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now, now that, so

Hello, Of the following 4 sentences, is 2 correct? I don't think so, because "now that" is a conjunction, so a comma before "let's" is OK, but "Now" is not a conjunction, so the first sentence has to be an independent sentence. What about 4? Is a comma ok? or does it have to be a period? Now that everyone is ready, let's get started. Now everyone is ready, let's get started. Now everyone is ready. Let's get started. Now everyone is ready, so let's get started. AppleRead More...
Thank you so much, David. You gave me the very answer I needed. appleRead More...
Last Reply By apple · First Unread Post

before meeting him

a . He talked to me at four o'clock before meeting Jim. b. He talked to me at four o'clock, before meeting Jim. c. He mentioned your case in his second conversation with me before the last time we talked. d. He mentioned your case in his second conversation with me, before the last time we talked. e. He mentioned your case in his second conversation with me, that is, before the last time we talked. Which of the above sentences are grammatically correct? Which are natural? Do (a) and (b)...Read More...

Historic or historical

I'm totally get confused about the usage of historic and historical. These two different screen shots make the matter more confusable!Read More...
Hi, Mr Ahmed, You mean to say either " I'm totally confused about the usage of historic and historical" or " I get totally confused about the use of historic and historical." You mean they make the matter more confusing to you. The distinction between "historic" and "historical" has been discussed many times on GE. See this thread: https://thegrammarexchange.inf...storic-vs-historicalRead More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Respected Or respectable

My friend had a ........... position in the medical profession.Read More...
Hi, Mr Ahmed, Please put your question in your post. Initially I had no idea what you were trying to ask. Then I looked at your title and was able to infer what you intended your question to be. The reader should not have to work so hard to find the question. The answer is "respectable." The individual being spoken of had a position in the medical profession that was worthy of respect . That's what "respectable" means. Whether or not people actually respected the position, it was worthy of ...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

John standing

Which are correct: 1) I saw somebody in the distance. When I drove up I realized it was John standing there in a state of shock. 2) I saw somebody in the distance. When I drove up I realized it was John, standing there in a state of shock. 3) I heard a shout. I turned around. It was John running towards me like a madman. 4) I heard a shout. I turned around. It was John, running towards me like a madman. 5) I heard someone shout. I turned around. It was John running towards me like a madman.Read More...
Hi, Navi, Proper names are the most specific of all nouns and, as such, will not normally take a defining or restrictive clause. That said, I find (2), (4) and (6) to be much better than the others. I also find (6) to be superior to (4), where the thing described (the shout) is defined by means of a person (the shout was not the person, but came from the person). The person-person connection is clearer in (6): - I heard someone shout. It was John , running towards me like a madman.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Is this sentence correct?

Hello, I have never seen such a beautiful beach like this. This is the most beautiful beach I have ever seen, No other beach is as beautiful as this (one). I have never seen anything like this beautiful beach. I think sentences 1,2,3, mean about the same, but what about 4? Is 4 correct in the first place? If not, what's wrong with it? If correct, does it mean the same as the other three sentences? AppleRead More...
Thank you, David, always. appleRead More...
Last Reply By apple · First Unread Post

Is or are

My sister asked why the sky (is - was)blue.Read More...
Hi, Ahmed55, Both "is" and "was" are correct. You can take your pick. with backshift : My sister asked why the sky was blue. without backshift : My sister asked why the sky is blue. You don't need to backshift with eternal truths, but backshift isn't forbidden with them, either. The sky isn't always blue, I realize, but it is when there is daylight and there are no clouds or any other conditions clouding the view of the sky.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

a variety of

Amir: By the way, let’s go to a restaurant. Ali: OK. I know a restaurant in which a variety of seafoods ..... served. 1) is 2) are OED says: A plural verb is needed after a/an (large, wide, etc.) variety of…A variety of reasons were given. (Source: https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/variety_1?q=variety) I personally think "is" is also correct in this context. What do you think? (Source of the question: One of the exam held by The Iranian Ministry of Education)Read More...
Yes, here you go. You have to pay to use it, unless your school gives you access: https://www.oed.com/Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

deep vs deeply

He dug (deep/deeply) to plant that tree. I know that dig deep is an idiom which means to investigate, so is the answer here 'deeply'?Read More...
Hello, Rasha, Both answers are possible, but the more natural answer is "deep." "Dig deep" does not always mean "investigate" and, when it does mean "investigate," it's not an idiom; "dig" and "deep" are simply being used non-physically in that usage. "Dig deep" is an idiom when it means (a) to draw heavily on one's financial resources (dig deep into one's pockets) or (b) to draw on one's own energetic resources and make one's best effort. Each of those meanings is non-literal. Lastly, the...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

