Are these correct and what's the difference in meaning between them?

1.You smell like an opened can of sardine.
2.You smell like an opened can of sardines.

3.You smell like an open can of sardines.
4.You smell like an open can of sardine.
1 2
The ones with "sardine" are incorrect. (1 and 4).

Of the remaining correct ones (2 and 3), 2 emphasizes the can was opened by someone; 3 just observes that the can is now open. They mean almost exactly the same thing.

I hope that answers your question. Emotion: smile
Can you explain to me about why are these incorrect:

1. You smell like an opened can of sardine.
2. You smell like an open can of sardine.
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CalifJim appears to be temporarily away and I note that you are still on the board. So I hope you both don't mind if I jump in.

When you have a container of something, you refer to the plural.

-basket of apples
-can of sardines
-jar of marbles
-basket of groceries

Of means containing or carrying. But we always use the plural. If it were singular, then it would be

-loaf of bread

You smell like a sardine. Or maybe, you smell like a rotten sardine.

But if you want to capture "a can of sardines" then you need to use the plural.

Hope that helps.

Jump in! Jump in! Don't be shy! The more, the merrier! I think the people with questions like to hear different points of view anyway.

By the way, I never actually sign off the site. It's easier just to pull it up on Favorites and go. Does it look like I'm always on-line? Where do you find that information?
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Hi CalifJim,

Your icon in your message changes when you are absent. Look at the icons and you will get an impression of who is on and off the system at the present time. When you are away, there is a little "x" to designate that you are gone. Also, you can go to the homepage and there is a "Who's Online" section.

I use Firefox web browser, and one of the tabs is often stuck here. So I, like you, often appear to be here, even when I am not.

Hope that helps.

Aha! Yes, that helps.
While we're on the subject, why do some people have a box that's checked with a big checkmark, and others don't?
And what does "moderator" mean? After so many posts you turn into a moderator?
Hi CalifJim,

The check mark represents those whose first or native language is English. I think a few people who have learned English as a second language have been given the "check mark" as well. In that case, they've studied English thoroughly and have a strong command of the language.

In my case, I don't have a linguistics background, but I am a native English speaker. My intuition usually guides me toward the correct answers, but not always. I try my best to explain the concepts. But I have learned that I need to be cautious because sometimes students ask tough questions that can trip a native speaker who has not studied linguistics.

Because my technical background is not as strong as it could be, I tend to answer more questions in the writing sections. In those sections, the questions tend not to focus on the technical aspects so much, but rather how to convey a message. I feel completely at home there.

Moderators are given some special tools to help police the forum. For example, all guest posts must be examined first before they are posted. If they are inappropriate, they get zapped. At my level (there are different levels of moderators), I can edit and delete other's posts and move them to a different section. That's about it. So if someone says something inappropriate, I can take some corrective measures. I believe that the more advanced moderators have the capability to block people from the Forum and they might have other special tools that I am unaware of.

I haven't caught that much in terms of inappropriate behavior. I have seen some inappropriate posts in other sections. Some of the "guest" posts are a bit wild. Some posts are pure advertising (spam) and they get punted. Others venture too far into the obscene area. But by and large, it is pretty clean.

As far as how do you become a moderator, it is at the discretion of the forum owner(s). To be honest, I don't know much about the owner(s). From reading the material on the homepage, I think the forum owner(s) have an English language school in Malta and they have created this forum.

What makes me so special? Nothing really. If I had to guess why I was chosen as a moderator it is because I have posted a fair number of posts and have been posting for a few months. I suspect that both frequency of the posts and duration had something to do with it.

I suspect when the owner(s) feel the need to increase the number of moderators, they look to see who has been making contributions recently. In other words, there is no set formula.

If you look at some of the moderators, they have not posted in several months. I get the impression that our community here is fluid. As their circumstances and interest changes, so does their participation. And thus, the members of the moderators also changes.

In summary, there is no magic formula to becoming a moderator. It is at the discretion of the forum owner(s). And it probably depends on the number of "vacancies" that need to be filled.

I hope this helps.

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