If vs. whether


We can use if or whether to relate indirect yes-no questions and questions with orIf is more common than whether: Please contact the manager if you have any further queries. I called Amelia to find out whether she really did go to movie or not.


If = We use if to introduce a clause, often in indirect speech, that shows two or more possibilities: Mr. William called to ask if his ticket was booked. I don’t care if he stays or not – I’m coming! Mrs. Wilson was wondering if you’d accompany her to the market this evening?

Whether = We use whether especially in reporting questions and expressing doubts. We use whether in more formal situations: The board will ask the chairman whether he would recommend this syllabus to the school from this year. (in a formal board meeting). The administrator read a letter that he’d written and the board discussed whether the matter should be closed.


We prefer ‘whether’ with ‘or’ when there is more than one alternative in the indirect question: After the meeting, members asked whether they should change these age-old policies, selection criteria or both.


To present a choice, we can use ‘or not’ with ‘if’ and ‘whether.’ In this case, ‘whether’ is immediately followed by ‘or not’ or in end position. With ‘if’, we use ‘or not’ in end position only: I called Jack to find out whether or not he really did want to marry Isabella. I called Jack to find out if he really did want to marry Isabella.


Whether or not = means “regardless of whether”: She’s going to complain whether or not the principal accepts her demand. (= no matter what the principal does, she will complain)


Typical errors: If, whether


We use ‘whether’ and not ‘if’ before a to-infinitive, often when we’re referring to future plans or decisions:

I was wondering whether to go for a swim.

I don’t know whether to see ‘The Beekeeper’ or the ‘Mean Girls.’

Inform the counsellor whether you need help. (= two possibilities: you need help or you do not)

Inform the counsellor if you need help. (= you must inform the student adviser only in case you need help)

Let me know whether the wheel still jams. (= no matter whether the wheel jams or not, you let me know)

Let me know if the wheel still jams. (= in case the wheel jams, let me know about it)

He wants to find out if the cab has an extra passenger.

He wants to find out the cab has an extra passenger.     X  (if/ whether can’t be omitted)

Let me know if you need more time. (= … only if you need more time)

Let me know whether you need more time. (= … whether you need more time or not, you have to inform me)


Whether not if


We use whether and not if after prepositions, infinitives, and as subjects and complements of a sentence:

We had a discussion about if we are having a party tonight.                X             

We had a discussion about whether we are having a party tonight.     

The jury seemed mainly interested in if there were any eye-witnesses to the murder. X       The jury seemed mainly interested in whether there were any eye-witnesses to the murder.           


We use whether, not if, directly before or not:


Can you tell me whether or not you’re interested in this project.                

Can you tell me if or not you’re interested in this project.                            X                                                             

I’m not interested in whether I get a window seat and that kind of thing, I just want to have a confirmed booking.                                                                                                                          

I’m not interested in if I get a window seat and that kind of thing, I just want to have a confirmed booking.                        X                                                                                                 


We prefer whether when introducing a subject or a complement in a sentence:

The question is whether the show will click.

The question is if the show will click.  (if as a complement is also possible, but less common)


I doubt if/ whether = I doubt if/ whether he can catch the train on time.  (both are possible)

I don’t know whether = I don’t know whether he didn’t hear the bell or (whether) he just didn’t want to speak to me.


Remember if and whether are often interchangeable, but have noticeable uses. For clarity, it is highly recommended to use whether in reference to a choice or alternatives (we’re moving out whether they cut back on rent or not) and if when establishing a condition (we’re moving out if they don’t cut back on rent).


Example sentences of if and whether

 I don’t know if/whether the parcel has arrived.

I am not sure if/ whether the party is already over.

I’m not sure if/whether my suggestion will be accepted.

I don’t know if/whether I should tell mother this.

I’m not sure if/whether she’ll admit her fault.

I’m not going to the cinema whether he pays or not.

The police officer wondered if/whether his story was true.

They doubt if/whether the team will win all upcoming matches.

We wonder if/ whether tomorrow’s exam will be postponed.

They doubt if/whether they will share the news with the rest of us.


Some more example sentences of if and whether

I don’t know if he can drive to the mall. He is probably sleeping off a mighty hangover.

They didn’t comb and brush their dogs, and got them pruned for the beauty contest this year so I doubt if they’re going to win it. 

