63

No, "their" is used quite correctly here, as a possessive. It simply modifies "air". To simplify the phrasing by removing some words, it basically says: Their inoffensive... air towards him... is marvellous. The thrust of the passage seems to be that the attitude ("air") of naval officers towards their commander may be ...


40

Both are fine. However, the first response is the most common way to answer. Very empathetic people might say my mum. Turn the sentence around; would you say "I'd apologize to your mum if I were you" or "I'd apologize to my mum if I were you"? Probably the former. If I were you, I'd... is a common way to give someone advice; it is not meant to be ...


34

Some suggestions: Forecaster – someone who forecasts. (mentioned by Xanne in comment) to predict (a future condition or occurrence); calculate in advance: to forecast a heavy snowfall; to forecast lower interest rates. to conjecture beforehand; make a prediction. Speculator a person who is engaged in commercial or financial speculation. ...


31

Both is the suppletive variant of *all two, which is not grammatical English. Suppletion is the irregular grammatical phenomenon of substituting a different word or root. Like using went instead of *goed, or ever instead of *anywhen. It's not too common in English, but it occurs. So the equivalent of both, for n>2, is All n: all three, all four, all ...


27

Since "a king" uses an indefinite article, it suggests that he may become any one of a number of kings. In most cases where a person may become king, there is only one king in the political structure he inhabits. For instance, if he is in the line of succession for the English throne, he probably cannot become king of France or Denmark without marrying into ...


26

You offended your mom. So if I were you, I would apologize to your mom when she gets home. But: You offended my mom. So if I were you, I would apologize to my mom when she gets home.


21

Semantically these/those holds just as true for days as it does for physical objects. These days means the ones you are currently experiencing. As in, the days right in front of me are .... Those days means the ones with a bit of distance from current times. No different from: These are my pants said while holding them up. Those are my pants said ...


19

Over the years I've converted to the belief that what is important in language and grammar is that the communication is clearly understood and not unintentionally ambiguous, not that it satisfies any formal criterion. Whether you say your mum or my mum, no one is going to be confused by what you mean. So use whichever feels right to you. The subtle ...


18

Few is what Huddleston & Pullum call an approximate negator, a negative which puts the quantity near zero rather than at zero. Because it's negative, it licenses negative polarity items (NPIs): Few people ever ran for office.   (= "Not very many people ever ran for office.") *Many people ever ran for office. (ungrammatical, NPI in a positive clause)...


16

TL;DR: Both were and was are used when battery of tests is their subject, including in scholarly publications as shown below. Sometimes the choice of number depends on the intended meaning. There may be a relatively recent trend of were becoming a more common choice, but both are frequent. Your intuition is correct — or at least, it accords with how I would ...


14

Here is a general rule of thumb: if you mean "a different [noun]", then it is more appropriate to use "an other"; if you mean "an additional [noun]", then it is more appropriate to use "another". So in your example you should use "But it won't transform it to an other format." Also take a look at Brett Reynolds' answer. It is good from a syntactical point ...


14

A term I particularly like for this is prognosticator. prognosticate prog·​nos·​ti·​cate | \ präg-ˈnä-stə-ˌkāt \ 1 : to foretell from signs or symptoms : PREDICT 2 : to give an indication of in advance : FORESHADOW That makes a prognosticator someone who "predicts future events or developments".


13

An actuary is a business analyst who assesses future risks and uncertainties. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics describes actuaries as people who use past data and predictive models to tell the future: Actuaries analyze the financial costs of risk and uncertainty. They use mathematics, statistics, and financial theory to assess the risk of potential ...


12

Formal correctness is the wrong test in this case. The problem is that the referent is ambiguous -- are we speaking from within the conditional, or from outside it? "My mum" is interpreted differently in the two cases, since the meaning of "my" changes. "Your mum" is clear no matter which case one chooses. Whether I am you or not, your mum remains your mum....


