Conjunctions are words used to connect clauses or sentences or to coordinate words in the same clause, such as "and," "but," and "if."

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Are there rules about using “that” to join two clauses?

He will understand that I was not joking. He will understand I was not joking. Which of the sentences is correct? Are there any specific rules about the use of "that" in the sentences I ...
77
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14answers
31k views

Should I put a comma before the last item in a list?

Should I put a comma before last item in list? I would like crackers, cheese and some soda. I would like crackers, cheese, and some soda.
74
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9answers
4k views

When to use “that” and when to use “which”?

When is it appropriate to use that as opposed to which?
33
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3answers
4k views

Alternatives to “and/or”?

As a programmer, I have no problem with seeing or using "and/or" in technical documentation. For example, I can upvote an answer that satisfies me and/or mark it as accepted. That's perfectly ...
18
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5answers
4k views

Is it really incorrect to start a sentence with “and”?

I know it's wrong, but I do it all the time or else my sentences would go on forever.
15
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3answers
2k views

“to be all but X”

What does "all but" mean in this expression? Today, under pressure from P2P distribution, optical disc piracy in wealthy countries is "all but eliminated" and profit margins elsewhere are slim. ...
12
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5answers
8k views

Does “either A or B ” preclude “both A and B”?

In mathematics, "A or B" includes "A and B". Does "either" mean "A or B but not (A and B)" or does it include the possibility of "A and B"? The context might be mathematics, formal logic or ordinary ...
17
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4answers
3k views

Using “And” at the beginning of a sentence

Since I first learned English, I have been holding this understanding that "and", as a conj. but unlike "but", can only connect two clauses, not two sentences ended with periods. But recently, I ...
4
votes
3answers
8k views

Are “should” and “if” interchangeable at the beginning of a sentence? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: A special use of “should”? If "should" comes at the beginning of a sentence, and the sentence is not a question, then can it be replaced with "if?" Is there any ...
15
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2answers
12k views

“All but” idiom has two meanings?

Here's two ways I've seen the "all, but" idiom used: "Close all tabs but this one" (Any modern application with a number of tabs might have this as an option.) It means "close all the tabs, but not ...
11
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1answer
2k views

The construction of “Known but to God”

The Tomb of the Unknown Solider has the engraving "KNOWN BUT TO GOD", as presumably no man knows his name, but shouldn't it read "unknown, but to God", as the default for everyone is "unknown", with ...
4
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3answers
2k views

Is it: My apples and orange are/is wrong?

Simple question: My apples and orange are wrong or My apples and orange is wrong I am not a native English speaker, and I am having some trouble choosing between plural are or singular is ...
4
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3answers
1k views

Specific usage of the word 'but'

The Aesop's Fables translated by George Fyler Townsend book has a line which reads as follows: ... If you had but touched me, my friend, you ... I've seen the word 'but' used this way a couple ...
24
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3answers
6k views

Can I use an “if” clause without “then”?

I have the following sentence: If T had still been alive, there is the great possibility that either T or C ... My teacher says that the word "then" must appear after the comma, but I think that ...
5
votes
3answers
45k views

Should I use a comma before “and” or “or”?

Is using a comma then an "and" or an "or" after it proper punctuation? Example: I fell over, and hurt my knee. Should I go, or not?
23
votes
4answers
22k views

When to use & instead of “and”

Are there rules of usage when using the ampersand "&" instead of "and"? Are they completely interchangeable? The ampersand seems more casual, but I'm not sure.
7
votes
2answers
7k views

“Me and my wife” or “my wife and me”

Which is correct: me and my wife or my wife and me? The sentence in which this is used is Ms. Smith informed me and my wife that she was afraid of being accosted.
2
votes
4answers
865 views

Can I use “but” at the beginning of a sentence?

For a while, using but to start a sentence was largely frowned upon. But, I think it is possible to use but at the beginning of a sentence, as long as it isn't overused. Am I right?
25
votes
10answers
4k views

Can a sentence start with “Because”?

In my grade school days, I recall a teacher proclaiming to the class: You should never start a sentence with the word "Because". Of course, I've since seen lots of examples to the contrary, and ...
14
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6answers
4k views

Sentence Construction: “Just Because … Does Not Mean”

I've already found an entry on this here. However, it does not solve my problem: I just read an entry on "cross platform" from Wikipedia, in which it wrote: Just because a particular operating ...
12
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3answers
27k views

Using “nor” in a list without “neither”

This is the classic usage of neither/nor: I would neither hide nor run away. But is the following construction grammatical? (More than two choices, no neither) I wasn't going to play dead. ...
3
votes
2answers
269 views

How does negation affect the use and understanding of “or” and “and”

I'm trying to make more sense of how negation effects how a sentence is parsed and understood if and's and or's are used within them. Pop quiz: You are trapped on a bus with a bomb going 50 MPH. You ...
18
votes
4answers
26k views

“Whether or not” vs. “whether”

This will depend on whether he's suitable for the job. This will depend on whether he's suitable for the job or not. This will depend on whether or not he's suitable for the job. ...
20
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6answers
870 views

Is there any valid rule discouraging the use of a certain word to start a sentence?

Is there any rule you think is valid that discourages the use of a certain word to start a sentence? Because I suspect the answer is no. But it would be good to have a blanket answer to this kind of ...
-1
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1answer
7k views

Using “are/is” after a list with “and/or” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Singular or plural following a list James and Mark are going to help you. Here, I use 'are' because the subject is plural. James or Mark are going to help you. ...
22
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7answers
2k views

When did “while” and “whilst” become interchangeable?

