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Profile: sureshot
User Name: sureshot
Forum Rank: Advanced Member
Gender: Male
Joined: Wednesday, September 16, 2015
Last Visit: Sunday, September 27, 2020 12:55:39 AM
Number of Posts: 2,744
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  Last 10 Posts
Topic: false fained
Posted: Wednesday, September 9, 2020 12:42:08 PM
alibey1917 wrote:
"‘Although these Persians be Mahometans, as the Turks and the Tartars be, yet honour they this false fained Murtezallie, saying that he was the chiefest disciple that Mahomet had ..." (Jerry Brotton, This Orient Isle- Elizabethan England and the Islamic World)

What does "false fained" mean?


The sentence is poorly constructed. Use "false feigned" and you should be able to derive the intended sense.
Topic: being
Posted: Sunday, September 6, 2020 3:18:06 AM
Jigneshbharati wrote:
This could prevent people being given a positive result based on an old infection.

But Prof Heneghan, the academic who spotted a quirk in how deaths were being recorded, which led Public Health England to reform its system, says evidence suggests coronavirus "infectivity appears to decline after about a week".
Coronavirus: Tests 'could be picking up dead virus'
Please explain the use of "being" in both highlighted parts.


Let me try to answer your doubts.

Your sentence is: This could prevent people being given a positive result based on an old infection.

= The reforms in the (diagnostic) system could prevent people from being given a positive result based on an old infection.

Question 1: Is it the passive construction? Is "being" used to show the present simple or the present continuous tense? How do we recognise them in my example?

Comment: In the given sentence, the use of "being given" is passive in nature. Who are diagnosing the people "positive". The answer is the "diagnostic labs". This confirms the passive use of "being given". This sense in active voice is conveyed by:

- The diagnostic labs are giving a positive result to people because they are found to have an old infection.

The pronoun "this" refers to the reforms in the diagnosis suggested in the earlier sentence (not mentioned here)that could prevent such inaccuracies in diagnosis.

It should be clear, that the activity of giving positive results is an ongoing process at the time of making this assertion. So, the use of "being given" is present continuous.

Question 2: Why the past continuous is used and not the simple past in the original?

Comment: In passive voice, the past participle is used. The sentence refers to a situation connected with the present. "Being given" is derived from active voice verb pattern "are giving". The verbs in the sentence do not pertain to simple past or past continuous. The verbs in the sentence are "could prevent", "being given" and "based". "Based" is a reduced form of "that are based". So, the three verb groups are not in simple past or past continuous. The use of "could prevent" pertains to the present period ("now" extending into the immediate future). If the sentence pertains to a past event, "could prevent" should be replaced by "prevented". The verb pattern "could be prevented" can also be used to talk about the past. However, its use to talk about a past situation is possible if the subsequent part of the sentence is modified suitably.

I hope it helps.

Topic: longer ago than
Posted: Sunday, August 30, 2020 3:32:39 AM
navi wrote:
1) It happened too long ago for me to remember.
2) It happened so long ago that I don't remember.
3) It happened longer ago than I remember.

What is the meaning of the sentences?

I see two possibilities:

a) I don't remember how long ago it happened.
b) I don't remember the event itself because it happened so long ago.



The use of "too" in sentence 1 is defective. "Too" indicates a higher degree than is desirable, permissible or acceptable. This sense does not fit in the given sentence. Sentence 2 uses the pairing "so ... that ...". This sentence is understandable. Sentence 3 is quite awkward. The adverb "ago" signifies "before the present". This sense does not merit the use of "longer" before it.
Topic: is or was?
Posted: Sunday, August 2, 2020 8:47:47 AM
Koh Elaine wrote:
Peter Chong, PBM is a Kyokushin karate master and a former Assistant Superintendent of Police in Singapore. He was the former long term International Committee Chairman for Asia and the Middle East in the International Karate Organization founded by Masutatsu Oyama and now led by Shokei Matsui. Wikipedia

Shouldn't it be "is" instead, since Peter Chong is still alive?



The answer lies in the statement. Is he the current International Committee Chairman? The answer is in the negative. So, the use of "was" is correct.
Topic: Since I have time/Since I have the time.
Posted: Sunday, August 2, 2020 7:03:12 AM
Ashraful Haque Ashraf said:

Back to topic. What if I change the context:
1) Lets do the homework now since we have time.
2) Lets do the homework now since we have the time.

Would you please help me understand the difference?

After going through all the previous posts, I tend to broadly agree with tautophile. His answer tends to answer Ashraful Haque Ashraf's doubt. Drag0nspeaker has also mentioned that "time", if used without "the" has a general "concept". It is a general term. When you say "Lets do the homework now since we have time", it implies a general availability of time with no other planned activity following it. The starting time of ensuing activity will not act as a hindrance to the commencement of the planned activity (= homework). It also gives the sense that this available time is adequate. If you say " since I have the time", you imply that time is available to do the activity before another activity that has some sort of a starting time. So, "the time" usually refers to the defined interval between two events. It need not be specified with reference to the clock time. The available time space before the start of the next activity can be gainfully utilized to perform the activity ("homework" in this case"). Sentence 2 implies "Let's do the homework now since we have the time (to do the task) before the next activity." "The time" is used to talk about a definite period of time duration. In the given sentence, one end of the time period is "now" and the other end is the start time of the next planned activity. The definite interval between these two events is indicated by using "the time". The use of "time" without "the" preceding it has a general recognition of the fact that there is no definite deadline to stop doing the homework in the immediate future.

Hope this clarifies your doubt.

Topic: Later chapters take the system implementor's perspective
Posted: Sunday, August 2, 2020 6:22:58 AM
Tara2 wrote:
Is 'take' here like 'have'?

