This tag is for questions about how grammar works, e.g. different grammatical usages, how they can be used, or what they mean. For questions that ask whether something is grammatical, please use the "grammaticality" tag instead.

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2answers
3k views

Is this grammatically correct: “It has happened for a while now.”

If not, why? I think it sounds awkward but I cannot be sure it's incorrect.
2
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2answers
5k views

Geometric or Geometrical?

I have read the excellent answers to Why is it "geometric" but "theoretical" - my question is specifically about usage. Is there a best practice for deciding between the variants "geometric" and ...
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4answers
6k views

“May not have [noun]” or “may have not [noun]”

Which of the following is correct: may not have or may have not? For example, which sentence should one write? They may not have apples. They may have not apples.
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1answer
292 views

(plural noun) “are” never “a” good idea. [closed]

I'd like to know how to explain the grammar in this kind of sentences. It seems to me that the plural noun here works like a collective noun... Or does it purely depend on the context rather than some ...
0
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2answers
8k views

Is 'have having had' correct English? [closed]

How does one deal with have having had a messy relationship breakup? or How does one deal with have having had a near-death experience? This intuitively seems be correct English, but it's ...
0
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1answer
190 views

What is the correct grammar? [closed]

Which phrase is correct grammar? At a recent funeral of a married couple whu died 2 days apart, the funeral home printed the following phrase on the bulletin. "2 life's well lived" Or "2 lives well ...
0
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0answers
41 views

Is back-shifting necessary in speech and writing [duplicate]

Can I say "I told you he is going to the book club" when he has already gone there by now; or is it necessary to back-shift it to past i.e. "I told you he was going to the book club". So will I be ...
-1
votes
1answer
5k views

use of “also” vs. “and also”

In the following, which is better to write between two sentences: ". Also" or ", and also" : Another drawback in the convenient setting is that operational vector fields do not have integral ...
5
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3answers
3k views

Using “will” in a sentence vs not using “will”

I'm an ESL teacher. A student asked me a question regarding this sentence. "Don't phone Ann now. She'll be busy." The student asked me why we have to use "will" in the sentence. Why shouldn't the ...
1
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1answer
117 views

When writing a title, do you capitalize “the” in names like “Boris The Animal”? [duplicate]

When writing a title, do you capitalize "the" in names like "Boris The Animal", "Mike the Bike Guy" or "Tom The Dancing Bug"?
11
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3answers
1k views

down the hall to the left

Why do people say like "down the hall, road, alley, etc" when it is not down in any way. Why can't we say like "it's straight this corridor, road, etc"?. Why do say "it's straight down this corridor, ...
1
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3answers
1k views

Regarding the tense of that clause after “make sure”

As for the tense of that clause after "make sure", what is the difference between present tense or future tense. Thank you so much!
16
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4answers
4k views

Saying something is “for real” vs just saying something is “real”

I have a silly question that's been stuck in my head for a little bit. There was a movie that came out a little while ago called, "Heaven is for real" ... and something about the word "for" in that ...
1
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2answers
147 views

Why do we say “talk about the telephone” but “talk about televison”?

Teachers and native speakers :) I was doing exercises about passive, came across these two sentences: "When was the telephone invented?" and "When was television invented?" (without "the") And we say ...
4
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7answers
2k views

Is it possible to write an infinite sentence that is grammatically correct? [closed]

I was wondering if this was technically possible in English. I did not know if there are specific grammar rules that would make an infinite sentence impossible.
1
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3answers
143 views

Fragmented questions

How should the following sentence be punctuated: If it's not raining, where should we go? The lake? The beach? I ask because the last two questions are fragments.
0
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2answers
266 views

Adjectives in places of adverbs

I was reading this thread, and I thought asking this question again in Usage forum would make my understanding more clear. I am briefly explaining the question here. She plays it cool. He ...
1
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2answers
90 views

What is this emphasis “did”?

And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him. Is this archaic? I see many instances of this usage where simple verbs would be enough in ...
2
votes
1answer
59 views

Is my interpretaion of Hobbes correct?

Forasmuch as whosoever speaketh to another, intendeth thereby to make him understand what he saith; if he speak unto him, either in a language which he that heareth understandeth not, or use any ...
0
votes
3answers
19k views

Which is the proper response to “I love you”? [closed]

When my wife says I love you, my natural response is you too, meaning “[I love] you too.” I realise that I’m in the minority here. I more frequently hear me too, but I don’t feel comfortable with ...
1
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2answers
241 views

Namesake used when refering to surname only

Can you use namesake when refering to just someone's surname? Eg If the persons name is David Chaplin, can you say: "unlike his namesake, Chaplin's efforts are nothing to laugh at." ?
0
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3answers
6k views

What are differences between “let”, “allow” and “permit”? [duplicate]

Dad doesn't let me watch that program. Can we use "allow" or "permit" instead of "let"? What are the differences in grammar? Which one is common use?
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1answer
2k views

What are differences between “advice” and “advise”? [duplicate]

When we can use advice instead of advise? Can somebody help me?
4
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3answers
205 views

Is “lays important groundwork” appropriate usage

As in: "My project lays important groundwork for a future project." Is my usage of 'lays' correct? I'm not sure why I'm hung up on this, it just doesn't sound correct to me.
-1
votes
1answer
490 views

How to find the best words for my sentences?

