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men's departmen

In Blue Azar Chapter 7 we're studying nouns. In the sentence: The men's department is on the 4th floor. The text presents "men's" as a possesive noun. In class we also discussed this as an adjective. Can someone comment/clarify? Thank you, IngridRead More...
Hello, Ingrid, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange. ‘Men’s’ is the possessive form of the noun 'men,' as we know. Since the word does fill an adjectival function, it is sometimes referred to as adjectival. Marcella Frank* explains: ‘When used in its customary position before another noun, a possessive noun is often considered as a determinative adjective.’ (Here’s more: ‘However, the possessive determinative form may also occur alone without a following noun, in which case it is sometimes...Read More...

excited gossip

cocoricot
Dear teachers, "The village of Highbury is in an excited gossip because Mr. Elton has just become engaged to a certain Miss Hawkins." Please explain the use of "excited gossip". Would it be "exciting gossip"? Why not use "exciting gossip"? It seems more correct. Thanks.Read More...
I love the comparison of "excited gossip" to "excited electrons", Okaasan! lol Cocoricot, the use of "excited" means that the gossipers themselves are in a state of excitement. The people in the village are gossiping excitedly. The whole village is excited. If you said "exciting gossip" that would mean that the gossip itself is such that it can arouse excitement in people. However, in the sentence the gossip has already excited the people of the village.Read More...

have been persuaded; had been persuaded

A: What was the outcome of the meeting? B: The organizers ___________ to donate the profits to charity. a. have been persuaded b. had been persuaded Are they both correct? Could you explain some? Thanks!Read More...
Hi Kis Option (a) is correct. It gives us straightforward news about the results of a recent meeting. For me there is not enough context to justify a possible use of the past perfect (option b). If you used "had been persuaded" in the sentence, that would suggest that the organizers wanted to donate to charity BEFORE the meeting, but AFTER the meeting they no longer wanted to do that.Read More...

did good/ did well

1-You did good to help us. 2-You did good helping us. 3-You did good in helping us. 4-You did well to help us. 5-You did well helping us. 6-You did well in helping us. Which of the above mean: a-You were efficient in helping us. You helped us well. and which mean: b-You did a good thing to help us. The act was good.Read More...

taught me to fight

Is there a difference between the meanings of: 1-He taught me to fight. and: 2-He taught me fighting.Read More...
The sentences are close in meaning, and might be used interchangeably. However, there is a difference. Sentence 1, with the infinitive, refers to teaching the skill, the know-how. You could also say, 'He taught me how to fight.' Sentence 2 refers to the entire action, the completed action, the subject. Let's take two other sentences as examples: 1) He taught me how to solve math problems. 2) He taught me math. These sentences are like yours. In the first, he taught me the skill. In the...Read More...

good for

1-They are good for having fun. 2-They are good to have fun. Can't these sentences mean two things: a-They are good at having fun. b-They are good to have fun with. If you want to have fun, they are good company.Read More...
Yes, the sentences could be ambiguous. This is interesting for me to answer because yesterday I wrote about a similar structure and recommended leaving off the preposition at the end. But with these sentences, with one meaning, we should have the preposition ‘with’! If you mean they themselves are good at having fun, at having a good time, at partying – then sentence a) is what you want: They are good at having fun. . That’s what they do. If you mean that they are good for you to have fun...Read More...

persist/insist

Hi, I'll be grateful if you can help me to choose between these two words in the following context: A couple who arranged a second wedding ceremony after photographs of the original ceremony were ruined are claiming compensation...They are currently in dispute with the company that took the wedding photographs. Two days after the ceremony, the Wrights had to go through the ceremony again with a different photographer. The final set was perfect, but they persist/insist? that the distress...Read More...
Thanks a lot, Rachel!Read More...

learn other trades

- I would like to tell you about an experience that I had once. My ex-boss Richard put others first, especially me. Richard wanted everyone to learn other trades so that they could do their best in life as well as at the job site. - What do "learn other trades" and "do their best in life" mean in this context? Thanks so much to moderators! NamcoolguyRead More...
'Learn other trades' means 'learn other jobs, other skills' so that one could have additional, and perhaps better jobs than at the present moment. A carpenter, for example, could also learn to be a plumber, or a tailor could learn to be a designer. Perhaps the boss was training you for a better position in life, or perhaps training you for economic or political changes that might affect your current job. 'Their best in life' vaguely refers to having more satisfaction in life, and developing...Read More...

look up / in

Which is the correct answer? (a) Please look in / up the dictionary. (b) If you look in / up the dictionary, you will find the answer.Read More...
Hello, again,Vincent! The phrasal verb that you want here is 'look up.' It's a separable phrasal verb, so that means that the words 'look' and 'up' can be separated. If there is a noun, the noun can go between the two parts: look the word up OR look up the word If there is a pronoun, the pronoun must go between the two words, and not after the phrase: look it up look up it . Your sentences should be these: Please look it up in the dictionary. If you look it up in the dictionary, you will...Read More...

subjects or objects

emma
Hi, In these sentences, what are "the part of speech" of book & dog? 1-I'm reading a book which was written by Jane. 2-The dog catcher caught the dog which had bitten my neighbor's daughter. ... My guess; subject!Read More...
Hello, Thanks a lot. Yes, I made a big mistake & I had doubt about it. Now I learn differences between part of speech & sentence!) Really thank you... anyway, what forced me to classify "dog" and "book" into objects is that "why we can't omit which or that here?Read More...

