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

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5
votes
3answers
16k views

When to use “Well” or “Good” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why do so many people get this wrong? “How are you? / I'm well.” How would you answer the question "How are you?" I'm well. or I'm good. I ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Zero conditional form

Chatting with a colleague we came a cross a dilemma (as we are not English native), which of the following sentences are wrong? Why? If I knew everything, I'd be a genius. If I know everything, I'd ...
4
votes
4answers
11k views

Why do people use “I hear that…” when talking about the past?

I often see that people write ‘I hear that…’ meaning the past. For example: I hear that Sally has won in lottery. (If I remember correctly it is used in English Grammar in use by Cambridge ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

Rule for adding “and” or hyphens between numbers that are spelled out fully in text

For example, take the number 342. It could be written out a number of different ways when spelled out fully. Three hundred forty two Three hundred and forty two Three hundred and forty-two What is ...
2
votes
4answers
118k 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
7k views

“Prove me” / “prove to me” / “confirm one's belief”

Which sentence do you find more natural? Your last actions only prove me that you're not worth my trust. Your last actions only prove to me that you're not worth my trust. or maybe some ...
-1
votes
4answers
3k views

Usage of “What” + verb without auxiliary one

This is a subquestion to my "And lead raptivity captive" question. As I understood from a comment by RegDwight, it was incorrect to ask: What mean raptivity and phrase "And lead raptivity captive"? ...
2
votes
4answers
459 views

Aren't adverbs related to the closest word? What about other modifiers?

Aren't adverbs related to the closest word? Does nightly in nightly business report refer to business? Update: I am still confused. Is relation of non-adverb modifiers different from that of ...
0
votes
1answer
15k views

Plural of passerby [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Words that are pluralized in the middle? Why is the plural of "passerby" "passers-by" and not "passerbies"?
21
votes
7answers
27k views

Why “go off”, as in “alarm went off”?

I was wondering why does something goes off, when it in fact does the opposite bomb goes off - it blows up alarm goes off - it turns on Why not goes on?
3
votes
2answers
113 views

Is “how to do it” grammatically correct?

If it is, then what is the verb?
5
votes
1answer
986 views

Does the use of present perfect continuous with a time reference in the past imply an intention to finish, and if yes, how to avoid it?

I guess the question sounds a bit intimidating, but the real-life example I am referring to should be easy for a native speaker. I am proofreading, or rather copy editing, a research paper intended ...
3
votes
1answer
5k views

Difference between 'turn up' and 'turn out'

This occurred to me when I was drafting an email. I wanted to mention in the email that something that I had estimated earlier to take 5 days was not as complex, and I could finish it in 1 day. ...
1
vote
3answers
317 views

How to say that someone will execute none of two actions

What is the correct way to say it: "I will not do it nor do that", "I will do neither it nor do that" or some other way? Edit: I think I did not expressed my doubts well. What I am looking for is ...
7
votes
6answers
3k views

Why does English need an article before any noun?

In my native language, we can say: I have dog Because I don't want to say a dog (one dog, how many dogs) or the dog (that dog, the listener don't care which dog). p.s. after 3 years later, I ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Using an uncountable noun and 'none'

Today I came across the following sentence: We asked for help and were given none. It feels and sounds right to me. However, after decomposing none into not one, it becomes apparent that you ...
18
votes
8answers
4k views

“Who” versus “whom” with multiple verbs

Which of these phrases is more correct? The man who I know to be unhappy The man whom I know to be unhappy Is one of the verbs in the phrase more important, thus determining the noun case, ...
8
votes
1answer
18k views

Why 'in itself', why not just 'itself'?

Life in itself is neither good nor evil. It is the place of good and evil, according to what you make it.
12
votes
2answers
42k views

Possessive and plural of “Series”

I'm looking at the financial definition of series: a group of stocks or options that have common characteristics. Source How would I form the possessive and plural of this term? I'm guessing it is ...
2
votes
4answers
309 views

Is “What is bounty?” grammatically correct?

Jeff Atwood argues that "What is bounty?" is correct here, but is this really the case?
3
votes
5answers
2k views

How do I report speech containing “must not”?

What's the form for reporting speech that contains must not? I mean: I can't come to the meeting on Monday => She told me she couldn't come to the meeting on Monday. You must talk to me => ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

About the 'as in'

if "minus" is conceivably an operator, as in "the band reunited, minus one member", you would use the singular. Which is preposition? the 'as' or 'in' or both as a whole is preposition? In ...
7
votes
5answers
61k views

Which one is more appropriate to use: “send you” or “send to you”?

Are both of the following sentences correct? Let me know if there is still something I need to send to you. Let me know if there is still something I need to send you. Which one is more ...
2
votes
5answers
721 views

Are these kinds of sentences considered proper English?

Often, I come across expressions like 'I can't have no money', 'I don't want no help', 'Do you want them tomatoes', 'Be careful with them toes' when watching cartoons, movies and shows. Does anybody ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Could you help me to do a syntax analysis of this sentence?

The more I use Froyo the more new stuff I discover. Does it mean: I more use Froyo, I discover more new stuff.
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Complement or object?

