12-12-11, 07:41 AM #181
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!
12-12-11, 05:48 PM #182
Only people who are fond of cycling will buy bicycle.
- Only a person who enjoys cycling will buy a bicycle.
- Only people who like cycling will buy bicycles.
As you say, "could" is more polite. That's what you should practice. However, in casual situations you will hear people use "can."
Or "may" is more polite?
- 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.)
"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.
- 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.)
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."
12-12-11, 11:56 PM #183
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" ?
12-13-11, 10:16 AM #184
I haven't seen Tina for a long time. I think I'll go over for an hour or two.
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?"Can I say "I will go over to your house tomorrow afternoon" ?
Only if you're talking to someone other than the person you plan to visit, would you then say, "I will go 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 come to my office tomorrow and help me set up my computer?" "Amanda came to my apartment last night after we went to a restaurant."
12-13-11, 09:17 PM #185
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?
Last edited by Saint; 12-13-11 at 11:51 PM.
12-13-11, 09:18 PM #186
12-13-11, 09:20 PM #187
Meaning: If you're in deep water, 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"?
12-13-11, 09:30 PM #188
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.
12-14-11, 10:10 AM #189
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: ren means "person," so you have to say nan ren or niu ren if the gender is important.The company's in deep water now that the tax inspectors have decided to check over the accounts. (check over = inspect?)Can I say "in deep shit"?
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.2. He resembles his father.3, He and his father look alike.
12-14-11, 06:52 PM #190
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.
12-14-11, 07:44 PM #191
Asian shares retreated and the euro and commodities nursed stinging losses on Thursday after fears that Europe's debt crisis is still worsening prompted investors to dump riskier assets and huddle 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?
12-15-11, 02:05 PM #192
to dump riskier assets and huddle in the safety of the dollar and Treasuries.
When I was little I liked to play in the snow. To love is the greatest feeling on earth. We have been warned not to drink the water here. You have to stop smoking.
The infinitive treats the verb as an abstraction, rather than an activity.
12-15-11, 06:25 PM #193to pretend to be a christian means to tell people you're a christian when you're not. Is that what you meant?
12-17-11, 08:10 PM #194
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?
12-20-11, 09:02 AM #195
12-21-11, 09:06 PM #196
The Word Power of Reader's Digest normally contains words that are not frequently used, do you think it worths studying those words?
12-22-11, 02:06 PM #197
It is not something I would ordinarily recommend to a foreign student of English.
- 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, everybody 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!
12-26-11, 11:51 PM #198
1. My sister's baby is very cute, it has big eyes.
For baby, regardless of gender, can I use "it"?
12-27-11, 05:17 AM #199
If you know that the baby is a boy or a girl, then always 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"!
01-02-12, 11:17 AM #200
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?
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