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What does "elbows" mean?

What does "elbows" mean in the following sentence? Today a politician without elbows is as lost as a politician without principles.Read More...
The answer is in the very next sentence (which you didn't copy): {Today, a politician without elbows is as lost as a politician without principles. The display of elbows is evidence of necessary macho . ... On occasion, the elbows still go a bit too far. In "Caveat," the memoirs of nuance-ridden Alexander Haig, he captions a picture of himself with hands on hips, elbows prominent.... Much too macho. Akimbo comes from the Old Norse kengboginn , the shape of a bow when it has been bent back,...Read More...

adjective vs adverb

Dear teachers Is the following sentence correct? 'The northbound cars were a blur as the bus swerved clear.' as "swerved" is a verb,I think that we should put an adverb, 'clearly' after that,not an adjective,'clear'. Am I right?if not,so why we have an adjective after a verb?Read More...
Dear Rachel Thank you so much for you answer.It was so helpful as ever.Read More...

Natural selection

cocoricot
Dear teachers, "Natural selection is defined as the process ......the course of evolution by preserving those traits best adapted for an organism's survival. a. to which directs b. of which directs it c. directs it d. that directs. Please tell me if it is(d)? Thanks.Read More...
Yes, (d) is correct. "... the process that directs the course ..."Read More...

water-soluble vitamin

cocoricot
Dear teachers, Please tell me if I made a correct choice: "The chief sources of B12, a water-soluble vitamin ......stored in the body, include meat, milk and eggs." a. is not b. that is not c. not that is d. that not I chose (b) Thanks.Read More...
Yes, that's right. You need an adjective clause there.Read More...

simple or continuous?

She (try) ----tries or is trying?-----to finish her work early today. She (consider)-------------------is considering or considers?-------entering the university. She always (interfere) ------is interfering or interferes--------------in other people’s affairs. When the teacher (walk)--------walked-------into the classroom, the students (become)_----------became-------quiet. We reached the lake just as the sun (set) -----set or was setting?--------- We were in the middle of the desert when we...Read More...
Yes. I always teach my students that one use of the present progressive is to express annoyance or complaint.Read More...

Does "can know" always mean "can learn"?

I'd appreciate it if someone would answer my questions. Thanks in advance. Concerning the sentence, We can know a lot about American history by reading this book. ------ Does "can know" in this sentence mean "can learn"? Does "can know" always (in any sentence using "can know") mean "can learn"?Read More...
Thank you very much, Mehrdad and Rachel.Read More...

"Unfair" test question?

"Ms. Smith teaches the class." If a student labels "the class" as the direct object, most teachers would probably give her credit. But if an especially bright student argues that "the class" is the indirect object (to the class) and that the direct object (English/ math/ history/?) is "understood," would it be fair to mark her answer as "wrong"? Thank you.Read More...
Thank you very much, Mehrdad. I'm glad that you would not mark down our "bright student."Read More...

put the jam jar out on the balcony

Can I say, (a) Put the jam jar out on the balcony and dry it in the sun. (b) Put out the jam jar to the garden to dry in the sun.Read More...
Hi Vincent I would recommend using these: (a) Put the jam jar out on the balcony and let it dry in the sun. (b) Put out the jam jar to out in the garden to dry in the sun.Read More...

collecting coins into

Can I say, (a) We can start collecting coins into the monay jar. (b) We can start to save the coins (in /into the money jar).Read More...
Hi Vincent You should use 'in' rather than 'into' in both sentences. In the context, the verbs 'collect' and 'save' suggest only the idea of location (i.e. the place where the money is together). The word 'into' is appropriate when you refer to motion (i.e out of one place and into another).Read More...

