QUESTION Which of these options is right?
- I hope you will pass the exam.
- I hope you pass the exam.
Thank you very much.
- You can ask it IN the information desk.
- You can ask it AT the information desk.
SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Zaragoza, Spain Wednesday, July 8, 1998 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE You ask at the information desk. (You would put something in the information desk.) When we hope, we use the present tense, even for a future event: I hope you live a long and happy life.
QUESTION Do you have a simple format for a book report? SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Unknown Wednesday, July 8, 1998 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE The short answer is no, but you might try the section on Principles of Composition and see the material under "Evaluative Essays" (Reviews). You probably should ask your instructor if he or she has a particular format in mind.
QUESTION This question concerns parallel sentence structure.
Example:The director will be responsible for putting his signature on the document and ensuring the product meets specifications.Do I need to insert "for" before "ensuring"? (The director will be responsible for putting his signature on the document and for ensuring the product meets specifications.)
SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Omaha, Nebraska Wednesday, July 8, 1998 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE When the preposition ("for" in this case) can lead into both phrases, it doesn't have to be repeated for the sake of parallel form.
Authority: The Longman Handbook for Writers and Readers by Chris M. Anson and Robert A. Schwegler. Addison Wesley Longman, Inc.: New York. 1997. 370.
QUESTION What's the difference between "A" and "One" SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Hong Kong Thursday, July 9, 1998 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE I assume you're talking about the adjectival "one," as in "Give me one pencil"? (as opposed to "Give me a pencil"?) There are some circumstances in which they're all but identical: "I try to live one day at a time. -- I try to live a day at a time." The word "one" simply reinforces the singularity of the day in itself.
QUESTION Which of the following sentences is correct and why?
(The second sentence sounds right but doesn't seem to follow grammar rules for other verbs like "say" or "fry". For example, one would say, "It has been said" not "It has been say" or "This steak has been fried in butter" not "This steak has been fry in butter." By the way, how do you punctuate and capitalize a series of quotes?)
- 1. High ozone levels have been forecasted for today.
- 2. High ozone levels have been forecast for today.
SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Unknown Thursday, July 9, 1998 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE To forecast is an irregular verb and its past tense normally doesn't take an -ed ending. It can, however, take an -ed ending, and you might use it in a sentence such as "He forecasted the weather for forty years." Normally, though, the -ed simply isn't there.
You'll have to write again and explain what you mean by a "series of quotes."
QUESTION Question number one: When using "as well" as a disjunct (He went to the store as well), should there be a comma in front of it? There is when you say "too" (He went to the store, too).
Question number two: When citing statistics, is there a preferred method of stating the stats? Do you say one in three women, or one out of three women? Thanks!
SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Commack, New York Thursday, July 9, 1998 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE I'm not sure why you're calling that a "disjunct." I think "as well" will usually fit into the flow of the sentence as an "adjunct" adverbial construction and will require no comma. I'm not aware of any preference in terms of "one in three" and "one out of three." I think that choice will depend on what sounds good to you. I sort of prefer the "one in three" myself.
QUESTION Hyphenating a double prefix...
Is pre-dewatering or predewatering correct?
SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Somewhere, Virginia Thursday, July 9, 1998 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE Eventually some double prefixed words might lose their hyphenation -- as in predisposition or antidisestablishmentarianism -- but I think most of them maintain the hyphen to avoid confusion and peculiar spelling. You can borrow the Chicago Manual of Style and find a lot of rules about this kind of thing (rules that are exceedingly flexible, subtle, and impossible to remember) or you can use a dictionary when in doubt.
Authority: Chicago Manual of Style 14th ed. U of Chicago P: Chicago. 1993.
QUESTION I am so impressed with your site -- both its substance and its presentation are wonderful!
Do you have any recommendations for Sentence Combining activities or sites?
QUESTION I recently read a sentence in the newspaper that used "an history" instead of "a history". I was always under the impression that if the "h" was silent you used "an", as in "It's an honor to be writing you." If the "h" is not silent, as in "history" you use "a" before the word.
Could you straighten me out or confirm my thinking?
SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Spokane, Washington Friday, July 10, 1998 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE I would always use a in front of history -- as in "a history book." Some dictionaries will tell you that if the first syllable of the "h word" is unstressed, it's OK to use "an" in front of it -- as in "an hisTORical." Many writers would resist that, however, and claim that the "h" sound precludes the use of "an," regardless of stress.
QUESTION Which of these two would be correct:
- None of us IS competent
- None of us ARE competent....
SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Minneapolis, Minnesota Friday, July 10, 1998 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE You can use either the singular "is" or the plural "are" in that sentence. Most writers think that "none" should always be regarded as singular (as in "not one"), but there are clearly cases in which it can be either singular or plural.
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