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Monday, 24 July 2006

For and during

Thank you for the information about Certosa di Padula, Antonio. How old is the monastery? Do the monks still live there? Which monastic order do they belong to?

Today, at work, we celebrated York St John becoming a university; independent of the University of Leeds, to which it has been affiliated for many years. We celebrated by drinking champagne and eating cake in the sunshine.

I'd like to talk about 'for' and 'during' in your sentence, 'I've been quite busy during last days'.

Probably more usual is, '...quite busy for the last few days.' For is used in English to say how long something lasts. For example, '...for many years', 'for the last few days', 'for a few minutes', and 'for two weeks'.

During, in contrast, is used to say when something happens. For example, 'during the summer' and 'during the night'.

'The last few days' refers to how long your busy time lasted, so for this reason, 'for' is probably better than 'during'.


See you again tomorrow!

Rachel


Comments

Could you explain the structure " to which" in the sentence of we celebrated York St John becoming a university; independent of the University of Leeds, to which it has been affiliated for many years. ...Thank you for your help

Dear Rachel, I can't understand the function of the semicolon in your sentence: "Today, at work, we celebrated York St John becoming a university; independent of the University of Leeds, to which it has been affiliated for many years." Could you please explain it to me? Thanks, Daniela

Mandy - 'which' in the sentence, '...the University of Leeds, to which it has been affiliated for many years', is a relative pronoun. It refers back to the previous clause, '...the University of Leeds', giving more information about the university. 'Which' can refer not only to a noun, but to the whole of a previous clause. 'What', 'that' and 'how' used a relative pronouns cannot refer to a whole clause in this way. Other examples of 'which' referring to a whole clause are, 'I was satisfied by the way in which he apologised' and 'she finished on time, which is unusual for her'. I hope this is clear!

Daniela - I think a comma would have been better than a semi-colon in my sentence, '...York St John becoming a university; independent of the University of Leeds'. A semi-colon is used when the two parts of a sentence are grammatically independent but closely related in meaning. The second part of my sentence is not grammatically independent of the first. Usually the second part of the sentence, after the semi-colon, gives more information about the first, which my second part does. I like semi-colons and probably over use them!! Sorry!

Thank you for replying to both my posts. Even though punctuaction is something I am very good at in my own language, it drives me crazy when I write in English. Perhaps, the reason is that I find it natural to use the same rules as in Italian, but, of course, it doesn't work in English! I'll try and practise more the usage of colons and semi-colons ;-)

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