modals again

Learning chess is easy. 1) It has to be, because I managed to do it. 2) It must be, because I managed to do it. 3) It should be, because I managed to do it. 4 ) It ought to be, because I managed to do it. Which of the sentences 1-4 are grammatically correct in this context? Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Hello, Navi, While none of them is ungrammatical, (1) is the most natural choice for me. It would be normal to write it with "if" instead of "because" and no comma: 1a) Learning chess is easy. It has to be if I managed to do it. If the speaker were slightly less certain, then (3) would work. But it would be more natural with "anyway" inserted parenthetically before the "because"-clause: 3a) Learning chess is easy. It should be, anyway, because I managed to do it. I suppose (2) and (4) could...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

not only

a. Not only there wasn't any reason to suspect them of negligence, it was also clear that they had behaved bravely fighting the fire. b. Not only wasn't there any reason to suspect them of negligence, it was also clear that they had behaved bravely fighting the fire. c. Not only he isn't smart, he is also extremely ignorant. d. Not only isn't he smart, he is also extremely ignorant. Which of the above are grammatically correct? Many thanks.Read More...

warn

It might be a 'silly' question but it's been bothering me for some time. 1- He warned me to talk in class. 2- He warned me not to talk in class. I think that both are the indirect form of the sentence 'You must not talk in class' but can't get the difference. THANKSRead More...
Hello, Rasha, With reported warnings, orders, etc., we generally can't tell what the original sentence was. In this case, the original sentence for (2) could have been the one that you think it is, but it could equally have been "Don't talk in class," "You are not to talk in class," etc. Incidentally, I think (1) would make more sense like this: 1a- He warned me to participate in class.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Reported

I was told that my friend ………………. a terrible accident while he was driving to Mansoura. a had had b had c was having d is having I think that 'b' is the correct answer. If I am right, would 'a' be wrong because backshift is not possible here as backshift wasn't used with 'was driving' ?Read More...
Yes, Rasha, that is not only possible but perfectly correct and normal. What would be unusual, though also correct, would be to do what you thought was needed but isn't: "I was told that my friend had had a terrible accident while he had been driving to Mansoura." In that sentence, there are two relative tenses, "had had" and "had been driving" each being located prior to the past time of "was told." But that is totally unnecessary, because the "while"-clause is part of the reported-speech...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Tenses

I knew that a new secondary school …………… in our village recently. a has built b has been built c had been built d had built My first guess when I read the sentence is that 'c' is the answer. Then, I started thinking of why 'b' is not correct. I think that because 'knew' is past and the present perfect shows a relation between what happened ' the building' and the present. Am I right? I really appreciate what you do and which really helps A LOT.Read More...
Hi, Ahmed_btm I really appreciate what you do which really helps a lot. I didn't intend to add the 'and'. Thanks for your kind remark.Read More...
Last Reply By Rasha Assem · First Unread Post

equipment, one

Hello, I understand that "equipment" is an uncountable noun. So, it cannot be replaced with "one". The following sentence is wrong. Ken replaced the broken equipment with new one. Am I correct ? AppleRead More...
You explained it so well that I think I got the difference between clouds and cloud. Thank you for the interesting discussion. AppleRead More...
Last Reply By apple · First Unread Post

In case vs Alternatives of if

……….passing the driving test is a must, you have to train well for the test. a In case b Unless c As long as d Should I think that 'c' is the answer and that 'a' is not correct. Am I right?Read More...
Hello, Rasha, Yes, you are right on both counts: (c) is the answer and (a) is incorrect. In speaking of what the addressee has to do, the sentence is talking about a necessity. Thus, it must be known to the speaker that passing the driving test is a must. Given that he knows that it is a must, he would not use "in case," which has conditional meaning. "As long as" is the only answer that makes sense. As for the other two choices, (d) is ungrammatical and (b) is absurd.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Scheduled actions

We need to go. Our plane(leaves_is going to_will leave_is leaving)soon. This sentence is in an outside book. It is controversial.Read More...
Hello again, Wael, Please pay attention to your spelling, and note that "a lot" is two words. Your question " How 'soon' makes a difference? " is ungrammatical. You need "do"-support: "How does 'soon' make a difference?" "Soon" enables "leaves" and "will leave" to work. By themselves, those phrases don't indicate when the leaving will happen. "Our plane will leave" is hopelessly vague. "Our plane leaves" seems to refer absurdly to the plane's habits.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

their hobby; their hobbies

a. Their hobby is collecting stamps. b. Their hobbies are collecting stamps. Are they both correct and natural? If so, do they have the same meaning? Thanks!Read More...
Hi, Kis, They share the same hobby , which is collecting stamps, so only (a) is correct. "are" would only be possible if more than one hobby were listed: c. His/Her/Their hobbies are collecting stamps and gardening.Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

Future forms

Wash your hands.your meal .......ready in 5 minutes (will be-is going to be-is)Read More...
Hi, Ahmed55, Both "will be" and "is going to be" are possible here, but I find "will be" to be the more natural choice. "Is" is incorrect. Please note that we capitalize the first letter of a new sentence. We also use a space between one sentence and the next.Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post
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