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Until or by ?

Dear Rachel , Amy and Okaasan Would you please tell me what is the correct preposition in each of the following sentences? and WHY? 1) She'll be at school until / by she is 18 2)I'll know the result until / by time you call 3)Will your cousin be staying until / by Friday? 4) He'll have arrived until / by 3 p.m I'm waiting for your kind reply. Thank you very much. SayedRead More...
Hi Sayed Basically, the word 'until' refers to a period of time and an activity or state that takes place or continues during that entire period of time. The word 'by' can be used to mean 'not later than'. In this case, it would refer to an action that takes place at a point in time that is no later than another point in time. The word 'by' tells you what the latest possible time is. You'll often need the word 'by' to talk about deadlines, for example. EDIT: Oops, when I began typing, Rachel...Read More...

to be or to being?

Dear teachers There's more to being king than getting your way all the time . That line comes from the Disney's Lion King. I thought that 'to be king' is correct, please let me know why 'to being king' is right. Thank you Lisu.Read More...
Rachel's explanation is complete, but I would just add that the same thing Rachel said applies to "getting" in your sentence too: It is also a gerund (used like a noun). There's more to sth than sth .Read More...

this or it?

Hi, I want to know that is there any difference between"it" in 1- "it" is windy. 2- "it" is Friday. 3- "it" is my car. we say it is a filler and semantically does not have any meanings. is the same in all of these examples. Thank youRead More...
I only disagree about (2): I think when "it" refers to time, it functions as an empty subject (or filler ). The same thing applies to distance: It's 5 kilometers to Tehran.Read More...

as if they never lived

a. These so called men of the cloth are as strange to me and my kin as if they never lived. Is the above sentence acceptable? I'd say: These so called men of the cloth are as strange to me and my kin as they would have been if they had never lived. Maybe this one is better: b. These so called men of the cloth are as strange to me and my kin as if they had never lived. (But I'd still put in the 'as they would have been' bit.)Read More...
Hi Azz First of all, I would hyphenate the adjective 'so-called'. Your original sentence is fine for everyday usage. It would be more formally correct to use the past perfect (they had never lived). I think the sentence is OK without 'they would have been' since I think such an elision would be easily understood.Read More...

All computer kids

My wife and I got 3 kids in high school, all good boys all honest and all computer kids. - In my opinion, I think this sentence should be "My wife and I have got 3 kids in high school, the boys are very good, honest and like computers very much", right? Thanks a lot to Moderators! NamcoolguyRead More...
The sentence could be fine in the colloquial language, I think. I would tweak it this way (while there are many other alternatives): My wife and I have got 3 kids in high school. The boys are very goo and honest, and they like computers very much. You see, the boys are in high school, but the parents still tend to call them kids .Read More...

do you think

cocoricot
Dear teachers, Please explain the meaning of the position of "do you think" in these sentences: 1. Do you think how old the bridge is? 2. How old do you think the bridge is? Thanks.Read More...
Hi Coco Sentence 1 might possibly be used in a context in which the speaker wants to know whether the other person takes the age of the bridge into consideration when doing something (probably whenever doing something connected with the bridge). In other words, that wording does not ask the other person to guess at the age of the bridge. Instead, it assumes the other person knows the age of the bridge and then asks whether the other person takes the age into consideration when doing...Read More...

on earth/on the earth

cocoricot
Dear teachers, "A way of protecting all the wildlife on .....earth must also be found" Please tell me if I can place "the" in the blank or I let it as it is. Thanks.Read More...
You can have "the," and you can also capitalize "earth." Here's a related thread: http://thegrammarexchange.info...=170106373#170106373Read More...

that/ it

Woman : Hi, I have a reservation under Dinara. Hotel clerk : Welcome! Can I have the spelling of your name, Ms.? Woman : Sure, that's D-I-N-A-R-A. Would it be unnatural if the woman said 'It's D-I-N-A-R-A'? If so, could you tell me why it is unnatural? Thanks a lot.Read More...
I totally agree with Okaasan: either 'it' or 'that,' and 'it' would probably come to mind more easily.Read More...

