Frame 57, Page 113 - Who does "him" refer to?

The interviewer | asked Seinfeld (who | inspired him as a comedian).

Could I consider that the interviewer is 'him'?
In that case, the dependent clause acts like adjective... is that right?

Seinfeld inspired the interviewer as a comedian..It sounds like little absurd..^^;;

ANSWER:

The "who" refers to someone that inspired Seinfeld. The interviewer is asking Seinfeld which person inspired him (Seinfeld) as a comedian, or gave him inspiration to be a great comedian.

Work hard and be successful,

Professor iEnglish






Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Learn English Grammar: iEnglish® 205 QA.

Frame 62, Page 123 - Where does the word "labels" come from?

Where does the "labels" in the answer come from?

ANSWER:

The word "labels" is missing in the example in Frame 62. The first sentence in Frame 62 should be:

A new law will require meat and poultry labels to state something.

Work hard and be successful,

Professor iEnglish



Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Learn English Grammar: iEnglish® 205 QA.

Frame 64, Page 127

Can the answer also be this sentence?

Researchers have discovered some new information about when infants begin to understand the intentions of relatively complicated actions performed by the adults around them.

ANSWER:

Yes!

Work hard and be successful,

Professor iEnglish







Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Learn English Grammar: iEnglish® 205 QA.

Frame 67, Page 133 - The word "elect."

Where is the word "elect" in the answer?

ANSWER:

Yes, the word "elect" is missing after "president" in the answer. It should be there, but it isn't.

Good eye!

Work hard and be successful,

Professor iEnglish





Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Learn English Grammar: iEnglish® 205 QA.

Frame 72, Page 143 - The difference between "whether" and "if"

Why is it wrong to use whether in sentence (a)?

What is the difference between "whether" and "if"?

ANSWER:

Whether cannot be used in conditional clauses, and we have a conditional clause in (b):

(b)The students would be overjoyed if the classes were cancelled.

The if-clause is the condition under which students would be overjoyed. See Lesson 14 in iEnglish® 205 for more information about conditional clauses.

In other cases, whether and if are interchangeable, especially in informal English--with one more exception (see below).

Work hard and be successful,

Professor iEnglish

--------------------
There's one more case in which whether and if are not interchangeable.

Consider this example:

We are going hiking whether it rains or the sun shines.

In this sentence, we have two conditions under which something will happen: (i) it rains, (ii) or the sun shines.

We must use "whether" in cases like this where more than two conditions are involved.

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Learn English Grammar: iEnglish® 205 QA.

Frame 74, Page 147 - Adding "or not"

My mother wants to know if/whether you can stay for dinner.

We usually add 'or not' at the end of the sentence which starts with "whether." Then is it possible to add "or not" in the sentence that starts with "if"?

ANSWER:

Yes and No.

Yes, you may add "or not" to a clause beginning with "if," in situations where "whether" can also be used.

However, you may not add "or not" to the if- conditional clause, for example:

The students would be overjoyed if classes were cancelled.

In a sentence like this, where the if-clause states a condition under which something else would happened or be true, you may neither use "whether" nor "or not."

Work hard and be successful,

Professor iEnglish

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Learn English Grammar: iEnglish® 205 QA.

Frame 76, Page 151 - Answer

The answer for this frame is 'Scientists are investigating whether life could truly exist on other planets?'

My answer is 'Scientists investigate whether life could truly exist on other planets?' Is this wrong?

ANSWER:

The difference between your answer and the answer in the book is the verb tense. You have used the present simple tense, while the answer has the present continuous tense.

Let's consider the difference between these two tenses.

(a) The present continuous tense is often used when we're referring to an action or event that is happening at the time of speaking and is temporarily.

(b) The present simple tense is used commonly to refer to an action, state or event that is always true.

Which situation (a) or (b) do you think applies to our statement in frame 76?

Is the investigation that the scientists are conducting likely to be a temporary activity or something that they have always done and will always continue to do?

You may write your answer in a comment to this post, if you wish.

Work hard and be successful,

Professor iEnglish

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Learn English Grammar: iEnglish® 205 QA.

Frame 79, Page 157 - About "backshift"

The students want to know if/whether the test is easy.

It says in this frame, when the independent clause is in the present tense, there is no backshift in the dependent clause.

What does backshift mean? Does it mean that the dependent clause in the above example is not in the past tense?

ANSWER:

Backshift means that the verb tense takes one step backward in time from the original wording of the direct question that was asked.

For example, if you look in frame 78, you can see that the original wording of the direct question that students asked is, "Is the test easy?"

When reporting that the students asked this question, there are two possibilities: (a) the students are asking this question at the time of reporting, (b) the students asked this question before the time of reporting.

When the situation is (a), our independent clause is naturally put in the present tense, as in the example in frame 79. However, contrary to what normally happens in reported speech, we don't shift the tense of the dependent clause one step back in time. There is no backshift because the independent clause is in the present tense.

If the situation were (b), then the independent clause would be in the past tense, and there would be a corresponding backshift in the dependent clause.

I hope this explanation helps.

You may refer to frame 50 for more information about the backshift.

Work hard and be successful,

Professor iEnglish

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Learn English Grammar: iEnglish® 205 QA.

Frame 82, Page 163 - More on "backshift"

In this frame, it says, "When in doubt, it's better to write reported speech with backshift in the dependent clause."

I can understand this, but I can't use backshift exactly in the clause. I can't distinguish between a clause that needs backshift and one that does not need backshift.

Can you please explain more?

ANSWER:

Backshift is used in reported speech, so it may help to think about what reported speech really is.

Reported speech is reporting what someone else is saying or has said.

There are two main circumstances in which you might use reported speech. The first is when something someone is saying is being reported at or around the same time that the person is speaking. Here, you will have one of the present time tenses in the independent clause, as in frame 79.

The second is when something someone has said is being reported after that person has spoken. This second circumstance is more common and is what we usually mean when we refer to reported speech. Here, the independent clause is in one of the past time tenses.

Backshift applies to the second circumstance only.

So the first thing you need to think about is whether you are reporting something around the same time the person is saying it, or whether you are reporting it some time after the person has already said it.

When writing, it will almost always be the latter case, and what you have quoted from this frame in your question above applies to this latter case only.

In other words, when in doubt, it's better to write reported speech with backshift in the dependent clause when reporting something that someone has said after they have said it.

It's possible not to have backshift in this second circumstance, and that's what the previous frame (81) refers to, but not having backshift is much less common than having backshift when the independent clause is in a past time tense. Therefore, use the backshift when you are reporting something that someone has said after they have said it.

I hope this explanation helps.

Work hard and be successful,

Professor iEnglish

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Learn English Grammar: iEnglish® 205 QA.

Study, Succeed and Shine!