Skip to main content

All Forum Topics

Table manners

- I hate when people don't have table manners. More than anything I hate the way that people eat and chew. If people smack their food it completely drives me up the wall. - Who do "table manners" and "drive me up the wall" mean here? Thanks a lot to Moderators! NamcoolguyRead More...
"Table manners" describe the way you eat. If your actions fit in with those of your culture, you have good table manners. For example, in the US, you are not supposed to chew with your mouth full, or talk with your mouth full. You are supposed to handle the fork and knife in a certain manner. In other cultures, there may be variations on the US rules, or other rules entirely. 'Drive me up a wall' means to drive me crazy, to make me feel crazy. It refers to a big irritation.Read More...

would/would like to

1. We would ask that no clothing, bedding or other such items be brought. 2. We would like to ask that no clothing, bedding or other such items be brought. What's the difference between 'would' and 'would like to'?Read More...
To me, sentence 1 sounds more formal. A formal directive might be worded thus: - We ask that no clothing, bedding or other such items be brought. The addition of "would" softens that a bit.Read More...

sort of

cocoricot
Dear teachers, I can't find the mistake in this sentence. Please show me: "Henry is the sort of a man who will never give you the shirt off his back." Many thanks.Read More...
Hi Coco You need to remove the word "a": Henry is the sort of a man who will never give you the shirt off his back."Read More...

find out

I have to find out the definitions of all the related terms and then find out if I am for it or against it. Is the above sentence correct? Thanks!Read More...
Without the broader context, the sentence doesn't make much sense to me. However, you normally would not "find out" whether you yourself are for or against something. Rather, you would e.g. "decide" whether you are for or against something.Read More...

euthanasia

1. Passive euthanasia means that death is brought about by withdrawing or withholding treatment. 2. Passive euthanasia is when death is brought about by withdrawing or withholding treatment. 3. Passive euthanasia is death brought about by withdrawing or withholding treatment. Which is the most natural sentence among them? Thanks!Read More...
They're all possible. My personal preference would be sentence 1. Sentence 2 strikes me as more informal than 1 or 3.Read More...

prefer than

I prefer coffee than tea. Is the sentence correct if it is heard in casual conversations? Thanks!Read More...
It's not something I would expect to hear people say. If I heard someone say it, I would likely assume it to be a slip of the tongue.Read More...

follow-up to "red money"

Dear Rachel, accept my thanks. I have finally settled for the following definition of RED MONEY to be incorporated into my collection of problem phrases: red money – (US) 1. money from the states whose residents predominantly vote for the Republican Party, as contrasted with ‘blue money’ associated with the Democratic Party: There are parts of upstate New York which are so red they make Alabama look liberal. This is not one of those, but it could give Kentucky a run for its red money. 2.Read More...
Hi Yuri I'm not familiar with the term 'red money' as a commonly-used expression. I think most people would need additional context in order to figure out the intended meaning.Read More...

Neither ... nor

cocoricot
Dear teachers, I think it is impossible to use "inversion" in the both clauses so this sentence could be wrong: " Neither did she come to the party, nor did she reply to the invitation" Thanks.Read More...
The sentence is correct, Coco. In the first clause, 'neither' causes the inversion, and in the second clause, 'nor' causes the inversion. When 'neither' and 'nor' come first, the subject and verb are inverted. If you put 'neither' in another place, the clause is not inverted: She neither came to the party, nor replied to the invitation.Read More...

omitting relative pronoun

cocoricot
Dear teachers, "Dry salt lakes 70 kilometers long and 15 kilometers wide lie between long dunes." Please tell me if the part in green is omitted "which are" => Dry salt lakes which are 70 kilometers long and 15 kilometers wide lie between long dunes. ThanksRead More...
Yes, Mehrdad. Corrected.Read More...

the largest known animals

cocoricot
Dear teachers, "The blue whale is the largest known animals , reaching a length of more than one hundered feet." Please tell me why the phrase in purple isn't placed in its order. I guess it should be "is known as the largest animals" ThanksRead More...
Oh, now that Mehrdad has identified the problem, I understand the question. In the sentence you have given, Coco, 'known' is a past participle acting as an adjective. We could also say, 'the largest animal known.' Your correction is also right: '...is known as the largest animal...' Thank you, Mehrdad and Mido.Read More...

question about comma

Dear teachers "The snake is a ten-and-a-half foot long, boa constrictor." Why the second comma needed? If it is needed, isn't the same sentence structure with 'She is beautiful, girl'. It feels inappropriate. Please let me know~ Thanks in advanceRead More...
Hi, Lisu. Welcome to the Grammar Exchange. You ask about the second comma, but I only see one, and it is wrong, as you guessed. Also, there should be more hyphens: The snake is a ten-and-a-half-foot-long boa constrictor. This would be similar in structure to I have a five-year-old horse. You are also correct that there should be no comma in the second sentence: She is a beautiful girl. We don't put a comma between an adjective and the noun it modifies.Read More...

sit in / on a chair

is there a difference between "sitting on a chair" and "sitting in a chair"?Read More...
Hello, Vincent: Usually we sit in a chair that has arms, as in an armchair, and on a chair without arms. There's a problem, though, with chairs that have one arm, like school-desk chairs. Do you sit in or on them? And then there are sofas, and exception. Most sofas do have arms, but we sit on sofas.Read More...

