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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...

my whole life

Dear teachers, Please advise me if the following sentences are correct. (A) I never had a problem with my tummy my whole life unitl I got pregnant. (B) I never had a problem with my tummy for my whole life unitl I got pregnant.Read More...
Yun, my friend, I don't know how to make this any clearer. I'll give it one last try. When you say (for) his whole life , that means "from the time he was born up to now ," so it isn't necessary to say up to now because that is included in the idea of (for) his whole life . Whether or not you use the preposition for is irrelevant. This is called a redundancy. It's like saying I'm sick, and I don't feel well. Do you see how ridiculous that sentence is? Of course if you're sick, you don't feel...Read More...

sad

Hi!! when you refer to things,can we say 'I'm sad with it' or only about it? Thanks!!Read More...
You can say I'm sad about it or I'm sad over it , but not I'm sad with it.Read More...

verbally

Hi!! Once again, I would like to know if this sentence is correct 'this sentence is verbally correct' Thanks!Read More...
Since I'm not sure what it means, I'll have to say it's not correct. Are you talking about the vocabulary used in the sentence? Are you talking about whether or not the vocabulary used is appropriate? If that's the case, perhaps it would be clearer if you said This sentence is lexically correct. Actually, though, the sentence is awkward any way you look at it. It would be simpler and clearer to make the subject of the sentence not the sentence itself, but the element of the sentence that...Read More...

Ending

The story doesn't end in happy ending. Am I correctly using 'ending'? Thank youRead More...
The sentence should be The story doesn't have a happy ending.Read More...

Possessing

The woman got arrested for possessing drugs. Am I correctly using 'possessing'? Thank youRead More...
Yes, Welkins. That's fine.Read More...

Verbs that take the 'were'-subjunctive

(Reposted from old newsgroup on 2/13/03) Is there a list of verbs which take the "were" form (I used to call it the subjunctive when I first learned grammar so long ago)instead of the "was"? Lisa Blauvelt-WeilRead More...
Hi I hope you can get more here through this link too http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subjunctive_moodRead More...

I still don't believe that the minister

I still don't believe that the minister knew what was happening; I am sure ...... A) couldn't have B) can C) shouldn't have D) hasn't to E) hadn't Could you explain me why A? Actually I didn't get this question.Read More...
A is the correct answer here, Volcano. The sentence is in the past ("... the minister knew what was happening") and therefore we need to choose the idea that "it wasn't possible that he knew / for him to know." We use the perfect modal for ideas in the past, so that's why the answer is he couldn't have (known) . If we want to say "I'm sure it wasn't possible that he knew" or "I'm sure it wasn't possible for him to know," we say I'm sure he couldn't have (known).Read More...
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