This possessives page brings together information about

  • possessive nouns
  • possessive adjectives
  • possessive pronouns
  • questions
  • reciprocal pronouns  

 

Section: 

Comments

hi

a proposition can come before a question word. for example :

1. which warehouse were the goods stored in? = in which warehouse were the goods stored? or
2. who did you obtain the information from= from whom you obtain the information?

and I know we do this because it is more formal but for "what about" and looking for" is not the same. for example, if we say :
3. "about what are you worrying?" instead of "what are you worrying about?"
4. "for what are you looking?" instead of "what are you looking for?"

these are incorrect.

I want to know why we can not use this rules for the example number 3 and 4 and I want to know are there anymore?

thank you in advance

Hi ihsan_qwerty,

You are correct that sentences like the following are not used in standard English:

About what are you worrying?

For what are you looking?

However, this is not because they break a grammatical rule. Grammatically speaking, they are perfectly correct. Language is governed by more than just grammatical rules. Convention is also important, which means the standard usage which has grown up over time. There are many examples of linguistic conventions. For example, when someone says to you 'How do you do?' the correct answer is not to answer the question but to say 'How do you do?' in return. In lexis there are also conventions. Thus we say 'salt and pepper' and 'black and white' rather than 'pepper and salt' and 'white and black'. These are not based on rules but on conventions of use. Going against these convention makes your language sound odd, which can be useful for rhetorical effect but is not something to do too often.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

thank you so much. you and your friends are excellent. I wish you best

"This section will help you to improve your English for business and work. Watch videos, listen to audio and read texts with a focus on the world of business and work"
AS far I know 'help' is a bare infinitive verb which does not go 'to' but here 'to improve' makes me confused. Please help me get rid.

Hello Rahim Dhaka,

Both 'help you to improve' and 'help you improve' are correct patterns. If you look in the example sentences in the dictionary entry for 'help', you can see this indicated there: '(to)' means that 'to' is optional in this construction.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello,

''The balloon is girls' ''

Do we pronounce the plural nouns with apostrophe ''girlses'' (as in names ending with ''s'') or as only a plural noun ( in this example ''girls'')?

Thank you.

Hello JakiGeh,

I've heard both pronunciations. As far as I know, both are correct, though the one with the extra syllable sounds more informal to me.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Jaki Geh,

The plural possessive 's' is generally pronounced the same as the plural, without any extra syllables. Where they may be ambiguity the speaker may add extra emphasis in the way you suggest.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

It will cost much to the one whoever wearing a red dress or in a red dress dances with a girl in my fair. Sir, is this a right sentence ? if not then Could you please make a right one for me. I want to say that Anyone in a red dress, if dances with a girl in my fair, it will cost much to him.

It really costs much to dance with a girl in red dress. Does preposition pharse 'in red dress' refer to the girl or someone, whoever will dance with her and if that refers to the girl then Could we say 'It really costs much to one in red dress or wearing red dress whoever will dance with a girl, If we want that preposition phrase to refer to one who will dance with a girl ?

Pages