"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Saturday, April 04, 2009

"Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn't." - Erica Jong


Feedback I got on Improve Your English (wow, people actually read it!):

"You have a lot of great phrases to help others in catching mistakes. However, one phrase in the "Misspelled/Odd/Funny/Erroneous Signs" section is actually correct, but marked wrong:

- There are also news and traffic updates to make that drive home even smoother. (is)

To say, "There is also news and traffic updates" is a common MISTAKE that many native English speakers make. However, since the goal of your page is to help people speak English correctly, the subject and verb should agree. To see if they do, use this rule: simplify the sentence.

If the word "updates" is the subject you can simplify to "There are updates."
"Are" goes with the plural noun "updates".

If the words "news and traffic" are the subject of the sentence simplify to "There are news and traffic". You still use the verb "are" because the two things "news" and "traffic" combine to form a plural subject.

If you say "is" it sounds okay, unless you restructure the sentence. "Updates is there." is clearly wrong, just like "There is updates."

Enjoy the English language!"

Gosh, that entry is very old.

I'd like to think my kungfu has improved since then.
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