All Forum Topics

had p.p

1. We had just started down the runway at Narita Airport, when the plane's engine malfunctioned. 2. We just started down the runway at Narita Airport, when the plane's engine malfunctioned. Is no.1 correct and no.2 wrong?Read More...
I was thinking that, too, Amy. Amy, what does COCA say? And, by the way, if the sentences above are written, they should not have commas.Read More...

idioms

Dear experts, Would you say that idiomatic expressions GIVE AWAY THE FARM and GIVE AWAY THE STORE are identical in meaning? Thank you, YuriRead More...
‘Give away’ the farm or the store means to negotiate poorly and put yourself at a disadvantage. A similar expression is ‘ bet the farm’ and bet the store.’ These mean to risk everything you have. • bet the farm to risk everything you have because you are certain of something bet the ranch No matter how confident you are in the future, you should never bet the farm on one idea. See also: bet, farm Cambridge Dictionary of American Idioms Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2006. Reproduced...Read More...

could;were able to

The rebels ________ draw on the support of over 20,000 soldiers. a. could b. were able to Are they both correct? Thanks!Read More...
Probably the context calls for 'were able to.' If this is a description, a narrative, and the writer is talking about a one-time event that occurred with effort, 'was able to' is correct. In fact, because of the specific number of soldiers, we say that it what is being described, so 'were able to' is fine. Use 'could' when you refer to general circumstances happening over a long period of time: The rebels had a strong army and a lot of support. They could always draw on the support of many...Read More...

not two

A-I haven't read two of the books that I had to read. Can't this sentence mean two things: FIRST MEANING: Among the books I had to read there are two that I have not read. SECOND MEANING: I haven't even read two of the books that I had to read.Read More...
The first sentence is close to what you mean to say, Navi. But the tenses should be the same. Here's what I would write: I haven't read the two books that we were supposed to read. This means that there were two books assigned, and you haven't read them. _______ If there were more than two books, you might write: I haven't read any / even one of the books that I was supposed to read.Read More...

regret doing

Dear experts, Will it be right to assume that REGRET DOING SOMETHING is only used with reference to a past situation: regret doing something – feel sorry to have done smth.: I don’t regret leaving my last job at all. Cf.: regret to do something – be sorry that one must do smth.: Dr. Wimpole regrets to say that he cannot answer readers’ letters. Thank you, YuriRead More...
It's YOU who deserve thanks.Read More...

if, whether & that

(1) Do you think ______ I should enter the competition? A. whether B. if C. how D. that The key is D. But I think both A and B, as well as D, are acceptable in the question as it is.Read More...
Yes, 'think' is different from 'know' in the formation of the clauses that follow. To introduce a noun clause after ‘think,’ we can use only ‘that.’ To introduce a noun clause after ‘know,’ – especially in interrogative or negative form -- we can use whether, if, how, where, when, that and more. I think that this is correct.Read More...

triple

which one is correct? 1- even the triple 2- even triple the even (adverb) triple(pre determiner) the(determiner)Read More...
Sorry, Elham, it is very difficult to understand what your question is. It's true that 'even' is an adverb and 'the' is a determiner.' Could you show us the sentence that you want analyzed?Read More...

illeism?

Hi, I wonder if you can provide some clear examples for illeism . Main Entry: il·le·ism Pronunciation: ilizm Function: noun Inflected Form(s): -s Etymology: Latin ille he, that one, that + English -ism : excessive use of the pronoun he especially in reference to oneselfRead More...
Thank you very much, Richard. Regarding the third point, I feel such use is very cute and makes me sympathy with Jimmy.Read More...

only

Hi, Thak you for yor responses "only is an intensifier of the entire noun phrase. In he sense of one, only may appear before the-the only other person in the room;the only way to do it." this is the footnot of page 119 of Marcella's book. Dear Rachel and Richard, here "the only way to do it" has the meaning of "one" why "only" comes after "the"? Thank youRead More...
The reason you're confused, my friend, is that you're dealing with one word, only , but with the word being used in two very different ways. Only can be an adverb, meaning that it will modify a whole part of a sentence. When it's used as an adverb, it can come before the definite article ( the ). Here's a definition and some examples from the LDOCE Online: " 3 nothing or no one except a particular person or thing: Only the president can authorize a nuclear attack. We use only the best...Read More...

past perfect

Dear teachers, Would you please see the following writing? The past perfect denoted in blue looks strange to me. I think the event people began flooding into Chattanooga happened earlier than the event 38,000 caves were discovered. Please give me your advice. Strating in the 1960s, people began flooding into Chattanooga, a former factory, to explore its caves, rivers, and cliffs. Before long more than 38,000 caves surrounding the city had been discovered . The nearby Ocoee was among the most...Read More...
_______ The key word here is ‘by,’ and for that we need the time reference, which is AD 1100. You are correct, Jun. The key concept is this: the original sentence, with ‘by AD 1100,’ appears in a clause independent from the first clause. The first clause can stand alone as a sentence. The second clause, with ‘by AD 1100,’ can also stand alone as a sentence. The sentence is grammatically correct, although it desperately needs a context to justify the past perfect. The past perfect reference,...Read More...