by pushing my king pawn

a. By moving my king's pawn, I did not let him develop his attack. Can't this sentence mean two different things (at least theoretically): 1. By moving my king pawn, I prevented him from developping his attack. 2. It is not true that by moving my pawn I let him develop his attack. (compare with: By telling him about your father, I didn't reveal a secret.... It is not true that I revealed a secret...)Read More...
Thanks Amy. The more I think about this, the more confused I get! I think I get your point, but it is a question of semantics rather than a question of syntax. I have come up with two other examples. I'd like to see what you think about them: A-By telling Geoff that you were hiding in John's house, I didn't reveal a big secret. (To me this means that the fact that you were hiding in John's house was not a big secret and though I told that to Geoff, I didn't reveal a big secret.) B-By telling...Read More...

not even by

a. My mom did not manage to help help me; even by talking to my sister. b. My mom did not manage to help me; not even by talking to my sister. Which of the above matches which of the possibilities below: 1. My mon didn't manage to help me. Even though she talked to my sister, even that wasn't any help. 2. My mom didn't manage to help me. She didn't even talk to my sister (which would have been some help). ------------------------------------------------...Read More...
I generally agree with Amy, but I'm more inclined to see meaning (3) for (c), though I agree (c) can mean (4) as well. Does it have also have anything to do with the way we utter the sentences? The intonation, stress, etc? I'm also interested to know others' opinions.Read More...

you, we, or one

hi, please tell me which one is the best?why? 1- dentists say that ______should brush ___________teeth everyday. 2- ________should not expect as much of others as ------------expect of --------(reflexive)Read More...
Lol! You made me hungry, Okaasan, by talking about Khoresh(t) . Oh, thank God it's about lunchtime here in Tehran!Read More...

travelling to /in a country

Hi teachers, I am a newcomer here. I am 11 years old and a primary-5 student from Malaysia. I would like to know if the following 2 sentences carry the same meaning : 1) I will be travelling to Hong Kong from May15 to May20,2010. 2) I will be travelling in Hong Kong from May15 to May20,2010. Supposing I will be flying from Malaysia to Hong Kong on May15,2010 and spending the rest of the days travelling around in Hong Kong, is sentence 1) correct to descripe this situation? Thank you very...Read More...
Hello BC Tan, Welcome to the forum! Your second sentence is appropriate. Using 'to' would be appropriate if you only mentioned the day of your arrival in Hong Kong: - I will be travelling to Hong Kong on May 15, 2010.Read More...

For all we know

cocoricot
Dear teachers, "We don't even know whether she's still wealthy." Please tell me if it is possible to rewrite the setence by these possibilities: 1. For all we know, she is wealthy. 2. For all we know, she is not wealthy. 3. For all we know, she may be wealthy. 4. For all we know, she may not be wealthy. Thanks.Read More...
Hi Coco None of those sentences seems quite right to me because the idea of ' still wealthy' isn't really conveyed in any of them. However, of the four options, number 2 seems the closest in meaning. Number 4 would be better if you added 'anymore' to the end: - For all we know, she may not be wealthy anymore.Read More...

When's my turn?

Which is proper?: "When is it my turn?" "When is my turn?" "When will it be my turn?"Read More...
Hello, LoraLea, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange. All of your sentences are acceptable. I think 'When is it my turn' refers to the immediate future as in a game; 'When will it be my turn' refers to a longer period of time. 'When is my turn' is all right, for the immediate future, and informally, I think. It is used less than the other two.Read More...

drag out

Can I say that "I have been dragging out my thesis for a few months and I think I should really get to work on this weekend"?Read More...
Yes, but you forgot "it" near the end: I think I should really get to work on it this weekend. You could also say I have been dragging my feet over my thesis . I know the feeling about writing a thesis!!Read More...

