July 19, 2005  •  fionateresa

Back and behind

I teach English to adults as a second language. I am having difficulty explaining to my current group the difference of “back” and “behind” and its usage. Can anyone help me out here.... FYI, I am teaching 3 26 year-olds with elementary (literally) knowledge of spoken English.

July 14, 2005  •  m56

Present adverbs in past narrative

Hi Would it make a major difference to the meaning of the sentence below if “now” were omitted? “Three months after his father’s death, Dave was now running the shop.”

July 14, 2005  •  m56

Using prepositions “by” and “with”.

Can anyone tell me why “by” and not “with” was used in the following? “In the course of his narrative he refreshes himself by a draught from the drinking-horn into which meanwhile Hagen has pressed the juice of an herb.” “or succeedeth in smuggling in a drink, or after much importuning, the janitor is induced to cool the coppers by a draught from the spigot that sizzes and adds to the thirst that is not quenched;” “With these preliminary remarks, and after wetting his whistle by a draught from a small pocket flask, he made the echoes of Kenmuir ring with the following, which he sung to the old Gaelic air, ‘I am asleep, do not waken me:’-”

June 22, 2005  •  ec

Assist in or assist with

Which is correct? (Intentional use of telegraphic style) Assists attorney in drafting documentation. Assists attorney with drafting documentation. Thanks

June 17, 2005  •  jane

Jane and you or you and Jane?

Which is the correct usage of a proper noun and you? It was a pleasure meeting Jane and you. It was a pleasure meeting you and Jane. Thanks!!

June 4, 2005  •  karendipeppe

in to or into?

When do you use “in to” versus “into”?

April 30, 2005  •  mikeliu

verb tenses

Which of the followings are grammatically correct? I told him what happened and he examined me. I told him what had happened and he examined me. I had told him what had happened and he examined me? Thanks.

April 22, 2005  •  tealee2

anyone & any one

Recently, I came across a problem. Should we say “anyone of us” or “any one of us”? My teacher says we can only say “any one of us”, but I remember a Gareth Gate’s song named “anyone of us”? Which one is right? Thank you very much.

April 21, 2005  •  dave

This construction is puzzling me...

I wrote the following in a book review: “How about a return to the days when women were in such vulnerable and inferior positions, they were easier to take advantage of by powerful men who knew they could get away with it?” That bit “they were easier to take advantage of by powerful men ...” doesn’t sit right with me, but I can’t figure out why. Am I just imagining it, or is there a problem?

April 20, 2005  •  damirhasandic

Past or Past Perfect

“He spoke to his teacher before the examination began.” Why wasn’t past perfect used at the begining of this sentence? Shouldn’t this sentence be like this?: “He had spoken to his teacher before the examination began.” I need your help. I am so confused.

April 17, 2005  •  dave

American versus British question

A sentence such as, “The Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra entertained a crowd of over 500 Saturday evening,” makes perfect grammatical sense in American English, and the construction is commonplace in newspapers. An alternative would be: “...crowd of over 500 on Saturday evening.” (addition of “on”) Since I am British-Canadian, and am doing copy for local press now, I have to be careful to use British English consistently, and I am unsure whether the former construction is standard British English. Certainly the latter is. Any opinions?

April 14, 2005  •  damirhasandic

Bring Brought

Could you please tell me which sentence is correct? “I am sorry for not bringing your package yet or I am sorry I have not brought your package yet”. Thank you in advance.

March 29, 2005  •  emilienne

“by” vs. “of”

I was asked - What could your past employers count on you for? I replied: “I can be counted on to show up, to be on time, to get the job done, and always to be possessed of integrity, loyalty, honesty and commitment.” I think that’s correct - vs. ...possessed by integrity, etc.

March 18, 2005  •  Dyske

Life Savers 5 Flavor

The package of Life Savers says, “5 Flavor”. Shouldn’t it be “flavors” (plural)? Why do you think it was left singular? The plural would make it rhyme better too. It’s a peculiar thing.

March 11, 2005  •  marta

some troubles with passsives

What, do you think,is a better passive construction for the following sentence? ‘’They took no notice of her rude remarks.'’ A) ‘’No notice was taken of her rude remarks.'’ B) ‘’Her rude remarks were taken no notice of.'’ I know that the ‘B’ option is correct, at least it should be, but I wondered if ‘A’ is possible at all. Does it sound natural to you, the English people? Can’t we treat the word ‘notice’ as an object of the active sentence and then make it a subject of the passive one?

February 22, 2005  •  xuan

None are/None is

I’m an unfortunate high school student who had to take the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills today, and an interesting problem came up. Is it “none are” or “none is”? (I’m leaning towards “none is,” even though I normally say “none are”). Are there circumstances when both are correct?

February 6, 2005  •  Dyske

I’m home

“I am home.” Does “home” function here as a noun or an adverb?

January 21, 2005  •  jroo

30 minutes parking?

A Japanese friend asked me why some signs say 30 minute parking and not 30 minuteS parking, which he expected would be the case. I was at a loss. I couldn’t come up with any other examples of this, either. What is this phenomenon called? Any rationale for why we do it this way? Thanks!

January 18, 2005  •  copydog

The Approaching-Ubiquitous “The”

At some vague point in the past few years, someone, somewhere decreed that when writing about an individual and his/her vocation, it would henceforth be necessary to affix “the” before the vocation. For example, “The blues guitarist, BB King.” Or “The mystery writer Clive Cussler.” How come and for what possible purpose? It’s been common parlance forever to simply say “Architect Frank Lloyd Wright,” or “Writer and philosopher Henry David Thoreau.” Faster, cleaner and much more listenable -- the creeping “The” is especially jarring when read aloud. Checked the NY Times and AP Stylebooks for it and there’s no mention. Anyone?

January 14, 2005  •  frankjaha

Why ‘an’ in front of an ‘h’-word?

I have often come across cases where the rule that you only put ‘an’ in front of a word starting with a vowel seems to have been violated, as e. g. in: “What’s needed is (a) conclusive research and (b) an holistic approach to changing the nation’s dietary habits”. I have also seen “an historic event”. Can someone enlighten me as to what’s happening here?

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