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Re: I have some questions

Posted: 2014-02-08, 19:47
by LifeDeath
I want to make a speech about stupid ways to make food. I want to use the word "strange" but I don't know how (I need use only this one).
What is correct?
"The strangest way to make food" or "The most strange way to make food"
Whas is the difference between theese? :?:
(Instead of "food" there will be other kinf of it (coffee, tea, meat, fish) )

Re: I have some questions

Posted: 2014-02-08, 20:03
by Levike
I believe the first option is okay, while the second is simply wrong.

But then I'm not a native speaker so I might be wrong.

Re: I have some questions

Posted: 2014-02-08, 20:33
by Lazar Taxon
LifeDeath wrote:"The strangest way to make food" or "The most strange way to make food"
You have to use the first option. As a general rule, adjectives which consist of one syllable (like "strange") or which end in "-y" (like "happy") use the "-er" and "-est" suffixes, while other adjectives use "more" and "most".

Re: I have some questions

Posted: 2014-02-08, 20:52
by LifeDeath
Thank you!
The second one is wrong?
I'm asking it because when I start type in a google the second one, I see appearing of the much options, all of them are incorrect?

Re: I have some questions

Posted: 2014-02-08, 21:03
by linguoboy
Levente wrote:I believe the first option is okay, while the second is simply wrong.

But then I'm not a native speaker so I might be wrong.

As a native speaker, I disagree that only "strangest" is acceptable. But I'm part of the camp that believes that if it was good enough for Shakespeare ( "It seems to me most strange that men should fear[.]"--Julius Caesar), then it's good enough for me.

Google "most strange" and you'll find plenty of examples from living native speakers. Several represent the same somewhat archaic usage typified above, often utilising the "[noun] most [adjective]" construction made famous through the title of the 1964 Miss Marple film Murder Most Foul. But others do not (e.g. "What do you find about this plan most strange?" from The Da Vinci Code).

Re: I have some questions

Posted: 2014-02-09, 18:16
by LifeDeath
Thank you.
What option is correct?
"make tea" or make a tea"

Re: I have some questions

Posted: 2014-02-09, 18:51
by linguoboy
LifeDeath wrote:Thank you.
What option is correct?
"make tea" or make a tea"

It depends on the context. "Tea" is countable when it refers to sorts of tea, non-countable otherwise. Compare:

"I want to make a tea I haven't made before. Which kind do you want to try?"
"I want to make tea for the both of us. Please tell me you'll have some."

You'll also hear "make some tea", which is more-or-less equivalent to "make tea". And also "make the tea", which can be equivalent to either, depending on the context. Compare:

"Make the tea you made last time." (The sort of tea you made last time.)
"I'll make the tea if you'll set out the jam and scones." (Some tea that both of us will share.)

It's harder to explain the nuance expressed by "the" in the last example. It suggests to me that the tea is a given: If you're going to have scones, you must have tea to accompany them. So it's in some sense a definite thing, the tea that you have with scones as opposed to just "some tea".

Re: I have some questions

Posted: 2014-02-16, 11:45
by LifeDeath
I heard another Queen song "MotherLove" and I heard lyrics "out in the city in the cold world outside". I cannot understand what is it "out in" may be correct way here is "out of" ?

Re: I have some questions

Posted: 2014-02-16, 16:04
by linguoboy
LifeDeath wrote:I heard another Queen song "MotherLove" and I heard lyrics "out in the city in the cold world outside". I cannot understand what is it "out in" may be correct way here is "out of" ?

Nope. This means roughly "away from home, but still within the city". Depending on context, "out" here could also have the connotation of "going out", i.e. engaging in nightlife.

Example from a tourist website for the City of Denver: "And remember, when you're out in the city, stop in at one of the city's conveniently located Visitor Information Centers for more day trip tips."

Re: I have some questions

Posted: 2014-02-17, 8:59
by LifeDeath
Thank you.
Now I have another question, I had to translate a small article about war from Russian to English, can anbody read it and correct all the mistakes?

