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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

"Have Graduated This Year" Vs "Graduated This Year"

Hi there, should I use present perfect or past simple with this year in the following context? Q:- John:- Hi Subha, Have you graduated? Ans:- Yeah I have graduated / graduated this year. Please note that the question comes as a sudden and no other context is raised before that.Read More...
Hi, Subhajit, Normally, English speakers use verb phrase ellipsis in such contexts: A: Have you graduated? B: Yes, I have. It would be silly, distracting, redundant, nonnative, and awkward to use "graduated" after "have" in the answer. "I have" means "I have graduated" there. As for the other construction, you could use "I graduated this year" in response to "When did you graduate?"Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

it was courageous

a. You did a courageous thing to stand up to those thugs. b. You acted courageously to stand up to those thugs. c. You acted courageously in standing up to those thugs. d. You acted courageously standing up to those thugs. e. It was courageous of you to stand up to those thugs. Are all these sentences grammatically correct? Do they mean the same? Many thanks.Read More...
Hi, Azz, (a) and (b) are ambiguous, since "to stand up to those thugs" can be interpreted as expressing purpose ( you did something courageous in order to stand up to those thugs ) or as the courageous thing or act the person did. To express the latter, I think (a) sounds better, perhaps because I'm thinking of: - You did the right thing to stand up to those thugs. I prefer (d) to (c) (which I'm not sure is correct). In (d), the participial phrase can be placed at the beginning: d'. Standing...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Proof Read Please (Urgent)

This story is about a person trapped on an island. This is about how they finally got rescued (story from your perspective). Please tell me things I can change. Also, guess from the writing how old the person who wrote this was. LAST DAY (title) The sun had not risen yet so it was rather dark. I had lost track of time. Slowly, I sat up and hunched over my survival bag and started eating my breakfast. I continued on the path once more to the fall. There were lots of berries and mangoes on the...Read More...
Thanks for the information. Sorry I did not know about that.Read More...
Last Reply By Clearwater · First Unread Post

from him

a. Coming from her, that was a smart reply. b. From her that was a smart reply. c. That was a smart reply, from her. d. He refused to answer your questions. Coming from him, that was smart. e. He refused to answer your questions. From him that was smart. f. He refused to answer your questions. That was smart, from him. I suppose these sentences could be used if you think they have been intelligent relative to the way they normally behave. The normally don't behave in a very intelligent way.Read More...
Hi, Azz, I'd say only (a) and (d) are fine. I don't like, and have never seen or used, any of the others. For further reference, please see entry (4) here :Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Should I hyphenate items in a list that comes before a noun?

This is the sentence that is driving me crazy: " This product produces a non-slip, easy-to-clean, long-lasting and durable floor covering." Seems like too many hyphens. I'm not sure if I need to hyphenate everything like that because technically, yes—these words are coming before a noun (floor covering), but is it absolutely necessary? Someone help please!Read More...
Hello, MNW87, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange. Yes, each of those hyphens is needed, as you can see by using each of them individually before "floor covering": a non-slip floor covering an easy-to-clean floor covering a long-lasting floor covering Actually, I just learned that "nonslip" need not be hyphenated, though it is in the OED. If you'd like to edit the sentence for hyphen reduction, you could try this: This product produces a nonslip durable floor covering that lasts a long time...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

compare (with - to)

Hello. Which preposition is correct? The writer compares the Rababah (with - to) the violin. Thank you.Read More...
"To" really is better in this case, Ahmed. Now that I've looked up what a Rababah is -- I'd never heard of that instrument -- I see that there is an obvious resemblance (however distant) between a Rababah and a violin. We may infer that the writer referred to in your example was drawing attention to their resemblance. That's why we need "to." We would use "with" in a case like this: "The writer compared the Rababah with other types of instruments."Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

as your books are

a. Unlike your books, my books are not bestsellers. b. My books are not bestsellers, as your books are. c. My books are not bestsellers, as yours. Which of the above sentences are grammatically correct? Many thanks.Read More...
Hi, Azz, Sentences (a) and (b) are correct, but (c) is not. You can fix (c) either by adding the word "are" at the end, which would make it an elliptical version of (b), or by changing "as" to "like." d. My books are not bestsellers, as yours are. e. My books are not bestsellers, like yours. Sentence (e) is ambiguous. We can't tell whether "like yours" indicates that the interlocutor's books are or are not bestsellers. Both are syntactic possibilities, the difference being a matter of scope.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Grammar

