Skip to main content

All Topics

bet a friend

Hello and Happy Wednesday! "I bet a friend a hundred bucks that I can outrun a horse." Is the use of the phrase in bold correct? I heard it said on a talkshow (the ...'a hundred bucks that I could outrun a horse' bit is my creation as i can't remember the exact words. Many thanks. GilbertRead More...
Right on, Gilbert!Read More...

much/even/a lot/far

1. If it hadn't been for the turbulence, I would've gotten here much sooner. 2. If it hadn't been for the turbulence, I would've gotten here even sooner. 3. If it hadn't been for the turbulence, I would've gotten here a lot sooner. 4. If it hadn't been for the turbulence, I would've gotten here far sooner. Are these sentences natural? Thanks.Read More...
All of the sentences are fine, Jay. They all mean the same thing, except for sentence 2. which has a certain connotation. This connotation is that you already arrived earlier than expected; in the other sentences, whether you are already early is not known.Read More...

for a sleep

Can I say, The dog is under a tree for a sleep.Read More...
Hi bear_bear Even though that is not technically wrong, it also is not very natural. It sounds odd to me. I'd prefer something like one of these: - The dog is sleeping under the tree. - The dog lay down under the tree for a nap.Read More...

the English/English people

Which is correct: 1-These technicians were trained by English people. 2-These technicians were trained by the English. I think we say 'These technicians were trained by Americans.' ,NOT 'the Americans' (unless we have a specific group of Americans in mind... 'those Americans'). Therefore I think sentence 1 is correct. It seems to me that 'the English' is used in cases where the English nation is sort of considered as one entity (eg. 'The war was won by the English.')Read More...
It's correct that both sentences are right, and Mehrdad is correct in noting that the word 'English' itself is an adjective. We can't say 'Englishes' to refer to the people of England the way we say 'Americans' to refer to the people of America. That's because of the -sh ending at the end of 'English.' To mean 'the English people,' we can just say, 'the English.' We have to do this, too, in naming nationalities like 'the Spanish,' with nationalties with -ch endings like 'the French,' and...Read More...

disappearing / missing

Dear teachers, Is there any chance "disappearing" in the below example could mean missing? * I found my watch disappearing. This is another question. Please let me know if I can say both sentences below. If so, what would be the difference? * I found my watch disappeared yesterday. * I found my watch had disappeared yesterday.Read More...
Another alternative to make the above sentence sound somewhat better (without even using "that"): I found out my watch had disappeared yesterday.Read More...

Ellipsis

Dear teachers, Can I rephrase (A) to (B)? (A) The telephone is not only the way teens keep in touch but it is also the way they practice communication in a safe way. (B) The telephone is not only the way teens keep in touch but they also practice communication in a safe way.Read More...
Here is an added thought. I think ellipsis would be easier and more acceptable with my rewording. The words 'it is' can be omitted: - Not only is the telephone the way teens keep in touch, but [it is] also the way they communicate safely.Read More...

a bag of sacks

Can I say, He is carrying a bag of sacks.Read More...
Hi bear_bear You can say it, but it does sound odd. Personally, I've never seen anyone carrying a bag of sacks. How about a bag full of bags? There just isn't enough context or detail in your sentence to make it sound completely natural. You need to start giving your sentences more context and/or detail, bear_bear.Read More...

The Games is/are

An English teacher informed me that "The 16th Asian Games is going to be held in China" is correct because he compares it with "The United States IS an important nation." Yet, surely most people would say, "The Olympic Games ARE going to be held in London." Of course, I would never gainsay a teacher in public. So I am asking you experts for your opinion(s?). Thank you.Read More...
Thank you, Amy and Mehrdad, for your insightful replies. I shall be eager to see how the newspapers treat this "problem." Thanks again.Read More...

Who (Which) is taller

When you compare two people, which is the best? Is there a difference in nuance? 1. Who is taller, you or your sister? 2. Which is taller, you or your sister? 3. Which of you is taller, you or your sister? AppleRead More...
Lol! I just read your comment, Okaasan.Read More...

reported speech: tense of subordinate clause

Direct speech: Jane said, " I dropped my harmonica when I was swinging with Tarzan ." Reported speech: Jane said that she had dropped her harmonica when she was swinging with Tarzan . This reported speech sounds correct to my ears. I understand the action in the clause in red to have taken place at the same time as the action in the clause in blue. (Or more accurately, that the action in blue happened during the action in red.) Someone has asked whether the red clause should or could be when...Read More...
Thanks for those, Amy. I'll check them out when I have more time (just looking at stuff quick before going to work now). I agree that natives don't always back-shift, but as you said, the textbooks don't always allow for what I call "real" English. From the perspective of the learner, I guess it is easier to learn one rule -- even if it's over-generalized -- than to learn "If X, do it this way. If Y, do it that way. If Z, do it another way."Read More...

the dolls take a month to create

Sentence (1) is the one I saw on the METRO online. What difference does each sentence make? 1. The dolls take about a month to create. 2. The dolls take about a month to be created. 3. It takes about a month to create the dolls. Apple http://www.metro.co.uk/weird/s...s-on-sale-to-mothersRead More...
Hi Apple Sentences 1 and 3 both seem natural to me, and they mean the same thing. The use of the passive in sentence 2 does not seem natural to me -- it seems like overkill.Read More...

The past perfect

Hello! I have been told that an American tutor said the following: The Past Perfect is often used when a circumstance changes. He also gave the following example: I played golf yesterday. I hadn't played golf in a long time. ** Would you please tell me whether what he said is correct or not? Please tell me WHY? ** Also , is it correct to say " in a long time" ? or we should say " for a long time " ? If it's correct please tell me why? and what is the difference between them? I'm waiting for...Read More...
Hi Sayed In the example you gave, the broader context makes the use of the past perfect just right. The first sentence basically shows you why the use of past perfect in the second sentence is appropriate. It illustrates how things have recently changed. Two days ago, the speaker could have said this: - I haven't played golf in a long time. (present perfect) The sentence with the present perfect means that the period of time between now and the last time the speaker played golf is very long.Read More...

