DAILY GRAMMAR (DG) 09-06-

1a. The couple will celebrate their marriage anniversary next weekend. (No)

The couple will celebrate their wedding anniversary next weekend. (Yes)

1b. The wedding of Chief and Mrs Nwodo took place many years back. (Yes, informal)

The wedding of Chief and Mrs Nwodo took place many years ago. (Yes, formal)

(A “wedding anniversary” is the commemoration of the day a ceremony took place. While wedding is an occasion, marriage is the long journey after the wedding. So, “wedding anniversary” makes sense; “marriage anniversary” does not. Then, some people believe that “many years back” is wrong. This is not the case: it is acceptable. Nevertheless, the standard expression is “many years ago”.)

2a. Not only he was my brother, he was also my friend. (No)

Not only was he my brother, he was also my friend. (Yes)

2b. Never she would do what the evil wanted her to do. (No)

Never would she do what the evil wanted her to do. (Yes)

2c. No sooner he had arrived home than it started to rain. (No)

No sooner had he arrived home than it started to rain. (Yes)

( When “not only”, “never” and “no sooner” are used at sentence beginnings, they attract the auxiliary verbs to their immediate right, i.e., next to them.)

3a. Supposing if he stole his friend’s money, he would be expelled from the university. (No)

Supposing he stole his friend’s money, he would be expelled from the university. (Yes)

If he stole his friend’s money, he would be expelled by the university. (Yes)

3b. He is the most brilliant student and he failed the test. (No)

He is the most brilliant student but he failed the test. (Yes)

(“Supposing” and “if” have the same function; only one should be used in a sentence. Then, when the second clause of a sentence gives a contrary idea to the one expected from the first clause, “but” is the right conjunction to use, not “and”.)

Did You Know?

A “toot-moot” is a conversation carried out entirely in whispers. It is originally a Scottish word.

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