Confused Grammar!!

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I'm a teacher who teaches English in Malaysia.
I'm quite confused with several simple sentences which had been argued amongst!

TQ!

 

 

1) a. She cleans the room herself.
    b. She cleans the room by herself.
    # When to use "BY"?

 

2) a. I cycle in the park.
     b. I cycle at the park.

 

 

3) a. He is pointing at the sky.
     b. He is pointing to the sky.
     c. He is pointing the stars in the sky.

 

4) a. The papaya plant has large leaves at the top of the tree.
     b. The papaya plant has large leaves at the top of the trunk.

 

 

5) a. She is watching a singing concert now.
     b. She is watching a concert now.

 

6) a. The ship is sailing in the ocean.
     b. The ship is sailing on the ocean.
     c. The ship is sailing across the ocean.
     # when to use "in" for sea and ocean?

 

 

7) a. The duck is on the pond.
     b. The duck is in the pond.

 

8) a. My father's favourite food is eggs.
     b. My father's favourite food is egg.
     c. My father's favourite food are eggs.

 

 

9) a. He watched a football match.
     b. He watched the football match.

 

10) a. The competition is open to Years 4, 5 and 6.
      b. The competition is open for Years 4, 5 and 6.

 

 

11) ‎a. There is a fishing village by the seaside.
      b. There is a fishing village at the seaside.

 

12) a. There are fruits in the hamper.
       b. The fruits is in the hamper.

 

 

13) a. He used an umbrella in the rain.

 

14) a.The boy wears spectacles.
      b. The boy wears the spectacles.

 

 

15) a. My mother is kneading a dough.
      b. My mother is kneading the dough.

 

16) a. I must take a bath every day.
       b. I must bathe every day.

 

 

17) a. May I go to / to the toilet, please?
      b. May I go to / to the bathroom, please?
      c. May I go to / to the washroom, please?
      # Does "toilet" refer to the toilet bowl but not the washroom?

 

18) a. This kitchen is my mother's.
       b. This is my mother's kitchen.

 

 

19) a. The peacock has beautiful feathers.
       b. The peacock has a beautiful tail.

 

20) a. I took a flight to Kuala Lumpur.
       b. I took a plane to Kuala Lumpur.
       c. I took an aeroplane to Kuala Lumpur.

 

 

21) a. I went to Kuala Lumpur by plane.
      b. I went to Kuala Lumur by aeroplane.

 

22) sit in / on a chair?

 

 

23) a.There were many books arranged neatly in the shelf / bookshelf.
       b. There were many books arranged neatly on the shelf / bookshelf.

 

24) ________, the exam is finished. What a relief!

       A) Eventually
       B) At last
       C) At the end

 

25) a. The choir sings well.
       b. The choir sing well.

 

 

26) a. He is typing with a computer.
       b. He is typing in a computer.
       c. He is typing using a computer.
       d. He is typing on a computer.

 

27) a. The cow is grazing in the field.        b. The cow is grazing on the field.        c. The cow is grazing at the field.

asked Aug 26 '12 at 16:36 FiO New member

3 answers


1

5) a. She is watching a singing concert now. (You are specific in the sentence
     b. She is watching a concert now. (Here, in this sentence, you are not specific.  It may be any concert.  It may be a concert on Bhagvadgeetha, Upanishads and so on.)

 

6) a. The ship is sailing in the ocean.
     b. The ship is sailing on the ocean.
     c. The ship is sailing across the ocean.

Yes, you are right.  The ship is sailing across the occean. (It moves from one end of the occean to the other end.)

 

7) a. The duck is on the pond. (Outside the pond)
     b. The duck is in the pond. ( It is in the water)

 

8) a. My father's favourite food is eggs. ("is" a singular verb and "eggs" is a plural noun.  There is a problem with the subject-verb agreement)
     b. My father's favourite food is egg. ("is" is a singular verb and "egg" is a singular countable noun.  It must be "an egg"
     c. My father's favourite food are eggs. (are is a plural verb.  You cannot use it with a singular uncountable noun food)

 

9) a. He watched a football match. (Non-specific)
     b. He watched the football match.(Specific)

 

10) a. The competition is open to Years 4, 5 and 6. This is correct
      b. The competition is open for Years 4, 5 and 6.

