This tag is for questions about how grammar works, e.g. different grammatical usages, how they can be used, or what they mean. For questions that ask whether something is grammatical, please use the "grammaticality" tag instead.

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1answer
5k views

“Has started” versus “will have started”

Which one of the following sentences is grammatically better? I hope she has started doing that by then. I hope she will have started doing that by then. Now, if I make it indirect, it will ...
7
votes
1answer
10k views

“They're not” vs. “they aren't”

How dissimilar are "they're not" and "they aren't"? Is it dependent on context or are these exactly the same? They are supposed to be going, but they are not. They are not going.
4
votes
4answers
942 views

How should I shorten this sentence?

In an email, I would like to write the following sentence: The weight of services given by Company B is not less than the weight of services given by Company A. I want to shorten the ...
4
votes
3answers
28k views

“who doesn't” vs. “who don't”

What is the difference between "There will be users who doesn't buy something" and "There will be users who don't buy something"? Are they both grammatically correct?
3
votes
3answers
897 views

“Luck”, “coincidence”, “chance” — most appropriate in this situation?

I found my present flat completely by __. luck coincidence chance What will be the most appropriate word in this sentence?
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Does this sentence seem weird?

A line from William Golding's The Lord of the Flies: All round him the long scar smashed into the jungle was a bath of heat. Is it just me or does the sentence seem grammatically off?
10
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3answers
878 views

Should this abbreviated question use “lose” or “lost?”

The main site Meta is currently displaying a banner that reads Lose some reputation points? A system-wide recalc of scores happened. This raised the question Fix the grammar please? ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

The word for “Those who are notified”

In general usage (and hopefully correct usage) a "notifier" is someone who notifies. What is the word for the person who is notified? For example: "Instruct each [X] to respond to the notification ...
4
votes
5answers
240 views

“practitioners' community” or “practitioners community”

I would say the first is the correct one (with apostrophe), but I see the other one much more. Don't know if it is relevant, but I'm a British English user.
11
votes
6answers
9k views

Is “Don't you know? ” the same as “Do not you know?”?

Well, we know don't is the same as do not, right? Therefore, can I say "Do not you know?", instead of "Don't you know?"? Well, I know that chances are I can't do that, but technically that should be ...
1
vote
4answers
9k views

Word for “Ray of Hope”

Which word or phrase to use instead of "Ray of Hope" ? EDIT : In a general context. Suppose there is one line - There is a Ray Of Hope in darkness always.
2
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3answers
1k views

Progressive form required for “as”, “while”, etc.?

Are both forms grammatically correct? As I was entering the shop, I saw her. As I entered the shop, I saw her.
13
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5answers
3k views

Is it correct to say that English has the dative case?

Is it correct to say that, nowadays, English has the dative case, or was it only present in Old English?
1
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1answer
260 views

Best link to forward to juniors re: correct use of apostrophes, possessives and contractions

I'm tired of my junior employees abusing, misusing and otherwise being cavalier about possessives and the use of apostrophes. I could wag my finger at them, point them to some Guide of Style or to any ...
5
votes
4answers
23k views

Usage of 'much more'

Is saying much more grammatically correct? For instance, some purists argue that this is wrong: I'm much more comfortable with A than B and that it should be: I'm more comfortable with A ...
3
votes
1answer
191 views

What is the rule for composing two words, when one of them is hyphenized or has spaces?

Let's imagine we have an organization named EFSMA-EE and another called EFSMA Telecom (EFSMA is an acronym). If I want to compose these with another word (e.g. "time" - as in "full-time"), what ...
5
votes
2answers
99k views

“I have come to” vs. “I have came to”

I am not a native English speaker, and I learn from people. I often hear people say “I have come to a place where there is no end…”. I am wondering, isn't the right way to say it: “I have came” (I ...
3
votes
1answer
4k views

Space After Semicolons?

Should there be spaces after a semicolon in a sentence? For example: "...minimum/standard requirements for a base diploma;there has been..." or "...minimum/standard requirements for a base ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

How do I correctly use the possessive apostrophe with a parenthetical citation?

Is the apostrophe in the right place in the following sentence? Pendleton, et al. (2002)’s research implies that extension of treatment allows for greater weight loss.
5
votes
3answers
24k views

“Wasn't” vs “weren't” [duplicate]

Which one would be correct? I wish it weren't raining today. I wish it wasn't raining today. I wish it were raining today. I wish it was raining today.
1
vote
2answers
2k views

“Protein-coding” or “Protein-encoding”?

The reason I am asking this is the following. Some time ago I performed proofreading of a book, and there was a phrase containing "Protein-encoding genes". I wrote a post on my blog, detailing why ...
7
votes
3answers
8k views

Is to + ing (to becoming) correct?

I have read in a newspaper, the writer is using 'to becoming'. eg: "We're on track to becoming developed nation." Is this sentence really correct?
3
votes
3answers
3k views

What's wrong with the phrase “eating at me”?

I like to say this in jest when cats & dogs munch loudly on their dinner: "Your cat Molly is eating at me again!" I'm not sure what's "off" about it. Is it in fact incorrect, or is it merely ...
3
votes
1answer
186 views

Bracket placement

My idea of using of various brackets is unclear; can anybody clarify as to where exactly I use () and []? Furtermore, are {} used in regular grammar?
0
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2answers
1k views

Usage of “that” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Use of “that” in a sentence English-newbie-here! =D Well, let me present you with a situation where I ended up using both choices actually: She said ...
1
vote
2answers
199 views

How to modify “one-third” by an adverb?

