All Forum Topics

can't do / can't have done

mengxin2009
Usually, "can't do" refers to a present event while "can't have done" a past event. My question is, can "can't have done" refer to a present event? For example, I worked with him in Shanghai for 10 years,and he _____ now. A. can't forget me. B. can't have forget me. I feel somewhat puzzled here. What about the following sentences? He can't have finished his homework yesterday. He can't have finished his homework now. He can't finish his homewor know.(hmmm, maybe "can't" should be "couldn't"...Read More...

Using " the "

Dear Richard and Rachel Would you please tell me what is the correct answer? and why? - Look at those small desks. Those are where ( the boys - girls ) sit. I'm Waiting for your kind reply. Thank you very much. SayedRead More...

I need a special term

Dear all, I need to know which term is best to print on a document (or a booklet) to notify readers that the document is used only within the organization which publishes that document. a. Internal use only b. Intra-office use only c. Limited use only d. (Other suggestions please) Thank you so much.Read More...

Better

John was buying the fabric for making new clothes. Then his wife said “ I’ve seen better than that.” Am I correctly using 'better'? Thank youRead More...

end up

Hi everybody, which is the incorrect ending and why: She ended up (a) living with me (b) work as a doctor (C)in WarsawRead More...

the subject of the gerund

The period between the first release of a new product and sales of it reaching their highest then falling is getting shorter every year. Is it the subject of the gerund reaching in the sentence? And could I say its instead of it ?Read More...

could / was able to : general/ specific ability

mengxin2009
S1,I was able to come to the meeting yesterday. S2,I could come to the meeting yesterday. What does S1 mean? Is the following phrasing correct? "I" did come to it, which was surprising. What does S2 mean? S2 doesn't equal S1 at all. As a stand-alone sentence, it is incorrect. It may be used in sentences like "I told her I could come/go to the meeting yesterday." Am I right? Please correct me if I am wrong. Many thanks in advance.Read More...

which = any?

Hi, "Only toward the end of the 18th century was the final "fixing" of spelling as we now know it more or less achieved, after which derivation from the standard was frowned upon." Does "which" in the context above have a similar meaning to "any"?Read More...

can/ be able to : future

mengxin2009
can / be able to Many books say the future tense of "can" is "will be able to". But "can" has at least three basic meanings: C1, ability; C2, epistemic can(possibility); C3, permission. Which meaning of the three the future tense can be applied to? For example, S1,He can do the homework tomorrow. In this sentence,I think "can" has the meaning of C3,but not C1 & C2. So my question is, Could C1 & C2 have future tense (about a specific occasion)? S2, He can be here tomorrow. S3, He can...Read More...

Relative Clause

I have bought a book from the shop which you will like. In this sentence I think which describe the shop, right? But I wanted to describe the book.Should I have said: I have bought a book from the shop, which you will like?Read More...

would have thought

Man: You’ll have to come and see my new apartment some time. It's no too far form the office. Woman: I didn't realize you'd already moved in. Is everything okay so far or have you had any problems? Man : The apartment is perfect. The only negative is that the TV cable company still hasn’t hooked up my service so I just have to watch DVDs. Woman: I’d have thought you’d still be busy decorating and arranging things, which Ialways find fun. Does the sentence in bold above mean that: 'If we...Read More...

Exam on, in?

Hi, Say that I have an exam tomorrow. Which is correct to say and why? 1. I have an exam in English. 2. I have an exam on English. 3. I have an English exam. I feel that 2 and 3 are correct. Yet, I this they both have another meaning other than that I will have an exam in English as a subject i.e. grammar, vocablary, etc. I think it could mean that the exam was written in English regardless of the subject. The subject could be maths, physics, etc. What do you think?Read More...

It can/may/would/ought/ be

mengxin2009
I'll answer the door. It_______for me. A. can be B. may be C. would be D. ought be I think A is wrong in that it is a specific occasion. What about B and C? Many thanks in advance.Read More...

position of STILL

Was my reply correct regarding the position of the adverb (still)? I just felt it more natural than the usual position i.e (after the first auxiliary and before the main verb): Friend: I am sorry for keeping you. Me: It's Ok I still can wait a little more.Read More...

About holidays

Can I say, (a) Yesterday was a public holiday. (b) Today is public holidays / a public holiday. (c) Last week was school holidays. Last week, it was school holiday. (d) Last Wednesday was holiday. (e) Two weeks ago,it was holidays / holiday. (f) There was / It was school holidays.Read More...

sit+past participle

joan
Is the sentence grammatical below? The teacher sat there surrounded by his pupils. Thanks!Read More...

Beginning an independent clause with "because".

I saw the following sentence in an essay by Nancy Gibbs in Time magazine. Silly as it is, this matters. Because words shape our world. Is it now grammatically acceptable to start and end an independent clause with "because"? If so, what about other subordinate conjunctions such as "although, while, as soon as," etc. I know this works when you give an answer to a question in a conversation, but it seems acceptable in an informal writing, especially when you want to emphasize that clause. Does...Read More...

same age

Which is correct please: -He is the same age as you. - He is the same as your age. I guess it's #1 am I right?Read More...

a comma

The following is a sentence from The Washington Post. They cast the difference between kids who are succeeding in school and those who are not in terms of race and seem obsessed with what they call the "gap" between the test scores of white and black students. I first had trouble understanding the sentence because there was no comma. Isn't a comma necessary to make the meaning clearer? Like the sentence below? Or should another comma be placed before the phrase "in terms of race"? They cast...Read More...

a ambiguity

1-A police officer might know that. Can't this sentence mean three things: a-Maybe all police officers know that. Maybe it is the kind of thing all police officers know. b-Any police officer might know that. c-Maybe there is one specific police officer who knows that.Read More...

them or it?

Hi, Which is correct? If you are currently studying, what qualifications do you expect to obtain, and when do you expect to obtain it ? If you are currently studying, what qualifications do you expect to obtain, and when do you expect to obtain them ?Read More...

own

Dear teachers, In the following sentence, is it ok to use "own" if I want to emphasize that the money belongs to them and not any other? He watched their own money disappear in fire.Read More...

verb tenses

joan
Which choice can complete the sentence below? We ______ the movie at 7:30 yesterday evening. (A)had seen (B)were seeing (C)saw Thanks!Read More...

goods were a rip off

Hello, I want to say that I bought the goods at a very low price. The goods were a rip off. Is this correct? Do I have to put an article there? Thanks a lot!^^Read More...
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