Choose the correct answer: The tour guide said that ten is the "fewest - least" number of tourists she can take on the boat trip.Read More...
Welcome back, Khalid, Once again, you have titled a thread "Grammar." As I explained before, such a title is uninformative at this website, because all discussion threads at this website are about grammar. Please use an informative title when you start a discussion. In this case, you could have used "least or fewest", for example. I would not use either "fewest" or "least" in that example. I would use "lowest": Ten is the lowest number of tourists she can take on the boat trip. The lowest...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

My parents (both - each) have a mobile phone.

Hello. Could you please help me? My parents (both - each) have a mobile phone. Thank you.Read More...
Ahmeds, I don't like any of the choices offered the way the sentence is structured. As a native speaker, I would say either 1: My parents both have mobile phones . or 2: Each of my parents has a mobile phone. Ahmed_btm, I know that you are concerned with helping our members pass exams, and I appreciate that. My concern is with teaching people how English is spoken by natives, and sometimes your model answers don't reflect this. DocVRead More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

First or Zero Conditional?

I know that: >0 Condition - For facts that always happen; Whereas: >1st Conditional - For specific facts; So, why People use Zero conditional in these sentences, even though is a one-time thing? > If I find lava in this game, this video ends (even though is just this time that I am going to end this video if I find lava) > If you are reading this, I'm at the library by now (That does not mean that I will always find you at the library if I read this) >If you read this, you're...Read More...
Many thanks!Read More...
Last Reply By Harry O'Neil · First Unread Post

Going to or will

Meteorologists predict that the temperature ................. during the weekend. a) is dropping b) is going to drop c) will drop d) drops Which one is the correct answer? I prefer (b) because this sentence represents a prediction based on evidence. By "evidence" I mean "Meteorologists" * This question is taken from an ESL book called "The Best" Thanks.Read More...
Thanks.Read More...
Last Reply By Yama · First Unread Post

both - each

Hello. Could you please help me? There are two restaurants by the park and they each (are - is) very good. Thank youRead More...
Hi, Ahmed Imam, The original sentence in our workbook says: There are two restaurants by the park and they are both very good. Anyway, the answer you seek here is: 'are' . 'They' is the subject and 'each' doesn't affect the conjugation of the verb since the main subject is plural. The rule here says that when a plural subject is followed by 'each', it still attracts a plural verb.Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

Conditionals.

Hello. Could you please help me? If I had broken bones like Johann, I would (have travelled - travel) abroad to be treated there. Thank you.Read More...
Hi, Ahmed, I agree with you that another third conditional could be: "If I had had broken bones like Johann, I would have traveled abroad to be treated there." However, in that case, "had" would necessarily be the main verb in the "if"-clause, as it is in your second-conditional interpretation of Ahmed Imam Attia's sentence. If we interpret "broken" as a verb rather than as an adjective, we cannot have " Johann had had broken bones ," just as we can't say, " Johann had had eaten lunch ." As...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Use of the word already

Is that a correct usage of the word already in the example sentence given below? Please suggest any other word or phrase if it is better suited here. Example : Give her the prize already! Little bit of context : I was watching a video on Facebook in which a beauty pageant contestant answered a question so well that that I felt like there's no need to ask her any more questions.Read More...
Thank you very much. Appreciate it.Read More...
Last Reply By Shivam Raj · First Unread Post

The teacher gave us all (tasks - duties). Mine was to interview four students.

