All Forum Topics

worried

A-I am worried about being on my own. Can't this sentence mean three things: A1- I am on my own and that worries me. A2- I will on my own and that worries me. A3- I might on my own and that worries me.Read More...
Thanks a lot David.Read More...

even so

-I have been involved in any illegal activity. -Even so, you are very rich for a shopkeeper. Has "even so" been used correctly here? Does it mean: a-Even if what you said were true... (perhaps with a hint of irony) or: b-in spite of the fact that you have not been involved in any illegal activityRead More...
Thanks a lot Rachel, You are right as usual. That sentence need a "not"! Sorry.Read More...

If you please?

Hi, I tried to understand what is meant by "if you please" in sense 2 in the sentence below but I wasn't able to figure out its function here. Please give an equivalent phrase to explain it. if you please 1 used in polite requests: follow me, if you please 2 used to express indignation at something perceived as unreasonable: she wants me to make fifty cakes in time for the festival, if you please! http://oxforddictionaries.com/...e#m_en_gb0639850.018Read More...
Thanks a lot.Read More...

might as well

You might as well throw your money away as lend it to him. Can we write the sentence above in a past tense? I mean, you already lent him the money, but you shouldn’t have. AppleRead More...
This sentence is correct; it describes general time, a general situation, and includes applying to the past. You could also make the sentence specifically past by saying: You might as well have thrown your money away as (have) lent it to him.Read More...

good vs. will in conversations

A: How is it going?/How are you doing? B: Good. Is "good" grammatically acceptable in the dialogue above? While "good" is a typical response, if the response is expanded to "It is going good," the sentence seems poorly formed. However, if the adverb "well" is substituted for "good," to modify the verb phrase, a more grammatical sentence is formed (It's going well.) But, if this sentence is reduced to "well," the result seems awkward. A: How is it going? B: Well. A: How are you doing? B:...Read More...
Hello, Donmak, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange. You are correct in stating that 'It is going well ' and 'I am doing well ' are correct. In these sentences, 'well' is the adverb describing how things are going and how I am doing. You are also correct in noting that 'well' goes well with the complete long answer. Many people, most I would guess, would just say 'good' in a short, conversational answer, as you have described. The difference here is one of style: a short 'good' for...Read More...

flood at / in

Can I say, (a) There had a flood in the village. (b) There are many houses flodded in the village. (c) There is a flood at /in the village. (d) The storm / heavy rain / water flooded the village.Read More...
Hi, bear_bear, There had requires been as an addition to the verb phrase. You could say, There had been a flood in the village. (past-perfect tense) or, as Mehrdad suggested, There was a flood in the village. (past tense) Generally, we use the past-perfect tense when we're otherwise using the past tense and want to refer to an earlier past time, e.g.: All the streets were [past tense] wet and muddy. We suspected [past tense] that there had been [past-perfect tense] a flood in the village. DavidRead More...

sat/ were seated /seated

Can I say, The parents sat/ were seated /seated in tents while the pupils sat in their own tents, such as red team, white team, yellow team and blue team.Read More...

Father´s day

What´s the common or the correct in English Speaking countries? 1. The Father´s day. 2. The Fathers´ day. 3. Father´s day. 4. Fathers´ day.Read More...
but the correct for children is Children´s Day, right? Thanks Mehrdad.Read More...

Was the copy editor napping?

I just read this in a famous American newsweekly: "It is not income alone but also freedom that make a prosperous society." I think the verb should be "make s " because the sentence seems to be: It (that makeS a prosperous society) is not income alone but also freedom. May I please have your informed answer? Thank you.Read More...
Thank you, Mehrdad, for your very thoughtful comments. I thought that since it is a filler "it" sentence, the better choice would be "make s ."Read More...

about sports day

Can I say, (a) Last Monday was Sports Day for / in / at St Theresa School. Many pupils gathered in the field. Many parents joined it. It was a red-letter day for them. (b) Last Monday was a red-letter day. It was Sports Day for / at / in St Theresa School. Some pupils's parents came and sat in two big tents. (c) Sports Day was a red-letter day. Last Sunday, my school organised Sports Day. (d) Last Sunday was Beng Hock's school's Sports Day. (e) Last Monday, my school had / held / organised a...Read More...
THanks, but I got three questions to ask: 1 Many pupils gathered in / at the field. (Is there incorrect as I mentioned? ) 2 When do we use xxx s's ? I'm confused. 3 Last Monday was a Sports Day. ( Isn't weird to use "a" here?)Read More...

and

cocoricot
Dear teachers, " We weren't given instructions and showed what to do." Please tell me if it is correct to use "and"? Thank you.Read More...
Hello, Coco, Grammatically, it is OK: - We weren't given (any) instructions and (we weren't) shown what to do. The use of "and" is obligatory here. You could, however, omit "and" and use "showing" (as a present participle modifying "instructions") instead: - We weren't given (any) instructions showing what to do.Read More...

modified to where

Dear teachers, I'm having trouble with understanding the structure of the bolded sentence in the following paragraph. Lomax wanted to embark on a nationwide collecting project, resulting in as many as four volumes, and 'complete the rehibilitation of the Americanfolk-song'. Eventually this was modified to where he envisioned a single book tentatively called 'American Ballads and Folk Songs', designed to survey the whole field. 1. Normally, after 'be modified to', a verb or a noun phrase is...Read More...
Hello, Harry, Yes, "where he envisioned ..." is a noun clause, and it is fine to use a noun clause after "be modified to." Generally, noun clauses can replace nouns (or noun phrases). No, "which is" is omitted before "designed." "Designed" is a past participle used in place of an adjective clause.Read More...

Say what?

