The basic unit of English grammar is the clause:

[An unlucky student almost lost a 17th century violin worth almost £200,000]

[when he left it in the waiting room of a London station.]

[William Brown inherited the 1698 Stradivarius violin from his mother]

[and had just had it valued by a London dealer at £180,000.]

Clauses are made up of phrases:

[An unlucky student] + [almost lost] + [a 17th century violin worth almost £200,000]

[when] + [he] + [left] + [it] + [in the waiting room of a London station.]

[William Brown] + [inherited] + [the 1698 Stradivarius violin] + [from his mother]

[and] [had just had it valued] + [by a London dealer] + [at £180,000.]

We can join two or more clauses together to make sentences.

An unlucky student almost lost a 17th century violin worth almost £200,000 when he left it in the waiting room of a London station.

William Brown inherited the 1698 Stradivarius violin from his mother and had just had it valued by a London dealer at £180,000.


 

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Comments

Hi,
May I know which is the correct structure for the following?
He knew neither how to swim nor dance.
He neither knew how to swim nor dance.
Thank you

Hello Leenmum,

'neither' and 'nor' usually go directly before what they modify, though in many situations there is some flexibility. Both of the sentences you ask about are correct, but the first sounds better to me.

Bear in mind that 'neither ... nor' is fairly formal. In a more informal situation, something like 'He didn't know how to swim or dance' would be much more commonly used.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello,

'What, do you think, is she going to do?'

'What do you think she is going to do?'

Which one is correct?

Thank you in advance.

Hello JakiGeh,

Neither is incorrect. The second version (without commas) would be the most common. The version with the commas adds some dramatic emphasis but does not change the meaning. The choice really depends upon the context.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi
Which one of the following is correct?
1. What does he doesn't do?
2. What does he don't do?

A word of explanation will be thankfully appreciated.

Hi Adya's,

Neither of those are correct. You haven't provided a context so I have to guess what you are trying to say but I would guess that the form you are looking for is as follows:

What does he not do?

We form questions with the base form ('do') and we can make a negative base form by adding 'not' ('not do').

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

hello!!
I am so confused about a grammartical exercise that I did yesterday. it required me to choose the right form of verbs to complete the sentence and I had to choose one between simple present and present continuos. here is context :
We never (expect) many birthday presents. We always (receive)some presents but this year father (give) us a cheque, instead.
Apparently, the first two are not problem for the sign is so clearly : we never expect.. and we always receive.... all in the simple present. but when it come to the third , it really get me on the fence. The time ''this year'' for the action "give" to happen could possibly define in 2 situations :
1. The birth day of these children has not come yet ->> use present continuous or the structure " to be going to do something" to express the future.
" instead" means " alternative plan"-- the father planned to give them money before the time of the birthday
---> so : this year, father is giving us a cheque instead ( he prepared the money, decided when to give them to his children)
or : This year, father is going to give us a cheque instead ( it came up in his mind, he thought about it for sometime, but not yet prepared the money )
2. The birth day of these chilren is over, they had a party already somewhere in the past ---> so here is the past simple : this year father gave us a cheque instead.
?!!!!! please help me to clarify this. I already had my own answer but it's not really convinced and concrete!
thanks a lot !
I'm looking forward to hearing from you!

Hello northern96,

Several forms are possible here, depending on the context. For example, you could use gave, has given, will give, is giving, will be giving, is going to give and was going to give, amongst others.

Some of these are more likely and others less, but all are possible. Without a context there is no single clear correct answer.

 

Please note that in general we do not provide explanations of exercises from elsewhere. We're happy to help with explanations of our own material, of course, but for help with other tasks you need to ask the authors of those tasks, or else your teacher. We are a small team and don't have the resources to do this.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks a lot! I really appreciate your help!

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