Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Mind Our English: Ups n Downs in Life

photo credits: izamree
Are these correct?

1. ARE these sentences grammatically correct?

a) Different types of soil lets water flow through it at different rates.

b) Our food is getting fewer by the days.

c) This is the ups and downs of life.

d) There is ups and downs in life.

2. “Hassan usually goes jogging with Michael.” The question form for this answer should be:

a) Whom does Hassan usually go jogging with?
b) With whom Hassan usually goes jogging?
c) With whom does Hassan usually go jogging?
d) Hassan usually goes jogging with who?

– kimhingoh

1. Sentence (a) is incorrect. The verb should agree with the main word in the subject, which is the plural noun “types”, and so the correct sentence is: “Different types of soil let water flow through it at different rates.”

Sentence (b) is also incorrect. “Food” is an uncountable noun, and so the adjective that should be used with it is “less”, not “fewer”.

Also, the expression at the end is “by the day” not “by the days”. The correct sentence is: “Our food is getting less by the day.” You could also write: “Our food is decreasing by the day.”
Sentence (c) is incorrect.

“Ups and downs” is usually considered a plural term, and so takes a plural verb. The correct sentence is: “These are the ups and downs of life.”
For the same reason, sentence (d) is also incorrect, and should be written: “There are ups and downs in life.”

2. Question (c) “With whom does Hassan usually go jogging?” is the correct form in formal modern English. The preposition should come before “whom”.

A more informal question is “Who does Hassan usually go jogging with?”, which you didn’t include among your question forms.


source: the star

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