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 amol,

'reach' means 'arrive' here. When we speak about movement in the direction of a place, we normally use the preposition 'to'. But we do not use 'to' before the word 'home'. This is just an irregularity of English -- it's the way people speak.

'at' is used to indicate location (instead of direction), and we do use it with the word 'home'.

So the first sentence is correct, but the second is not because 'at' doesn't work with a verb of direction like 'reach'.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello,
Could you please clarify the difference between these two : Regarding / With respect to your talent, we wonder if you can work full time for us. My question is I dont know if " regarding" and " with respect to " carry the same meaning and hence can be used interchangeably. Thank you.

Hello Widescreen,

In this context, regarding and with respect to are synonyms and you can use either.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

May I know if 'was' is ever used with 'you' or not?

You was there. Or you were there.
If I were you.
If I was you.

A lot of confusion about this.

Thanks

Hi Sad,

In standard English, it is not correct to say 'you was' -- only 'you were' is correct. In some dialects it is commonly used, but I wouldn't recommend that you use it yourself.

In the case of 'If I were/was you', both 'were' and 'was' are used, though please note that here the subject of the verb is 'I', not 'you'. This is part of a second conditional structure and the verb is used in the subjunctive to communicate something hypothetical or unreal.

Traditionally, only 'were' was considered correct here, but nowadays it's quite common for people to say 'was' as well. I would encourage you to say 'I were', however.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks for your reply.
Can you rase explain what do you mean by 'and the verb is used in the subjunctive to communicate something hypothetical or unreal.'

I am confused.

Hi Sad,

When we say 'If I were (or 'was') you', we are speaking about something unreal because I am not you and you are not me. The combination of 'if' with a subjunctive verb shows that we are talking about something unreal. (In Spanish, the structure is similar: in 'si fuera tú', 'si' and 'fuera' show that this not really the case.)

The subjunctive isn't used in English nearly as much as it is in Spanish, but this is one case where it is still used. In this case, the subjunctive form of the verb 'be' is 'were', though sometimes people use 'was' when the subject is 'I' or 'he, she, it'.

I hope this helps you.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello,
I would like to ask the following; if we want to talk about people who are not famous we say everyday people? ordinary people?
and when we want to talk about everyday life ; we say ordinary or every day life?
Thank you in advance

Hello angie2,

It depends a little on the context but I would say the best options are ordinary people or normal people and everyday life. Notice that everyday here is an adjective and is one word rather than two.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

How are you?
Choose,
Her birthday is next Friday.She (is having-is going to have) a party.
Is this sentence an arrangement?

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