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English grammar and vocabulary: quick questions thread

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    (Original post by Undisclosed 15)
    Ok. Thanks for your help.

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    Would it be correct to say 'The only people who attended the lesson were Alex and I'?

    Is the above sentence punctuated correctly or do I have to insert a punctuation mark before the end of the quotation?

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    (Original post by desdemonata)
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    Your reply was helpful indeed. So when things are moved, is 'shift' a proper word to express this movement?

    Can you help me again? I'm a little bit confuse with the usage of: is/are going to - will - get

    Among which circumstances one of them is used? Are there circumstances in which more than one of them can be used?
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    (Original post by Kallisto)
    Your reply was helpful indeed. So when things are moved, is 'shift' a proper word to express this movement?

    Can you help me again? I'm a little bit confuse with the usage of: is/are going to - will - get

    Among which circumstances one of them is used? Are there circumstances in which more than one of them can be used?
    It depends. Shift and move are not entirely the same word - move is much more common and is used for pretty much everything, including ideas like moving house/country/job, whereas shift is usually limited to moving things over small distances (the case of "shifting" something from one room to another), or a slight movement in position (as in, he shifted on his feet).

    So if you are saying "they moved house" or "they moved to the other room", then no, you can't use "shift" (well you can, but it's not correct per se and would sound clumsy), because it's for moving something (not yourself, the only time you could "shift" a person would be if they were unconscious or dead and you were literally carrying them) and only for smaller distances. But for "small" ideas, both physical and abstract, shift is being used colloquially, e.g. "they shifted onto the next topic", "they shifted the meeting to next week". It's a good idea to always use "move" when in doubt, and only use shift for specific instances where you know it is used, but even then, general usage blurs these lines as words become more common and are used in more ways.

    Is going to vs. will is something a lot of people get confused about. "Will" is generally for things that we believe will definitely happen "We will be in class then, so we can't go to the game" and we also use it for decisions we have just made, in that moment "I think I'll go for a walk" (you are telling them as the idea comes into your head).
    "Going to" is used when we make predictions that are less certain but still based on some sort of evidence, and for decisions/plans we have already made, "I'm going to go for a walk tomorrow and get some exercise" (you have already planned to do this and are just telling someone about it), "I'm going to fail this exam, I just know it!" (You don't actually know anything yet, but based on how much you have studied/how hard this exam is, you think you probably will).

    "Will" is often used where you would use "going to" for emphasis, e.g. "I'm going to fail this exam..." "No, you won't." "I will, I just know it!". This is more fatalistic as it implies there is no doubt, you are definitely going to fail.
    "Will" is also used in the same sense as "going to" when it's used with words like "probably" to denote uncertainty: "It will probably rain" is the same as "It's going to rain".

    So to summarise: "It's going to rain" vs. "It will rain". In the first case, you have maybe looked out of the window, it's a bit cloudy and dreary, and you think it will rain but aren't sure, it could not rain. In the second case, there are already rain clouds or you have checked the weather forecast and it says there's a high chance of rain, so you believe it definitely will.

    What do you mean by "get"?
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    (Original post by desdemonata)
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    I guess I got the meanings of 'going to' and 'will'. 'going to' means that an event is unsure, while 'will' means that an event happens for sure, as in:

    "What will Dick do?"; "I guess he is going to Brazil" (the interviewed person is not entirely sure what Dick does)
    "What will Dick do?"; "He will go to Brazil next week" (the interviewed person is sure what Dick does and when)

    I wonder why 'get' has the same meaning like 'will' under certain circumstances, as in:

    The pains of the patient get worse.
    The play of the tennis player gets better.

    Why 'get' is used in these sentences instead of 'will'?

