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In general usage, context may/can imply the degree of likelihood

1) In the way I was using the word "hypothetical" here, it means imagined rather than actual, regardless of how likely or unlikely something is deemed to be. In general usage, the degree of likelihood may be implied by context. Is the "may" replaceable by "can"? For example in active voice: In general usage, context may/can imply the degree of likelihood .Read More...
Hi, Language learner—You seem to be quoting something. Please make sure to cite the source of any quotations you use on this site. Yes, "may" and "can" are interchangeable in that sentence. Both modals indicate possibility there, no matter whether the sentence is active or passive.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Dress up

1) I used to know that 'dress up' meant to wear a costume (batman, superman). But I heard someone say "I'm all dressed up." Even though he was only wearing a suit. 2) I usually say 'get dressed' to tell someone to put of his clothes. But how do I say that I'm ready. Do I say- "I'm dressed?"Read More...
That would be a strange thing to say, Ashraful. People do not get dressed up to go to the gym. They just get dressed in workout clothing, which is not formal.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

I'm sure you understood me, did you?

Hello. Is the following question tag correct using positive in the sentence and the tag? - I'm sure you understood me, did you? What does it mean? Thank you.Read More...
Hi Ahmed, Because the statement is positive, the question tag needs to be negative: I'm sure you understood me, didn't you? I think it would it sound better without "I'm sure", or as two separate sentences: I'm sure you understood me. Didn't you?Read More...
Last Reply By batman · First Unread Post

Essentially or in essence

Where do I place the above phrase. My view is In essence, you put at the front of a sentence and essentially, you put in the last bit of a sentence as it is an adverbial. e.g. You borrowed $100K to acquire shares in XYZ company and on the same day I actually sold my $100K shares in XYZ company being all my shares held in XYZ coy. So, I'd say, . You borrowed $100K to acquire shares in XYZ company, in essence my disposed shares were bought by you entirely.Read More...
Hi, Cristi, Your question above is somewhat confusing, but one thing is clear — I wouldn't use "in essence" or even "essentially" but "in practice": You borrowed $100K to acquire shares in XYZ company and on the same day I sold my $100K holding of shares in XYZ company, so in practice we can say that the shares I disposed of ended up being bought by you. (A rather simplistic view of stock market operations) Finally, please note that "in essence" and "essentially" are not always...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

longer ago than

1) It happened too long ago for me to remember. 2) It happened so long ago that I don't remember. 3) It happened too long ago for me to care to remember. 4) It happened so long ago that I don't care to remember. 5) It happened longer ago than I remember. 6) It happened longer ago than I care to remember. I don't remember/care to remember how long ago it happened, or I don't remember the event (it)? Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Hi, Navi, I think (5) and (6) can only refer to the person not remembering the exact time, while all of the others can refer to the time or to the event itself, though failing to remember the event sounds a lot more likely. This is so because, while in (1) to (4) we can add "it" at the end to refer to the event (the omission of "it" would render the transitive verb objectless), I don't think we can add "it" at the end of (5) and (6): 1) It happened too long ago for me to remember it. 2) It...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Vetted or verified

What is the difference between Vetted and verified. E.g. Please mark X once you have vetted/verified the document? ThanksRead More...
Hello, Cristi—To vet something is to investigate it. To verify something is to confirm or establish the truth or accuracy of it. If you use "vetted," you could mark X even if some of the document turned out to contain false assertions. If you use "verified," an X will indicate that everything checks out as being true.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

into video games

1) He was into video games as teenagers usually are. 2) He was into video games, as teenagers usually are. Are both correctly punctuated? Do they mean the same? Could '1' mean, he was as into video games as teenagers usually are, or he is into video games in the same way teenagers usually are? Gratefully, NaviRead More...

cardinal numbers in words

I've already seen some large cardinal numbers being written in the following forms: Eg.: 1,658: one thousand, six hundred and fifty-eight/ one thousand six hundred fifty-eight 4,005: four thousand and five/ four thousand five 8,600: eight thousand, six hundred/ eight thousand six hundred/ eight thousand and six hundred Please, can you tell me what's the correct form to write cardinal numbers in full (which of these forms are correct?). I've already come across all of them on the web, but I...Read More...
Hi, JessyA, In British English, you will always find commas and the conjunction "and" before the last unit. In American English, both the commas and the conjunction will tend to be omitted.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

with and gerund

Is this sentence correct ? The band was playing with us dancing around .Read More...
Oh, that's a good guess, Gustavo. If that was Ilko's intention, this thread illustrates how important it is to use a comma (or a slight pause) before that construction. The sentence is incorrect and incomprehensible without it: The band was playing , with us dancing around.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Redundant sentence subject