Ecosystem

Hi all, Does the word "ecosystem" mean "economic system" in the following sentences? 1. An entire ecosystem has emerged around the music player, introduced by Apple in October 2001. Other manufacturers had produced MP3 players earlier. But the simple design of the iPod, plus Apple's iTunes store, quickly helped Apple to dominate the market. And that simple design — some might even call it bland — encouraged people to personalize the machine. 2. It also helps that an ecosystem of accessories...Read More...
Thanh you so much, Mehrdad.Read More...

Opposite of pretax

Hi all, I would like to know the opposite of the word pretax as it is used in the following sentence: The company's pretax profit margin is 40% this month. Can I say "post-tax" or " net profit margin"? Many thanksRead More...
Thank you so much, Rachel.Read More...

What part of speech is this?

Socrates laid the foundation for many of the concepts used in philosophy today. I understand the parts of speech for most of the words in this sentence, i think, but I'm not sure about the word "used". What would its POS be? Is it part of the prepositional phrase? "Concepts" is the object of the PP "of the concepts" right? So where does "used" fit in?Read More...
Hi, Rick, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange! Let me first rewrite your sentence in its full version: Socrates laid the foundation for many of the concepts which are used in philosophy today. As you can see above, "which are used in philosophy today" is an adjective clause, modifying "concepts." Now let's get back to your original sentence: Socrates laid the foundation for many of the concepts used in philosophy today. Here, just like my version, "used" has an adjectival role. It is a past...Read More...

Adverbs and Adverbials

Hello friends. The dictionary says that early is an adverb. So, if I say, "He came early " then early is an adverb of time because it modifies the verb came to give us an indication of when this chap arrived, right? Now what if I expanded the sentence to become " He came early in order to avoid getting caught in traffic ." Would early still perform the same function now that it is followed by another adverbial clause that answers the question 'WHY?'? Thanks for your help. GilbertRead More...
So, the preposition has changed the nature of the verb from just a plain old verb to one influenced by its preposition; that's why it's a prepositional verb. Rachel, thanks for the explanation (quoted above). Now I understand. It's one and the same thing. We justify what it's called by its function in the sentence, right? Thanks again and again. Stuck-at-the-workplace-because-of-the-rain-GilbertRead More...

nothing in particular

Does "nothing in particular" means "basically no"?Read More...
Ah, ha. In that case, you might indeed say that her response means "Basically, no". What she means is that there may have been a few very minor disadvantages from time to time, but nothing that is worth mentioning.Read More...

to be / to become

1. She wants to be a model. 2. She wants to become a model. Is there any difference between the above two sentences?Read More...
Yes, that's the basic idea. If she is already a model and says 'I want to be a model' she is in essence saying that she is happy with the way things are and does not want to change.Read More...

punctuation: comma

Is the last comma necessary in #2, 4, 6 and 7? 1. Do you have any domestic, childcare or other care responsibility? 2. Do you have any domestic, childcare , or other care responsibility? 3. We are going to invite Jane and Paul, Joanne and Dave and Linda and Joe. 4. We are going to invite Jane and Paul, Joanne and Dave , and Linda and Joe. 5. We are going to invite Jane and Paul and Joanne and Dave. 6. We are going to invite Jane and Paul , and Joanne and Dave. 7. We are going to invite Jane...Read More...
Hi Alex Yes, the comma is appropriate in those. You might find this link helpful: Using commasRead More...
Last Reply By Amy, Co-Moderator · First Unread Post

Advisory vs consulting

A quick search on Google shows that "advisory service" outnumbers "consulting service" while "consulting co." (part of a company name) outnumbers "advisory co." What is the difference between "advisory" and "consulting"? Thanks.Read More...
I agree with what Mehrdad has written. In addition, I would expect 'consulting service s ' to be far more commonly used than either 'advisory service' or 'advisory services'. Also, there are other words used to mean the same thing as 'consulting service(s)'. For example 'consultancy' and 'consultation'. Thus, there are simply more options with various forms of the base word 'consult'. In addition, you're more likely to see the word 'advisory' used when the group is either internal to a...Read More...

Testing Center?

What would you call this "center"? A testing (service) center? A certification center? A certificates (service) center? Or, a testing center for qualification certificates? The center is to provide testing information about various qualification/proficiency tests and obtain the certificates from relevant authorities for those who have passed the tests. It does not provide certification/accreditation service. It may, and may not, involve the organization of all those tests. Thanks.Read More...
To me, a 'testing center' would be a place that administers tests, but which does not actually produce the tests. For example, it might be a place that administers TOEFL tests (with the approval of ETS), and such a place would have to follow ETS regulations and guidelines. On the other hand, a 'testing service' suggests to me a company that actually produces tests. Such a company might also administer some of the tests. Of course, my understanding of 'testing service' may well be heavily...Read More...

let's see

When we want to end a conversation saying let's see what happens first then we'll think about it, do we simply say "let's see" or "we'll see"?Read More...
To me, there is a definite difference. To me, the sentence "Let's see." can be used as a suggestion to begin something, with a meaning similar to "Let's go or do something now and find out the answer to the question." The sentence "We'll see." is often used at the end of a conversation when the speaker does not want to make a decision at that time. This is a common way for a parent to put off an answer to a child's request, for example. "We'll see." might also be used at the end of a...Read More...
×
×
×
×