12

It may not sound as "natural" but indeed the correct* version is: the moon is as beautiful as she. She is a predicate nominative which is indeed in the subjective case. If you expand the sentence, it becomes clear: the moon is as beautiful as she [is]. Alternately if you said she is as beautiful as the moon. It is clear. Note that "than" ...


11

It has to do with the order of the adjectives. For example, consider this sentence: Happy nine men walk into a bar. Both nine and happy are adjectives, but we are really intending nine to describe the happy men, not happy describing the nine men. I don't know if there's a specific term for this, but certain adjectives, like numbers, get special ...


11

Context is the key. An heir apparent, next in line, may say: "I can't wait to be king". A candidate running for President can say: "Wait till I become President!" Anybody wishing he were a king, would say: "I'd like to be a king". Same goes for other contexts, such as in this one: "Think like a king!"


11

The question seems to be, how does a non-native speaker determine whether a given noun is a "role" or if it has some titular sense (so that it can be used "bare")? She became treasurer. [OK] She became student. [not OK] She became student of the month. [OK] She became doctor. [not OK] She became doctor to the king. [OK] It was gateway to the rose ...


10

I can’t for the life of me figure out where to use a and where to use the — and where there is no article at all. Is there a simple rule of thumb to memorize? The standard rule you always hear: “If a person knows which item you are talking about then use "the" . . . doesn’t clear things up for me, as I have no idea whether or not they know. That'...


10

No. It is "whose". "Who's" is the contracted form of "who is", which doesn't make sense in this context and is also ungrammatical.. "Whose" is the possessive form of "who". I'll take the chance and guess that was meant.


9

You can. But usually the unadorned phrase minutes later (or seconds later) is reserved for emphasizing shortness of time in a way that "a few minutes later" doesn't really manage to convey, despite the fact that brevity would seem to be underscored by a qualifier like "a few" (which term is more likely to call attention to the inconsequentiality of the fact ...


9

One generally assumes that only constituents can be replaced by an indefinite pro-form and that only a constituent can be the antecedent for such a replacement. So since we can go from I want a big box of apples, but my sister wants only a small box of apples. to I want a big box of apples, but my sister wants only a small one. then "box of ...


9

It's much easier to do parts of speech if we don't confuse them with grammatical relations/syntactic functions , and if we don't get distracted by inflections. A verb is still a verb, regardless of which inflected form it is in. We'll also need to say a bit about what kind of grammar we subscribe to. The type of grammar that I work with regards pronouns ...


8

Let's change each to reveal its meaning, and see what happens. Every individual apple and every individual orange We can now more easily see that each refers to the singular nature of one apple, and the singular nature of one orange. But more than that, it emphasizes that each of these things stands alone, and functions independently as the subject of ...


8

In future is commonly used in British English and is perfectly correct but has a different meaning than in the future. In the future refers to an unspecified point in time, while in future means from now on. It'a shame I missed you when I popped round to see you yesterday. I'll ring up beforehand in future. In the future people will look back at the mobile ...


8

I asked Geoff Pullum, and he responds: The term "determinative" for the category of words like articles, demonstratives, and quantifiers is at least as old as A Grammar of Spoken English on a Strictly Phonetic Basis by Harold E. Palmer and F. G. Blandford (1939), and they take it from the French "adjectif determinatif". And "...


8

If the valediction ends with a noun, then the s is omitted, as in: Your obedient and humble servant, Your friend, If the phrase uses an adverb, then yours is used: Yours truly, Sincerely yours, Yours forever, There's nothing tricky about this; just think about how you'd say the full sentence, if it began with “I am...” I am your closest ...


8

In this sentence, end does not mean side, it means goal. To this end means In order to achieve this goal. Whether you say in order to achieve this goal or in order to achieve that goal makes very little difference, if any. If your sentence was to win, he has to run to this / that end of the trail, there is a difference, with this, he has to start from the ...


8

Both of your example sentences are grammatically correct, but they mean subtly different things. "One would call such a value a constant" means that "a constant" is another name for a value with the characteristics referred to by "such". "One would call such a value constant" means that "constant" is an adjective describing the quality possessed by values ...


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