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

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2answers
1k views

Does the sentence of “Don’t you …”? have a connotation of accusation?

“Don't you want to know how Ginny got hold of that diary, Mr. Malfoy?” said Harry. Lucius Malfoy rounded on him. “How should I know how the stupid little girl got hold of it?” he said. ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

“Subject, verb, direct object, object complement” versus “subject, verb, indirect object, direct object”

Reading English Grammar (HarperCollins College Outline, published by HarperResource, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers) I found a chapter (Sentence Basics) that explains that in English there are ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Analogy: “as if” vs. “as though”

This is something that confuses me from time to time. When making an analogy in literature, is it better to use the phrase "as if" or "as though", or is it completely a style thing? E.g. She ...
3
votes
1answer
631 views

Ending a sentence with “because [noun].”

I've noticed an interesting usage where "because [noun]." is used at the end of a sentence to mean "because [...everything that word implies. Nothing more needs to be said]". It often has a wry or ...
3
votes
2answers
788 views

Regionalism or just bad English?

I've encountered a particular type of writing occasionally and it being, derp, in writing, it's hard to tell whether there's an accent behind it. The English used seems to me to be simply incorrect, ...
3
votes
2answers
311 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

Repeating “to” and “will” in enumerations of verbs

Should I use the second "will" in constructions like this one: "it will definitely help you and will make the text more readable" And should I write "to" before every infinitive in enumeration, or ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

Exclamation marks in the middle of a sentence

Would this usage of exclamation mark be correct? I want to — honest! — give you a slap! Yes, I know, it's a quite bad example, but I wonder if this usage of an exclamation inside a sentence is ...
3
votes
4answers
8k views

“I am working” or “I have worked almost two months at this project”?

Which one is correct? "I am working almost two months at this project" or "I have worked almost two months at this project" I want to give this meaning: I'm still working on it.
3
votes
0answers
238 views

When is “that” superfluous? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Use of “that” in a sentence What are some of the rules surrounding the word "that" and its inclusion or omission in a sentence? For example, "My boss ...
2
votes
2answers
253 views

Should I use a hyphen after -ly when modifying a verb in the past participle verb?

Which of these are acceptable? Is one preferable over the other? "Chemically-deposited tourmaline is never periwinkle." "Chemically deposited tourmaline is never periwinkle." Also, is the title to ...
2
votes
2answers
118 views

Does the English language have an official Academy?

For some languages, there are academies that decide topics such as grammar and spelling of things, for example, for the Spanish language, there are 22 academies in 22 different countries, all making ...
2
votes
1answer
253 views

“greater than I am” versus “greater than myself”

If I look in the corpus of contemporary American English, I mostly find the ... greater than I am/he is/etc. ... version. But there are a couple of instances, even in academic texts, of the sort ... ...
2
votes
3answers
4k views

Difference between “did + verb” and just “verb+ed”

This is something I always get confuse with (native language German). As far as I know "did + verb" is something done and finished in the past. But isn't it the same with "verb + ed"?
2
votes
2answers
776 views

Uncountable nouns

When is it possible to use an indefinite article before uncountable nouns? Only when they are defined in some way? music, art, love, happiness advice, information, news (It was a good ...
2
votes
3answers
778 views

Usage of “ever” in a negative statement

I know that "ever" can be used to express the strengthened negation but would it work like that? I created a session but nobody ever joined. Is it possible? It does not sound right to me. If ...
2
votes
3answers
4k views

Using “and” twice in a list

About using and, I've learned it is usually used in lists, between the last two items. For example: I like movies, traveling and going out with friends. Please tell me if the use of and ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

Can “if”, “while”, “whenever”, “when” recurse deeply? How deeply? [closed]

I would like a generative BNF-style complete description for English grammar. Some of the more subtle stuff leads to awkward questions of grammaticality (a complete answer to this question, and all ...
2
votes
2answers
233 views

“Dazzling images do not a shining nation make” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why is “xxxx doth not a yyyy make” considered valid English? Is Dazzling images do not a shining nation make correct grammatically? To me it should be ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Usage of “just”, “only” and word-order [intended meaning]

I've got these sentences, which meanings are correct (my interpretations are in brackets): Use of only: (1) Only in 1996, Ford sold a rebadged Mazda 626 GV over here as its rebranded Japanese ...
2
votes
2answers
578 views

About the use of future tense

Which is better: "I am not having lunch tomorrow unless I am really hungry." "I am not having lunch tomorrow unless I will be really hungry." Something else
2
votes
1answer
497 views

Overusing “and” and how to fix it

Several months ago, I was writing a fan-fiction story set in the Sonic the Hedgehog universe and I ended up constructing this sentence: "...Sonic and his allies and Dr. Robotnik and his allies..." ...
2
votes
1answer
775 views

Why is the singular of “year” used in phrases like “72-year-old” and “20-year jail sentence”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Pluralization rule for “five-year-old children”, “20 pound note”, “10 mile run” 72-year-old Giselle Gilbert was taken to hospital. ...
2
votes
2answers
375 views

Is “is” an auxiliary verb?

John is working now. Is the verb 'is' in this example an auxiliary verb?
2
votes
1answer
889 views

Two adjectives for two nouns

I saw this on a billboard recently We have new and pre-owned cars and trucks Clearly the intention is to modify "cars and trucks" with the two adjectives "used and preowned" and although the ...
2
votes
1answer
800 views

Should I use “will” or “would” when I suggest that something will/would come in handy?

