herself in her books, she didn'tknow it was raining outside. 2, Buried in her books, she didn't know itwas raining outside. Questions 1,For the original sentence. Is it necessary to change it into past perfect: Because she had buried herself in her books, she didn't know it was raining outside. 2, I think "Burying herself in...Read More...
I think I get it. Thanks.Read More...
Last Reply By Robby zhu · First Unread Post

... before [are] vs [were]

I have made up the sentence below. (1a) The sports I have played before are football, hockey and baseball. My non-native English speaking friends think "are" is wrong before you are talking about something you have done in the past. Their revised sentence is given below. (1b) The sports I have played before were football, hockey and baseball. Which tense of "to be" is correct? I really appreciate your help. Many thanks.Read More...
Interesting question, Ansonman. Is football a sport that you have played before? Does it cease to be a sport that you have played before if you no longer play it? I say no. Your (1a) is perfectly correct. I think (1b) would be acceptable if "have" were eliminated: 1b': The sports I played before were football, hockey and baseball. DocVRead More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

train (in - on) skills

Hello. Could you please help me? Which preposition is correct? The company will train new employees (in - on) different skills. Thank you.Read More...
And a very good point in return, Gustavo. My (a) indicates that he was trained on the equipment , while your (b) emphasizes that he was trained in the skill of operating the equipment. I see this as a subtle but important difference. DocVRead More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

different tenses used: [have heard] ... [made] ... [were repairing]

I have made up the example below. (1a) For the last four days, I have heard a lot of noise the construction workers made when they were repairing the road. Some of my non-native English speaking friends said that using "For the last four days" in connection with the present perfect "have heard" requires me to use the present tenses after that. Their revised sentence is given below. (1b) For the last four days, I have heard a lot of noise the construction workers have made when they are...Read More...

Diamonds is girl's best friend

Diamonds is girl's best friend vs diamonds are girl's best friend. Could anyone explain the difference and the use? Perhaps the first one diamonds though plural is considered as a cluster of diamonds thus to be one cluster? Next: Human-rights groups... Human-rights is adjective and right should not be pluralized (human-rights is an adjective followed by the noun ie. groups or activities ) UNLESS human-rights falls into a class of words with an S.. such as customs authorities.Read More...
Tony, just click on Post at the top right corner of the page and choose Topic: You will get this screen. Under Subject, write something connected with the Subject (e.g. Pluralized adjective followed by a noun), in the Body copy and paste your question, and Publish.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Used to VS Would

Hussein Hassan
Hello, there, We've been taught that one of the significant differences between 'used to' and 'would' is that: 'would' should NOT be used unless It has already been established that the time frame is in the past , moreover, the past time frame should appear before would. Here are two sentences from Close-up B1+ (a coursebook we teach in Egypt) _ In the second sentence , we have to use 'would' instead of 'used to' to have a similar meaning to the first one: Tom used to read anything about...Read More...
Thank you, David.Read More...
Last Reply By Hussein Hassan · First Unread Post
×
×
×
×