+0
1)I sat on the terrace, drinking coffee. From there I could see the vineyard and olive groves bellow me

- Why do we use drinking here but not drank?

- Why use could here since could doesn't imply the idea" achievement on a particular occasion in the past", I think it would be better if we have were able to here. How about you?

2)She was planning to ring her friend but she forgot

Can I use: She was to ring her friend....

?

3) Every child will have chance to go to vocational school or schools?

Thanks in advance
1 2 3
Comments  
Hi,

)I sat on the terrace, drinking coffee. From there I could see the vineyard and olive groves bellow me

- Why do we use drinking here but not drank? 'Drinking coffee' is an adjectival phrase describing 'I'. To use 'drank', you'd need to say 'I sat on the terrace and drank coffee'.

- Why use could here since could doesn't imply the idea" achievement on a particular occasion in the past", I think it would be better if we have were able to here. How about you? 'Could' here just means 'had the ability to', 'was able to'. eg 'When I was young, I could run a mile in 5 minutes'.

2)She was planning to ring her friend but she forgot This suggests the plan, the idea, came from her.

Can I use: She was to ring her friend.... This suggests an obligation that came from someone else or from some previous discussion. eg Perhaps her mother told her to call her friend, or perhaps 'she' promised earlier to call her friend.

3) Every child will have chance to go to vocational school or schools? Every child will have a/the chance to go to a vocational school.

Best wishes, Clive
Belly1)I sat on the terrace, drinking coffee. From there I could see the vineyard and olive groves bellow me

- Why do we use drinking here but not drank?

- Why use could here since could doesn't imply the idea" achievement on a particular occasion in the past", I think it would be better if we have were able to here. How about you?

2)She was planning to ring her friend but she forgot

Can I use: She was to ring her friend....

?

3) Every child will have chance to go to vocational school or schools?

Thanks in advance
Hi Belly,

First, look at this sentence:

I sit on the terrace, drinking coffee. From there I can see the vineyard and olive groves bellow me. (present)

Now, your sentence:

I sat on the terrace, drinking coffee. From there I could see the vineyard and olive groves bellow me. (past)

Second, as you can see that both passages use drinking to express a state of continuous (i.e., was drinking). Of course, you can replace drinking with drink in the first passage, or with drank in the second one OR you can also replace sit with am sitting in the first passage, or with was sitting in the second one too. And if you do so the first sentence of the two passages would meet the grammatical concept called parallelism. However, I feel the use of drinking would catch the attention of the readers (continuous drinking gives a sense of enjoyment).

Third, 'go to vocational school' is correct. We say, 'I go to school' not 'I go to schools'.

Hope that helps,
Hoa Thai
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
CliveHi,

)I sat on the terrace, drinking coffee. From there I could see the vineyard and olive groves bellow me

- Why do we use drinking here but not drank? 'Drinking coffee' is an adjectival phrase describing 'I'. To use 'drank', you'd need to say 'I sat on the terrace and drank coffee'.

- Why use could here since could doesn't imply the idea" achievement on a particular occasion in the past", I think it would be better if we have were able to here. How about you? 'Could' here just means 'had the ability to', 'was able to'. eg 'When I was young, I could run a mile in 5 minutes'.

2)She was planning to ring her friend but she forgot This suggests the plan, the idea, came from her.

Can I use: She was to ring her friend.... This suggests an obligation that came from someone else or from some previous discussion. eg Perhaps her mother told her to call her friend, or perhaps 'she' promised earlier to call her friend.

3) Every child will have chance to go to vocational school or schools? Every child will have a/the chance to go to a vocational school.

Best wishes, Clive

Hi Clive,

I think , shares the same function as and. So according to parallel structure, we have to use drank here. If you say 'Drinking coffee' is an adjectival phrase describing I., how come it is used here without to be?

And could certainly doesn't mean be able to. If you say could does, so why do we have to use could here but not were able to?
Hoa Thai
Belly1)I sat on the terrace, drinking coffee. From there I could see the vineyard and olive groves bellow me

- Why do we use drinking here but not drank?

- Why use could here since could doesn't imply the idea" achievement on a particular occasion in the past", I think it would be better if we have were able to here. How about you?

2)She was planning to ring her friend but she forgot

Can I use: She was to ring her friend....

?

3) Every child will have chance to go to vocational school or schools?

Thanks in advance

Hi Belly,

First, look at this sentence:

I sit on the terrace, drinking coffee. From there I can see the vineyard and olive groves bellow me. (present)

Now, your sentence:

I sat on the terrace, drinking coffee. From there I could see the vineyard and olive groves bellow me. (past)

Second, as you can see that both passages use drinking to express a state of continuous (i.e., was drinking). Of course, you can replace drinking with drink in the first passage, or with drank in the second one OR you can also replace sit with am sitting in the first passage, or with was sitting in the second one too. And if you do so the first sentence of the two passages would meet the grammatical concept called parallelism. However, I feel the use of drinking would catch the attention of the readers (continuous drinking gives a sense of enjoyment).