This second part would hopefully come in handy tonight. This second part will hopefully come in handy tonight. Which one is correct and why?
2
votes
1answer
923 views

Constructing compound sentences

Consider the following sentence: One of the items that needed a further development was a research on child nodes of a story representing its sub categories being updated the moment the list of ...
2
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0answers
129 views

An or A with acronyms which sound like they start with a vowel? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Do you use “a” or “an” before acronyms? Should you use An or A with acronyms which sound like they start with a vowel when read literally? ...is ...
1
vote
1answer
80 views

Unusual word order in “Fear not this night”?

Yesterday, I've listened to a song called "Fear not this night". I find the syntax unusual (as a foreigner, I have never encountered it). Is it the same meaning as "Don't fear this night" ? What's the ...
1
vote
2answers
82 views

Difference between 'part' and 'a part'?

This question may seem to be very simple, but something I get confused whenever I want to speak. I read a book entitled "re-start your English", and saw a sentence. this is a leg. it is part of ...
1
vote
2answers
96 views

Is it OK to use the phrase to stay for a week? [closed]

Is it possible to say: " I stayed there a week" or must one use the preposition for: "I stayed there for a week"?
1
vote
4answers
432 views

Graduate student in or of?

In my cover letter I want to write that I am a graduate student in statistics. But I am not sure about the "in". So what is correct? I am a graduate student in statistics. I am a graduate ...
1
vote
2answers
139 views

Should I Use “These” Books or “Those” Books [duplicate]

On this site there are links to books that I read. I recommend these/those books. Below on this page there are links to books that I read. I recommend these/those books. Should I use ...
1
vote
2answers
743 views

Noun order: “He and we…” or “We and he…”? Similarly, “…him and us” or “…us and him”?

It's convention and polite to always list yourself last in a list. I say "John and I went to the store" and not "I and John went to the store." So does that mean that I should always list myself ...
1
vote
1answer
581 views

Singular or plural verb after “what”

Which sentence is more grammatically correct? He is being tried on what look like trumped-up charges. He is being tried on what looks like trumped-up charges.
1
vote
1answer
3k views

What does “I was had” mean?

Maybe he would help me with Deborah's pablum, take turns pushing the wheelchair. It's good to have someone. That reminded me that I had someone -- or perhaps I was had. In any case, Rita would ...
1
vote
3answers
331 views

Is it “that's the same story, know?” or “that's the same story, no?”

I am getting quite confused by: That's also the same story, know? or That's also the same story, no? IN the above two which is correct formation? This is very confusing to me.
0
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0answers
37 views

Is it correct to say someone “does not so much do something as do something else” [duplicate]

I am wondering whether we are grammatically allowed to say that somebody/something does not so much do something as (they) do something - for example: "Tom does not so much study as he plays games", ...
0
votes
1answer
98 views

present continuous or be going to?

In his book, Grammar and Vocabulary for First Certificate, Luck Prodromou has ruled out the possibility of using 'be going to' to complete the following sentence : 'What .......... you .......... ...
0
votes
1answer
2k views

What's the Best English word for 6 months in this group: daily, weekly, quarterly, 6 months, yearly? [duplicate]

While writing programs, I need to create a drop down for setting periods, like daily, weekly, monthly, etc. Using one year as a time frame. This question is driven by lack of a better word. I've had ...
0
votes
1answer
17k views

what is the difference between “ get in the bus” and “ get on the bus” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Origin/reason for the expression “on the bus” instead of “in the bus” I want to know when to use " get in the bus." and " get on the bus." I will ...
0
votes
4answers
6k views

I lived vs I used to live

I cannot see any difference between these two sentences. I assume both express the same but what is the difference? I thought that "used to" is used to describe an action that was happening in the ...
0
votes
1answer
1k views

Present perfect continuous for finished actions

Since present perfect continuous is used to talk about an activity that has finished, but whose results are visible now, can I use it for an action like these two ones; 'I have been living in Los ...
0
votes
4answers
85k views

If you are talking “on behalf of” you and someone else, what is the correct usage?

If you are talking on behalf of you and someone else what is the correct usage? On behalf of my wife and me On behalf of my wife and I On behalf of me and my wife On behalf of ...
-1
votes
4answers
141 views

Can you spot whether this is written by a native English speaker or not? [closed]

"An effective project plan can boost the success of the project being undertaken. It measures the project’s feasibility and assesses the risk associated. The plan helps weigh the decisions that are ...
-1
votes
2answers
169 views

Investors assets or Investor's assets? [closed]

I am wondering about which sentence is correct? It is therefore measuring the volatility of an investors asset. or It is therefore measuring the volatility of an investor's asset.
-2
votes
2answers
153 views

First year's conference or first years' conference? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: User’s Guide vs Users’ Guide As in, a conference that is for people in their first year of, say, University.
-3
votes
1answer
450 views

Can you decide grammaticality from the sentence alone?

I would like a generative BNF-style complete description for English grammar. Some of the more subtle stuff leads to awkward questions of grammaticality (a complete answer to this question, and all ...
49
votes
13answers
8k views

One of us is wrong, aren't we?

I have just learned from what I consider a reliable source, that the following sentence is correct: One of us is wrong, aren't we? I would never in my life have written this, but I am assured ...
18
votes
5answers
9k views

“Which one is you?” vs “Which one are you?”

Imagine I'm looking at a photo containing a number of people's faces and I can't tell which one belongs to a certain friend of mine. I could ask him one of two things: "Which one is you?" or ...