Skip to main content

All Forum Topics

anyone

1. As usual we would ask anyone who is having goods to contribute to take them to the warehouse on any day. 2. As usual we would ask anyone having goods to contribute to take them to the warehouse on any day. Are these two sentences having the same meaning? Thanks!Read More...
Yes, they have the same meaning. "Who is having goods to contribute" is an adjective clause. "Having goods to contribute" is a present participle phrase.Read More...

Conversation?

Hi, Ideally, in my experience, phrasal verbs are best learned in a Listening / Speaking class. (However, because phrasal verbs show up in all kinds of written English as well, they could be certainly addressed in a Reading / Writing context as well.) I think that a Conversation class is a good fit for a phrasal verb lesson because, not only do students need exposure to this target language to be fully effective communicators, but it also gives teachers something concrete to teach in the...Read More...
Crystal clear! Thanks a lot.Read More...

there is/are

Dear teachers, Please advise me which of the following is correct. Thank you. (A) There is no children in the house. (B) There are no children in the house.Read More...
I thank you all for the answers very much.Read More...

Adverbs II

Hello again! "Traditional grammarians define adverbs as words that modify a verb, an adjective, or another adverb. However, ... we will show that adverbials, which may be words, phrases, or clauses, are just as likely to modify entire sentences or clauses as they are to function according to the traditional definition of adverbs." From: The Grammar Book (2nd Edition) by Celce-Murcia & Larsen-Freeman (1999) p.491 My question is this: Are the authors for or against the traditional...Read More...
Hi Rachel! Thank you for the explanation. I'm so sorry for asking that. It's just that when I read it, it sounded as if they were against traditional grammarians. I got the feeling that they considered the definition to be out-of-date. Thanks again. GilbertRead More...

Drive a scooter?

Hi all, I've always associated the word 'ride' with a motorbike or a scooter. However, I recently heard 'drive a scooter' being used on the telly (From Jim Carrey's YES! MAN). Is it natural for native speakers to say this? Thank you. GilbertRead More...
Hi Amy. Ali _______ his scooter to work every day. A flies B rides C drives D cycles I think that if the above question was set in a test taken by a Malaysian student, and the poor guy chose option C as the correct answer, he would be marked 'wrong'! I'd be most happy to hear comments from Malaysian teachers on the GE. Many thanks. GilbertRead More...

tense

I just heard this on TV: "Ever had a horse take exception to you being on its back and do something about it?" I don't quite understand the structure of this sentence. Why isn't it "Ever had a horse took exception......its back and did something about it"?Read More...
I understand it now. Thank you very much, Rachel and Amy!Read More...

Freud, folly and finance

Hi all, There is an article in the Economist with the title "Investor beware! Freud, folly and finance". Although I know who Freud is, I can't figure out the figurative meaning that Freud has. So please help. Many thanks.Read More...
Thank you so much, Amy.Read More...

No one need know

cocoricot
Dear teachers, "No one need know who paid the random to the kipnappers." Please explain why "need" doesn' t have "S" and why not put "to" between "need" and "know" => No one needs to know who paid the random to the kipnappers."Read More...
Hello, Coco: 'Need' and 'dare,' while usually followed by an infinitive (with 'to'), are sometimes used without 'to.' Some grammarians call 'need' and 'dare' quasi-auxiliaries,' which means that they are 'almost auxiliaries.' These two verbs function in all respects like regular verbs, but they may also form negatives and questions in the same way as auxiliaries do. We can say: He needs to go there OR He needs go there. He doesn't dare(to) go there OR He dares not (to) go there. Need he go...Read More...

enough

Which are correct: 1-Enough people didn't show up. 2-Not enough people showed up. 3-We will cancel the show if enough people don't show up. 4-We will cancel the show if not enough people show up.Read More...
Thanks a lot Rachel. I have asked others and have got replies that differ to some extent. One person thought that the two you chose were correct and the other ones weren't. Another one thought that although two of them were correct, people might also use the other ones a well. I am not sure but it seemed to me that one person thought that context would determine the choice of sentences. (That implies that each sentence has a meaning different fron that of its 'fellow' sentence.) In any case,...Read More...

can't have been playing

cocoricot
Dear teachers, 1."They can't have been playing in this weather" 2. "They can have been playing in this weather" In the sentence (2) they weren't playing. Does the sentence (1) mean they were playing? Thanks.Read More...
Sentence 1) is correct, Coco. It means that they weren't playing in this weather because the weather was so bad that it was impossible to play. 'Can't have' + the past participle means that it was impossible, or just about impossible. It's even strong than 'must not have.' John must not have committed the murder. He is a good, kind, moral man. Surely he didn't do that. This is someone's considered opinion. The person is about 95 % sure that John did not commit the murder. But, look: John...Read More...

might arrest/have arrested

cocoricot
Dear teachers, Which is correct? 1. During the war, the police might arrest you for criticizing the King. 2. During the war, the police might have arrested you for criticizing the King. Thanks.Read More...
Hello, Coco: Each is correct in some circumstances. 1) 'The police might arrest you' refers to the time from now into the future. The war is going on now, or it is sure to happen soon. It's possible that you could be arrested! 2) 'The police might have arrested you' refers to a time in the past. The war is over. The police had, perhaps, the opportunity to arrest you, but they didn't.Read More...

