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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3answers
1k views

Feel confused about to-infinitive in a sentence

In order to understand the English grammar, I have to read the Grammar Section in OALD. I don't understand the grammar constituents of to-infinitives in these sentences. How can I understand them? ...
0
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0answers
237 views

what are the correct tenses “very different from what he … do” [duplicate]

I were talking with a person about certain musician and was going to mention a song, that was very different from what the musician... say, ever did. But then I wondered what is the correct tense to ...
1
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0answers
42 views

Which one is correct in the context:“have” Or “has” [duplicate]

1) Our team of nationally recognized trainers has earned multiple titles…. In the first version team is the object making has correct. Or 2) Our team of nationally recognized trainers have ...
0
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1answer
91 views

How should this be read? [closed]

We all know that you do not belong here, have no idea what you are talking about, and can't actually script. Should this be interpreted as We all know that you do not belong here You have ...
0
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0answers
47 views

Choosing between “to experiment with” and “with which to experiment” [duplicate]

I am using the phrase to experiment with in the following sentence: That this curriculum also places importance on physical design and prototyping, and offers access to the resources of a research ...
2
votes
1answer
388 views

What does “Take the disguise” mean?

I was reading this particular sentence: She took the disguise of an old woman and came to Eleusis, where she was welcomed by the family of King Celeus. Disguise means costume. So, does it mean ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

Can “above” be used as an adjective? [duplicate]

I've read in some English grammar books that the word above can only act as an adverb. It can never be used as an adjective in any context. For example: 1) The above example explains it well. ...
1
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5answers
36k views

Understanding “as of”, “as at”, and “as from”

I'd appreciate your assistance in helping me particularly understand how to use the phrase "as of" properly. What is the proper interpretation of the following sentence? "I need you to get me all ...
-1
votes
1answer
499 views

When should apostrophe-s be used? [closed]

(Sorry for the lack of proper terms in this question) I noticed that in this example: This page's content [...] The word "page" is used with an apostrophe-s. I thought 's should only be used when ...
0
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2answers
842 views

multiple adjectives next to each other [closed]

In low volume, a melody sad love song is playing in a mobile phone placed on the side table. Do you see the three adjectives (melody sad love) together? Is that correct?
1
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2answers
15k views

Difference between verb+preposition and phrasal verbs

I am reading a book on grammar. Now I can't understand the difference between the verb+preposition and phrasal verbs. For example He never thinks about(or of) other people. and put on your ...
-1
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3answers
5k views

Is it proper to use “that” instead of “at which” to refer to speed?

On a physics assignment, I believe that these sentences are grammatically incorrect, but some other students disagree (especially on the second one). What is the maximum speed that the mass can be ...
0
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0answers
19 views

What are the differences in meaning between a-b, and c-d? [duplicate]

a.The travellers who took another route got lost. b. The travellers, who took another route, got lost. c. Mary, who always sits in the front row of the class, got 'A' today. d. Mary who always ...
-1
votes
3answers
1k views

Does a student own, hold, possess, or something else a transcript? [closed]

Does a student hold, own, possess, or something else a transcript? My wife just asked me a question for which I do not have an answer. She asked me, "holder or owner of a transcript?" I wasn't sure ...
2
votes
2answers
213 views

About inversion

Given the following sentence, Nowhere on her title page or copyright page is there a suggestion that anyone but Walker wrote her story. Can I invert it as follows without changing the meaning? ...
3
votes
2answers
976 views

“Not to worry” — unknown grammar category?

The phrase "not to worry" feels more like German grammar than English. What category of grammar is this, and are there any comparable examples?
3
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2answers
5k views

Not only X but also Y are (is?)

At first glance, sentence 1 below seems more correct because there are two subjects. However, something seems more natural about sentence 2. Maybe there is something abbreviated, elliptical, or ...
4
votes
1answer
371 views

What is the difference of nuance between the statements: “Why had they not already killed their hostage? and “Why didn’t they kill their hostage”?

There was the following statement in (April 24) Time magazine’s article titled, “Thanks for dumb terrorists” reporting the capture of Boston bomb attack suspects: http://swampland.time.com/2013/04/21/...
-4
votes
1answer
112 views

The years had or has laid [closed]

I can't figure out which of the two words are correct... The years had laid the foundation of my achieved knowledge. The years has laid the foundation of my achieved knowledge. With the correct ...
0
votes
2answers
244 views

Education or training

Is the word "education" or "training" correct? For example: I attended the HTL, where I got a 4-year education in "Electronic, Technical Informatics". I attended the HTL, where I got a 4-year ...
4
votes
4answers
8k views

“Among themselves” or “among them”?

Which sentence is correct? ...where successful people are giving lectures and people could exchange knowledge among themselves. ...where successful people are giving lectures and people ...
1
vote
2answers
8k views

Is “I'm being angry” ungrammatical?

I am arguing with friends about this question. According to what I learned in school, there are some adjectives that cannot be used in the progressive form. I think this one is ungrammatical because ...
1
vote
2answers
15k views

Which preposition: “Write on/at/to this address?”

My exam included this fill-in-the-blank question: Please write __ this address. (on/at/to) I filled the blank with on. Is that correct?
-2
votes
1answer
450 views

How to use “and” “is” “are” with locations [closed]

I am confused with how to use "is" and "are" with locations. Which is correct? a)Library and lecture room is crowded. b)Library and Lecture room are crowded.
-2
votes
1answer
6k views

Can I use the letter 'i'in small letter in the middle of a sentence? [duplicate]

Can I use the letter 'i'in small letter in the middle of a sentence? I have seen many places where people have used it. Please let me know whether 'I' should always be used in capital letter or not. ...
2
votes
1answer
836 views

Should I say “I make a living by teaching” or “I make a living teaching”? Which one is correct? Is the preposition 'by' necessary?

