The preference for “may be” ot “maybe” after the conjuction “― and”

My dad turned around and stared at us, his fear confirming that something wasn’t right ― and maybe even very wrong. One student struggles to understand the sentence especially in a bold part. – and (something) "may be even very wrong" or "- and maybe even very wrong". I think he/she is unsatisfied with the … Read more

Should have + past particle = past simple?

I was reading The Great Gatsby and here’s the sentence. I should have rented a house in one of the strangest communities. He did rent a house in fact. so I don’t think he’s expressing regret or hope…I did ask around and they all said that it’s past simple, old-fashion, and "have" is infinitive, but … Read more

“I don’t think I understand” vs. “I don’t understand”

An ELL post (buttonholes — meaning?) says I don’t think I understand what kind of buttonholes they’re talking about. I found “I don’t understand” is commonly used to express the unawareness of something. Google Ngram may verify that So, what is the difference between “I don’t think I understand” and “I don’t understand”? Is the … Read more

Usage of “could” in “could account for as much as 7.0%”

“College Factual ranks Northwestern U as 46th out of a total 1,059 colleges and universities for sheer popularity with students from China. Chinese students could account for as much as 7.0% of the entire student body and as much as 41.1% of the international student body at Northwestern U.” From This text seems to … Read more

Is it grammatically correct to use a modal equivalent ‘have to do smth’ in present perfect form?

Recently I have come across the following two sentences in a test for Student’s Book Activate Level A2 published by Pearson/Longman in 2010 by Joanne Taylore-Knowles: Has Naomi had to go? and Have they had to repeat the work? I am not sure if it is grammatically correct, it just does not make sense or … Read more

Is “which may causes” the correct phrase?

I’m just practicing passage reconstruction. Here I’ve formed a phrase “Organic former usually use natural pesticides and fertilizers instead using chemical pesticide which may causes economic damage to agricultural productivity.” for respective phrase from a passage “Organic farmers use natural pesticides and fertilizers.“. I’ve used “which may causes” to form the phrase. Is this correct? … Read more