Why is “that” more suitable in the following?

"If I lie to you, I’ll lose your trust forever. That’s/it’s the last thing I want." "I’ll search for Mary. That/it was my original plan anyway." I know "that" is more suitable in these examples, but I can’t quite pinpoint why. Is there an objective reason (semantics, grammar, etc.)? Answer "That" is more immediate, specific, … Read more

“Drinking coffee,” “haven’t had coffee,” etc

"Drinking coffee" is more common than "having coffee" on Google Books. "Haven’t had coffee" is way more common than "haven’t drunk coffee." "He’d had food" is more common than "he’d eaten food" on Google. So I think it’s more common to use the verb "have" to mean "eat" when it’s preceded by another have (except … Read more

IWhat is the meaning of the beat in this paragraph?

I have been reading an essay about Joan Didion from New Yorker (https://www.newyorker.com/culture/postscript/joan-didion-and-the-voice-of-america) I would like to ask multiple questions in this essay. Note that this essay referred what the author interviewed her before. I just copied a couple of paragraphs from the essay for your better understanding. Thank you so much for your efforts. … Read more

Why is “struggled to process” more common than “struggled processing”?

In many cases, you’d write verb + gerund: His eyes stopped to sting/stinging after a while. Google Ngrams What is it an exception with the verbs struggle and process? He struggled to process/processing the news. Google Ngrams Answer To stop is a transitive verb, whereas to struggle is an intransitive verb. From this source: A … Read more

Is the following “what’s” contraction similar to these other cases?

What’s he doing? Is this "what’s" contraction the same as: What’s his last name? What’s the last time he showered? Why or why not? I ask because the first sentence sounds a little unnatural to me (but I’m not a native English speaker). And the other two sound natural. Answer "What’s he doing" and "What’s … Read more

“Go back being friends” vs “go back to being friends.”

Google Ngrams says that go back to being friends is a lot more common than go back being friends. Is the reason grammatical? Or there’s another reason? (Or maybe they are equally correct?) Answer "Go back being friends" sounds awkward and incorrect. "Go back to being friends" sounds much more natural. AttributionSource : Link , … Read more

“How about you start tomorrow?”

Does this a common phrase? Or at least does it sound natural? I know this is quite common: "Okay, you have the job. How about starting tomorrow?" But I’m not sure about this: "Okay, you have the job. How about you start tomorrow?" Answer Both your phrases are idiomatic and correct English, however, they are … Read more