Would it be correct to merge with hyphens one-third-contiguously in the following phrase? I propose to elect by 3 quotas, each per one-thirds-contiguously of time-zones.
0
votes
2answers
580 views

About possessive apostrophe usage! [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the correct possessive for nouns ending in s? Hello! New to English, but doing fairly fine so far... well, here's a situation I had a couple times, and... well, ...
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3answers
2k views

Subject versus object in a sentence: how are they determined?

For example, if I tell “I'm write-only” am I perceived as subject (who is writing) or as an object (who is written)? Related question: How do I determine subject and subject complement ...
0
votes
1answer
5k views

Should I use 'no' or 'know'? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is it “that's the same story, know?” or “that's the same story, no?” Which word should I use in this sentence, no or know? you also ...
8
votes
6answers
8k views

Why is “listen” always followed by “to” in the command voice?

When I say, read it or drink it or take me, there is no to in-between. Why is it that when I use the verb listen, I have to say listen to me or listen to it?
24
votes
6answers
71k views

Is “there're” (similar to “there's”) a correct contraction?

Q: "Do you have any juice?" A: "Yes, there's some in the fridge." Sounds perfectly fine to me, but: Q: "Do you have any towels?" A: "Yes, there's some in the closet." Does not. I asked ...
3
votes
3answers
202 views

“Local crumbed scallops”, or “crumbed local scallops”?

Recently I was in a fish and chip shop in Mandurah, WA, selling local crumbed scallops. Is local crumbed scallops the correct form? Is crumbed local scallops more appropriate? What if "nonlocal" ...
4
votes
3answers
110 views

“get” or “is” regarding the future

Which of the following would be correct? Is it a question of dialect? "If this question gets answered, ..." "If this question is answered, ..." (Inspired by this answer.)
5
votes
3answers
3k views

“My another account” vs. “my other account”

A little debate going on here so I just want to know which one it is; I'm saying it's my other account since my another would be my one other account. The other person insists they both can be used; ...
1
vote
5answers
3k views

Similar words that change from “-ter” to “tre”

I just found out that luster in British English was actually lustre. This was something that I did not know before. Are there any other words that behave like this? Why? (According to what?)
5
votes
1answer
569 views

Capitalization of “Assembly Language”

This Wikipedia article does not capitalize "assembly language," for understandable reasons. It uses it as an indefinite article, i.e. "an assembly language." But how should it be written when using ...
0
votes
1answer
362 views

Appropriateness of two spaces inbetween words [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How many spaces should come after a period/full stop? I understand the justification for reverting to a single-space system (computers aren't typewriters), but is it ...
16
votes
4answers
52k views

“Criteria” versus “criterion”

I came across several forums and articles saying that criteria is plural and criterion is singular. Some gave me the impression that criterion is used to denote a set of rules. What is the correct ...
3
votes
1answer
131 views

What quantity am I saying here?

What quantity am I saying here? "3 million athletes, trainers and businesses use my product..." Am I saying 3 million in total, or am I saying 9 million in total use my product (3M athletics + 3M ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Can the statement “bunch of bees” be correct?

I appreciate that the correct name for a group of bees is 'swarm', which is accurate whether the bees are clustered together or not. With that in mind, how correct is it to refer to the same group ...
5
votes
4answers
4k views

Is the expression “done right” proper grammar?

Suppose I have the sentence: "This is a website done right." It sounds wrong, but I cannot find any grammatical rules that confirm my suspicions. Am I just crazy or is that improper grammar?
2
votes
5answers
4k views

Can 'default' be an adverb?

Consider the following sentence: Whenever possible, default and explicitly mapped names are honored as written. It seems to me that default and explicitly both talk about how the names are ...
2
votes
3answers
504 views

What is the difference between these “clause separators”?

Here is an example sentence: At the start of the day you may (if you like) make yourself a slice of toast. Are the brackets appropriate to separate the clause "if you like" from the main ...
9
votes
3answers
12k views

How to deal with quoting a grammatical error?

What should you do if you’re quoting someone, and that quote has a grammatical error? Say for example that I’m quoting this line from the American Pregnancy Association: The term used for a ...
9
votes
2answers
401 views

Is it ever appropriate to mix up “I” and “one” in the same sentence?

In my last question on English L & U SE, I was strongly tempted to write the following: Every so often I've thought I've chanced across most of them [literary Biblical phrases], but as one ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Conjugating verbs for nouns referring to groups of people [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is staff plural? Frequently when reading tech articles, I see sentences like "Microsoft have released ..." or "Apple have announced ...". This seems wrong to me because ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

“One-Day Only Promotion” or “One-Day-Only Promotion”

A copywriter I'm working with wrote "One-Day Only Promotion" but my feeling is that "One-Day-Only Promotion" is correct. The first three words describe 'Promotion'. I know you don't hyphenate adverbs, ...
9
votes
7answers
20k views

When and how should I use multiple exclamation marks?

Now, I never do this, but in some few cases I have seen people use multiple exclamation (or question) marks like this: Hey!!! Is that grammatically correct? (Or just okay). In case it is, how ...
4
votes
4answers
768 views

Is “Pick up those blocks” grammatically incorrect?

I had someone correct me today as I instructed my child to "pick up those blocks." This person insisted that it should just be: Pick up those. since "those" is already plural. Is this person ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

“Easy to explain, here is an example for you:”

Here I present you two scenarios of mine: This can be explained very easily, with this example: example here and This can be explained very easily: example here On the first ...