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prepostion in the passive

"A strange letter was sent me." Is this sentence correct?Read More...
I agree with Gustavo that the sentence is much better with "to" included ("A strange letter was sent to me", not "A strange letter was sent me"). The version with "to" is the passive of "Somebody sent a letter to me," whereas the version without "to" is a passive version of the double-object construction "Somebody sent me a letter." The double object construction can be passivized, but, except when the verb is "give," it is generally only the first object that becomes subject. The following...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

where.

cocoricot
Dear teachers, 1. Heaven is where my father is. 2. Heaven is the place where my father is. Please tell me if they are correct. Is it necessary to add ''the place" to the sentence? Thanks.Read More...
Hi, Coco and Gustavo, Even though heaven as a theological concept goes beyond the scope of this forum, "heaven" is also used figuratively to refer to what one finds to be an ideal state of being even in worldly life. Now, consider this common proverb: Home is where the heart is. Home is where you hang your hat. "Home" is not necessarily being used in the sense of one's own house, or apartment, or what have you, in those proverbs. The referent of "home" could be any number of things. Indeed,...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

to eat large amounts/numbers of coffee beans

"To produce more coffee, the civets were forced to eat large amounts of coffee beans ." I saw this sentence on the Ivy magazine (published in Taiwan). We all know that we should use amount with uncountable nouns, but here it goes with coffee beans (a plural countable noun). Is it correct? How about I change it into "large numbers of coffee beans"? I have to say the use of "numbers" here sounds odder, though. Thank you.Read More...
Hi, Barry, I agree with you that "numbers" sounds worse than "amounts." That might be because "number" makes us think of the individual units, and coffee beans are not expected to be counted! "amount" gives us the idea of coffee beans forming a large load of things. "quantities" would be perhaps the best choice.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

people

Was going to write a quick thank you for the reference to p3 (plural people possessive). Took too long. This is the short version: Thought I was right, but it is nice to know that there are people who can actually verify it. Thanks.Read More...
Thanks. And you are right. Not only is my keyboard malfunctioning, but two confusing events occurred while I was trying to do a simple task. The comment was in reference to the word -peoples'- Sorry for the confusion. PanurgeRead More...
Last Reply By Panurge · First Unread Post

VOA English

Hello, In VOA English article, I found the following two sentences I don't understand. (1) “In our samples, ninety percent of the plastics we are finding are microfibers… Those are often times originating from textiles or other fibrous synthetic products.” What does "times" in the sentence mean? Chances? possibilities? It doesn't mean the same as that used in " three times a day" does it? (2)“So you think about the, you know, literally millions of garments like this that are being washed...Read More...
Thank you, David. So, oftentimes should be spelled as one word. I now understand the mysterious "the" in my second sentence. appleRead More...
Last Reply By apple · First Unread Post

preposition after "enthusiasm"

I'd like to know if the preposition should be "for or in" in the following sentence: He has enthusiasm for / in his studies When we decide which preposition we should use in a sentence, do we always look at the word before the preposition, i.e. "enthusiasm" in this case? Thanks a lot.Read More...
Thank you very much, Ahmed and David. You have been very generous with your time. Have a nice day.Read More...
Last Reply By taiman · First Unread Post

Sorry for the inconvenience

I always see an ending sentence (and some derivatives) on letters like these: 1. Sorry for the inconvenience. 2. Sorry for the inconvenience caused. 3. Sorry for the inconvenience that may have caused to you. Are these all correct? Is No.2 the best one? In sentence (3), does it sound proper? I guess it says: I don't think you would have any problem to the mistake made or does it matter at all, but just in case that it causes you any inconvenience, I am sorry for that. Is my interpretation...Read More...
Hello, Emonhenn, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange! I will try to explain that sentence to you, but I strongly suggest that you continue studying English without caring too much about grammatical terminology. I don't know if you've ever heard about "relative clauses," that is, clauses that modify nouns. Instead of saying: 4. We are sorry for the inconvenience caused. we can say: 5. We are sorry for the inconvenience (that) we may have caused you. or, in the passive voice, that is, if you...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

visit (with) my brother and family

Hi! Could I ask you a question about this sentence I came across on the internet: (1) We had a great time visiting with my brother and family yesterday. I have a question about the "visit" in this sentence. I looked it up in a dictionary and it says it can be used intransitively, especially in American English, which I found kind of surprising because I thought it is normally used transitively. So, my question is whether the persence/absence of the preposition "with" in (1) (or in any...Read More...
Thank you so much, David! I understand. I will buy a copy of Garner!Read More...
Last Reply By yasukotta · First Unread Post

Problem with multiple choice

___________ they should have bought the tickets last week, ty in fact waited until the last minute to buy them 1. Nevertheless 2. Despite 3. However 4. WhereasRead More...
Hi, Adroit33, You seem to be asking us to do some exercise for you. We expect at least some effort from our members. Which do you think is the right answer? If you can't decide, at least give us an example with each of those linking words so we can understand where your difficulty lies.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Problem with multiple choice

Arriving late in the movie theater, he missed the beginning of the movie,. By the time he got to the movie theater, the movie ______________ started. 1.Wouldn’t have 2.Hadn’t 3.Had 4.Will haveRead More...
Hello, Adroit33, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange! I'd like to know where you have you taken this exercise from. The first sentence contains at least two mistakes. "having arrived" is better than "arriving," and "at" should follow the verb "arrive" when referring to specific places like a theater or a restaurant ("in" is only mostly used with cities and countries). It'd also be useful if next time you could tell us which you think is the right answer. In this case, the answer is (3): when...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

The preposition 'from':

Do we include the preposition from in this question or not? _ Where do we buy bread? (or) _ Where do we buy bread from?Read More...
Yes, that's right. In case it's not mentioned in the historical thread Ahmed_btm has linked to, the reason "from" is not needed is that "where" can have the syntactic status of a locative prepositional phrase. It need not have a nominal value. This is also why it is better to say " Where are you? " rather than " Where are you at? ," though the version with "at" is fairly common in colloquial speech.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Is it a rhetoric Question?