He called the manager to see if/whether they take reservations at this time of the year.

We had plenty of evidences to show them but I’m not sure whether they’ll be able to admit any of them.

Amelia called the bakeries nearby and found out if any of them sell Blueberry Muffins.

He called Jack from the airport and asked if he could drop in to see him before check-in.

We’re having a conversation about whether their plan would succeed when everyone else failed.

The jury has not decided whether the next hearing will be held in February or March.

Nothing but+Singular/Plural noun+Singular verb


Nothing but’ means ‘only.’ It can denote ‘only this thing and nothing else,’ for
example, “Give mother nothing but sugar-free peanut butter. She is a diabetic.” ‘Nothing
’ can have the sense of ‘very’ or ‘a lot of,’ for example, “It is very often nothing but
our own vanity that deceives us
.” and “I wish we’d never hire this chauffeur. He has been
nothing but trouble
.” It can also have the sense of ‘nothing more important or more
real than
,’ for example, “This so-called Picasso painting is nothing but a fake.”


We also use ‘nothing but’ when we complain about something or talk about something negatively; when it rolls off the tongue, it’s a condemnation of something. In some way, “nothing but” minimizes the subject you are talking about. He’s nothing but a cheat means “can’t say anything else about him; that’s all you need to know about him.” It is more emphatic than just calling him a cheat. However, we use ‘nothing but’ when we talk about positive situations or things as well: Pamela has nothing but good things to say about her mother-in-law.  (no resentment about her mother-in-law)


Notice that the expression ‘nothing but’ may be followed by a singular or plural noun, however, in both cases the verb will be singular:
Nothing but goats is seen on the pinnacles of mountain tops.
Nothing but books and magazines pleases her. (here, the subject is nothing and not books and magazines, hence, singular verb)


Remember ‘nothing’, according to the traditional rule, is customarily treated as a singular, even when followed by an exception phrase containing a plural noun:
Nothing but roses meets (not meet) the eye.


There are many actual citations in the Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA) and Google Books which show a variety of choices for the construction of:

<Negative-Pronoun> but <Plural-Noun-Phrase> <Verb-Singular/Plural>
One COCA example uses a singular verb here:
Maybe Pearl was Hiroshima. Nothing but debating points is to be gained by arguing such things. (PBS Newshour, 1991)
On the other hand, COCA examples use a plural verb instead:
. . . it was almost impossible for Darryl to distinguish the members of the surgical team; nothing but their eyes were visible. (Analog Magazine, 2012)

Example sentences of ‘nothing but’
We could see nothing but snow. (nothing other than snow)
Daniel’s wife is nothing but trouble.  (Daniel’s wife always causes problems)
He’ll accept nothing but the best for his family. (he’ll only accept the best, if it’s anything other than the best – he won’t accept it!)
They had nothing but problems with the laptop.  (They had a lot of problems with the laptop)
He did nothing but hide the truth from his wife.
That’s right – nothing but honest work.
Her expression revealed nothing but dismay.
She said nothing but let her eyes speak.
He came to Hollywood with nothing but the backpack.
They saw nothing but a distant beach and the ocean.
She said nothing but knocked at the door.
She could do nothing but continue to grumble.
Some more example sentences of ‘nothing but’
She got nothing but money from the divorce.
You’re nothing but a joke to me, are you?
He could do nothing but give up smoking.
The entire place smelled of nothing but her.
She had done nothing but cry, complain and faint since the break-up.
Emma’s teachers have been nothing but kind to her since she moved in here.
The next few days will be nothing but snow and rains all over the place.
The Prime Minister has done nothing but evade reporters’ questions for the past hour. Why can’t he be honest with them for once?”
When I say don’t chew tobacco, I have nothing but your welfare in mind.

Have something done vs. get something done


Have something done = When we talk about something that someone else did for us or for another person, we use a causative verb with the construction have something done (have + object + past participle). In other words, the subject caused the action to happen, but didn’t do it themselves: maybe they paid, or asked, or urged the other person to do it. For example: I fixed my car. (This means I fixed my car myself). If we paid someone to fix it, we could say: Someone fixed my car. However, if we don’t want to bring that someone into the picture, we can say: I had my car fixed. In some way, this using a causative verb is similar to using a passive. What is important here is the end result – fixing and not the subject – who did it?


