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  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.)
  16. Barb_D

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

    This is called the subjunctive. You can read more about it in many places, including here: Subjunctive Mood There certainly are rules -- even rules that native speakers don't understand very well!
  17. Barb_D

    weather, weathers

    I thought I remember reading that in the UK, weathers can be plural. We've been having all types of weathers lately. (First it snowed, then it was unseasonably warm, now we have to go find an ark because it won't stop raining, etc.) (Actually, that describes my weather in March, but that's just...
  18. Barb_D

    Got / has got/ has gotten - US & UK

    Hi everyone, I know that the have/got/gotten works differently on the two sides of the pond. However, I have a mental block when it comes to understanding the UK forms. I thought if I asked here for native British speakers to tell me what they would say for the following, I might finally get...