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Thread: grammar mistake

  1. #1
    vectra's Avatar
    vectra is offline Member
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    Default grammar mistake

    Hello, everyone out there!
    Could you find a mistake in the following sentence, please: Surveys note however, that the elderly are frequent victims of certain types of crimes, like purse-snatching.
    It is from TOEFL.

    And could you, please, explain the difference between maybe and may be.

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: grammar mistake

    Hello Vectra

    I would rewrite the sentence as follows:

    1. Surveys note, however, that the elderly are frequent victims of certain types of crime, like purse-snatching.

    i.e. with a comma after "note", and with "crime" in the singular.

    "Maybe" is an adverb; you use it when you're not sure if something is true or will happen, e.g.

    2. Maybe I'll go for a drink tonight. [I'm not sure if I will go for a drink.]
    3. Is that the girl you went out with yesterday? Well, maybe... [I'm not sure if it's the girl I went out with yesterday.]

    "May be" is verbal, e.g.

    4. She may be the girl I saw yesterday.
    5. I may be going for a drink tonight.

    MrP

  3. #3
    vectra's Avatar
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    Default Re: grammar mistake a thank you letter

    Thank you ever so much for your help, Mr Pedantic!
    The thing is I used to do a lot of interpreting aтв translating when I worked as the international officer of the Liberal party of Ukraine. I worked in London in 1995. For the last ten years I have been teaching English at University. The question I posted just got me. Now I can explain these sticking points to my students.

    Yours,

    Sergei Polovin
    Ukraine

  4. #4
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: grammar mistake

    Hello Vectra

    On reflection, it occurs to me that a very strict teacher might dislike the use of "like" in the example, and replace it with "such as".

    Good luck with the students!

    MrP

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