Are there any techniques or web-tools to find the best words to fit your sentence? For example, I want to find the best verb/phrase to say reply with a positive feedback the result would be: ...
6
votes
2answers
13k views

What's the best way to use “either” on more than two options? [duplicate]

I've searched for whether "either" can be used in a context on which the possible options are made of more than two, and found the answer here over English Language Usage. It says that it is informal ...
1
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4answers
3k views

Present perfect in subjunctive past tense (I wish I had done)?

It's an exercise, imagine you're in the situation, and write a sentence with "I wish". the situation is: "You've painted the gate red. Now you think that it doesn't look very nice." Because ...
0
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1answer
54 views

Inconvenient though this might sound, … phrase structure [closed]

The value of $_inputType is set internally by the class at the time of instantiating the object. If you attempt to change it directly, PHP generates a fatal error, bringing everything to a ...
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1answer
84 views

I need a verb to replace “to know” in this sentence [closed]

This paper seeks to know if those who perpetuate rape are the only ones responsible.
0
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2answers
774 views

How should we put a website address into a sentence? [closed]

Is the following a right way to put a website address in a sentence? You can visit the website http://english.stackexchange.com/questions/ask for English grammar problems.
0
votes
2answers
645 views

How to form a noun of a verb in the English language

My teacher teaches me that if one puts an - ing to the end of a verb you will get the gerund of the verb which has the function as a noun. Example: mix-mixing, understand-understanding. But ...
1
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3answers
2k views

Which sentence is correct to say? [closed]

In a conversation, which of the two sentences below is grammatically correct? There was a party celebrating for my sister's marriage. There was a party which was being celebrated for my ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

How best to use the phrase “on the whole”?

Is the phrase on the whole used correctly in the following sentence? The information, on the whole, was inaccurate. If not, what other ways are there to express it?
2
votes
2answers
72 views

Why is “visitors to London grouped by mode of travel” better than “visitors by mode of travel to London”?

Is there a specific rule of grammar or which makes the title "visitors to London grouped by mode of travel" better than "visitors by mode of travel to London"? The context for this question is a ...
2
votes
1answer
440 views

Ghirardelli chocolate commercial song “Me and you…” [closed]

Is me and you correct English? Lyrics: Me and you, A little rendezvous, That special something will carry you through, That little reward for all the things you do.
1
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1answer
104 views

Dangling modifier in Style Guide?

When writing English, Strunk & White apply. Am I the only one who sees a dangling modifier here? It may be borderline, but how close to the border? In "strict mode", my ears hear: ...
2
votes
2answers
332 views

As fast as Or As fast

He is as clever if not cleverer than his brother. Ranjeet is as fast as or perhaps faster than Rohit. Are both these sentences correct? As per Wren And Martin High School English Grammar ...
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1answer
1k views

It's funny that you should say that. Why “say” not “said”?

There's an exercise in Murphy's Grammar in use unit 34. "It's funny that you should say that. I was going to say the same thing." Why not use past tense "said" but "say" here? Another should ...
0
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1answer
683 views

To skateboard vs to go skateboarding

Which of the sentences is correct? I go skateboarding every week. I skateboarded last Sunday. I went skateboarding last Sunday.
2
votes
2answers
295 views

He is also…, writes… - sentence structure, grammar

Ed is also Technology Editor for Certification Magazine, writes for numerous TechTarget Web sites, and writes a twice-monthly newsletter, “Must Know News,” for CramSession.com. In his spare time, ...
0
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1answer
2k views

Incorrect expression “In that moment” [closed]

I was doing an exercise and I found this one: Correct one word in the incorrect expression "In that moment, the door opened" (the exercise highlights "In that moment" part). However, I think it is ...
0
votes
1answer
110 views

Is this sentence badly structured [closed]

People usually shrug at the notion of an interviewer influencing and guiding the interviewee towards the answer they want. Is there a better way to write this sentence. And is there a better word to ...
2
votes
3answers
165 views

What is the grammatical term for is? [closed]

What is the grammatical term for "is"? For example if the sentence is "Jane is Drawing", "Jane" is the Noun and "Drawing" is the verb, but what is "is"?
0
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2answers
58 views

What is this “of” here?

Does the criminal justice system need more or less of a governmental relationship to be effective?
0
votes
0answers
27 views

about the word data [duplicate]

I though it was British vs. American but watching Star Trek I've noticed the same character using two different pronunciations. Then I noticed other characters doing the same. Is there any rule for ...
-2
votes
5answers
159 views

“She did X with the same enthusiasm she would have done Y.”

I have this sentence in something I'm writing: She slipped her head into the helmet with the same enthusiasm she would have slipped it into a guillotine. This sounds wrong to me. I feel like it ...
0
votes
3answers
627 views

Using semicolons to create run-on sentences … what's the deal with semis?

I often see people making sentences quite longer than I'm comfortable with, such as like this: The dog ran, the dog fell, the dog dwelled; the dog didn't wish to be a part of such a place in his ...
4
votes
6answers
866 views

Can an adverb be a noun?

I have seen this post for the answer to my question, but this is not much help in case of the question I am going to ask. Here is an example sentence - The new design of Twitter profile is more ...
1
vote
3answers
850 views

conversion of “in order to” to a “because” subclause

Clauses with "in order to" can be converted to clauses with "because" by adding a verb that indicates necessity or desire. Does this statement always hold? (if not please provide a counter example, ...
1
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2answers
342 views

Any rule about superheroes and hyphens in their names? [closed]

You really know this fact that Spider-man is hyphenated. But why? Any grammatical rule? Is he unique hero written with a hyphen, unlike Batman, Superman etc.?