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

Hello

I was watching a movie when I heard this sentence: ''don't you were great at it''
verb ''to be'' has its particular place in English grammar, and I have never seen it used together with other verbs(Imperative mood is an exception). However, I feel mistaken because it is used in the movie. Could you help me understand that please?

Thank you

Hello MCWSL,

I'm afraid I can't really comment on this for several reasons. First, this is clearly part of a larger stretch of dialogue and needs to be in context for it to make sense. Second, films often contain non-standard language as they are not designed to provide 'correct' language examples but rather convincing dialogue, which is often chaotic and not necessarily grammatically correct.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello,

''I kind of liked her''

Why ''kind of'' does not take a noun, but it takes a verb?

If we decribe a noun, using prepositional phrase, it always takes a noun and its modifiers for example, I like this kind of vechiles(what kind?(vechiles))

What is the difference between these two sentences:
''I was drinking juice yesterday'',''I drank juice yesterday''

When should I use past proggresive or past simple in these types of situations?

Thank you

Hello MCWSL,

'kind of' can be used almost like an adverb to mean something like 'rather' or 'to some degree' - that is how it is used in the sentence you ask about.

As for your second question about past continuous or past simple, it's impossible to say which is better without knowing the context. I'd suggest you take a look at our talking about the past page and the Past continuous or past simple? page in the Cambridge Dictionary's Grammar.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

hi

need help with conditionals:

First example:
I have today explained to her that if her symptoms RECURRED I WILL be more than delighted to see her again at her or your request.
I have today explained to her that if her symptoms RECUR I WILL be more than delighted to see her again at her or your request.
I have today explained to her that if her symptoms RECURRED I WOULD be more than delighted to see her again at her or your request.
I have today explained to her that if her symptoms RECUR I WOULD be more than delighted to see her again at her or your request.

Second example:
I WILL be grateful if you CAN send us a hard copy of that for our records.
I WOULD be grateful if you COULD send us a hard copy of that for our records.
I WILL be grateful if you COULD send us a hard copy of that for our records.
I WOULD be grateful if you CAN send us a hard copy of that for our records.

are they all grammatically correct?
been getting answers like:
if you use would, you should use could
if you use will, you should use can
and that you cannot use will and use could and vice versa in conditionals
and can they also be called 'parallelism' (if it's true that you should use the same tense in conditionals)

thank you very much in advance

Hi there, I could use some help. I know the following sentences are flawed, or at the very least, awkward--but can you explain why they are flawed (grammatically speaking)?
"John Doe designs this door stopper, making a charming home accent to keep in any household."
"Let this set of four ornaments usher in the holidays, hanging from the Christmas tree in a white color."

Thanks!!

Hi hessfmunro,

The sentences are not grammatically wrong, but they may lead to misunderstandings, especially the second example. This is because the participle clause (the part after the commn beginning with an -ing form) describes a noun in the previous clause. However, it is not clear which noun is being described.

For example, what is 'hanging from the Christmas tree...' in the second example? Is it 'the set of four ornaments', or is it 'the holidays'? Common sense tells us that it is the former, but the structure of the sentence suggests the latter as the -ing form follows immediately after the word 'holidays'.

I hope that helps to clarify it for you. You can read more about participle clauses on this page.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello.

When you finish the assignments, come to see me.

I wish to know whether these two clauses in reported speech are changed by the tense pattern.

''She told me to come when I finished(which tense should I use?) the assignments.''

Is this reported speech: ''She asked when the train would leave''? Why ''would'' can be used there?

Thank you.

Hello MCWSL,

Several forms are possible, depending on the context. It is not clear from just the sentence if at the time of reporting the sentence the assignments have already been finished (in which case 'finished' is the most likely) or are still not finished (in which case 'finish' is most likely). It would also be possible to say 'had finished', but this is only likely if the original sentence is 'have finished' rather than 'finish'. As you can see, there is no single answer - the context is key.

In your second example 'would' is used because the original sentence contained 'will': When will the train leave?

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello.

I have read that ''will'' cannot be used with time questions, such as until, before, after, so why can it be used in this case? (I would say '' when does the train leave'').

Thank you.

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