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
34 views

Present perfect or past simple another situation

A couple days ago I stumbled upon a sentence that I couldn't get my head around. In the sentence: I have read all of the author's books; Gregor gave me the first book of the series. I know it ...
6
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1answer
75 views

When constructing a hypothetical sentence, do I have to keep all the tenses in the past?

If I bought that book, it would be so I had something to give to you on your birthday. Now, as far as i know, in hypothetical sentences, you have to backshift all tenses one step to the past. So: ...
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2answers
323 views

Explanation of Grammatical structure is needed

The crowd saw him clap his hand to his mouth. This is a sentence from Harry Potter I. I don't understand how "clap" is used right after "saw". Shouldn't there be a "to" in between? i.e. ...
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1answer
39 views

Separating present perfect verbs by a comma?

I know this might seem trivial, but I am not sure what to do with sentences like this. If I have a sequence of verbs that I want to be in the present perfect tense how should I write the sentence. ...
1
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1answer
62 views

Not.. neither… either

the "not.. neither.." issue is pretty common, but I cannot seem to wrap my mind around the following particular case. I have the sentence: Then, in lines 6–9 of the algorithm, we add edges to E (if ...
1
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1answer
25 views

How to properly format a list of quotes

I have an article that contains a list of negative responses to a change in design for a milk jug. I want to use their feedback as a way to enforce my point that people don't like change. I am not a ...
2
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1answer
54 views

is it “mice infested” or “mouse infested”?

You would say "rat infested" but would you say "mouse infested" or "mice infested"? Sidenote: I think we would say "mouse infestation" so I'm assuming we would also say "louse infestation" as ...
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2answers
60 views

Enquiry, grammar correction [closed]

Would you please tell me which of these four sentences is correct one? I am so confused with them :( Action movies are three times as popular as comedies for men. Action movies are three times more ...
0
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0answers
81 views

In the sentence “We do have free will.”, what does “free” stands for?

In this sentence "We do have free will.", is "free-will" a compound noun? And if so, is "free" an adjective? Edit I'm talking about the theological concept of "free will". Which, in some cases, you ...
0
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1answer
34 views

Coordinate as a point in space?

Should I use coordinate or coordinates for a single point in space consisting of multiple numbers that describe a location? Often I hear "Give me the coordinates" when someone requests a single point ...
1
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1answer
61 views

Usage/meaning of would in this very specific context (book)

Can anyone explain me the meaning of would (underlined) in this specific context? How would you rephrase this sentence? It's an excerpt from the book In the Teeth of The Evidence: And Other Mysteries ...
1
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1answer
84 views

Is “In movie and TV” correct?

In German you may say something like In Film und Fernsehen spielen Schauspieler. which translates verbatim to English as In movie and TV actors act. While the German version sounds ...
0
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2answers
62 views

The way the past participle is used in these sentences

First, this is the meaning I am trying to put in writing: She could not tolerate the sight of them as they were being put to death. And I want the progressive aspect to be clear. Which of ...
1
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2answers
62 views

How to express must be in past tense in an inference

How do I express something like below in correct grammar: If he is 21 this year, he must be 20 last year. The problem is that I want to express that his being 20 is in the past tense. It doesn't ...
2
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2answers
54 views

Which is correct? “The people James is concerned about” vs “The people James are concerned about”?

This looks correct to me: The people James is concerned about This is what the spell checker is suggesting: The people James are concerned about? Context: I'm Australian writing and ...
1
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1answer
48 views

Is “Step out from behind” a phrasal verb?

Look at these examples: He stepped out from behind the curtain. Step out from behind the counter. Step out from behind the blue wall. Step out from behind the veil of illusion.
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2answers
72 views

Present perfect or past simple why

A couple days ago I stumbled upon a sentence that I couldn't get my head around. In the sentence: I have read all of his books, Gregor gave me the first book. I know it sounds wrong if you say: ...
0
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1answer
68 views

Before 2000 I *had visited* Poland, Ukraine, France, The Netherlands - incorrect sentence?

I´ve got the following problem. According to my teacher I can not use past perfect in this sentence: Before 2000 I had visited Poland, Ukraine, France, The Netherlands. To my ears it sounds ok and I ...
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0answers
95 views

“There” as a reference to a previous email?

When you are sending an addendum to a previous email of yours, is it correct to say "As I have mentioned there ...", when you are referring (some part of) the content of your initial email? For ...
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2answers
95 views

What is the word/rule for nouns that don't require articles? [duplicate]

For instance, you can correctly say "I want bread." That isn't wrong the same way "I want phone" is wrong. This seems to apply to most foods, but I can't figure out what the rule is. I want fish. ...
1
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1answer
93 views

Because of / due to [duplicate]

I know that "due to" modifies a noun, and "because of" verbs. However, while searching for explanations and examples, I've come upon this site, where it is said that you can check if the choice is ...
2
votes
3answers
141 views

Prepositions in stative verbs in passive structures

I wonder how it can be possible for a 'stative verb', that is not intransitive, to be used in a 'passive structure'. I know there are a lot of passive sentences containing stative verbs. The ...
0
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1answer
70 views

How to use the relative pronoun “which”

Is the use of the relative pronoun "of which" in the following quote from the ABC news correct? Shouldn't it be "of whom?" Five people were taken to the nearby Loma Linda University Medical ...
2
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1answer
80 views

'That's a good one, isn't it/that?' — Question Tag after Demonstratives

Regarding the question in the title, I think we should use it: That's a good one, isn't it? 'Isn't that' is respectively rare in this position, but I'm not sure if it's incorrect. My question ...
1
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1answer
36 views

Is the sentence “The trace of an odd number of gamma matrices vanish.” correct grammatically?

