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2
votes
5answers
647 views

Proper greetings on the phone

English is my 2nd language and I need your advice on this little awkward moment I had with a lady on the phone today. She left a voice message so I was returning her call. Me: Hi. I'm ** returning ...
2
votes
1answer
228 views

The balance is tilted / has been tilted / is tilting?

Given a picture like this: http://www.mediate.com/mpdimages/ACF3301.jpg what's the most appropriate expression to describe it? The balance is tilted. The balance tilts. The balance has been tilted. ...
3
votes
2answers
288 views

Conscious sense

What is the meaning of "conscious sense" in the text below? I understand the meaning of "a conversation that doesn't make sense". But what about the word "conscious" in this context? He heard ...
5
votes
1answer
160 views

determiner phrase

He is a child He is more than a child He is just a child He is such a child. Sometime I see one or more words precede the determiner. they can be adverbs or other determiners. Can ...
3
votes
2answers
167 views

Parse the pattern of 'there is/are the noun phrase'

RESULTATIVE PAST. The Present Perfect is also used in reference to a past event to imply that the result of that event is still operative at the present time. This meaning is clearest with ‘...
4
votes
2answers
247 views

“which” as relative pronoun

In the sentence, When deeply absorbed in work, which he often was,he would forget all about eating or sleeping. which is a relative pronoun standing for "When deeply absorbed in work, he would ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

What are living and nonliving things? [closed]

In the sentence "An ecosystem consists of the living and nonliving things in an area that interact with one another" what does living things mean? Does the human being fall into this category of "...
7
votes
3answers
4k views

Meaning of “no day at the beach”

Those kids are terrible and I am no day at the beach either. There is no definition on the internet, but it sounds like "I am trouble."
2
votes
1answer
664 views

Would vs should when used to make a polite request

I know the differences between would and should and their use, in general. Yet, both of them can be used to make a polite request: I would like to meet him…(definition #4) I should like to ...
1
vote
3answers
473 views

Having a ‘gaydar’ means that you will easily recognize who is gay

Having a ‘gaydar’ means that you will easily recognize who is gay. I was a little bit puzzled by the word order in this sentence. I expected this form: Having a ‘gaydar’ means that you will ...
6
votes
3answers
566 views

“New York is a great place to live.” (no preposition?)

New York is a great place to live. New York is a great place to live in. I've seen the former usage a lot and I've started wondering what the grammar aspects of it are. Both sentences are ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

'In-laws' - is it correct the way 'CEOs' is?

In India, it's very common to say... "My in-laws have come these days." This simply means that the speaker's parents in-law have come. The use of in-laws with the word 'law' pluralized is ...
0
votes
2answers
455 views

Thank you for the most superb dinner (that) I’ve ever eaten

Sentence 1:Thank you for the most superb dinner that I’ve ever eaten. Sentence 2:Thank you for the most superb dinner I’ve ever eaten Which sentence is more natural to you?
2
votes
3answers
168 views

loud explosions “in as many minutes around noon” - I don't understand

Source: Fighting rages in rebel-held city in eastern Ukraine; govt demands that rebels surrender Conditions were clearly deteriorating in Donetsk, the largest rebel stronghold in eastern Ukraine. ...
10
votes
2answers
792 views

Possessive of a possessive

Apostrophe or apostrophe + s is used to show possession; e.g. StackExchange's English Language Learners or Webmasters' favorite, just to name a few examples. But what if a proper noun ends in ...
11
votes
3answers
28k views

Can we use “there is” for plural nouns?

Is the following correct: There's a sofa, two armchairs, a TV and a big cage for our parrots. Or should we change it to: There's a sofa, there are two armchairs, there's a TV and a big cage ...
2
votes
1answer
559 views

What does 'stable-to-firm' mean?

What does "stable to firm" mean in this sentence? *Asia methanol prices stable-to-firm on further supply uncertainties. The import prices of methanol in the Asian market were assessed as stable-to-...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

How to pronounce “had had”?

Silvina continued to work after she had had her baby. (Longman Contemporary) When seemingly identical words linked together, I’m wondering the way to pronounce them. Especially /a/ in had is not in ...
11
votes
2answers
3k views

What does “I want him to know I want him to know” mean?

Lately, I watched Kill Bill (Vol. 1), with quite an attention. At the last (when Beatrix speaks to Sophie), I got confused by a few dialogues. She said, "I want him to know what I know. I want him ...
6
votes
2answers
995 views

after she had her baby; after she had had her baby

Sheila continued to work after she had her baby. (Longman Online) Silvina continued to work after she had had her baby. (Longman Contemporary) I would guess that 1 implies Sheila continued her ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Present perfect vs. past simple

A: Is David still here? B: No, I'm afraid he isn't. He went out about ten minutes ago. This dialogue is from Murphy's Grammar book. When I was doing this exercise I was pretty sure that the ...
1
vote
2answers
11k views

Best interpretation of “everybody has an angle”

Of late I have learned about the sentence "everybody has an angle", which I cannot recall for now where I came across it. I have no idea about its meaning, usage, and so forth. I think what I look ...
1
vote
1answer
148 views

the long dash in English - how to use it?

What I've noticed about the long dash in English is that many writers don't use spaces in front of the dash and after it. So, for example: I mean, it's embarrassing for them. It’s painful for us to ...
1
vote
1answer
71 views

“Saw a friend get/got an ice cream.”

