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Usage Of "Any" And "The" Before Other In Comparative Degree

Hi there, Do I need to use any or the before other in the following sentence when comparing things? Here are the examples: Moscow is bigger than any other city in the world. Moscow is bigger than other cities in the world. Moscow is bigger than the other cities in the world. Some more examples: John is taller than other boys . John is taller than any other boy .Read More...
Hi, Subhajit, It's not the presence of the comparative that determines the use or non-use of the article, but pragmatics, or context. In your first set of sentences (next time, please number them), this one: Moscow is bigger than the other cities in the world. makes no sense, because, even though the number of cities in the world is not infinite, there are so many that it would be absurd to restrict them by using the definite article. To express your idea, it'd be more logical (and correct)...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Past simple or present perfect

I ................... A briefcase once . I don't know if I have still got it . 1- have had 2- had Should we choose 1 or 2 as an answer to this question ? And why ? Thanks in advance.Read More...
Hi, Yama, You should choose (2), with the simple past: I had a briefcase once . I don't know if I have still got it. The reason is that "once" (a past-time adverbial) is not compatible with the present perfect. It calls for the simple past here. If you wanted to use the present perfect, you could change "once" to "before," which is one of the few past-time adverbials that work with the present perfect: I have had a briefcase before . I don't know if I have still got it. Remember NOT to use a...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

When & after

Is there difference in meaning between these two sentences? 1- he was over the moon when he had passed his final exams . 2- he was over the moon after he had passed his final exams. Thanks .Read More...
Hi, Yama: No, those two sentences have basically the same meaning. Remember to begin sentences in English with a capital letter and not to use a space before a period (full-stop).Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

one, a & any

1. I can't hear a word! 2. I can't hear one word! 3. I can't hear any word! 4. I can't hear any words! I want to express the idea that I can hear nothing(I can't hear anything.). I know 1 is correct, but what about 2? As to 3 and 4, which form should I use when I use "any" with a countable noun? Thanks!Read More...
Hi, Doc! I was reading a book. When I read "I can't hear a word!", I thought of the other three expressions, and felt confused about how to use "any".Read More...
Last Reply By ruifeng · First Unread Post

spend time (in/on) doing vs. spend time by doing

SkyTJ
I'm sure you know,"spend time (in/on) doing" are correct!But I think "spend time by doing" is right,too.What's your opinion?If it's wrong,could you tell me why?I want to know it,thanks. And my friend thinks that "spend time through doing" is correct,so we want to know the answer to my question very much...Read More...
Welcome to the Grammar Exchange, Skytj. May I ask where you are from, and what your native language is? Sometimes knowing such things helps us understand your difficulties, because your native language is bound to have constructs that don't translate exactly into English, and vice versa. I usually would not insert a preposition between the phrase "spend time" and a present participle. I would say that I need to spend time working in my garden, not that I should spend time on/in/through...Read More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

For

I'd like to discuss the difference between the following and check my understanding of them 1) We are staying here for another two months. = a present situation with a future meaning. 2) We lived there for a long time. = A) We don't live there anymore. B) The period of time mentioned doesn't include this year, the year we're in. C) No connection to the present or the future. 3) We've been living there for a long time. = One reading: A) We still live there. B) The focus is on the duration. C)...Read More...
Rasha Assem, I'm going to stand by my previous explanation. The past simple strongly suggests that we are no longer living there, and the present perfect strongly suggests that we still are, although there are other possible interpretations. As to your rewrite, the choice of tense has no bearing on whether anybody knows just how long "a long time" is or was. Obviously, since the subject of all of your examples is "we", it is likely that "I" know exactly when "we" moved in and out. If we...Read More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

Usage of "the"

Hi there, Should I use the in the following sentence or not? Are they both grammatical? If yes, what difference does it c reate? Here's the example: These are (the) people who were present there when the accident happened. To me it seems that If I don't use the it means there were other people who were present at the time of the accident besides them. They are not the only ones who were present there. I am not sure. Please explain. I have found many examples on the internet where in contexts...Read More...
Subha, You wrote: To me it seems that If I don't use the it means there were other people who were present at the time of the accident besides them. They are not the only ones who were present there. I agree with your assessment. 1: These are the people who were present there when the accident happened. strongly implies 1': These are all of the people who were present there when the accident happened. but 2: These are people who were present there when the accident happened. strongly implies...Read More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

get it together to

Are these sentences correct: 1) They can't get it together to inspect all these instruments. 2) We got it together to finish the project in time. 3) We managed to get it together to finish the project in time. Gratefully, NaviRead More...

A or the

........... cigarette is made of tobacco and paper. Should we use "a" or "the" to complete the sentence? If they both have meanings , let me know please Thanks.Read More...
Hi, Yama, The sentence is clearly intended as having a generic meaning, that is, as referring to what cigarettes usually consist of. The plural with the zero article is the most usual way in which generic meaning can be conveyed in definitions: Cigarettes are made of tobacco and paper. If a plural noun is not used, then a singular one can be used with an indefinite article to render an equally generic meaning (in which case "a" is more or less equivalent to "any"): A cigarette is made of...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

It was Sunday.

