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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1answer
72 views

What are the main language devices used in this video? [closed]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oye9AmOdsZc I am doing this for a project and would like to know what the main language devices used in this video are. Thanks
2
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3answers
1k views

He or him in this sentence?

Just read this line on the Guardian: He dismantles his bedroom and helps tidy the house, daubing white paint over the pencil marks on the doorframe which have measured the growth of he and his ...
4
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3answers
397 views

“So many weapons and armor!” What is wrong with this sentence? And how would one fix it?

The sentence rings false in my head. Clearly this is because "weapons" is a countable noun, and "armor" is an uncountable noun. So one could fix this sentence by breaking it up into two clauses (e.g. ...
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4answers
1k views

'how many of us' vs. 'how many of we'

Which is correct: 'My friend asked how many of us are going to watch the Superbowl' or 'My friend asked how many of we are going to watch the Superbowl' Note: 'my friend' is not a part of the group ...
2
votes
1answer
287 views

Strange use of the past tense by Dr. Watson in the Sherlock series [closed]

I’m trying to correctly identify the reason why the past tense of ‘’to be’’ is used in the following context: Sherlock Season 3 Episode 3 The scene: Dr. Watson is about to enter a drug den. His ...
1
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2answers
21k views

Using “as much as” at start of sentence

Is it correct to use "as much as" at the start of the sentence? For example: As much as I like cricket, I like football. Is it correct? I didn't find any reference which suggest to use it that ...
3
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5answers
302 views

“Dangling Participles”

My case here is that I was writing something for school, and my teacher explained an error which I really can't see. She referred to articles about "dangling participles", which was previously ...
4
votes
2answers
8k views

A study of awake and awaken

It has been drawn to my attention that I may not be using the verb 'awake'correctly in the active and passive. Please could someone confirm that I have now got this right. In their simple present ...
0
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2answers
441 views

To see them play and to see them playing

Excuse my limited acquaintance on English usage; which sentence is grammatically correct, and if any, which meaning do they convey to ? I saw them play chess. I saw then playing chess. Many ...
4
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2answers
3k views

“Half” or “A Half”

This argument has come up at work, and I actually found it pretty interesting. My colleague is arguing that you might say "a quarter of a pizza", whereas you'd just say "half of a pizza" rather than ...
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2answers
352 views

Everybody has to obey their own parents [duplicate]

I am new here and I don't really know how to post, so please forgive my mistakes. My question is this: Is a sentence like "everybody has to obey their own parents" nowadays completely acceptable under ...
1
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1answer
4k views

I have to do it until/by tomorrow. Why both seem to be common?

I have always thought that the correct one is "I have to do it by tomorrow" as "by" is used for some point in the future while "until" is used when something longs until now/that time. Is that ...
0
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1answer
830 views

Correct English Grammar [closed]

Based on this message: I hope you consider my application has awaken your interest and I am looking forward for a meeting with you to explain deeply of myself. The message is used in the end ...
1
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1answer
837 views

on multiple infinitives

It is my greatest intellectual satisfaction to be able to read a line from Plato's dialogues and see what is sounds like in any of the languages in which I can read. It is my greatest intellectual ...
1
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2answers
713 views

“So…that” sentences

One could say: I was so tired that I slept for ten hours. You could also say: I was so tired, I slept for ten hours. The second one is more colloquial I think, but is it acceptable grammatically? ...
0
votes
3answers
367 views

try not or do not try?

Why not take the elevator? climbing the stairs will fatigue you. I wonder what is the subject of the clause? In addition: Are these the same? I try not to make errors. I do not try to ...
0
votes
1answer
721 views

Is 's/he' grammatically correct? [duplicate]

When it is needed to refer both male and female with pronoun,we usually use masculine pronoun 'HE'.But nowadays many people claim that it is a form of gender discrimination.So if in this type of case ...
0
votes
1answer
371 views

Time agreement. Using past simple/continuous and present perfect together

Should it be present perfect (has felt) / present simple (cannot understand) in the sentence below or the tense of the first sentence implies that these verbs fall into past aspect so past perfect / ...
2
votes
2answers
642 views

“Is left untouched” or “was left untouched” [closed]

Which is correct? My book was left untouched for so many years. or My book is left untouched for so many years. Well, until now, that book is really untouched. So does that mean that just ...
1
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1answer
105 views

“What f**k do I give?” as a rhetorical question. a viable construction?

We all know and love the "I don't/couldn't give a f**k/shit/rat's ass" phrase. It helps a lot and relieves much tension. But would the rhetorical question form "What f**k do I give" be technically ...
0
votes
1answer
262 views

Whatever happened to thou and thee? Thy words have become more dreary [closed]

Why did thee, thou and thy come to disappear from English? I am looking for solid explanations, rather than observations that these are still used in dialects in the north. Please explain cause for ...
7
votes
2answers
571 views

Why are they called Hudson Bay and Bay of Biscay? Why Mediterranean Sea and Sea of Japan?

I was looking up a French town on Google Maps, when it struck me. There are bays shown as "Bay of ..." on the map, as well others listed as "... Bay". Their naming seems to be consistent with the ...
0
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1answer
453 views

meaning of “the rather,” “than,” respectively

This may be fancy, though I think the memory of most of us can go farther back into such times than many of us suppose; just as I believe the power of observation in numbers of very young ...
0
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1answer
63 views

Does 'could' in this context always refer to the past? [closed]

"I couldn't understand this." Is that more polite than saying "I can't understand?"
0
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3answers
1k views

“As explained in Section 2” vs “As will be explained in Section 2” [duplicate]

As the title. When writing to a report, should I refer to a section of the report located later by writing "As explained in Section 2" or "As will be explained in Section 2"?
3
votes
3answers
580 views

Is “I've told you at fewest ten times” grammatical?

