QUESTION Is the following sentence grammatical under a particular meaning or under any meaning (of 'himself/him') ?
I am trying to find out if 'himself' in (1) can refer to 'John blamed John but Bill praised Bill'; (2) 'John ignored a picture of John but Bill criticized a picture of Bill; (3) is for contrast. I believe that in (3) 'him' can not be either 'John' nor 'Bill' .
- John blamed, but Bill praised, himself
- John ignored, but Bill criticized, a picture of himself.
- John criticized, but Bill praised him.
I am "dying" to know how native speakers of English would feel about these. :-) Thanks in advance.
SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Taejon, Republic of Korea Thursday, July 2, 1998 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE I agree with you about #3: the only way that sentence would be tolerable would be if it referred to a third party -- and we would know that only in the context of other text. The use of the word "himself" in the other two sentences is too ambiguous. I would read #1 as you do, but in #2, I don't think we can say, for sure, that the picture is of Bill.
I am a Japanese native. I came across the following sentence in a Japanese-English dictionary the other day.He has been ill in bed with a cold since two weeks ago.And I at first was not sure whether the above sentence is correct or not for the next reason. [REASON] AGO(adverb) is in the sentence of the present perfect tense.(AGO should be used in the past tense sentence.) I, however, came to think that the sentence in question is certainly clumsy but passable. That's why we can easily consider that the expression "it was" or "the day" is omitted between SINCE and TWO; the perfect sentence is "He has been ill in bed with a cold since it was two weeks ago." or "He has been ill in bed with a cold since the day two weeks ago." I can also find another reason:we can regard "TWO WEEKS AGO" as one compound word (noun): AGO is not an adverb. How about?
PLEASE let me know your opinion on the sentence in question by choosing the best answer from among the three alternatives.
1.correct 2.passable 3. incorrect
I would be very pleased if I could receive your opinion through E-mail together with the reason why you made that judgement.
SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Unknown Thursday, July 2, 1998 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE I have tried to make sense of that sentence (to find some way in which it would be "passable"), but I've given up on it as a bad job. What the writer wants to say is that "He has been sick in bed with a cold for two weeks," or "He came down with a cold two weeks ago." "Since two weeks ago" is a mess.
QUESTION Do you use an apostrophe in the following:15 years' experience SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Annapolis, Maryland Thursday, July 2, 1998 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE Yes. Such constructions turn time periods into personified entities and they take the possessive: a good night's sleep, four months' pay, etc.
QUESTION Please assist me with the punctuation in the following sentence.Violence has produced a great deal of apprehension among teachers at Dean Junior High. So that self-preservation, in fact, has become their primary aim. SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Orange Grove, Texas Thursday, July 2, 1998 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE If I were you, I'd get rid of the "So that" and combine the sentences with a semicolon:Violence has produced a great deal of apprehension among teachers at Dean Junior High; self-preservation, in fact, has become their primary aim.Perhaps the implied contrast could be incorporated into the sentence? "Sadly, self preservation, not teaching, has become their primary aim." (And I'm not sure if "aim" is the word you want there.)
QUESTION 'Do you feel well?' 'Do you feel good?'
Which question is correct? Do they mean the same?
SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE San Diego, California Thursday, July 2, 1998 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE Both sentences are correct, depending on what we mean. "Do you feel well?" is a question strictly about health. "Do you feel good?" can be an informal question about health, but it usually also implies a question about one's spirits or emotional well-being. Don't use "well" when verbs of the five senses are involved: "He smells well," means that his nose is in good operating condition but is not an indication of an inoffensive bouquet. "The baby smells good after a bath."
QUESTION How do you know when to say no one, or nobody and everyone vs. everybody? SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Missoula, Montana Thursday, July 2, 1998 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE According to the dictionaries I use, these indefinite pronouns are interchangeable. Go with the pronoun your ear tells you sounds better.
QUESTION He insisted on me going to Canada. He insisted on my going to Canada. Which of the two is the correct one or both of them are correct I would like to know. One more question is like the following.If a comet were to collide with the earth, what would become of the earth?The above sentence is a correct one , I think.But how about the following sentence?If a comet should collide with the earth, what would become of the earth?The only changed part is the auxiliary verb. Were to was changed into should. I would like to know whether should can be used in that sentence and if so, what is the difference between the meanings of should and were to? Thank you. SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Ulsan, Korea Friday, July 3, 1998 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE What is it that he insisted on? The going, right? And it was your going that he insisted on, so we use the possessive in that sentence. The possessive "my" modifies the gerund "going."
The modal auxiliary should can be used to create a sense of tentative expectation. In that sense, it is quite similar to the subjunctive. Review the section on Auxiliary Verbs and the hyperlink (from there) to the modal auxiliaries.
QUESTION Is it right to say: "We have completed counting the ballots." Did I correctly use the present participle "counting" in this sentence?
Thanks in advance.
SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Taipei, Taiwan Friday, July 3, 1998 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE That's a correct use of the word "counting," but I think it's being used as a gerund in that sentence. "Counting" is the thing (noun) that we have completed (or gerund phrase in this case, "counting the ballots").
QUESTION I am confused as to the word "anyway"....I have been using it as the word "anyways" for years..As in, I was going to the store anyways. It was brought to my attention that this is incorrect..which is it? anyway? anyways? Please help me get this cleared up.
SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Unknown Saturday, July 4, 1998 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE I don't know where "anyways" comes from. I think you'll hear it more in some regions of the U.S. than in others. One might think that if we can have both beside and besides and toward and towards that we ought to have both anyway and anyways? Sorry, but the word "anyways" really ought to be avoided. It's hard to break a habit like that, but if you concentrate on it for a week or so, you can do it.
QUESTION Can you tell me the details about tenses like present, past, continuous, present perfect, past perfect, past continuous, present continuous & perfect tense? i always confuse the application of them. I hoped you would help me in this way.
Thank you very much!
SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Cheras, K.L., Malaysia Saturday, July 4, 1998 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE I can't help you much more through the internet than I can by sending you to the section on Verbs and Verbals. There is a section there on verb tenses that might be helpful (and use the hyperlink to the special section on the perfect tenses). You might also visit Dave's ESL Cafe and see what material is there. Finally, try the hyperlink to additional material and quizzes that is at the bottom of the Quiz List. If you have any specific questions, please get back to us.
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