All Forum Topics

I liked your book or I like your book?

Hello Moderator, I have always been wondering why do we have to say "I liked your book" instead of "I like your book". To me it feels like I only liked the book before when I was reading it but no longer at the time when I say that sentence. Also, is there actually a rule about not using different tenses in one sentence? Which of the following sentences are correct? 1. I chose to major in science because I think it is an interesting subject. 2. I chose to major in science because I thought...Read More...
What you contribute is valuable, Okaasan. We all like to add stuff to each other's comments, and I hope you will continue to do so, too.Read More...

the difference between off and out.

Hi, Could you please tell me the difference between off and out? for example; she took off/out some magazine from the magazine rack. Thanks.Read More...
Okaasan is correct. For this particular phrasal verb, it is possible to distinguish between 'off' and 'out' just as she did. In fact, the particles 'off' and 'out' are added to many verbs, making another special meaning for each two-word phrase. So, it's necessary to know the meaning of each verb + particle (little word) combination separately. As for the definitions of 'off' and 'out' -- well, take a look at these two entries from the LDOCE: http://www.ldoceonline.com/search/?q=off ...Read More...

In the wake of

In the wake of leaving the company, she traveled the world. Am I correctly using 'in the wake of'? Thank youRead More...
"In the wake of her departure from the company, she traveled the world." Will it be better this way?Read More...

make a halt

Let's imagine we're talking about a girl who is always sharing her things and she doesn't know when to stop doing it. 1. she doesn't know when to make a halt. 2. she doesn't know when to do a halt. 3. she doesn't know when to have a halt. or 4. she doesn't know when to get a halt.Read More...
Hello, Guillermo: All the sentences sound unnatural with 'halt.' None of those verbs go with 'halt.' We do have an expression: call a halt to something. That would work here. The sentence is fine, though, as it is in your original: '...she doesn't know when to stop.'Read More...

_ ing (adjectives)

there are many examples where we use the _ing ending to create adjectives: tiring class talking bird shining day what can you tell me about "waiting"? I know verbs and gerunds forms work as nouns like in "waiting room". waiting man waiting girl waiting answers waitings ages???Read More...
WOW, awesome answers, as always. yes, I remember this last expression was taken from a page of a book. but tell me some examples where I can notice _ing words working like adjectives, but the ones coming from a word that is also a verb.Read More...

subjunctive and modals

Hello everyone! Is it right for me to write meeting minutes in simple past tense? When I write, I always wonder which of the following patterns is correct or better. Most of the time I go with number 1, but I am never really sure if I am right, let alone the differences between them. 1. Mr Smith suggested that Peter send out the report by next Monday. 2. Mr Smith suggested that Peter sends out the report by next Monday. 3. Mr Smith suggested that Peter sent out the report by next Monday. 4.Read More...
Thank you, Yun. The sentence refers to the future because when you suggest something, the suggestion will be carried out in the future. It is not a future tense, but the idea refers to a future time.Read More...

Get on horse

If you did not perform well on the stage, you would need to get on horse next time. Am I correctly using 'get on horse'? Thank youRead More...
I heard it on Spiderman 3.Read More...

Anyone & No one (Nobody)

Dear teachers, Swan said at the beginning of a sentence, only nobody and nothing are used. It means; Anyone can't do it. (X) No one can do it. (O) This rule is always true in English? If so, is there any explainable reason that foreigners easily understand? In addition, how about the following sentences? Are they also incorrect and "any" should be replaced with "no (none)"? 1) Any of them didn't come to the party. 2) Any other girls are not as pretty as Jane.Read More...
Thank you for the detailed explanation!Read More...

cat fish?

Hi Richard, I have read the interesting article you have written at the link below. http://azargrammar.com/teacherTalk/blog/ 1. Please listen to my recording and tell if the four sentences were read with the correct intonation? 2. Please tell what the difference is between the last two sentences in the recording.Read More...
Oh! I see. I haven't paid attention to that that "a head" is written separately. Thanks a lot, Richard.Read More...

thanks for dinner

Should we say "thanks for dinner" or "thanks for the dinner"?Read More...
Thanks for dinner is more commonly heard. We normally don't use the definite article with meals: What did you have for breakfast? Let's go to Wendy's for lunch. Thank you! Dinner was delicious.Read More...

complete and completed

Hello everyone! Could anyone please tell me what are the differences in the following sentences and which is preferable? 1. The new building is complete. 2. The new building is completed. 3. The new building has been completed. Many thanks!Read More...
Hello, Alexwlh! No. 1 is fine. In this sentence, complete is an adjective and it's used to describe the current condition or state of the building. No. 2 is fine. Is completed is the passive voice in the simple present tense and is used here the same way the adjectiev is used in no. 1. No. 3 is fine. In this sentence, has been completed is the present perfect in the passive voice, and completed is the past participle. The present perfect is used here to show that the completion of the...Read More...

definite or not?

