This tag is about how the grammar works: different grammatical usages, how they can be used, or what they mean.

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2
votes
2answers
266 views

Why is “a” missing in “running like clockwork”

I would like to know why the idiom "running like clockwork" is not written as "running like a clockwork"? Is there some common rule that explains this? I am asking this question since I am not sure ...
4
votes
2answers
144 views

“Any club cannot use . . .” vs. “No club can use . . .”

Here in Japan, many of my students use "any" in a negative sentence like this: "Please note that any club/group cannot use the copy machine after 8:00pm." I believe this is grammatically ...
1
vote
3answers
234 views

When can you omit words in a parallel strucutre?

First of all, I am not a native English speaker, so this is always confusing. I wrote the following sentence: Due to its hydrophobic property, beta-carotene in carrots is more easily absorbed ...
1
vote
2answers
133 views

When talking about possibilities, is it possible to say “what one(s)” instead of “which one(s)”?

Although I've never heard "what one(s)?" before. But if we talk about many elements, I think that "what" should be used. Examples: A: Do you know that hotel in London? B: What one? I ...
0
votes
3answers
108 views

-ing phrase tag-line?

I'm currently rebuilding a website for a client. On their website, the tag-line reads "Specializing in Manufactured Housing Communities" Is this grammatically correct? In my opinion, ...
-4
votes
2answers
289 views

The word 'Any tooth or any teeth" [closed]

Should we ask: do your have any "loose tooth" or "loose teeth"?
0
votes
1answer
1k views

In Vs On Vs At (when talking about streets) [duplicate]

I have found many sentences with street names and some of them have these three prepositions. I Don't know, but I believe that Americans use (on + name of the street) and British use (in + name of the ...
-1
votes
2answers
107 views

Make it clean vs Get it clean - difference?

I would like to know if there is a difference in the following: Get it clean! Make it clean! Get it wet! Make it wet! And which of the following are suitable: Make the baby calm Get the ...
5
votes
1answer
361 views

Job requirements. Why do they write words with capital letters within sentences?

I noticed the capitalization within sentences. For example, Great experience in Java, Android SDK with core knowledge of Object Oriented Programming principles and Design Patterns. Is there a ...
1
vote
1answer
66 views

The meaning of should [closed]

"Why shouldn't I be able to use all the resources here?" Is this "should" the same as "I should go it." or "Why should I believe that story?" Thank you.
0
votes
1answer
82 views

Use of “this” instead of “that”? [duplicate]

In a TV programme, the host asked a person about the literacy rate of his city. The person replied 96%. The host then looked at the camera and said, "Wow, can you believe that?" My question is about ...
3
votes
2answers
51 views

Object coming before the verb?

In the Jewel song Sara Swan Sleepyhead we have this passage: There’s a knock at the door A funny suit Sammy wore And on his face an ear to ear grin The bolded part seems weird to me. Is this ...
6
votes
1answer
490 views

Using a comma after “that”

I would like to know if you can use "that" with a comma after it. For example: Findings show that, during the initial stages of love, there is increased blood flow to the brain.
6
votes
3answers
334 views

survivors list grammar question

Obituaries often include lists with this grammatical structure: John Doe is survived by his children, Steve Doe and his wife, June; Will Doe and his wife, Janet; Susan Richards and her husband, ...
1
vote
1answer
114 views

Has or Had / Past and Past Perfect [closed]

I'm polishing and redrafting my novel. But grammar is not my strong suit. I need help with tenses, specifically. As you may already know, stories are usually told in the past tense. But it's not ...
1
vote
1answer
147 views

What is the correct name for this particular unclear-subject error?

An example: the sentence "Upon finishing these books, I think the reader has a new perspective on history." Taken literally, it could mean that "I, upon finishing these books, think..." Or it ...
0
votes
2answers
172 views

Which would be correct? Owen and I or Owen and me [duplicate]

Caption over picture of Owen and his dad..."Owen and I" is this correct grammatically ?
4
votes
4answers
548 views

What are words like “Hey Man”, “Hey you”, “Hey Dude” called

Is there a term for words that summon someone like "Man," "Dude," "Kid" in sentences such as "Hey, Dude," "Listen up, kid," etc? I am sure there is, but I can't really remember what it is.
2
votes
1answer
123 views

Meaning of “which we have”

What does which we have mean here? In the end, will you be looking over your shoulder for the rest of your life wondering if your time is up? The short answer is yes. The long answer is definitely ...
1
vote
2answers
329 views

“Same as I do” or “same as I have”

She has the same book as I have. Isn't it supposed to be She has the same book as I do? But I often hear the former. Why?
1
vote
1answer
98 views

Are there simple rules for use of “in”, “on”, “at”, “from” and “for”? [closed]

I often get confused how to use in, on, at, from and for. Examples: I have a phone in/on/at my bag. Meet me at/in/on this hotel. They sound kind of right but I'm not sure which is ...
-1
votes
2answers
78 views

“press [someone] on [something]” — isn't it strange? [closed]

Consider the following sentence: Thompson presses Gladwell on his own feelings as a fan of track-and-field athletes, and argues that the sport of running would be diminished by allowing P.E.D.s. ...
1
vote
2answers
727 views

What is this wordy and complicated sentence structure?

