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18
votes
7answers
2k views

Why is “did” italicized for emphasis in “Where did you come from?”

Where did you come from? What is the nuance of this emphasis? I could understand it if the emphasis were on where.
3
votes
2answers
212 views

Can I use the adjective as the first word?

Is it okay if I rearrange the sentence The apple on the table was green or The green apple was on the table to put the adjective in front, as the first word, like Green, was the apple on ...
1
vote
0answers
47 views

It is (was) … that … in plural forms for emphasis [closed]

I need to emphasize two items using It is (was) ... that ... grammar, but I am not sure in such plural forms, should I change to They are (were) ... that .... Specifically, if I want to emphasize this ...
3
votes
1answer
156 views

Cleft sentences

Let's assume that John gave me a cat. I can rephrase the fact with: What John did was to give me a cat What John did was give me a cat What John did was, he gave me a cat But can I say the ...
0
votes
4answers
171 views

“former” vs “last” as in “my former, only and last husband”

I was reading a book and found this expression: [...] my former, only and last husband. Could anyone tell me what are the differences between former and last in this case? Also, would former and ...
0
votes
3answers
309 views

Words like “do/does/did” to emphasize, but for “am/is/are”

So X said to Y: I did tell you yesterday! As far as I know, the word did there is to emphasize my point or tell him that I'm so sure I've told him the story yesterday. What I want to ask is, ...
0
votes
1answer
151 views

Does emphasis ever change the fundamental pronunciation of a word?

A friend of mine has a theory that changing the emphasis from one syllable of a word to another never really affects the "core" pronunciation. So for instance, consider the word umbrella. The ...
0
votes
1answer
93 views

Proper usage of “themselves”?

Could anyone please tell me if I used "themselves" properly in this sentences: Such artificial samples can also potentially reduce distortions ... that are due to varying properties of the samples ...
4
votes
3answers
95 views

Punctuation of a dependent clause for strong emphasis

Which of the sentences below is correct if I want to strongly emphasize that the pencil is not is not white? This is a black instead of a white pencil. This is a black, instead of a white, ...
0
votes
1answer
39 views

“Development of technology” vs. “technology development”

I was wondering which form is the correct one, "technology development" or "the development of technology". For example: The pace of technology development affected me in several ways. The ...
3
votes
2answers
710 views

Is one allowed to use capitalization for emphasis?

In written English, is it okay to emphasize words by capitalizing them? As in: I would NEVER do that! Are there other methods to achieve this? On an aside: Dutch uses acute accents for ...
1
vote
2answers
3k views

What are rules on 'so that' vs. 'such that'? [duplicate]

When I want to emphasize a result or aim, I use a phrase with 'so that'. Other authors use 'such that'. I wonder if there are any rules or if both can be used interchangeably. For example ...
0
votes
1answer
475 views

The use of “actually” and “whatsoever”

The word, actually means to "emphasize a fact or a comment, or that something is really true." So why is whatsoever used in this sentence You have no right whatsoever to read what is written ...
4
votes
1answer
13k views

Is it correct to say “I myself”?

I thought it was incorrect to say I myself as in: I myself don’t like this idea. However, last night I was watching the second Harry Potter movie, and one of the characters said: In case you ...
0
votes
2answers
142 views

Confusion with possessives

We have a choir in the town of Ako called Ako International Students Choir. The choir is directed in English and is indeed international, but by no means limited to International Students. I am ...
38
votes
11answers
6k views

Is the usage of 'personally' in 'I personally don't like something' redundant?

What is the difference between the following? I personally don't like wax museums. I don't like wax museums. The adverb personally does not seem to emphasize anything here. Is it ...
2
votes
3answers
250 views

Can a double negative be used to express caution or uncertainty?

In the following statement, what is the effect of the double negative? Is it necessarily emphasis? Or could it be a kind of cautious statement implying a degree of uncertainty? If a double negative ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

Is “much” used for emphasis in “much to your surprise”?

What is the main difference between these sentences: To your surprise, he is alive. Much to your surprise, he is alive. Is much only used to emphasize your surprise? Can I have a ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the difference between “so much” and “quite so much”?

I was told that "so much" is more emphatic than "quite so much", but I am not sure. Could you explain the difference between the following pairs of sentences? Don't put so much emphasis on that ...
5
votes
2answers
773 views

“It is only me that is” or “It is only I that am”

It is only me that is confused. or It is only I that am confused. The first one sounds more natural to me while the second one appears to me as grammatically correct. Which one is correct?
3
votes
2answers
275 views

Can all question words be followed by “the hell”?

