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hardly

cocoricot
Dear teachers, Is it correct when I use "inversion" in the sentence? "Hardly did they recruit young engineers." Thanks.Read More...
Hi Amy. Thank you so much for your help.Read More...

instead/alternatively

cocoricot
Dear teachers, "He was refused entry to the country. Instead/Alternatively , he was forced to return to Spain." Please tell me if these words have the same meaning. Would it be possible to use either this or that in the sentence? Thank you.Read More...
Dear Rachel. Thank you for your explanation. I understand now.Read More...

like/as? formal!

As far as formal language is concerned which is better: 1- Tom, you speak like women. 2-Tom, you speak like women do. 3-Tom, you speak as women do.Read More...
In a more formal style, we prefer to use like + a noun phrase ( like a woman ) and as + a verb phrase ( as a woman does / as does a woman ), but in a more informal style, people accept like + a verb phrase ( like a woman does ), but never the inversion like does a woman .Read More...

in/for ages

(1) That's the worst book I've read in ages. (2) ?That's the worst book I've read for ages. (3) I haven't read a good book in ages. (4) I haven't read a good book for ages. (5) We haven't seen our sister in ages. (6) We haven't seen our sister for ages. Sentence (1) is OK to me, (2) is not. The others are OK. Why is for ages acceptable in some sentences but not others? I haven't a clue...except that as I started to write this I thought maybe it has something to do with the verb being...Read More...
Thanks, Izzy. This is the first I've looked at his blog. I put in a comment with a further question, because I'm still not clear if That's the worst book I've read for ages is OK in British English. My students are learning British English, and sometimes I'm not aware of differences between BrE and AmE until they raise questions.Read More...

i, v, m, n vs. u?

Hi, Please see the attachment. I wonder how the i was similar to the u . Please tell me how was the i written in OE. The author provided examples for the letters v, m, n but none of i . I wonder if you can provide an example.Read More...
I don't know what style of writing (what we would today call a font) was common at the time the author is speaking of. I did English calligraphy years ago, and in Blackletter, m, n, v can look like several i's together, and there isn't much space between the letters. It can be a very difficult font to read. Even today if you open the Blackletter font in a Word document, you can see the similarity.Read More...

this year

This year holiday shoppers ---- money with reckless abandon. A) spend B) are spending C) will spend D) have spent E) are going to spend F) have been spending G) were spending H) spent I) had spent Which ones are acceptable?Read More...
(A) and (I) are not acceptable, the rest are OK. The present simple in (A) should indicate that this is something that happens every year, but "this year" conflicts with that. Sentence (I) might be acceptable if there is more context...sentence(s) before and/or after it that would call for the past perfect. But by itself it's not OK.Read More...

How do you/I

Will it be impolite to ask "How do you spell 'apple'" instead of "how do I spell 'apple'"?Read More...
You might possibly hear someone ask that way occasionally, but it would NOT be the usual way to ask how to spell a word. You're more likely to hear people use the word "I" when, for example, there are two acceptable ways to spell something, and you would like to know which would be preferable in a particular situation: - How should I spell that? C-O-L-O-R? Or should I spell it C-O-L-O-U-R?Read More...

Who does / who did?

Hi, I wonder if there is a difference between? Who ate the apple? Who did ear the apple? Who drives the car every day? Who does drive the car every day? Is it a kind of emphasis? If so, to the best of my knowledge, one can emphasize an answer but a question?Read More...
Crystal clear! Thanks a lot, AmyRead More...

Strange

He acted strange. Can 'strange' modify 'acted'? Thank youRead More...
Well, this particular sentence may be a gray area, however the verb "act" is often used in a way that carries a meaning similar to the verb "seem". It can be used just like other linking verbs. Linking Verbs - He acted crazy. - He acted weird. - He acted tired. - He acted happy. If I say "He acted stupidly", then the verb "act" is being modified. "Stupidly" is the manner in which he did something. "Stupidly" modifies the verb. If I say "He acted stupid", then the word "stupid" is used more...Read More...

found me?

