All Forum Topics

pecking on / at / in /through

Can I Say, (A) The woodpecker is pecking (on /at /in / over/through) the tree. (b) The woodpecker is pecking (on /at / in / over / to) the tree trunk / tree trunk / trunk of the tree.Read More...

as early as

Dear experts, Could you comment on the difference in meaning of AS EARLY AS and AS LATE AS: The Society began issuing its Dictionary of Architecture as early as 1852, but it took 40 years to complete. China could suffer a shortage of copper, as early as this month, as domestic stocks and imports decline. The spokesman was denying as late as yesterday afternoon that Gonzales planned to leave the administration. The Middle Ages in Britain saw the development of alphabetization, though the...Read More...

Scotch whisky and Highland distillers

Hi, Grateful for your help. This is about capitalisation. 1. Scotch whisky and when we just refer to it as Scotch in the middle of a sentence: Eg The original Chivas Regal was the first luxury Scotch. Should Scotch be upper or lower case? I think it should be upper case, but if it is just the variety should it be lower case? Grateful for your input. Times style guide: Scotch, the whisky not to be used as a substitute for the adjectives Scottish and Scots. But note Scotch broth, Scotch mist,...Read More...

mopping up / draining off

What are the differences in meaning of these words? Can I say, (a) She is mopping up / draining off the water on the floor. (b) She is draining off the clothes.Read More...

slang words

Hi I'm translating a comic book into Portuguese and I'm having some difficulties with some slang expressions. Could you help me? This is a dialog between two criminal buddies while playing billiards. They are laughing. A; looks like it's three games to none... B: what, we're keeping score now? A: purely for the purpose of shaming you... and taking your money. A (continues): now pay up. B: You sure I wasn't solids? ( I didn't get the meaning of SOLIDS) A(pointing a gun at B and laughing):...Read More...

the location of for example or however

I have seen more sentences where "for example" or "however" is located in the middle of a sentence than in the beginning. I think that it is better to understand sentences when for example or however is put in the beginning of a sentence, because I can guess what kind of the sentence will be. However, (I am not sure) native English speakers prefer to put it down not in the beginning. Why? Does it have any advantage? In England and Wales, "for example", the proportion of brides marrying a...Read More...

Whom should he see coming ...

Hello, Rachel and Richard: What's the exact reason for using should and not would here? ------- After a while whom should he see coming along but the priest and the provost and the mayor, walking arm-in-arm as bold as you please. ... The Baldwin Project: The Wonder Clock by Howard Pyle ------- Could it be the fact that a chance meeting is timed/arranged by the fate/providence, and thus "will/would" wouldn't fit, as they indicate personal discretion, thus we need "shall/should," which...Read More...

to / for selling

Can I Say, (a) He goes to the playground and sells ice cream. (b) He goes to the playground for selling ice cream. (c) He goes to the playground to sell ice cream. (d) He rides the motorcycle around (in) the housing estate for selling ice cream (s).Read More...

I wish...

A: Did you go to the spring art show last week? B: No, I wish _______ . a. I had b. I had gone c. I had been Are they all correct? If so, which is the most natural? Thanks!Read More...

those (who) wish to

Is the following sentence correct as it is? If "wish" is a verb, which I think it is, isn't a relative word "who" before "wish" obligatory? The monthly fee for tennis lessons is 50 dollars, and 70 dollars for those wish to take optional golf lessons. AppleRead More...

go-getter

Dear experts, Will it be right to assume that whereas HAVE GET UP AND GO can be used of people, horses and cars: You need to demonstrate, through concrete examples, that you have ˜get up and go'! Firms don't give jobs to people who expect the world on a plate... Steering and agility is great for a vehicle of its size. The performance is sluggish but it still has get up and go when you really need it. BE A GO-GETTER is somewhat different in meaning and only used of men: As it is a sales...Read More...

The position of "after"

cocoricot
Dear teachers, To me, both sentences are correct. Is it right? 1. That's the dog we've been looking after. 2. That's the dog after which we've been looking. Thanks.Read More...

broke out/had broken out

cocoricot
Dear teachers, I doubt about how to report the sentence below. I am not sure if I use the tenses correctly. Our teacher said, "The Second World War broke out in 1939." 1. I used the past perfect. Our teacher said the Second World War had broken in 1939." 2. I keep the tense as it is. Our teacher said the Second World War broke out in 1939." Thanks.Read More...

improve (in)

1. I want to improve my English. 2. I want to improve in my English. 3. He has improved in English. Can 'improve' be used with 'in'? Are the above sentences correct? Many thanks.Read More...

more young people that

Which is correct: 1-There more more young people who participated than old. 2-There more more young people than old who participated.Read More...

sounds / press the horns

Can I say, (a) Ali is an ice cream vendor. Whenever he goes around (our) neighbourhood, he will sound (got any words to replace?) the horns to attract the children's attraction. (b) Whenever he goes around the street, he presses the horns to attract the children. (c) Whenever he goes to the street, he sounds his bells.Read More...

as long as

The computer is patient and will tirelessly go over the same points for as long as is necessary. Is it correct that a clause(as long as is necessary) is put after "for"? Can you explain why the last part(as long as is necessary) is correct grammatically? What is the subject to Be verb "is" in the last part? That's because the subject looks omitted.Read More...

as

All watched as close to one million human beings were killed, slaughtered, raped or maimed in a planned, and systematic campaign of ethnic cleaning. What does the word "as" in the sentence do grammatically? Thank you in advance!Read More...

About "tae kwan Do"

Can I say, (A) The man wears black belt for tae kwan do. (b) He has a black belt in / at / for taekwando . (c) He wears a black belt during Tae Kwan Do class / lesson. (d) He wears a black belt when he is practising tae kwan do.Read More...

more/less than I

Hello, This is an explanation taken from a grammar book: Use more...than and less...than to compare uncountable nouns that are unequal in a particular way. More means 'a larger amount of'. Less means 'a smaller amount of'. Examples: 1 I drink more water than coffee. I drink less water than coffee. 2 She has more money than I. She has less money than I. 3 They have more sugar than us but less honey. My questions: A Is the explanation correct? B Example number 2 is also possible with ... than...Read More...

I wonder...

Hi, Can you tell me why the first sentence ends with a question mark and the second does not ( taken from the LDOCE): 1 I wonder how James is getting on. 2 I wonder if I might have a glass of water? Also, would the sentence below need a question mark?: I wonder if this could be his Many thanks. GilbertRead More...

beyond

One of the books I have (written by a Japanese) has this sentence as an example of the usage of 'beyond': The lecture was impressive beyond description. Does the sentence make sense to you native speakers at all?Read More...

one/any

cocoricot
Dear teachers, "He wants to talk to someone knowledgeable in computers before purchasing one." If I replace "one" with "any", is it fine? Does it mean that "any other computer" and between "one" and "any", which is better? "He wants to talk to someone knowledgeable in computers before purchasing any." ThanksRead More...

Adjectives without nouns

Hi friends, Adjectives can be used without nouns, as in: 1 The handicapped should be given more opportunities. 2 We donated food and clothing to the orphans . 3 The rich ought to help the poor . Can you tell me why the orphans is considered an adjective? I fail to see it. Sorry for the ignorance. Thank you. GilbertRead More...
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