Which alternative is the correct one? xxx ________________he_______________? 1.Doesn't/play tennis very well 2.isn't/very good at playing tennis 3.Doesn't/play tennis well 4.isn't/a very good tennis player [Please help me answer the question, and your explanation is also desperately needed.]Read More...
Hello, Kru Mart, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange! It is almost impossible to decipher the question you are trying to ask, but I'm assuming that the auxiliary verb before the slash in the answers is meant to go in the first blank in "xxx ________________he_______________?" and that the words that come after the slash are supposed to go in the second blank. If my assumptions are correct, then the third answer is the best: Doesn't he play tennis well? That question could indeed be used as a...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

(for) all of the winter/all through the winter

I have made up three similar sentences below. (1) I will be available to volunteer for all of the winter. (2) I will be available to volunteer all of the winter. (3) I will be available to volunteer all through the winter. As a non-native English speaker, I think they all sound okay. However, some of my non-native speaking friends think all of my sentences sound unnatural. Do they sound OK to native speakers? Please give me your opinion. Thanks a lot for your help.Read More...
Hi, Ansonman, From a native standpoint, (3) is perfectly correct and natural, and (1) and (2) are extremely unnatural. You can use (3), or you can say: (4) I will be available to volunteer all winter. (5) I will be available to volunteer all winter long. (6) I will be available to volunteer for the entire winter. (7) I will be available to volunteer throughout the winter.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

My passport *expires/will expire* in three months.

"My passport will expire in three months." This sentence is from my textbook. I'm wondering why it's not written as "My passport *expires* in three months." Here is an example from LDOCE Online : My driving licence expires in March. In this case, it goes with the present tense, which is grammatically correct to me, because we're taught that when it comes to a sure thing to happen in the future, we should use the present tense instead of the future tense. Why is this sentence in the future...Read More...
Hi, Barry, When talking about events that are part of a timetable, we can use either the simple present or 'will + inf.' . See Michael Swan, page 190: "We can sometimes use the simple present to talk about the future. This is common when we are talking about events which are part of a timetable, a regular schedule or something similar. The summer term starts on April 10th. What time does the bus arrive in Seattle? My plane leaves at three o'clock. Are you on duty next weekend? The sun rises...Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

on a stage

1) I can act as well as John on a stage. Can't this sentence have three meanings: a) John doesn't act well on a stage. He acts well in another place (say, in front of a camera). I can act as well as him on a stage. b) I can act as w ell as John acts on a stage. c) I can act as well on a stage as John acts on a stage. Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Thank you very much, David, Point taken. My bad! I was pushing it! But isn't this a possibility Can you act as well as John? I have never acted in front of a camera and I have never seen John on a stage. All I can tell you is that I can act as well as John (does in front of a camera) on stage . Can't the part in parentheses be ellipted without any loss in meaning? Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Last Reply By navi · First Unread Post

walk like Brando

1) I could walk like Brando right into the sun. Source: https://genius.com/Bruce- springsteen-its-hard-to-be-a- saint-in-the-city-lyrics Does '1' mean: a) I could walk right into the sun the way Brando walked right into the sun. or: b) I could walk right into the sun the way Brando walked. Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Hello, Navi, I don't know if Springsteen was thinking in terms of the line's being subjected to a strict semantic analysis, but my sense is that it probably means (c): c) I could walk like Brando in that , like him, I could walk right into the sun. That reading would be more natural if the sentence had a comma: "I could walk like Brando, right into the sun." I wonder if it's sung as if a comma were present.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Form a question

What is the best question for this answer ...........................................................................? I like English best.Read More...
Hi, Abdullah, How do you want us to form a question without knowing the whole dialogue?! What are they talking about? Are they talking about their favorite subjects, languages or what? Gustavo's answer is possible in a certain situation in which the speaker knows more than two languages, but there are many other options. See: Speaker A: Which subject do you like best? / Which subject is your favorite? / What is your favorite subject? / I like Arabic best. What about you? / And you?Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

Past participle

Hello, "She entered......by her mother." A- accompanied B- being accompaniedRead More...
That's a very good example, David. Thank you for your clarification. A comma would obviously also be required if the participle appeared in front position: - Accompanied by her mother, she entered that place she had always dreaded entering alone.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

before all of you were born

Could one use a. That happened before all of you were born. instead of b. That happened before any of you were born. ? Could one use c. The doors were closed before all of the guests arrived. instead of d. The doors were closed before any of the guests arrived. ? To me, there is a difference between (a) and (b), but I get the feeling that some people use (a) instead of (b). I doubt that anyone would use (c) instead of (d). Many thanksRead More...
Hello again, Azz, Yes, that is a very nice observation. I agree with you that (c) has that implication. The reason (a) doesn't have the corresponding implication that all of them were born (more or less) at the same time seems to be that that would be a very strange state of affairs and perhaps even stranger for the speaker to know about it. In short, that type of interpretation is unnatural in (a). Yes, I think it's ambiguous, but in a different way. It has one of the possible readings that...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Difference between 'from' and 'of'

Hi everyone, can anyone please help me understand the difference between from and of in the following sentence? 1- John: Hey, have you watched the movie 'avengers the end game'? Me: yes. John: What's your favourite scene from / of the movie?Read More...
I completely agree. That combination of a possessive and a quasi-superlative like "favorite" renders an "of"-phrase unidiomatic.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post
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