English Puzzle

From this site:

Problem 185. For every sequence of words given below, explain whether it can be used in a grammatically correct English sentence. If it is possible show an example. In the usage there shouldn’t be any extra signs between the given words.

1. could to
2. he have
3. that that
4. the John
5. he should
6. on walked
7. the did

Here’s what I have so far:

2. he have

Subjunctive. Example sentence:

Be sure that he have the right documents before you admit him.

The next one.

3. that that

Really easy.

I know that that’s not true.

A little harder.

4. the John

The [noun] that. Example:

The John that I know doesn’t act that way.

Are you kidding me?

5. he should

This one doesn’t need an example, but… Example:

He should be here tomorrow.

This next one is my favorite.

6. on walked

Interesting. Here’s my sentence:

On walked the traveler, unsure of his destination.

As for “could to” and “the did”, I got nothing. I could see the “the [verb] structure in a sentence like “The student gave his teacher the finished homework”.

Or perhaps, “The done action could not be undone”…but that’s stretching it a bit.

What I’m really wondering is how ESL students would do with this puzzle. And if you can find a way to use “could to” and “the did”, let me know in the comments!

New Fiction: The Man in the Reflecting Pool

My flash fiction, The Man in the Reflecting Pool is featured in Stanley the Whale.

He had been coming to the reflecting pool for years. For as long as he had been, so had the reflecting pool.

So had his reflection.

It was the man’s reflection who met him each morning, who ate with him. Who listened. He looked as dirty as the man did, sometimes dirtier. But he never mocked the man. He never shied away. They looked directly at each other without the evasion others held for those who reminded them of what they could become, with only a few missteps.

Click to keep reading.