I have just read that some philosophers have this theory: If cars had not been invented, most people alive today would never have been born. Would you please explain the logic in that? I am too stupid to understand. THANK YOURead More...
Thank you very much, Mr. Evans, for your very insightful reply.Read More...

the verbs ... to ..

Hello, I have asked about this before, but I would like to ask again. I asked what the best way was when referring to "BE". Rachel and some others told me about the use of "the verb (to) be", and in one of the post someone wrote about the way to call the other verbs, but I have been looking for and I haven´t succeeded. So, how do we say "the verb fly" or "the verb to fly"? Or the fly verb? Thanks in advance.Read More...
Thank youuuuuu Rachel as accurate as always.Read More...

Past Perfect: Past in the Past?

(1) The EU will soon lift an annual cap that it had imposed on imported Chinese textiles since 2005. (Source: http://www.economist.com/node/...nt?story_id=10202169 ) Why Past Perfect (had imposed) here? (2) The system finally collapsed in August 1971, when U.S. President Nixon announced that foreign central banks would no longer be able to exchange dollars for gold at the fixed $35 per ounce level. Within two years, the fixed-rate system had been phased out entirely and the currencies of...Read More...
Many thanks, Amy and Mehrdad. So the "past in the past" still works in (2) and (3). In (3), "in 1984" is actually "by 1984". In (2), if I understood your posts correctly, the writer had a definite past time in his or her mind, roughly August 1973, and the phasing out and floating had taken place before that time. In (1), I would have used Present Perfect, as Mehrdad suggested.Read More...

take it for granted that or take for granted that?

Dear teachers, Is the following sentence grammatically correct without the use of preparatory ' it ' between take and for? We take for granted that different people enjoy different things. Thank you. HarryRead More...
From a grammatical perspective, "it" can be simply replaced with the clause following it, as Amy said, but I think "it" should be included because "take sth/sb for granted" and "take it for granted" do not have exactly the same meaning. The "take for granted" here looks like "take sth/sb for granted, at least at first sight. Although no one would interpret "take for granted" mistakenly here, I think it is still better (safer) to include "it." BTW, we might be just dealing with a matter of...Read More...

Cats & Kings

I have just read someone's opinion that "the cardinal premise of all journalism" is that A CAT MAY LOOK AT THE KING. I googled and I think that I have a general idea, but I should appreciate your help in REALLY understanding why that saying is the premise of journalism. THANK YOURead More...
Thank you very much for the explanation, Mehrdad.Read More...

Writing Skill?

Dear Rachel, Mehrdad, Amy and the GE members: I would like you to give me a link or links to any EXCELLENT websites that teaches writing skill (academic, creative, etc). I tried to find one but I don't know what type of website I should look for. Thanks a lot in advance.Read More...
The Purdue Writing Lab is good for mechanics, and how to write good sentences. I came across this video on YouTube, which you may find helpful, too. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfP4vHOrj7gRead More...

Pronoun

which is correct of the following: 1. the people who are playing are Frank and me. 2. the people who are playing are Frank and I.Read More...
Hi Paul, I'm not sure you understood Rachel correctly... People don't say "Me is surprised." That is unnatural. However, as a one-word response to a question, it is quite natural and common to say "Me", and it would generally sound rather affected to say "I" instead (as a one-word response). If more than a single word is used, then "I" is natural (with the exception of using the word 'not' first). For example, here are various possible responses to the question you posted: Q: Who's...Read More...

having ; to have ; have

The first thing I always do is _______ a cup of coffee. a. having b. to have c. have All they all correct? Thanks!Read More...
The first thing I always do is have[b] have a cup of coffee. OR The first thing I always do is [b]to have a cup of coffee. "Having' does not follow expressions with 'do,'which is vital to the construction here. Michael Swan* says: All I did was (to) give him a little push. What a fire door does is (to) to delay the spread of a fire. Expressions like [i]All I did was, What I do is,/i] etc. can be followed by an infinitive without 'to.' _______ Practical English Usage, Third Edition, by...Read More...

I need help! Really!

"I really don't want to go." Some people say the adverb modifies "don't." Some people say the adverb modifies "don't want." Some people say the adverb modifies "don't want to go." I should really appreciate your considered opinion because you have really insightful thoughts. Really!Read More...

Would you mind...?

Hello, In the very informal exchange below, shouldn't the response begin with ' No '? X: "Would you mind if I used your bathroom?" Y: " Yes , it's right down the hall, to your left." This is the second time that I've heard 'Yes' being used in response to the question beginning with 'Would you mind...?'(on the telly, of course!). Is this the correct response? Thank you friends. GilbertRead More...
David, Phew! Thank God! I thought I had been using the wrong response all along! Would you mind if I made a comment? No? Thank you. I think if native speakers speak that way, we non-native fellas are sunk! Thanks again Young David! GilbertRead More...

bound for success

Hi, Can you tell me what the word 'bound' functions as in this sentence?: He is bound for success as he is smart, well-read, very likeable, very helpful and is as humble as they come. Thank you. GilbertRead More...
Rachel, TonyC, Mehrdad & David, Thank you so very, very much. When 4 great minds like yours pool together to explain something, it is impossible for me to not understand why 'bound' is an adjective! Thank you all once again. Gilbert p.s. David, Selamat Sejahtera to you, too! another p.s. Sorry for the long delay in replying. I have not been well.Read More...

Salt and pepper

I understand "salt-and-pepper hair" since my hair is now all salt. But would you please tell me how it is being used in this sentence that I have just read: He [a famous author]wrote with a lot of salt and pepper, and when he was criticized he joyfully published the criticisms. THANK YOURead More...
Thank you so much for the explanation, Amy.Read More...
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