"" In 1861 the war between north states and south states began. It had been going on with a big bitterness until 1865, when northerner gained their victory. But nowadays, many southerner still haven’t forgotten their defeat and haven’t forgiven northerner.
Several years ago, a group of American students walked on the battlefields of the Civil War with a guide, who was from one of the south states. In every place he told tourists stirring the imagination stories about some soldiers of south who had defeated powerful forces of the northerner.
At last, one of the tourist, women of north, stopped a guide and asked: “However, northerner must have at least one victory in the Civil War?”
“While I am guide here, madam, nope” answered guide of south. ""

Re: I have some questions

Posted: 2014-02-18, 14:59
by LifeDeath
Will anybody help me :?:

Re: I have some questions

Posted: 2014-02-18, 15:38
by linguoboy
LifeDeath wrote:"" In 1861 the War Between the States[*] began. It had been going oncontinued with a big great bitterness until 1865, when the Northerners gained their victory. But nowadays, many Southerners still haven’t forgotten their defeat and haven’t forgiven Northerners.

Several years ago, a group of American students was walking on the battlefields of the Civil War with a guide who was from one of the Southern states. Everywhere they went, he told the tourists[***] stirring the imagination stories which stirred the imagination about some soldiers of from the South[**] who had defeated powerful forces of the northernerNorth.

At last, one of the tourists, a woman of from the North, stopped athe guide and asked: “However,But the Northerners must have had at least one victory in the Civil War.
“While I am the guide here, madam, nope”[****] answered the guide of from the South.""

[*] The standard designation for the conflict is "the (American) Civil War". "The War Between the States" is a term historically popular among supporters of the Confederacy. In Confederate documents, it was called "the War between the Confederate States of America and the United States of America". Rarely, you will hear "the War between North and South"; "the war between [N]orth[ern] states and [S]outh[ern] states" is almost completely unknown. (Only 5 Google hits.) For more, see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naming_the_American_Civil_War
[**] "the North" and "the South" are proper names when they refer to regions of the USA and, as such, always capitalised. Adjectives derived from proper names are capitalised in English as well.
[***] First they were students, now they're tourists? Is that a confusion which exists in the source text as well?
[****] A much more natural way of saying this is, "Nope, not while I'm the guide here."

Re: I have some questions

Posted: 2014-02-18, 16:15
by LifeDeath
Thanks awfully!
I want to ask:
1.In the second sentence we have two actions in past and the first of them happend before the second ((1)...until 1865, when...(2)) Is it uncorrect to use past perfect here?
2."Stirring the imagination stories" Is also incorrect? Or "stories which stirred the imagination" is just better to say?

Re: I have some questions

Posted: 2014-02-18, 17:11
by linguoboy
LifeDeath wrote:1.In the second sentence we have two actions in past and the first of them happened before the second ((1)...until 1865, when...(2)) Is it incorrect to use past perfect here?

You don't need to use the past perfect simply to express that one event preceded another.

Moreover, you didn't just use the past perfect but the past perfect progressive. That puts the emphasis on the ongoing nature of the event for no good purpose that I can see. What's important is that there was a war, but it's long over now (although its effects still linger).

LifeDeath wrote:2."Stirring the imagination stories" Is also incorrect? Or "stories which stirred the imagination" is just better to say?

English doesn't allow these sorts of pre-noun inserts. You need to substitute a relative clause or a participle (i.e. "imagination-stirring"). I didn't use the second option here because I thought it would sound awkward.

Re: I have some questions

Posted: 2014-02-20, 8:06
by Dormouse559
linguoboy wrote:
Levente wrote:I believe the first option is okay, while the second is simply wrong.

But then I'm not a native speaker so I might be wrong.

As a native speaker, I disagree that only "strangest" is acceptable. But I'm part of the camp that believes that if it was good enough for Shakespeare ( "It seems to me most strange that men should fear[.]"--Julius Caesar), then it's good enough for me.

Google "most strange" and you'll find plenty of examples from living native speakers. Several represent the same somewhat archaic usage typified above, often utilising the "[noun] most [adjective]" construction made famous through the title of the 1964 Miss Marple film Murder Most Foul. But others do not (e.g. "What do you find about this plan most strange?" from The Da Vinci Code).
It is possible to use "most strange" instead of "strangest", but it has a different meaning. "Most" in "most strange" is closer to "very" or "extremely" than it is to a superlative.

Re: I have some questions

Posted: 2014-02-20, 8:17
by Lauren
Dormouse559 wrote:
linguoboy wrote:
Levente wrote:I believe the first option is okay, while the second is simply wrong.

But then I'm not a native speaker so I might be wrong.

