QUESTION If someone tells me they love me by saying "I Love You," I then would like to tell that person I feel the same way. Would I say "Me too" or "You too"
SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE La Crescenta, California Tue, Mar 19, 2002 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE Neither one of those really makes a lot of sense. I suspect, though, that most people aren't being terribly analytical at the moment when such words are spoken. I would imagine that "I love you, too," would be most sensible thing to say.
I think that Grammar English has just moved into an entirely new realm of advice-giving.
QUESTION I've a problem with the word "child". The sentence is "This method contributes to an improvement in the child's health, and facilitates its integration ......."
I want to say "facilites his integration", because I think it is insulting to call a child "it", but my boss doesn't want this. He prefers to stick to "it".
Am I completely off the track, and does one absolutely have to use "it"?
SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Lausanne, Switzerland Wed, Mar 20, 2002 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE Sometimes a newborn infant will be referred to as an "it," but generally, the more "human" an individual becomes, the less likely we are to use the neutral pronoun "it" to refer to him or her. "Child" is beyond those limits of "itness," for sure. I would recommend using "his" or "his or her" or changing the antecedent to "children" so you can use "them."
Still, a boss is a boss.
QUESTION What is the difference between "I am no good" and "I am not good"? SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Hong Kong Wed, Mar 20, 2002 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE "I am no good" (by itself) probably means that you are morally corrupt, perhaps even evil. But the expression is almost always going to be found in conjunction with something specific: "I am no good [at tennis, at typing, etc.]." If something specific is added, that would be an acceptable idiomatic expresssion (and would carry no moral overtones). "I am not good at tennis" would mean pretty much the same thing.
QUESTION I saw the paper in front of a store's door that says"Did you know there is another store in John street?"Why does it use past tense?Can't we use 'Do you know' instead? What's the difference between them? SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Bangkok,Thailand Thu, Mar 21, 2002 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE I had never thought of this before. You're right, though, we use the past tense in that situation. I guess the sign on the door is addressing a present moment, but it's asking if you had ever learned or if something had ever been made known to you in the past. I can't think of another way of explaining it, but I'll leave an e-mail icon here in case someone else can.
QUESTION Example: 'We supply equipment, offering secure working access."
This is common in speech, but what about in writing? It is obvious that it is the equipment which offers the secure working access, but, grammatically, doesn't the participle refer to the subject of the sentence, 'We'?
Is this sentence correct, or must it be changed to 'We supply equipment that offers secure working access'?
SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Somewhere, England Thu, Mar 21, 2002 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE The way that your question unfolds itself suggests that there is, indeed, an ambiguity in your intent and in the sentence. What offers secure working access? You or the equipment? It it's the equipment, your final suggestion is an improvement. But if you want the phrase to modify the "we," you're going to have to move the phrase to the beginning of the sentence "We provide secure working access and all necessary equipment" (or some such arrangement).
QUESTION I wonder why people always use phrases such as:"It is time we went home."Isn't it grammatically incorrect? Can one use such phrases in writing? Thank you. SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE San Francisco, California Thu, Mar 21, 2002 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE Certain human activitiessituations involving time, weather, dying, going to the bathroomseem to engender all kinds of odd expressions. How to explain "It is raining" (What is "it"?) to a non-native speaker, for instance. This particular idiom, "It is time. . . . ," often carries with it a modifiersomething like "It is high time we called the governor." There's nothing wrong with itit's a pleasant enough use of a subjunctive mood and it conveys a nice tentative qualitybut it's probably best limited to conversation and informal text.
QUESTION When writing about teens, which is correct? "Teenage" boys or "teenaged" boys? Thanks. SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Toronto, Canada Thu, Mar 21, 2002 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE Technically, either one is correct. "Teenage," however, is much more common. I suppose if you have "middle-aged men" in the same text, you might want to use "teenaged" for the sake of parallel form.
QUESTION How do you describe the structure 'in what was' For example:The president made the remark 'in what was' his first speech to Congress. SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan Fri, Mar 22, 2002 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE "What was his first speech to Congress" is a noun clause. "In," of course, is a preposition, and the noun clause is the object of that preposition. The entire prepositional phrase is acting adverbially (modifying the main verb), telling us where (when?) the President made the remark.
QUESTION "Jennsen watched helplessly as the rest of the O'Haran soldiers surrounded him in a tight formation bristling with steel meant not only to keep their prisoner at bay, but to ward any possible attempt to extricate him."How do you analyze the grammar of this sentence? Is the word "meant" used to introduce an adverbial phrase to modify the verb "surrounded"? Is this sentence confusing? SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Boca Raton, Florida Fri, Mar 22, 2002 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE I find it quite confusing, yes, but not impossible to figure out. I don't think it's very clear how the surrounding formation can "bristle with steel." There's an abundance of verbs and verb forms "surrounded," "meant," "bristling," and "to keep" and it's not instantly clear what the verb forms are doing. I suppose if it were more clear how the formation "bristles," it would be OK, though. "Meant" introduces a participial phrase that modifies "steel." The participle, then, is modified by two infinitive phrases connected by the correlative connectors "not only" and "but also." Don't we "ward off" something?
QUESTION "The interior life is often stupid. Its egoism blinds it and deafens it; its imagination spins out ignorant tales, fascinated."--What does "fascinated" modify? Why is it at the end of the sentence? Does the author mean "ignorant and fascinated tales"?
"I sat mindless and eternal on the kitchen floor, stony of head and solemn."--According to my two dictionaries, "stony" is a adjective. Why is "stony of"?
SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Boca Raton, Florida Wed, Mar 27, 2002 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE "Fascinated," in that sentence, is a participle, and you would see how it modifies "its imagination" if you moved it to the beginning of the clause. Placing it at the end this way, though, brings a nice end focus to the notion of its being fascinated. I certainly wouldn't change the sentence.
"Stony of head" works the same way as "broad of shoulder" or "meek of countenance." It's a nice way of emphasizing the modifier as opposed to the thing modified. Although it is, perhaps, a bit archaic, this construction, you can't deny its effectiveness.
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