This tag is not for questions on whether something is grammatical. It's for questions about how the grammar actually works: different grammatical usages, how they can be used, or what they mean.

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2
votes
5answers
943 views

“What's” in indirect questions

Lets consider the following: The book doesn't explain, "What's the wisdom behind education?" Changing this to an indirect question becomes the following: The book doesn't explain what the ...
3
votes
4answers
39k views

How to use “should have been” to express conditions? [closed]

Lets say that someone is driving a car but doesn't possess a drivers license and I am telling him You should have been obtained a drivers license before drive a car. is this usage of "should ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Help identifying an error type “tried to help me learning”

I have a friend from Russia who is trying to learn English and recently used the sentence "He tried to help me learning..." (implied: the English language) It is obviously wrong and I corrected it ...
0
votes
2answers
411 views

Have I used too many commas for this sentence?

Here is what we are trying to say: Before you hit any of the URLs below, please, make sure you have logged into the application first using your default browser. Are the commas correctly placed? ...
3
votes
5answers
996 views

What does the “they” stand for here?

I meet this sentence: In the early days, very few people interacted directly with database systems, although without realizing it they interacted with databases indirectly — through printed ...
1
vote
3answers
324 views

Proper format for listing criteria for a project

My team are going back and forth between the proper usage of a specific sentence in our project proposal. This project proposal is being presented to a school, so we want to make sure we are correct ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Is a single-word sentence like “No” an independent clause? And semicolons [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Comma or semicolon after “No” when responding to a question It started because of this: "No; I found the behavior off-putting." I believe "no", as an ...
-1
votes
1answer
433 views

Conditional sentences [closed]

What type of conditional sentences should be used in a context like this? (This person graduated from school many years ago.) You know, my mother went to school and said that until she(the teacher) ...
0
votes
2answers
18k views

Me too or I as well [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is it correct to use “me too” and “I too”? Which one is correct to use Me too or I as well? For example - Suppose my friend says I want to go ...
4
votes
3answers
684 views

When speaking of age 13 and over, is it 12+ or 13+?

When you take into account all ages above a certain age, what is the correct way to write it? I was supposed to write all ages above 12, and not including 12, so I wrote '13+', which in my mind ...
2
votes
4answers
1k views

Is this usage of “inside” correct?

This text is taken from a children's reader. It's about some children who find a doll house that is an exact reproduction of their home. Biff opened the little house. Everyone looked inside. "It ...
2
votes
2answers
1k 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
6answers
4k views

“Four plus two equals six” (or “is equal to six” or “is six”)

You write 4 + 2 = 6 and say "four plus two equals (or is equal to or is) six." In the question “Is equal to” or “equals”, I read the following comment: Equals is equal being a verb, in the ...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

Use of “good” and “well” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “I'm well” vs. “I'm good” vs. “I'm doing well”, etc What is the difference between “good” and “well” ...
3
votes
2answers
17k views

Which one is correct: “wish I was here” or “wish I were here”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “If I was” or “If I were”. Which is more common, and which is correct? Which one is the correct form: "Wish I was here" or "wish I were here"? ...
2
votes
1answer
466 views

Past perfect progressive and past perfect

When is it possible to use past perfect instead of past perfect progressive to show that the action is still in progress? I was just looking for more examples like the one below where either form can ...
6
votes
3answers
38k views

Use of 'as' instead of 'because'

Is the use of 'as' in place of 'because' considered to be poor grammar/style? For example I cannot come with you as I am too busy instead of I cannot come with you because I am too busy
5
votes
1answer
849 views

plural noun/singular verb and vice versa [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: None as plural indefinite pronoun In my work I am often exposed to sentences written by nonnative speakers of English. I often come across sentences with a singular noun ...
-4
votes
0answers
71 views

ending a sentence with a preposition [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When is it appropriate to end a sentence in a preposition? "a soul can sense when it’s being talked to." Does this sound OK? I don't like ending with a preposition, but ...
2
votes
2answers
7k views

If “whenever possible” is in the middle of a sentence, does it need to be preceded by a comma?

The sentence in question is "We believe that the best way to think about the mentor-mentee relationship is to remember that whenever possible, all adults in a child's life should act as a team.  It ...
0
votes
1answer
164 views

Perform magic to children vs perform magic for children [closed]

I've noticed that there seems to be a usage of "to" where I expect "for" in certain dialects of English. The one that caught my eye today was a Reddit submission where the OP used the title "Why you ...
9
votes
2answers
505 views

Can I precede a noun with more than one determiner?

Is there a rule that a noun would take only one determiner at most? For example, according to “Determiner” at EnglishLanguageGuide.com, both both and the are determiners. Can I write an expression ...
-5
votes
2answers
517 views

“It will turn into water” vs “it turns into water” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Scientific article style: present or future Which sentence is correct between these two: If you heat ice, it will turn into water. If you heat ice, it turns into ...
6
votes
3answers
396 views

“What they are is x” — is singular “is” correct, and why?

Is the following sentence correct? Such splendid isolation is the privilege of the giants of a discipline, and giants in the world of scholarship is definitely what the authors of this volume ...
-1
votes
2answers
6k views

“Employee list” or “employees list” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: User’s Guide vs Users’ Guide should a list of tokens be called a “token list” or a “tokens list” I know we can use list of employees, but I'd ...
4
votes
6answers
849 views

How do I say that something must happen or another thing, not both, in one simple sentence?