Get something done = We can also use get something done (get + object + past participle) in the same way and with the similar meaning to ‘have’: I got my car fixed. When did you last get your hair cut?


Notice that the difference between have and get something done is that have is slightly more formal than get and that we use get more frequently than have in the imperative form.


Also, notice that we can use the causative in any tense or verb form. The only part of the structure that we change is the verb to have (or get): I’ve just had the car fixed. You don’t need to have the car fixed. Are you getting the car fixed soon? I got the car fixed yesterday. I’ll get the car fixed tomorrow.


Some example sentences of have/get something done


Amelia had/got her essay checked.

I’ll have/get my hair cut on Saturday.

She had/got her sewing machine fixed.

I‘ll have/get the oil in my car changed.

He had/got his pocket picked in Piccadilly.

Grandpa needs to have/get his eyes tested.

Have you ever had/got your wallet stolen?

He had/got her foot burned in the fire.

Mrs. William had/got her house painted last week.

They‘re having/getting their house redecorated.

They had/got their house rebuilt after the earthquake. 

How often do you have/get your car inspected?

Have you ever had/got your photo taken professionally?

How often do you have/get your food delivered?

Would you like to have/get your hair straightened?

We have/get the house decked with flowers every Christmas.


Have someone do something (have + person + infinitive) = We can also use the construction ‘subject + have + person + infinitive’. This construction is very similar to ‘have something done‘. However, this time we say who did the thing – we talk about the person who we asked to do the thing for us:

I had the mechanic fix my car.

I’ll have the plumber take a look at the sink tomorrow.

Teacher had Liam write the answers on the whiteboard.

The doctor will have the nurse take the patient’s temperature.


Get someone to do something (get + person + to + infinitive) = We also use the construction ‘get + someone + to + infinitive’. Again, this indicates that we cause the other person to do the action, maybe by paying them to do it, or by asking them to do it, or by urging them to do it:

I hate washing, so I usually get my sister to do it.

Mrs. Wilson got the maid to clean under the carpet.

I’m not good at driving, so I usually get my cousin to get to the mall.

Mother got Emma to do the chores by promising her to let her play in the park.

The teacher is going to get the students to punish by holding each other’s ears.


In these examples, we focus more on the subject who caused the action rather than the action itself.


Have + object + infinitive without to = When we talk about instructing someone to do something, we use the construction have + object + infinitive without to. We use it to emphasise who performed the action:

I’ll have Jack book the tickets for the concert. (I will instruct Jack to book the tickets for the concert. Here, the emphasis is on who will do the action more than on the action).

Grandma had Amelia make us all some coffee.


Have + object + -ing form or infinitive without to = When we talk about an event or experience, we use the -ing form for an event in progress and the infinitive without to for a completed event:

We had a strange man come to the neighbourhood selling artificial jewellery.

We had a man driving us to Pikes Peak Highway as none of us were comfortable with hill driving.


We can sometimes use the -ing form to describe an ongoing action that someone or something is causing:

His story had us wondering so much. (His story was making us wondered)

As vs. Because vs. Since


When we want to give a reason for a particular situation, we can begin a clause with as, because, since, etc. As, because and since are conjunctions and they all introduce subordinate clauses. They connect the result of something with its reason.

As it was getting late, [reason] we decided to take a cab to the airport. [result]
We must get out of the car, [result] because I can hear some strange noises. [reason]
Since she was going to be living in Canada for good, [reason] she thought she should dispose of all household goods. [result]

We use as when we want to focus more on the result than the reason. As is relatively more formal than because:

As she was getting late, [reason] we decided to let her go first. [result]
We let him take the elevator [result] as he looked older. [reason]
She asked the teacher if she could be excused from singing practice as her throat was still sore.
Improved safety measures in factories can be counterproductive as they encourage employers to increase the working hours.
As you’re in charge here, you’d better tell me where to go.

We often use as clauses at the beginning of the sentence. We use a comma after the as– clause:

As you are leaving last, lock the door.
As they already knew each other, there were no formalities. We got straight into the business of the meeting.


Because is more common than as and since, both in writing and spoken English. When we use because, we are focusing on the reason:

She got off the bed quietly because she didn’t want to wake the child up.
We’ll celebrate Emma’s birthday on Saturday because she’s got to leave for her boarding school on Sunday.

