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collocation with smoker

joan
Is it correct to describe a person who smokes a lot as " a strong smoker " ? Although dictionaries do not refer to strong as a collocate with smoker ,I found 15,500 examples on Google of " a strong smoker ."Read More...
You could say 'a strong smoker,' but usually we say 'a heavy smoker.'Read More...

late

Are these sentences correct: 1-There were people late. (Meaning: There were people who were late.) 2-There are people here late. (Meaning: There were people here who are late.)Read More...
Hi Navi, I don't know that you can assign any precise meaning to either sentence without additional context since clearly words have been omitted. However, without additional context, I tend to understand the sentences thus: 1-There were people late. There were people who arrived late. -OR- There were people who stayed until a late hour. 2-There are people here late. Some people are still here (even though it is late). .Read More...

and/or

1-It is easy to amuse cats and dogs. I think that in this sentence the "cats" and the "dogs" are imagined to be seperate. The sentence means the same as: 2-It is easy to amuse cats or dogs. ------------------------------------------ 3-It is easy to amuse a cat and a dog. It seems to me that here the "cat" and the "dog" are imagined to be together. The meaning is not the same as: 4-It is easy to amuse a cat or a dogRead More...
Hi Navi, That is the way I tend to understand those two sentences as well.Read More...

Upon

Hello great people! ' Upon arrival at the airport, they are greeted by personnel from the embassy who are on hand to help ensure that they have a smooth and safe transition from the airport to their next destination. ' Could you kindly help answer my queries about the text? 1 Is Upon an old-fashioned or outdated word? 2 Is the word help redundant if it precedes the word 'ensure'? 3 Is the word transition correctly used in this context? 4 Can this text do without the words from the airport ?Read More...
I thank you kindly, Gilbert! In light of my new comfort level with the word "accommodation" when it is used (in BrE) with a plural referent, I thought we could go back to the earlier edition of the sentence here and boldly drop the 's' from that word: Upon their arrival at the airport, they are greeted by embassy personnel who are on hand to assist the guests in a smooth and safe transit to their accommodation. Cheers, my friend! DavidRead More...

(a) part of

(1) The Internet is a part of my education. (2) The Internet is part of of my education. May I please have an informed GE answer as to which sentence is "correct"? THANK YOU. JamesRead More...
Thank you very much, Rachel.Read More...

'see him try to do' or 'see him trying to do'?

I attended our school's final English test.I was not sure of the following sentence: I saw him ___ (try) to stand up,but he failed. The answer given is 'try' i.e. 'I saw him try to stand up,but he failed.' I don't know if 'trying' is also OK here.Can we say 'I saw him trying to stand up,but he failed.'?Read More...
Hi Ixguy, The verb "see", as well as other verbs including (hear,feel,find), can be followed by either the bare infinitive form or the "ing" form.In your sentence using the bare infinitive form entails that you saw the entire action from beginning to end, while using the "ing" form entails that you saw part of the action;therefore, the best answer in your sentence is the bare infinitive because you saw the entire action of "trying" from standing on "his" feet until falling. I hope this helpsRead More...

taken him racing

Hello! A. When his father had taken him racing, B. When his father had taken him to racing, Which one is right, A or B? I think B is right. It means that" to" is omitted from "taken hime to racing"> If A is right, please explain why. ____________________________ Source: When his father had taken him racing - never informing his mother or Miss Steadman where they were going - Keith would watch as the old man placed large sums of money on every race, occasionally passing over sixpence to...Read More...
Hi, Merhdad -- Thank you so much for your fine comments and examples. I think your interpretation works much better than mine. Implicit in my interpretation of "skiing" (in the sentence "He went skiing") as a participle was my belief that "went" was intransitive. If "went" were intransitive, then "skiing" could not be the object of "went" -- as it is, for example, in the sentence "He loves skiing," where "skiing" is the object of the transitive verb "loves" and is clearly a gerund. Instead,...Read More...

culture shock and the congestion

Hello! Please tell me whether I have used the term 'culture shock' correctly in the sentence below (This text is about Muslim pilgrims in Mecca, Saudi Arabia): 'Culture shock and the congestion of being in a throng of millions of Muslims from all over the world can sometimes be quite overwhelming to some pilgrims.' Also, 1 I have three 'of's in my sentence. Is that acceptable in good writing 2 Should I use 'to' or 'for' with the word overwhelming Thank you. GilbertRead More...
Hi Rachel, Thank you for confirming 'millions of pilgrims' as the best choice. Yes! I like Okaasan's revision of my original text. God! I patiently await the day when I will be able to write great sentences like that! Thanks Okaasan, Mehrdad and Rachel for your help! From: GilbertRead More...

would

The general argued that despite his deep regret for the civilian casualties, he was sure his troops would not have harmed civilians on purpose. What does the sentense in bold mean? Is it 'unreal conditional'? Thanks!Read More...
Not only does it make sense, but it is also grammatical. This sort of use of 'will not have done' is fine and also natural. On the other hand, the first half of the sentence in the following quote sounds completely unnatural to me:Read More...

