Skip to main content

All Topics

Dates

Are these technically correct? The ordinal is set off by commas or parentheses? I am requesting off Saturday, the 3rd, and Monday, the 5th. I am requesting off Saturday (the 3rd) and Monday (the 5th). Or is the ordinal an essential element, and we would write it thusly: I am requesting off Saturday the 3rd and Monday the 5th. Thanks a lot.Read More...
I think they could all be used. Whether the ordinals are essential or not depends on the situation. Does the writer think the reader will know which Saturday and Monday is meant -- in which case commas or parentheses are OK to confirm the information? Or does the writer need to say from the start which Saturday and Monday are meant? In that case, no commas or parentheses. Sometimes you have to punctuate the way you want people to read/speak it.Read More...

Would or Should?

Much as ____, I couldn’t lend him the money because I simply didn’t have that much spare cash. A. I would have liked to B. I would like to have C. I should like to have D. I should have liked to The key is A. What is the difference between A and D?Read More...
Again, no energy to search. But I think SHOULD here sounds British. It doesn't sound totally wrong to me, but not American. Can someone confirm?Read More...

saudis or saudies

Hi saudis - saudi e s Which one is correct and why?Read More...
ONLY A FOOTNOTE: I remember that before Germany was reunited as one country, some writers would refer to "the two Germanies" or "the two Germanys." I think that "Germanys" was the more popular -- perhaps because proper nouns usually just take an "s"? Thank you.Read More...

Like vs. As/As Though

Are these grammatically correct? Is this the rule? When an independent clause follows the verb, we use "as"; otherwise, use "like." He acted like a fool at the party. He acted as if he hated me. He acted as anybody would. He acted as if he were the king of the hill. Thanks.Read More...
Hello, Victo: Mostly, that is correct. However, 'as' can act as a preposition as well as a conjunction in sentences like He is working as a nurse until he can pass the national doctors' test and This cubicle is serving as my office while my office is being renovated . As well, 'like' can be a conjunction in informal speech, as you well know. The attachment at the bottom of this posting addresses 'like vs. as' more fully. It is the same one that you can find in the Grammar Exchange Archives.Read More...

as well as/ the best

(a) I try to speak English as well as I can. (b) I try to speak English the best (that) I can. (1) What is the difference between (a) and (b). (2) Is it correct to say: I speak English as best I can. Thank youRead More...
Thank you SO much for your answers and the links. I really had never thought about this until someone asked me, and I did not have the confidence to give him an informed answer.Read More...

having/ holding / organising an assembly

Can I say, (a) Our school is holding / organising an assembly in the hall. (b) Our school is having / is going to have an assembly. (c) An assembly is going on in the hall. (d) An assembly is held in the school hall. (e) We are holding / organising an assembly. =============== How about singing / storytelling competition? Do we use: (a) Our school organising / holding a singing competition. (b) We are having / holding a storytelling competition. (c) The singing competition is organised / is...Read More...
(a) Our school is holding / organising an assembly in the hall. Both is holding and is organising are OK. Is holding could mean that the assembly is happening NOW, or that this is a future planned event. Is organising would only mean that this is a future planned event because you have to do the organising ahead of the event. (b) Our school is having / is going to have an assembly. Both OK. I assume here that you mean these to be future. (c) An assembly is going on in the hall. OK. This...Read More...

There are only so many?

Hi, Please see the attachment. I wonder how the word "only" is used with "so many". To the best of my knowledge, "only" is used in sentence where the quantity is little or so. I hope you can see my point.Read More...
Thanks a lot Okaasan. I was busy preparing for this semester which has already started. Thanks a lot, Amy, for the answer.Read More...

A life circle of mosquito

Can I say, (1) A mosquito lays eggs in (the) clean water. Three days later, they hatch from the eggs and become larvae. / they hatch into larvae. After seven days, they will turn into pupae. Three days later, they turn into (adult) mosquitoes. (2) A mosquito lays eggs on the top of (the) water / on the surface of the water. (3) A mosquito lays some eggs in the drain of water.Read More...
By the way, your subject line has "circle". This should be life cycle . The life cycle of the mosquito. You are really talking about all mosquitoes here.Read More...