I am confused about the correct usage of the phrasal verb, 'make a living'. I don't know whether I should add the preposition 'by' at the end of it. I looked up several dictionaries, most of which ...
-2
votes
3answers
1k views

“What keeps him going?” vs. “What does him keep going?” [duplicate]

Why is the grammatical structure of "What keeps him going?" right? I got a bit confused over this, when I realized that this structure fundamentally contradicts the basic rule I teach my students: "...
-2
votes
2answers
385 views

Is a bare infinitive acceptable as the object of a verb? [duplicate]

I came upon the phrase, "writing helps develop a child analytically thinking." Is this grammatically correct? Is it OK to use just develop instead of to develop?
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2answers
12k views

A better, more academic way of saying 'whether or not'

This is my sentence, and I was hoping to make it sound more academic: The aim is to ascertain whether or not the actors from the two films analysed can be considered to be heroes Is there a ...
9
votes
2answers
5k views

How should I avoid this reflexive pronoun, or is it okay?

I typed a sentence in Microsoft Word as: o Each mobile operating system implements encryption in their own way. It was part of a list of bullet points. I got dinged for their own being ...
1
vote
2answers
424 views

Punctuating participle phrases

Are there any firm rules for separating a participle phrase with a comma? I rarely place a participle phrases close to the noun it modifies and wonder whether a comma is required. Do either of these ...
-2
votes
2answers
733 views

Correct use of the word “damage” in this sentence? [closed]

Correct the bold section of the sentence: Federal Legislation establishing a fund for the cleanup of the sites damaged by toxic chemicals permits compensating state governments for the damage to ...
0
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2answers
149 views

Another “which” question

In this sentence Green tea contains the vitamins and healthy properties of the green tea leaf, which makes green tea popular among health-conscious people. what is the "which" referring to?? ...
3
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3answers
3k views

The “ask”. Is this a buzzword or just bad grammar?

The ask, or my ask is used in places such as: My ask of you is that you fill out the true and false questions first. Similarly, I have see the ask... Why are people using this? I believe it is ...
1
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1answer
1k views

“his” may be more suitable but why is “him” not ok ? [duplicate]

Consider the following : A friend of him came here yesterday. A friend of his came here yesterday. My question is which one is acceptable. If both are acceptable, do they have any difference in ...
5
votes
3answers
300 views

Why is there a comma in “Man discusses his, wife's experience”

Why is there a comma after "his" in the headline? Does this mean his AND his wife's experience? Is it correct english, or slang? "Man discusses his, wife's experience being injured during the Boston ...
1
vote
0answers
35 views

Does there exist an EBNF-like description of English? [duplicate]

In programming, languages are often specified by what's called an EBNF grammar, a recursive way of specifying the language's structure. For example, all super simple arithmetic operations using the ...
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2answers
10k views

Grammar: “They have been playing tennis” vs. “They were playing tennis” [duplicate]

What's the difference? If anything, the former is correct.
0
votes
1answer
2k views

“I have studied” vs. “I have been studying” [duplicate]

Do you agree with the explanations to this question and statements? Judy: How long have you been in Canada? Claude: I have been studying here for more than three years. OR I have studied ...
6
votes
3answers
27k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
725 views

Tense agreement in conditional statements: “I could do whatever I want” vs. “I could do whatever I wanted”

Consider the following sentences: If I had my own place, I could do whatever I want. If I had my own place, I could do whatever I wanted. She said I could do whatever I want. She ...
1
vote
1answer
383 views

Is “gonna have to” an Americanism?

First of all, I have read the answers about "gonna have to" usage, and they are quite clear: I am gonna have to vs I have to and why-prefix-a-request-with-im-going-to-have-to-ask-you The ...
5
votes
3answers
715 views

Is using past participle instead of present one more polite?

On christianity.stackexchange.com I asked this question: "Is it true that John Paul the Second restored the practice of selling indulgences in 2000?" and one supporter suggested that I replace ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

Would you use a period after text: Thank you for helping to build the new building

My boss told me that I shouldn't have a period after the text: Thank you for helping to build the new building. She said that it is not a complete sentence.
0
votes
1answer
5k views

What is the difference between “compound” and “complex” sentences?

And what is the difference between coordinating and subordinating conjunctions? Is one kind of sentence (compound or complex) characterized by either a coordinating or subordinating conjunction, while ...
5
votes
2answers
611 views

Are constructions like “That's me out, then” primarily British rather than American?

Prompted by comments to this question on English Learners (about "That's you done"), I've been searching Google Books for similar constructions of the general form that's [pro]noun adjective (for this ...
4
votes
4answers
483 views

Analysis of “There is something it is like to be us”

I found these similar phrases (bolded by me) in an article [1] and am wondering how they can make sense. Ordinary human beings are conscious. That is, there is something it is like to be us. We ...
1
vote
2answers
6k views

Is “working good” correct in “The server is not working good”? Why? [duplicate]

Take the sentence The server is not working good. I think that working good is right here, but why is it right? Is good an adverb in this position?
4
votes
6answers
6k views

Email Capitalization: “Hi Michael, please bring…” or “Hi Michael, Please bring…”

In an email, if I don't put a new line after the heading, how am I supposed to capitalize the next word? With a new line, it's straightforward: Hi Michael, Please bring the books. But ...
2
votes
2answers
6k views

Prepositions 'in' or 'of' for referring to a population of a country

I was wondering about these prepositions in and of. Actually I was making an assignment in Spanish and I came across this problem and I translated it in English but I am still puzzled as to what the ...