4 votes

Is the word "copy" redundant here?"Please get a copy of the book" vs "Please get the book."

"A copy of a book" is idiomatic & comes from long before the days of photocopiers, let alone the internet & PDF files. In this situation 'a copy' is your very own book, bought or ...
  • 13.3k
4 votes

Unadvertised cold spells mean?

The meaning is that the Riviera has occasional cold spells, and was having one when "he" had visited before. However, those who promote the Riviera are careful not to advertise the ...
  • 37.4k
3 votes
Accepted

"They had a son in July 2010." Does the sentence mean: "They have a son now." or does it mean "They did have a son in the past but not anymore."

It is formally ambiguous, since "had" has a range of meanings. The most likely sense is "The mother gave birth to a boy on that date" It could mean lots of other things... "...
  • 164k
2 votes

So I locked myself in my office and went to work

If you lock yourself into a room, it means you lock everyone else out. In the context of doing some work, it can have two meanings. One meaning is you prevented interruptions by not allowing anybody ...
  • 29.7k
2 votes

Meaning of Quite?"Quite how that misunderstanding arose, maybe it was lost in translation, I don't know, but clearly they have all been looked after

In this context, it means 'exactly' (or one of its synonyms). "Exactly how that misunderstanding arose, maybe it was lost in translation, I don't know, but clearly they have now all been looked ...
  • 2,551
2 votes

The subject of the infinitive verbs with to

I don't quite understand what your grammar books is saying. But what I do know is that different words or phrases take different structures for their complements, and there is not usually any easy way ...
  • 68.2k
2 votes

Can you refer to "THIS" as "IT"? For example: Is THIS the library? a) Yes, IT is. b) Yes, THIS is

We use this (the place where we are, or a thing near the speaker) or that (a thing further away) to identify what we are talking about. Once it's been established what we are talking about, the place ...
  • 36.9k
2 votes

I met my boss three years ago

The first sentence can mean either 3 years have passed since you last met your boss, or you met your boss for the first time 3 years ago. It depends on context. The second sentence means - you haven't ...
2 votes
Accepted

Positive and comparative degree of same adjective

The author is speaking from the point of view of a soul ascending to heaven, that is someone who has recently died. And the soul observes that "if I had been slightly less virtuous, I might have ...
  • 164k
1 vote
Accepted

Is the word "copy" redundant here?"Please get a copy of the book" vs "Please get the book."

It's similar to the difference between "milk" and "a glass of milk". You can use the former pretty much any time you'd use the latter, but it contains less information. And yes, ...
1 vote

Omitting coordinating conjunction and verb "be" in literature

I (and I believe most readers) would not immediately infer that your original sentence had the structure of the second. (Native English speakers usually would not omit either "and" or "...
1 vote
Accepted

What is the grammatical purpose of the phrase "So…" in the following sentence?

As you have pointed out, it can be a way to end a sentence that you don't quite know how to end. However, it is also often used when there is an implied conclusion you would prefer not to say. The ...
  • 36
1 vote
Accepted

The usage of the structure "be planned to"

It's grammatical, it is just poorly phrased. The double passive is clumsy and weak, and there is a potential ambiguity that you have mentioned. I don't always use the active form of sentences, but in ...
  • 164k
1 vote

The glasses were too thick for her to see well (in/with)?

They're all fine grammatically and they all mean pretty much the same thing. If I had to choose a preference, it would be 1, with 4 a close second (apparently I feel that when it comes to glasses, we ...
  • 6,912
1 vote

To pay or To paying?

Here's why paying is used in the second sentence: Maybe she'll agree to ||paying in installments.|| Using another form of this to clarify the structure: Paying an installment is maybe something she'...
  • 37.6k
1 vote
Accepted

To pay or To paying?

"agree to pay" would be a normal way of expressing this. (agree to pay in installments) But it is grammatically valid to have "agree to (something)" For example He agreed to a ...
  • 164k

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