1
vote
2answers
88 views

Turn “in to” or “into” a lonely lane?

I have a sentence I'm writing where I describe making a turn, as I run, into an empty alleyway. Here is how I would like to say it: I turn into a lonely lane... The problem I find is that it ...
0
votes
2answers
150 views

I promise not to do it, I swear not to do it. Is there a double meaning here?

"I promise [pause] not to do it" seems to me equivalent to "I promise I won't do it". However, "I promise not [pause] to do it" seems to me equivalent to "I do not promise I will ...
7
votes
1answer
132 views

Are “was/were able to” and “could” interchangeable?

In a grammar book, the claim was made that in the following sentences one cannot substitute "was/were able to" with "could." The fire spread through the building very quickly, but everyone was ...
-2
votes
1answer
46 views

What to use : “that” or “who”? [duplicate]

Consider this sentence : "I was going down the hill and on my step down I saw a guy who appeared to be disguised". "I was going down the hill and on my step down I saw a guy that appeared to be ...
3
votes
2answers
378 views

SAT Writing ambiguous pronoun error?

Can anyone please explain why this sentence is incorrect? When Russell Wallace and Darwin independently proposed similar theories, Darwin had already accumulated extensive evidence with which ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

The use of “had to”

Does the following phrase mean it must be true? This fact had to be true. Or it must have been true? I would like a native speaker's opinion on this. I often hear it used in the second ...
0
votes
1answer
183 views

Meaning of “Smiles Slip”

I don't quite understand something: source Brazil will, in one form or another, be ready for the World Cup. But when it comes to hosting the tournament, those famous Brazilian smiles may ...
4
votes
3answers
242 views

Meaning of “Discretion”

I saw this dictionary entry, and it says "discretion" could mean approximately either 1) the right to choose what to do or 2) the quality of being careful what you do. The dictionary has these two ...
3
votes
2answers
124 views

Antecedent Precedence?

Background: I was working on a project and was having a colleague of mine proof-read a piece of documentation. He said that one sentence was ambiguous because he couldn't determine what the antecedent ...
6
votes
3answers
8k views

Why does “I am in your debt” mean the opposite of what it suggests?

I don't understand why if someone says "I am in your debt" it seems to mean the opposite of the literal meaning. The person saying this says that they are in the debt of the person the phrase is ...
2
votes
2answers
181 views

What is the term for this ambiguous sentence?

I apologize that I don't know how to search for this question--it may be a duplicate, or maybe I just should have learned it in English class! I'm a teacher, and in another StackExchange, I wrote the ...
-1
votes
1answer
75 views

Possessive Ambiguity: sharing a house [closed]

Could this: Jason shared Michael's house. be an acceptable shortened version of this: Jason shared Michael's house with Michael. ?
-3
votes
1answer
252 views

What should be done for making this sentence more clear? [closed]

"About the scenario, there are insert transactions on every 3 seconds. In a busy day, about 3000 rows for big table, another 100 for medium table and around 30 for small table." There is a question ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Fall Hard For Something

I am trying to find the right definition of "hard" in this piece of writing: newspaper Looking for a tranquil hideaway after years as a paparazzi magnet, Mr. Frazier bought the single-level ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

“Suspect” versus “Suspicious” as Adjectives

A recent question on this site ("to suspect" vs "to be suspicious of") asks about the difference between "to suspect" and "to be suspicious of." An even more complicated situation ...
2
votes
2answers
157 views

How to determine if an attribute applies to a group or a specific individual

I am in the middle of an argument, and therefore trying to figure out the breakdown of the definition: a member of a military group devoted to engineering work which appears in Merriam-Webster's ...
4
votes
2answers
450 views

“Has reported” as present perfect vs. “has” as present + “reported” as a noun

In the following sentence below, I want to use the word reported as a noun, but it looks like I’m using the present perfect form has reported. How can one be clear when constructions like this ...
1
vote
1answer
547 views

Word-order and meaning - which is correct for this notice? [closed]

I'm creating some signs for the office car park, and one of these signs is to control access. What I'm trying to get it to indicate is that cars aren't permitted between 10 am and 4pm except for ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it wrong to say “The sun's rays are primarily responsible for skin damage.”

The sun's rays are primarily responsible for skin damage. To me this sounds like it means that the primary activity of the sun's rays is damaging skin. However the intention is obviously that ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

What can I use to remember the difference between “well” and “good”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the difference between “good” and “well” Okay, I actually have no idea when it's okay to say well or good but once again I vaguely ...