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

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3
votes
2answers
140 views

Newton's first law, unless + past participle

I was reading Newton's first law: An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced ...
3
votes
2answers
79 views

“Year olds” or “year-olds”

I am writing about some leadership stuff, and I am trying to say that I am leading the 14-15 year old boys. How do I correctly use year-olds as in, "I was the adviser to the 14-15 year-olds." Thanks ...
0
votes
1answer
59 views

Difference between “come up with” and “come across” a question [closed]

I was writing an email to the principal of my former school, and I [came up with / had come across] a question: "Shall I write "Merry Christmas" or "Happy New Year" at the end of the letter?" ...
-1
votes
1answer
32 views

what is the formal way to write this [closed]

During a self-introduction in class, Jan said, "Hi my name's Jan Wayne. My friends call me Jan." I want to write these sentences down formally, but I don't know how to.
-1
votes
2answers
31 views

Drink Different / Drink Differently? [duplicate]

There's this online beer company in Germany that is offering Belgian and other foreign beers and they are on Sky here all the time with their commercials. Now, they are called Beer Deluxe and their ...
-1
votes
0answers
31 views

Using “for” when talking about continuous actions

Another question rose in my mind, which I haven't been able to find an answer for. And it all revolves around this particular word: "for". For whatever reason I woke up today and suddenly was very ...
0
votes
2answers
53 views

The position of time (e.g. year) in a sentence

When I was writing a diary, I suddenly came up with this question. 1. I met a schoolmate on Google. She was a graduate of ABC College in 2000. 2. I met a schoolmate on Google. She was a 2000 graduate ...
0
votes
1answer
39 views

Which one is correct to show that “the fan” in not the only one? [closed]

Which one is correct? a big fan of yours in millions or a big fan in millions of yours Tanx
0
votes
2answers
68 views

Usage of “as because”

I would like to know if "as because" is a correct usage. It feels so wrong, yet I see people using it. e.g. She couldn't come, as because she was ill. I suppose only because should serve the purpose ...
0
votes
0answers
30 views

Which personal pronouns take dependent clause and which personal pronouns don't take

Note from The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language - (Page no. 507) i. It is I [who am at fault]. ii. It is me [who is at fault]. Example [i] follows the general rules for ...
0
votes
1answer
34 views

Mutually exclusive and not mutually exclusive [closed]

I have found on website that when an event is mutually exclusive it means occurrence of one preclude of the other. So is it grammatically correct to write not mutually exclusive when it is already ...
1
vote
3answers
140 views

Is the usage 'the message didn't send' grammatically correct?

I have often encountered this sentence on Facebook; even a web-search of this string indicates that it is used quite commonly. However, is it correct to say so? The dictionary definitions of the word ...
0
votes
1answer
55 views

“Whenever I was” vs “Whenever I got”?

Is there any notable difference between the two? Example: Whenever I was depressed, sounds would amplify themselves ten or twenty times, to the point they became indistinguishable from physical ...
7
votes
1answer
139 views

The hidden flaw in “singular they”—what to do about reflexive pronouns?

We have a highly regarded answer by nohat to a question about gender-neutral pronouns, in which he points to the "singular they" and its long history of use in English. (Note that he also advises ...
2
votes
2answers
79 views

my [young / younger / youngest] sisters

A friend of mine has a big family. She is a Chinese girl, and has five sisters, who are all younger than she. She wants to know how to introduce her five sisters. To make it easy to understand, I use ...
0
votes
1answer
56 views

Is it grammatically correct to omit “is” in the following sentence? Is it correct in formal speech?

Is it grammatically correct to omit "is" in the following sentence? Is it correct in formal speech? The Soviet Union is the largest land power, China the greatest land-sea compound country and ...
1
vote
1answer
72 views

Would the slang version, yessir, of yes, sir, be deemed as derogatory, offensive, or simply disrespectful to someone your senior?

