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  #1 (permalink)  
Unread Aug 21st, 2010, 05:23 am
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Default grammar

Hello all,
I have a few problems with these sentences. They are all about grammatical points in English. I want you to find the incorrect underlined word and please tell me why it is not correct.
Thanks a million

1.Although fewer American work on farms today, they are too productive that the U.S is now the world’s top food exporter.
2.In 1829, James Smithson set aside money for creating of the Smithsonian institute.
3.Recognition for Herman Melville did not come until more than thirty years afterward his death in 1891.
4.In 1875, the American philosopher William James founded what was probable the world’s first psychology laboratory.
5.Wind erodes the land by picking up grains of sand and hurling it against rocks.
6.Limestone long has been quarried for to use as a building stone.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Unread Aug 21st, 2010, 11:16 am
Sue
 
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Default Re: grammar

This sounds like your homework - is it? This a website mainly for teachers - and rule number one for teachers is not to do students homework for them but to teach them how to do it themselves. So here are some pointers that should let you work the first three out. I've given the rules for all the underlined words/expressions in each sentence - you decide which ones are used correctly and which incorrectly in each sentence.

1. a) "Although" is used in subordinate clauses; "but" joins two main clauses.

b) "fewer" is used with plural, countable nouns - eg problems, dogs, questions; "less" is used with uncountables - eg time, money, milk

c) "too" means "excessively" - ie it's a bad thing. For example : I'm not going out - it's too cold; "so" means "extremely" but may be positive or negative - ie I could say It's so cold! but also He's so kind! Combined with a non-finite clause, "too" is followed by an infinitive - It's too cold to go out - and "so" by that +SVC : It was so cold that we decided not to go out.

d) "top" has the basic meaning "positioned above the others". This may be literal - ie describing physical position, or figurative - ie meaning most important

2. a) In is used with periods of time - eg In the summer/ In March. "On" is used (amongst other things) to describe specific days : On Tuesday, on my birthday; At is used (amongst other things) to describe specific times : at 5 o'clock.

b) The verb set is unchanging between the base form, past form and past participle - ie set, set set. The phrasal verb "set aside" means "put to one side" or "allocate/reserve for a particular purpose".

c) When describing purpose, "for" is always followed by a noun : I'm going to London for a meeting. This could be rephrased using (to + infinitive) as I'm going to London to see John.

d) The article is not usually used with names in English : eg I work for Microsoft in Germany, not *I work for Microsoft. However it is used when the name consists of an adjective + noun : I went to the Guggenheim Museum when I was in the United States.

3) a) Google "recognition for Herman" - can you find the preposition "for" used like this?

b) "did not come" is the negative past form. It is used for events which are completely past eg I didn't live here in 2005. Compare that with eg the present perfect which is used for events which are both past and present - eg I've lived here for 3 years ( eg 2008 and 2009, so in the past but also 2010 so in the present)

c) "not ... until" means "not ... up to a certain time - eg We arrived on Wednesday, but John didn't join us until Friday

d) "after" can be a preposition which is followed by a noun - after lunch; after the meeting. "Afterwards" is an adverb and means "after the time just mentioned". Compare : After lunch, we went back to work. / We had lunch, and afterwards we went back to work - ie here afterwards = after lunch

That should allow you to work out the first three. Tell us what you think are the correct answers, and then I'll come back and explain the others (without making you work it out this time!)
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  #3 (permalink)  
Unread Aug 22nd, 2010, 05:28 am
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Default Re: grammar

Thank you so much due to your complete explanations. But you know, I am studying for Toefl exam and these are some questions of structure that I really got confused because my own answer is one thing but the book’s reply to them is something else. I give you my own answers and the book’s but I beg you to give me your own answer with the enough explanation.
Thank you.
1. My own answer: top (should be : toppest) book: too
2. I found no problem book: creating
3. I found no problem book: afterward
4. In my idea this sentence has two problems (probable / psychology) but in the book just (probable) is taken as an incorrect word.
5. My own answer: wind ( it should be : the wind) book: hurling
6. I think again this has two problems: (long) as an adjective should come before (limestone) and ( for to use) should be in passive form : (for to be used) but the book has just taken (long ) as the incorrect answer.
Please help me with these problems that have involved my mind for a few days. I will appreciate your help.
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  #4 (permalink)  
Unread Aug 22nd, 2010, 08:30 am
Sue
 
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Default Re: grammar

Hi excellency,

Oh OK - in that case no problem with the explanations. Here we go ...

1. Top is correct. Think about it. If something is "top" then it's already at the extreme point of a scale. Turning it into a superlative would make no sense - you can't go higher than the top. Top means "highest/most important". Too, on the other hand, is incorrect for both the reasons I gave : semantically the idea that follows is a positive idea, not a negative one - the writer is saying that it's good, not bad. And syntactically remember it would have to be too (adjective) + to/infinitive, or so + that SVC. here you've got that + SVC, so it must be so. So he book is correct.

2. Again the book is correct. I said : When describing purpose, "for" is always followed by a noun : I'm going to London for a meeting. This could be rephrased using (to + infinitive) as I'm going to London to see John. So here, the sentence would have to be : ... for the creation of ...

3. The book is correct for exactly the reason I gave : afterwards (note the s) is an adverb, not a preposition. The sentence should be : ...and after his death...

4. "psychology is fine - it forms a compound noun with "laboratory". Other examples - a psychology course, a psychology student, a psychology textbook. The incorrect word is "probable" which is an adjective. Here you need the adverb, "probably".

5. "The wind" would be an alternative but "wind" is also possible. Remeber that "the" expresses a specific object. So if the writer had in mind the wind which is common in that area s/he would use "the". If, on the other hand, s/he was thinking about wind in general - any wind - then s/he would omit the article. Remember that grammar just gives us a way of expressing different meanings - the choice of which meaning we want to express is up to us. Try this thread for a detailed explanation.

However, I think here that either you've made a mistake in copying the sentence, or there is actually a mistake in the book. The mistake is "it". The pronouns must refer to "grains" - plural. So it should be "them" not "it". Hurling is fine.

6. You're right that the position of "long" is wrong - but it should be : Limestone has long been quarried ... See this thread for a full explanation of the position of adverbs with auxiliary and main verbs.

You're right though that there's a second mistake - but your correction is also wrong: "for to" is never possible. There are two possible correct versions of this sentence :
a) for + noun (as above in 2) : ...quarried for use as...
b) to + passive verb : ...quarried to be used as...

And quite honestly "building stone " sounds odd to me too. I'd say "building material". But I Googled it and it exists. It's a technical term - a bit tough as an item in a general purpose test, I'd say.

Hope that helps. Check back to the book and see if you copied things down wrongly. If not, then there are errors in the book - it obviously hasn't been proof-read and edited very well.

Sue
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  #5 (permalink)  
Unread Aug 26th, 2010, 05:44 am
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Default Re: grammar

thanks susan,..
its very useful grammar lesson it is very helpful for others,.. thanks
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  #6 (permalink)  
Unread Sep 16th, 2010, 02:00 am
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Default Re: grammar

hi susan53,...
its very nice lesson of grimmer,...my grammar was very poor its very helpful one,...fraggle rock dvd set

Last edited by lipard : Sep 18th, 2010 at 12:03 am.
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