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some ... or other

Mary's gone to America to marry --- sheep farmer or ----. A) one / another B) a / the other C) some / other D) any / the other E) the / any other Which one do you think is correct, A or C?Read More...
I think it is "some sheep farmer or other." This gives a kind of pejorative meaning to "sheep farmer." When you say "some" with a singular count noun, it has the effect of marking the noun as a little lowly or unimportant. So, this works if the speaker / writer of the question wants to imply that sheep farmers are the hoi polloi. On the other hand, "one....or another" does not give that connotation. It could be one or any of a bunch, or one alternative. A could be right, but thinking this...Read More...

purgatory

[purgatory] I listend to how the above word is pronounced in LDOCE [american pronunciation] but I find it different from the way it is transcribed. Would you check and see if I'm right? http://unabridged.merriam-webster.com/cgi-bin/collegiate?va=purgatoryRead More...
They show two pronunciations for purgatory in the LDOCE Online, Ismael. The first is the British pronunciation, in which case the penultimate syllable is barely pronounced. The second is American, in which the penultimate syllable is clearly pronounced with the "open o ." RichardRead More...

notions on?

The ways men are presented in the media strongly affect people's notions of men's place, as it is and as it ought to be. If the 'of' in red were replaced with 'on' as: The ways men are presented in the media strongly affect people's notions on men's place, as it is and as it ought to be. would it still make sense? Would it sound natural as well?Read More...
I didn't think it would work either. I was asked about the version with 'on', and I was kind of puzzled so I asked the question here. Maybe it was misprinted or something. Thanks, Rachel!Read More...

roundabout

Dear experts, Is ROUNDABOUT used in American English to mean: roundabout – 1. (used as a noun) a revolving structure for children to sit on and be pushed around and around (also: merry-go-round): View shows a group of children on a roundabout in the park at Woodhouse Moor. 2. (used as a noun) a road junction consisting of a circular area around which traffic can flow continuously: Exit the airport and turn left and drive to the roundabout. At the roundabout take the third exit... Thank you, YuriRead More...
I have never heard "roundabout" used to mean "merry-go-round" in the US. Roundabout. We've had a discussion about this word on this newsgroup before. And, while looking it up, I found moreinteresting information about the word, and how it differs from other road configurations:http://www.answers.com/roundabout RachelRead More...

1940s style

Hi, I was just reading this piece of British English -- I would have thought there would be an apostrophe after the s. Just wondering whether there should be ie because style -- 1940s is possessive of style. Even the acting seems to owe more to the expressive 1940s style Should this be 1940s' style? If this is a situation where there should not be an apostrophe -- grateful to know why. Many thanks for your assistance. Cheers, SusanRead More...
ThanksRead More...

relative clauses and phrases

This question is from Kross . Before going a further question about the sentence above, I'd like to ask a new one. A) A paleontologist is a scientist who studies prehistoric life. B) A paleontologist is a scientist studying prehistoric life. Q1. do they have the same meaning? If not, what is the difference between them? Q2. If a relative pronoun(who) is added into the sentence B, which one will be? why one is okay and the other is wrong? 1. A paleontologist is a scientist who studies...Read More...
Neither the sentences nor the clauses are called present participles, Kross. The term present participle refers to this use of the -ing verb form. Running and flying are present participles. RichardRead More...

bed of roses

Dear experts, May we use the idiomatic expression BED OF ROSES in its direct sense, i.e. a rose-bed? Thank you, YuriRead More...
Oh! I don't think so. We would never say, "Come out and look at my bed of roses." We would always say, "Come out and look at my rose bed." (Or maybe just "roses.") We'd say, "Life is no bed of roses" to indicate that life is tough. RachelRead More...

past progressive

Besides the other differences between the past simple and the past progressive , don't you feel that the latter is used a lot with suspicious actions especially when interrogating a suspect?Read More...
Yes, that's a good example of an appropriate place to use the past progressive. It's a natural! The prosecuting attorney wants to know what the witness was doing at a certain time. Perfect! RachelRead More...

dazzling,ladies watch

Hi, I don't think there should a comma in this situation - dazzling, ladies watch. 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...
She introduced a range of dazzling, ladies' timepieces. Cheers SusanRead More...

for

1)He is working hard for getting a good grade. 2)You can spend a hundred dollars for 5% cash back. 3)He is worried for his mother. Did I use 'for' correctly?Read More...
Yes and no, my friend. 1)He is working hard to/in order to get a good grade. (We need to use to or the longer expression in order to + the base verb to show the person's intention. His intention is to get a good grade. That's why he's working hard.) 2)I think I understand your idea, but it needs to be tweaked: You can get 5% cash back for spending a hundred dollars, / Every time you spend a hundred dollars, you get 5% cash back. 3)Fine. You can also say He is worried about his mother. RichardRead More...

at

Attorney at Law. I referred my dictionary about 'at' but I did not find the meaning related to the above. Can I tell me what 'at' means? Thank youRead More...
In its strictest meaning, Welkins, the word attorney means somebody who does some work for another person or represents another person. For that reason, to make it very clear how this particular attorney works for another person, we have the very formal term attorney at law . It clearly shows that the attorney is working for a client in a legal capacity. Even though that's the real title for this profession, the vast majority of English speakers shorten it and simply say attorney . If you...Read More...

of / in the world

Can I say, (A) The Taj Mahal is one of the seven wonders (of / in the world). (b) Taj Mahal is a building of wonders ( in the world) . (c) Taj Mahal is a place of wonders (of the world).Read More...
(A) is fine with of , not in . (B) & (C) The Taj Mahal is a building/place full of wonders. RichardRead More...