As a native speaker, I disagree that only "strangest" is acceptable. But I'm part of the camp that believes that if it was good enough for Shakespeare ( "It seems to me most strange that men should fear[.]"--Julius Caesar), then it's good enough for me.

Google "most strange" and you'll find plenty of examples from living native speakers. Several represent the same somewhat archaic usage typified above, often utilising the "[noun] most [adjective]" construction made famous through the title of the 1964 Miss Marple film Murder Most Foul. But others do not (e.g. "What do you find about this plan most strange?" from The Da Vinci Code).
It is possible to use "most strange" instead of "strangest", but it has a different meaning. "Most" in "most strange" is closer to "very" or "extremely" than it is to a superlative.

In the quote from Shakespeare that is what it means, but it can be used as a superlative. For example:

"The most strange thing I have ever seen is..."

I would normally use "strangest". I think the only time I'd use "the most strange" is when it comes at the beginning of the sentence and I'm emphasizing of the thing in question. But even then I wouldn't always use it.

Re: I have some questions

Posted: 2014-02-24, 16:04
by LifeDeath
Hello, I prepared new questions for you to ask:

1. Is it possible using "let" in passive voice? Something like "I am let to use this mobile phone by my friend", "I rememberd I had been let to ask only one question"

2. If I want to say something like "A man has been killed by lightning" must I use "by" or "with"?
I read a rule said that if we have a deal with unalive thing, we must use "with" and "by" with alive.
But for me "...killed with lightning" sounds strange.

3. Can I use "ain't" if I want to say "don't"? For example: "-What is her name? -oh, I'm sorry, I ain't know".

Re: I have some questions

Posted: 2014-02-24, 16:43
by linguoboy
LifeDeath wrote:1. Is it possible to use "let" in the passive voice? Something like "I am let to use this mobile phone by my friend", "I rememberd I had been let to ask only one question"

No, but "allow" can be used this way with little difference in meaning, e.g.:

"I am allowed to use the mobile phone by a friend." [Awkward; an active version of this sentence would sound better.]
"I remembered I had been allowed to ask only one question."

LifeDeath wrote:2. If I want to say something like "A man has been killed by lightning" must I use "by" or "with"?

I read a rule said that if we have a deal with unalive thing, we must use "with" and "by" with alive.
But for me "...killed with lightning" sounds strange.

Not a rule I've heard before and it doesn't fit with natural usage at all. Forget you learned it. It's better to say that "with" is used with instruments and "by" with agents[*]. So:

"Lightning killed him." > "He was killed by lightning."
"A sorceror used lightning to kill him." > "He was killed with lightning [by a sorceror]".

LifeDeath wrote:3. Can I use "ain't" if I want to say "don't"? For example: "-What is her name? -oh, I'm sorry, I ain't know".

You could as long as you know this is (a) nonstandard and (b) extremely stigmatised. Use of "ain't" to replace "am not" is considered uneducated. Use of it to replace other negated verbs (including "don't") even more so. I would discourage you from using it at all until you have a better understanding of different speech registers in English.

[*] "Agent" and "instrument" describe different types of thematic relations. Basically, these describe the role which the element plays in the situation in a way that's not dependent on the grammar of the sentence.

Re: I have some questions

Posted: 2014-02-26, 12:29
by LifeDeath
Thank you.
I asked a lot of questions about the situation I heard in the Queen's songs, because in their songs I really often meet uncomprehensible sentences. I have many questions from their songs to ask, but now I remember only one, but I will ask others after my finding out it.

In the song called "The Miracle" there's a sentence "Test tube babies being born". For me it sounds incorret, i think the correct way is "Test tube babies are being born". Why did not they use "be"?

Re: I have some questions

Posted: 2014-02-26, 12:36
by Varislintu
LifeDeath wrote:Thank you.
I asked a lot of questions about the situation I heard in the Queen's songs, because in their songs I really often meet uncomprehensible sentences. I have many questions from their songs to ask, but now I remember only one, but I will ask others after my finding out it.

In the song called "The Miracle" there's a sentence "Test tube babies being born". For me it sounds incorret, i think the correct way is "Test tube babies are being born". Why did not they use "be"?


I'm not a native speaker, but this is what my English teacher used to call "newspaper English". Newspaper headlines in English, for example, often drop out all kinds of words to make sentences more compact. "To be" is a favourite verb to drop out. Song lyrics seem to do the same.

I still often struggle to understand English headlines in my news feeds. :)