I think most folk happily use either "while" or "whilst". I've a vague recollection that at one time "while" indicated the passing of time and "whilst" was essentially the same as "whereas" or ...
12
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4answers
2k views

Should I use 'or' or 'nor'?

This document does not cover the SDK interfaces nor any other reference material. I think the above is correct, but my grammatical checker in Microsoft Word underlines nor and suggests or. Why?
8
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2answers
4k views

Use of “Or”, inclusive or exclusive?

My wife and I are playing a game where you roll dice and move so many spaces in a grid "vertically or horizontally". In the use of English it is very common to say, this or the other when it comes ...
3
votes
1answer
897 views

Interpreting the meaning of 'but' as an implication for exclusion/inclusion

I often find it difficult to interpret the meaning of but in some of the sentences where it is used to imply exclusion/inclusion. For example: Drink everything you want but alcohol. Also, sometimes ...
7
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4answers
4k views

Is using “and/or” recommended for formal writing, or is it frowned upon?

Is using "and/or" allowed in formal writing? If not, is there general way to represent the OR binary operator with as little space as possible in written English?
3
votes
3answers
208 views

What sentence parts needs to be repeated here?

What of the following is right? "We need to find out..." "...how to lower the costs or how to produce more." "...how to lower the costs or to produce more." "...how to lower the costs or produce ...
11
votes
5answers
43k views

When do we need to put a comma after “so”?

I noticed that most of the times when the conjunction "so" is used at the beginning of a sentence, it is followed by a comma: So, this gets published but the fact that it is inaccurate gets ...
10
votes
3answers
31k views

Sentences beginning with “so”?

This also came up on either a BBC or CBC science program, but not as a linguistically-oriented discussion. Over the last two or three years I've noticed a lot more people starting a sentence with ...
7
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2answers
557 views

Omission of “and” in headlines

What is this phenomenon called? Is it common in all English-speaking countries?
17
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9answers
32k views

Using a comma before “but”

I was once told by an English professor that a comma should never be used before but in a sentence. For years, I have followed her advice but sometimes I just feel like it just needs to be there. On ...
10
votes
7answers
8k views

When did the word “so” begin to be used to start a sentence?

In the last few years, I've noticed a growing usage of the word "so" to begin a sentence, especially in the context of higher education. For example: Interviewer: "What is the nature of your ...
16
votes
8answers
5k views

Is it correct that “etc.” can not be used together in a sentence with “for example” and “such as”?

I just read an article from a Chinese website for English teaching which mentions that point. For instance, one can't say: "I can play quite a few musical instruments, for example, the flute, the ...
9
votes
5answers
10k views

Can you use two “and”s in a sentence?

For example, I like chocolate, vanilla, and lemon and orange ice cream. Indicating "lemon and orange" is a combined flavor, as an item in the list needing an initial and.
8
votes
3answers
824 views

What rules determine the apostrophe placement in “ham 'n eggs” and similar expressions?

In expressions such as "ham 'n eggs", the conjunction 'n appears to replace and, yet there is only one apostrophe to indicate the missing a and none for the missing d (i.e., no "ham 'n' eggs"). Is ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

“So long as” vs. “as long as”

Which phrase is more formal — "so long as" or "as long as"? Example: So long as Google Voice allows free long distance in North America, I will use it. As long as Google Voice allows free ...
4
votes
3answers
16k views

What does “if and when” mean, and is it the same as “when and if”?

Rather than trying to describe my beef with this idiom, I will give a bunch of successively objectionable examples. None of these are taken from real life. As I see it, if (and when) both "if" and ...
2
votes
2answers
586 views

Why don’t other pronouns get to albe-themselves, à la albeit’s “it”?

YES: "Euthanizing this particular kitten was a traumatic, albeit humane necessity." NO: "The geese, having pooped everywhere, made for hideous pets, albethem delicious as an entree." NO: "Most of the ...
2
votes
3answers
187 views

Precedence of “and” and “or”

Do and and or have any particular precedence as they do in programming languages? What does the following sentence mean? Will it be cold and rain or snow today? Will it (be cold and ...
-1
votes
1answer
2k views

“Three-hundred forty-two” or “three-hundred and forty-two”? [closed]

So on this answer here: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/12699791/finding-the-word-version-of-a-number/12700097#comment17146082_12700097 We were having the argument whether it is “three hundred and ...
5
votes
2answers
394 views

Because vs. due to with adjectives?

I know that because of modifies verbs, whereas due to modifies nouns. However, what do I do if I see something like: We find that X is better than Y is most cases, due to lack of support for Y. ...
3
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2answers
21k views

Use of a semicolon before and comma after “however”

Several years ago, a previous boss told me to use a semicolon and comma with the word "however". I've always questioned this and would like to know if the following random sentences are using the ...
13
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7answers
41k views

Can “hence” be used at the beginning of a sentence?

Can the word ‘hence’ be used at the beginning of a sentence? For example: Hence, I am not feeling well, I am unable to work.
5
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5answers
819 views

When to use a comma before “and”

I often see people on the Internet using a comma before and in many cases (not adversative cases). Is it ok? In my language it is stricly prohibited to use a comma before an and except for adversative ...
11
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3answers
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How do you make the possessive form with “He and I”-style subjects?

Despite being a native speaker of American English, I cannot find a construction that sounds natural when trying to form a possessive from coordinated subjects including a first person pronoun, like ...
5
votes
0answers
503 views

When do I use “me” and when “I”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Should I put myself last? I get this mixed up so often. Should I say: Me and Rob are going swimming. or I and Rob are going swimming. I know the latter ...