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    #1

    several grammar questions (2)

    Dear teachers,

    1) How would you qualify this time of genitive, please? Which "title" would you give it? Is it some sort of "human activities"? but I don't really like this.
    love's spirit, science's influence, my life's aim, duty's call .


    2) Which tenses would you use in the following sentences and why?
    a) Weather conditions have improved/improved (?) during the the last few days.

    - Is it possible to say "the weather conditions" or is it definitely wrong?
    - can we say "during the last days" = without "few"?

    b)There has been / was (?) a real fall (?) in that town's population over/during (?) the last decade.

    c)He should him that he doesn't have the time / time (?) to pick up the children from/at (?) school.

    - Would you please tell me if the article here is obligatory and why?
    - which preposition should be used? are both possible?

    3) “Did youdobothmathsexercises?Thefirstwaseasier than the second.” “That's right, the first was the easier of the two.”

    - Is the "M" of math capitalized ? + should we say "math" or "maths" (with “s” = Br. Eng ; without « s » = Am. Eng ?)

    - Would you please tell me when one should use “both” and “the two”? Is it wrong to say “did you do the two maths exercises...” and “the first was the easier of both” ?


    4) My mother left on her holiday/vacation (correct?)/ went on holiday(s?)/vacation a few weeks ago.

    5) I have to pick her up at/from (?) the airport on her return / when she arrives (correct?).

    Many thanks,
    Hela

  1. Neillythere's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: several grammar questions (2)

    I'm not a teacher, but:

    1.
    The "Genitive" case of a noun means the possessive case i.e. love's spirit means "the spirit of love". "John's pen" means the pen that belongs to John.
    It has no connection with "genital", if that is what you thought.
    Other cases of nouns/pronouns are typically:
    "Nominative" (He/She) for the subject of a verb.
    "Acusative" (him/her) for the object of a verb and with prepositions in English
    (plus, in some languages, a separate "Dative" and/or "Ablative" used with prepositions and
    "Vocative", used when addressing someone, as in "Oh! Caesar" - nearest equivalent in Arabic would probably be "Saeedi" as in "Dear Sir").

    2a) I would tend to use "have improved" for the immediate past and "improved" over a previous period..

    I would have no problems with "the weather conditions"
    I would only have used "during the last days" in the context of, say, "during the last days of the month", but I would probably have included the word "few" even then. Basically, it needs a qualifier.
    2b) Similarly, I would have used "has been/over" for the recent past period and "was/during" for a specific earlier period (say the 80's)
    2c) "He should him"?
    Time/the time could be interchangeable, but, in using "the" with the children, I would tand to leave out the "the" before time, to avoid repeating the same word too many times in a sentence - it's just my style. I would also only use "from" rather than "at" in this context, because of the "not having time" aspect and "from" implying motion rather than position.
    3
    No - maths does not need to be capitalised.
    Your comment about American vs British English is correct. The term "math" grates on me!
    "both" demands a qualifier such as "both A & B", You wouldn't say "the first was the easier of both A & B", but you would say "... of the two"
    4.
    I wouldn't have a problem with any of the suggestions, except I would probably leave out the "her", as she wouldn't be leaving on anyone else's holiday etc.
    5. This is the other side of 2c), where there is no timing concept involved, so all forms would be OK by me.
    Last edited by Neillythere; 19-Mar-2008 at 21:44. Reason: correction to Vocative comment

  2. RonBee's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: several grammar questions (2)

    Quote Originally Posted by hela View Post
    c)He should him that he doesn't have the time / time (?) to pick up the children from/at (?) school.
    Most likely:
    He should tell him that he doesn't have time to pick up the children from school.

  3. RonBee's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: several grammar questions (2)

    Quote Originally Posted by hela View Post
    5) I have to pick her up at/from (?) the airport on her return / when she arrives (correct?).

    I have to pick her up at the airport on her return or when she arrives (either one).

    ~R

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    #5

    Re: several grammar questions (2)

    Thank you for your replies.

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