01-02-12, 04:03 PM #201
01-03-12, 10:35 AM #202
Should "yesterday," "tomorrow," etc., be put at the beginning or the end of a sentence?Note also that for clarity you should put words in quotation marks when you're talking about the words themselves, rather than the things that the words stand for. Also, we always put a comma both before and after "etc.", although British punctuation rules may be different.
Finally, "in front of a sentence" is (barely) acceptable in colloquial speech, but "at the back of a sentence" or "in back of a sentence" is not.
It's better to use "beginning" and "end" instead of "front" and "back" when you're talking about time rather than physical space.I parked the car in front of the laboratory because I didn't know that the entrance is in back.But:I felt alert and rested at the beginning of class, but at the end I was exhausted.
We bought popcorn at the beginning of the movie but we weren't hungry so we threw it in the trash at the end.
01-04-12, 05:05 AM #203
1. Tonight I date some friends to go to drink.
In western country, does "drink" arbitrarily mean drinking alcohol?
01-04-12, 10:22 AM #204
1. It transpires that tax cut will not boost economy.
Is it correct the way I use the word transpire?
01-04-12, 10:27 AM #205
Last edited by Gremmie; 01-04-12 at 10:39 AM.
01-04-12, 08:01 PM #206
And it always has a romantic or even sexual connotation. If I go out for lunch with a female friend from the office, that's not a date. Otherwise my wife would be very angry.
Before I answer your question, let's look at your grammar, because that sentence is not well composed. Let's start by making it realistic and substitute "Susan" for "some friends." For starters, you really need to work on your use of verbs. To be safe, since you're talking about the future, the easiest thing to do in order to be sure you've done it correctly, is to put it in the future tense: "Tonight I will go on a date with Susan." You may hear people say, "Tonight I'm going on a date with Susan." That is actually correct, but it's idiomatic grammar and hard to explain. If you use it in the wrong situation it will sound terrible. It's best to stick with simple, basic, English grammar and use the future tense for something that will happen in the future.
Second, you don't "go to drink." You "go out to drink," or "go out drinking." You can say, "I am going to drink," but that is an alternate way of building the future tense; it's equivalent to "I will drink," and "go" is just an auxiliary verb and has nothing to do with moving or traveling. You can say, "I am going to drink right here at my desk because I brought a bottle of apple juice with me."
If you're actually going to be with some friends rather than having a romantic evening with a lady, then what you say is "Tonight I will go out drinking with some friends," or "Tonight I'm going to go out drinking with some friends."In western country, does "drink" arbitrarily mean drinking alcohol?
As Gremmie said, the verb "drink" by itself with no direct object usually implies that the direct object is "alcoholic beverages." But that depends on context. If you're running a marathon and start to feel weak, you might say, "I haven't been drinking enough" and everyone knows you mean water. If you have kidney problems, your doctor might tell you that you need to drink more, and I'm certain that he won't be recommending wine.Is it correct the way I use the word transpire?
You can say, "It happens that I forgot to bring my lunch. Can somebody loan me two dollars so I can buy something in the cafeteria?" You would not say "It transpires that I forgot..." So in your sentence you could say, "It happens that the tax cut did not boost the economy." This is about the past, something that has already occurred and is a fact. You wouldn't use that idiom when talking about the future. You'd say something like, "I don't think the tax cut will boost the economy." or "In my professional opinion, the tax cut won't boost the economy." (If economics is indeed your profession.) You can't say "it happens" because whatever is going to happen is not happening yet.
And no one would substitute "transpire" for "happen" in that sentence. It's an idiom and you have to use idioms precisely, you don't get to substitute a different word.
If I say, "Mary gave me the cold shoulder this morning," it means that Mary ignored me and acted like she was angry. That is an idiom. There is no such idiom as "the frigid shoulder." If someone said, "Mary gave me the frigid shoulder," we would have no idea what he was talking about.
The same is true in your case. "It happens that..." is an idiom. "It transpires that..." is not.
Last edited by Fraggle Rocker; 01-04-12 at 08:07 PM.
01-05-12, 08:30 PM #207
1. Tonight I will go to my favorite pub to drink with some friends.
2. Long time ago people did not have electrical bulbs and had to use candles to light up the house at night.
Can I start a sentence with "long time ago"?