for a walk

Can I say, He is walking his dog. He is taking his dog to walk around the park. He is taking his dog to walk / for a walkRead More...
(1) He is walking his dog. OK (2) He is taking his dog to walk around the park. OK but not as natural as (4). It sounds more like he is taking the dog to accompany him as he walks around the park, rather than he is taking the dog so it can walk around the park. (3) He is taking his dog to walk. Same comment as (2) (4) He is taking his dog for a walk (around the park). OK.Read More...

early bird

Hello, Is the term 'early bird' a term that we can use in essays, scripts for TV or formal documents? I'm thinking of early birds in terms of registration to take part in an event. Something like this: ' Early birds will be given priority to fill the quota for senior citizens that has been set by the government .' Thank you. GilbertRead More...
"Early birds" Yum, yum! Why does this make me think of worms? , Gilbert!Read More...

as if

Which of the following sentence is the best? If they are all correct, what is the difference? 1. We use water as if it will never end. 2. We use water as if it would never end. 3. We use water as if it never ends. AppleRead More...
I agree with Amy's points, but I can see sentences 2 and 3 from a different perspective as well: Here "would" could be considered as the soft version of "will." We could also say that "would" makes "ending of water" more imaginary (as compared with sentence 1 with "will"). I think the present simple is fine too, as it could be expressing a fact: "Water never ends." Though this would be only a fact in the eyes of those who use water wastefully.Read More...

They couldn't climb up...

Dear all, Could anyone help me with this question? They couldn’t climb up the mountain because of the storm. A. The storm made it not capable of climbing up the mountain. B. Their climbing up the mountain was unable due to the storm. C. The storm made them impossible to climb up the mountain. D. The storm discouraged them from climbing up the mountain. I opt both D & B though I am not satisfied with the answer D. However, the key is “D.” I couldn’t understand why not B.Thanks in advance.Read More...
Hi Fire Fly, Ask yourself this question: What does 'it' mean in sentence A? What sentence A means is that 'it (something) was not capable of climbing the mountain due to the storm'. So, what exactly is 'it'? You can say this, where the word 'it' is basically only a place-holder for 'to climb up the mountain' (unlike the way 'it' was used in sentence A): - The storm made it impossible to climb up the mountain. OR You can say this, where 'climbing up the mountain' replaces the word 'it': - The...Read More...

clearing / clearing away

Are they same in meaning? They are clearing / clearing away a web. They are clearing / clearing away the dust.Read More...
Hi Vincent, No, 'clear' and 'clear away' don't mean the same thing. Basically, 'clear' doesn't work in either of your short sentences. Without further context, I don't know what the meaning of 'clear' is.Read More...

The providence/providing

Hi. Can you kindly tell me which of the following sentences is the best to use? 1. The provision of access to effective information, advice and guidance to students is of paramount importance. 2. The providing of access to effective information, advice and guidance to students is of paramount importance. 3. Providing of access to effective information, advice and guidance to students is of paramount importance. Thank you for your help. GilbertRead More...
Hi David, Okay, so I'm on speaking terms with 'impart' again! Yes, I get what you mean and thank you for explaining that to me. Regards. GilbertRead More...

If she knew how much ....

"If she knew how much I love d her, she would be astonished." I followed the rule and used "love d ." But is there grammatical justification for simply using "love," as do some native speakers? THANK YOU. JamesRead More...
Thank you very much, Tonyjab.Read More...

immediately

Can I say, (a) Without hesitation, David immediately ran to a telephone booth nearby. (b) Immediately, David ran to a telephone booth nearby. (c) David ran to a telephone booth nearby immediately.Read More...
Hi, Rachel. (Seems that my reply somehow disappeared and I'll have to type it again.) Why do you think C is best? I think B and C are both OK, perhaps B is a bit better. Personally, I'd prefer David immediately ran... but that's not an option. And A is of course redundant, since "without hesitation" and "immediately" mean the same thing. But why do you pick C?Read More...

Happened / had happened

Can I say, He saw a road accident happened / had happened at the junction.Read More...
As you've written the sentence, readers will initially misconstrue "a road accident" as the object of the verb "saw." The actual object of the verb is the dependent clause "[that] a road accident had happened at the junction." To avoid confusing readers, include "that" at the start of the dependent clause: He saw that a road accident had happened at the junction. I think the past-perfect tense ("had happened") works nicely here, because your meaning seems to be that the road accident took...Read More...

when

At the age of 15, when she applied to the school, she knew nothing about the world. when=a non-restrictive relative adverb Now, what about this 'when'? Is it the same kind? Ten years ago, when she was still young, she knew nothing about the world.Read More...
OK, thank you both!Read More...

focusing adverbs "even"??

Hello I Do understand that the focusing adverbs "also" and "only" are placed in "formal" written language before the words they modify, and that they are placed in mid position in spoken language where the intonation or stress clarifies which word is being the center of focus. But why doesn't the adverb "even" seem to work in a similar way even though it is a focusing adverb? Why does the Longman Dictionary Online consider placing "even" outside mid position wrong: • They have even invited...Read More...
Hi Amy, AT least tell me what you think? Could the man be wrong???Read More...
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