Recent content by Barb_D

  1. Barb_D

    See why commas keep us from being savages!
  2. Barb_D

    Helpful preposition pairings

  3. Barb_D

    Holy verb string, Batman!

    Yesterday, I said I was having a working lunch off site and would go home afterwards to take my 2 pm conference call. But our lunch meeting ran long. I need 45 minutes to get home. By 1:30, I knew I'd have to go back to my office for the 2 pm call instead of trying to get home. My coworker said...
  4. Barb_D

    Differences between hope and want

    Okay, I came across a grammar thing that I can't figure out. She wants a pony. -- No problem - "wants" is a transitive verb and "a pony" is clearly a noun phrase, the object of "wants." All good. She wants to visit Italy. -- Starting to get confused. "to visit Italy" is... what? it has to act...
  5. Barb_D

    And a bit of English dies...

    Scottish Man Dies, Taking Town's Dialect With Him - ABC News
  6. Barb_D

    If he wants to

    Okay, so you know I hate giving things labels, but is the "to" in "if he want to" a preposition or part of the implied infinitive that is left out? She can go if she wants to. (Implied - if she wants to go) Usually I don't care, but after a snarky comment about "not ending a sentence with a...
  7. Barb_D

    Commonly confused words

    My sister, who has a job similar to mine, sent me this link. Hope you enjoy: 10 everyday words that are often misused | Articles
  8. Barb_D

    Passive, past perfect continuous

    This morning, I spontaneously created a sentence using the passive past perfect continuous. We were talking about the new movie about chimpanzees. I had heard an interview with the filmmaker and he was talking about scientists who had been studying the same, um... troop? tribe? flock? group of...
  9. Barb_D

    A Required Reading List

    My daughter is 12, and she does not have a required reading list for the summer from school. So, her mom is going to provide her with one. I'd like to give her a list of six books and have her read four of them over the summer. She's a good reader, but she's 12... so appropriate subject...
  10. Barb_D

    Rubbish - BrE

    Hi British English speakers (and former colonies too), We rarely use "rubbish" here, and I don't have enough interaction with native BrE speakers to know how it's used in contexts other than referring to actual trash/garbage/refuse. I heard a child talking about a holiday he was not impressed...
  11. Barb_D

    Creative instead of bad words

    I loved this article. No more cussing? Oh my sainted aunt! Oh my star and garters!
  12. Barb_D

    False Friends

    Anyone who has ever been embarrassed or amused by using or hearing a "false friend" in speech (or who fears such embarrassment) might enjoy this article: False Friends: Diverting Traffic in the Language Classroom : Teachers at Work : Thinkmap Visual Thesaurus
  13. Barb_D

    Green Thumb

    Someone with a green thumb can grow plants easily. Plants flourish under the care of such a person. (A black thumb is someone who manages to kill all their plants, despite their best efforts. )
  14. Barb_D

    suck eggs

    I came across this fascinating turn of phrase in another post: Is this the same as "preaching to the choir"? Telling people what they already know? Thanks in advance for teaching me a new bit of slang.
  15. Barb_D

    'If I were' or 'If I was'?

    Yes, the subjunctive "were" applies to third-person singular as well as first-person singular. (You can't hear it in second person singular or the plural forms, because it's the same word either way.)