Ask the Prof

discussion-two-people

Questa sezione serve per aprire una discussione su qualsiasi aspetto della lingua inglese
o semplicemente per allenarsi su un argomento qualunque.

Le discussioni vanno avviate direttamente nei commenti qui sotto.


85 comments

  1. Hi Tony, I was doing a fill the gap exercise and one sentence was: would you like a drink? Yes…
    Among the given answers there were thanks and please, with please as the right answer. But why is thanks wrong in this case?

    1. Generally the two “typical” answers are:
      “Yes, please.”
      “No, thanks.”
      It would be possible to say: “Yes (piccola pausa). Thank you.”
      But “Yes, thanks” is not really used.

  2. Buongiorno, in un documentario ho sentito la frase:
    He would have made a great emperor had he gotten the chance. Della quale il significato è facile, ma la costruzione proprio non riesco a capire, non potrei mettere il verbo essere (been?) e anche un if nella seconda frase (è obbligatorio ometterlo?)

    After six years secluded in Capri Caligola has killed the emperor of Rome. Mettere il passato semplice sarebbe stato sbagliato (l’azione è completamente passata..) ?

    grazie,

    1. Hi Giuseppe.
      Yes, in the first part you can say either:
      • He would have made a great emperor…
      • He would have been a great emperor…
      Both versions are equally good.

      If you use “if” in the second part, then you have re-invert the subject and verb and say: “…if he had gotten the chance.” (I don’t like “gotten”, it’s very American. I would prefer: “If he had had the chance.”)
      When you remove “if” you have to invert the subject and the verb as though it is a question:
      “He would have stopped had he seen the dog.” (He would have stopped if he had seen the dog.)
      The version without “if” is a fairly literary style and isn’t used much in spoken English.

      With regard to your second question, it should definitely be “past simple” and not “present perfect”.
      I suspect there has been a bad translation in this case.

  3. Buonasera Prof,
    ho seri dubbi circa i gruppi nominali contenenti titoli:

    Si dice:
    The “Introduction to the subject” paragraph is very long.
    or
    The paragraph “Introduction to the subject” is very long.

    The “Stagecoach” movie is a masterpiece.
    or
    The movie “Stagecoach” is a masterpiece.

    The document “Advanced User Manual” is ready.
    or
    The “Advanced User Manual” document is ready.

    Forse dovrei togliere gli articoli “The” ?

    Grazie
    Costantino

    1. Leggendo i tuoi esempi, direi che nel caso di titoli forse è meglio usrae la costruzione standard e non il gruppo nominale. Questo non perché ip gruppo nominale non è pèossibile ma perché forse un nativo non lo userebbe con titoli. Quindi direi:
      1) The paragraph “Introduction to the subject” is very long.
      oppure: The introductory paragraph is very long.
      2) The movie “Stagecoach” is a masterpiece.
      3) The document “Advanced User Manual” is ready.

      Non è una questione dell’articolo ma il fatto che sono tutti presentati come titoli.

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