Recently, I have heard three newscasters use sentences with the following sentence structure: "The teachers, they have won several arguments." "The people who spoke with me they are frustrated with the lack of progress." Why is this sentence such a clunker?Read More...
Hello, SippnCoffe, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange. A comma is needed after "me" in the second example. The structure is known as Left Dislocation. It is mentioned in the article on Dislocation here on Wikipedia and is discussed at length in this 2008 blog article at Language Log. The construction is common and natural in spoken English, but is generally considered too informal for modern written English. You will hear it in songs, though. All the following quotes are from Bob Dylan's...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

hoped - had hoped

Hello. Which form is correct? - I (hoped - had hoped) to leave by 8, but I overslept and missed the bus. Thank you.Read More...
Hi, Ahmed, 'Had hoped' seems the better answer because of the presence of 'by + past time'. However, Martin Hewings in Advanced Grammar says: "We can use either the past perfect or past simple (and often past continuous and past perfect continuous; see Units 4 and 7 ) when we talk about things that we intended to do, but didn’t or won’t now do in the future: I had hoped to visit the gallery before I left Florence, but it’s closed on Mondays. ( or I hoped ..., I was hoping ..., I had been...Read More...
Last Reply By ahmed_btm · First Unread Post

Hunt (noun) used with possession

Can hunt be used as a noun with possession? Examples : It was her hunt. Bob's hunt.Read More...
Hello, Needurinput, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange. Yes, the noun "hunt" can be preceded by a possessive. Generally, when the phrase stands alone , the possessor will be a noun indicating time: They couldn't be part of the day's hunt. On the next morning's hunt, they killed a bunch of geese. When the possessor is a person, the noun "hunt" is generally followed by a "for" phrase indicating the object of the hunt: The submarine commander's hunt for Red October was difficult. Their hunt...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Hady arrived while having my dinner.

Hello. What's wrong with the following sentence? Is it correct? - Hady arrived while having my dinner. Thank you.Read More...
Hi, Mr @Ahmed Imam Attia If you can accept my opinion, the sentence is ambiguous and incorrect. This kind of mistakes is called "dangling modifiers". I mean when we ask who "is having the dinner"? Is it "Hady" or the "speaker". When we use the participle, it s usually advisable that the subject of the two parts of the sentence is "the same". We can correct it this way: Hady arrived while I was having my dinner. You can find more information in this thread__...Read More...
Last Reply By ayman · First Unread Post

got up / have gotten up

If I want to express, while late in the morning, that I got up (from bed), I would normally say: "I got up this morning." However, if I say it early in the morning, I would say " I have got up," and never say, "I have gotten up." I would have thought it correct to use the present perfect every time, as the time period "this morning" does not expire until the afternoon. Can someone please explain this piece of grammar, as it is somewhat confusing.Read More...
Thanks David. I think I understand now. Much appreciated.Read More...
Last Reply By Steven 123 · First Unread Post

correct verb

Please what's the correct verb to use with "sleepover"?: I'm going to have/ make a sleepover at my friend's house. thanks a lot in advanceRead More...
Hi, JessyA, You can say: - I'm going to sleep over at my friend's house. You can also say: - We are going to have a sleepover party at my friend's house. (This suggests that you will have fun and perhaps stay awake all night long.)Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

used to (work - working)

Hello. Please, which one is correct? Why? My brother couldn't get used to (work - working) in hot weather. Thank you.Read More...
It is possible to parse "work" as a noun. Very clever. In the context of the test question, such an interpretation makes no sense, since it's like comparing apples and oranges, "working" being a verbal form. The sentence also sounds a bit off on that interpretation. "In hot weather" reads more easily as an adverbial modifier than as a noun modifier there. For the noun interpretation, I'd rephrase the sentence like this: My brother couldn't get used to hot-weather work.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Thesis heading

Hello, Could you please help me with the right wording for my thesis heading. I'm hesitating between "Cash culture implementation in a company"/ "Implementing cash culture in a company". Also, should it be A/THE/no article before 'company' word? TksRead More...
Hello, Allo, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange. Both titles are correct and similar. The gerund carries a stronger process connotation (the process of implementing cash culture), while the noun can point more clearly to the process and result of having implemented cash culture.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post
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