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  1. #1

    questions about word usage

    hi,

    here are my questions below:

    1)stuff
    all that stuff is mine(or all those stuff are mine)?
    (when the casher was ringing up my groceries such as sugar, apples , a watermelon and a bunch of bananas, I told her that ......... .

    2) could and might ( I always be confusing could with might , how can I use them correctly and properly ?)

    3) a. I told her but she wouldn't believe me
    b. I told her but she didn't believe me
    Why use wouldn't there ?

    4) in a while or for a while ?
    I haven't seen you ......... .

  2. #2
    RonBee's Avatar
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    1. Say: "All that stuff is mine." ("Stuff" as a noun is plural.)
    2. Sometimes either could be used. (But in the previous sentence we wouldn't say might instead of could.) "It could happen" means there is a possibility that the thing will happen, and in that sentence we could use "might" instead of "could" with "might" indicating a greater likelihood that "it" would happen.
    3. "She wouldn't believe" is more indicative of a refusal to believe than "She didn't believe", but the result is the same. :)
    4. Use "in a while" to indicate the time that has passed between events and "for a while" to indicate the duration of an event.

    :)

  3. #3
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RonBee
    1. Say: "All that stuff is mine." ("Stuff" as a noun is plural.)
    2. Sometimes either could be used. (But in the previous sentence we wouldn't say might instead of could.) "It could happen" means there is a possibility that the thing will happen, and in that sentence we could use "might" instead of "could" with "might" indicating a greater likelihood that "it" would happen.
    3. "She wouldn't believe" is more indicative of a refusal to believe than "She didn't believe", but the result is the same. :)
    4. Use "in a while" to indicate the time that has passed between events and "for a while" to indicate the duration of an event.

    :)
    Erm...You may want to edit the first line. "Stuff" is singular. :wink:

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork
    Quote Originally Posted by RonBee
    1. Say: "All that stuff is mine." ("Stuff" as a noun is plural.)
    2. Sometimes either could be used. (But in the previous sentence we wouldn't say might instead of could.) "It could happen" means there is a possibility that the thing will happen, and in that sentence we could use "might" instead of "could" with "might" indicating a greater likelihood that "it" would happen.
    3. "She wouldn't believe" is more indicative of a refusal to believe than "She didn't believe", but the result is the same. :)
    4. Use "in a while" to indicate the time that has passed between events and "for a while" to indicate the duration of an event.

    :)
    Erm...You may want to edit the first line. "Stuff" is singular. :wink:
    Technically, yes--perhaps. But nobody says "Is this your stuffs?" or "That's my stuffs", do they? Instead, they say, "That's my stuff." And is "stuff" ever used to refer to just one thing?

    Do you know the George Carlin bit where he says that what a house is is a place to keep your stuff? And when you travel somewhere you take a small version of your stuff with you? He was using "stuff" as a plural. Definitely.

    :)

  5. #5
    RonBee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork
    Quote Originally Posted by RonBee
    1. Say: "All that stuff is mine." ("Stuff" as a noun is plural.)
    2. Sometimes either could be used. (But in the previous sentence we wouldn't say might instead of could.) "It could happen" means there is a possibility that the thing will happen, and in that sentence we could use "might" instead of "could" with "might" indicating a greater likelihood that "it" would happen.
    3. "She wouldn't believe" is more indicative of a refusal to believe than "She didn't believe", but the result is the same. :)
    4. Use "in a while" to indicate the time that has passed between events and "for a while" to indicate the duration of an event.

    :)
    Erm...You may want to edit the first line. "Stuff" is singular. :wink:
    Technically, yes--perhaps. But nobody says "Is this your stuffs?" or "That's my stuffs", do they? Instead, they say, "That's my stuff." And is "stuff" ever used to refer to just one thing?

    Do you know the George Carlin bit where he says that what a house is is a place to keep your stuff? And when you travel somewhere you take a small version of your stuff with you? He was using "stuff" as a plural. Definitely.

    :)

  6. #6
    >2) could and might ( I always be confusing could with might , how can I use them correctly and properly ?)

    Could indicate bigger possibility than might.

  7. #7
    >2) could and might ( I always be confusing could with might , how can I use them correctly and properly ?)

    Could indicate bigger possibility than might.

  8. #8
    RonBee's Avatar
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    Could and might both indicate possibility, but might indicates (possibly) a stronger probability.

    :)

  9. #9
    RonBee's Avatar
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    Could and might both indicate possibility, but might indicates (possibly) a stronger probability.

    :)

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by RonBee
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork
    Quote Originally Posted by RonBee
    1. Say: "All that stuff is mine." ("Stuff" as a noun is plural.)
    2. Sometimes either could be used. (But in the previous sentence we wouldn't say might instead of could.) "It could happen" means there is a possibility that the thing will happen, and in that sentence we could use "might" instead of "could" with "might" indicating a greater likelihood that "it" would happen.
    3. "She wouldn't believe" is more indicative of a refusal to believe than "She didn't believe", but the result is the same. :)
    4. Use "in a while" to indicate the time that has passed between events and "for a while" to indicate the duration of an event.

    :)
    Erm...You may want to edit the first line. "Stuff" is singular. :wink:
    Technically, yes--perhaps. But nobody says "Is this your stuffs?" or "That's my stuffs", do they? Instead, they say, "That's my stuff." And is "stuff" ever used to refer to just one thing?

    Do you know the George Carlin bit where he says that what a house is is a place to keep your stuff? And when you travel somewhere you take a small version of your stuff with you? He was using "stuff" as a plural. Definitely.

    :)
    I agree that "stuff" is uncountable and has no plural in that context, but as a subject, it takes a singular verb.

    Your stuff is falling on the floor.
    My stuff is here.

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