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ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > grammar    



hello everyone!
Could you please answer all of my questions!

1- I´d like to know what we call these words and phrases: (in order to, because, so that, with the result that) 
2- Are these two possibilities correct :
 people move away from desert areas in order to find food and water.
 people move away from desert areas so that they can find food and water.

3- In these sentences which one is correct? or in some could both be correct?      (please give me an explanation)
 A) Damascus has a long history and (was occupied/had been occupied) by many peoples before becoming the Syrian capital.   

B) a huge variety of items (is sold/are sold) in the souk of Damascus.

C) Hillary climbed Mount Everest in 1953.He (had attempted/had been attempting) several times before.

D) were you expecting a letter?
Yes,but it (could be sent/could have been sent) to the wrong address.

Million thanks!

23 Jan 2015      


1)  The words are conjunctions; some prefer to call them link(ing) words
2)both are correct
3) a) is sold (the subject "a variety of items" is singular)
 b) had been occupied (past perfect is needed to indicate that the action ("occupation") had ended before something else happened (before it became a capital)
c) had attempted.
d)could have been sent. A perfect infinitive after a modal verb indicates that the action expressed by the infinitive happened earlier/in the past. 

23 Jan 2015     

alien boy

With regard to 3)

     As a collective noun, variety, when preceded by a, is often treated as a plural: A variety of inexpensive goods are sold                 here. When preceded by the, it is usually treated as a singular: The variety of products is small.


23 Jan 2015     


Excuse me  Gi2Gi!
I haven �t understood what you said about (could have been sent) could you explain it again.
and concerning (Had attempted / had been attempting) why it �s wrong to use the perfect continuous?
Thanks a lot. 

24 Jan 2015     

United Kingdom

3 A - Damascus - I �m sure Giorgi �s explanation is correct, but I would accept both. �Was occupied � here is a description of how it was. 
Conjunctions are often referred to as connectives and there are various sub-divisions. Plenty of wss on here about them!

24 Jan 2015     


Ok,I �ll try :) When you use a simple infinitive after a modal verb of probabiltity, it generally shows that we mean present or future. E.g. He might be at home now. (Present probability) She might visit us tomorrow (future) But when an infinitive is used after a modal to express a past probability it takes a perfect form. E.g. He might have been at home yesterday. She might have visited us last week if we had invited her. (Past probability) As your sentence indicates that the letter had probably been sent by the time of speaking, you should use a perfect infinitive after the modal, hence the correct option - could have been sent.

24 Jan 2015