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

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798 views

Is “since I'm” now an acceptable alternative to “since I was”?

In a recent episode of the television show Entourage, Ari Gold (a 40 year old man) says: I've known her since I'm 19. In an episode of Sex and the City, a character, who is 15, tells Carrie: ...
4
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3answers
386 views

Is “lay” in this sentence in the correct tense?

I'm making a description for an app, this strikes me as a bit awkward for some reason: "I wanted to create an app that lay somewhere between an ecosystem and a musical instrument." Is the word ...
4
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1answer
2k views

“To enable him to escape” vs. “to enable him escape”

I have been coming across this kind of sentence more and more: She gave him a key to enable him to escape capture. She gave him a key to enable him escape capture. Which sentence is correct? ...
4
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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
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2answers
36k views

What do first, second, and third person perspective mean? Why are they so called?

I am aware of the terms first person, second person and third person from grammar, but I have also seen them used in other contexts, in particular first person perspective with regard to video games. ...
4
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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
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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
651 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
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2answers
860 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
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2answers
318 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
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1answer
2k views

Meaning of “x is 35 times less than y" [closed]

I’m not sure of whether this is grammatically correct, although I've encountered the same expression many times before. Most Google searches show it produces 35 times less carbon than the report ...
3
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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 ...
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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
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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
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2answers
306 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
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2answers
131 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
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4answers
343 views

Usage of reflexive pronouns

I have read answers to questions like When is it correct to use "yourself" and "myself" (versus "you" and "me")? but I couldn't find a general rule for using ...
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2answers
1k views

May vs Might in Sentence

On an average Sunday, you might find yourself In the sentence above, the possibility of the person reading finding themselves doing what it says is pretty high. It's almost certain. Should I use ...
2
votes
1answer
269 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
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3answers
5k 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"?
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2answers
809 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 ...
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3answers
807 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 ...
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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
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2answers
238 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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
587 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
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1answer
506 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
788 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
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2answers
381 views

Is “is” an auxiliary verb?

John is working now. Is the verb 'is' in this example an auxiliary verb?
2
votes
1answer
903 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
829 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?
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1answer
945 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 ...
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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
95 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 ...
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2answers
96 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 ...
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2answers
111 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"?
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4answers
547 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 ...
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2answers
151 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 ...
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2answers
871 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 ...
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1answer
686 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.
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4answers
188 views

Using “you” and “your” as a representation for yourself and everyone in general

Example sentence: "I love when your dog just lets you sit there to pet them. You don’t necessarily know if they are enjoying it, but they love you enough to just sit there with you for a bit." Is ...
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2answers
13k views

How to use the words ending with “-ly”?

First question: in the grammar world, where do the -ly ended words belong? Second question: how to use them correctly? Rarely (oops!), if ever, I get myself using -ly ended words in my writing. I'm ...
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1answer
4k 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 ...
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3answers
335 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.
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4answers
88k 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 ...
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1answer
33 views

what does “are organized” mean in this sentence?

"by 2013 the theoretical and practical courses are organized" Is it already organized or is about to get organized? I mean is it past or future?
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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
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1answer
101 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
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1answer
18k 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 ...