When someone says, "It was Sunday." Which Sunday does he mean? Thanks!Read More...
Hi, Ruifeng: You can only ascertain which Sunday someone means when he says "It was Sunday" by paying attention to the surrounding context, in which there might be clues as to which Sunday he is referring to. If there are no clues, then you can interpret "It was Sunday" as "It was a Sunday." The point is that Sunday was the day of the week.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

a destiny calling

The Punk and the Godfather Lyrics You declared you would be three inches taller You only became what we made you Thought you were chasing a destiny calling You only earned what we gave you Source: https://genius.com/The-who-the-punk-and-the-godfather-lyrics The lyrics is from a song called 'The Punk and the Godfather' by The Who. It was written by Pete Townshend. I was just wondering about the third verse: (You) thought you were chasing a destiny calling. That means: A) You thought you were...Read More...
Thank you very much, DocV, Oh, I didn't know Beck was supposed to be with them as well. Interesting. I will ask the MVB what she thinks of the whole thing. Respectfully, NaviRead More...
Last Reply By navi · First Unread Post

Will or going to

* this building doesn't look very safe . It looks as if it ................ down . 1) Will fall 2) is going to fall Which is more suitable to use in this sentence : will or going to ? If you tell me why , I'll be more than grateful . Thanks in advance.Read More...
Thank you .Read More...
Last Reply By Yama · First Unread Post

Present Perfect vs Present Perfect Cont (3)

I know I've been asking a lot about these two tenses, but being a non-native speaker and a teacher at the same time means, to me, a lot of trouble. I have to exert extra effort to get to and check the right information. I so believe that I've got to be sure of every concept before teaching any of them, otherwise I would be teaching false concepts! Actually, this forum helps me A GREAT DEAL in clarifying things that still mystifies me after reading all the resources I have. 1) I've just read...Read More...
Rasha Assem, I stand by Gustavo's answer to your question as you phrased it. I think he answered your question perfectly. It is also true that the present perfect cont (or prog, as some of us prefer to call it for reasons that I would prefer not to go into) can, in fact, speak of actions that have ceased. Consider: 3: I've been working at libraries for years, but now I'm unemployed and I'm thinking about taking a job at a factory. (The action continues almost to the present, but not quite.)...Read More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

"apart from" vs "other than" vs "aside from" vs "except for" vs "besides"

Hi there, I have a question regarding the usage of "apart from", "other than", "aside from", "except for" and "besides"? Suppose I have three books A, B and C. My friend knows I have Book A. So if he wants to know how many books I have along with A, Which of the above phrases are correct? Hey Subha, How many books do you have besides A? Hey Subha , How many books do you have other than A? Hey Subha , How many books do you have apart from A? Hey Subha , How many books do you have aside from...Read More...
Why would a contractor ask me if I want to paint my own kitchen? I would expect him to wonder if I want him to paint my kitchen. Also, I would say "I don't think it needs to be painted" rather than "I don't think it's need to be painted". As to your examples (1) through (5), I agree that (5) sounds the worst. In all of them, "How" should be "how". DocVRead More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

Strategy expressions

Choose one of these to complete the sentence : 1) refund 2) refuel 3) recite 4) recycle * you should .................. your old strategy . ThanksRead More...
Yama, I don't really like it, but I have to agree with Ahmed that "recycle" is the only choice that works among the examples you present. As Ahmed says, we speak of recycling ideas, but recycling a strategy sounds a little off to me. Does it work, grammatically? Yes, technically, and the others definitely do not. DocVRead More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

Usage of "other" with "except for" and "apart from"

Should I use other in the following sentence with except for and apart from ? Except for/apart from myself, There are four (other) people in my family.Read More...
Subha, This is a really strange question. How do you define "family"? If I were playing a concert, I might introduce the rest of the band, but it should be immediately obvious to the audience how many people are on the stage. Are your parents alive? Your grandparents, or their parents? Do you have brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, sons, daughters, nephews, nieces, or grandchildren? Do you have friends closer than brothers, to the point where would call them "family"? I ask you,...Read More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

no longer a thing seen but not to be touched

1) "Now the shell was no longer a thing seen but not to be touched, Ralph too became excited." - William Golding, _Lord of the Flies_, Chapter 1 Is the sentence ambiguous? Can one tell if the shell can now be seen? Maybe it can't be seen but can be touched. That would be a strange situation, but that interpretation is grammatically viable, isn't it? Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Thank you very much, David, Yes, I get it now. I did not reject your interpretation. I couldn't follow the 'logical' part of your explanation. I thought you had made an error in that part. The reason was actually a mental block on my part. My apologies. Things are clear now. This is a very complicated sentence. Thanks again. Respectfully, NaviRead More...
Last Reply By navi · First Unread Post

Past simple or Past Perfect

ceedhanna
As soon as we arrived at school, the first lesson had begun/began . According to this link (http://speakspeak.com/resources/english-grammar-rules/conjunctions/as-soon-as) , both choices are correct. Is that true?Read More...
Yes, that's right. As you can see the main clause 'restarted' is 'past simple', whereas the subordinate clause is either past simple 'stopped' or past perfect 'had stopped'.Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post
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