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The Best of the Blog

Settembre 2015
The Speak Up blog answers any questions you may have either about the English language or our articles. Write to us (preferably in English) at: http://blog.speakuponline.it. The most interesting questions will be published on this page. A word of warning, though: our blog is not a translation or homework service!

Is it right to write “Scottish-based” as you did in the April issue, page 10? I would have said Scotland-based, instead.

Technically, you are right: “Scotland-based” is correct, but in this case “Scottish-based” is more natural. Here it is simply a case of what “feels right,” rather than grammatical correctness. At the same time, you could also say “based in Scotland.”

Hello, here’s my question: is it correct to write a date this way: on April 14th? Do I need to add the preposition before the names of months, “in” or not?
Many thanks from Tilde, an affectionate reader since the first issue “in” March 1985.

Thanks for following us for all these years! As for your question, you can write the date this way: “on April 14th 2014” as there’s no need to add a proposition before the year, but if you were just saying the year, then it would be “in 2014.”

What is the difference between ‘Have you got a pet?’ and ‘Do you have a pet?’ Where is the mistake? Alessandra
There’s no real difference and there’s certainly no mistake. Both are fine.

Once upon a time
Once upon a time (I am 66), we used to translate this Italian phrase “a chi hai parlato?” with “whom did you talk to?” whereas nowadays school grammar books suggest the following translation: “Who did you talk to?” I was taught that who is subject and that whom is complement. Is that a modernization of the language? Thanks.

Yes, you’re entirely right. “Whom” is correct, but it’s now considered a bit old-fashioned. But please don’t avoid using it: it shows that you are a cultured person!

The web
Hello! Is there any difference between the words “web page” and “webpage” if we want to refer to an Internet document? Thank you!

There is no difference whatsoever. Some people write “webpage,” others “web page.” Most people seem to prefer “webpage” but it is a recent term (obviously) and so there isn’t really a precise rule.

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