Semicolons

Hi, I have a question on semicolons. Would you put a semicolon after, "Trust me; it's true, or no semicolon? Please replyRead More...
The period and semicolon both sound too formal to me, though they can be technically correct. I'd go with a comma myself. The trust me sounds like an absolute construction to me, and it clearly an address to the reader. Another solution would be a colon (formal) or an em dash (a long dash, shown here as --). Trust me: it's true. * Trust me--it's true. *Style choice whether to capitalize what follows a colon. I'd go with lowercase, but others would capitalize it's .Read More...

What is important is how you say something, not your words.

I'd appreciate it if someone would answer my questions. Thanks in advance. Are the following sentences the same in meaning? If not so, please change B to the better one. A: It is not what you say but how you say it that matters. B: What is important is how you say something, not your words.Read More...
Thank you very much.Read More...

'this' as an adverb

Dear teachers I have a question about the usage of 'this' in the following sentence. He went on to point out that this "nice thing..doesn't affect two-thirds of the people of the world." Is this used as an adverb? Thanks Lisu.Read More...
I'm not sure I understand your question, Lisu. Is this sentence in red exactly how you saw it? So are you asking why this was not included in the quotation marks? He went on to point out that this "nice thing..doesn't affect two-thirds of the people of the world." It looks to me like the author is quoting someone but the author has structured the sentence in a way so that only part of the original is used. For example, maybe in the original context the person said "that nice thing." But...Read More...

During recess

Can I say, (a) During (the) recess/ At (the) recess time, pupils rushed to the canteen. (b) Last Tuesday afternoon, during a recess, Peter bumped into a girl in the field. (c) When it is recess, Peter runs to the canteen. (d) When it was recess time, Peter stayed at the classroom.Read More...
Hello, Vincent: In sentence (a), where there is a choice, we would probably say, ‘at recess time.’ This would indicate the beginning of the time of recess . We could also say, ‘at recess,’ without ‘time.’ If you use ‘during,’ it would refer to something happening in the middle of the recess period, while the recess is going on. So during would not work in sentence (a) However, in sentence (b), ‘during’ is correct, because Peter’s bumping into a girl did not happen just at the beginning of...Read More...

Comparatives

(a) Some people learn BETTER in groups but many learn BEST by themselves. (b) Some people learn BETTER in groups. Many learn BEST by themselves. (c) Some people learn BEST in groups but many learn BEST by themselves. (1) A very knowledgeable teacher has told his students that (b) and (c) are correct. (2) He says (a) is incorrect. (a) His reason: Two INcomparable things are being compared. (3) IF you agree with him, would you kindly explain in plain English his reasoning. (4) IF you disagree,...Read More...
Thank you, Amy, very much.Read More...

grew/grown up?

Hello, The scenery could be breathtaking, but when you have lived and grown/grew up there, it couldn't be interesting anymore. Which form should I used? Thanks a lot! IWTK loves GERead More...
Hi IWTK I prefer the present perfect in this case if for no other reason than parallelism.Read More...

object

Hi, What is the difference of object ending and object marker?Read More...
In Farsi, just like English, we don't have what Amy said about different genders and cases. We do have object marker though. That is "ra."Read More...

Present and Past Tense--"Had Stolen" or "Stole"

Is the sentence below correct Video review showed that on Aug. 12, 1999, associate John Doe had stolen the money. OR- Video review showed that on Aug. 12, 1999, associate John Doe stole the money. When do you know when to use the proper tense? TYRead More...
Hi Victo, In this case, I would prefer the simple past tense (stole). Presumably, the video shows John in the act of stealing on Aug. 12, 1999. If you use the past perfect (had stolen), that would suggest that John stole the money BEFORE Aug 12, 1999. In other words, that sentence would seem to be saying that the video showed that John stole the money after he had already stolen it...Read More...

