Results 1 to 3 of 3
  1. #1
    Ju is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Hong Kong
      • Current Location:
      • Hong Kong
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    1,317
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default can/could, report writing, 1st,2nd,3rd person, tinkering

    What are the differences in meaning of the following sentences?

    1) The task could be completed in 2 days.
    2) The task can be completed in 2 days.
    __________________________________________________ _______

    Shall I use past tense always for report writing regardless the fact mentioned ? (eg. a man called Sam who is alive in reality.)

    "I told May not to cry because Sam is still alive." ,or,
    "I told May not to cry because Sam was still alive."
    __________________________________________________ _________

    Following are the extracts from a English Grammer book.

    1) 'Shall' expresses the future tense when used for the first person,
    singular and plural.
    2) 'Will' expresses the future tense when used for the second and third
    persons, singular and plural.

    What does it mean of first ,second and third person ?
    __________________________________________________ _________
    "As a boy he would always be tinkering with something."

    1) What does it mean of 'tinkering' here?
    2) Is it OK and what are the difference in meaning if I put a comma
    behind "As a boy"?
    __________________________________________________ ________

    Thanks / ju

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Philippines
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    42,773
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: can/could, report writing, 1st,2nd,3rd person, tinkering

    1 The degree of certainty- there might be conditions that need to be met in the first or even no possibility of it being done.

    2 You don't have to- you can use the present for facts and things that don't change or when something is known to be the same. Here, I'd use the present if Sam's being alive were important at the time of speaking- if, say, there had been an accident and Sam was in hospital. At a distance from the event, I would probably change it.

    3
    First person: I/we
    Second person: you
    Third person: he/she/it
    Person - Glossary Definition - UsingEnglish.com

    By the way, that's possibly a bit of an old grammar book- the rule doesn't hold true in the US, where 'shall' isn't used much at all, or the UK, where 'shall' is used, but rarely in that way. In a discussion here, I read that the rule is still taught in South Asia but don't know how widely it is used.

    4) Playing with, fiddling, adjusting, especially mechanical/electronic things

  3. #3
    Charlie Bernstein is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    1,003
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: can/could, report writing, 1st,2nd,3rd person, tinkering

    Quote Originally Posted by Ju View Post
    What are the differences in meaning of the following sentences?

    1) The task could be completed in 2 days. Depending on context, it means can, might, or might, under certain conditions.
    2) The task can be completed in 2 days. No doubt about it!
    __________________________________________________ _______

    Shall I use past tense always for report writing regardless the fact mentioned ? (eg. a man called Sam who is alive in reality.)

    "I told May not to cry because Sam is still alive." ,or,
    "I told May not to cry because Sam was still alive."

    Both are good grammar. If Sam is alive when you write this, use is. If you mean he was alive at the time you talked with May, use was.
    __________________________________________________ _________

    Following are the extracts from a English Grammer book.

    1) 'Shall' expresses the future tense when used for the first person,
    singular and plural.
    2) 'Will' expresses the future tense when used for the second and third
    persons, singular and plural.

    What does it mean of first ,second and third person ?

    You need to know this. It's basic.

    First person, present tense: I am, we are.
    Second person, present tense: You are, you are.
    Third person, present tense: He is, she is, it is, they are.
    __________________________________________________ _________
    "As a boy he would always be tinkering with something."

    1) What does it mean of 'tinkering' here? It means: Open your dictionary!

    2) Is it OK and what are the difference in meaning if I put a comma
    behind "As a boy"?

    A comma there is good. It's not required, because the clause is short and the meaning without a comma is still clear. It means the same thing either way.

    __________________________________________________ ________

    Thanks / ju
    You're welcome!

Similar Threads

  1. Where to start improving my English writing
    By Callisto in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 12-Feb-2010, 06:32
  2. editing
    By hashem in forum Editing & Writing Topics
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 15-Jan-2008, 00:52
  3. Address of person you are writing
    By SassyL8dy in forum Letter Writing
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 19-Jul-2007, 00:17
  4. report writing and exposition
    By Maminaa in forum Editing & Writing Topics
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 13-Jan-2007, 23:25
  5. Proper terms of expressions/phrases
    By Piak in forum General Language Discussions
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 21-Feb-2003, 18:26

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •