We often use can in a question to ask somebody to do something. This is not a real question - we do not really want to know if the person is able to do something, we want them to do it! The use of can in this way is informal (mainly between friends and family):
Can you make a cup of coffee, please.
Can you put the TV on.
Can you come here a minute.
Can you be quiet!
[QUOTE=Saint;2873170]Yes, nowadays we see less bicycle than the past.[/quote]We see [b]fewer bicycles[/b] than in the past. Many people say "less bicycles," but in proper speech and writing "less" should be used only for [b]continuous variables[/b]: two and a half kilograms of meat, 3.1 liters of gasoline. Use "fewer" for [b]countable variables[/b]: three bicycles, four bicycles, five bicycles.[quote]Only people who are fond of cycling will buy bicycle.[/QUOTE]We don't say "fond" very much in the USA. Remember to keep your [b]singular and plural[/b] in agreement:[list]Only a person who enjoys cycling will buy a bicycle.[*]Only people who like cycling will buy bicycles.[/list][QUOTE=Saint;2873225]We often use could in a question to ask somebody to do something. The use of could in this way is fairly polite (formal): 1.Could you tell me where the bank is, please? 2 .Could you send me a catalogue, please? Can replace could with "can"?[/quote]Can I replace "could" with "can"? Don't forget your pronouns.
As you say, "could" is more polite. That's what you should practice. However, in casual situations you will hear people use "can."[list]Can you refill my coffee? (At McDonalds, not a fancy restaurant)[*]Can you tell me why my Chevrolet is making a funny noise? (But if it's a Ferrari mechanic you would probably be more polite to him.)[/list][quote]Or "may" is more polite?[/QUOTE]Or [b]is "may"[/b] more polite? Word order is crucial in English, almost as much so as in Chinese.
"May" is what you use when you're talking about yourself, not the other person. It means "to be permitted" to do something, whereas "can," literally, means "to be physically able, logically possible," etc.[list]Can I take you to the movies on Saturday? (To a girl you've been dating for a while.)[*]May I take you to the movies on Saturday? (To a girl you just met.)[/list][QUOTE=Saint;2873226]We often use can in a question to ask somebody to do something. This is not a real question - we do not really want to know if the person is able to do something, we want them to do it! The use of can in this way is informal (mainly between friends and family): Can you make a cup of coffee, please. Can you put the TV on. Can you come here a minute. Can you be quiet![/QUOTE]You can say "could" in these sentences and it is a little more polite. If you're giving an order (parent to child, boss to employee, police to citizen, etc.), you can say "would."
There are other ways of saying these things that are more formal. "Would you mind making a cup of coffee, please?" "Could I bother you to turn on the TV?" "Would you be so good/kind as to come here for a minute?" "I would very much appreciate it if you could try to be a little more quiet."
go over=visit someone nearby
1. I haven't seen Tina for a long time. I think I'll go over for an hour or two.
Can I say "I will go over to your house tomorrow afternoon" ?
[QUOTE=Saint;2873634]go over=visit someone nearby[/quote]Not a common idiom in the USA, but idioms vary from one country to the next even if they use the same language. Perhaps British people talk that way. We would more likely say "go over to his/her/their home/office/place." Young people say, "hang out at her place, hang out with him."[quote]I haven't seen Tina for a long time. I think I'll go over for an hour or two.[/quote]... go over there, go over to her place, go over to see her.
But if you're not talking about a person, "go over" is then more common in American usage. "I haven't been to the gym since I was sick. I think I'll go over after work tonight." "There's a new club a few miles south of here that books hot rock and roll bands. Why don't we go over this Friday?"[quote]Can I say "I will go over to your house tomorrow afternoon" ?[/QUOTE]No, that's wrong. I will [B]come[/B] over to your house. I think it's the same in Chinese: [I]Wo dao ni jia [B]lai,[/B][/I] not [I]dao ni jia [B]qu,[/B][/I] right?