What the hell did I marry? Why the hell did I marry? When the hell did I marry? Where the hell did I marry? ... Can all question words be followed by "the hell"?
5
votes
2answers
784 views

How to properly emphasise words with italics in sentences?

I'm not sure if I can ask this question here, because it is more of a writing issue. My native language is French and I have been reading and watching stuff in English and I am quite fluent with the ...
4
votes
5answers
1k views

Can “be” be used with the modal verb “do”?

These two sentences are both valid I write this sentence. I do write this sentence. Are these both valid? I am writing this sentence. I do be writing this sentence.
3
votes
2answers
353 views

Wrong usage of “myself ”, or just putting emphasis on “me”?

I was writing the following sentence, and I realized it somehow sounds odd: I am constantly trying to remind myself to think carefully before speaking, but those moments I forget to do so end up ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

What is the difference between “in terms of” and “as far as is concerned”?

What's the difference of their emphasis? Often I felt these two are very similar. For example, In terms of quality, A is better than B. is similar to: As far as quality is concerned, A is better ...
3
votes
2answers
523 views

Is “learning yourself” the same as “learning by yourself”?

(Other than the first also meaning to learn about oneself...) Is learning yourself the same as learning by yourself? How much do these two phrases differ? In India's spoken English, the former is ...
4
votes
2answers
475 views

Usage of a comma for emphasis

It is grammatically acceptable to say the following? Don't forget, they could be tricking us.
4
votes
3answers
453 views

Is there a difference between “Joe said” and “said Joe”?

Does the subject/verb order make a difference when writing a dialog tag? "The sky is blue," Joe said. "The sky is blue," said Joe. Is one preferable over the other? Does one emphasize the ...
2
votes
1answer
103 views

“The” for laying emphasis

Is this a correct statement? "The lion and tiger belong to the cat family." Or should it be - "The lion and the tiger belong to the cat family."
2
votes
2answers
570 views

Meaning based on emphasis

Is there a term used to explain how some words change meaning based on the accent? For example, "convict" can be both a noun and a verb depending on which syllable is emphasized. The same is true for ...
6
votes
1answer
495 views

How can I determine the proper stressing of words?

I am working on a sonnet. This pretty much mandates the use of iambic pentameter and therefore requires that I have a good grip on emphasis. However, I'm not exactly sure how to properly research ...
4
votes
3answers
507 views

How did the phenomenon of doubling words come about?

I am referring to phrases such as: "Do you like her, or do you like like her." Can someone provide an explanation of this? There are many more examples but none come to mind at the moment.
2
votes
2answers
849 views

Origin and use of “in and among itself”

Where does the expression in and among itself come from? Is it only used for emphasis compared to in itself? For example, This would be interesting in and among itself.
0
votes
1answer
2k views

When is the construction “I myself” suitable? [closed]

A previous question, How to call attention to "I" without "I myself" or the pretentious "Even I"?, suggested that the "I myself" construction is often used for emphasis, with one answer correctly ...
5
votes
6answers
3k views

Is misplaced emphasis a form of mispronunciation?

I was speaking with someone today and he brought up the TV show "South Park", and he emphasized the "Park" whereas most people (and the show itself, I believe) emphasize the word "South". This got me ...
3
votes
3answers
611 views

How to call attention to “I” without “I myself” or the pretentious “even I”?

I find that in persuasive conversation, whether written or oral, it is sometimes useful to draw attention to the "I" in the sentence, giving the connotation that you are confessing or conceding to ...
68
votes
3answers
26k views

Is “believe you me” proper English?

I understand the phrase "believe you me" to be an emphatic version of "believe me" but how did it come to be? Is it a poor translation into English?
6
votes
3answers
854 views

Why use “Hell” to emphasize a statement?

I was watching Rocky last night and one of the lines got me thinking. I was wondering why we use Hell in sentences like "A Hell of a lot better than…," "Hell, that's the best thing that's ever ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Pronunciation of voiceless alveolar fricative /s/ as ʃ (/sh/) in slang?

Observed some words get pronounced with a /sh/ rather than /s/ in certain situations. Stripes as "Shtripes" (from some "The Wire" episode) Screw it as "shcrew it" (from a rap song) In both ...
2
votes
1answer
776 views

Emphasising sentences

It's pretty clear that using do/did we can emphasise a verb. Such as I do recommend reading that book. or I did enjoy the movie. But the question is, how to emphasise sentences like I am keen ...
23
votes
5answers
79k 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. ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

How to add emphasis to a modal verb

To add emphasis to a normal verb, we use the emphatic do: He does run fast. Do come in. Do brush your teeth. Obviously, with modal verbs this would be a grave mistake: (*) He ...