In spoken English, we most often use because (often spoken as cos /kəz/ or /kɒz/) to give a reason. We can also use so to express the same meaning. Compare:

· Because his wife has been admitted to hospital, he won’t be able to attend this week’s meeting.
· His wife has been admitted to hospital, so he won’t be able to attend this week’s meeting.


Notice that it is also common and acceptable to begin a sentence with because especially when we want to give extra focus to the reason and we use a comma after the because-clause, as in: Because everything worked out quite the way we planned it, we decided to leave the place.

She didn’t go to the cinema because she was feeling awful.
Since she was feeling awful, she didn’t go to the cinema. (in an informal context, since is unlikely)

We can use a because-clause on its own without the main clause in speaking or informal writing: Why do you get up so early in the morning? Because I don’t want to miss out on all the fun in the park.


Warning: We use because, not as or since, in questions where the speaker proposes a reason:

Are you feeling unwell because you couldn’t get to sleep at all last night?
Are you feeling unwell since you couldn’t get to sleep at all last night?     
Are you feeling unwell as you couldn’t get to sleep at all last night?         


We use since when we want to focus more on the result than the reason. Since is also more formal than because. We often use since clause at the beginning of the sentence and usually put a comma before since after the main clause:

I’m forever losing things, [result] since I’m quite forgetful. [reason]
Since she did not make enough money to live in her own house, [reason] she went back to live with her mother. [result]
Since the work can be done from home with computers and telephones, there’s no need to commute to office any more.

So+adjective… that


We can use ‘so+adj’ at the beginning of a clause to give special emphasis to the adjective.

Compare these pairs of sentences:

· His business was so hopeless that he had to find employment. or
· So hopeless was his business that he had to find employment.

· The blizzard became so dangerous that all mountains roads were closed. or
· So dangerous did blizzard become that all mountains roads were closed.

· She was so exhausted that she nearly dozed off at her desk.
· So exhausted was she that she nearly dozed off at her desk.

With this construction, we invert the subject and verb.

Some example sentences of so+adj…that

So important was the meeting, that we could not miss it.
So intelligent is Jane, that she got selected for both job positions.
So talented was the mechanic that he fixed the car so quickly.
So arrogant was she that nobody liked to friend her.
So boring was the movie that I could not but leave the theatre.
So wonderful was Emma’s performance that she stood first in the class.
So unlikely did her story sound that neither of the parents believed her.
So beautiful was the scenery that we could not but take pictures.
So beautiful was the princess that nobody could keep their eyes off her.
So scary was the new house that nobody could stay there even a single night.
So mesmerizing was the speaker’s voice that we could not but stay until the end.
So serious was the pandemic, that WHO recommended the lockdown in the country.
So suspenseful was the movie that we could not lose sight of the screen for a second.
So sweet was her voice that everybody in the auditorium was spellbound while listening to her songs.
So confident was she of qualifying the exam that she felt she didn’t need to enrol at any other college.

Notice that
generally, an inversion is used to stress the uniqueness of an event and can also begin with a negative: Never, rarely, little and seldom are used in inverted sentences to express how unique a given situation is: Never has it been so disgusting! Seldom did he ask teacher questions in the classroom. Rarely do we see this kind of weather in our area.

The time expressions such as hardly, barely, no sooner or scarcely are used when there is a succession of events in the past.

Such+be… that

Similarly, we can use such + be at the beginning of a clause to emphasise the extent or degree of something. The subject and verb are inverted. Compare:

· The movie is so popular that the theatres are likely to be full every night.
· Such is the popularity of the movie that the theatres are likely to be full every night. Or

· The extent of the damage caused by tornado was such that it collapsed bridges, sent cars flying. Or
· Such was the extent of the damage caused by tornado that it collapsed bridges, sent cars flying.

Some example sentences of such+be…that

Such was the wind that we couldn’t open the window. (The wind was such that we couldn’t open the window.)
Such was the sunshine that day that we could not sit at home.
Such was the power of the earthquake that ceiling fan fell to the ground.
Such is the demand for the book that shops all over the country have sold out.
Such was her excitement to see the movie that she began to jump up and down.
Such was the force of the wind that almost all trees in the garden were blown down.
Such a strong emotion ran through this line that some women could hardly read it without crying.

