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from September to April

a. From September to April, I caught colds three times. b. From September till April, I caught colds three times. c. Between September and April, I caught colds three times. Which of the above sentences are grammatically correct and meaningful? Many thanksRead More...
Azz wrote: That's actually not true. If a castle's guards are defending an attack on the north wall, the other three walls are more vulnerable to attack. This is also true of your body's immune system. DocVRead More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

seemed hurt by

1) He seemed hurt by your comment. 2) He seemed annoyed by my presence. 3) He seemed annoyed with my presence. It seems to me that all three sentences are correct. Am I right? Is there a difference between the meanings of '2' and '3'? These sentences are about feelings. Is there any other case where 'seem + past participle+by+agent' is used? Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Navi, To me, (4), (5), and (6) seem correct. If in doubt, insert "to be" after (seems/seemed). DocVRead More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

How can this be grammatically correct? What's wrong with Britain's young royals?

Hello everyone, Am I crazy or is this organization title all mucked up grammatically. Everyone is all fired up about the pedantic decrees Megan and Prince Harry keep boring us with. Let them say whatever, but at least show a command of standard written English. Am I crazy or doesn't this title need a comma--badly--after Sussex Royal and before its subsequent descriptor phrase? Pulled this from Vanity Fair copy, but I've see the charity's name written like consistently. Say it isn't so?Read More...
Hello, Lizzie, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange! Names of organizations do not readily accept commas, even if desirable in other contexts (as in phrases containing a noun and an apposition). I think the only commas that are commonly accepted are the ones appearing before Inc. and Ltd. in the names of companies. Note: Sorry, David. I just saw your reply. We seem to have been writing our answers at about the same time.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

mixed 2/3 conditional?

“This is the biggest difference between you and me: I’m just someone who faithfully carries out orders. You, you’re someone who always has to ask why.” “Is that wrong?” “It’s not about right or wrong. If everyone had to be clear about why before they executed an order, then the world would have plunged into chaos long ago” Excerpt from The Dark Forest Cixin Liu Hi. How should I understand the underlined sentence? Is it just a normal mixed 2/3 conditional, as in “If I were you, I would have...Read More...
Hi, Zuotengdazuo, IMO, there is nothing wrong here. Yes, it is a mixed conditional 2/3. As you see, the speaker's present attitude is completely against the idea of asking 'why' before executing an order, so he uses type 2 counterfactual in the present and connects its imaginary results with type 3 counterfactual in the past. A thief -after becoming rich- would say: If I had morals, I would have never made my fortune.Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

Diagramming

I would like to ask if anyone on this site has heard of sentence diagramming, if so, what is their opinion of it as a learning tool?Read More...

something you know

a. You must have done something that hurt your wife's feelings terribly. Now, you might not even know what it was. Or maybe, it is something you know but seems unimportant to you. b. You must have done something that hurt your wife's feelings terribly. Now, you might not even know what it was. Or maybe, it is something you are aware of but seems unimportant to you. Are both of the above grammatically correct? Many thanks.Read More...
Azz, I have no problem with (b). I would change (a) to: a1: You must have done something that hurt your wife's feelings terribly. Now, you might not even know what it was. Or maybe, it is something you know about but that seems unimportant to you. DocVRead More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

In spite of usage with gerunds

I have been asked to explain why the sentence 'in spite of snowing, we went out for a walk.' is not correct. I would say 'in spite of the snow we went out for a walk' but I was reminded that this is a prepositional phrase and it can be followed by a gerund, which is true in many instances, but I'm not sure why this sentence is not correct. It certainly doesn't sound correct.Read More...
That is really nice, David. You're definitely right, David. I added it after writing the other, less awkward "In spite of it snowing," but -- fascinating as it may look -- this one went too far, I'm afraid.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

this one, these ones

Hello, 1. I like this one, but I don't like those. 2. I like this white one, but I don't like the red ones. 3. I like this one here, but I don't like the ones on the shelf. 4. I like this small one, but I don't like those big ones. 5. I like this one, but I don't like those ones. Sentences 1,2,3,4 all sound OK, but not 5. The "those ones" doesn't sound right to me. I've been wondering why. "those " and "ones" mean almost the same , so using these two words side by side sounds funny. Is there...Read More...
They are not ungrammatical? I didn't know that. Thank you, DocV appleRead More...
Last Reply By apple · First Unread Post

Reflexive vs object pronouns. 2

It is the first time we are going to travel to the south and we don't know what to take with ourselves and which road to take. .... As for the common usage of reflexive pronouns, I think "ourselves" is wrong here, and it should be "us". Correct me if I am wrong, please.Read More...
Explaining why a reflexive pronoun does not work well in a prepositional phrase in such a sentence is not easy. I know of a doctoral dissertation on the topic. It's interesting that the reflexive pronoun does work in the variation " We don't know what we are going to do with ourselves / ?* us ." The reason may have to do with its being impossible for people to TAKE something with anyone other than themselves. The reflexive is unnecessary. In contrast, it is obviously possible for people to...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Can adjectives modify pronouns?