Like

Dear Rachel , Amy and Okaasan Please I have two questions about the following conversation: So, What year are you? A: "I'm a freshman." B: "This is my first year too." A: "So what made you decide to come to California for school? I hear Austin is a good school." B: "It's aright, but I think Berkeley is better." A: "So is this where you wanted to come?" B: "To tell you the truth, I wanted to go to Stanford. I made it on the waiting list, but ninety nine percent of the people accepted to...Read More...
Hi Sayed In the context, it means this: "Are you a freshman, a sophomore, a junior or a senior (at school/college/university)?" Nowadays, many people seem to be quite fond of throwing 'like' into lots of sentences. Grammatically speaking, it's an interjection. Look at definition 25 here: likeRead More...

Japan is a country where [in which]more magazines are published than in any other

I'd appreciate it if someone would answer my questions. Thanks in advance. Are the following 2 sentences the same in meaning? A: Japan is a country that publishes more magazines than any other (country). B: Japan is a country where [in which]more magazines are published than in any other (country).Read More...
Thank you very much.Read More...

All

Dear Rachel , Amy and Okaasan Would you please tell me what does the following question mean? - Who's all going ? ( It was said in conversation. some people were going to the cinema and one of them asked this question). ** Also, what does " all" mean? Does it mean " everybody" ? I'm waiting for your kind reply. Thank you very much. SayedRead More...
Hi Sayed The usual wording is this: - Who all's going? This usage of 'all' is fairly informal. To me, the word 'all' is used to indicate that the person asking the question expects the answer to include a number of people (i.e. not just one), and that the person wants to know the name of every person who is going.Read More...

subject & verb agreement

Hi, I read an article, "There are two kinds of hand signs. Some hand signs are for whole words................... . The second kind of hand sign is fingerspelling......." Why not" The second kind of hand sings is fingerspelling." Thank you .Read More...
Hi, Katy, Both "type of hand sign s " and "type of hand sign" are fine, but here you have "the second type of," which refers to only one type, so it's better to have "sign" rather than "signs." The verb needs to be singular in both versions anyway because the subject is singular in both: "the second type ."Read More...

noun clause

when he brought the help, it was too late. when he brought the help is a noun clause? why?Read More...
And about "it," you're right in that you feel it's redundant in meaning, but this kind of "it" is called empty it . It doesn't have a real meaning, but we still use it. Examples: It's too late. It's cold. It's 5:30.Read More...

by

a. I did not give in to their demands by talking to them. b. I did not give in to their demands, by talking to them. c. By talking to them, I did not give in to their demands. What do the above sentences mean? Which of them matches which of the following ones: 1. By talking to them, I managed not to give in to their demands. 2. I did give in to them. but it was not by talking to them that I gave in to them (it was through some other action...) 3. Just because I talked to them doesn't mean I...Read More...
I think the available interpretations are not the best ones, but I would match them this way if I were to...: (a) = (2) (b) = (1) (c) = (3)Read More...

past perfect or simple past?

Hi, 1- She ___had_ finished lunch by the time he arrived. her lunch is O.K? 2- It was very dark last night when I __had seen___(see) the man on the road. It was so dark that I fell down the stairs so I ________have to_____fixed the light. are my answers correct? what does "so" mean in number 3?Read More...
Yes, that's the way the second 'so' is used. If you use 'should have fixed' in that sentence, that suggests that the speaker had considered fixing the light before he fell, but didn't. Now that he has fallen, he realizes that it would have been better if he had fixed the light earlier, when he first realized it needed fixing -- i.e. before he fell in the dark. Basically, 'I should have fixed the light' = 'It would have been better if I had fixed the light when I first noticed it needed to be...Read More...

with what?

hi, 1- Mathematics (to be)____________ an area most store managers have experience with we don't need anything after with? is the answer "is"? Thank youRead More...
Yes, it is.Read More...

thoroughly clean

Can I say, (a) Wash the jam jar thoroughly clean. (b) Wash the jam jar until it is thoroughly clean.Read More...
Hi Vincent It would be much better to use 'thoroughly' to modify a verb. For example: (a) Wash the jam jar thoroughly. (1a) Clean the jam jar thoroughly. (2a) Thoroughly clean the jam jar. In all of the sentences above, the adverb 'thoroughly modifies a verb. If you want to use 'clean' as an adjective, then I would suggest using a word such as 'completely' rather than 'thoroughly': (b) Wash the jam jar until it is completely clean. Or you could change the wording to something like this: (1b)...Read More...