About comma

Do we say in a letter: Dear Rose, (a) Your friend Lisa called. (b) Your friend, Lisa called.Read More...
ONLY A FOOTNOTE. "Your friend, Lisa, called" would mean that you have only one friend whereas "Your friend Lisa called" shows that you have at least two friends. This is a minor point, but it might prevent someone from writing: My husband George is a doctor. Thank you.Read More...

relative clause

cocoricot
Dear teachers, 1. One of the elephants which we saw at the zoo had only one tusk. 2. We saw these elephants, one of which had only one tusk. Please tell me if they are the same or difference in meaning? Thanks.Read More...
Yes, both sentences mean the same thing.Read More...

lack of speaking-English environment

Can I say, (a) I am lacked of speaking-English environment. (b) I lack of speaking-English environment.Read More...
Hello, Vincent. We'd use 'lack' as a verb here, with no preposition, and the phrase you want is 'English-speaking,' not speaking-English . How about these: I lack an English-speaking environment. I don't have an English-speaking environment. I wish I had an English-speaking environment.Read More...

mentally ill?

Hi, I wonder why we say: He is mentally ill. He is psychologically tired but not He is ill mentally. He is tired psychologically. Do mentally and psychologically function here as adverbs or adjectives?Read More...
In your phrases, Izzy, the adverb ‘mentally’ modifies the adjective ‘ill,’ and the adverb ‘psychologically’ modifies the adjective ‘tired.’ As you know, one function of an adverb is to modify an adjective, and in this case, both adverbs are doing just that. It may be that the collocation ‘mentally ill’ derives from the phrase ‘mental illness,’ which has been with us a long time. I couldn’t find any examples of ‘ill mentally’ in the New York Times. ‘Psychologically tired’ is a little...Read More...

do homework / do her homework

which is correct? She would do homework / do her homework.Read More...
Bear_bear, that is an awfully short sentence. I know you're capable of writing longer sentences than that. ;-) Yes, it's possible to say both 'do homework' and 'do her homework'. The broader context would have an impact on which one of those might be better to use. However, you have given us hardly any context at all.Read More...

head-in-the-clouds loser

Hi all, I'd like to know what "a head-in-the-clouds loser' means. Many thanksRead More...
Hi Tony Generally speaking, someone whose head is in the clouds is a person who is a dreamer and/or whose thinking is not well-connected with reality. A 'loser' is a person who tends to be unsuccessful in the things he/she attempts to do. This word has a negative/disapproving sort of connotation.Read More...

in / during my childhood

Can I say, (a) Collecting stamps is my favourite childhood hobby. (b)Collecting stamps is my favourite hobby in / during my childhood / childhood life. (c)Collecting stamps is my favourite hobby when I was young.Read More...
Hi bear_bear I would not use the simple present tense. The words 'schooldays' and 'schooltime' refer to an entire or whole period of one's life. Thus, if you are still a child, and you are still going to school, then your schooldays/schooltime is not yet finished, and is therefore not yet "whole". Therefore, when you are an adult, this part of your life is in the finished past, and it is possible to look back at this period of your life as a whole.Read More...

relative clause and modifying

Dear teachers, "If numerology is universally true, then how does it account for variations in the number obtained for an object or person, from translating a word between different language?" I am curious about what the phrase 'obtained for an ~person' modified. Is it number or variations? This kind of sentence is confusing when there is phrase between an antecedent and relative clause. Thanks in advanceRead More...
Hi Lisu I'd say it modifies 'number': "... how does it account for variations in [ the number obtained for an object or person ] ..."Read More...

know her to speak to

Which are correct: 1-I don't know him to speak to. 2-I don't know her to speak to her . 3-I don't know her well enough to speak to. 4-I don't know her well enough to speak to her . Do they mean the same? I think 1 and 2 mean I don't know her at all so one cannot expect me to speak to her, while 3 and 4 imply that I do know her but not well enough to speak to her. I use 2 and 4 myself. To me 1 and 3 seem wrong.Read More...
Thanks a lot Rachek, Would the sentences work as well with 'in order to' instead of 'to': 1a-I don't know him in order to speak to. 3a-I don't know her well enough in order to speak to.Read More...

it was the 1st day

Can I say, (a) Last Monday, it was the first day of New Year. (b) Last Monday was the first day of New Year.Read More...
Sentence (b) is correct: Last Monday = subject was = verb the first day of the new year = predicate nominativeRead More...

preparing the dining table

What do it mean by "she is preparing / setting the dining table"?Read More...
We say, 'She is setting the (dining) table.' This means that she is putting the plates and the eating utensils and the napkins in front of each person's chair on the table.Read More...

meals / a meal

Can I say, She wakes up early and prepares meals / a meal for us .Read More...
If you say, 'She wakes up early and prepares a meal for us,' the meal is probably breakfast. That's the meal she prepares, and wakes up early for. If you say, 'She wakes up early and prepares meals for us,' you are referring to all the meals that you eat, that is, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. So both are correct, but they mean different things.Read More...

Is this a correct definition of the word "colour"

Hi, My friend bought a dictionary in the Indian subcontinent and the definition for colour is as follows: Sensation produced on the eye by decomposed light Just wondering what you think of that definition. Thanks. Warmest regards, SusanRead More...
Yes, Susan, I think the definition is all right. Here's a similar definition provided by Concise Oxford English Dictionary : The property possessed by an object of producing different sensations on the eye as a result of the way it reflects or emits light.Read More...

-ing form

joan
Why do we use using in the sentence below ? a picture produced using a cameraRead More...
Yes, we could say there is an ellipsis at work there. The original sentence would be: A picture which was produced by using a camera "Using" is often used this way to mean "by" or "through:" A picture produced by a cameraRead More...
×
×
×
×