I use yessir as a slang form of yes, sir all the time. Is it even a word? Would the slang version, yessir, be deemed as derogatory, offensive, or simply disrespectful to someone your senior?
4
votes
2answers
61 views

“Elements are zero” vs “elements are zeros”

This is a sentence from Wikipedia: A sparse matrix is a matrix in which most of the elements are zero. Should this be more correct: A sparse matrix is a matrix in which most of the elements ...
1
vote
2answers
51 views

contract/contractor/contracting [closed]

I'm soliciting a position as a contractor (avoiding the status of a permanent employee). Which is correct (or better than any of these)? I am looking employment in a contract capacity I am looking ...
2
votes
1answer
104 views

Is “Tomorrow, I will buy it” correct? [closed]

My brother and I are having a discussion, whether it is grammatically correct (or any native speaker would ever say a sentence): Tomorrow, I will buy it. I think it is not correct, it strikes me ...
0
votes
2answers
161 views

What is the difference between took and taken? [closed]

What is the difference between took and taken? As an example assume a monkey is in a well, and someone is trying to say they would have taken the money out. Are both of these sentences grammatically ...
-1
votes
1answer
52 views

which of these sentence is ok to use? [closed]

Somewhere in the middle of the argument, she kiss me with her eyes and I kiss her with my words.... or Somewhere in the middle of the argument, she kisses me with her eyes and I kisses her with my ...
2
votes
1answer
81 views

Question within a sentence [closed]

I know what I'm trying to get at with this sentence, but the punctuation feels a little off to me somehow. Is it correct? Or can it be improved? I was a little skeptical at first - what could be ...
0
votes
0answers
27 views

the use of “the” [duplicate]

I was confused about the use of "the," when I came across the following paragraph published in an economic magazine: "... ... the analysis begins with a look at patterns of U.S. income inequality ...
1
vote
1answer
27 views

“daily work” vs. “daily labour”

Is the description for a video grammatically correct: Deep insights into our daily labour as chemists: Have fun! I didn't find the expression daily labour in the Corpus of Contemporary American ...
0
votes
0answers
27 views

“with which” or “which with” [duplicate]

Which of these sentences is correct? The accent with which I speak The accent which I speak with Are they not the same? While we are on the topic, I would greatly appreciate if you would tell ...
0
votes
1answer
53 views

What does “even the keel in favour of ” in the sentence mean?

Even the legal framework that is supposed to provide a modicum of protection to workers is fraying. For instance, the state’s unwillingness to use the provisions of the Industrial Disputes Act or the ...
2
votes
2answers
583 views

“I'll revenge” vs “I'll take revenge”

Throughout my life I have thought that the correct expression is to take revenge; however, I have also heard people saying I'll revenge. Which is correct?
1
vote
0answers
51 views

What do you call when you clasp your hands to propel someone up a wall? [duplicate]

I'm sure it had a name. It's when you clasp your hands (palms up) so the other person can stand on them and go up a wall (or a tree). Any suggestions?
3
votes
2answers
97 views

“We is who the Earth is for?” [closed]

In the film of The Beasts of the Southern Wild, Hushpuppy the main character of the film says, But me and my daddy, we stay right here. “We is who the Earth is for.” What grammatical structure ...
1
vote
2answers
103 views

Is it correct to use the superlative word “best” as a verb according to prescriptive grammar? [closed]

I've often stumbled across phrases like these (perhaps not the last one) and felt that they sounded a bit awkward: Nothing can best the sheer capacity of […] X would best Y any day. I ...
1
vote
2answers
68 views

What is the noun in the second sentence?

This is a continuation of the question at A significant amount of zombies were detected in your city which raised further questions in my attempted answer. There were purchases. A significant ...
1
vote
3answers
77 views

What is the difference between “He is polite” and “He is being polite”?