Hello. What is the difference between "task" and "duty"? I can't choose the correct one in the following sentence. The teacher gave us all (tasks - duties). Mine was to interview four students. Thank you.Read More...
Hi, Ahmed Imam Attia, Since your follow-up question here does not ask about the difference between "task" and "duty" -- "duty" is not among the answer choices -- it would have been better to start a separate thread. The best answer in this new example is "responsibility," and "duty" would also work if it were among the answer choices: " When Ali's parents go out, it is his responsibility/duty to look after his younger sisters ." "Task," "work," and "assignment" do not work in this example.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

(was - had been - has been)

Could you please me? Which one is correct? Hossam has just left the cafe. He (was - had been - has been) here since 7 o'clock a.m. Thank you.Read More...
That's one correct answer. In real life, native speakers could also use "has been": " He (has) just left. He 's been here since seven ." The key here is "just" in "just left"; it indicates that the past event is hardly separated at all from the present. Therefore, the correct answer is: both answers are correct . "Had been" would, however, be the only choice if the past event of his leaving were significantly separated from the present. " He left the cafe at nine this morning. He 'd been...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

I need help with a short expression

Hello! I need some help. I am not a native speaker, but I am designing a shirt for the English market and need some help to figure out which way is the correct way of writing what I want the design to display. I’m 100% cat person yes I have hairs all over my clothes yes My house is a playground or I’m a 100% cat person yes I have hairs all over my clothes yes My house is a playground or do both sound off to you? If yes, what would you suggest instead? Thank you!Read More...

why I wrote any of those books

1) I don't know why I wrote any of those books. I think that sentence can be used in two very different contexts. I don't think one could call it ambiguous, but it comes close. One meaning would be: a) As regards each of those books, I am unable to say why I wrote i t. (Now, the books might be brilliant and the speaker might be very happy with them, but he cannot say what motivated him to write them,) But the sentence might be used in a context where the speaker wonders why he wrote anything...Read More...

nationalities -ans --ese

Hello, Here is a part of the discussion from the following URL. In sentence 7) above, we can and do say Americans to indicate Americans in general, but we don’t say Japanese to indicate Japanese in general; we use the definite article with Japanese – the Japanese -- but we don’t have to use it with Americans. We can also use the definite article with Americans to indicate Americans in general, and we often do. There are some differences in meaning here – using the with Americans or omitting...Read More...
Apple, I'm sorry no one has responded to your post in all this time. Can you tell us how "sentence 7" goes? It might be very helpful to us in answering your question. Thank you. DocVRead More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

Present Perfect and Simple Past on a daily basis

I would like to ask some things about differences between Simple Past and Present Perfect (because I only know how to use them in a few cases and I just only know how to use them grammactly correct, but not always) and some things that really makes me review my grammar lessons. • *Is Simple Past more used than Present Perfect in a daily basis? Even though the sentence requires Present Perfect for not having a time expression in the context?* Example: > Oh, I can't believe it. You just...Read More...

Being written in haste,the composition is full of mistakes. (from a grammar)

Dear Contributors. Do me a favour please. I feel puzzled about the following sentence. My questions: 1. Is the composition finished or not when the speaker utters this sentence? 2. Does "Being written" mean the acting of "writing" is being continued? If your answer is yes, then the composition is not finished. If your answer is no, then what does "being" mean? 3. Some say "wirrten" is an adjective in the sentence.I don't think it makes sense,because the adjective "wirrten",usually used...Read More...
Thank you for correct my misreading, GUSTAVO. Very sorry to cause you so much trouble.Read More...
Last Reply By sunshine · First Unread Post

with you

) All roads with you lead to Putin. 2) With you all roads lead to Putin. '1' is by Nancy Pelosi. Source: https://www. democraticunderground.com/ 100212589844 https://www.nytimes.com/2019/ 10/16/us/politics/trump- pelosi-white-house.html '2' is by me. What does 'all roads with you' mean in '1'? What does 'with' mean in that sentence? ] Does '1' mean the same as '2'? If not, what is the difference? Here we do have a context. But the whole thing is a metaphor. I am trying to get at the concrete...Read More...
Hi, Navi, "with" is used in some noun phrases to introduce the subject-matter, maybe with a slight -- somewhat indirect -- indication of possession. The basic expression is "all roads lead to ..." and comes, as you must know, from "all roads lead to Rome." For example, when it comes to grammar, all roads lead to the Grammar Exchange . I find "with you" to be similar to the prepositional phrase in "the problem with you is that you are Putin's friend." It would be too restrictive and absolute...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post
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