Hi, Please see the attachment. I wonder if there a difference in meaning between: I found myself. found me.Read More...
Hi Izzy The phrase "I found myself" is reflexive: - I found myself doing something on the first day of my vacation. "Found me" is not used reflexively: - The third day of my vacation found me doing something else. In both cases, the speaker talks about doing something on a particular day.Read More...

Cash desks

- We are pleased to inform you that the new cash desks and cash handling system will be introduced on May 5th. We have been waiting for delivery of the new cash desks since March. - What does "cash desks and cash handling system" mean? Thanks a lot to moderators! NamcoolguyRead More...
Hi Namcoolguy You can often find the answer to such questions in a dictionary. Look at this link, for example: cash desk As for "cash handling system", to me that would simply be a system used for any of the activities involved in handling cash, probably a system designed for use in some kind of shop or store. The "system" would be made up of a variety of devices/equipment designed to work together.Read More...

Cash register

E: Where do you work? F: In a bar. E: What do you do there? F: I'm working the cash register now. - What does the cash register" mean? Thanks very much to moderators! NamcoolguyRead More...
'Working the cash register' means 'working at the case register. The cash register is the place in the front of the store where you pay for what you have purchased.Read More...

may have pp

Dear teacher, When 'may' is used with perfect infinitives, it means the possibility that past events happened. In the sentence (a), if I change the tense of the main verb, 'thinks' to the past, 'thought', what kind of form does 'may' have to take? It still takes the same form, 'may have missed' but it refers to the earlier past time than 'thought'? (a) He thinks she may have missed the train. (b) He thought she _____???______Read More...
Rachel and Amy, Thank you very much.Read More...

author = speaker?

Hi, "In the interpreting situation, on the other hand, both author and addressees are usually present, and interaction and feedback may occur." The word "author " is mentioned above in a different sense i.e. speaker not in the known sense "writer". Is it correct to use it to mean "speaker"?Read More...
Thanks a lot.Read More...

States Names?

Hi, Please see the attachment. 1. what does more than most mean? 2. Do those names reflect the nature of the state mentioned? Does "Tennessee" means difficult, or what? Please elaborate on all the states mentioned. 3. As you can see the author mentioned "Kentucky" two times, is a mistake or he aimed at something? 4. What is meant by themed travelRead More...
Thanks a lot.Read More...

O' names?

Hi, There are some propers names that start with an "o'" followed by an apostrophe as in O'Brady O'Hare I wonder what the origin of such names and what the "o" means and what the function of the apostrophe is.Read More...
Thanks a lot.Read More...

cause

What cause you so unhappy? Am I correctly using 'cause'? Thank youRead More...
Hi Welkins No, that sentence doesn't work. Here are some ways to use the verb "cause" that do work: - What cause d you to be so unhappy? - What causes you to be unhappy? - What caused your unhappiness?Read More...

change

'I don't like our classroom because it is hot and crowded. I hope we can change to a different room.' Is 'change' here a transitive verb that means 'change our current classroom to a different classroom'? Or is it an intransitive verb that mean "change from being in this classroom to being in a different room'?Read More...
Hi Alexwlh I'd say the word "change" is used intransitively in your sentence. In the context, the meaning is similar to "move".Read More...

panned

He was panned out after he reached the top of the stair. Am I correctly using 'panned'? Thank youRead More...
"To pan out" basically means to "turn out" or "succeed", so "panned out" doesn't make sense in your sentence. In addition, "pan out" is intransitive, so it's not likely to be used in the passive voice.Read More...

Except

Except relating to his job, he would not read anything else from the internet. Am I correctly using 'except'? Thank youRead More...

Adaptation

The movie from the adaptation of the book released on last Friday. Am I correctly using 'adaptation'? Thank youRead More...
So was it the movie or the book released on last Friday? If it was the move, would it be better to say 'the movie adaptation of the book was released on last Friday'? http://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/adaptationRead More...

set

- Don't let the stain set, or else it will be very difficult to get it off. - Don't let the stain be set, or else it will be very difficult to get it off. I know that "set" can be either a verb or an adjective, but did I use it correctly in the above sentences?Read More...
The first sentence is, of course, correct. The second sentence is a bit off. We might say '...get set,' but still, it's unusual. In this case, 'set' would make the verb a stative passive, but we don't use this construction much, if at all.Read More...
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