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Your English Questions

Average: 2.5 (4 votes)

Every month we ask our newsletter readers to send their English language questions to EC Brighton's teacher, Tim. Here are the best questions of the month.

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If Conditionals

Question:What are the different kinds of conditionals?
Cheikh Elvis Niang

Answer: Zero, first, second, third and mixed. That’s them! Seriously, if you have a specific area of confusion you would like help with, then I can help you. However, perhaps a grammar book is the way to provide you with as large an overview of this language area as your question suggests. By the way, they are used in a very similar way to those in French. In the meantime, try this http://www.ecenglish.com/learnenglish/lessons/conditionals-using-if
All the best,
Tim

Proper Question

Question: What is the proper question that we have ask in English for which the following statement is the answer?.
'Mr Joseph is the 20th president of our club.'
Wilson Thilakaratna

Answer: Hmmm, I guess there could be a few questions really. How about, ‘Who is the 20th president of your/our club?’, ‘Of whose club is Mr Joseph the president?’, ‘Of what is Mr Joseph the president?’, ‘What position does Mr Joseph hold in your club?’. Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera! Try this quiz to help:
http://www.ecenglish.com/learnenglish/lessons/questions-and-answers-match
All the best,
Tim

When to Leave out 'That'

Question: When can we omit "that" or not in a sentence ?
Jacques, France

Answer: When it's the right word to use. Again this is a question which is far too vague to explain, without repeating several pages of a grammar book. Have you tried that? (the thing I have just said) That has a number of uses. It can be used as a relative pronoun, "Where's the book that I lent you?" or as a determiner, "Please may I have a piece of that cake?" (not this one)
All the best,
Tim

Have had

Question: I always find myself confused when it comes to using "have had". Could you please tell me which is the correct one of the two? "We have barely had a conversation" or "We barely have had a conversation?"
Zahida Khalid

Answer: I'm not sure what your question is, do you mean where should the adverb go? In this case, it is more common to put the adverb between the auxiliary (have) and the main verb (had), so the first example. However, the rules apply mainly to formal speech and the written word. In relaxed speech, adverbs often pop up when we least expect them and the positioning is less restricted!
All the best,
Tim

Do not have to vs. Must not

Question: What is the meaning of "I do not have to work" and "I must not work"? Do they mean the same?
Talib, France

Answer:"Do not have to" shows that someone is not required to do something e.g. "I do not have to work because I am very rich."
"Must not" suggests that you not allowed to do something e.g "I must not work because I am very sick."
All the best,
Tim

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