Hello. In the sentence " He is tall and handsome ", is it correct to say that 'tall' and 'handsome' modify the personal pronoun 'he'? Thanks. Mr GRead More...
Hey, Firstly, I'd like to mention that the topic is not only what I have been endeavouring to inquire about but also it is what I have not been able to find a pleasing answer about; however, I consider now that I seem to have got the half-pleasing answer, which I want to complete the other half part with this to satisfy myself. For that reason, I'll give the examples that I wonder whether they are acceptable or can be used. The thing I am after is" modifying "you, I or me". Let me share the...Read More...
Last Reply By Muhammet · First Unread Post

holding a sword

1) I took a picture with John holding a sword. 2) I took a picture with him holding a sword. 3 ) I took a picture with John, holding a sword. 4) I took a picture with him, holding a sword. In which sentences I am in the picture? In which sentences John is in the picture? In which sentences I am holding the sword? Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Thank you very much, DocV, … And John chased him with the sword and …. Respectfully, NaviRead More...
Last Reply By navi · First Unread Post

Is this sentence grammatically correct?

I was wondering whether the sentence “I am cool and vape” is grammatically correct. Vape is a verb in this situation. Is “am cool” a verb? If so, would it parallel to “vape” since it is also a verb? Would the “I” carry over due to the parallel structure? I need answers.Read More...
MissT, Hey, watch that about "unepic boomers". I represent that! I understand that you signed on for just the one question. I hope you'll be back though. DocVRead More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

Prepositions

When can a prepositional phrase modify the object of another preposition? Can anyone offer a clear explanation?Read More...
Raymond, This is true. When the new format was imposed on us, our moderator David felt that he, Gustavo, and I, as well as several other members, were distinguished scholars to the extent that the "like" feature of Facebook and Mickey Mouse Club culture was beneath the dignity of this forum. I am in complete agreement with him. I speak for all of us though, when I say that we appreciate it when you take the time to write "thank you". Unfortunately, although we have managed to get the "like"...Read More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

short in this group but not in that

Which are correct and is there a better way to say it: 1) He is short among the boys in his class, but not among both the boys and the girls in his class. 2) He is short compared to the boys in his class, but not compared to both the boys and the girls in his class. 3) He is short among the boys in his class, but not among all the children in his class including the girls. Gratefully, Navi .Read More...

Restrictive or Non-restrictive?

ahmad
Hello, everyone, I know the difference between the two, thanks to the GE. 1. Three arms wielding men, looking for the documents, ransacked the apartment. 2. Three arms wielding men looking for the documents ransacked the apartment. However, in the given situation, I believe that '2' is better than '1' in that it makes the 'expendable phrase' in '1' a necessary part of the meaning in '2' if one takes the sentence in isolation. Am I correct? Thanks.Read More...
Please excuse this "blast from the past" that I encountered today. Per David: A: "Three arms-wielding men" (note the hyphen, which is needed) is an indefinite noun phrase... I believe that David is correct about the necessity of the hyphen if the phrase is meant to indicate three men that were wielding arms. However, I must insist that B: "Three arms wielding men" (note the lack of a hyphen) is also grammatical. It must be understood to refer to three (disembodied?) arms that were using men...Read More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

structure: since

Hello, The objective, since attained, was to create a set of contractual rules that would establish uniformity in that practice, so that practitioners would not have to cope with a plethora of often conflicting national regulations. What is the grammar of "since attained"? What has been omitted and what does it mean? Many thanks in advance.Read More...
Yes, DocV, that makes sense now. I've even found it as a restrictive clause, and the absence (perhaps objectionable) of the commas makes the adjectival interpretation even clearer: - The objective since attained was to create a set of contractual rules that would establish uniformity in that practice, so that practitioners would not have to cope with a plethora of often conflicting national regulations. ( https://www.fimbank.com/en/new...es-ucp-600-awareness )Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

you'll be surprised

1) You'll be surprised by what he said. 2) You'll be surprised what he said. I think both are correct and mean exactly the same. I also think that '2' is acceptable in informal English. It seems to be that it is an elliptical version of '1', but the ellipsis is not governed by any grammatical rule. Am I correct? Gratefully, NaviRead More...
I agree with you, Navi. I've heard both constructs used commonly, as well as these: 3: You'd be surprised by what he said. 4: You'd be surprised what he said. I'd say that all four are definitely acceptable in informal English. I think that, in formal writing, I would prefer (1) or (3), but I wouldn't go as far as to call either incorrect. DocVRead More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

What does "Here There Be dragons" mean?

