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Old 08-02-2013, 04:15 PM   #1141
PTrenholme
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Alex View Post
But is “my recent posts on here” correct?
Technically, no. "On" is normally used to denote a physical juxtaposition of two objects, one above, and touching, another. Example: The boy is on his bicycle."

There is a more recent, secondary, meaning related to electrical circuits, where "on" denotes that the circuit is powered and "off" that it is unpowered. That usage derives from the original "knife blade" switches where the power was applied by placing the blade on top of the receptacle.) Example: The computer is on.

That has lead to a tertiary meaning of "energized." Example: "Coffee turns me on in the morning."

And that to another usage, "influenced by a drug." Example: "He's on pain killers."

See the definition here for more uses and examples.

The point is that almost every idiom is used to convey the user's meaning in in the shortest possible way. The "on here" fails because the "on" adds nothing but meaningless noise to the sentence. As a general rule, the shortest phrase, e.g. "my posts," would be preferable to even "my posts here" unless you've made other posts in different places. Unless you've made may posts over several months, the "recent" add little to your comment.
 
Old 08-03-2013, 02:19 AM   #1142
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Quote:
Technically, no. "On" is normally used to denote a physical juxtaposition of two objects, one above, and touching, another. Example: The boy is on his bicycle."

There is a more recent, secondary, meaning related to electrical circuits, where "on" denotes that the circuit is powered and "off" that it is unpowered. That usage derives from the original "knife blade" switches where the power was applied by placing the blade on top of the receptacle.) Example: The computer is on.
Thanks for explaination. Sometimes I hear Americans say “...opinion on the matter” (“...opinion on the subject”). Is this correct?

Also, would you be so kind to read 15–20 of my recent posts and point out my mistakes (not all, maybe just a few)?
 
Old 08-03-2013, 01:09 PM   #1143
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The problem with "on here" is redundancy, not the meaning of "on". You can say "posts on this site" or "posts here". I might tell a visitor to London "I live here" or "I live in London", but I wouldn't say "I live in here" (unless I were standing outside my block of flats). Saying "on the subject" is fine.
 
Old 08-03-2013, 01:19 PM   #1144
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianL View Post
It does to the English.
The English need to learn to speak American. News flash: it's a matter of style not substance. Shakespeare would get an F if he turned that gibberish in today. To be or not to be... what a stoopid question.
 
Old 08-03-2013, 01:21 PM   #1145
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidMcCann View Post
standing outside my block
To me it seems to lack “of”: “standing outside of my block”...

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidMcCann View Post
I might tell a visitor to London "I live here" or "I live in London", but I wouldn't say "I live in here"
That's one more; I am used to phrase like “he is in there” along with “he is there”. Are both options correct?

Also, there are different dialects in US, Canada, England... May I sound like I just have some regional dialect?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidMcCann View Post
Saying "on the subject" is fine.
What about “on the matter”?

Last edited by Mr. Alex; 08-03-2013 at 01:32 PM.
 
Old 08-03-2013, 01:48 PM   #1146
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Alex View Post
[. . .] I am used to phrase like “he is in there” along with “he is there”. Are both options correct?
[. . .]
Both are correct, but the meanings are different. The first is used when the subject is not visible, but inside something (usually indicated by a gesture if not clear by context). The second is used then the subject is visible and its location is indicated by a gesture (again, if not clear by context).

Example 1: Billy said "I dropped my marble. It's in there," pointing at the drain.
Example 2: Billy said "I see the football. It's there," pointing into the ditch.
 
Old 08-03-2013, 02:03 PM   #1147
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Alex View Post
To me it seems to lack “of”: “standing outside of my block”...
[...]
In "British" English usage, "block" denotes a large single building subdivided into separate rooms, apartments, or offices. In that context, the "of" would be redundant, but neither improper nor required.

Last edited by PTrenholme; 08-03-2013 at 02:05 PM. Reason: Added reference
 
Old 09-21-2013, 02:27 AM   #1148
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http://www.adamsdrafting.com/%E2%80%...otation-marks/

Quote:
I’ve been filling some gaps in my knowledge of Microsoft Word, and while browsing Word’s online “Help” database recently I was reminded of one of my favorite microtopics—“curly” and “straight” quotation marks...
I wonder if the author can use “em dash” that way, because as far as I know, “em dash” in English is used to set aside strong sentence interruption. In the example above it is used as an explaination of the part of the sentence going before “em dash”. What do you think?
 
