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Joined: Thursday, May 15, 2014
Last Visit: Sunday, October 13, 2019 3:27:22 PM
Number of Posts: 305
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  Last 10 Posts
Topic: on all sides
Posted: Saturday, October 12, 2019 5:26:37 AM
a. The conflict claimed about two hundred lives on all sides.

b. The conflict claimed about two hundred lives on the three sides.


Do those mean

1. all in all there were two hundred lives lost
or
2. there were two hundred lives lost on each side
?

I think (a) means (2) and (b) means (1).
Obviously (a) does not make it clear how many sides there were.

Many thanks.
Topic: enough to burn
Posted: Thursday, October 10, 2019 10:42:00 PM
a. They have enough fuel to get to a gas station.

b. They have enough fuel to last a few hours.


Are both of the above sentences correct?

In (a) they are going to get to a gas station and in (b) the fuel is going to last a few days. The implicit 'subject' of the infinitive is not the same in the two cases. I find that interesting.

c. He has enough energy to burn down a whole city.

I think in this case it is not clear whether the energy is going to burn down the city or 'he'. Not that it makes a real difference....

Many thanks.
Topic: which flavour
Posted: Saturday, September 28, 2019 3:33:09 AM
a. What flavor of ice cream did he buy four of?
b. Of what flavor of ice cream did he buy four?

c. Which flavor of ice cream did he buy four of?
d. Of which flavor of ice cream did he buy four?

Which of the above sentences are grammatically correct?

The basic idea is


He bought a number of ice creams. Four of them were the same flavor. Which flavor was that?


Maybe these are better

e. He bought four ice creams of which flavor?
f. He bought four ice creams of what flavor


Many thanks.
Topic: the threat
Posted: Saturday, September 21, 2019 11:22:08 PM
a. Moving the queen to d4 carries the threat of a check on c5.
b. The threat of moving the queen to d4 is a check on c5.



Are the sentences grammatically correct?

The context is chess. If the queen is moved to the square d5, then the next move might be queen to c5 and that move will put the opponent's king in check. In other words from d5 the queen can go to c5 and deliver a check. That is the threat.

I think (a) works. Not sure about (b). 'The threat of... ' in my experience usually means 'the threat that is....'. In (b) however, it is the threat that something carries. Moving the queen to d4 is not a threat, but it carries one, namely a check on c5.

I think 'the threat in' would work better instead of 'the threat of'.

Many thanks,
Topic: didn't like him
Posted: Sunday, September 15, 2019 9:11:59 PM
Thank you so much.

Could the sentence also mean

b. I didn't like his talking curtly to my husband.
(I just dislike that one thing he did and maybe I didn't dislike him as a person or maybe even I like him as a person although I disliked his being curt with my husband)

I doubt that it can. I think the idea is that I didn't like him for that reason.

Many thanks.
Topic: didn't like him
Posted: Saturday, September 14, 2019 11:42:33 PM
a. I didn't like him for talking curtly to my husband.

Can't that sentence mean two things?
1. I didn't like him and the reason was that he talked curtly to my husband.
2. It wasn't because he talked curtly to my husband that I liked him.

I think (a) is ambiguous, but if a comma is placed before 'for' then it would only have meaning (1). That's my impression, but I am not sure.

Many thanks.
Topic: no money
Posted: Friday, September 13, 2019 1:06:29 AM
Can one say
a. No money is still better than being in debt.
instead of
b. Having no money is still better than being in debt.
?



Many thanks
Topic: which I have never done before
Posted: Wednesday, September 11, 2019 3:21:48 AM
a. He called my uncle by his first name, which I have never done before.

Is the above sentence grammatically correct?

Many thanks.
Topic: worth your time
Posted: Monday, September 9, 2019 6:07:51 AM
a. This book isn't worth your time to read.
b. To read this book isn't worth your time.
c. Reading this book isn't worth your time.
d. It isn't worth your time to read this book.
e. It isn't worth your time reading this book.
f. This book isn't worth your time.


Which of the above sentences are grammatically correct?

They are all supposed to express the same idea. It is not an easy structure, One gets confused.


Many thanks,
Topic: something you are aware of
Posted: Wednesday, August 28, 2019 2:34:50 AM
a. You must have done something that hurt your wife's feelings terribly. Now, you might not even know what it was. Or maybe, it is something you know but seems unimportant to you.

b. You must have done something that hurt your wife's feelings terribly. Now, you might not even know what it was. Or maybe, it is something you are aware of but seems unimportant to you.


Are both of the above grammatically correct?


Many thanks.

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