01-06-12, 06:11 AM #208
2. Long time ago people did not have electrical bulbs and had to use candles to light up the house at night. Can I start a sentence with "long time ago"?
But we talk about the entire technology, not the just the bulb, so we would say, ". . . . did not have electric lights," not bulbs. In most cases (but not all, we try not to make it too easy for you ) we say "electric," not "electrical."
Most of the time people say simply, ". . . . did not have electricity. . . ."
01-07-12, 12:58 AM #209
01-07-12, 01:17 AM #210
1. I have to prepare for the interview by anticipating what the interviewer will ask me.
01-07-12, 01:20 AM #211
1. The manufacture of a car is a complex process.
Can "manufacture" be used as noun?
01-07-12, 08:04 PM #212
But you don't do it! Why? You're always happy to read my answers, but then you act like you don't respect me.
If you really want to learn to speak better English, you're not going to accomplish that on SciForums. You have to work harder.
If you had looked up the word "manufacture" on Dictionary.com, you would have immediately discovered that it is defined as a noun first. The verb is listed second.
The French ending -ure is almost always a noun ending in English, because it is a noun ending in French. The noun "manufacture" came first and the verb was derived from it.
"Vacation" is a noun, but it's also become a verb. The same goes for "school," "house," "air," "water," "wolf," "parent" and hundreds of other nouns.
We see the same thing today. "Friend" is a noun, but FaceBook has turned it into a verb.
01-07-12, 08:48 PM #213
The clearest way I can express my personal belief is to say "because you're doing it wrong".
That isn't quite fair, as it would still be difficult even when done right. The thing is, I think you're learning english in spite of rather than because of your study of formal grammar.
Formal english grammar is three-quarters fiction. It was invented by the victorians to satisfy their obsession with systematizing things, and it does not accurately or completely express how english is used in everyday speech, academia or business. Neither does it correspond to how your brain processes language.
You cannot learn to speak english properly by studying the rules of formal grammar and lists of vocabulary. To the best of my knowledge it has been shown empirically not to work.You have to expose yourself to the language in large amounts. Read books and newspapers, listen to radio and podcasts, pick subjects you're familiar with already and find materials which discuss them in english.
If your main interest is everyday language, join facebook or watch (subtitled) television drama. I have found weibo a great help in learning to read hanzi better, and cctv useful for the pronunciation of hanyu, so I'm not just guessing.
If you want to learn business english try the financial times or business programs on the bbc world service.
I do sympathize. It must be a horrible shock to go from a clear, logical and etymologically direct language to english. Pretty though I think it is, english is a quite recent hybrid of several already quite complex languages, which may explain much of it's subtlety, complexity and inconsistency.
01-08-12, 05:09 PM #214
01-08-12, 05:13 PM #215
I am a chinese, my brain is obsessed with my own mother tongue.
It is very difficult to avoid thinking in my own language first and then translate it into English.
It is not so bad now for me to write and speak English, but 25 years back when I was a school boy, it was really difficult for me to fully think in English.
01-08-12, 05:14 PM #216
1. I completely agree with you.
2. I agree with you completely.
Should an adverb be put before or after a verb? Both are right?
01-08-12, 07:20 PM #217
Psychologists say that our translation "software" is not accessible while we're sleeping. Therefore, if you have a dream in which you or someone else is speaking another language, it means that you are able to think in that language.1. I completely agree with you. 2. I agree with you completely. Should an adverb be put before or after a verb? Both are right?
"When I finished my assignment, I quickly went home," probably means that as soon as you finished you grabbed your briefcase and ran out the door without locking your desk, saying goodbye or stopping in the bathroom. If you say, "When I finished my assignment, I went home quickly," it probably means that you drove your car really fast.
Some of the adverbs that don't end in -ly can't come before the verb. You would never say, "That horse fast runs" or "George late came to work."
There are some adverbs that have to precede the verb, notably time-words like "never," "always," "sometimes," "usually," "often," etc.
01-09-12, 01:27 AM #218
In my dream, sometimes I spoke English, it depends on in which situation and to whom I spoke.
01-09-12, 01:29 AM #219
1. Honestly, I do not like to go to school.
Is this sentence's grammar right?
01-09-12, 06:51 AM #220
Today I learn a proverb: One swallow doesn't make a summer.
Guess what does it mean?
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