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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2answers
1k views

May conditional be used after “if”?

Is a sentence like He asked if I would lend him my car. correct, or should it be He asked if I lent him my car. or something else?
4
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4answers
2k views

Why is he saying ”This is us” when it means “This is ours”?

I found two examples of this kind in Harry Potter so far and in both cases, the speaker is Mr. Weasley and the listener is Harry. Does it add some nuance? Is it his habit of saying? (In a lift of ...
1
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1answer
621 views

Server log shows normal activities OR Server logs show normal activities?

Where I am trying to collectively refer to server logs, should I say... Server log shows normal activities or Server logs show normal activities
2
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2answers
274 views

“Longer running time” vs “high performance”

I am always confused about the correct usages of words like longer, less, higher, high etc., for comparing performance of two programs. For example, if a program A completes its work in 10 seconds, ...
2
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1answer
3k views

Usage of “just”, “only” and word-order [intended meaning]

I've got these sentences, which meanings are correct (my interpretations are in brackets): Use of only: (1) Only in 1996, Ford sold a rebadged Mazda 626 GV over here as its rebranded Japanese ...
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1answer
110 views

The condition for saying “You’re the door on the right.” etc. and its construction

This question is a spin-off from “Is you’re the door on the right. grammatically correct?” . After the original question, some ideas came to me, about its conditions and construction. I opened this ...
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3answers
3k views

We have a special machine, unlike no other

I was confused about which of the following 2 sentences are valid, does anyone know which is proper? We have a special machine, like no other. We have a special machine, unlike no other.
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2answers
51k views

Is “group” singular or plural? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is a company always plural, or are small companies singular? When I'm referring to a group of multiple things, should it be considered singular or plural for the ...
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7answers
9k views

Difference between “without” and “with no”

What is the difference between the usage of without and with no? For example, without sound and with no sound.
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3answers
6k views

“I am gonna have to” vs. “I have to”

What is the difference between "I am gonna have to" and "I have to"? When would you use the first one? update: I am specifically asking about situations like the one described here.
0
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1answer
4k views

“Don't/Won't/Wouldn't want to” [closed]

When do we use each of the following? I don't want to ... I won't want to ... I wouldn't want to ...
2
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1answer
212 views

“Is Ken home?” or “Is Ken at home?”

When you ask someone if your buddy Ken is at home or not, what is the correct question, "Is Ken home?" or "Is Ken at home?"? I'm pretty sure both of those are correct, since I've seen a lot of times ...
118
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3answers
5k views

Where were “should”, “shall”, and “must” in the 18th Century?

According to the following Google Ngram, in the U.K. the modals should, shall, and must were virtually missing from English writing during the 18th Century (I've added will for a comparison modal ...
5
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3answers
838 views

Adjectives that do not have predicative position

I've read somewhere that some adjectives cannot be used in the predicative position; for example "this is a major problem" is acceptable, but "the problem is major" is not acceptable. I'm wondering ...
8
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5answers
9k views

Use of “-wise” in phrases or words

What is -wise in phrases or words that end with it? How do we use it correctly? Floor is obscenely expensive computational-wise. I found a similar thread here but I don't understand much.
1
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1answer
624 views

Word-order and meaning - which is correct for this notice? [closed]

I'm creating some signs for the office car park, and one of these signs is to control access. What I'm trying to get it to indicate is that cars aren't permitted between 10 am and 4pm except for ...
2
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1answer
1k views

Is “he plays the piano” stative or dynamic?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stative_verbs: The same verb may act as stative or dynamic. An English phrase like "he plays the piano" may be either stative or dynamic, according to context. ...
2
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2answers
1k views

Is the complement considered a part of the predicate?

Is the complement a part of predicate? For example, in the sentence: "He was the strangest person she had ever met" - "he" is the subject, "was" is the link word and "the stangest person she had ever ...
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2answers
813 views

A better way to express this sentence to clarify its meaning?

I apologize if this is a broad question. My friend and I have been arguing about the following sentence for 2 hours. I think that there is something missing in the following sentence. Though, I am ...
5
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2answers
36k views

Looking forward/forwards to your reply [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Forward vs Forwards I always wonder whether I should say "looking forwards to your reply" or "looking forward to your reply", which one should I say in a email?
8
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5answers
17k views

When to use words quite, rather, pretty, fairly etc

Is there any logic to this or just decision? I would use the following combinations: quite amazing rather large pretty good I would not use the following combinations: pretty amazing quite large ...
9
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2answers
838 views

Some sentences in the beginning of movie “Forrest Gump”

In the beginning of movie "Forrest Gump", Gump said: 1. I wish I had shoes like that. Why did Gump said "that"? Is it correct? And what about "I wish I had shoes like those?" 2. She said they was ...
10
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2answers
1k views

How do noun clauses work when they seem to leave no independent clause?

Another thing that was raised in conversation with my ESL friend is noun clauses. I was aware of Adverbial and Adjectival Clauses and thought that the things he was demonstrating to me were in fact ...
3
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1answer
173 views

Frequent ping-ponging of priorities?

I came through the following sentence in a technical research paper. Is it correct to use ping-ponging word? Please let me know. With TS policy, priorities of threads change very frequently for ...
12
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2answers
86k views

How to use “to + V-ing”?

