• Masters in Applied linguistics & Cambridge PhD in English. · Jun 1 ·

    After taking a break for a couple of weeks, Veronica and I are back this Friday (June 3) for another grammar live stream. Here is the link: So far we have the following questions: 1. When do you use ‘can’ or ‘be able to’? Are there situations where one is used and not the other? 2. Why do you say there…

    Writer/editor working in the gig economy (2014–present) · 23h ·

    My thoughts on how to use pronouns

    Which of these is correct: “Me and Cathy went to the park with Jessica” or “I and Cathy went to the park with Jessica”?

    To Aaron Chao, Neither is quite correct, but for different reasons. * GRAMMAR ERROR: The first one (“Me and Cathy went to the park with Jessica”) is incorrect, because “me” is in the form of a direct object, which is the wrong case. If you remove all the names and just say, “Me went to the park,” the er…

    There is nothing inherently wrong about using the passive voice. However, we do see writers using the passive voice where the active voice would be a simpler and clearer way of expressing what they are writing. In an active voice sentence, person doing the action (the agent) is the subject, and appear…

    In English we do often omit repeated words. For example, we would write, “Column one reports this year’s financials and column two, last year’s” omitting both the verb reports and its object financials leaving only the adjective that modifies it. The comma after the subject is crucial here. When we o…

    No, these are neither synonymous nor are they interchangeable – however they do have a common thread. We describe something as classic when, with the benefit of hindsight, we judge it as being outstanding in some way. So a classic car, for example, is one from a previous era which we can now look bac…

    Computational linguist with emphasis on syntax · 16h ·

    What is the main difference between the expressions “should” and “I’d [be] better to”?

    Your question can be posed as: What is the difference between the examples “I should leave” and “I’d better leave”? (I believe that there is not supposed to be a ‘to’ after ‘better’.) Of course “’d better” is an abbreviation for “had better” and “had better” behaves like ‘should’ in the grammar, exc…

    The prepositions since and for are both used to describe the length of a period of time, but they work in very different ways. We use for when we actually state what the duration of the period is. For example: “I studied French for 9 years at school”; “They had been married for 59 years”; “We were tr…

    Yes, they are both correct – but have slightly different uses. The possessive form Marvin Gaye’s fans can only be used as a subject or an object in a sentence. For example, “Marvin Gaye’s fans never tire of hearing his music”. In other contexts we have to use the adjectival form Marvin Gaye fans. For…

    In fact, there is no answer to this question – neither is nor are works here. The problem here is that the expression how good of a… requires a singular subject. However Wheels123 and Car Saver is a plural noun phrase. In other words it simply does not work with this expression. How do you fix this? T…

    This is a question about the use of the indefinite article. The answer is that indefinite singular common nouns require an article, always. This is why you have to say “a T-shirt”. The noun jeans is grammatically plural. Indefinite plural nouns do not take an article, ever. So – you can say “I wear jea…

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