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Confusion about using the definite article with adjective + noun

Hello, One thing that always confuses me about using (or not using the definite article) is when to omitt it before an adjective and the noun it modifies. For example: 1 T he education system (here we are describing what type of system= the education system.) 2. simple tools (here we describe what type of tools) but no article is used). Both 1 and 2 above use the same adjective + noun structure, but I don't understand what the rule is here and hope you can it explain it to me. Thank you as...Read More...
Thank you . Always so eay after you have explained it.Read More...
Last Reply By Mrchuffie · First Unread Post

I've seen/I saw that

What's the difference? 1) I've seen that you sent me some documents. 2) I saw that you have sent me some documents. 3) I saw that you had sent me some documents. 4) I've seen that you have sent me some documents.Read More...
1) I've seen that you sent me some documents. = I have just seen that you sent me documents in the past. 2) I saw that you have sent me some documents. (Technically wrong. But I think some people may say it.) I saw (at a certain point in the past) that you have sent me (more than once) documents. 3) I saw that you had sent me some documents. = 2 4) I've seen that you have sent me some documents. = I've just seen that you've just sent me documents (very recent actions) or I've seen several...Read More...
Last Reply By Me_IV · First Unread Post

Am I using the correct tense?

Hi there, I recently wrote the introduction to an article, but after editing and re-reading, I am uncertain as to whether I am using the correct tense in the last two sentences. Here is the introduction: 'In the UK, media coverage of immigration is characterised by hostility and xenophobia. Column inches are awash with negative stereotypes and unfounded associations, with immigrants depicted in the most harmful of ways, from criminals to benefit scroungers. But over the course of the...Read More...
Thanks so much! Very helpfulRead More...
Last Reply By Cameron Boyle · First Unread Post

Adjective Clause or Noun Clause as Appositive?

I have been wondering whether "which they did not realise was being publicly live-streamed " from following sentence is adjective clause or noun clause as appositive ? "An entire school board has resigned after making disparaging remarks about families in an online meeting which they did not realise was being publicly live-streamed ." Thank you so much.Read More...
Hi, alwayslearner, I invite you to read this recent thread , which deals with the topic you are asking about.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

she is said to be ill or to have been ill

When turning the sentence "They say she has been ill" into the passive pattern, is it possible to say "She is said to be ill"? Or "She is said to have been ill" is the only correct sentence?Read More...
Hi, Ane4ka, and welcome to the G.E, I see that the perfect infinitive works much better as it mainly replaces either the present perfect or the past simple in the impersonal passive structure. 1. 'She is said to be ill' refers to a present state and is the same as 'they say she is ill'. 2. 'She is said to have been ill' refers to the fact that she has been ill for a period of time and it is the same as 'they say she has been ill for ....'.Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

whether , if

Hello. Which one is correct? He asked me (whether - if) I had written my report or not. Thank you.Read More...
Hi, Ahmed, Both are grammatically correct here. However, some people would prefer 'whether' because it is more formal than 'if'. ' Writing a report' is something formal. BTW, 'wether' can also be the only correct choice if you say "He asked me whether or not I had written my report." That's because 'if' can't be followed directly by or not.Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

Grammatical construction

I'm curious about the grammatical construction of this sentence: I am glad you are here . It appears to contain 2 independent clauses, which doesn't seem right (no conjunction) . Possibly "that" is understood which would make the second clause dependent, but again, that really doesn't seem right either. I've tried diagramming it, but I can't make it work properly. I guess I'm just missing something. I'm betting someone here can explain this sentence's construction. Thanks for your help.Read More...
I've been thinking that the "that"-clause can also be said to complementize the adjective "happy." The verb is "am." "Am glad" is the main verb phrase. Complements can express the reason for the emotion or feeling denoted by the adjective, after adjectives like glad, happy, sorry, pleased, afraid , or function as a content clause after adjectives of cognition, such as sure, certain, doubtful, aware, convinced.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

fight to keep his job

1) He has to fight to keep his job. 2) He has to fight for keeping his job. I think '2' means he has to fight because he kept his job, which is probably a strange thing to say. '1' seems to mean 'In order to keep his job, he has to fight.' Is that correct? Gratefully NaviRead More...

What's the name of this grammar rule?