in the weekend

Can I say, (a) I clean my room in the weekend. (b) I swim in the week. P/s: I have heard about "at / on the weekend" only.Read More...
We can also use 'over' -- in a slightly more informal way -- with weekend, for both meanings: A: What are you going to do over the weekend? B: I'm going to clean my garage. A: How long do you think it will take you to clean out your garage? B: Oh, I think I can do it over a/ the weekend. It won't take longer than that.Read More...

through much

Which are correct: 1-He found, through much encouraging his students , that self-confidence can work wonders. 2-He found, through much speaking , that one can only learn a language well by using it. 3-He found, through encouraging his students much , that self-confidence can work wonders. 4-He found, through speaking much , that one can only learn a language well by using it.Read More...
Sentences 1, 3 and 4, sound unnatural, Navi. The first is actually way off. We wouldn't use the gerund (encouraging) when there is a common noun available: 'encouragement.' Then, 'of' or 'to' has to accompany 'encouragement. So we could say: 1-He found, through much encouragement of/ to his students, that self-confidence can work wonders. We might, though, use the gerund with 'by' here: 1-He found, by encouraging his students, that self-confidence can work wonders. (There is no natural place...Read More...

Especially

"His (a former president's) declining health limited access, especially to scholars" (who were eager to interview him. Would you please parse "especially to scholars"? (a) Does it qualify as a parenthetical element? (b) What, if anything, does it modify? Thank you very much.Read More...
APOLOGY I wish to apologize, especially to advanced learners, for having copied the wrong preposition. It should be "especially FOR scholars." Thank you.Read More...

place clause

He went to the University of Moscow, where he qualified himself to teach Physics. Can't the above sentence have two different meanings: a. He was qualified to teach Phyiscs, but we don't know where he was going to teach it... Maybe he was qualified to teach Physics at high schools. b. He was qualified to teach Physics at that very University. He was going to teach it there.Read More...
I still think that without further context, any interpretation is possible, although one might be more probable/preferable than the other. For example, Rachel's innovative alternative makes us interpret it as (2), but we can still have other possible interpretations. For example, maybe after he had studies at the University of Moscow and had become a physics teacher, he went back to continue his studies to get a doctorate: To get his doctorate, he went to the University of Moscow, where he...Read More...

to be healthy / to grow healthy

Can I say, Vitamins fight diseases and help our bones, teeth and gums to be healthy / to grow healthy / in healthy.Read More...
Yes, I've learnt it. But, like "grow" can be assumed as a verb, right? I think it's different meaning if I use it as an adverb with "healthily",Read More...

To : Okaasan ..Will or going to ?!

Dear Okaasan , I have asked a British tutor about the difference between the following sentences : (1) I need to lose weight, so I've made a decision. I'll diet and exercise. (2) I need to lose weight, so I've made a decision. I'm going to diet and exercise. *** Here is her reply : ** I think 2 is better than 1, as we normally use "will" to talk about future predictions or decisions made at the moment of speaking, while we use "going to" to talk about intentions. ** With will, there's a...Read More...
About such a question on a test: that would be really bad. Without context, there is no way to discern whether this sentence should have 'will' or 'be going to.' Maybe either would be correct. Anyway, it's a shame to think that some qualified student might not pass a class because of a question like this.Read More...

Double "not"

"I will NOT ever forgive you -- NOT after what you said to me." Would you please explain the role of "Not after what you said to me"? (a) Is it parenthetical? (b) What role does "not" play? (c) What does the prepositional clause ("after what you said to me") modify? Thanks a million for your help.Read More...
I thank you SO much for confirming my feeling that the part after the comma is, indeed, a parenthetical element, thus justifying the second "not."Read More...
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