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  1. T

    With the airm at/of

    The following sentence is taken from a newspaper: PUTRAJAYA, July 10 — The ‘Greater Klang Valley’ special task force was established with the aim at strengthening health system preparedness in the Klang Valley in managing the Covid-19 pandemic...
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    ladies' toilet or women's toilet

    Which is more common - ladies' toilet or women's toilet?
  3. T

    Apostrophe 's' after name ending with 's'

    This is a headline from a local newspaper: Which is correct - Thomas' book or Thomas's book?
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    Teluk Nipah Resort - A Case Study (Synopsis)

    The following is the synopsis of a case study of a local authority dealing with illegal stall operators along the beach (read squatters) and associated environmental problems in a village in Pangkor, a tropical island in Malaysia, written by a friend. The article is meant for the reader to come...
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    Come or coming

    Is the caption in the attached poster grammatical and natural? Rains or rain? Coming or come?
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    I love a sunrise

    The attached poster is done by a friend - as one of his morning greetings on our Whatsapp group every morning. His English is good but I am not sure if his message is grammatical this time. Should there be an indefinite article before "sunrise"? It doesn't sound natural to me. What about "for...
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    I am not sure how to understand it

    The sentence is taken from Good Taste's thread, which he has been using in other threads as well. I have sought comment from Piscean but he must have overlooked it. "How to understand something" doesn't sound right to me. Does it to you?
  8. T

    Tires of/is tired of

    The following sentence is taken from a "Learn English" series in a Chinese newspaper: The official never tires of bragging that he and the tycoon are good friends. I am not sure if the word "tires" is natural, or should it be used in the passive form viz. " never tired of...".
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    Gather and Congregagte

    A group of friends gather/congregate at the hall for a dinner party. Is there any difference between using the two words or can the words be used interchangeably? I thought that "congregate" is used for bigger, more formal gatherings like those in a church.
  10. T

    Commemorative Booklet

    A group of about 40 old school classmates who are turning sixty are organizing a birthday dinner/party to celebrate everyone's birthday and as a reunion. Some have been in touch while others have not met for 40 years. They are planning to do a booklet to commemorate the occasion and as a...
  11. T

    work day and working day

    It is not a weekend or public holiday today. It is a ..... day. What should the word be - work or working? What is the difference between the two?
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    Fellowship - equivalent word

    I am looking for an equivalent word for "fellowship" in the context of a gathering of relatives, some related by blood and some related by marriage. Fellowship is the word used for a gathering of people with a common interest, eg. with a common hobby or church-goers. There are also camaraderie...
  13. T

    the passing of Mr xxx/the passing on of Mr xxx

    When somebody passes away and you wish to inform others about the news, do you refer to it as "the passing of Mr. xxxx" or "the passing on of Mr. xxx"? Or can the two be used interchangeably?
  14. T

    am reaching/will arrive

    A tells B to pick her up from the train station tomorrow. A : What time shall I come to pick you up? B : I will arrive at the train station at 3.00 pm tomorrow. OR B : I will be reaching the train station at 3.00 pm tomorrow. Is there any difference between the two replies?
  15. T

    Why can't the dropper draw the water?

    The above is a question from a local science exam. A dropper is short glass tube with a rubber bulb at one end and a tiny hole at the other, for measuring out drops of liquids. Is the question grammatical? I thought contraction of words should not be used in formal English especially in an...
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    seen in close-up/seen as a close-up

    Is the above sentence grammatically correct? Or should it be "seen as a close-up" and "seen as a long-shot"? Isn't an article necessary before "close-up and "long-shot"?
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    Grammar mistake

    "Grammar" is a noun. The adjective is "grammatical", so we have "grammatical mistake". I have also heard of "grammar mistake". I think it is correct, just need to confirm.
  18. T

    person on life support system

    What do you call a person/patient who is in a hospital and is relying permanently on life support system?
  19. T


    1. If I asked you to take me there, would you? 2. If I asked you to take me there, will you? 3. If I ask you to take me there, will you? 4. If I ask you to take me there, would you? Are all the above sentences okay?
  20. T

    First/second or Firstly/secondly

    I have come across essays where points are presented in a numerical order. At the start of the paragraph, is it correct to write: First, ......? Or should it be: Firstly, .... ? (which I am used to) There are also people who write: First off, .... Which is correct? I wouldn't number the points...