I've seen native speakers using question form to talk about strong emotion instead of asking question like this. >> I ate my girlfriend's cooking last night. Man, Was it bad! >> I got a massage yesterday. Does it feel good! Does anyone know the name of the grammar rule for this kind of expression?Read More...
Thanks, Jack.Read More...
Last Reply By raoz · First Unread Post

a single chair 'vacant'

Hello, everyone, “ Many people were standing, for there wasn't a single chair vacant nor any space left on the benches .” Could you explain to me why the writer prefers ‘a single chair vacant ’ to ‘a single vacant chair’ in above sentence, while I often see such a post-modifying adjective in “There is noun ~ ” pattern? What is the writer intending through the post-modifying adjective? Thanking in advance,Read More...
Hello, Jack Milgram -- really appreciate your comment with note, which helps me a lot. Best RGDS,Read More...
Last Reply By deepcosmos · First Unread Post

who is

A says: "My coworkers drink a lot." B asks: "I didn't hear you. Who did you say drink a lot?" B asks: "I didn't hear you. Who drink a lot?" Are B's sentences correct in this context or should it be 'who drinks'? ============ A says: Our neighbors smoke. B asks: "Who smoke? Your neighbors above you or the ones below?" Is B's sentence correct in this context or should it be 'who smokes'? =================== A says: "Tom's brothers are naive." B asks: "I didn't hear you. Who did you say are...Read More...

withholding vital information "from"

Hello, everyone, While I have a single sentence quoted from Longman dictionary - “ She was accused of withholding vital information from the police .”, which interpretation is correct in following two?; 1. She was accused of holding back vital information which was received from the police. (= She was accused of refusing to give someone vital information which was received from the police.) 2. She was accused of holding back vital information against the police. (= she tried to keep vital...Read More...
Hello, David--you have really been enlightening me on the sea of English like a huge lighthouse. Thank you million times.Read More...
Last Reply By deepcosmos · First Unread Post

The function of the phrase "in turn"

a. What is the role/function of the phrase "in turn" in the sentence below? Preposition, conjunctions? b. What is the best replacement word for "in turn" in lay terms for the sentence below? example: As the case for most of the employee shares, he cannot exercise the options straight away, rather these options only vested and in turn became exercisable over a 4 year period after he became an employee.Read More...
Hi, Tony—With "rhetorical usage," I am referring to the phrase's customary use in discourse, to indicate that one thing naturally follows another. As the OED puts it, the phrase is "used rhetorically to indicate an act duly or naturally following a similar act on the part of another, but without the notion of a pre-arranged series."Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Conditional structure - type 2

When we talk about something hypothetically, I believe we have to use conditional formatting of type 2, that is past tense, followed by past future tense. But I often see people use past tense followed by present tense instead as in the example shown below. Please kindly shed some light regarding this. e.g. if the underlying asset was acquired by the vendor and is not subject to main residence exemption, there are no CGT consequences. Why don’t we say there would be no CGT consequences?Read More...
Hi, Tony—That type of conditional doesn't fit in with the three celebrated ESL types. It doesn't involve a prediction about the future (tentative or confident), nor is it a counterfactual conditional. It is simply asserting that if one thing (the underlying asset) possesses (right now) two properties (the properties of having been acquired by the vendor and of not being subject to "main residence exemption"), there are "no CGT consequences."Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Exercise as countable and uncountable noun

Swimming is good exercise. Swimming is a good exercise. I checked all the major dictionaries and they say that it is uncountable when it means (physical or mental activity that you do to stay healthy or become stronger) I have seen the following examples - Swimming is great exercise. (Longman Dictionary) Swimming is great exercise. (Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary) Cycling to work is great exercise. (Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary) None of them have used "a" before exercise...Read More...
Hello, Saifuddin. Well, I'd say no. All the activities modified from verbs + ing ( swim + ing , dance + ing , smoke + ing , etc.) are uncountable. That's why they don't actually mean " a set of movements ," they are more about the process as a whole .Read More...
Last Reply By Jack Milgram · First Unread Post

required by or required of?

Hi I came across the following in a job description in a call for applications: PERSON SPECIFICATION - The experience, qualifications, knowledge, skills and attributes required by the job holder. In my opinion this is incorrect and should read, required of. Anyone can verify this please? Thanks!Read More...
Hi Jack......... thanks for the confirmation . This argument will definitely work in favour of the applicant Cheers!Read More...
Last Reply By Steve M · First Unread Post
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