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Old 15th July 2007, 14:37   #16
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I forwarded it to our office call center and reception . Hope you don't mind!
Not at all!! Don't forget to give the credit to Team-BHP.
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Old 15th July 2007, 14:38   #17
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Originally Posted by hydrashok View Post
To avoid most common typos, a nice, practical and easy thing that most people can do, would be to use Firefox 2.

Firefox 2.x has a built-in active spell-check function (like the one in MS Word) that underlines wrong spellings as soon as they are typed. We can see the wrong spelling right away and correct it manually, or just right-click and choose the correct spelling.
I used this feature of the Firefox most of the time.
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Old 15th July 2007, 14:42   #18
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A spellcheck is a great idea, please do use it. But it's not always the right solution.

On a spellcheck, a sentence like "Are you going their?" would be acceptable. But it's completely wrong.
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Old 15th July 2007, 14:55   #19
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Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
We are an automotive forum who's members communicate in English and just as we do all things properly, why not post properly too?
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Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
Who's and whose: ...

Who's is a shortening of WHO IS (or who has).

If you want to ask the above question you can say "Whose car is this? I wondered whose turn it was next. Whose friend are you anyways?"

Whose is always used with a belonging. In the above case, the turn or the car or the friend.
Teacher, do I get a toffee?!
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Old 15th July 2007, 15:00   #20
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Default Another pointer

Smartass is one word. Not two.

Like this

v1p3r is a smartass. An absolutely correct statement.

Thanks Threepio.

Last edited by Sam Kapasi : 15th July 2007 at 15:04.
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Old 15th July 2007, 15:12   #21
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Default The semicolon

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Originally Posted by vid6639 View Post
Also, other than apostrophe, could you tell us when to use the semi colon correctly?
I purposely left out the semicolon (also semi-colon). In my belief it is a punctuation that is not needed in modern English.

Let me explain the usage first.

It is generally used to separate two independent thoughts within a single sentence.
Example:
I ate some pizza; I ate ice cream later. (OK, I need to stop thinking about v1p3r now)

But it's archaic and not needed. Far simpler to say "I ate some pizza and some ice cream later"

Similarly, a semicolon is also used to separate mutiple ideas within a sentence.

I dated 4 girls: Priya, 16; Eliza, 18; Preeti, 18 and Roma,20.

Just like the semicolon was and is used to seperate email addresses when you send to multiple users. Even in this case, it is being rapidly replaced by the comma.

So you don't really need to use the semicolon, you'll be perfectly fine without it, most of the time.

Last edited by Sam Kapasi : 15th July 2007 at 15:17.
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Old 15th July 2007, 15:24   #22
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Sam sir, could you please elaborate the usage and difference between:
Will and Shall
Will and Would
Can and Could
Could and Would
Must and Ought

Last edited by DCEite : 15th July 2007 at 16:31.
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Old 15th July 2007, 16:15   #23
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Originally Posted by DCEite View Post
Sam sir, can you please elaborate the usage and difference between:
Will and Shall
Will and Would
Can and Could
Could and Would
Must and Ought
Of course! Some nice points. And a good dig (calling me Sir, lol)

Shall and Will: The line between these two has become faded. In modern English, they are almost freely swappable, adding to the confusion.

Let me tell you how I use it.

I use shall to make a strong emphasis.
Example: I shall succeed, no matter what.
Would it be wrong to say, I will succeed? Nope. But the first sentence has more dum, don't you think?

Shall is used when asking a question:
"Shall i eat this? Shall we leave now?"

But in the UK, it is common to replace this with a Will.
In colloquial English(brit.), a mother can ask her son "You look unwell, will I make you some soup?" It's not wrong, but not generally used, especially here.

Mostly, you would use shall with I and We. Unless you're using it for strong emphasis "He shall not defeat me."

Shall not can be shortened to shan't.

-------------------------------------------------

Will and Would:

In basic essence, would is the past tense of will. But they are not swappable at all.
Example: "The car would be gone for a week" This indicates a possibility, a conditional clause.
The car will be gone indicates a future confirmation.

But also used in multiple ways:
Like to express a desire or advice: I would love to drive the Phantom. I wouldn't do that, if I were you.

Or even conditional: If I was taller, I would have had many girlfriends.

Will is simply used for the future tense and other uses.
Future: He will be 29 tomorrow.
Consistent Behaviour: No matter what you tell him, he will drive fast.

As of now I cannot think of a single situation where you can swap these two words.

Will not can be shortened to won't and would not to wouldn't.
-------------------------------------------

Can and Could: Again not swappable.

A sentence like I can! would signify a confident yes.
But a sentence like I could would denote a conditional, or a half sentence. Maybe I can, maybe not. Or I can, if I got something in return etc.

Also, we make a common mistake
Can I borrow your shirt?WRONG! This is not polite and not a nice way of asking.
COULD I borrow your shirt is polite and nice.

Or in a store/restaurant:
Can you tell me how much this costs? Can you serve us now? Not nice.

Replace with could and the result is polite and well spoken.
Could you tell me/ could you guide me/ could you serve us now These are nice and correct.