Having done vs. After having done


Having driven 100 miles across country, we arrived to find all the hotels had been fully booked.

After having driven 100 miles across country, we arrived to find all the hotels had been fully booked.

There is not much difference in meaning between these two sentences. Generally we use a past participle clause with or without ‘after’ with similar meanings, as here. The use of the both forms emphasises that the first action has been completed before the second action begins. Thus, we could paraphrase these two sentences as follows:
After we had driven 100 miles across country, we stopped and found that all the hotels had been fully booked.

Some people think that the use of ‘after’ before ‘having + past participle’ is redundant, but it is not. Now the question is: Are the two phrases always interchangeable or is there any difference in terms of their meaning or collocate? The google search results testify there are almost equal number of sentences that come with ‘having+ past participle’ and ‘after having+ past participle’.

In the English Grammar Profile, B2 point 92 in the category of CLAUSES/subordinated is defined as:
a non-finite subordinate clause with ‘after’ + ‘having/being+ ‘-ed’ form, before a main clause, to refer to past time.

Notice that normally, we don’t use participle clauses so much in speech. They are too formal. In informal English, we would probably say: Driving/ After driving 100 miles across country, we stopped and found that all the hotels had been fully booked.


In formal English, participial clauses are very useful. As you will notice from the above examples, when the subject in the participle clause is the same as the participle in the main clause, they help us to say the same thing, but with fewer words.

Here’s another pair of example:
Having taken the wrong turn, Amelia found herself in Bowlero Times Square, not Manhattan.
After having taken the wrong turn, Amelia found herself in Bowlero Times Square, not Manhattan.

However, here the descriptor “After” is generally considered a notation of time. “After having” in the above sentence is a bit redundant, and would generally be considered unnecessary considering the context. Usage with the word after would likely be, “After taking the wrong turn, Amelia found herself …..”

If you go in for “After” in the sentence, it generally implies there were other things that the subject in question had to consider before his work was able to be completed. Hence, if there is a difference, it is a very slight one.

Negative participle clauses
We also use negative participle clauses, in which case ‘not’ normally comes before the past participle:
Not having had anything to eat in the fridge, he was desperate to find something in the kitchen.


Some examples of ‘having + past participle’

Having finished her project, she gossiped with Liam in office canteen.
Having received the parcel, Amelia instantly opened it. (a finished action or an earlier action before another one)
Having finished her homework, Charlotte went to her friend’s house to play.
Having come up to the car, she went back to get her keys.
Having brushed her teeth, she realized she had used her husband’s toothbrush.
Having seen the movie before, she knew what the climax would be.
She knew all the formalities to check in, having travelled abroad several times.


Some more examples of ‘having + past participle’ from the web

Marshall denied having done anything wrong. (The New Yorker)
I should know, having done it.               (The New York Times)
“And having done it made them sicker”. (The New Yorker)
Having done that, take an ocean voyage.(The New Yorker)
I feel slightly grubby having done it.       (Independent)
He may leave having done the opposite. (The Economist)
Let’s enjoy having done it.                     (The New York Times – Arts)
It denied having done so.                      (The Guardian)
Ma denies having done so.                    (The Guardian)
They’re not evil for having done this.     (The New York Times)
“I can’t ever imagine having done this.  (The New York Times – Sports)
Mr. Fisk denied having done so.            (The New York Times)
Having done that, we have a choice.      (The Guardian – Opinion)
Boy immediately regrets having done this. (The New Yorker)


Some examples of ‘after having + past participle’ from the web

But what not many people know is that in the late 1960s, after having done more research on human behavior, Maslow amended his model, and the conventional description of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is actually a highly inaccurate as a description of his later thought.                                                                          (Huffington Post)
Shortly after having done so, Frank isn’t feeling very well.   (The New York Times)
Was it any easier creating a two-hour premiere for the show after having done it last season?                                                                           (The New York Times)
Mr. Williams discovered her in 1991, after having done a research paper on the Amish as a college freshman.                                                             (The New York Times)
“And I liked seeing that Guy, even after having done tons and tons of movies is still scared,” he adds.                                                              (The Guardian – Film)
Jacob, who was 5, was mercifully drifting off to sleep in the back seat after having done his best to pretend he enjoyed watching his first live races.       (The New York Times)
After having done it once, those costs might drop to $40,000 in every later year. Hedge funds command little pity these days.                                 (The Economist)

Who is this vs. Who is it


“Who is this?” (on the phone) or “Who’s that?” (at the door) may not be technically wrong, but can sound rude; might be used if you’re suspicious that the person might be someone undesirable. So, it sounds just a bit awkward to say “who is this/ that?” over the phone or at the door.