Old 09-21-2013, 12:49 PM   #1149
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From the Oxford University Press guide:

'A pair of dashes expresses a more pronounced break in sentence structure than commas, and draws more attention to the enclose phrase than brackets.'

'A single dash may be used to introduce a phrase at the end of a sentence … It has a less formal, more casual feel than a colon, and often implies an afterthought or aside.'
This is clearly what your author is doing.

To go back to your earlier post, 'outside of' (like other clusters of prepositions) is very American — as American as 'you all'.
 
Old 10-18-2013, 04:20 PM   #1150
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Hi guys,

I have a couple of questions. First is about the use of either. Can it be used before a list of more than two items, or does it have to be used before two items only?. For example, is the following sentence correct?

Quote:
Someone ate my cookies; it must have been either John, Peter, or Anna
The second question is about the use of the article a before a word starting with H of the type H1N1. Which one of these is correct?:

Quote:
An H1N1 outbreak
or

Quote:
A H1N1 outbreak
My gut feeling is that the first is the correct form since what comes next when you spell the 'H' is actually a vowel sound, not a consonant sound, but I'm still unsure and would like some confirmation from a native speaker.

Thanks!
 
Old 10-19-2013, 12:32 PM   #1151
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The choice between "a" and "an" is made on the basis of pronunciation, so "An H1N1 outbreak" is correct, like "an MP".

Either can be used with more than two choices — the Oxford English Dictionary has examples — but it's not common. In "it must have been either John, Peter, or Anna", the "either" is not really appropriate. The point of "either" is that it excludes all choices but one, and John and Peter may have shared them! Look at the difference between
She is coming for two or three weeks — this can mean I only have a rough idea of how long she'll be here: it might be neither 14 nor 21 days.
She is coming for either two or three weeks — this can only mean that she'll be here for 14 or 21 days.
 
Old 10-19-2013, 01:01 PM   #1152
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Thanks for the explanation, David; I understand it now. "Either" can be a tricky word sometimes because we don't have a 100% equivalent word in Spanish.

Cheers.
 
Old 10-19-2013, 06:18 PM   #1153
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Quote:
Originally Posted by odiseo77 View Post
Thanks for the explanation, David; I understand it now. "Either" can be a tricky word sometimes because we don't have a 100% equivalent word in Spanish.

Cheers.
Just my 5 bitcoins on the subject of language acquisition... Someone might find it useful. When we learn a second language at some point we need to forget about our mother tongue. These are two different linguistic systems and even though there might be striking similarities one should not compare the two unless you are doing some sort of comparative studies or translations. Very often there won't be any equivalent phrases/grammatcal constructs. When starting to learn a foreign language it is natural to use your native lg as point of reference. I believe the quicker you stop doing it, the quicker you'll progress.

Last edited by sycamorex; 10-19-2013 at 06:54 PM.
 
Old 10-19-2013, 06:49 PM   #1154
odiseo77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sycamorex View Post
Just my 5 bitcoins on the subject of language aquisition... Someone might find it useful. When we learn a second language at some point we need to forget about our mother tongue. These are two different linguistic systems and even though there might be striking similarities one should not compare the two unless you are doing some sort of comparative studies or translations. Very often there won't be any equivalent phrases/grammatcal constructs. When starting to learn a foreign language it is natural to use your native lg as point of reference. I believe the quicker you stop doing it, the quicker you'll progress.
I know what you mean; it's a matter of actually thinking in the second language instead of translating it into our mother tongue. That's what I usually do with English (though there are still certain words and syntactic structures that I'm not quite familiar with, like shadowed places in a room not completely lit ).
 
Old 01-26-2014, 12:42 PM   #1155
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Can someone please rephrase “Whenever our neighbour's house is on fire, it cannot be amiss for the engines to play a little on our own”? I can't grasp the meaning of this quote.
 
  


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