I'd guess as opposed to but I'm not sure. This property must be set as opposed to X (one or another, not both) How can this can be better?
3
votes
3answers
3k views

Using many / much / a lot of with *population*

In an English course book that I use for my Intermediate class, I encountered this problem. The exercise required students to complete the sentences with 'many' or 'much' where possible, otherwise use ...
2
votes
2answers
164 views

How to determine if an attribute applies to a group or a specific individual

I am in the middle of an argument, and therefore trying to figure out the breakdown of the definition: a member of a military group devoted to engineering work which appears in Merriam-Webster's ...
0
votes
1answer
419 views

Why did author use a different sort of articles in sentence, which describe a picture? [closed]

I am not a native speaker. I am doing a exercise "Answer the questions about the pictures" from my Grammar Book and I checked Keys at end of the book: I saw: In A the man is lying on the ...
2
votes
5answers
959 views

“This October I will have been xxx yrs in this country”

I'm new so please excuse if I'm asking something that had been many times before. I'm a foreigner living in UK, who loves English language so I strive for perfect use every time. Sometimes people ask ...
-2
votes
1answer
6k views

Is 'Grammarly' really that good? [closed]

I've been using this software for quite some time now. Not once until yesterday did I question the authenticity of its 'Grammar Check' reports. Yesterday, I tried to test Grammarly with a piece of ...
4
votes
1answer
31k views

'Him or herself' v. 'himself or herself'?

I was reading this article on the New York Times. This sentence caused me some confusion: But what I’m teaching are topics such as 5th-century Indian theories of logical inference, or the ...
0
votes
2answers
562 views

“Confusing modifiers” reported where none are found [closed]

I have a sentence: Take a look at this math problem and try to so solve it. The Grammar Checker told me: “This sentence contains Issue: Confusing modifiers.” But where?
0
votes
3answers
226 views

Using the figure of fire in describing your fear of something [closed]

What's the right way of using the figure of fire in describing how you are afraid of something? those algebra tests that I was scared of like of fire those algebra tests that I was scared of ...
1
vote
0answers
30 views

He has more money than [her/she/she does]? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: I can run faster than _. (1) him (2) he? What's the right was to say here? He has more money than she. or He has more money than her. or He has more ...
1
vote
4answers
261 views

What's the negative way of saying “I can only finish a small part of the jobs.”

What's the negative way of saying "I can only finish a small portion of the jobs." Is it "I cannot finish most of the jobs?" And I appreciate it if more "native" expressions are ...
2
votes
1answer
899 views

Separating Quoted Questions into Separate Sentences

According to this answer about quoting a question in the middle of a sentence, the punctuation in this example sentence is correct: People are not merely asking, "why should I do this?" they're ...
9
votes
1answer
575 views

What is this ‘-ing’ structure?

Consider the following sentence: The Bactrian camel is well adapted to the extreme climate of its native Mongolia, having thick fur and underwool that keep it warm in winter and also insulate ...
0
votes
0answers
545 views

How do I express possession of an item owned by enumerated groups of several individuals? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “Nikki's and Alice's X” vs. “Nikki and Alice's X” Preferred way to apostrophise in case of dual or multiple ownership by distinct ...
5
votes
2answers
485 views

Placement of variables in a correlation

Lung cancer correlates with smoking. Smoking correlates with lung cancer. Are both correct or does one have to worry about which one is the dependent variable (lung cancer) and which one is the ...
7
votes
3answers
4k views

Is “Winston tastes good like a cigarette should” still considered ungrammatical?

I was reading The Tipping Point this morning, and the author spoke of how Winston's slogan in the 1950s that went "Winston tastes good like a cigarette should" was very memorable because of its ...
10
votes
3answers
239k views

When to use “lives” as a plural of life?

I am confused when talking about a general idea using "our life" when sometimes I feel like using "our lives". Please tell me the correct answer with appropriate explanation.
1
vote
4answers
335 views

Is it proper to use “would” here?

I'd like to say something like: I'm going to change the code in the future, according to this requirement. Here is my version: This code would need to be modified to satisfy this requirement... I ...
-1
votes
3answers
589 views

“Should have meant”

In one of my recent edits, I revised a sentence from this wording: I said surely she meant seeing as, not seems, (she’s used this word in a similar way before). She replied: to the following ...
1
vote
2answers
196 views

Analysing “So amazed he cannot speak” [closed]

In the sentence: "So amazed he cannot speak", is "amazed" an adjective?
4
votes
1answer
594 views

Is using split infinitive allowed in formal English? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Are split infinitives grammatically incorrect, or are they valid constructs? Is it allowed to use split infinitives in formal English? I look into Wikipedia but it is ...
3
votes
2answers
220 views

Quotation mark usage in the sentence given

A leading article in Britain's Independent newspaper has the following (my emphasis): It is also evident, albeit in a different form, in the Global Investment Summit that opened on Thursday with a ...
5
votes
2answers
326 views

Why is it a “Dangling participle,” not independent, disconnected, isolated or alike participle?

When you open an English grammar book written in Japanese, you’d be puzzled or even chuckle to find Japanese translation of dangling participle – 懸垂分詞, which literally means ‘chinning exercise’ or ...
4
votes
2answers
23k views

“Proceed to doing something” or “Proceed to do something”

This may be a very easy question to many of you and may not deserve to be here. But it has been bothering me for a long time.. Should I add ing behind the verb after proceed to just like how it ...
4
votes
2answers
665 views

“Has reported” as present perfect vs. “has” as present + “reported” as a noun

In the following sentence below, I want to use the word reported as a noun, but it looks like I’m using the present perfect form has reported. How can one be clear when constructions like this ...