A native speaker’s normal reply would be “Who is it?” (on the phone or at the door). So, “who is it?” is standard and “who is this / that?” have a sense of confusion and disagreement.


Examples of “Who is this?”

Jane often gets pushy to some rude caller on the line – a person who says “Is that Ms Jane?” (to which Jane replies) and then the caller asks her to confirm her postcode, without introducing themselves. In these circumstances she feels she has a right to jettison politeness, so these people tend to get a “Who’s this?” from her. Here, this ‘this’ indicates a a negative reaction (which can also denote kind of suspicion and rejection).


Examples of “Who is it?”

Who is the person on the other side of a door or end of the telephone line?
“Yes? Who is it?” Jane called out in response to the knocking.
Sarah: “Someone on the phone for you, Jane.” Jane: “Who is it?”


Notice that “Who is it?” is used in a standard way, as a common answer when answering calls. But “Who is this?” uses the less definite ‘this’, which is often employed to refer to something unknown, or to indicate a sense of confusion. For example, if you are accompanying a friend to the market and they ran into one of their friends that you didn’t know you might ask “who’s this?” (though it might sound a little rude).

We also use ‘this’ when we introduce two people: “Jane, this is Emily.” When introducing ourselves on the phone, we say: “Hello, this is Jack. Can I speak to Mrs Wilson, please?”

To do vs. Doing – Infinitive or Gerund


Analyse the following sentence:

The doctor advised him to avoid eating fatty foods.
                          ↓                   ↓          ↓
                  main verb     infinitive  gerund


The above sentence shows how an infinitive or a gerund works in a sentence, but do you know why it is grammatically correct to use “to avoid” and not “avoiding”? Further reading will help you make the right choice.

Infinitives and gerunds are verb forms (neither of them can be a main verb), which can have several positions and functions in a sentence:

Mr. Wilson stopped to smoke. (= Mr. Wilson stopped in order to smoke)
Mr. Wilson stopped smoking. (= Mr. Wilson does not smoke any more)
To speak Mandarin is hard. (= functioning as a subject; used in more formal registers)
Speaking Mandarin is hard. (= functioning as a subject; used in formal and informal registers)
To make the movie a success, the distributors released it in ten languages. (= To show purpose or reason; used as a reduction of in order to)

We use both gerunds and infinitives as objects of a sentence:

She enjoys dancing Or she decided to dance at the annual day function.
Both sentences are correct, but you will notice that one has an infinitive as the object and the other has a gerund as the object. So, some verbs need a gerund and some will need an infinitive. In the above examples, we see that the formula is “enjoy” + [gerund] and “decide” + [infinitive].

What is the difference?

One of the most difficult aspects of using gerunds or infinitives is when we use them after a verb. There is no hard and fast rule or reason as to which one to use where, we could just rather memorize which verbs need a gerund and which need an infinitive.

There are certain verbs that can only be followed by one or the other, and these verbs must be memorized. With practice, you will be able to remember which one is which.

Examples of verbs that need to be followed by an infinitive:

agree: In settling the car accident dispute, she agreed to pay $10,000 in damages.

decide: In the end, they decided to go to the movies.
deserve: The American people deserve to know what the Justice Department is up to.
expect: We expected to see them at the party, but I guess they decided not to come.
hope: I hope to see you soon.
learn: My son learned to drive when he was 16.
need: Grandpa needs to do some shopping on his way home.
offer: He offered to take us to the airport.
plan: She’s not planning to stay here much longer.
promise: The new movie promises to be one of the biggest money-makers of all time.
seem: She seems to know more about him than anyone else.
wait: There were a lot of people waiting to use the washroom.
want: Do you want me to take you to the airport?