An exception: Unlike shall not and will not, cannot is ONE word. This can be shortened to can't.
Could not can be shortened to couldn't.


-------------------------------------------------------------

Could and Would: Not related at all. In fact quite apart in meaning.

A comon way of combining the two

He would, if he could.

Meaning: He would have done it, if he was capable of doing it.

Could is related to can, the way would is related to will.


---------------------------

Must and Ought:
Must, ofcourse is a word so many superb uses. We know most of them.
Insistence No beta you must eat.
Annoyed question Must you stare at that woman's chest all the time?
Or rules/law. You must be 18 to watch this movie.

Must not can be shortened to mustn't. A lovely word.


So where does OUGHT (pronounced AUT) fit in? Well, primarily, I find ought to be an old fashioned word, but thouroughly enjoyable.
If you can use this word successfully, you will come across to all reading/listening to you, as a person with a good command over English.

So let's discuss ought. Ought is always used with an unconjugated verb. means we use the whole verb, to do, to have, to go.

Therefore a rule of thumb
Ought is never used without to (something).

The uses:
To show an obvious or expected action You really ought to know this. He's finished his driving school, he ought to be able to drive! We ought to eat now.

When using the negative, you say ought not to (something). Like I ought not to go. You cannot shorten and join these.
While it sounds propah and sometimes archaic, it's a very powerful and educated expression.

Last edited by Sam Kapasi : 15th July 2007 at 16:18. Reason: Text formatting and all that crap.
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Old 15th July 2007, 16:31   #24
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Thanks a lot Sam!
Edited my post(22) and replaced "can" with "could". I am a quick learner.

Last edited by DCEite : 15th July 2007 at 16:32.
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Old 15th July 2007, 16:40   #25
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Here's a born Englishman that couldn't survive without Firefox's spellchecker!

But of course, no spell checker catches using the wrong word!

Here are the things that have been puzzling me for the past fifty years...

'ee' or 'ea'; sweat or sweet? green or grean, week or weak, dear or deer --- sometimes it's makes for a mispelt word, sometimes for another word altogether. Sometimes the pronunciation changes sometimes it doesn't...

double consonants: traffic or trafic? shopping or shoping? the spell checker helps here.

All these mustn't, doesn't, won't etc words are, really, colloquialisms (needed the spell-checker for that one!), figures of spoken English, rather than written English --- but posting on a board tends to be in a style which is more like talking than writing.

Oh, and any three-year old in England will tell you that, not only does the word shan't exist, it is one of their favourites!

Of course, one ought not to start sentences, let alone paragraphs, with prepositions (eg but or and). But I often find myself doing so!

Sometimes Tamil friends have asked me to check some English they have written; they find it hard to understand, as speakers of a phonetic language, when I tell them I'm no good at checking spelling!

Here's one for your list...

One may ask whether it is raining or not. One may ask whether it is raining or sunny. Whether should always have an alternative, and only one alternative. You should ask whether it is raining, snowing or sunny.

If is more flexible; you may ask if it is raining.

How about may and can --- beloved of teachers and the more pedantic among us.

scenes from the schoolroom...

"Can I leave the room?"; well, your legs are working, so I don't see why not.

"Can I go to the toilet?"; if not you had better see your doctor!

"May I leave the room?"; Ahhh... yes, you may!

can asks if it is possible; may requests permission.

Colons and semi-colons are far from archaic, but most English people are very unclear about their correct usage. I have probably misused them here!

Last edited by Thad E Ginathom : 15th July 2007 at 16:42.
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Old 15th July 2007, 16:45   #26
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Welcome, TeG. I was wondering when you'd land up here - it takes two to Tango, or in this case, to Thillana.
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Old 15th July 2007, 16:49   #27
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Terrific post Thad. And some excellent points.

Quote:
"Can I go to the toilet?"; if not you had better see your doctor!
LMAO

Mostly I find CAN in a question to be very rude and would much rather use COULD or MAY, depending on the context.

And I just shifted over to Firefox 2. Nice. Little red underwear, sorry I mean underlines.
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Old 15th July 2007, 16:49   #28
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Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
One may ask whether it is raining or not. One may ask whether it is raining or sunny. Whether should always have an alternative, and only one alternative. You should ask whether it is raining, snowing or sunny.
Hmm, how about "I wanted to know whether it is raining?" Is that a wrong usage?
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Old 15th July 2007, 16:54   #29
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Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
Hmm, how about "I wanted to know whether it is raining?" Is that a wrong usage?
I wanted to know whether it is raining OR NOT. Now it is correct.

Whether needs a second option.

However your choice of wanted, indicates a past, but the raining is present. So, the literal translation of your sentence, is that you wanted to know if it is raining (but you don't want to know anymore).
So the correct way would be I WANT to know whether it is raining or not(present) OR I wanted to know whether it WAS raining or not (completely in the past)


otherwise without a whether I wanted to know if it was raining OR I want to know if it is raining.

Last edited by Sam Kapasi : 15th July 2007 at 17:03. Reason: forgot something
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Old 15th July 2007, 16:55   #30
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You could add definitely to the list. A lot of people seem to think it's definately.
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