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The Free Dictionary Language Forums
Monday, September 12, 2011
Sunday, September 27, 2020 9:00:57 AM
Number of Posts:
[3.41% of all post / 10.40 posts per day]
Last 10 Posts
My favorite animal is dogs.
Sunday, September 27, 2020 8:59:51 AM
This is an odd one . . .
You are right in that "my favourite animal" has to be followed by "is" (not "are").
However, in Standard English (not in some dialects which have forms left over from Middle English), if you have "is" with a noun before and after it,
nouns are better singular. Your sentence just "sounds wrong" with the plural there.
There is a way to handle it - use the "generic singular".
This is often used for types of animal or plant, and can be used for other things, too.
The horse is a very useful animal. (Meaning "horse" in general, the species)
My favourite animal is the dog. (meaning the species, dogs)
Sunday, September 27, 2020 8:18:35 AM
Show me how winter appears to you.
Sunday, September 27, 2020 8:03:23 AM
And that is Haiku.
Five, seven and again five -
That's how it should be.
Sunday, September 27, 2020 7:44:06 AM
, welcome to the forum!
Funny protest signs
Sunday, September 27, 2020 7:31:15 AM
The "last straw" is
He loved his former wife.
Sunday, September 27, 2020 7:21:52 AM
1. belonging to or occurring in an earlier time:
2. having been at a previous time:
a former colleague.
3. denoting the first or first mentioned of two:
in the former case
Collins English Dictionary.
The first definition covers it.
"something" occurred in an earlier time. It is not occurring now.
There used to be glory, now there is no glory. It's former glory.
The matter of onward and onwards
Sunday, September 27, 2020 6:56:13 AM
Well . . . it's like this . . . I don't think there are any
rules on whether to use the "s" or not with these adverbs.
One does not use the "s" when the words are used in adjective or verb forms.
I believe that one never uses the "s" in American, but it's common in English for adverbs.
I usually use the "s" on "-wards" adverbs, except when they are in a hyphonated form.
I'll forward your message as soon as I can.
We used the forward gangplank to board the ship.
The forward motion of a ship is opposed by friction and the surface-tension of the water.
Please move forwards as quickly as possible.
He headed towards the door.
He threw the ball upwards so it hit the ceiling.
Moving backwards while appearing to walk forwards is called "moonwalking".
She went to the forward-looking window to get a better view.
(So far as I know, all these "s"es would be omitted in American.)
Narcoterrorism which is...
Sunday, September 27, 2020 6:09:42 AM
I'm writing this as a separate post as it adds my opinion on writing in general - rather than your particular passage.
I'm not a professional writer (or anything to do with writing/publishing) but I DO read a lot!
, as a professional author, and
, as an editor, may have comments to make about what I say.
English is made up from two major "streams" of language - one is influenced by Latin, Greek, French and "Romance" languages in general (southern and south-eastern Europe); the second is influenced by Old Saxon, Anglo-Frisian and Norse (Northern Europe) plus some 'Celtic' (Brythonic and Gaelic).
Besides affecting the dialects and accents of different parts of
(North/South), the vocabulary of the two affect the emotional feeling and (somewhat) the 'class' (upper/lower class).
I'm not mentioning Wales, Scotland and other English-speaking countries. Things are different there.
The first (more southern European) influenced the accents of the south of England.
It also provided the vocabulary of "the court", aristocracy, academics, the law etc. (Latin and French were more common than English for some centuries. Authorities can't agree on the date when the aristocracy changed from "French, with English as a second language" to "English, with French as a second language" - but all agree that it's between the fifteenth and seventeenth centuries.
Therefore longer 'Romance' words sound formal, unemotional, academic, 'distanced', 'aristocratic'.
The second (more northern European) influenced the accents of the north of England.
It also provided the vocabulary of the common people throughout England.
Therefore shorter Anglo-Saxon/Norse words sound "common", "personal", "in-your-face", "down-to-Earth".
In earlier centuries particularly, many of these words were considered 'crude', uneducated and "not fit for gentile ears". The term "four-letter-word" was used to mean "impolite, vulgar and obscene" - "Good" words had to be at least two syllables, if not three.
- most people are not aristocratic, academic lawyers.
"Natural English" tends to be informal.
English intended to appeal to the emotions tends to use shorter words, rather than long words or phrases ("grab" rather than "take hold of", "ruin" rather than "destroy", "break" rather than "dismantle").
Narcoterrorism which is...
Sunday, September 27, 2020 5:02:07 AM
. . . Join us today in the fight against narcoterrorism!
Yeah Brother! (oops - is that a bit un-British?)
- I agree with that answer. Except for the comma after "Narcoterrorism", your original does not seem to violate any grammar rules or conventions - but . . . I would comment on the style.
The first sentence is too long without breaks, definitely.
I'm not sure what the 'context' of this is. If it is the introduction to an (unemotional) academic paper about the state of the nation concerning its readiness to combat narcoterrorism, then it is worded well.
However, if it is a plea to the people to wake up and DO something about narcoterrorism, then it is too formal and "weak".
The largest part of the first sentence consists of a passive (is being unleashed) and two infinitives (to destroy, and to ruin) - and the main verb is "is". These are all weak forms which don't "grab the attention". (Probably
, as an editor, can give more advice or "author's hints" about this).
The suggested alternative uses "unleashed" as a lone participle, separated from the main sentence (which makes it more noticeable) and uses the active "is destroying and ruining", which impinge acceptably.
I hope this helps.
Friday, September 25, 2020 3:04:35 PM
"A pandemic" is a noun - a disease which affects all the people on the planet.
"An epidemic" is a disease which affects a large area all at once. A country or localised group of countries.
"Contageous" is an adjective meaning "transmissible by direct or indirect contact".
Influenza is a contageous disease.
- it is transmitted by people touching each other or by indirect contact (through sneezes, coughs, and so on).
There was an influenza epidemic in Britiain in 1948.
There was a SARS pandemic in 1918.
(All over the world)
was answering it.
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