I saw him cross the road. Is cross the road the object of saw? Or is it the complement of him?
4
votes
1answer
4k views

“I saw him crossing” vs. “I saw him cross”

I saw him crossing the road. I saw him cross the road. Which one is correct and why?
2
votes
1answer
397 views

About the position of the object clause

1.Which of the sentences below is best, and why? People are saying that this is great about X (for example: our new product). People are saying about X that this is great. People are saying ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Are there any rules on the positioning adverbs should take in a sentence?

For example: Ever wish you could share information broadly Could it be rewritten to: Ever wish you could broadly share information Are there any rules for the position of the adverbs.
1
vote
1answer
692 views

Should I use 'a' or 'an' when the following word is within parentheses? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “a/an” preceding a parenthetical statement I'm asking a question on Stack Overflow now, and I'm unsure about this: I have an (Ruby on Rails site's) API ...
2
votes
2answers
348 views

Is this usage of “whose” correct?

Is the following phrase (grammatically) correct? Bill Gates, whose company is very rich, is famous. (I couldn't come up with a better context-free sample)
1
vote
3answers
5k views

Correct use of 'with' or 'at' when talking about percentages?

I'm writing the following sentence: Women lead uptake at XX%. But a friend is saying that it should be written: Women lead uptake with XX%. Which one is correct?
1
vote
2answers
464 views

“At the cost of giving expression to the obvious…”

I have read this phrase somewhere. If I remember correctly, it was At the cost of giving expression to the obvious (or truism), I'd suggest that ... Does it mean that the author wants to ...
2
votes
5answers
888 views

Is it wrong to say “very almost”?

I hear phrases like I very almost fell over! often and to me they sound awkward. Is the word, "very", wrong, just superfluous or completely valid? Should this wording be avoided?
3
votes
2answers
544 views

Is this an adverbial clause?

I see a sentence in this site: But both can be quite strong depending on how they are spoken. Is depending on […] an adverbial clause?
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Is “Joe, I've been finishing with the task” correct?

Is this a correct phrase? Joe, I've been finishing with the task.
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Is “to” really part of the infinitive?

Consider this: I like to eat here. vs I would eat here. It appears to me that "to" has nothing to do with the infinitive form of the verb that follows. It is, in this example, an integral ...
3
votes
5answers
17k views

Mixing up “quiet” and “quite”: spelling or grammar error?

Look at this sentence: It wasn't quiet what I wanted And this one: The music was too quite for me Obviously quiet and quite are mixed up. Is this considered a spelling mistake? In both ...
2
votes
1answer
663 views

“Using Verb Tenses in Sequence”

http://www.arts.uottawa.ca/writcent/hypergrammar/vbseq.html Here, what does 'sequence' mean? Does it mean 'multiple sentences'? Or it means 'a paragraph'?
1
vote
2answers
946 views

Can a verb in the -ing form take a direct object?

Here is the example: We condemn such behavior that can risk damaging a company’s brand and reputation. I think, the 'a company's brand reputation' is the object of 'damaging'. And the whole ...
3
votes
6answers
31k views

Is “would” the past future tense of “will” or just a modal verb?

What's the difference: Would you give me some advice? Will you give me some advices?
1
vote
1answer
271 views

How could I different the subjunctive mood from wrong tense or singular from in third personal?

Here is the example, which is right? It's important he know this. It's important he knows this. It's important he has known this. or, those above all right, but express different meaning.
9
votes
5answers
60k views

“Centered on” or “centered around”

I have often heard presenters talking about something centered around another thing, but it seems a bit illogical and hence improper to talk like this. Am I right about this?
2
votes
3answers
2k views

Is it correct: “We don’t have to go there if we don’t want to”?

Which sentences are correct? We don’t have to go there if we don’t want to. or We haven’t to go there if we don’t want to.
2
votes
3answers
16k views

Usage of the word “itself”

Is it correct to use the word "itself" in the following cases. I have seen many people using "itself" in the following cases I read the note yesterday itself (to mean - I already read the note ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it wrong to say “The sun's rays are primarily responsible for skin damage.”

The sun's rays are primarily responsible for skin damage. To me this sounds like it means that the primary activity of the sun's rays is damaging skin. However the intention is obviously that ...
0
votes
2answers
542 views

Which is the verb of the 'that' clause?

here is the sentence: We condemn such behavior that can risk damaging a company’s brand and reputation risk or damage, which is the verb? I remember that two verb ( one verb after another) must use ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Why use “his” in association with the word “mankind”?

I have a doubt. The economist Keynes in a book wrote: The power to become habituated to his surroundings is a marked characteristic of mankind. I would have used "its" instead but since English ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

Why is the perfect tense used in this sentence?

I wish I have been there for the baby kicking for the first time? Could I change the sentence to I wish I was there for the baby kicking for the first time? What are the differences ...
3
votes
6answers
3k views

Dative whom with accusative who

When I am not bound by a style that mandates otherwise, I like to use whom in dative constructions and who in accusative constructions (I am aware that English doesn't have a proper case system, but ...