Using “a lot” or “very much” to answer “how popular is something?”

Can I use "A lot" or "Very much" to answer "How popular is somebody/something?"? A full answer would be "It is very popular", but can I simply replace the answer with "A lot" or "Very much"? Answer No. Even accounting for answer ellipsis (see the Wikipedia article) (where you don’t feed back the understood parts … Read more

Is it okay to start a sentence with “Doesn’t matter”?

Is it okay to start a sentence with “Doesn’t matter”? Like: Doesn’t matter which train you board, you are going to be late for the meeting. Answer This is perfectly grammatical and perfectly common. The Corpus of Contemporary American English and the British National Corpus have well over a hundred cites. For example: Doesn’t matter … Read more

Is “you ate?” an acceptable form to ask the question in spoken/informal English?

I’ve been a part of the discussion on whether it’s acceptable to ask someone “You ate?” when meaning to ask “Did you eat?” or “Have you eaten?” and we can’t find a definitive answer. We’ve found some examples of similar ellipses omitting “to do/to have”, but they all use present tense, not past tense which … Read more

“Then a message that . . .” with no main verb

In the following boldfaced sentence, a main verb is missing. Is this natural in native speech? “People got me out of my room at 3am. This night was a horror, I slept in my clothes in my bed because I was afraid that at any moment someone would take me back to isolation,” Maliszewska said. … Read more

Is “but” required, optional, or forbidden after “[I’m] not going to lie”?

Is it weird to add but after not going to lie? Not going to lie, but this week really flew by. Not going to lie; this week really flew by. I have heard people use this phrase without but. Is it ever appropriate to use but this way? Answer Is it weird to add but … Read more

Why do some questions not start with an auxiliary verb?

When I learned English, my teachers told me that all questions must have an auxiliary verb at the beginning, just like Are you mad? or Is she playing? do. But when watching some movies or talking with people who speak English, they just ask using things like You mad? and She’s playing? Of course, the … Read more

How should verb goes with “let” be in past tenses?

How should verb goes with “let” be in past tenses? Present tense: let’s go; let me see Past tense: let’s went? let me saw? I’m unable to search for any information about this. It seems like let will never be used in a past tense sentence Answer The past form of let is let. Let-let-let. … Read more

The synonym of let in

In the Longman Exams Coach software, about “let somebody in on something” the following definition was given: to tell something that is secret or only known by a few people Also, some example sentences: ▪ TV chef Raymond Blanc lets us in on the secrets of his kitchen. ▪ Would someone mind letting me in … Read more

Meaning of the phrase “Four pounds if he’s an ounce”

In The Thirty-Nine Steps, Sir Walter is describing a fish and says “Look at that big fellow. Four pounds if he’s an ounce.” I’ve heard similar phrases before but never understood what is being said beyond the emphasis of size. I’ve struggled to parse this sentence and I am tempted to believe that it’s a … Read more