There are lots of verbs that need an infinitive after. You will learn them naturally, as you go deeper into the subject. Here are some more verbs that require to be followed by an infinitive include appear, arrange, ask, begin, can’t bear, can’t stand, care, cease, choose, claim, continue, demand, dread, fail, forget, get (be allowed to), happen, hate, hesitate, intend, like, love, manage, neglect, prefer, prepare, pretend, propose, refuse, regret, remember, seem, start, swear, tend, threaten, try, vow, wait, want, wish, would like, yearn, and many more.

Some examples of verbs that need to be followed by a gerund:

admit: Liam admits wasting time and money.

advise: I’d advise waiting until February.
avoid: I try to avoid going shopping on Sundays.
consider (think about): She’s considering selling the car.
deny: The thief denied breaking into her house.
involve: His job involves filing and other general office work.
mention (say something): Grandma mentioned seeing you the other day.
recommend: The doctor recommended jogging as the best all-round exercise.
risk: It’s always a risk starting up a new business.
suggest: I suggested putting the matter to the committee.


Here are some more verbs that take a gerund after themanticipate, appreciate, allow, begin, can’t bear, can’t help, see, stand, cease, complete, continue, defend, delay, despise, discuss, dislike, don’t mind, dread, encourage, enjoy, finish, forget, hate, imagine, keep, like, love, mind, miss, need, neglect, permit, postpone, practice, prefer, propose, quit, recall, recollect, regret, remember, report, require, resent, resist, start, stop, tolerate, try, understand, urge, and many more.

Every vs. All vs. Each


Every = all members of a group considered individually

All = the total number of people or things considered as a group
Each = all members of a group considered individually though we think of them more one by one.


Every, All, Each – Difference

Every‘ and ‘all‘ have similar meanings. We use them to talk about ‘fully of the group’, to refer to the total number of units. However, there is a small difference in the usage of ‘every’ and ‘all’.

Every‘ denotes ‘each individual unit’ of a complete group. ‘All‘ refers to ‘a complete group’: We enjoyed every minute of the movie. After the incident, all students gave a call to their parents.


Each implies all members of a group albeit they are considered more one by one (individually). We use Each to talk about two or more people/things: He had a rose in each hand. Each member of the team was given a warm welcome.

Each and Every generally suggest the same meaning. They refer to all members of a group considered individually. However, Every is closer in meaning to All than Each is:

Every question in the test paper must be read and answered carefully.

Each question in the test paper must be read and answered carefully.

(we use each when we think of them more as one by one. There is lesser emphasis on the individual with Every when comparing it to Each).


All refers to the entire group as a whole. Each refers to the individual members of the group.

He consoled each member of the family who had lost their loved ones in the accident.

(= Consoled Martha, consoled Emily, consoled Jack… etc. until it had been consoled ALL of the family members individually… Yes, there was a lot of repetition)

He consoled all members of the family who had lost their loved ones in the accident.

(= Consoled all family members in one go … consoled once)


All passengers travelling in the car must wear their seat belts.    (refers to the whole group)

Every passenger travelling in the car must wear their seat belts.                 (focuses on each individual member of the whole group)

Each passenger travelling in the car must wear their seat belt.    (implies all members of a group; one by one (individually).                

(We use their instead of his or her to refer back to a singular noun (passenger) because we are referring to both male and female passengers.)


Usage of Every

When we use every + noun as a subject, it uses a singular verb (verb + s): Every elderly person needs love and care.

Every day is a chance to learn something new.

She’s been out every night this week.

Every house overlooking the ocean was worth $3 million. 

Every cannot be used when referring to two things and is not common with small numbers.

Every (one) of the parents is responsible for child care.                       (incorrect)

Each of the parents is responsible for child care.                                (correct) 


Notice that the noun that comes after Every is in singular form:

I attempted every question in the test paper. (NOT every questions)

I believe every word Martha says. (NOT every words)

Everyone‘ can work as a subject on its own: Everyone was excited about the news. 


Some example sentences of Every

Every time I go to Hilo, I get caught in the rain.

She seems to know every single person in the village.

Every prisoner has a guest on Sundays.

The principal wants to ask every student about the incident.

The police looked carefully at every car that drove past.

Every player will receive a certificate at the end of the training.

The students listened carefully to every word the principal said at the last day of the school.

These jewelleries may look like the real thing, but (each and) every one of them is a fake.


