3
votes
2answers
515 views

Usage of “same” vs. “selfsame”

I have been wondering in my head when is it more appropriate grammatically and more appropriate in terms of the English language to use word selfsame instead of same. The research that I have done ...
5
votes
2answers
141 views

How to analyze lightly varying senses of adjective *very*

Use of very as an adjective is (in my experience) most frequently attested in phrases like ...the very person I was looking for. To use adjective very with the indefinite article sounds quite ...
2
votes
2answers
6k views

“They all are fine” vs. “they are all fine” [closed]

The situation is that someone asks me how my family are; I then want to answer that they all are fine. I want to know whether the sentences "They all are fine." and "They are all fine." have the ...
1
vote
0answers
61 views

Difference between “a few minutes” and “few minutes” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “A few” vs. “few” What is the difference between "a few minutes" and "few minutes"? For instance, how do these statements differ? She has ...
10
votes
5answers
271 views

What is the radical difference between ‘this’ and ‘a’ when telling a story?

The following quotation is a line from Ron to Harry after the first stage of the Triwizard Tournament. (p359, Harry Potter 4, US edition) “You were the best, you know, no competition. Cedric did ...
5
votes
2answers
331 views

What are “a” and “certain” adding in meaning to the phrase “a certain Mr. Ripley”?

Consider the following sentences: I had my identity stolen by Mr. Ripley. and I had my identity stolen by a Mr. Ripley. and I had my identity stolen by a certain Mr. Ripley. In what ...
25
votes
9answers
30k views

“A few” vs. “few”

I have few friends. I have a few friends. I thought "few" means just one, two or even none. "A few" typically means more than two. However it seems to me some people say "few" when they ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

New Oxford American Dictionary describes “the” as an adjective

When I look at the definition given from the Mac OS X Dictionary (I have set American English as interface language, and the dictionary used is then the New Oxford American Dictionary), I read: ...