Which is correct please? 1. The number of students who got high marks is big. 2. The number of the students who got high marks is big. 3. (Students/The students) who passed the exam will be given prizes. It is somewhat confusing because I just feel that they are all correct with or without the definite article (the).Read More...
I think this comes down to a matter of style, Tonyjab. The sentence you've supplied above works fine and could stand for students in general or the students who got high marks on a specific exam that's being discussed. It's a very interesting sentence, my friend, because I'm equally comfortable with or without the definite article here. The difference I feel intuitively is that without the definite article, the meaning can be more inclusive and take in any students who got high marks on any...Read More...

tenses

"Mary had worked in law firms and property development companies and has accumulated a wealth of legal and secretarial experience which is helpful to support the back office operation of the company." Have the tenses been correctly used? Thanks. MomoRead More...
I think that you are correct, Tonyjab: there must be a reference point. Mary had worked in law firms and property development companies and has accumulated a wealth of legal and secretarial experience which is helpful to support the back office operation of the company. It would be in the context. Here, a scenario might be that Mary is being considered for a job at a new firm, that her experience is valuable, and would be helpful in managing the office. (I made a mistake in my previous...Read More...

meaning & structure

could anybody tell me if this sentence is correct in terms of meaning & structure, He had his layers buy for million acres. - In terms of structure, I suppose we should say bought instead of buy . - In terms of meaning, the sentence does not seem to be completely understood because of the word layers . Is such sentence common to you? could you explain the meaning? By the way, this sentence has been given to me by one of my students and he read it somewhere.Read More...
Hi everyone, A million thanks to you all for taking all this time trying to explain the meaning of the sentence. Actually, I went back to my student and asked him about the original text from which he brought this sentence. Okaasan was right. the original sentence was He had his lawyers buy four million acres. . This makes it better now. It was really a Riddle. HumamRead More...

education/educational

Hello Rachel, Richard...! I'm unsure about the use of the terms "education technology" and "educational technology". As you can see from the advert quoted below, there seems to be some confusion: On Wednesday, Nov. 4, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., 17 different educational technologies developed with funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) will be included among the exhibits in an Education Technology Showcase on Capitol Hill, in Room 902 of the Hart Senate Office Building.Read More...
Thanks Rachel. I've done the searches as you suggested and... I... er... er... I... don't know which to choose! However, I am in total agreement with you as both of them seem right. If I appply the rules of grammar, I would choose 'educational' instead of 'education'. But if I think of it in terms of meaning, both work. AAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH........! (Ah, that felt good!) Thanks, Rachel. GilbertRead More...

Question tag?

mohamedhassan
Dear moderators, We already know that the rule of question tag is that a negative sentence is turned into a positive one and vice versa. But are there any cases where we can use a positive tag even the sentence is positive,too, or vice versa i.e a negative tag with a negative sentence? I know that this is possible when the sentences expresses ,for example, an order that must be carried out as the one below. Father to son: "You will buy the bread today, will you?" I would appreciate it if you...Read More...
I truly appreciate this, Rachel. Thank you so much.Read More...

Toll-free number

"This chair also comes with a three-year warranty, which covers the full cost of replacement parts and labor in the unlikely event that you have any problems with your chair. If you have any questions about assembly or the warranty, please call our toll free number" - I really don't understand the two phrases " labor in the unlikely event" and "toll-free number" here, What do they mean? Thanks so much to moderators! NamcoolguyRead More...
An 'unlikely event' is an event that is unlikely to occur, that is, it is improbable. The event probably won't happen. In this case, the event would be having a problem with the chair.Read More...

this isn't something.....

When “something” is used in a negative sentence, it often changes to “anything” as in the sentence below. I don’t need anything. (Not something) I don’t want any tea. (Not some tea) Then why does this sentence work? This is not something that I really want. Is this because this “something” can be replaced with “the thing?” Isn’t there a better explanation? AppleRead More...
The rule of 'some' and 'any' does not hold when the pronoun is modified by a clause. You are correct in your concept of 'something' here being like 'a thing.' What you are describing is something (a thing) that you really want. You are not saying that this is a zero; you are saying that it is not an object, not a thing, not some thing (2 words) that you really want. You could also say, though awkwardly: Something that I really want is not that.Read More...

Tarnish

1) His image was tarnished when he used drugs. 2) His image was tarnished by him using drugs. Am I correctly using 'tarnished'? Thank youRead More...
Yes, 'tarnish' is correct, Welkins. About the gerund: 'using' is correct. If you use a modifier for 'using,' though, use 'his,' as in 'his using.' Actually, you don't need any modifier for 'using' since the performer of 'using' and the subject of the sentence are the same. You could just say, '...by using drugs.' We know who it is who's using drugs.Read More...

Likens

He likens himself to his brother in terms of eating habit. Am I correctly using 'likens'? Thank youRead More...
Yes, 'likens' is correct. The phrase should be 'eating habit S .' 'Habit' is a count noun, and needs to be plural here.Read More...

remeber+ing

He did remember taking her to dinner. Am I correctly using 'remember+ing'? Thank youRead More...
Absolutely correct! Perhaps you are wondering whether to say, instead: 'did remember to take.' That would be a funny sentence indeed! It would mean that you did not forget her.Read More...

date

Which are correct: 1-The date falls on Tuesday after Thanksgiving. 2-The date falls on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. 3-The date is on Tuesday after Thanksgiving. 4-The date is on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving.Read More...
I'm more comfortable with the two sentences that include the definite article ( the Tuesday ) since that specific Tuesday is mentioned.Read More...

elipsis/ and that was because

Are these sentences both correct: 1-We have always thrown a party on his birthday, except for two years ago, and that was because he was away on a business trip. 2-We have always thrown a party on his birthday, except for two years ago, because he was away on a business trip.Read More...
I'm okay with both sentences, Navi, but I have to say that I think I'd be more likely to say We've always thrown a party on his birthday / given/thrown him a birthday party , except for two years ago when he was away on a business trip.Read More...

can't stand

Is "can't stand" followed by a to-infinitive or by -ing? e.g. I can't stand having to wait in the rain. (That's what I prefer saying.) or I can't stand to have to wait in the rain. I can't stand sleeping with the windows closed. I can't stand to sleep with the windows closed.Read More...
Hello, Hilti! After the expression can't stand you can use either an infinitive verb phrase or a gerund noun phrase. So all of your sentences are okay.Read More...
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