Can any one please explain the usage and meaning of "He is polite" and "He is being polite".
2
votes
1answer
51 views

“when” and “would” in a sentence

I would like to use when and would in the following sentence: When I would study on the morning of an exam I would say something like that. So, am I right?
0
votes
2answers
138 views

Let me confirm your name. Is this sentence grammatically correct?

While you are on a customer service call, how would you clarify the name? Is it grammatically correct to say, " let me confirm your name".
1
vote
3answers
50 views

how should several “and”s without any punctuation be understood?

How should this long sentence with multiple "and"s Property taxes and other local taxes and state taxation and spending may not be ... . be understood? Notice, there is no punctuation near the ...
1
vote
1answer
32 views

how should “…; or …” be understood?

I'm trying to make sense of a phrase like the following The foregoing limitations shall not apply to ... [A] ...; or, subject to the provisions of ... [B] ... , to ... [C] ... . (The actual text ...
0
votes
1answer
53 views

Can I use “had” without dependent clause? [closed]

From the common English grammar lesson, the past perfect tense with had is usually followed by dependent clause. For example: He had studied English before he moved to New York. Now, if I want ...
2
votes
3answers
70 views

They set a prisoner free / They let a prisoner free

Could you please explain for me why I cannot use "let" in this sentence ? My friends said "They let a prisoner free" is wrong but I cannot understand why let is unacceptable in this sentence.
19
votes
4answers
3k views

Is “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet” a common or respectable English expression?

Today’s edition of the New York Times (December 16, 2014) carries an article written by Mark Bittman under the headline “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.” It begins with the following passage: “What’s ...
-3
votes
2answers
120 views

Affirmative statements with negative meaning

I was trying to understand indefinite pronouns from this English Grammar Guide site. Everything was going smoothly until I bumped into this paragraph. AFFIRMATIVE STATEMENTS In affirmative ...
2
votes
1answer
79 views

Can I use “On the other hand” in a new paragraph? [closed]

I'm in a situation where the argument for "On the one hand" is long. The argument for "on the other hand" is about the same length. If I put them in the same paragraph, the paragraph becomes much ...
-1
votes
2answers
69 views

How to resolve impossible ambiguity with commas? The Oxford comma doesn't help

Have there been any solutions proposed for the ambiguity in sentences such as the following? The highlights of his global tour include encounters with Nelson Mandela, an 800-year-old demigod‹,› ...
2
votes
2answers
52 views

Question about the order of events in a sentence

Is the sentence: "We felt we had let our coach down because we hadn't won the match" correct? I read a sentence "We felt we had let our coach down because we didn't win the match" in an ...
2
votes
1answer
126 views

Split infinitives—did Old English have them?

I've read a few articles as well as questions on this site about splitting infinitives. In the Wikipedia article, it claims: In Old English, infinitives were single words ending in -n or -an ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

What is it called when someone says “like” or “alright”

I was talking with my friend and neither of us could think of the word for when someone says something similar to "And, like, we were totally, like, going to do this one thing." To add to it, as ...
0
votes
1answer
39 views

Time reference and express attractivness of a fitting job role in cover letter?

I found a job ad of a job which is perfect for me. I have the following sentences: After my studies and acquiring the IBM certificates I am now searching for a position as an programmer. The ...
3
votes
1answer
47 views

that ideas which our minds cannot reconcile are mutually destructive, sillier still

The idea that nothing is true except what we comprehend is silly, and that ideas which our minds cannot reconcile are mutually destructive, sillier still. To me, the second sentence is ...
1
vote
1answer
91 views

Example where article reverses meaning

Adding "the" reverses the meaning in these two sentences: Alice is in charge of Bob. Alice is in the charge of Bob. What is the formal grammatical explanation of this difference?
1
vote
1answer
15 views

“Like trying to ski by thinking about each action as you do it” - by?

I do get the point but I would like to know why the "by" is used here? Wouldnt "and" work? "Is it like trying to ski by thinking about each action as you do it." To me it implies that you might ...