This book focuses on the definition and implementation of the ACID properties. First, let's look at transaction processing systems from the perspectives of various people who use or operate such systems: users, system administrators, system operators, application designers, and application implementors. Each has a different view of the system. Later chapters take the system implementor's perspective—the person who has to implement all these other views. A sample application system is needed to make the various views concrete.


Here, "take" means "take into consideration" or "view the subject". The previous sentence mentions that the perspectives of various people who use or operate such systems are not the same. The perspective of the implementer are mentioned in the later chapters. These chapters regard or view the subject from the perspective of system implementer. This perspective is at variance with the views of others who use or operate such systems.

Topic: between
Posted: Sunday, August 2, 2020 2:57:33 AM
azz wrote:
a. Between John and Harry, there are two people who say that they have seen you in Jeff's apartment on the night of the murder.
b. Between John, Pete and Harry, there are three people who say that they have seen you in Jeff's apartment on the night of the murder.

In (a) the two people are John and Harry. In (b) the three people are John, Harry and Pete.

Are (a) and (b) grammatically correct with those meanings?
Is that usage of 'between' legitimate?
Is it slang?

c. Between Henry and Tom we had two people to do the job.

In this case, the two people we had to do the job were Henry and Tom. Is (c) grammatically correct?
Many thanks.


(A) To me, only sentence (A) "Between John and Harry, there are two people who say that they have seen you in Jeff's apartment on the night of the murder" is understandable. Here, "between" refers to the space that separates the two men, John and Harry. It gives the sense that John and Harry are sitting at the extremes and the two guys are sitting in the space in-between them. The sentence has a sense similar to:

- There are six flights between airport A and B.
- Are there any public holidays between Christmas and Easter?

It is possible to talk about two or more places, things, persons and days etc when you are talking about the space between two extremes in sentences like:

- Name the country located between the countries A, B and C.
- I have not been to state E that is located between the four states A, B, C and D.

(B) I would modify sentence B as: In the company of John, Pete and Harry, there are three people who say that they have seen you in Jeff's apartment on the night of the murder. Other variations are possible.

(C) Sentence (C) can be rewritten as: "We had Henry and Tom to do the job" or "Both Henry and Tom were available to do the job."
Topic: Is the comma needed?
Posted: Saturday, August 1, 2020 2:44:51 PM
Koh Elaine wrote:
"The problem is, the parliamentarians see watta satta as a matter of personal issue between families, instead of a social evil," said Farooq Tariq, an activist.

Is the comma after "is" needed?



I would prefer to replace the first comma with "that" and say:

- "The problem is that the parliamentarians ..."

Topic: Should there be a comma after "fever" and another after "mosquito"?
Posted: Friday, July 31, 2020 4:22:11 AM
Audiendus wrote:
sureshot wrote:
I wouldn't like to say that the non-defining (non-restrictive) clauses are not so often reduced. However, when it is written in a reduced form starting with a participle, the two commas are not required. A recheck of standard grammar books confirms this fact. If somebody places a reduced relative clause/phrase within two commas, I guess it his personal choice.

Can you please give an example of a grammar book that states this? I agree with Drag0nspeaker that a non-defining clause still needs commas when reduced. For example:

(1) Diamonds, made of carbon, are very hard.
(2) Diamonds made of carbon are very hard.

Only (1) is correct.


Some sentences from "Practical English Usage" by Michael Swan are:
Entry: 477.6

- Half of the people invited to the party didn't turn up. (= ... who were invited ...)(Past Participle)
- I found him sitting at a table covered with papers (= ... which was covered with papers)(Past Participle)
- Who's the girl dancing with your brother? (= who is dancing with ...) (Present Participle)

Entry 406.1

- Most of the people invited to the reception were old friends.

Some examples from "A Practical English Grammar" by AJ Thomson,AV Martinet are:

Entry 77.B.1

- People waiting for the bus often shelter/sheltered in my doorway.

Some examples from "Oxford Guide To English Grammar" by John Eastwood

- That man sitting next to Angela never said a word.(Entry: 273.5)
- Those people taking photos over there come from Sweden. (Entry 276.1)
- Stones thrown at the train by vandals smashed the windows. (Entry 276.2)

The sentences mentioned by you are:

(1) Diamonds, made of carbon, are very hard.

(2) Diamonds made of carbon are very hard.

In my view, both sentences are grammatically correct. However, they convey a different sense.

The first sentence, which has commas, is a non-defining clause. It does not define or limit the noun "diamonds". It implies that all the diamonds are made of carbon.

The second sentence without a comma is a defining clause. It defines or limits the noun "diamonds". It tells us that only the diamonds that are made of carbon are very hard.

Here is another example:

- The wine kept in the cellar was ruined. (= The wine which was kept in the cellar was ruined.)The sentence implies that only some of the wine was ruined. Presumably some of the wine was kept elsewhere and escaped damage.

- The wine, kept in the cellar, was ruined. (= The wine which was kept in the cellar was ruined.)The sentence implies that all the wine was kept in the cellar and ruined.

It is emphasized that a participle phrase/clause at the start of a sentence, has a comma after it.

Topic: at scale
Posted: Thursday, July 30, 2020 2:06:58 AM

The given sentence is:

- Spaces are a grouping type and the top level in Wrike's folder hierarchy that enables organizations of all sizes to define and manage their departments at scale.

"At scale" is a phrase that means at the required size to solve the problem. "At scale" typically refers to handling larger volumes.

It is clarified that "at scale" is not "to scale". "To scale" means the correct relationship of all elements in a drawing or model. For example, "is the model of the building made by you to scale?"

You will find additional information at: