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Profile: TheParser
User Name: TheParser
Forum Rank: Advanced Member
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Joined: Friday, September 21, 2012
Last Visit: Saturday, May 27, 2017 2:34:20 PM
Number of Posts: 4,162
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  Last 10 Posts
Topic: The problem of prepositions
Posted: Saturday, May 27, 2017 8:03:14 AM
No. 2

To: Students of American English

Betty calls Mona's home: May I speak with Mona, please?

Mona's mother: I'm sorry, but she's not here. She's still at school.

Betty: Do you have any idea when she'll be home?

Mona's mother: Well, school ends every day at 3 p.m., so she should be here by 3:30.

Betty: I'll call back then. Thank you.


Mrs. Jones: My daughter is a dentist.

Mrs. Smith: My daughter is a journalist.

Mrs. Anderson: My daughter is an architect.

Mrs. Miller: My daughter is still in school. ( = She's still a student.) When she is graduates (is graduated) next year, she will become a lawyer.
Topic: My EXPRESSION of the day
Posted: Saturday, May 27, 2017 7:23:20 AM

No. 1

Mona: Please sign this petition. We want the school to fire (dismiss) Mr. Smith because he is so rude to his students.

Raul: Yes, he is very rude, but I have found that he is very fair to everyone when it comes to grading (marking) our lessons.

Mona: That is true.

Raul: If we get a new teacher, he may be very courteous but very unfair. Do you want to take that chance?

Mona: You are right! Better the devil you know than the devil you don't [know]! I am going to throw this petition in the wastepaper basket.
Topic: My quotation of the day
Posted: Friday, May 26, 2017 8:52:13 AM
No. 63

"Be afraid, be very afraid."

(source of this quotation:

Topic: Removing commas (,)
Posted: Friday, May 26, 2017 8:28:12 AM

Great question!

As you know, speech came before writing in the history of human beings.

If you will say the following out loud, you will notice the natural pauses (indicated by commas):

"This site, to be known as, is a software-driven database application."

"To be known as, this site is a software-driven database application."

In grammatical terms, "to be known as" is a parenthetical element. That is to say, it is some extra information that has been "thrown" into the sentence.

If you leave out the commas, native readers will probably just mentally add them.

If you leave out the commas, some non-native speakers may be confused and have to read your sentence several times in order to get the idea. That is to say, without the commas [pauses], they may think that the subject of the verb "is" is "" Of course, the subject of "is" is "site."
Topic: Neither his father nor his mother is A doctor.
Posted: Friday, May 26, 2017 8:05:53 AM

Even in 2017, some careful speakers still observe the traditional rule: the verb agrees with the nearer (pro)noun:

"Neither the students nor their teacher speaks French."

"Neither my friends nor I am going to Harvard University."
Topic: Capitalization
Posted: Friday, May 26, 2017 7:35:56 AM

Doing some more googling, I found that "of" IS used for the plural:

1. "Thank you to the professors of the University of Adelaide."

2. "The teachers of the school district are not satisfied with their salaries."

There is, then, a difference between "John Doe is a professor at Harvard" and "The professors of Harvard are considered among the most brilliant in the world."

I am not intelligent enough to explain the difference.
Topic: Capitalization
Posted: Friday, May 26, 2017 7:16:45 AM
D00M wrote:

Why can't we say '..., a professor of the University of Waterloo, ...'?


Great question! I am not qualified to answer such a difficult question.

I did some googling, and I could not find even one example of such a sentence.

All the examples were like this one:

"Will Moore, a professor of political science at Arizona State University, ..."


These are just some thoughts.

When it comes to titles of employees, it seems that "at" is the preposition of choice: Ms. Smith is a secretary at the Rainbow Ice Cream Company; Mr. Jones is a mechanic at Manny's Auto Repair; the cooks at McDonald's prepare delicious French fried potatoes.

Have a nice day!
Topic: sentences used for asking opportunities
Posted: Friday, May 26, 2017 6:44:37 AM
Nousher Ahmed 1 wrote:
which word do American use instead of "fresher"?


Thank you for teaching me the word "fresher."

I did some googling and found this:

Hotel Management Trainee -- Fresher / Entry Level.

I believe that most Americans would use the word "trainee" or "entry level" employee/job/position.

Have a nice day!
Topic: Capitalization
Posted: Thursday, May 25, 2017 5:39:11 PM
D00M wrote:

[1] Why has 'Professor' been capitalized?

[2] I would expect something like "Robert Park, the professor of Waterloo University, ... ."


[1] I did some googling and discovered that it is a matter of style.

a. That is to say, some writers prefer to use the upper case ("P") and some writers prefer to use the lower case ("p").

i. Probably it was traditional to write: "Professor Robert Park of the University of Waterloo knows that ...."

ii. In the 1920s, American magazines (such as Time) found a way to delete the first "of."

(a) So "Professor John Doe of Harvard University says ...." becomes "Harvard University Professor John Doe says ...." As you can see, the "new" way is direct, concise, and snappy.

[2] You might consider: "Robert Park, a professor at the University of Waterloo, knows that ...."
Topic: Don't pull me.
Posted: Thursday, May 25, 2017 6:45:26 AM
bihunsedap wrote:

Do they sound natural to a native speaker?


In my opinion, the answer is NO.

1. "Don't grab my pants" could be interpreted in a most unpleasant manner.

2. Since you write "pull me where he goes," I am guessing that you MAY mean something like:

"He dragged me by my pants."

P.S. Remember: Here in the United States, "pants" is correct. (In some other varieties of English, "pants" refers to underwear. Therefore, you would have to use "trousers.")

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