Two years later he remarried. The votes had to be recounted. After the installation you have to restart your computer. All components are reusable.
Since re here means again, you must avoid writing He remarried again or The votes had to be recounted again (that would mean that he married at least three times or that the votes were counted three times). You can read more about unnecessary words here.
Re can also mean a change in the position or state of something:
relocate = locate in a new place rearrange = arrange in a different way
Some words with re have two versions, one with a hyphen and one without, and there is a difference in meaning.
get back health, ability,
change or improve something
subdue, not allow feelings,
etc., to be expressed
make a new copy of a recording
dislike or be annoyed at
someone or something
as in 'He re-sent the parcel'
arrange for something to be
kept for your future use
Use a hyphen if re means again and if omitting the hyphen would cause confusion with another word.
You can read more about using a hyphen here and about the difference between a hyphen and a dash here.
There is a clear difference between afraid of and afraid for.
When you are afraid of, for example, snakes, you have a fear that snakes might harm you.
My little sister is afraid of spiders.
When you are afraid for someone, you fear that something bad might happen to them.
I’m afraid for you. Never go out alone late in the evening! She had always been a typical mother hen, overprotective and constantly afraid for her children.
AFRAID FOLLOWED BY A VERB
Afraid can also be used with a verb.
There is a difference in meaning between these two:
Afraid of doing something (more general) Afraid to do something (because of the potential result)
He was afraid of losing his girlfriend, but he was afraid to tell her about his fears. I’m afraid of climbing high ladders. The parcel had arrived but she was afraid to open it.
You can use the phrase I’m afraid to signal that something is impossible or untrue. If you ask to see your manager, the secretary might answer, ’I’m afraid she’s not in at the moment’. This means that the secretary knows that the manager is not there but wants to present the fact in a polite way. In some other languages the corresponding phrase indicates uncertainty, and the secretary will most likely go and check if the manager is in the office.
You can also use the phrase I’m afraid to soften disagreement or bad news:
I’m afraid you have misunderstood my intentions. You have to leave now, I’m afraid. I’m moving into my new flat on Saturday. Do you think you could give me a hand? I’m afraid not. I’ll be away on a fishing trip over the weekend.
These two words usually indicate direction in relation to the speaker or the listener.
Take implies moving something from where the speaker or listener is. Bring implies moving something to where the speaker or listener is.
Can you take my dress to the dry cleaner’s? You can bring it back when you come next week. Should I take some flowers to Mary’s party? Don’t take your car to work today. There’s an awful traffic jam in the centre. Bring the salt, please! Wait a second! I’ll bring you your towel.
In the last sentence we look at the situation from the listener’s point of view. In other words, we have changed the perspective as in the following examples:
I took your briefcase home with me by mistake. Thanks for your kind invitation. I’ll be happy to come. Shall I bring some wine?
To sum up, think of movement to or from a position. You can compare with come and go. You come here and you go there. Bring it here and take it there.
That said, you may find that either take or bring is used when the direction is unclear or unimportant. It can also depend on whether you put the emphasis on here or there, if you think about where you are now or already imagine yourself at another location.
When you say ”Should I take some flowers to Mary’s party?”, you are still at home. When you say, ”Shall I bring some wine?”, you are already imagining yourself at the party.
The two phrases with respect to and in respect of both mean regarding, concerning. While both are used in British English, in respect of is seldom used in American English.
With respect to your enquiry we can deliver the items by Friday. The two novels are very different in respect of the development of their respective characters.
Both these expressions are used in formal writing. When we speak, we have other ways of expressing regarding, as you can see here.
To a non-native English writer, the use of prepositions in English is often confusing. In the phrases we are looking at here, we cannot change the prepositions and say, for example *in respect to (for the use of the asterisk see the comment at the end of this text).
To have respect for someone is to show consideration or respect towards a person or admire someone for their qualities, ideas, actions, etc.
She has great respect for her grandfather’s long experience. I have no respect for people who keep interrupting others.
To indicate that you are not at all concerned about something you can say I couldn’t care less.
I couldn’t care less if my old car broke down. I’ve been planning to buy a new one for some time now.
If his girlfriend left him, he couldn’t care less. He has found out that she is not his type.
So the phrase I couldn’t care less means that you don’t care at all.
Therefore it seems strange to hearI could care less, which has grown in use, particularly in American English.
He was so tired that he could care less if the roof fell down on him.
To me this indicates that he actually has some concern left, so the statement is actually illogical; it implies that he still cares, that he still has worries. As a copyeditor I recommend that you stick to the original version with couldn’t.
