QUESTION What kind of structure is this sentence?"To this special player does she give her support."How does this sentence differ from the following:"She gives her support to this special player."Which is better? Which is more common? Your explanation with examples will be of much help to me. Thank you. SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Hong Kong Sat, Sep 19, 1998 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE The second version of your sentence is much improved over the first version. The first version is stuffy, if not downright unreadable. I'm not sure what examples I can give you here. Simpler is better.
QUESTION 1)I need some help with prepositions. General Use.
2)I cannot identify which phrasal verbs can be split and when do they work as: particles, phrasal prepositional verbs and prepositional phrases.
Thank you very much.
SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Buenos Aires, Argentina Sat, Sep 19, 1998 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE Please review the material on Prepositions and Phrasal Verbs, take the relevant quizzes, and then write back to us if you still have questions.
QUESTION In business, how is the title written: Vice-President or Vice President or can it be written either way?
Is it ever ok to hyphenate this title?
SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Fort Wayne, Indiana Sat, Sep 19, 1998 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE According to the Chicago Manual of Style, "Difference of opinion exists concerning the treatment of noun compounds with vice. . . . Consistency should be observed within a work." My personal preference is to leave out the hyphen. Merriam-Webster's leaves it out.
Authority: Chicago Manual of Style 14th ed. U of Chicago P: Chicago. 1993. p. 227.
QUESTION What date is meant by the phrase "next Friday" if today is Thursday the 17th of September: Friday the 18th or Friday the 25th? SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Evanston, Illinois Sat, Sep 19, 1998 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE A family argument over this issue once led to civil war. This needs to be settled by godly fiat: if today is Thursday the 17th, then next Friday is the 25th. When I'm referring to a Friday within this week (the 18th), I say Friday, not next Friday. But if you ask my son this question, you'll get a different answer.
QUESTION I need to know how to tell the difference between objective and nominative case, and also I need to know how to tell if a pronoun is a direct object, predicate pronoun, or indirect object. It would help a lot if you could answer these questions for me. I have a test on it tommorrow. Thanks for your time. SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Rogersville, Tennessee Sun, Sep 20, 1998 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE The nominative case is used for the subject of the sentence; thus, I is always the nominative. The objective case is the object form: thus me is always in the objective (She kissed me.) In "She kissed me," me is the direct object of the action; an indirect object -- She gave me the book. -- is the secondary recipient. I have no idea what a predicate pronoun is unless it's a pronoun acting as a predicate? as in "Remember that guy I was telling you about? Well, this is he." There is additional material in the Guide to Grammar and Writing. Use the Index.
QUESTION What is the 1st person singular of a word? SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Gretna, Louisiana Sun, Sep 20, 1998 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE Is this a trick question? The first person singular pronoun is I -- and it has three forms: I, my, me (the nominative, possessive, and objective [accusative]). Except with pronouns, person is not a consideration with words in English.
QUESTION Hello. My question is about prior plan "be going to."
When the verb following the above phrase is "come," can I just say is coming instead of is going to come. (e.g. She is coming too.) Will the meaning be altered?
Thanks in advance.
SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Taipei, Taiwan Sun, Sep 20, 1998 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE No, the meaning will be the same. In English, we have this wonderful ability to use the present tense to mean the future: "She is coming this afternoon." That is virtually synonymous to "She is going to come this afternoon."
QUESTION I would like to know the eight parts of speech. I know one is nouns. SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Los Angeles, California Sun, Sep 20, 1998 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE I'd rather name the seven dwarfs. Nouns, verbs, pronouns, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, and interjections. (Some people leave out interjections and say there are seven.)
QUESTION Could you explain to me the difference between the following grammer patterns :HAVE (sth.) + past participle GET (sth.) + past participle of the main verb of the main verbFor example :"I had my hair cut yesterday." versus "I got my hair cut yesterday." SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Jambol, Bulgaria Sun, Sep 20, 1998 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE There's no difference in meaning between those two constructions. Many writers, however, would insist that that use of "got" should be limited to speech and informal writing. They're probably right; "I had my hair cut" sounds a bit more elegant.
QUESTION My brother uses the word "competent" in an irritating and unusual way. He will say, for example,"That was competent chili." I don't know where he picked it up, but I suspect it came from a ROAD AND TRACK magazine writer some years back (probably describing wheels or some such). "Competent wheels", not round ones, like most of us use.
I don't remember enough grammer to know what is wrong with the construction, but it jangles me when I hear it. It seems that competent implies activity on the part of the chili or the wheels...that it cooked itself correctly, or some such thing.
He will sometimes add the article "a" before competent. It doesn't help. If you tell me that it is proper usage, I will make an effort to get used to it, but what I would like is a grammarian's reason why it is wrong.
Also: If you know any lexicographers: who uses "severals bag" to describe a pouch or purse? I heard it used by an electrician once in KY.
SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Gaithersbug, Maryland Sun, Sep 20, 1998 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE You don't have to get used to it because it's right, but you may have to get used to it because he's your brother. Competent should be used to describe the abilility of someone or something to function. I'd be afraid to ask what your brother thinks is the function of chili.
My (quite ancient) unabridged dictionary lists sundry as a synonym for several -- which sort of suggests that a severals bag is a bag in which you carry all kinds of stuff -- sort of like my kitchen junk drawer. Severals drawer sounds much more elegant, doesn't it? I'll leave an e-mail icon here in case someone has a better explanation.
David E____ writes the following:
I remember from reading a lot of early-American history about trappers, woodsmen, and other explorers that they each carried a "possibles sack," a pouch where they put small items they might possibly need (e.g., sewing kit to repair mocassins, flint and steel) in the woods.
This might be the etymology for a "severals bag"--especially in Kentucky.
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