Usage of All

All refers to the total number of people or things of a group. They are viewed as a group and not individually. There are at least three things in the group. 

All + noun

We can use All with a plural noun to make a generalization about an entire group of something:

All media called him a liar and a hypocrite. 

We use ‘all’ with plural and uncountable nouns and the verb can be singular or plural. However, ‘everyone’ comes with singular verbs: We all were disappointed. Everyone was disappointed. 


Some example sentences of All

Place all luggage on the weighing machine. (NOT every luggage)

I like all music. (NOT every music)

He had worked all his life in the forests.

The children played in the field all day.

You must have heard it all before.

They have given up all hope of having a child.

Someone’s taken all milk from the refrigerator!

Will all the students please stand over here.

Martha didn’t say a single word all the way back home.


Usage of Each

Each + singular countable noun

We use a singular (countable) noun after the word EachSlow down and enjoy each moment of your life. When the children arrive, you give them each a lollipop. If you live each day as if it were your last, someday you’ll be right. The police are going to ask each of you to give your side of the story. They played the national anthem of each country before the game had begun. 

Notice that after each of, the verb is usually in singular form while in informal English, we will sometimes use a plural verb:

Each of the passengers has a different story to tell. (correct)

Each of the passengers have a different story to tell. (correct, informal)

We cannot use Each with the words Almost or Nearly. Instead, we use Every.

Almost each convict was set free from ADX Florence for good conduct. (incorrect)

Almost every convict was set free from ADX Florence for good conduct. (correct)


Some example sentences of Each

Each of the hospitalaccommodates a ward for poor.

Each and every one of the flowers has its own colour and smell.

The bill comes to $500, so that’s about $100 each.

We each (= every one of us) wanted the room overlooking the sea, so we tossed a coin to decide.

Nowadays or Now a days


Going by grammar rules, there is only one way to use this word, and that is nowadays – a single word and not as three different entities like now a days. If you use the word as a phrase ‘now a days’ instead of a single word ‘nowadays’, you will only make it grammatically incorrect.

We use nowadays to refer to the present time, to define “at current times” or to indicate something that is going on in recent days:

Nowadays, Emma doesn’t feel like going out with friends.   

Now a days, Emma doesn’t feel like going out with friends. 

How come we don’t see Emily around nowadays.               

How come we don’t see Emily around now a days.             


Earlier, the adverb nowadays used to be a three-word phrase, however, since 1880, grammarians have cut it short into a single word. Hence, the single word nowadays is the favoured choice in Modern English.

Some example sentences of ‘nowadays

Less and less people go to cinema nowadays.

People don’t carry their umbrellas much nowadays.

Young people nowadays don’t walk in the morning any more.

She doesn’t watch TV very much nowadays. She says there’s biased reporting.

The kitchens of nowadays are much more efficient than they had ever been.

People’s perspective on marriage is quite different nowadays than it was even a few years ago.

Nowadays you don’t see a young person vacate their seat for an older person on the bus.

TV shows nowadays don’t seem to last more than a couple of months, then you never hear of them again.


Alternatively, you can also use ‘these days’ or ‘today’ as adverbs meaning ‘at the present time, in comparison with the past’. ‘These days’ is more informal while ‘today’ is slightly formal.

Be careful! Do not use nowadays or these days with the possessive’s construction before a noun, or with of after a noun. With today, the possessive is quite normal: ‘today’s society’, ‘in today’s age’, ‘today’s world’, ‘today’s economic climate’, ‘today’s standards’:

Today’s world, and the world of the future, is different.        

Nowadays’ world, and the world of the future, is different.   

These days’ world, and the world of the future, is different. 


Also, do not use ‘nowadays’, ‘these days’ or ‘today’ as adjectives:

Computers nowadays/these days/today are much more efficient and economical.     

The nowadays computers /The these days computers/ The today’s computers are much more efficient and economical.   


More example sentences of ‘nowadays

Nowadays many people condemn cruelty to animals.

Many employers nowadays give their employees bonuses in the form of share options.

The only thing that’s changed is the media coverage and the public perception of politics nowadays.

There are a lot of short tricks to these problems nowadays that might not have been available in the past.

 Notice that the hyphenated ­ now-a-days has also fallen out of use.
 Last word

 ‘Nowadays’ is the correct use, ‘now a days’ isn’t.

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