throughout

The resulting destruction was reflected in personal and structural changes throughout the world. About 'throughout the world', grammatically, what exactly does it refer to? 'Changes' or '(was) reflected'?Read More...
I agree with Okaasan. Whether 'throughout the world' modifies 'changes' or 'reflected' is not very different. In fact, the meanings are so close that 'ambiguous' would not describe the sentences. If the changes occurred, they happened all over. If the reflections of the changes occurred, they happened all over, too. But for our purposes of analysis, I too think that 'throughout the world' modifies 'changes,' and if I wanted to focus on 'reflected,' I'd put 'throughout the world' immediately...Read More...

What does "warm" mean?

Does "warm" below suggest both "sunshine" and "love"? Sunshine in the east and raindrops in the west. It isn’t warm, but warm yet, I dare say.Read More...
'Yet' has different poetic meanings. I wonder if the last line could mean something like this: It isn't warm yet, but it will soon be warm, I believe.Read More...

What does "elbows" mean?

What does "elbows" mean in the following sentence? Today a politician without elbows is as lost as a politician without principles.Read More...
The answer is in the very next sentence (which you didn't copy): {Today, a politician without elbows is as lost as a politician without principles. The display of elbows is evidence of necessary macho . ... On occasion, the elbows still go a bit too far. In "Caveat," the memoirs of nuance-ridden Alexander Haig, he captions a picture of himself with hands on hips, elbows prominent.... Much too macho. Akimbo comes from the Old Norse kengboginn , the shape of a bow when it has been bent back,...Read More...

adjective vs adverb

Dear teachers Is the following sentence correct? 'The northbound cars were a blur as the bus swerved clear.' as "swerved" is a verb,I think that we should put an adverb, 'clearly' after that,not an adjective,'clear'. Am I right?if not,so why we have an adjective after a verb?Read More...
Dear Rachel Thank you so much for you answer.It was so helpful as ever.Read More...

Natural selection

cocoricot
Dear teachers, "Natural selection is defined as the process ......the course of evolution by preserving those traits best adapted for an organism's survival. a. to which directs b. of which directs it c. directs it d. that directs. Please tell me if it is(d)? Thanks.Read More...
Yes, (d) is correct. "... the process that directs the course ..."Read More...

water-soluble vitamin

cocoricot
Dear teachers, Please tell me if I made a correct choice: "The chief sources of B12, a water-soluble vitamin ......stored in the body, include meat, milk and eggs." a. is not b. that is not c. not that is d. that not I chose (b) Thanks.Read More...
Yes, that's right. You need an adjective clause there.Read More...

simple or continuous?

She (try) ----tries or is trying?-----to finish her work early today. She (consider)-------------------is considering or considers?-------entering the university. She always (interfere) ------is interfering or interferes--------------in other people’s affairs. When the teacher (walk)--------walked-------into the classroom, the students (become)_----------became-------quiet. We reached the lake just as the sun (set) -----set or was setting?--------- We were in the middle of the desert when we...Read More...
Yes. I always teach my students that one use of the present progressive is to express annoyance or complaint.Read More...

Does "can know" always mean "can learn"?

I'd appreciate it if someone would answer my questions. Thanks in advance. Concerning the sentence, We can know a lot about American history by reading this book. ------ Does "can know" in this sentence mean "can learn"? Does "can know" always (in any sentence using "can know") mean "can learn"?Read More...
Thank you very much, Mehrdad and Rachel.Read More...

"Unfair" test question?

"Ms. Smith teaches the class." If a student labels "the class" as the direct object, most teachers would probably give her credit. But if an especially bright student argues that "the class" is the indirect object (to the class) and that the direct object (English/ math/ history/?) is "understood," would it be fair to mark her answer as "wrong"? Thank you.Read More...
Thank you very much, Mehrdad. I'm glad that you would not mark down our "bright student."Read More...
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