The following is an excerpt from the August 12 New York Times. What does the headline “Here There Be Dragons” mean? Here There Be Dragons. But Can They Survive an Invasion of Tourists? KOMODO NATIONAL PARK, Indonesia — The Komodo dragon, a 10-foot lizard native only to a scattering of islands in Indonesia, flicked its forked tongue. Two boys were standing nearby, the perfect size for dragon snacks. A local guide shrugged at their unease and urged them closer to the reptile. Komodo dragons...Read More...
To add to David's comments, the use of "be" instead of "are" can be considered either dialectical or archaic. DocVRead More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

[as] or [for] their wedding gift

I have made up the example below. (1a) My best friend and his girlfriend will get married soon. I am planning to make something special for their wedding gift. My non-native English speaking friends think I am using the wrong preposition. Their choice is given below. (1b) ..... I am planning to make something special as their wedding gift. Which preposition is correct? Thank you very much for all your time and help.Read More...
Thank you, Gustavo. I was trying to avoid the redundancy of using both "give" and "gift" (forms of the same word) in the same sentence. You've offered some excellent options. DocVRead More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

versions differ by tenses

I have made up the example below. (1) ABC Store is a very popular online business for overseas buyers. However, according customer reviews, customers are complaining about why they are required to pay a high customs duty when they receive their orders. My non-native English speaking friends think the present tense I use in this context is wrong. They have suggested three ways to revise my example. (2) ..... However, according customer reviews, customers have complained about why they are...Read More...
Anson, I agree with you about (4). I also see a tense discrepancy in (2). (1) and (3) are grammatical, except for a missing "to" after "according". Also, the double reference to "customers" is distracting. What about this: 5: However, reviews show that customers have been complaining about having to pay a high customs duty when they receive their orders. DocVRead More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

placement of an adjective in "a piece of paper"

I have made up a few similar examples. I am going to write them out below. (1a) I am going to take some notes. May I borrow a scrap piece of paper from you? (1b) I am going to take some notes. May I borrow a piece of scrap paper from you? (2a) I am going to take a lot of notes. May I borrow a large piece of paper from you? (2b) I am going to take a lot of notes. May I borrow a piece of large paper from you? My non-native English speaking friends cannot help me because they are not sure.Read More...
Thanks, Gustavo. I had been rather minimal in my response, but you have provided an excellent explanation of why our preferences work and the others don't. A piece of [a] large cake could actually be very small! DocVRead More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

𝗱𝘂𝗽𝗹𝗶𝗰𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗼𝗯𝗷𝗲𝗰𝘁

Hello, 𝗺𝗮𝘁𝗲𝘀, Could you tell me your 𝗼𝗽𝗶𝗻𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗮𝗯𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗳𝗼𝗹𝗹𝗼𝘄𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘀𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲: 𝐻𝑒 ℎ𝑎𝑠 𝑎 𝑙𝑜𝑡 𝑜𝑓 𝑚𝑜𝑛𝑒𝑦 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡 ℎ𝑒 𝑑𝑜𝑒𝑠𝑛'𝑡 𝑘𝑛𝑜𝑤 𝑤ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑡𝑜 𝑑𝑜 𝑤𝑖𝑡ℎ 𝐼𝑇. 𝗜𝘀 𝗶𝘁 𝗿𝗶𝗴𝗵𝘁 𝘁𝗼 𝗱𝘂𝗽𝗹𝗶𝗰𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗼𝗯𝗷𝗲𝗰𝘁?Read More...
Thank you, Ahmed, both for your effusively complimentary welcoming, and for your clarification of Abo Hamza's original post. DocVRead More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

Simplify past perfect to simple past in a type 3 conditional?

“The Daily News observed that there was no doubt as to the crime being a political one. The despotism and hatred of Liberalism which animated the Continental Governments had had the effect of driving to our shores a number of men who might have made excellent citizens were they not soured by the recollection of all that they had undergone.” A Study in Scarlet Hi. Does the bold part refer to the past, so the bold part is equivalent to “ had they not been soured...”? In other words, it is a...Read More...
Thank you, Doc V.Read More...
Last Reply By zuotengdazuo · First Unread Post

If there was communication between them,

“I’ll make it simple. Grandmother had to go out, so she left the children in the house, telling them they must make sure the door is shut and not to open it to anyone but her. On the road, Grandmother met a wolf, which ate her, and then put on her clothing and assumed her appearance. Then it went to the house and came up to the door, and said to the children, ‘I’m your grandmother. I’ve come back. Open the door for me.’ The children looked through the crack in the door and saw what looked...Read More...
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