This sentence is ridiculously complicated. What made it so? Until last week, I would have said that your best hope for being more than a bodiless brain in a chemical stew was the fact that no ...
0
votes
1answer
64 views

“which” after a dash [closed]

From this New Yorker article: But Holder’s decision suggests (though it does not guarantee) that marijuana arrests will be heading downward. To the extent that they do, that will be a step forward ...
-1
votes
1answer
517 views

the meaning of on its own terms

What does "On its own terms" mean in this context? Paulson isn’t that kind of wordsmith. In his interview with Ross Sorkin, he patted himself on the back for having acted quickly in the fall of ...
3
votes
2answers
146 views

Proper conjugation of “to be” in this example

Is the conjugation correct here? I know "A family were there." can be grammatical when "A family" is being treated as a plural noun. But the following example is different. The subject is plural ...
2
votes
3answers
156 views

Is “wherever it takes to..” ungrammatical

wherever it takes to... Is this proper grammar? I've heard,"Whatever it takes to do something", but this type is the first example for me. ...being a writer means going wherever it takes to ...
1
vote
1answer
763 views

why use “isn't” in the sentence "if it isn't too much trouble, i'd love a cup of coffee?

Why use "isn't" in the sentence "if it isn't too much trouble, i'd love a cup of coffee?why English users do not use "weren't" instead of "isn't"?
-3
votes
3answers
97 views

Can you end a sentence in parentheses? [closed]

I am a supporter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
0
votes
1answer
55 views

Semicolon in “These reasons show why England even went to America in the first place [?] god, gold, and glory” [closed]

Should there be a semicolon between place and god in this sentence, in place of the [?]? These reasons show why England even went to America in the first place [?] god, gold, and glory.
2
votes
2answers
83 views

What does “out” mean in this passage?

What does out mean in this passage? And it’s no accident that this selection of the best poems from three decades begins with the word “between,” for Heaney was a poet of the in-between (as his ...
4
votes
1answer
3k views

“Over vs Above” and “Under vs below”

Is is possible to say that "Above" means "over" and "Under" means"below", but not the opposite? According to my grammar: Over - In a higher position (close or touching) Above - In a higher position ...
0
votes
2answers
728 views

Order of importance , time order and space order

Why can't I say "Importance order" while I can say "time order" or "space order".
1
vote
1answer
755 views

“None so far” is this grammatically correct?

A: do you have any questions? B: None so far. Is "none so far" a strange English and was it correct to use it in the dialogue above?.I was told by a native speaker that it is strange to use it this ...
2
votes
2answers
163 views

Consistency of Tense

You have found a job. You get called in by the company for a job interview and it went great. Is there something wrong with this sentence? Is there an inappropriate shift in tense? If yes, how ...
0
votes
1answer
102 views

what does this “from” mean? [closed]

What does the bold part mean? Thank you. http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/closeread/2013/08/going-to-congress-obamas-best-syria-decision.html Or it might go badly. Obama is certainly taking a ...
3
votes
1answer
3k 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
144 views

'I have no idea why do I like him so much' or 'I have no idea why I like him so much'

As far as my knowledge goes, 'why' in this case functions as a relative pronoun introducing a clause. I am just unsure whether it is grammatically accurate or at least acceptable to phrase the second ...
3
votes
2answers
197 views

Me or Myself? Reflexive pronoun?

This is to confirm the number of people for an event I am hosting with someone else; which of the following is correct: A. Until then, if you all could confirm your attendance [either] with John ...
3
votes
5answers
1k views

Is “more informed decisions” or “better informed decisions” the more correct form?

I'm writing some copy for a marketing campaign that promotes the use of a software testing tool by demonstrating how the results of the tool provide you with a greater wealth of information on which ...
2
votes
2answers
143 views

“With what […]?” or “What […] with?”

Making a comparison with Who/Whom I now have a doubt about the use of what with prepositions in questions. I'll explain by example: These two sentences are correct, one is more formal than the other: ...
1
vote
2answers
143 views

“Er” added to name of sport, to refer to a player

When creating the designation for a person who plays a particular sport, I usually add er to the name of the sport. Some examples are footballer, basketballer, and skateboarder. Is this acceptable?
6
votes
3answers
164 views

Been watching Masterchef and . .

Been watching Masterchef for a while now and I notice than Gordon always says: Your sixty minutes starts . . . now! I notice it often because it sounds wrong to my ear. I was just watching it ...
1
vote
2answers
437 views

Is is possible to say these sentences in a formal context in British English?

Has he not got his new bicycle? Have you not got your book yet? I think that the above ones are the same as these in informal context: Hasn't he got his new bicycle? Haven't you got ...
4
votes
1answer
523 views

Is “swimming” a gerund in “I went swimming”?

What is the function of swimming in the following sentence? I went swimming with some friends yesterday. Is swimming a gerund here? If it is, what is the grammatical function?
15
votes
6answers
705 views

Lists Without “And”

I just came across this sentence: Everyone has lost his country, his home, his equilibrium. I've seen such structure used numerous times but I'm not sure how this works. What effect does it have ...
4
votes
2answers
136 views

At least two or more: Not always redundant?

At least two or more Is the “or more” bit above ever not redundant? Seems absolutely redundant to me, but it gets about 170 million Google hits, and many from government sites and university ...
2
votes
2answers
271 views

position of “only”

Which sentence is correct? (A) Mosquito larvae can only be seen through a microscope. (B) Mosquito larvae can be only seen through a microscope. (C) Mosquito larvae can be seen only through ...
0
votes
1answer
153 views

Future perfect or simple in this context

In a movie I saw, a young boy told to an old man that he would be gone for a long time when something happens. I'm trying to figure out what the boy actually said and what tense should have been used ...
2
votes
2answers
332 views

What is the shortened version of “Did you forget something ?” [closed]

What is the shortened version of "Did you forget something ?" is it "Forget something ?" or "Forgot something ?"