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

Which phrase is correct
1. How about to see a movie tonight?
2. How about seeing a movie tonight?
and can you explain why?

Thanks.

Hello Saikendo,

The second sentence is correct. After 'How about...' we use either a gerund or a noun, not an infinitive.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello,

'She insisted that Jane sat there'.

Is it correct to use past simple (sat) here instead of the subjunctive? If it is, which one is more common?

Thank you.

Hello JakiGeh,

Both 'sat' and 'sit' are possible here, but have different meanings. 'sit' describes the command given to Jane, whereas 'sat' describes what happened. In Spanish, 'sit' would be 'que Jane se sentase' and 'sat' would be 'que Jane estuvo sentada'.

Does that make sense?

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi sirs,

Is it same meaning of 'An unlucky student almost lost a 17th century violin WHICH IS worth almost £200,000'?

Hi johnnyhey,

Yes, that is correct.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello,

Is this sentence correct?

''Peter is as intelligent a boy as Paul.''

I found it in my textbook when learning the equative case. I had never seen anything such before. I guess it is not used often, right?

Thank you in advance.

Hello MCWSL,

I can't comment on what your textbook says, but can confirm that this is a relatively unusual structure, though certainly something you could read or hear. 'a boy' tells us more about what the adjective 'intelligent' is qualifying.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello,
I've been wondering about the correct use of "to be useful to understand something" and "to be useful for understanding something". I'm not certain I understand the difference of meaning between the following sentences:
"Such serpentinization environments are particularly suitable for subterranean life and are also useful for understanding the emergence of life on Earth"
or
Such serpentinization environments are particularly suitable for subterranean life and are also useful to understand the emergence of life on Earth

Hello Emily_Everson,

The correct form here would be 'useful for'.

 

'Useful to' is used when something helps the person, group or organisation which is trying to do something:

An advanced knowledge of mathematics is useful to anyone planning a career in finance.

A good quality GPS watch is useful to any runner who wants to track their progress.

 

'Useful for' can be used in the same way but it can also be used when something is a useful tool for a certain goal. For example:

An advanced knowledge of mathematics is useful for a career in finance.

A good quality GPS watch is useful for measuring your progress as a runner.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

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