As we have seen in another blog post, the -ing form, the present continuous, indicates that something is going on just for the moment.
I’m writing an email on the balcony (momentarily). He writes articles for monthly magazines (a regular activity).
He is living in France (temporarily). I live in Sweden (Sweden is my home country).
To say that someone is only temporarily in a place, the verb stay is often used.
He is staying at a small hotel in Lyon.
Non-native speakers of English whose mother tongue only has the present simple sometimes tend to overuse the present continuous when they speak English, since they believe that to be the common form. Even if they intend to convey a permanent state, they may say or write sentences such as the following (for the use of the asterisk read at the end of this text):
*I’m travelling to work by bus every morning all year round. (Since this is what happens regularly you should say I travel to work by bus every morning.)
*He is designing cars. (This is his permanent job, hence the correct sentence would be He designs cars.)
*They are playing golf every weekend. (This is a habit, so it should be They play golf every weekend.)
*That book is costing nine dollars. (That is a fixed price, so the correct version is That book costs nine dollars.)
*They are making washing machines. (Unless this is a temporary production and they normally make refrigerators, we must write They make washing machines.)
You should think twice before using the -ing form in English!
Was and were are past forms of the verb be, an irregular verb that is extremely common.
We use was in the first person singular (I) and the third person singular (he, she, it):
I was tired and sat down in my favorite armchair. She was in the kitchen when there was a knock on the door. It was the first Tuesday in April.
The other persons take the form were:
Were you happy with the result? We were together. They were down by the river.
Was and were are also auxiliary verbs, that is, they are followed by another verb:
I was having a nap when you called. Was he really doing that? I thought you were going to help her.
It is possible to use were also with I, he, she and it. We do so in situations that are not real. It can be a hypothetical situation (usually with the word if):
Even if he were my boss, I wouldn’t do it. If I were you, I would definitely accept the offer. If this were true, you could stay there for a whole month.
It can be wishful thinking:
I wish I were in Rome again. How I wish that she were here!
This form of the verb is called the subjunctive mood. The were form with you, we and they is also subjunctive in hypothetical or counterfactual statements, even if it does not differ from the indicative form used in ordinary sentences:
If they were younger, I would offer them a job (subjunctive). They were already there when I arrived (indicative).
You should avoid writing *I wish that she was here. (For the use of the asterisk, read at the end of this text.)
In a previous blog entry we looked at acronyms and initialisms. Probably the most common initialism is OK. Meaning acceptable, everything is in order, go ahead, I approve, etc., it is used in many languages.
Just as internet-savvy young people nowadays use fancy abbreviations such as 2Y2 (to you too), CU L8ER (see you later) and TNX (thanks), people in the 1830s also made up funny abbreviations, often based on intended misspellings. They could, for example, write KY for know yuse, meaning no use. All right was abbreviated OW (oll wright). OK was such a misspelling, supposed to mean oll korrect. It became popular when it first appeared in print in the Boston Morning Post in 1839.
In 1840, President Martin van Buren campaigned for reelection, and his supporters chose O.K. as the motto for the campaign. Van Buren’s nickname was Old Kinderhook, and supporters formed O.K. Clubs around the country. In the end, van Buren was not okayed by the voters; his opponent William Henry Harrison won the election.
OK became increasingly popular and is used all over the world in various versions such as okeh, okie, okej, okey, ookoo, owkej, hokay and others.
You can write OK in different ways, with and without full stops and in uppercase or lowercase letters. If you write for a journal, you should consult its style guide. OK is also written okay, and in student slang it became okey-dokey or okie-dokie.
Space people at NASA added a letter; AOK means All OK.
The initialism has its own sign: to signal OK, you form a circle with your thumb and first finger with the other fingers pointing upwards.
You should, however, be cautious about using this OK sign in certain countries, where it might be vulgar or offensive. In Brazil, for example, it is the equivalent of giving someone the middle finger (up yours!). The sign has also become linked to white supremacist groups in the USA.
There have been alternative suggestions about the origin of OK. One theory says that the abbreviation is from the Choctaw language (the Choctaws are a Native American people in the southeastern United States). An example of folk etymology is the belief that OK comes from the Scottish och aye, meaning oh yes. Another explanation points out that the letters OK were stamped on biscuits given to soldiers in the American Civil War. The biscuits came from Orrin Kendall’s bakery. But the most probable explanation is the one from the Boston Morning Post.
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