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Sunday, 24 February 2008

AAE Q128: a few questions

Hi Mr Ford!

I have got a few questions, please could you help me with them..

Is it possible to say 'I used to play tennis for two years'? or is the time expression a blunder? Strange, some textbooks do not mention it at all, some say it is ok, some say it is incorrect!!

Hi Katka.

It is not possible with the time expression. The best way would be to say "I used to play tennis; I played for two years."

My second question is about using the expression ´how to´.. Which of the following sentences is correct and which is incorrect:
  1. This is the way to do it.
  2. This is the way how to do it.
  3. This is how to do it.
(I am aware of this being a common Czech problem, but I am not sure..)

There is no problem with any of the expressions. Personally I feel that the first and third are better.


And my last question:

Is it possible to say- 'I got married recently'? or 'D. Brown recently published a new book called.....'?

I know that with recently should be used present perfect as in I have had a terrible headache recently. But the actions in the two sentences are finished..

Yes it is possible. It is also possible to use the present perfect (because the result of the action is now). In British English we would probably favour the present perfect.


Thank you very much for your time!!!!And I also want to thank you for the great web site of yours!

Thank you Katka

Hope this helps

M

1 Comment:

Anonymous said...

RE: Is it possible to say- 'I got married recently'? or 'D. Brown recently published a new book called.....'?

Matt, I have a doubt about the use of the present perfect in "I have got married recently".
Is this REALLY possible? Surely, both time and action are clearly finished, meaning that it should be past simple? My doubt is that the consequence of marriage is longer lasting than the ceremony itself, as in "Sorry boss, there has been an accident (finished time/event) and I'm going to be late (consequence)" but it just sounds strange to me in Pres perf.

Could you let me know what you think?

Thanks,
coccolith@hotmail.com