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prefer

1)She prefers reading than playing sports. 2)She prefers reading to sports. Did I use 'prefer' correctly? Thank youRead More...
. The second is OK; the first should read: 1)She prefers reading to playing sports. .Read More...

at

1)Sitting on the train, usually she would stop writting at 59th street station, started at the train station where she worked. 2)She demonstrated her skill at drawing. Did I use 'at' correctly? Thank youRead More...
. Yes, but your first sentence has some other problems. It should read something like this: 1)Sitting on the train, she would usually stop writing at the 59th Street station; she started at the train station where she worked. .Read More...

prepositions or particles?

How to know wether [down, to, away, etc] are prepositions or particles?Read More...
Jerry is correct about learning the meaning of the phrasal verbs and the two- or three-word verb and preposition combinations. How to describe the words that are not verbs in these combinations-- down, to, away, etc. -- causes confusion to many, and not all are in agreement. Ismael and others, you might find this link helpful: https://thegrammarexchange.infopop.cc/eve/forums/a/tpc/f...261008444#3261008444 As well, please click on the internal link in that discussion for a more specific...Read More...

"have or have had"

Dear Teachers, Many of us have or have had grandparents who remember events from their childhood with great accuracy but are unable to remember what happened yesterday. ---------------------------------------------- In the sentence above, I can't fully understand the meaning of the verb phrase "have had." What does that mean? And is the phrase "have had" necessary to the sentence?Read More...
Either you have grandparents now or they died. In that case, you had grandparents. The same holds true for parents. When they are alive, you have parents. When they are dead, you say that you had parents. The present perfect refers to an event that happened repeatedly, that might happen again, that began in the past and continues to the present but may not continue. The descriptions do not apply to having grandparents or parents. RachelRead More...

article

It might be an unnecessary source of friction between parent and child . Why does it not have an article 'a' as 'a parent and (a) child'?Read More...
Yes, you could use or omit the second "a." RachelRead More...

would you like some tea?

hi dear friends: -would you like some tea? -would you like a cup of tea? are both of two sentences correct and formal? what's the difference between them? how do we use "some" with noncountable nouns? can we use 'some',with other liquids like milk and water and juice?Read More...
You can use "some" with plural count nouns -- some boys, some trees, some desks, etc. You can use "some" with noncount nouns -- some coffee, some money, some information. You can use "some" with a singular count nouns, but it is very informal and gives a somewhat pejorative meaning to the noun == some guy, some lady, some kind. RachelRead More...

separated by a common tongue?

"According to George Bernard Shaw, the United States and England are two great nations separated by a common tongue? I wanted to understand what is meant by [separated by a common tongue]?Read More...
George Bernard Shaw is famous for, among other things, his wonderful wit. This statement is a great example of irony, Ismael. You would think that if two countries share the same language, they'd be closer, not more separated because of the common tongue. But since there are so many major differences in culture, attitude, government, etc. between the British and the Americans, Shaw was commenting that it doesn't seem to matter that we speak more or less the same language. So when he said...Read More...

directive tags and statment tags

There sometypes of tag questions that do not end in question marks ie directive tags and statment tags. When are they used?Read More...
We use directive tags as part of a sentence that makes an order, or directive, sound nicer, sweeter, and not so aggressive. For example: This cake would taste even better with a little more sugar in it, right / don't you think? (That's a sweeter way of saying, "Add more sugar the next time you make this cake.") Statement tags are normally used when the speaker is not looking for a response per se. He's letting the listener know that he's aware of something: You didn't get the raise you...Read More...

hold one's floor V. hold one's ground

Does the idiom [hold one's floor] means the same as [hold one's ground]?Read More...
Nope. hold the floor to speak to a group of people, often for a long time, without allowing anyone else to speak (from Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary) hold your own (ALSO hold your (own) ground) to be as successful as other people or things in a situation: Josie can hold her own in any argument. (from Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary)Read More...

see sb/sth done

The child was naturally upset when he saw his new ball..........out to sea a)having carried b)to have carried c)being carried d)to be carried e)carried C is the correct answer, but what about E? Isn't it possible to consider it as a reduced form of "being carried" and what about this one? I saw him.......... yesterday a)to be interviewed b)interviewed c)being interviewed d)be interviewed Is B correct? Thanks.Read More...
I agree with Mister Micawber that the question item is not a very good one, especially if two choices given can theoretically be applied. Here's why I would not go with (e). Let's analyze Mister Micawber's examples. His first example works fine. Why? Because it's very plausible to see the act of arresting somebody from start to finish. The latter part, taken off to the hoosegow , is logically assumed as the next step, so it will work even though the speaker probably didn't witness that act.Read More...

sponge off someone

Dear experts, Should we discriminate between SPONGE OFF SOMEONE and SPONGE ON SOMEONE: Jack sinks into a depression, drinking himself nearly to death and sponging off his girlfriend. She returned to London, accompanied by Count Pateroff, who sponged on her and made her life a burden. Thank you, YuriRead More...
I would have stated that only "sponge off" is used in this sense, but the two dictionaries I consulted quickly gave "sponge off" and "sponge on" as meaning the sme thing. Here's the definition from the LDOCE, at the verb "sponge": [intransitive] informal to get money, free meals etc from other people, without doing anything for them - used to show disapproval sponge off/on These people are just sponging off the taxpayers. RachelRead More...

