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misty123's avatar

Need help on this English question.

Asked by misty123 (407points) January 3rd, 2012

First up all this is not a home work question. I have just some doubts about the correct usage of the words.

The below sentences are about to know the correct usage of adjectives,adverbs, gerunds and verbs.

1. Go slow or Go slowly-
Always ride you bike slow/slowly when you are in the traffic.

Late or Lately-
2. I failed in the exam since I got the admission(very)late/lately.

Both(adjective and adverb) can work here? How?

3.Is there a way to erase an existing/existed background displayed on the screen?

Would it be an alternative using a verb existed, instead existing?

4. Open the next webpage that lets your photo open.


4. Open the next webpage which lets your photo open.

Can the word that also be used in same way like which?

Use of had to and would when talking about the past? Both have same meaning?

5. We all knew I had to get rid of him vs We all knew I would get rid of him.

Use of to + ing:

6. We’re on track to becoming(become) a developed nation.
6. I look forward to meeting(meet) you.

What is the exact difference when we use verb with ing after infinitive?

Your answers are really helpful!

Thanks and wish you a very happy new year!

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16 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Too many for one question.

“Always ride your bike slowly…“Slowly is an adverb that modifies the verb “ride.”

“I am a slow reader.” “Slow” is an adjective that modifies the pronoun, “I.”

newtscamander's avatar

I’d say :
2— late if the admission was too late , for example if the other applicants received theirs a month before and yours got held up in the mail or something like that…..and lately if you recently received your admission. Lately is an an adverb and late, in this case, an adjective.
If you want to use the very, it would have to be late. Very late works but very lately wouldn’t.

At least that’s how I would do it !

CWOTUS's avatar

1. “Go slowly” is technically correct, but “Go slow” is colloquial usage (the way people actually speak).

2. “Lately” means “recently”. “Lately I have been living with a relative.”

When used as an adverb, “late” refers to the time sequence of related events: “I was late to class” indicates that your arrival was later than the start of the class. “I’ve been taking classes lately” means that you have recently been taking classes.

3. “Existing”. “Existed” would simply not work at all in this sentence. You could say that “I erased the background that existed”, because that indicates that the background ‘did exist’ in the past.

CWOTUS's avatar

One thing about the word “late” that may not be obvious: When used as an adjective preceding a noun for a person or other living thing, it does not refer to timeliness. “My late father”, for example, means “my deceased father”.

This lends itself to puns, such as “my late son” when you’re talking about a teenager who is always late for class – and who you “will kill if he flunks the class”. But that’s advanced stuff for you now.

flo's avatar

Either way
Either way
I don’t know if I know the reasons

XOIIO's avatar

You should really do your own homework you know.

LostInParadise's avatar

4. that vs which
In this case “that” is appropriate.
The rule is that “which” is supposed to refer to something already mentioned and is usually separated with a comma.
“Open the next webpage, which lets your photo open.” means that you know that the very next Web page lets your photo open.

5. The two sentences have different meanings. Having to get rid of him does not necessarily mean that you actually would get rid of him.

6. “to” is a preposition so the “ing” ending is appropriate. Use of to as an infinitive would imply “in order to,” which I do not believe is your intention here.

submariner's avatar

6. Your question seems to be confusing two problems.
One is the problem of infinitives vs. gerunds as objects of verbs or complements of objects (example: I like to swim vs. I like swimming_). I know of no systematic way to explain this. Sometimes there is practically no difference, sometimes there is a subtle difference, and sometimes only one or the other will do (we would not say I want swimming instead of I want to swim). There is no syntactic rule that applies to all cases; the appropriate form depends on the specific vocabulary of the sentence. You just have to look at lots of examples and get a feel for it. It might help to remember that infinitives and gerunds are functioning as nouns in sentences like these. Also, the infinitive sometimes indicates instrumentality (I built the fence to keep out the foxes).

But your example involves a second problem. The word to is usually a preposition, but it is not a preposition when it appears in an infinitive. In an infinitive, it is a particle. When you see to before a gerund as in I look forward to meeting you, to is a preposition, and the gerund or gerund phrase is the object of the preposition.

The to in on track to is usually a particle, so you would say on track to become, but you may occasionally see it used the other way because of what the word track literally means. The to in look forward to is a preposition, so you would say look forward to meeting you. Here’s a tip: when you have a usage question about phrases like these, google the phrase and see what kind of construction it is usually used in.

@gailcalled in your example, slow is modifying reader, not I.

submariner's avatar

After thinking about it some more, I’m having trouble thinking of an example in which the gerund is used as an object complement, though the -ing form as a participle might be (We found him sitting on his bed).

morphail's avatar

1 “slow” is an adverb as well as an adjective, and it is fine in this sentence.

2 “late” is an adverb, and its meaning is different from “lately”. In this sentence you want “late”.

3 Only “existing” works here.

4 I’m not sure what this sentence means.

6 Some constructions require the plain form of the verb, for instance “I went to see you”.
Some constructions require the -ing form, for instance “I look forward to meeting you.”
Some constructions take either, but with different meanings, for instance “I tried to open the door” vs “I tried opening the door” (the first means “make an experiment”, the second means “make an effort”)
This is something you have to memorize.

submariner's avatar

4. Some style manuals say that you should use that in a restrictive clause and ,which in a non-restrictive clause.

Take the Greyhound bus that is heading south. (Don’t take the northbound or eastbound or westbound Greyhound bus. Take the southbound Greyhound bus.)
Take the Greyhound bus, which is heading south. (Don’t take the Trailways bus. By the way, the bus you should take happens to be going south.)

@morphail vice versa on the door example

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

@flo Good job! You get an A+.

flo's avatar

@Skaggfacemutt Glad to know it:)

morphail's avatar

@submariner you’re right. Try +ing means “make an experiment” and try +infinitive means “make an effort”

submariner's avatar

5. Both are correct but they don’t say the same thing. Have + infinitive expresses some kind of necessity (in the past, in this case). Would in this case is expressing the “past future” (I forget the term for this), i.e., it is the past tense of will , not expressing a conditional as it does on other contexts.

John gets on a boat at noon and says, “I know I will be seasick.” John throws up at 12:15pm. At 5pm, after the boat ride is over, John tells his friend, “As soon as I got on the boat, I knew I would be seasick.”

misty123's avatar

@All: Thanks a lot! It’s really helpful.

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