    By the way you are an awesome help for foreigners! :yep:
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    (Original post by Kallisto)
    I guess I got the meanings of 'going to' and 'will'. 'going to' means that an event is unsure, while 'will' means that an event happens for sure, as in:

    "What will Dick do?"; "I guess he is going to Brazil" (the interviewed person is not entirely sure what Dick does)
    "What will Dick do?"; "He will go to Brazil next week" (the interviewed person is sure what Dick does and when)
    Pretty much :yep: Although "He will go to Brazil next week" does sound a bit odd, something like "He will be in Brazil" sounds better, because you are talking about plans, which is a case in which people use "going to". He will be in Brazil sounds more like a definite occurrence

    I wonder why 'get' has the same meaning like 'will' under certain circumstances, as in:

    The pains of the patient get worse.
    The play of the tennis player gets better.

    Why 'get' is used in these sentences instead of 'will'?

    By the way you are an awesome help for foreigners! :yep:
    In those cases you can't use "is" or "will" because they don't connote changes of state. The idea here is "the pains are getting worse", "his skills are getting better", an on going process that naturally implies change. If you say "his skills are better" you are making a statement that he is better than before, you are not implying that he is still improving or that this process is ongoing. You are basically comparing his skills in the past with his skills in the present, two particular points and his progress up until the second point, and no further.

    With the example of "the pain is getting worse" vs. "the pain is worse" it's the same rule. "The pain is getting worse" implies that it will hurt even more in an hour or so and that it is not stopping. While "the pain is worse" does imply the same change until the present point, it doesn't imply that this change will carry on past now. So, for instance, you have stomach aches that are getting more horrible every passing second, you would use "gets". If your stomach pains got worse this morning, and have now felt bad but haven't gotten any worse for a few hours, you would say they "are" worse (than before).

    Happy to help
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    Something confuses me, can anyone please explain?

    When to know you need to use 'ing' after the word 'to'?

    For instance, I look forward to seeing you next Monday.
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    (Original post by desdemonata)
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    Good to know you are happy when being helpful. I need your help again and I'm sure you are capable of explaining the differences again. These expressions have the same meaning:

    because of
    due to
    concerning

    Can you give me examples to explain when and why one of them is used in English?
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    (Original post by Kallisto)
    Good to know you are happy when being helpful. I need your help again and I'm sure you are capable of explaining the differences again. These expressions have the same meaning:

    because of
    due to
    concerning

    Can you give me examples to explain when and why one of them is used in English?
    "Because of" and "due to" have the same meaning, with the latter slightly more formal, but their main difference is that "because of" is more adverbial (affects verbs) and "due to" more adjectival (affects nouns). Although this difference isn't one most take note of anymore, they technically are not interchangeable but honestly, most people would take no notice. I'm a stickler for grammar (as you may have guessed by now... ) and in these sentences I would use either: "She couldn't attend because of/due to illness" "Her absence was because of/due to illness". But in actual fact, in the first sentence only "because of" is correct, and in the second it's "due to".

    "Concerning" has a different meaning. It doesn't imply causation, it means more or less the same as "about" (in the sense of, "in regards to") and can often replace it: "She has information about the kidnapping" = "She has information concerning the kidnapping." For instance you are likely to hear on the news: "The police have released no statements concerning the arrests on Tuesday".
    The one difference here is that "concerning" is for specific events/subjects, where as "about" is the go to word for everything, and is more used in questions. "What do you think concerning today's society?" "I'm interested in things concerning the past" Sound a little clumsy and "about" is more appropriate there.
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    (Original post by desdemonata)
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    I have not only realize that you are a stickler, but also that you are studying languages. No wonder that you are capable of helping me well. Thats is fine.

    I guess I will focus on 'due to' and 'because of' to structure my sentences in a proper way, as concerning seems too rarely be used in English. Are these sentences are correct?

    "He gave the race up due to a flat tyre."
    "She cannot take part at the olympics because of a broken leg."
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    (Original post by Kallisto)
    I have not only realize that you are a stickler, but also that you are studying languages. No wonder that you are capable of helping me well. Thats is fine.

    I guess I will focus on 'due to' and 'because of' to structure my sentences in a proper way, as concerning seems too rarely be used in English. Are these sentences are correct?

    "He gave the race up due to a flat tyre."
    "She cannot take part at the olympics because of a broken leg."
    it does help to know sometimes how another language does things.

