All Forum Topics

as if he were a child

1) He was feeling foolish, as if he were a child playing a game he didn't quite understand. Is that sentence correct? Does it mean: a) He was feeling foolish and he was feeling as if he were a child playing a game he didn't quite understand. or: b) As if he were a child playing a game he didn't quite understand, he was feeling foolish. Are we dealing with a specific way of feeling foolish? He wasn't feeling foolish like a man who had made a big blunder in a chess game, but was feeling...Read More...

How to parse "I hate it when..."

Please have a look at these two sentences: I hate it when he does that. I hate when he does that. 1,They have the same meaning, but the first one is more common, right? 2,How do you parse the first sentence? My take is that "it" Is dummy object , with when-clause being the real one. Is it also possible to view "when..." as adverbial?Read More...
Got it, thanks.Read More...
Last Reply By Robby zhu · First Unread Post

waking Peter up

1) I shouted at Tom waking Peter up. 2) I shouted at Tom , waking Peter up. Are both correctly punctuated? Is the comma necessary? Does it change anything in any way? Does it change the meaning? Gratefully, NaviRead More...
Or, I shouted at Tom for waking Peter up. DocVRead More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

placement of "only"

I have made up the two similar examples below. (1a) Yesterday, my friends came to my birthday party and ate most of my food. Now, I only have enough food for two lunches. (1b) Yesterday, my friends came to my birthday party and ate most of my food. Now, I have enough food for only two lunches. Which position of "only" is correct? Thank you very much for your help.Read More...
We can also say: Only I have enough food for two lunches. But that changes the meaning considerably. DocVRead More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

Grammar

I just need some help making sure these sentences are grammatically correct : 1.) Because we put wire fencing around the chicken coop, they cannot escape. 2.) When President Nixon met with Chairman Mao, he felt that a new era had begun. 3.) We plucked off the feathers before we roasted them. 4.) Tom's brother is an engineer, and this is the profession that Tom wants to study. 5.) They asked Marla and her to go to the fair. 6.) Any discussion between Jean and him is sure to be heated. 7.)...Read More...
Mason, Welcome to the Grammar Exchange. We are here to help you learn and understand English grammar, especially as spoken in the United States. We do not grade homework assignments, which it seems you are asking us to do, nor stand as a substitute for dictionaries. We want to help, but we also ask you to help yourselves by asking pointed questions about specific points of grammar, and at least making a guess as to the answer. I will take the time to respond to your twenty questions just...Read More...
Last Reply By Doc V · First Unread Post

Each

Can we use 'each' in negative sentences? Not (every - each) child lives comfortably. Many are homeless.Read More...
Hello, Emad, Interesting question. Your sentence does not work at all. It is ungrammatical to begin sentences with "Not each NP." However, you can use "each" in negative sentences if you use "it"-extraposition, like this: It is not the case that each child lives comfortably. Also, although it does not work to say "Each child does not live comfortably," it is possible to say "Each child does NOT live comfortably," with heavy emphasis on "not." That sentence has the same meaning as the example...Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

dare vs dare to

Hello! Is there any difference between "How dare you speak to me like this!" and "How dare you to speak to me like this!" in terms of mood and semantics? I'll explain what I mean. For example, I insist he live here. = I ask him to live here. (subjunctive mood) I insist he lives here. = I know for sure he lives here. (indicative mood) Can we say that How dare you speak to me like this! = I'm angry and I resent the fact that you speak with me like that. (What is the mood here?) How dare you to...Read More...
Thank you again!Read More...
Last Reply By Alexey86 · First Unread Post

backshifting: [... what he is (was) doing now]

I have made up the example below. (1a) I have not seen John for a long time. Yesterday, I thought of him and wondered what he was doing now. My non-native speaking friends think backshifting the tense is not necessary because you are referring to his present state of life. Their revised example is written below. (1b) I have not seen John for a long time. Yesterday, I thought of him and wondered what he is doing now. Who is correct? Thank you very much for your time and help.Read More...
Hi, Ansonman, Neither you nor your friends are correct. You can't say * I wondered what he was doing now or * I wondered what he is doing now . You can say: Y esterday, I thought of him and wondered what he was doing at the time .Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Capitalisation

I have seen some grammar advice that suggests one should capitalise the name of a document even if the name is also a description of the document. For example, if I am writing a business plan and the title of the document written on the front page is "Business Plan", I should refer to the document as the Business Plan rather than the business plan. What are people's views on this? Does the need to capitalise change if we are referring to the document in the plural. For example if I was to...Read More...

Can I omit "that" in this object-clause?