Third, 'go to vocational school' is correct. We say, 'I go to school' not 'I go to schools'.

Hope that helps,
Hoa Thai

Hi Hoa Thai,

I'm down with you on parallesism, but could and were able to were questioned.

My teacher corrected me
"Every child will have chance to go to vocational schools and learn"
. But I didn't understand why so
Hi Belly,

Maybe my interpretation sent a wrong message. Allow me to try again.

What Clive said is correct about adjectival phrase. Look at this question: You sat at the terrace, doing what? drinking coffee. 'Drinking cofee' qualifies the "event of 'You sat at the terrace'." If I do not make any sense, Clive sure will.

Regarding 'could' and 'was able to', Clive gave a very clear explanation. Please review his writing one more time. If I am not wrong, he said they are the same in this context. 'Could' is more efficient with fewer words.

About, 'go to vocational school / schools', if we take out the word 'vocational' in your sentence, would you think that "Every child will have chance to go to school and learn" is less preferable than using 'schools' instead?

All the best,
Hoa Thai
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
Hoa ThaiHi Belly,

Maybe my interpretation sent a wrong message. Allow me to try again.

What Clive said is correct about adjectival phrase. Look at this question: You sat at the terrace, doing what? drinking coffee. 'Drinking cofee' qualifies the "event of 'You sat at the terrace'." If I do not make any sense, Clive sure will.

Regarding 'could' and 'was able to', Clive gave a very clear explanation. Please review his writing one more time. If I am not wrong, he said they are the same in this context. 'Could' is more efficient with fewer words.

About, 'go to vocational school / schools', if we take out the word 'vocational' in your sentence, would you think that "Every child will have chance to go to school and learn" is less preferable than using 'schools' instead?

All the best,
Hoa Thai

Hi,

Ok I understood that drinking implies a continuous activity, but it may violate with the parallelsim, may not it?

According to my grammar book, could isn't used in context like this. Could is used when we generally referring to the past.

I'm with you in the last question, Hoa Thai, I don't know why my teacher corrected so. Notwithstanding, you can see my original work at http://www.EnglishForward.com/English/CorrectEssay/zwlkz/Post.htm . It's my orginal work before it was modified by my teacher.

There should be some typos, remind me if you should see one
BellyOk I understood that drinking implies a continuous activity, but it may violate with the parallelsim, may not it?
Not really! This sentence contains the vilolation: "He sat at the terrace and was drinking coffee." One clause uses the simple past tense and the other uses the past progressive tense. In your previous sentence, 'drinking' is a gerund (a noun form of a verb). 'Drinking coffee' is noun phrase acts as an adjectival component.
BellyAccording to my grammar book, could isn't used in context like this. Could is used when we generally referring to the past.
I don't know what you mean. Please quote your book.
BellyI'm with you in the last question, Hoa Thai, I don't know why my teacher corrected so. Notwithstanding, you can see my original work at http://www.EnglishForward.com/English/CorrectEssay/zwlkz/Post.htm . It's my orginal work befored it was modified by my teacher.
Could you show what I shared with you to your teacher and ask for his opinion?

My take:

1. 'go to (vocational) school' represents a task students do.
2. 'go to a (vocational) school' represents an undefinitive selection.
3. I am troubled by 'go to (vocational) schools' and would like to hear others' opinions.

Take care,
Hoa Thai
EDIT NOTE: I will look at your other post and share with you my opinion later.
EDIT NOTE #2: I saw 'school' instead of 'schools' in your other post!
Hoa Thai
BellyOk I understood that drinking implies a continuous activity, but it may violate with the parallelsim, may not it?

Not really! This sentence contains the vilolation: "He sat at the terrace and was drinking coffee." One clause uses the simple past tense and the other uses the past progressive tense. In your previous sentence, 'drinking' is a gerund (a noun form of a verb). 'Drinking coffee' is noun phrase acts as an adjectival component.
BellyAccording to my grammar book, could isn't used in context like this. Could is used when we generally referring to the past.

I don't know what you mean. Please quote your book.
BellyI'm with you in the last question, Hoa Thai, I don't know why my teacher corrected so. Notwithstanding, you can see my original work at http://www.EnglishForward.com/English/CorrectEssay/zwlkz/Post.htm . It's my orginal work befored it was modified by my teacher.

Could you show what I shared with you to your teacher and ask for his opinion?

My take:

1. 'go to (vocational) school' represents a task students do.
2. 'go to a (vocational) school' represents an undefinitive selection.
3. I am troubled by 'go to (vocational) schools' and would like to hear others' opinions.

Take care,
Hoa Thai
EDIT NOTE: I will look at your other post and share with you my opinion later.
EDIT NOTE #2: I saw 'school' instead of 'schools' in your other post!

I haven't seen that we can use past and past continuous in like that. I sat there drinking coffee. What is an adjectival component? I sat there drinking coffee, which occurs first? which later?

Yes, the original was school, but my teacher corrected it into schools
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
Show more