What topicalizing role does “do” play in “Only now do we have what we need to move forward”?

In the sentence “Only now do we have what we need to move forward”, the word do clearly has some emphasizing meaning. But I would like a more precise understanding. Topicalization and fronting are somehow involved . Is do turning the verb have into the topic? But do is not a placeholder in fronted position … Read more

Not your run of the ‘will’ question tag

The following example is from an Italian quiz book whose aim is to help candidates prepare for English multiple choice tests. In many government-run “concorsi” (competitive exams) you might have to answer up to 100 questions in an hour or less. The fact is, you can’t afford to spend time figuring out the answer, it’s–as … Read more

Is using “if you would” instead of “if you will” in the sense of “if you wish/want/like” technically “correct”?

I may be wrong here, but I think of the verb “will” as in the set phrase “if you will” as an actual verb, with the rare sense “wish, desire, want”, not as a mere future marker. Therefore, in this sentence: He wasn’t very bright, or kind of a dummy, if you will. …the “I … Read more

What Does He Do

I’m teaching conversational English to ESL students in Korea, but I don’t have a strong background in grammar. I can tell them how we say things, but cannot always explain why it is that way. Today, one student asked about the phrase: “What does he do?” They wanted to know why we use “do” at … Read more

Can “taken” be used without an auxiliary verb? “When taken to this extreme…”

Is it correct to use “taken” without an auxiliary (helping) verb? For example: In some cases, a more powerful racial group justifies the domination and, horribly, even the complete destruction of ethnic or racial minorities they consider to be inferior. When taken to this extreme, genocides such as the European Holocaust and the massacre in … Read more

Tense form after the word did

I read this explanation about did from http://www.learnersdictionary.com/qa/did-main-verb-base-form-or-past-tense-form . Does that mean all the verb after did in a question will remain as it is? Example like : What did your sister use to dig the sand? We have two verbs here and we don’t have to change them to tense word? Answer You are … Read more

What is the difference between who closed the door and who did close the door?

I was teaching past simple and there is this exercise in which we have to conjugate verbs to the past form. I know that we add an auxiliary to make a question, but do we sometimes omit this auxiliary for one reason or another. The question that made me wonder is with (who). Who did … Read more