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Which one is correct?

  • He should have express shipped it to me.
  • He should have it shipped express to me.
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I believe both are correct. –  p.s.w.g Apr 24 '13 at 22:29
    
What are the possible grammar issues? I'm looking for the British standard. –  verve Apr 24 '13 at 22:46
    
Why is my question being downvoted? I wrote it in the same manner I have seen accepted here on the homepage. –  verve Apr 25 '13 at 3:30

2 Answers 2

The only way I can parse he should have express shipped is to regard express shipped as the past of a compound verb express ship (which I would hyphenate). This is perfectly understandable, but it is not, as far as I know, an established word or phrase, so I would not use that form in any formal context.

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Both are fine. In the first case, to express ship is a set phrase, as we might say to green light. In the second, express gives the method of shipping, as we might say to fly first-class.

Such verbs cannot arbitrarily be inverted, however; in fact, I have a hard time thinking of another that can be, from air drying my mushrooms (but not drying my mushrooms air) to zebra striping my spreadsheet (but not striping my spreadsheet zebra).

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If I want to say the method of the shipping used then which one would be correct? –  verve Apr 25 '13 at 3:29
    
Which one is the verb? Shipped or express? I'm poor at grammar. –  verve Apr 25 '13 at 6:12
    
@verve If you say express shipped, then express shipped is the verb. If you say shipped express, then shipped is the verb and express an adverb. To describe the method of shipping, you could say express or express shipping. –  choster Apr 25 '13 at 12:49

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