Only if you're talking to someone other than the person you plan to visit, would you then say, "I will [B]go[/B] to Tom's house tomorrow." (The "over" is not necessary, although we used it more often when I was a kid 60 years ago, usually with "come over" rather than "go over.")
The same rule applies in both directions. "Can you [B]come[/B] to my office tomorrow and help me set up my computer?" "Amanda [B]came[/B] to my apartment last night after we [B]went[/B] to a restaurant."
1. Man is greedy and selfish.
2. Human is greedy and selfish.
3. Human being is greedy and selfish.
4. Mankind is greedy and selfish.
Man, mankind, human and human being, are they used in the same sense?
Or "people" will fit most situation?
Man includes "woman" in general sense?
Meaning: If you're [b]in deep water[/b], you're in some sort of trouble or in a difficult situation.
1.The company's in deep water now that the tax inspectors have decided to check over the accounts. (check over = inspect?)
2.Many families are in deep water because of the mortgage crisis, and some might even lose their homes.
Can I say "in deep shit"? :D
1. He looks like his father when he was young. ( I mean, he is young now, and his face looks like that of his father, when his father was young too.)
2. He resembles his father.
3, He and his father look alike.
[QUOTE=Saint;2874173]Man includes "woman" in general sense?[/QUOTE]... in [B]a[/B] general sense or [B]the[/B] general sense.
This was common in previous eras. As one writer humorously put it, "We take 'man' as embracing 'woman'." Today, especially in America with our strong feminist movement, we try to say "person" instead, or rewrite the sentence to avoid the problem. You're lucky in Chinese with its lack of gender: [I]ren[/I] means "person," so you have to say [I]nan ren[/I] or [I]niu ren[/I] if the gender is important.[QUOTE=Saint;2874176]Meaning: If you're [b]in deep water[/b], you're in some sort of trouble or in a difficult situation.[/quote]We don't use that idiom very often in America today. Perhaps the British do.[quote]The company's in deep water now that the tax inspectors have decided to check over the accounts. (check over = inspect?)[/quote]"Check over" must be British usage. We say "audit," and the people who do it are auditors, not inspectors.[quote]Can I say "in deep shit"?[/QUOTE]That's vulgar usage but in the USA vulgar usage has spread into what used to be called "polite conversation." But as I have said before, it is a bad idea for you to use profanity in someone else's language. You never know how the person you're speaking to will react. Not all of us are as comfortable with it.
I don't think that phrase is quite as acceptable in mixed company (men and women together) in England, so I'd be very careful about using it in your country, where Americans are not the only people you meet who speak English.
"Deep doo-doo" is a more polite and humorous way of saying it. "Doo-doo" is a baby word.[QUOTE=Saint;2874187]1. He looks like his father when he was young. ( I mean, he is young now, and his face looks like that of his father, when his father was young too.)[/quote]That sentence is a little too short to be clear. "He looks like his father [B]did[/B] when he was young."[quote]2. He resembles his father.[/quote]Resembles in what way? Although "resemble" is used primarily for appearance, it could still mean that they have the same style of speech, the same athletic skills, the same stubbornness, etc. It's better to be clear when you're speaking someone else's language. You never know when something you say could be misinterpreted. Always speak more carefully than we do. ;)[quote]3, He and his father look alike.[/QUOTE]That means that they look alike [B]today[/B]. Perhaps they're both fat, or bald, or have beards, or wear glasses, etc. If he looks like his father did thirty years ago, this is the wrong way to say it.
1. If I do not believe Jesus I will not pretend Christian.
2. If I do not believe Jesus I will not pretend as Christian.
3. If I do not believe Jesus I will not pretend to be a Christian.
Asian shares [B]retreated[/B] and the euro and commodities [B]nursed[/B] stinging losses on Thursday after fears that Europe's debt crisis [B]is [/B]still worsening [B]prompted [/B]investors to dump riskier assets and [B]huddle [/B]in the safety of the dollar and Treasuries.
Can you explain the tenses in this sentence.
How past tense and present tense can be used together?