want sb to do / doing sth

I don't want anyone coming back at me over this. (Longman) I don't want anyone to come back at me over this. (by me) What is the difference, if there is any? Can "want sb doing sth" substitute for "want sb to do sth" without change in meaning? Thanks.Read More...
"Want someone to come back" is the usual way to state something when you want to tell about the action you desire from another person. "Want someone coming bacK" is very similar, but it is more informal. With many verbs, the -ing form describes a longer action, or the expectation of a longer action over the period of time. In this case, "come back at me" and "coming back at me" refer only to one event, though. There are 10,200 examples on Google of "want anyone to come back," like this one:...Read More...

smoked bacon

Dear experts, Should we discriminate between SMOKED BACON and SMOKY BACON, as in: Cauliflower with smoky bacon. I'm willing to go to great lengths to try to cook awesome Chinese food. Thank you, YuriRead More...
Rachel: To me, "smoky" means "emitting smoke" first and foremost (as shown at definition 1), thus I wouldn't use it in this context, as certainly the bacon isn't emitting smoke any more:-) However, others may use definition 2, "having a flavor or odor suggestive of smoke." -------- 1 a : emitting smoke especially in large quantities or in an offensive manner <smoky fireplaces> <a smoky torch> b : emitting something that resembles smoke <part the smoky flesh, enjoy the feast --...Read More...

Clause starting with 'where'

This is the place where tall buildings are preferred. Can anyone tell me what clause is "where tall buildings are preferred"? Thx.Read More...
Hello, Boris! It's a relative clause, also known as an adjective clause, because it describes something about "the place." RichardRead More...

Verb forms used for future

Dear teachers. what is the difference between sentences below? 1. I will join the conference next monday. 2. I am going to join the conference next monday. 3. I join the conference next monday. 4. I am joining the conference next monday. 5. I'll be joining the conference next monday.Read More...
My two cents. But before anything else, I'd like to mention that the days of the week are always capitalized, so you should write M onday . Here are slightly different interpretations for those future forms: 1. The speaker is may be expressing a promise to do this or what he is determined to do. 2. The speaker is saying what he's planning to do. 3. The speaker is telling us that this is what's on his schedule of things to do. 4. Basically the same idea as in No. 2, especially used for events...Read More...

want [object] [~ing], ... is this possible?

Dear teachers, I'm wondering if I can speak or write "want + object + ~ing." Please answer me.... help me...Read More...
Actually, you can use "want somebody V-ing." The meaning is similar to "want somebody to V," but the action the speaker refers to is continuous. The construction is more conversational than written, too. Notice that all these examples from the New York Times are from quotes: "ยข ..to change his lifestyle a whole lot. He has always been active in sports, which we encourage because we don't want him sitting home all day playing video games.'' Jared, an aspiring kicker, said he would try not to...Read More...

about whom

Which is correct: 1-We have many members who we don't know where they come from. 2-We have many members who they come from we don't know where. 3-We have many members about whom we don't know where they come from. Is there any other way to say it?Read More...
Sorry, Navi, but these three don't work any better than the first three. RichardRead More...

Do I need a comma?

Hi, I was wondering if anyone could help with my punctuation. In this sentence which describes tv coverage of a soccer match: "In one particular instance, the camera was focused for over thirty seconds on a non-playing substitute who was standing at the touchline while the game continued in the background." Do I need a comma after the word "touchline"? ThanksRead More...
Great! I think this forum is brilliant!Read More...

Betty Azar's new website

Dear Grammar Exchange members: I am delighted to tell you about a wonderful new website. It's at www.AzarGrammar.com It has been created by Betty Azar, the person who, along with Pearson Education, created this very site we are on now, the Grammar Exchange. Betty's introduction appears in the attachment at the bottom of this page. Be sure to read it! Do take a look around the new site. You'll find useful ideas for classroom teaching, as well as lots of downloadable materials for your...Read More...
Thanks, Jerry! RichardRead More...

run someone down

Dear experts, Do phrases BE RUN DOWN as used below refer to different grammatical categories: He was run down by a vehicle operated by another member of the staff. She was very run down (i.e. exhausted and weak). Thank you, YuriRead More...
Yes, Yuri, they belong to different grammatical categories. In your first sentence, run down is a phrasal or two-word verb, here in the passive voice. In your second sentence, run down is an adjective. (By the way, in BrE they usually hyphenate it as an adjective: run-down .) RichardRead More...

what are they called?

I tried to find what are call the people who fixe cars that are bent or dented but I couldn't. I'm not asking about the people who paint cars. Just the name of the people who do the "panel beating" only.Read More...
The place is called a (automotive) body shop. In terms of job titles, perhaps (automotive) body repairman.Read More...

singular/plural

Is this sentence correct: 1-The points we put special emphasis on are not strength , but health and endurance . (I would change the order and say 'are health and endurance and not strength'; but I wanted to see if one could consider 1 correct).Read More...
The final part of a sentence tends to receive any emphasis a writer or speaker is looking for, Navi. There's absolutely nothing wrong, therefore, with the sentence you've cited. If you want, you certainly can change around the order of the words presented, but that may very well change what part is emphasized: The points we put special emphasis on are health and endurance, but not strength. Notice that I still retained but . And doesn't work in this context. RichardRead More...

She introduced a range of dazzling, ladies' timepieces.

Hi, I don't think there should a comma in this situation - dazzling, ladies watch. Sentence: She introduced a range of dazzling, ladies' timepieces. Reason: ladies and dazzling watch -- does it work? I don't think so. What do you think? I would be very grateful for your input. Cheers, SusanRead More...
There should not be a comma there, Susan. The reason is that we're not dealing with two coordinate adjectives; we're dealing with one adjective and the possessive form of a noun. Notice the difference: dazzling, gaudy jewelry dazzling ladies' jewelry RichardRead More...
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