After this question was put on hold, I am editing this to clarify that I am not seeking "the most wrong answer," but that I am instead asking for a reason for the continued use of a construction that ...
2
votes
1answer
119 views

Use of “had” in this sentence

This sentence pertains to a movie I watched: I wish I watched it with subtitles. I wish I had watched it with subtitles. What effect does adding had have on the sentence? Are both sentences ...
1
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1answer
661 views

Why `night` with gh?

I am not native speaker. And me very interesting why night writting with gh? Thanks
2
votes
1answer
3k views

Is “I, too, did it” correct

I've heard sentences such as "I, too, did something," in which I would have used "I also did it," or "I did it as well," or "I did it, too." In school I've been taught I have to put 'as well' and ...
1
vote
0answers
79 views

Which article must I use and why? [duplicate]

Would you please explain the difference between the following? The average American city requires a prodigious amount of fish daily. And: An average American city requires a prodigious ...
1
vote
1answer
104 views

What are the usages of the modifier “Many”?

Many of his books are... His many books are... Many books of him/himself/John/Alex/etc... Would you kindly tell me the exact difference between these?
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4answers
2k views

Possession and personification

Is the act of possessing an example of personification if attributed to inanimate objects? Here, "possession" means the possession of physical things as well as the possession of virtues or qualities ...
2
votes
2answers
360 views

“[Is/are] X and Y the reason[s] you did Z?”

Is the violence and the abuse the reason you ran away home? Are the violence and the abuse the reasons you ran away from home? Is the violence and the abuse the reasons you ran away home? ...
0
votes
1answer
198 views

Which is correct? “Until the 1990s, no one knew the fact.” or “Until the 1990s, no one had known the fact.”

I think "Until the 1990s, no one had known the fact." is grammatically true. Is the other one using the past tense is acceptabe? Or it is also true? Or it is not grammatically true?
2
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2answers
228 views

“Police have found what appear to be human remains.” versus “– What's in the box? – Chocolates to die for!” Why the different agreement? [duplicate]

In my CD-ROM version of the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, an example sentence for the verb 'to appear' is: "Police have found what appear to be human remains." Gruesomeness apart, what ...
0
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2answers
91 views

speaking about time known now but not when the readers read the message

I am writing to a university. Plus, XXX University is doing a great in the researching areas. For example, just a week ago, researchers from this university joined the ESA's Rosetta mission, that ...
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1answer
984 views

“We shouldn't do that, now * we?”

"We can't do that, now can we?" The above sentence has nearly 10 million Google results. I've seen it used in books, television shows, and in casual conversation. But what if I want to replace the ...
1
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3answers
1k views

I would that & I would to God / heaven

For I would that all men were even as I myself. (1 Corinthians 7:7) I would to God my name were not so terrible to the enemy as it is. (2H4 I.ii.219-220) Do these would-constructions mean ...
2
votes
1answer
94 views

it were best (to) & I were best (to)

Shakespeare's plays are replete with both these constructions. Is were in these constructions equivalent to the modern would?
1
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3answers
878 views

Subject-verb inversion / verb-subject-object — is this correct?

I recently read the following in a schoolbook: Wrote the researchers, "[...]" I wonder if this is correct English. I have seen it a couple of more times. Is this just a matter of preference? ...
0
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3answers
156 views

Missing had/have?

In an American-English fiction book there is a sentence which reads: Without makers to show them new ways, show them new forms of magic, the gifted were left with doing only that which been done ...
2
votes
2answers
216 views

Can you use “extremely lesser” in a sentence?

I read this on a blog: This sounds wrong to me, but I'm not sure which rule it breaks. Surely it should have been "much less intensive...". Is there any grammatical justification for using ...
2
votes
2answers
215 views

What does “leave like” mean?

The news left me like a fool. What does it mean? Is the grammar ok here? [Originally asked by birdman1234]
3
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2answers
1k views

English Syntax Rules Based on Word Choice

I was reading the Wikipedia article on Animacy and came across something I found to be very interesting: The higher animacy a referent has, the less preferable it is to use the preposition of for ...
0
votes
1answer
4k views

Are “I will have been going” and “I would have been going” rarely used today?

As far as I know these are tenses that you do not often use. Am I right? Will have been + verb+ing Would have been + verb+ing
5
votes
1answer
2k views

A good and exhaustive book for English grammar [closed]

Before marking this post duplicate or voting to get it closed (the reason for which I simply don't get just because it is a grammar forum after all! If I am seeking recommendation for a book that ...
3
votes
1answer
297 views

Two people, same last name, both have master's degrees

I am finishing my Master of Healthcare Administration and my husband is a Master Plumber. I would like to refer to us correctly in an email as "The Masters Ourlastname" but I'm not sure if it is ...
6
votes
6answers
21k views

Why is “today morning” wrong but “tomorrow morning” right?

I have heard "today morning" being said in the country I am from a lot. However here in the States people never use it and correct others who do. "Tomorrow morning" is acceptable though. What is the ...
0
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2answers
150 views

Not sure if I should use 'the' or 'a'

So I just commented (tried to, the answer turned out to have been deleted) on an answer and wrote this: "I also feel that the disclaimer was just a tincy wincy bit unnecessary". I then though to ...
2
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2answers
6k views

“go on a ride” vs. “go for a ride.”

What is the difference between these two examples? I go on a ride. I go for a ride.