Earlier today, I wrote: "Saw a friend got an ice cream." However, I was told that it should be: "Saw a friend get an ice cream." Why should get be used instead when the sentence refers to the ...
5
votes
1answer
706 views

I'm next to certain that

I'm a little confused. What the expression "I'm next to certain that" try to say and emphasize in the sentence below? I'm next to certain that if you continue to complain, you will lose your job. ...
1
vote
1answer
169 views

“any other verbs then being located in VP” — is this acceptable?

if the sentence you are analysing contains a modal verb, then it is positioned in ‘I’,any other verbs then being located in VP. (English Syntax and Argumentation - Bas Aarts) At first, I think ...
3
votes
2answers
6k views

I can see [=I will see] you tomorrow?

Can indicates certainty regarding the future: I can see [=I will see] you tomorrow – what time shall we meet? Page 85, A. Wallwork, English for Research: Usage, Style, and Grammar ...
-1
votes
1answer
74 views

What kind of assault in this short video clip? [closed]

I was watching this anime when I could not get what kind of assault (@ 13 sec.) the character had said in this short clip (24 sec.)? I'm sorry the clip has been uploaded via a free account on Vimeo ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

hadn't better; had better not

[i] He hadn’t better tell them. (CGEL, p.113) [ii] He had better not tell her. (CGEL, p.196) According to CGEL, negation can be marked after or before better. But I can’t find any examples of [i] ...
7
votes
2answers
454 views

Why is the simple present tense used?

Oracle Corp., the primary developer responsible for setting up Oregon’s Obamacare health-insurance exchange website, sued the state claiming it’s owed $23 million. The lawsuit escalates a ...
3
votes
3answers
30k views

What does “blue corn moon” mean in this song?

In the song "Colors of the Wind," which is used in the movie Pocahontas, there is a part which says: Have you ever heard the wolf cry to the blue corn moon ... what does blue corn moon mean ?
2
votes
1answer
131 views

Why use “where” in a legal document instead of “when” or “in cases where”?

Where in legal parlance, e.g.: where a defendant has committed a crime, he or she shall..... Can it replace in cases where?
-1
votes
1answer
171 views

Explanation of the usage of Was And IS

Says i have this sentence: The Jolly Roger flying from the mast of the approaching ship indicated that it was a pirate ship We use was here because the ship can no longer be a pirate ship in ...
1
vote
1answer
4k views

“I like him” or “I liked him”

I often use this: I like him/her But sometimes, I hear people say: I liked him/her But the person referred to is not dead/deceased, so why use the past tense?
1
vote
1answer
94 views

would-be, to-be, in the making

My question touches on the following set-phrases which are: would-be someone, someone in-the-making, someone-to-be. I think they all have something common to share in their meanings. The first ...
7
votes
2answers
486 views

Does overtone = undertone?

http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/overtone: 2. (often overtones) A subtle or subsidiary quality, implication, or connotation: http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/...
2
votes
1answer
48 views

Writing like an Arbitrator or Mediator - How would I search for that?

User Jasper's instructive comment under How to phrase a follow-up question politely, if there's evasion? motivated this question: Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People ...
2
votes
1answer
405 views

When to use “and” in a noun phrase with multiple modifiers

Is the phrase "my big blue eyes" correct? If the words big and blue are describing eyes, shouldn't there be an "and" in-between the two? When is it mandatory to use "and?"
1
vote
1answer
85 views

Is “more … prices” an appositive phrase?

Profit margin decreased due to a change in product mix, more products of higher cost of sales but with relatively lower selling prices. Is the above sentence grammatical? Is the phrase in bold ("more ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Asking about future events

Suppose I want to ask a listener about whether future action happened. I think the following construction isn't suit for the case Will this action happened in the future? Because I think will ...
0
votes
3answers
2k views

Which one is the meaning?

I would like to know the meaning of the following expresion:Keep left. Does it mean maintain left hand in a road or do not enter?
2
votes
2answers
122 views

Articles in descriptions of figures

I am writing a thesis and I am not sure whether articles should be used in captions of figures. For example, my system has a user interface and a took the image of it and placed in the thesis. I ...
4
votes
3answers
3k views

Dummy “it” and usage of “as to”

It is not clear as to how this accident happened. Is this kind of contruction possible? I think this "it" is like "It is easy to do this". Can this "as to" be inserted like that? And does it change ...
3
votes
1answer
53 views

Verbs catenated without coordinatior: “the body fell became briefly famous”

The boy friend fled into a rehab facility, but the police remained inscrutable; those who had been with her on the evening before her death were hounded; thousands of columns of newsprint were filled, ...
0
votes
1answer
106 views

Does this “born of Jove” statement mean what I think it does?

You are a man of such strength and subtlety! You could have been born of Jove!! I wrote this, but does this mean: "Wow you are strong and shrewd! It wouldn't amaze me if you told me you were Jove'...
4
votes
2answers
143 views

What is this “would have had to”?

This stranger talked to me. Usually, I would have had to think something bad would happen. But I followed him. (One Day in NY) BY Pat Mathew What is this "would have had to"?
1
vote
1answer
32 views

turning Russia into a ringed-off economic fortress - what does ringed-off mean?

Source: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/world-war-russia-mind-u-084905338.html Still, turning Russia into a ringed-off economic fortress isn't at the heart of Glazyev's prescriptions. Faced with a ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

meaning of passive voice: “a letter is written”

A letter is written. The passive voice is not familiar with me and so vague to me. I would think that the sentence above means: “A letter [i] has been written and [ii] is seen by the speaker now.” Is ...
2
votes
1answer
80 views

What are “the races”?

This question regards an recurring theme from lots of music I hear. She had a ticket for the races just like me she was a victim of the night - Tunnel of Love, Dire Straits And I'm off to ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

“Either” and “too” in pairs of sentences

I wrote these sentences: ① I am unable to speak. I am unable to hear either. ② I felt humiliated at the party last night. I was unable to sleep well, too. Here is my analysis: In ①, the ...

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