13) a. He used an umbrella in the rain. (Correct)

 

 

14) a.The boy wears spectacles. (Spectacles in general)
      b. The boy wears the spectacles.( Specific)

 

15) a. My mother is kneading a dough. (Non-specific)
      b. My mother is kneading the dough.(Specific)

 

16) a. I must take a bath every day. (Bath is used as a noun)
       b. I must bathe every day.(Bathe is a verb)

 

17) a. May I go to / to the toilet, please?
      b. May I go to / to the bathroom, please?
      c. May I go to / to the washroom, please?
      # Does "toilet" refer to the toilet bowl but not the washroom?

 

Wash room---a toilet that is available to the public

Toilet ----> A fixture for defecation and urination, consisting of a bowl fitted with a hinged seat 

 

"It is better to say, May I go to the rest room?"

 

18) a. This kitchen is my mother's.
       b. This is my mother's kitchen.


19) a. The peacock has beautiful feathers. (This  sentence sounds fine with me)
       b. The peacock has a beautiful tail because of the feathers.

The peacock tail contains spectacular beauty because of the large feathers. Here "tail" is used as a noun. 

Most birds have two types of tail feather: (Tail is used as an adjective)

20) a. I took a flight to Kuala Lumpur.
       b. I took a plane to Kuala Lumpur.
       c. I took an aeroplane to Kuala Lumpur.

 

All the sentences are correct.  They are all synonyms.


21) a. I went to Kuala Lumpur by plane.
      b. I went to Kuala Lumur by aeroplane.

 

Both  the sentences are correct.

22) sit in / on a chair?
  Sit in a chair---A chair has arms

  sit on a chair---A chair with out arms

 

23) a.There were many books arranged neatly in the shelf / bookshelf.
       b. There were many books arranged neatly on the shelf / bookshelf.

 

It is always "on the bookshelf"

"I noticed an earlier edition of this book in the bookshelf in the classroom.

I think I would find a book "in a bookshelf" but place a book "on a bookshelf."

 

"It does not sound good to me. I would put things on a shelf, and not in a shelf; a shelf is thought of as a surface, rather than as any kind of container. A bookcase, on the other hand, is a piece of furniture which contains shelves, and you may put books in the bookcase by placing them on the bookcase's shelves. You may also place things on the top of the bookcase if that is a level surface.

In this picture, the items are on the shelf. As the shelf is not enclosed in anything else, to say "in the shelf" would be very odd; it would suggest that the items were actually imbedded in the wood of the shelf."

http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=432543

24) ________, the exam is finished. What a relief!
       A) Eventually(Adverb)
       B) At last means "finally" (Adverb)
       C) At the end  (Adjective)

25) a. The choir sings well. (Choir is a group of singers.  It is considered one single unit.)
       b. The choir sing well.


26) a. He is typing with a computer. This sentence is incorrect.
       b. He is typing in Spanish on a computer. or "How to improve typing speed in a computer?"
       c. He is typing using a computer.
       d. He is typing on a computer.

27) a. The cow is grazing in the field.        b. The cow is grazing on the field.(On indicates placement)        c. The cow is grazing at the field. (At indicates specific location)

link comment answered Aug 27 '12 at 05:47 sanjay Expert
2

Question 1: Either is correct. 1a means she receives no help cleaning her room. 1b means she is alone when she cleans her room.

 

Question 2: You usually say "in the park", but you may say (when you are not in the park) that people are at the park.

 

Question 3: Both 3a and 3b are correct, with a slight change in meaning. 3a emphasizes the sky. 3b emphasizes the pointing. 3c would be correct if you change it to --> he is pointing to the stars in the sky.

 

Question 4; Both are correct. They mean different things. The trunk does not reach the top of the tree, so the sentences refer to different places on the tree.

link edited Aug 27 '12 at 01:39 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow

I am upvoting you, sir.

sanjayAug 27 '12 at 05:05

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1

Oh my. There are way too many examples here to tackle. It feels too much like a test, and I left school many years ago.

 

Making the problem more difficult, many of your questions cannot be answered simply. It would take far too much time and space to answer each in a single forum answer. Perhaps you should ask one or two at a time, and spread them out over several days (weeks).

 

Nevertheless, I will address some common issues. For many of your questions, both samples are correct. The choice of preposition changes the meaning of the sentence. The issue of "in" versus "at" has been discussed many times on this forum. You should look those  discussions up. You will see how the choice changes the meaning. If you ask my mother, where is Jeff? She will tell you he is cycling at the park. Here, at is used to express relative position -- relative to mother, Jeff is somewhere else, at the park. If you call Jeff's cellphone, he will tell you, I am cycling in the park.

link answered Aug 27 '12 at 01:30 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow

I am up voting you, sir.

sanjayAug 27 '12 at 05:05

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