    If you simply those sentences, what you are saying is:
    "He gave up due to..." and "She cannot take part because of..." In both of those cases it would be "because of". An easy way to check whether you need an adverbial prepositional phrase is whether the subject and verb can actually make sense on their own: "He gave up" and "She cannot take part" could both stand alone as sentences, you are modifying the verb with adverbs to elaborate on why they gave up.
    Where as with "due to", you are modifying a noun, and it doesn't make much sense otherwise. Using my example from before: "her absence was due to illness", if you say "Her absence was..." there is something missing to complete the meaning of the sentence, without which it doesn't make sense.
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    (Original post by desdemonata)
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    Okay, I give it a try again. Here are another examples:

    "There was an accident due to drink driving" -> 'due to', as there is a modifying noun (accident)
    "I cannot forgive him because of a bad argument in the past" -> 'because of', as there is a modifying verb (to forgive)

    Am I right now?
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    (Original post by Kallisto)
    Okay, I give it a try again. Here are another examples:

    "There was an accident due to drink driving" -> 'due to', as there is a modifying noun (accident)
    "I cannot forgive him because of a bad argument in the past" -> 'because of', as there is a modifying verb (to forgive)

    Am I right now?
    I believe so though obviously I am not an expert, just an amateur grammar aficionado.

    Edit: one more trick you can use is that "due to" is synonymous with "caused by". For example, your earlier sentence: "He gave the race up due to a flat tyre", "he gave the race up caused by a flat tyre" is definitely not right.
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    (Original post by desdemonata)
    I believe so though obviously I am not an expert, just an amateur grammar aficionado.

    Edit: one more trick you can use is that "due to" is synonymous with "caused by". For example, your earlier sentence: "He gave the race up due to a flat tyre", "he gave the race up caused by a flat tyre" is definitely not right.
    That is a good tip to check the right word. If you are so you are so enthusiastic to help poor foreigners like me, here is another problem:

    to seek something or to strive for something - what must be used in English why and when?
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    (Original post by Kallisto)
    That is a good tip to check the right word. If you are so you are so enthusiastic to help poor foreigners like me, here is another problem:

    to seek something or to strive for something - what must be used in English why and when?
    To seek something just means to look generally. You can be seeking for an actual physical item or person (though it sounds a little old fashioned to say "I am seeking my glasses"), or more generally, an abstract concept like happiness.

    To strive for something is to make that something a goal, an ideal which you hope to achieve. It's not so much a case of searching or looking, but putting in effort. When you say "I strive to be an astronaut" you don't mean that you're looking for a guy who's an astronaut, but that that's your dream job and what you wish to be, and something that you are working towards.

    To better clarify: "I seek the truth" vs "I strive for the truth".
    In the first case, you are probably talking about one specific example, and you wish to uncover what happened that particular time. You could also use this to mean something general like "I seek the meaning of/truth about life" but it doesn't really sound right unless you actually do dedicate your entire life to this question.
    In the second case, you are probably saying that you value honesty, and that you always attempt to uncover the truth/tell the truth, that it is generally something you try to do every now and again.
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    Hello, guys.

    Could anyone elaborate on and show the difference between the following:

    1-There is a bee-infested oak tree in front our house
    2-There is an oak tree infested with bees in front our house.


    Appreciate your comments and answers.
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    (Original post by ayidh)
    Hello, guys.

    Could anyone elaborate on and show the difference between the following:

    1-There is a bee-infested oak tree in front our house
    2-There is an oak tree infested with bees in front our house.


    Appreciate your comments and answers.
    I can't think of any difference.

    In both cases it should be 'in front of our house', by the way ;-)
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    (Original post by FormerlyHistoryStudent)
    I can't think of any difference.

    In both cases it should be 'in front of our house', by the way ;-)
    it is my fault to make a room for this typo

    Thanks a lot for your comment
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    'French is easy for some, like Heidi and I'

    French is easy for some, like Heidi and me'

    Which is correct and why?

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