[QUOTE=Saint;2874842]3. If I do not believe [B]IN[/B] Jesus I will not pretend to be a Christian.[/QUOTE]"To pretend" means to dishonestly present yourself as something or someone that you're not. To pretend to be a Christian means to tell people you're a Christian when you're not. Is that what you meant?[QUOTE=Saint;2874872]Asian shares retreated and the euro and commodities nursed stinging losses on Thursday after fears that Europe's debt crisis is still worsening . . . .[/quote]The shares [B]retreated[/B] and the commodities [B]nursed[/B] their losses [B]in the past.[/B] This has already happened, so the past tense is appropriate. But the debt crisis [B]is[/B] still worsening [B]in the present.[/B] This is happening now, so the present tense is appropriate.[quote]to dump riskier assets and huddle in the safety of the dollar and Treasuries.[/quote][B]To dump[/B] and [B]to huddle[/B] are infinitives. Whenever the word "to" comes before a verb, it's an [B]infinitive.[/B] This is neither the present tense nor the past tense.
When I was little I liked [B]to play[/B] in the snow. [B]To love[/B] is the greatest feeling on earth. We have been warned not [B]to drink[/B] the water here. You have [B]to stop[/B] smoking.
The infinitive treats the verb as an abstraction, rather than an activity.
[quote] to pretend to be a christian means to tell people you're a christian when you're not. Is that what you meant?[/quote]yes
1. Is there any difference between Microsoft Office and Open Office?
2. Are there any differences between Microsoft Office and Open Office?
If I expect more than one differences, should I choose sentence no 2?
[QUOTE=Saint;2876690]1. Is there any difference between Microsoft Office and Open Office?
2. Are there any differences between Microsoft Office and Open Office?
If I expect more than one differences, should I choose sentence no 2?[/QUOTE]With #1 you're asking whether MS Office and Open Office are the same. With #2 you're asking for the specific differences.
Nonetheless, people won't always respond to the difference in the questions and they might give you the same answer to either one.
The Word Power of Reader's Digest normally contains words that are not frequently used, do you think it worths studying those words?
[QUOTE=Saint;2879158]The Word Power of Reader's Digest normally contains words that are not frequently used, do you think it worths studying those words?[/QUOTE]"worth," not "worths"
It is not something I would ordinarily recommend to a foreign student of English.[list]You should use your time and energy to improve your grammar rather than learning words you will probably never encounter. Your vocabulary seems to be big enough. It's your grammar that needs a LOT of work. Please concentrate on that.[*]It's quite possible that the person you're talking to won't know what the words mean.[*]Worst of all, if you start using these words in conversation and writing, but continue to make grammatical errors in two sentences out of three, you'll just sound silly. If you don't learn those words, nobody will notice. But if you don't improve your grammar, [B]everybody[/B] will notice! They will wonder why you're spending your time learning words they don't even know, when you can't always put a sentence together correctly![/list]That said... if you really enjoy reading about these unusual words, then go ahead and do it for fun. You will certainly learn a few things that will help you. But please don't sacrifice the time you need to work on grammar, in order to learn unusual words. That is a very bad exchange.
1. My sister's baby is very cute, it has big eyes.
For baby, regardless of gender, can I use "it"?
[QUOTE=Saint;2881098]1. My sister's baby is very cute, it has big eyes. For baby, regardless of gender, can I use "it"?[/QUOTE]Not if you want your sister to continue inviting you over for dinner. It's not incorrect, but it's very rude. Cops, news reporters and anthropologists might call a baby "it" if they honestly don't know its sex, but even they will make an attempt to find out what it is. And if they can't figure it out, many will just say "he," which is old-fashioned and out of favor in the modern era of gender equality, but a little more polite than "it."
If you know that the baby is a boy or a girl, then [b]always[/b] use the correct pronoun. If you don't know, then ask somebody. Nobody wants to hear a member of their family referred to as "it."
We don't even call dogs and cats "it"!
1. Yesterday I saw him walking on the street.
2. I saw him walking on the street yesterday.
Yesterday, tomorrow etc., should be put in front of or at the back of a sentence?