all of/ much of

cocoricot
Dear teachers, "In fact, ... of Africa is not jungle but mostly deserts or grasslands." a. all b. most c. much I think (a) and (c) are correct. Please tell me if I am right. Thanks.Read More...
Hello, Coco: I think that the test makers are looking for c): much. Grammatically, though, both a) and b) could possibly be right. You could use 'all' if the previous explanation had referred to Africa, giving the implication that it was mostly jungle. But, 'all' could be unclear in this sentence, so it is not good. Sentence b) with 'most' would be all right, but stylistically it is bad because the similar word 'mostly' comes so soon. That leaves item c) as the best completion.Read More...

red money

Dear experts, Are you familiar with the term RED MONEY as in: The real Maxists are the Conservatives who think borrowing "Red" money is how to properly run a country. He fully explained to the local judge the significance of "red" money in a bank robbery investigation and exhibited to the judge the "red" bills which the informant had given him. Much of the RED money donated to Swaziland will be spent on orphans. The country has the world's highest HIV/Aids rate. What groups in our society do...Read More...
Hello again, Yuri! 'Red money' is not a high-frequency term. The paragraphs you have given us refer, I think, to different meanings of the words. First, I might guess -- and this is only a guess -- that the first reference of 'red' refers to communists? We used to call communists 'red.' The second reference might -- another guess -- refer to bills that had already been marked in red by the bank. I think this was an old practice. Third, there is the Red money that is used to fight AIDS in...Read More...

do and go

When we want to ask people about the progress of something, am I right to think that we use "do" after people and "go" after things? 1. How are you doing with the report? 2. How is the report going? 3. How are you doing? 4. How is it going? Will it be wrong to ask "how are you going with the report" and "how is the report doing"?Read More...
Hello, Alexwlh: You have a good ear. Sentences 1-4 are all correct and idiomatic. However, the sentences you are thinking about are not idiomatic. They would not normally be used.Read More...

articles

Is it grammatical to drop the articles in titles like chapter headings? For example, can I write "Social Position of Women in US" instead of "The Social Position of Women in the US"?Read More...
Yes, it is often possible to drop the article in headings. I think it depends on what kind of heading. In a newspaper, yes. On an academic paper, I think probably not. A lot depends on the style of the magazine or the publisher, too. Okaasan would have a knowledgeable comment about this, since she has worked as a copy editor. Okaasan, by the way, is at home and limited with a bad back, but she hopes to be up and around, soon.Read More...

Question on Future Progressive (be going to + be + -ing)

The sentence in question is: "How could you let some else decide the person you are going to be spending the rest of your life with?" "Understanding and Using English Grammar 4th Ed." (page 71) explains that future progressive expresses an activity that will be in progress at a time in the future. But the above sentence does not indicate when the future event (spending the rest of your life) will occur. Furthermore, the future event (spending the rest of your life) will NOT occur AT an...Read More...
In addition to Mehrdad's remarks, I'd like to add this: the future progressive can be used to soften a declaration or intention. For example, you can say: We'll go to bed around 11;00, so don't call later than that. That's fine. But you can also say: We'll be going to bed around 11:00, so don't call later than that. _______ The Grammar Exchange has a few discussions on the topic of the future progressive, especially with this 'softening' meaning: ...Read More...

About languages

(a) What languages do they use in Canada and Austrilia? British Eng or America English? (b) Should I know what country do they use British Eng only?Read More...
Nowadays, the old famous distinction of AmE versus BrE is weakened becuase many other variations of English have appeared. You might have already come across the term "Englishes," which refers to the very same point. Among these Englishes , we have also, for example, Australian English.Read More...

who or which?

Do we use "who" or "which" as a determiner for animals? 1. The horse who has been temperamental today... 2. The horse which has been temperamental today...Read More...
Thank you, Rachel, for adding more to my comment. I agree with you, and I think the simplest justification for this is that "whom" is a rather formal word, so it cannot be used in informal contexts (where we might use "who" for animals).Read More...

A few / a little / some

Which is correct? (a) Pour a little / some / much oil into the pan. (b) There isn't any / some / a little sugar left in the jar. (c) Could I have some / any / a few sweets? (d) She ate a little / some rice because she was not hungry. (e) There are a few / some coins on the desk.Read More...
(a) Pour a little / some / a lot of oil into the pan. (b) There isn't any sugar left in the jar. ("A little" would be correct here only in very special and rare cases.) (c) Could I have some / a few sweets? ("Some," not "any" is used in requests and when we expect the answer to be yes.) (d) She ate a little rice because she was not hungry. (e) There are a few / some coins on the desk.Read More...

agreement on personal pronouns and nouns

Dear Moderator, Could you please advise me which ones of the following two sets of sentences are correct? 1. Everyone seeks happiness in their life. 2. Everyone seeks happiness in their lives. 3. Everyone opens their mouth. 4. Everyone opens their mouths. Thank you very much! Best regards, AlexRead More...
AN UPDATE. You can find a riveting discussion by going to Google and typing in "Language Log > Their heads." A judge started it when he wrote in an opinion: "...the legend that ostriches when frightened bury their HEAD (my emphasis) in the sand." The erudite commenters give us a scrumptious feast of knowledge and wit. We learn, for example, that English prefers the plural "heads" ("Shakespeare uses 'their heads'exclusively , but 'their life' in at least one play") and that the singular is...Read More...

Forget about/ forget

Hi all, I would like to know the difference between Forget something and Forget about something . Many thanks.Read More...
This has been discussed on the GE before. Here's my reaction to the same question on a previous thread: He forgot about our date. (He forgot the story of our date/He forgot everything about our date) He forgot our date. (He forgot the date itself.) To see the originial thread, go to: http://thegrammarexchange.info...40600179/m/540104981Read More...
×
×
×
×