Squeeze a little lime onto...

Hi friends, Please read the sentence below. Squeeze a little lime onto the papaya. It will taste better. Here's the problem. I say that the pronoun It refers anaphorically to the word papaya . My friend says that it can also refer to the word lime . If you are a native speaker, what would the natural sense of It be to you? Thank you for helping to solve another Malaysian argument on grammar. GilbertRead More...
Proximity is important, but logic is, too. "It" could refer to the lime in a sentence like this: Squeeze a little lime onto the papaya. It will intensify the taste of the fruit. RachelRead More...

Gerund?

Hi, Can a gerund be used after the word 'to' as in: My uncle is used to driving huge lorries. Thank you. GilbertRead More...
My two cents: The reason that a gerund noun phrase is being used in your sentence, Gilbert, is because of the preposition ( to ). As I'm sure you know, when a verb follows a preposition, it's always put in the -ing form. The expression here is to be used to something, so to is not part of an infinitive verb; it's just a preposition at the end of this expression. That's why the verb that follows is in the -ing form. So when you see other expressions that include a final preposition, you'll...Read More...

this time

A: What's the fastest way to get to Manhattan from here? B: By subway _______ of the day. a. at this time b. in this time c. this time Which is correct? Thanks!Read More...
My half-penny: It's very common for this adverbial phrase not to have the definite article: By subway (at) this time of day . RichardRead More...

take (patients') temperature

Can I say, (a) The nurse is very kind-hearted. She helps to take temperature of patients. (b) She helps patients to take (patients') temperature. Sometimes, she even looks after patients in the wards.Read More...
Who takes the temperatures, Vincent, the nurse or the patients? Of course it's the nurse who does this, so she takes patients' temperatures . Nurses don't "sometimes" look after patients in the wards; they always loof after them. RichardRead More...

assist regularly / regularly assist

Can I say, (a) The nurse assists the doctors to make patients (to be) comfortable in the hospital. (b) She regularly assists / She assists regularly doctors (to) look after patients in the wards.Read More...
(a)I believe you're making a general statement about one of a nurse's duties, Vincent. I don't think you're talking about just one specific nurse. If I'm right about this, the sentence will work better if we say: Nurses assist doctors to make patients comfortable in the hospital. OR A nurse assists docotors ... (b) She regularly assists doctors / She assists doctors regularly to look after patients in the wards. RichardRead More...

go sure for a steak and a salad

cocoricot
Dear teachers, "I could go sure for a steak and a salad now." Does this sentence mean "I think I will have a steak and a salad now." Thanks.Read More...
You've got it a little mixed up, Coco. It should be I could sure go for a steak and a salad now. It means "I would really like to have a steak and a salad now." Another way of thinking about it is, "I have an urge/a craving for a steak and a salad now." RichardRead More...

"Geronimo"

While jumping out of a plane, Americans often say "Geronimo," which is the name of a Native American Indian chief. This practice started during World War II with paratroopers. Do you have any idea why they say "Geronimo"?Read More...
I don't know who wrote the sentences you've cited, Ismael, but there's definitely a redundancy. We can call them Native Americans or American Indians , but not the two ways together. Now, as to the reason the Americans often shout "Geronimo!" it's for various reasons, not just when jumping out of a plane, mind you. In the early 1940s there was a movie produced in Hollywood called Geronimo . It supposedly was a biography of the Indian leader's adult life, and it became quite a popular action...Read More...

Singular or plural?

Hi there grammar people, Could you tell me whether I need the singular or plural verb with these nouns: 1 My spectacles costs/cost a lot of money. 2 Two gigabytes holds/hold a lot of information in a computer. Also, please tell me if something is wrong with this sentence and how it can be improved: Kamal's pair of school trousers does not fit me, as it is too big and baggy. Thanks a lot. GilbertRead More...
Okay, now I understand - thanks! What about questions 2 and 3 in the posting above? i.e. 2 Should I say '... as it is or as they are too big and baggy? 3 Do I need that comma after the word 'me'? Thanks. GilbertRead More...

a sentence

Diane had been crying because her makeup was smeared. Is this sentence correct? Shouldn't it be like this: Diane was crying .... Am I right? Thanks!Read More...
When I entered her boudoir, it was obvious that Diane had been crying because her makeup was smeared.Read More...

"timber"

When trees are cut down, the people who cut them say "timber". Do you know why they say so?Read More...
. 'Timber', of course, means 'tree-used-as-wood'. The cry of 'Timber' warns those nearby that a tree is falling-- a potential danger to the unwary. .Read More...
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