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    at the beginner level

    Would you please explain to me the difference in article use in the examples above?
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    the someone else approached in hi-vis

    It was a smooth and pleasant journey to Brighton, although on arrival the icy conductor didn’t mess about waiting for someone on the platform and instead used the onboard ramps, perhaps to save time, despite the fact they are mean to use the station ramps. After a lovely day in Brighton I headed...
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    I won't work for them again like I did before

    I won't work for them again like I did before (= I used to work for them, but I won't do that again). (my example) 1) Is the sentence correct? 2) If it's correct, does it provide the intended sense? Or, would it be read as I won't work for them the way I did before?
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    there was no lupus specialist available at hospital.

    Here's an example of in hospital from another NHS site: Does it differ from at hospital in meaning? Could it be that your stay in hospital has a more narrow sense of one being in the building and receiving medical treatment, whereas at hospital has a wider sense and includes all services the...
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    there was no lupus specialist available at hospital.

    1) She could not recall the attack when questioned after surgery at hospital. ( 2) Due to complications, including a 5 day labour, she had to have a C Section at hospital. ( 3) As it was a weekend, there was no lupus specialist available at hospital...
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    New York Town

    New York Town is a 1941 American romantic comedy film directed by Charles Vidor and starring Fred MacMurray, Mary Martin, Akim Tamiroff, and Robert Preston. Victor Ballard (Fred MacMurray) is a poor but happy-go-lucky New York sidewalk photographer who shares a studio apartment with a painter...
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    I ought to know who I am

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    I ought to know who I am

    Here's a scene from Alice in Wonderland (2010) I'm particularly interested in the following passage: Caterpillar: Who are you? Alice: I'm Alice. Caterpillar: We shall see. Alice: What do you mean by that? I ought to know who I am. Caterpillar: Yes, you ought, stupid girl. 1) Does...
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    What is the date today? (subject)

    Usually the question's subject can be easily found in the full answer: What is her name? -> Her name is Jane. The full answer to What is the date today? could be either (a) Today is September 1st or (b) Today's date is September 1st. My questions: 1) What's the question's subject, the date...
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    a linking 'r' vs linking 'r'

    Would you please help me understand the use of articles with r in the following passage from The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language by R. Huddleston (I numbered all the uses of r in the passage): I understand the green ones and don’t understand the red ones. Why does the author vary...
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    The potato contains vitamin C and amino acids.

    I'd like to share with you several paragraphs from this article I would really appreciate it if you would find time to read them and help me understand why the...
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    to have desire vs to have a desire

    1. She added that she does "not have desire to interact with or communicate in any way with Mr. Sweet". (Independent) 2. Every day we do crossing and finishing and we have to have desire to get the ball in the box. (BBC) 3. But both have a desire to communicate as directly as they can. (The New...
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    had been vs used to be

    1. Lasch argued that the second world war, together with the consumer culture of the 1950s, had sponsored a “culture of narcissism” that was now threatening traditional red-state American individualism. “Trust yourself” had been a powerful message addressed to middle America, but it was not...
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    Travel and More

    I'm reading a blog in Russian whose main topic is travel, but it also includes posts about music, fashion, etc. Its title can be literally translated as Travel and Not Only (= not only travel). I understand that not only is not an option. So I am wondering how to translate it better: Travel and...
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    Must we stay to the end?

    Here's an excerpt from The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language by Huddleston and Pullum (p. 205): My questions: 1. Why should must be used in the positive answer to 'Need we stay to the end?'? Would need be wrong? 2. Would 'don't have to' be also possible in the negative answer?
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    I will paint the wall in two days

    1. I will paint the wall in two days. Today's Monday. I will paint the wall on Wednesday. 2a. I painted the wall in two days. 2b. I painted the wall for two days. I took me two days to paint the wall. Is that correct? What's the difference between 2a and 2b?
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    How powerful do you need the/zero computers to be?

    There are three types of indefinite noun phrases in English: 1. Generic A computer is a useful tool for work. Computers are useful tools for work. 2. Non-specific I need a powerful computer for my job. I need powerful computers for my job. (I don't have any particular computer(s) in...
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    How strong coffee does he like? vs How strong does he like coffee?

    This thread is inspired by Tarheel's reply here: ( ) It caught my attention because we would put hardware right after powerful in Russian. Likewise, we can turn "He likes very strong coffee"...
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    of a generation

    1. "RIP the great Garry Shandling," Gervais tweeted on Thursday." Surely one of the most influential comedians of a generation". (The Guardian) 2. But the problem is not the expression of opinions, it's how they come out. Outrage has become the lingua franca of a generation. Soon it may be the...
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    I will occasionally have an argument

    I will occasionally have an argument with my four year old about the size of microbes. (starts at the 43th sec) What exactly does will add to the meaning of the utterance? It seems to combine the fourth and the ninth meanings given in The Longman...