Since this question has made its way into one of the questions for the quiz this week, I thought I should clarify my purpose for asking the question. You are correct about the use of the words "premise" and "premises" but my concern was actually whether the tense was used correctly.
With reference to:
Hi English Language Panel,
Is there anything wrong with this sentence?
If anybody was to sleep on the premise, it will be a technical breach of this convenant.
Hi Tom tom!
We can’t remember for sure but we think someone already wrote in to correct this!
It should be ‘If anybody were to sleep…’ instead of ‘was’ because we are utilising the subjunctive here. ‘Were’ deals with possibilities!
This sign was outside a coffee place.
There are so many errors in the ad that they should consider looking for a new copywriter as well as a new operations team.
But there seems to be only one vacancy!
There seems to be quite a bit of punctuation missing in that sign among other things Lynette!
It might be better to say:
“We are an international F&B brand. As part of our expansion plans in Singapore, we are looking for a new generation of team members.”
You should walk right in to apply for that copywriter job that they obviously need, Lynette!
Could you clarify with us how "Good English" comes about? Right now in the world, people are still arguing about the validity of their varieties of English.
Even in schools, we learn Singapore English and not the RP English which is used by less than 10% of the British population. So what then is "Good English"?
John the Confused Hey again, John the Confused!
We know what you mean, John the Confused. There's always a lot of debate when a lot of people are involved. And with English, there certainly are huge numbers of people involved!
As for what 'good English' is, perhaps we should see what the Speak Good English Movement says!
This is what we got from the Speak Good English Movement website homepage:
"The Speak Good English Movement is a nationwide movement to encourage Singaporeans to speak grammatically correct English that is universally understood."
That sounds like a pretty good working definition of 'good English' to us, John the Confused. So 'good English' is English that is grammatically correct and that is universally understood!
Does 'savoury' really mean 'salty'? I hear it used as the opposite of 'sweet' quite often here and was wondering if this is the correct usage of the word.
If not, what does it mean exactly?
The range of tastes that 'savoury' includes can include 'salty' but it's not just limited to that!
If you look in the dictionary, 'savoury' refers to something being 'pungently flavourful without sweetness'. So that's why it's used to contrast with 'sweet'!
Now we're really hungry for something savoury.
What is the definition of 'portmanteau'?
CrazyRomanace FanHi CrazyRomance Fan!
Let's look at the dictionary for the answer!
'Portmanteau' has two distinct meanings.
A 'portmanteau' could be a leather case you carry on your travels. A 'portmanteau' could also refer to a portmanteau word, which is a word that is made up of two different words. For example, you have 'spork' which is a combination of 'spoon' and 'fork'!
Xing ShuHi Xing Shu!
Thanks for that! We actually did have a look at this webpage when figuring 'think tank' out. Sure helps to have a lot of sources of information!
Hi to all
1. ...the policemen's shouts...
2. ...the shouts of the policemen...
Please advise if (1) is also correct.
Jane Hey Jane!
We see you've written back with a little change in your question!
Yes, 1 is also correct! Both your sentences mean the same thing!
Hello, English People!
Shouldn't this be 'anti-oxidants' instead?
Unless this 'wonder fruit' gives you just one.
The English Language Panel comments:
Do we sense a little bitterness between fruits here? There, there, Mangotango, mango is a wonder fruit in our hearts too.
We agree with you on this, Mangotango, only that it should be 'antioxidants' instead. No need for the hyphen! Same goes for 'wonder fruit'.
Unless of course, as you say, this only gives you just one antioxidant, which according to our highly lacking knowledge of science, seems pretty unlikely.
'Mr Tan and Mr Lee together took 5 hours to paint a room.'
'Mr Tan and Mr Lee took 5 hours to paint a room.'
Are there any differences between these two sentences?
Does it mean both men took a total duration of 5 hours?
Or did they take 5 hours each to paint the room?
Is there a better way to rephrase these sentences?
'Mr Tan and Mr Lee have five apples.'
Does this mean that both of them have five apples altogether or that each one of them has five apples?
Xiang FengHey, Xiang Feng!
Those two sentences carry the same meaning - that Mr Tan and Mr Lee both painted the room, and that it took them 5 hours to finish painting the room.
The 'together' in the first sentence is quite redundant, Xiang Feng. You can just leave that out. Unless for some reason you want to really emphasise that the room was painted by two people together, you don't need 'together'.
As for 'Mr Tan and Mr Lee have five apples', this means that they have five apples altogether.
It only means they have five apples each if you say they have 'five apples each'!
Regarding an earlier English question:
Is the following sentence correct?
'We believe your bill covered work done by Mark and his team.'
Thanks & regards
Hey, there are females around here too. We're not all 'sir's!
That sentence sounds fine, MKChan. You can also say ' ...your bill covers work...' to refer to the same thing. Hey! I thought MK is right in addressing you as 'Sir', just like in application letters/resumes?
Sure, MKChan is right in writing 'Dear Sir', if he is certain that he is writing to a male.
But since he isn't, it's best to be safe (and also politically correct) to say 'Dear Sir/Madam'.
We think that would be a good thing to do in your application letters too, Shinjukus.
You don't want to offend anyone who might call you up for an interview!