Topic sentence: This book will show you (that) what you have observed can be used in other contexts. I understand that if that-clause serves as an object, the subordinator "that" can be dropped. But is it also optional to omit "that" in this case? Is it a little weird without "that"?Read More...
Thanks so much.Read More...
Last Reply By Robby zhu · First Unread Post

for his birthday (present)

(1a) I will buy a watch for his birthday. (1b) I will buy a watch for his birthday present . Is it wrong to add the word "present"? Thank you very much.Read More...

It That

Hello, Is dialogue A problematic, because "that " is used instead of "it"? Or does it sound natural because "that" is just more emphatic than "it"? Dialogue A A: What's that? Is that a ball? B: No, that's not a ball. That's a white kitten. Dialogue B A:What's that? Is it a ball? B: No, it's not a ball. It's a white kitten. AppleRead More...
Thank you always, David. AppleRead More...
Last Reply By apple · First Unread Post

how cute/ what a cute

Hello, Suppose you are with a friend and looking at a kitten. You say, "How cute!". This sounds fine, but do you say "What a cute?" I don't think so, but do you? "What a cute kitten !" would be correct, I mean grammatically, but is "What a cute!" a colloquial expression? AppleRead More...
Thank you , David. When I see strange, funny English I often say to myself? Do you really say this? AppleRead More...
Last Reply By apple · First Unread Post

went there by bike

Hello, Is there a problem with the following sentence? He went there by bike. I don't think there is nothing wrong grammatically, but does the sentence sound unnatural? Do native speakers use a more common, natural expression? AppleRead More...
David, one more question please. So,do native speakers prefer sentences 2,3 to sentence 1? 1. He went there by car. 2. He went there in his car. 3. He drove there. AppleRead More...
Last Reply By apple · First Unread Post

Tense with 'earlier'

Hi there, Should I use the word ' earlier ' with simple past or present perfect in the following context? It is clear that utilising the period of President's rule, the ruling party will indulge in all the methods in its arsenal to manufacture a majority for itself as it has done/did in several states earlier. This is yet another assault on the Constitution by this government.Read More...

had risen slightly

1) However, his dosage of a cholesterol-lowering drug was reportedly increased after the check-up and Mr Trump’s weight had risen slightly to 243 pounds, pushing him over the line into obesity. Source: https://www.yahoo.com/news/ white-house-forced-deny-trump- 111835003.html Shouldn't there be a comma after 'slightly'? Gratefully, NavRead More...
Hi, Navi, I find the sentence perfect as is. Adverbs of manner are usually used without commas between verbs like rise, increase, grow, fall, decline , etc. and the number that follows: - rise slightly to xxx - increase sharply to xxx - grow moderately to xxx - fall gradually to xxx - decline abruptly to xxxRead More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post

very badly

a. Tom was playing the guitar and Jack was banging on the drums, driving me crazy. b. Tom was playing the guitar, and Jack was banging on the drums, driving me crazy. In which case are they both driving me crazy and in which case only Jack's drumming is driving me crazy? Does the comma change anything? c. Tom was playing the guitar and Jack was playing the drums, very badly. d. Tom was playing the guitar, and Jack was playing the drums, very badly. In which case are they both playing badly...Read More...

Help

i am wanted to get my mom a piece of wall art the says “God willing” for Christmas. She would be the one that I would ask about punctuation so I am a bit nervous about placing my order. Can anyone help me please? Ive been looking online and I see God willing... God willing? ”God willing” “God willing?” God Willing.Read More...
Hello, Leticia, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange. "God willing" is not a sentence. What is featured in the wall art? Incidentally, * " I am wanted to . . . " is an incorrect use of the passive voice. You can say "Someone wants me to . . ." or "People have asked me to . . ."Read More...
Last Reply By David, Moderator · First Unread Post

Time travel crossing my eyes

In referencing an inaccurate 1934 recollection of a 1903 event, should I say "Joe's recollection is incorrect" or "Joe's recollection was incorrect?" The recollection was incorrect in 1934 and continues to be incorrect in 2019.Read More...
Hello, Grammarsgrammar, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange. In Merriam-Webster's dictionary, the term "recollection" is defined as: We can say that the action of recalling the facts was inaccurate in 1934, and that the result (his memory, or the story he narrated based on that childhood experience) was and continues to be inaccurate. "was" would be fine to refer to the action of recollecting, and both "was" and "is" could be used to refer to the facts being recalled (the story was...Read More...
Last Reply By Gustavo, Contributor · First Unread Post
×
×
×
×