In my textbook it says: The trace of an odd number of gamma matrices vanish. Should it be `vanishes' as the trace is singular?
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0answers
10 views

“When will you be leaving”, Why? when the subject is Person! [duplicate]

My confusion about The correct sentence is when will you be leaving. but i don't know why they use "will be leaving" instead of "will leave"? Many thanks.
2
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3answers
69 views

Do passive sentences have objects?

I was answering a question on ELL and I came across a question of my own, namely whether there are objects in passive sentences. In this case the sentence was, Bobby was ran [sic] over by Billy's ...
2
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1answer
25 views

Identifying the funtion of “There” in a sentence [duplicate]

What part of speech or function does the word There have in the following statement? There is no quick way to become wealthy. I would like to diagram this sentence but am having trouble.
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1answer
64 views

Is it okay to start a sentence with “Doesn't matter”? [duplicate]

Is it okay to start a sentence with "Doesn't matter"? Like: Doesn't matter which train you board, you are going to be late for the meeting.
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1answer
1k views

“hadn't thought” vs. “didn't think”

Which is correct? It was late and I was trying to do your package quickly and hadn't thought that I could put everything together. or It was late and I was trying to do your package quickly ...
0
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1answer
58 views

Usage of “or rather”

A friend asked yesterday how to diagram these two phrases within a longer sentence: "... in a mansion, or rather in a shed ..." we're wondering what function "or rather" serves? thanks!
0
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1answer
32 views

How should I set off these questions within a phrase, if at all?

I would appreciate any suggestions about the grammar in the following phrases. Is what I have done grammatically correct? The question we should ask is not simply "Cui bono?" -- "Who benefits?" ...
3
votes
2answers
200 views

“I am filled with pity” vs “I am pitiful”

If I am filled with pity for an individual / group (eg - the Syrian situation), I would probably say, "I am filled with pity for the individuals concerned," as opposed to "I am pitiful for the ...
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0answers
35 views

What is the preferable placement of “is” in this phrase?

I'm not sure if either of these phrases is very good; however, I wanted to ask about them, and particularly to ask whether the second phrase is grammatically plausible, and, if so, what rules can I be ...
2
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1answer
33 views

Difference between using plural pronouns vs singular in this sentence

From the SAT: Psychologists advise that before making any major changes in their lives, people should focus on their goals. This is the right answer but another choice seems plausible to me ...
0
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2answers
53 views

Colon vs. Semicolon? “Lydia's father is a master chef;/: he oversees the kitchen at a five-star restaurant.” [closed]

From Grammar Workshop: "Lydia's father is a master chef he oversees the kitchen at a five-star restaurant." Can someone explain whether to use a semicolon or a colon?
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2answers
307 views

Is it grammatical to say “A can be benefit from B”? [closed]

I have seen several times of "A can be benefit from B". But my teacher told me that benefit can only be a noun here. Thus, the sentence is not correct. After googling, I get lots of results about "A ...
0
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3answers
328 views

he said the project will be carried out vs he said the project would be carried out [duplicate]

When do I have to use "will + verb" after that clause? He said the project will be carried out. vs He said the project would be carried out. According to the tense agreement, I think the ...
1
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1answer
39 views

Would using the word “only” be correct in this context?

Is it correct to use "only" here? A: The movie was a bore. How did you even tolerate it ?! B: It was good only. The "only" here is used to imply "it wasn't that bad, it was tolerable" This ...
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2answers
46 views

Correct to use “no?”

Is it considered correct to use "no" like this : I loved the fair. It was fun, no? This is the way people speak in Hindi, so converting it to English literally would not be right I guess.
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1answer
84 views

Do you need a comma before “such as”? [closed]

For example ; Ethical reasons such as religion, have a huge part in abortion.
0
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1answer
41 views

How to enumerate adjectives without using the same noun? How to give preference to the noun?

I like orange, chocolate, strawberry & banana, kiwi, pineapple and vanilla milkshakes. Imagining there are many more adjectives, in case someone wants to emphasize and give preference to ...
5
votes
1answer
231 views

Using “was” vs “were” for “as if”

For hypothetical situations, I've read that mostly, it is safer to use "were" for ifs. If the world were peaceful, there would be no wars. But, I've also read that for some unhypothetical/past ...
8
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2answers
891 views

To be “hung, drawn and quartered”, or to be “hanged, drawn and quartered”?

I have always used the former, both as an idiom (to be severely punished, often used as a superlative in jest) and in reference to the historical form of capital punishment. I have always used hanged ...
0
votes
4answers
149 views

Active or passive voice? [closed]

Is the following sentence in active or passive voice? The document had three errors.
2
votes
1answer
91 views

What is the proper structure for the sentence “Whose dog does this ball belong to?” [duplicate]

As I understand, keeping prepositions from the end of a sentence is a cardinal rule with no exceptions. However, "To whose dog does this ball belong?" does not seem correct to me at all. How should ...
2
votes
2answers
83 views

“…their respective group's websites” or “…their respective groups' websites”

I am sending a resource to two group leaders who have the option of sharing it. Which, if either, of the below are correct: They can put it on their respective groups' websites. They can put ...
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1answer
34 views

I don't think I'd have or had [closed]

If he hadn't I don't think I'd have ever watched Drive! or If he hadn't I don't think I'd had ever watched Drive!
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0answers
36 views

Grammar, use of “the” [duplicate]

Why does one say "Lake Maggiore is in northern Italy" (and not The lake Maggiore) and "I often go and visit the Colosseum when I'm in Rome" (with the)?
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4answers
732 views

Is “now” a “preposition”?

My question starts from this question which asks about difference between currently and right now, which is not that complicated. However, in the middle of exchanging comments, I found a few points ...