Adjacent Numbers

Are these OK? He ordered fifteen 100-watt light bulbs. (OR: ... 15 one-hundred-watt light bulbs?) He said that one hundred $100 bills were stolen. (OR: ... 100 one-hundred-dollar bills?) There were fifteen 15-room houses to show. (OR: ... 15 fifteen-room houses?) Can you technically write both in each set? If not, which one is preferred -- and why? Thanks.Read More...
Please also see the posting on Numbers - http://thegrammarexchange.info...79/m/226106604 Chicago says: In nontechnical material, physical quantities such as distances, lengths, areas, and so on are treated according to the general rule. ... In certain contexts, however, tradition and common sense clearly recommend the use of numerals. an 8-point table with 6-point footnotes a 40-watt bulb 120 square feet is equal to 11.15 square meters a size 6 dress a fuel efficiency of 80 miles per gallon...Read More...

Hyphenated Americans

Do we hyphenate Asian-American or African-American as adjectives, but we do not hyphenate them as nouns? Example: He is African-American. (Adjective) Asian-American cuisine (Adjective) BUT: He is an African American. (Noun) Thanks.Read More...
The hyphen in such terms is a style choice. The Chicago Manual of Style (15th ed.) prefers to leave these "open" -- two words, no hyphen. Other examples in Chicago are French Canadians, the North Central region, State Department employees. But there are other proper nouns and adjectives that Chicago hyphenates: Franco-Prussian War, Anglo-American cooperation, the Scotch-Irish . I don't think I've seen these terms written any other way. But for "hyphenated Americans," this is a style issue.Read More...

Editor's Preference with Less Punctuation

You said in a previous response that editors today prefer less punctuation. Do we drop the comma after that in the following sentences, yes or no? Please be advised that on Dec. 12, 2009, a melee erupted on the college campus. Video review showed that on Aug. 12, 1999, associate John Doe had stolen the money. Bundles of gratitude!!Read More...
I think there are arguments in favor of both forms of punctuation here. Please be advised that [X]. [X] = on December 12, 2009, a melee erupted on the college campus. On December 12, 2009, is an essential part of [X] and I don't put a comma after that . Please be advised that [X]. [X] = a melee erupted on the college campus. On December 12, 2009, is parenthetical to X and I put a comma after that . It's up to the writer to decide how important the date is.Read More...

Strange headline

I thought the members of the Grammar Exchange would like to see this headline on a news story of this morning: Man Shot After Ball Games Turns Violent Who turned violent -- the man or the game? Is this what's called a misplaced modifier?Read More...
I don't think it's a misplaced modifier. The ambiguity comes from the ellipsis. "After ball game" is in the right place. The question is what is missing. (A) Man is shot after (a) ball game turns violent. (A) Man who is/was shot after (a) ball game turns violent.Read More...

At page 79

Today I read two sentences similar to the following: The footnote cites page 170. In fact, the discussion occurs AT Page 79. My questions: Why is the preposition "at" used? When would it be appropriate to use "on"? Thank you.Read More...
Thank you so much, Rachel.Read More...

Numbers

Is it OK not to spell out numbers in a case like this? The incident lasted anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes. Thanks. emgeeRead More...
Whether to write numbers as words or numerals varies a lot from one style manual to another. Remember that this is an issue of style, not of grammar. As Rachel said, Chicago usually spells out numbers to one hundred, and also round numbers in non-technical contexts. In technical contexts, physical quantities and units of time are written in numerals, so in such a context 5 to 15 minutes is correct. There are other styles. Associated Press (AP) usually spells out only single-digit numbers...Read More...

noun phrase

1-advanced product distribution 2-advanced products distribution 3-advanced distributed products In which case: a-the products are advanced b-the distribution is advanced c-we cannot tellRead More...
Hello, Navi: Phrase 1) could mean the distribution of advanced products, OR advanced methods of product distribution. Phrase 2) seems to mean the distribution of advanced products. Phrase 3) refers to – maybe – products which have already been distributed and are advanced in design, or advanced in something. This phrase is definitely not clear. If you want to refer to the distribution, you could say (the) advanced distribution of products . If you want to refer to the products, you could say...Read More...
×
×
×
×