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  1. #1
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    Default Burn the midnight oil

    Dear Teachers, please help again:

    1. Which is correct?
    (1). Last night we burnt the midnight oil, preparing the Nativity scene for the Christmas celebration in which Mr. Smith's daughter will play the Virgin Mary.
    (2). Last night we burnt the midnight oil preparing the Nativity scene for the Christmas celebration in which Mr. Smith's daughter will play the Virgin Mary.

    2. Landed or landing?
    (1). Typhoon Lucy's bark is worse than its bite. The gusts of wind sounded furious, but caused no damage when it finally landed in Taitung.
    (2). Typhoon Lucy's bark is worse than its bite. The gusts of wind sounded furious, but caused no damage when finally landing in Taitung.
    Would you please explain your choice?

    3. Today's "Dear Abby" column in San Jose Mercury News:
    "We live in a small rural area, and most of our congregation are simple, modest folk. "
    Should it be "folks?"

    Thank you very much and have a nice weekend.

    BMO

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    1- I'd say both are correct. It depends on personal taste. I'd put the comma in if I felt that the explanation was less important than the burning of the midnight oil.

    2 I'd say 'bark was worse than its bite' and I'd use the first, but I'd cchange 'it' to'they' as you're talking about the gusts, plural.

    3 No. In BE 'folks' is not used much, but we say 'my folks' for parents. In general, the plural doesn't inflect.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    1- I'd say both are correct. It depends on personal taste. I'd put the comma in if I felt that the explanation was less important than the burning of the midnight oil.

    Thanks, how about a comma before "in which?" Thanks for the explanation of folk vs. folks. Now I know. BMO

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Again it depends- if it is defining what it comes after, then there is no comma. If you adding extra information, put a comma in.

    The town in which I was born is in the north of England.

    This town, in which I was born, is lovely.


  5. #5
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    Thanks. Have a nice weekend. BMO

  6. #6
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    U 2

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