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Grammar

This category contains 30 posts

‘still not’ or ‘not yet’?

When we use still not, there is a sense of looking back to the past. But not yet has the sense of looking toward the future. Example: She still hasn’t got a job. (looking back: she hasn’t had a job since January and the situation is continuing.) She hasn’t got a job yet. (looking forward: … Continue reading

‘compared to’ or ‘compared with’?

We use compare to to point out or imply resemblances between objects regarded as essentially of a different order. Example: Authors have often compared life to a drama. But compare with is mainly to point out differences between objects regarded as essentially of the same order. Example: It would be interesting to compare London with … Continue reading

‘but’ or ‘however’?

But and however are both used with a contrasting ‘unexpected’ clause. Example: I don’t like him, but I agree that he is a good manager. I don’t like him. However, I agree that he is a good manager. Note the difference now. But is a conjunction. It joins two clauses, and comes at the beginning … Continue reading

using ‘the’ with superlatives

Nouns with superlative adjectives normally have the article the. Example: ‘The Exorcist’ is the scariest movie I have ever seen. After link verbs, superlative adjectives have the. Example: I am the greatest. The cannot be dropped when a superlative is used with a defining expression. Example: This deal is the cheapest I could find. But … Continue reading

‘in’ or ‘on’? (for movement)

After verbs like throw, jump, push, put, fall, we can use both in and into, or on and onto, to indicate directional movement. We use into or onto when we think of the movement itself, and in or on when we think more of the end of the movement – the place where an object … Continue reading

‘before’ and ‘ago’

Before means at some unknown time before now. It does not indicate when. We generally use the present perfect tense with before. Example: I have never seen him before. Ago means at a certain time before now. Ago tells us how long before the present time something happened. It tells us when and gives us a … Continue reading

‘still not’ and ‘not yet’

When we use still not, there’s a sense of looking back to the past. But not yet has the sense of looking toward the future. Example: She still hasn’t got a job. (looking back: she hasn’t had a job since January and the situation is continuing.) She hasn’t got a job yet. (looking forward: she … Continue reading

‘between’ or ‘among’?

It is generally known that between is used for a choice that involves two distinct options, and among for choices that involve more than two items. For example, ‘You need to choose between working on weekends and working on evenings’ and ‘She distributed the toys among the children.’ But matters are not always as simple. … Continue reading

‘little’ or ‘a little’? ‘few’ or ‘a few’?

There is a difference between little and a little and few and a few. Without ‘a,’ little and few have rather negative meanings. Without ‘a,’ they may suggest not as much or many as expected or wished for. Consider this example: The average person has little understanding of global economic issues. (little=not much) Few people … Continue reading

‘above’ and ‘over’

Above and over can both mean higher than. So here’s the difference that you need to keep in mind: We use above when one thing is not directly over another. Example: You are not supposed to wear a skirt that goes above your knees. That’s the rule here. Over is used when one thing covers … Continue reading

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