will

1. Oil will float on water. 2. Oil floats on water. 3. Accidents will happen. 4. Accidents happen. Is there any difference between them? Thanks.Read More...
Yes, Jey, there's a difference, although in a conversation, people might not pick up on any difference. If we use the simple present ( Oil floats on water / Accidents happen ), we're simply stating a fact or making an observation about a fact. Using will , however, is more complicated. Will is a more difficult modal auxiliary to understand than many people learning English realize at first. This is because it has quite a few meanings, not just placing an action or event in the future. We can...Read More...

juicy

Hi, i want to know "y" in noisy or juicy is "vowel"? It says if we have a word like "juice" that finished with "e" and we add a suffix we should look at the first letter of suffix if it is consonant we keep "e" if it is vowel we omit "e" juice +y= juicy thank youRead More...
Yes, that's right, Elham. You've got it!Read More...

wanted to see if two books were available

Are these sentences correct: 1-I wanted to see if two books were available: War and Peace and The Sound and the Fury. 2-I wanted to see if a few books were available: War and Peace; The Sound and the Fury; The Old Man and the Sea; Manhatten Project; The Magic Mountain; Sons and Lovers. 3-I wanted to see if some books were available:War and Peace; The Sound and the Fury; The Old Man and the Sea; Manhatten Project; The Magic Mountain; Sons and Lovers.Read More...
Thanks a lot Richard and sorry about the punctuation and the titles. I forgot to use italics. As for the semi-colons, I thought they'd make things clearer, but that was a mistake on my part. Indeed, commas should be used instead of semi-colons.Read More...

Txtng: the gr8 db8

Hi all, I would like to share with you the video at the link below. Txtng: the gr8 db8 I have got some questions: 1. What was said at the following times? 1:21 to 1:25 1: 26 to 1:29 6:34 to 6:38 8:5 to 8:10 9:31 to 9:33 10: 32 to 10:36 10:47 to 10:49 2. At 9:30, David Crystal raised his right hand, what does that mean? 3. Crystal said at 10:10 I promise you three times, and the audience started laughing. I wonder why and if this phrase is said when tying the nut.Read More...
I think the chubby guy is from London. Thus I think he has got a Cockney accent. I think Richard can help, Richard?Read More...

demonstrative

what is the difference between demonstrative adjective and demonstrative pronoun? Thank youRead More...
thank you very much RichardRead More...

2 grand

- In American movies, people often use a lot of slangs. For example : $1.500 (we say fifteen hundreds dollars or fifteen hundreds bucks) and $2000 (we say 2 grand), right? Thanks very mcuh to moderators! NamcoolguyRead More...
Yes, that's right, Nammy. In slang, a grand = a thousand dollars. By the way, I notice how you wrote that first amount of money in your example. I'd just like to point out that in the UK they use a decimal point (1.500), but in the US we use a comma (1,500).Read More...

what/which

cocoricot
Dear teachers, Please explain which word is correct to use in the sentence: "Please remind me that I should not spend more money than what/which we have decided to spend." Thanks.Read More...
I agree, Chuncan. It's more streamlined that way.Read More...

for us teachers v. for them teachers

Dear Richard, You said in your column of December: http://www.tesol.org/s_tesol/t...ctest/Dec2009_GS.pdf And as far as they goes, we wouldn’t even use the object form of that pronoun in your sentence. We’d never say *This is a matter of great importance for them teachers. Why? Beats me! All I can say is that English has some interesting idiosyncrasies. So how do we get around this problem? We use those: This is a matter of great importance for those (who are/of us who are) teachers. I have...Read More...
Thanks a lot, Richard.Read More...

"Diligence" or "Be Diligent"?

Which is better as an encouraging slogan, Diligence or Be Diligent ? I'm expected to translate several pairs of encouraging slogans (all of them are very short Chinese nominal phrases) into English. Other examples: Enterprise vs Be Enterprising Success vs Strive for Success ("Be Successful" is awkward?) Talent vs Strive to Be a TalentRead More...
Thank you, Rachel, and thank you again, Richard, for your answers. I now know that, in such cases, I can have a choice, which I was not quite sure of, between using verbs and nouns in such cases. They have different effects and different communicative purposes.Read More...

Be cool!

- Last night I watched a movie called "Be cool!" of the actor John Travolta. What does "be cool!" mean in daily conversation? Thanks a lot to moderators! NamcoolguyRead More...
'Cool' in modern English informal speech has a meaning that is totally different from 'cool,' which expresses a slightly cool temperature. 'Cool' can mean a lot of good things: stylish, smart,calm, excellent, and more. 'Be cool' means to be all those things, don't let anything bother you, and be happy. I don't know the content of the title, or even this particular movie, but 'be cool' means that the speaker is telling someone to stay in a good situation, not to get upset, to stay calm, and...Read More...

double letter

Hi, please tell me "why transferable not transferrable"? thank youRead More...
The verb is TRANSfer, with the accent on the first syllable. That's why the final consonant is not doubled when you form related words.Read More...

must have to know

I can't start the computer. You _______ a password. a. must have to know b. must know Are they both correct? If not, could you expain some? Thanks!Read More...
Okaasan is correct. 'Must have to know' means this: It is probable -- that you have to know the password -- in order to start the computer. Must = strong probability have to = obligation know = main verbRead More...
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