Suffer it to say

- This man has made such a difference in my life, I just want the world to know what a decent human being and wonderful employer he is. I could continue on with specific anecdotes of his magnanimous ways, but suffice it to say that he is one classy dude all around, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to have worked for such an extraordinary man. - What does "suffer it to say" mean in this context? Thanks a lot to moderators! NamcoolguyRead More...
- Dear Gilbert and Rachel! - You're very welcome Suffice it to say that miss Rachel is a very attentive and good moderator and so is Richard. Thanks again for your help, Rachel Best wishes, NamcoolguyRead More...

Does "In the night" always refer to a time during one particular night?

I'd appreciate it if someone would answer my question. Thanks in advance. Concerning the sentence: I had to stay up late in the night. Does "In the night" always refer to a time during one particular night? To put it another way, is the sentence : He studies Spanish on the radio in the evening, possible?Read More...
I see very much. Thank you.Read More...

The definition of Until

W: How much longer will you stay? M: I was thinking of staying for twenty days, but my friend's birthday is on July 25th. So, I won't leave until the end of this month. W: You mean you will stay here until July 31st? M: Yes. I'll leave the next day. What is next day?? August 1st or July 31st?? He didn't know the fact until Monday. Q : When did he know it? Monday or Tuesday ?? It was not until he was thirty that he started to paint. When did he start to paint ? 1. he did at 30 2. he did at 31...Read More...
It seems like the speaker is referring to August 1st. 'The next day' said after the mention of July 31st would indicate that. _______ He knew it on Monday. Before Monday he was ignorant of the fact. Then on Monday he learned it. He started to paint at 30. Before age 30, he did not paint. Then, when he was 30, he started to paint. 'Until' indicates that an action happened, or didn't happen, until a certain point of time. Then, at that point, it stopped happening, or if it wasn't happening, it...Read More...

apostrophe

engfan
Hello, It is sometimes a trouble for me to use the apostrophe with things. I can't decide whether I use it or not. I lost my car keys. I lost my car's keys. I mended the table leg. I mended the table's leg ? Thanks,Read More...
Yes, GrammarFan has identified the basic rule: when the possessor is a living being, the apostrophe + s is used, as in a man's arm, a dog's leg and a person's honor. Non-living things might take the form of noun adjunct combinations, as in table leg, car door and school bus. But, there are many exceptions! Please see this discussion that appeared previously on the Grammar Exchange: http://thegrammarexchange.info...026014972#2026014972Read More...

I will be done

cocoricot
Dear teachers, - Could I give you a hand with these? - No thanks. I will be done when I finish tightening these bolts. Please tell me what "I will be done" means? Is it a mistake? should it be "I will do"? Thanks.Read More...
'I will be done' is the same as 'I will be finished.' This kind of passive voice -- describing the state of the subject and without the possibility of a 'by' phrase -- is called the stative passive. Other stative passive examples: The window is broken. The building is located on the corner of 5th and 6th Avenues. He's interested in history.Read More...

ply;plied

My first encounter with the camera happened in the early 1960s when I was seven years old. The person behind the camera was an itinerant, journeyman photographer who plies trade on a Lambretta motor-scooter. Is the tense correct? How about plied ? Thanks!Read More...
Great answer, GrammarFan.Read More...

It is a great fun

cocoricot
Dear teachers, Are they possible to use either gerund or to-infinitive? 1. It is a great fun to spend holiday summer by the sea. 2. It is a great fund spending holiday summer by the sea. Thanks.Read More...
Thank you, Okaasan, for your correction and your explanation.Read More...

interjection

When I want to say "I understand" to someone who just told me something, do I say "got it" or "got you"?Read More...
I think that we usually say, 'Got it,' but occasionally we say 'Got you.' 'Got it' means 'I understand it,' and 'Got you' means 'I understand you.'Read More...

shot

When it comes to coffee, what does "shot" mean? What does "coffee with two shots" mean?Read More...
Okaasan, sorry for the confusion. When I asked the question I was thinking about the "with extra shot, with two shots..."that I hear at Starbucks all the time, and which I believe refers to only "shot of espresso" because believe me, they really don't put whiskey in their coffee there, let alone extra shot. Anyway, thanks for the information on Irish coffee; now I know people like to order Irish coffee with extra shot too.Read More...

might; should

The king has dismissed any suggestion that he might abdicate the throne. Is it correct? How about should ? Thanks!Read More...
This looks OK to me. If you change might to should , you change the meaning. Should here means ought to .Read More...

invites

Hello and happy 2010! I just want to check something... You see, I often hear this (not the exact words) on the radio and I'm wondering if my grammar is outdated. " ... and if you're the ninth caller to get through, you'll win 2 INVITES to the screening of (something or other)." Shouldn't it be invitations ? Thank you. GilbertRead More...
Hey there Rachel! Thanks for the clarification and also for pointing out the above. That is something new and helpful to me. GilbertRead More...

left;had left

All of the sentences below are accepted correctly, right? 1) I left before he came. 2) I had left before he came. 3) I left before he had came. I know sentences 1) and 2) are correct and that 'left' is enough instead of 'had left' because of 'before', which makes sense to me completely. But sentence 3) is not logical to me because 'left' is an earlier action than 'came'. Of course, I accept this because English is your language and this is the way it is being used now. But I'm still...Read More...
In some instances, the third sentence would be possible. We'd have to know the context, though. It is not a frequent usage. Here are two relevant threads about using the past perfect in an action that happens after the action of the simple past tense verb: http://thegrammarexchange.info...281025264#3281025264 http://thegrammarexchange.info...=207107303#207107303Read More...
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