1. Ferb

    Ferb New Member

    Jul 5, 2009
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    ESL Grammar Questions

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Ferb, Aug 15, 2009.

    1. What is the difference between "I hope I can" and "I hope I could"?

    2. How about "might" versus "may"?

    3. Why would a person say "I was wondering if..." instead of "I am wondering if..." when he is still wondering about the question at the time of the question? Is this just a matter of preference?

    4. When we review a book, why do we say "I thought" instead of "I think"? Isn't it a given that whatever we thought is probably still true at the time we review the book?

    5. When we write about someone who everyone knows is already dead, when can we use "is" and when can we use "was"?

    6. Lastly... is the phrase "grammar errors" or "grammar questions" grammatically correct? I assume the word "grammar" is a noun and two nouns just don't go together.

    That's all for now.
  2. Wreybies

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Supporter Contributor

    May 1, 2008
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    Puerto Rico

    Hope this helps. :D
  3. mammamaia

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Nov 21, 2006
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    Coquille, Oregon
    generally, 'can' implies you may not be capable of doing something and 'could' that you may not be allowed to...

    as in, 'i hope i can see you tonight' vs. 'i hope i could [be allowed to] see you tonight'...

    they can be used interchangeably, as noted above...

    you would correctly say the former, if you'd been wondering that for some time... and would say the latter, if the question just occurred to you...

    well, first of all, 'we' is too broad, since all of us don't do that... but a proper review for publication would generally be written in present tense, though many use the past in casual conversation, or in personal reviews not meant to be published...

    'is' would be used to refer to what is thought of the person and what he did in life, as in, 'he is considered to be the best english poet of all'... 'was' would be used to refer to him in other ways, such as, 'he was a great poet'...

    yes, those are grammatically correct... to change to 'grammatical' would not be as precise, since 'grammatical questions' could refer to the grammar used in constructing the question... it's no different from saying, 'spelling questions'... or 'time errors/questions' or 'location errors/questions'...

    hope this answers all of yours... love and hugs, maia

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