I saw some scenarios that used the structure "to + V-ing", such as the following: Looking forward to hearing. Disposed to using few words. I would like to apply what I learned in school to helping ...
0
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4answers
17k views

Using “compared with”, “in comparison with” or “than” to compare

Which one of the following sentences is correct and more appropriate? Please let me know. The configuration-A produces higher error-rate compared with the configuration-B. The ...
12
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3answers
27k views

How do you make the possessive form with “He and I”-style subjects? [duplicate]

Despite being a native speaker of American English, I cannot find a construction that sounds natural when trying to form a possessive from coordinated subjects including a first person pronoun, like ...
4
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2answers
5k views

Use of “and lo” in a sentence

What, if any, is the right way to use "and lo" in a sentence? My basic structure is "[discussion about thing], and lo, [example of thing]", kind of like: There's a cliche about circus clowns being ...
5
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4answers
15k views

Is “close proximity” a tautology?

I was rooting about in the OED and one definition is "The fact, condition, or position of being near or close by in space; nearness." Then in the citations for that definition they had: 1872 H. I. ...
5
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4answers
6k views

What do we call an adjective made of a verb?

What do we call adjectives formed from verbs? For example: Lost is an adjective made from lose, Forgotten is an adjective made from forget, Broken is an adjective made from break. What is the ...
2
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1answer
405 views

Which sentence is more acceptable? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: When do I use "I" instead of "me?" Which is correct, "you and I" or "you and me"? Which of the following sentences is more ...
1
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1answer
2k views

Why is “doing” used here instead of “to do”?

I have read this question: “I like to do (be) something” vs “I like doing (being) something” and I get (although the answer could not be applied to my example) that using "to do" means in general I ...
6
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2answers
941 views

What's the rule for writing sentences with parallel clauses?

I've sometimes seen very nicely written sentences that have 2 clauses: the first is a full sentence, while the second, which is supposed to have a similar structure, was shorten into a special ...
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2answers
4k views

Plural of “abacus”

A colleague and I were having a discussion as to the proper plural form of abacus. I believe the plural would be abacuses and he feels that the proper form would be abaci. I believe that abacuses is ...
2
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5answers
597 views

Is it correct for someone to say that they've “fixed the apparent problems” with something?

Either there were no problems and therefore nothing to fix. Or there were some problems are therefore something to fix. But how can apparent problems be fixed? Unless "apparent" in this context means ...
3
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1answer
4k views

Using “a/an” with uncountable nouns in exclamation sentences

I work with Chinese children to practice some English. I have a sentence like this: "What an useful advice you gave me!" However, on most Chinese materials I have with me, it is said that the ...
2
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2answers
8k views

Why do we say “This is ” instead of “This's”?

It is => It's I am => I'm That is => That's Why do we say "This is " instead of "This's"?
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4answers
249 views

Number that should be used here

Ok, this question came from another question, in which my answer has a "problem". In this question, three conditions were given. In my answer to this question, I stated: You have listed a very ...
4
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3answers
562 views

Is “you’re the door on the right.” grammatically correct?

The you is Harry Potter. I’m really curious about the grammatical construction and the reason why JKR chose it. ”Mrs. Weasley, why – ?” ”Ron and Hermione will explain everything, dear, I’ve ...
4
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2answers
7k views

Should I replace “It would be possible that” and if so, why?

At the end of the Wikipedia article on Jerusalem Colophon, it reads (regarding whether a text was written in Jerusalem vs. Greece), According to Caspar René Gregory it would be possible that the ...
3
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3answers
4k views

Use 'got' instead of 'was'? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why is “to get” sometimes used where “to be” could be used? Sometimes I hear people say things like this: I just got robbed. (Personally I would rather say 'I was ...
2
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1answer
31k views

'Seen as' or 'seeing as'

Look at these examples: You should clean the milk seen as you spilt it. You should clean the milk seeing as you spilt it. Which one is correct, and how is it grammatically defined/termed?
2
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2answers
7k views

“when would” vs “when will”

I'm trying to ask a question about the future. So which form of the verb "will" should I use? So, when will it be there? So, when would it be there?
0
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3answers
230 views

Meaning of “suits trading airport stories”

It's still from this sentence in New York Times, Despite all the sartorial trappings, guests dressed like any in your typical off-the-rack hotel. On a recent Monday, there were F.I.T. parents in ...
2
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1answer
428 views

Add one more level of indirection in ownership description: “Peter teacher's car”?

If I want to describe a car owned by Peter, I will say "Peter's car". But how do I describe the car his teacher owns? "Peter teacher's car" or do I have to be descriptive: "the car of Peter's ...
1
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3answers
125 views

“Had entries” or “had an entry”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: "Only those who qualify will be awarded a certificate" or "Only those who qualify will be awarded certificates"? In this question, there is a part ...
1
vote
1answer
174 views

“The fullness” vs “fullness”

When should one put a definite article before the word "fullness"? UPD: To be precise, I have the following sentence. The first condition is just (the ?) fullness of A. Here fullness is some ...
3
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2answers
1k views

”See/wonder if +(a negative)” vs. “See/wonder if + (a positive)”

I’ve asked a similar question about ‘wonder if’ before, but I’ll give it a second try to learn more about a difference in nuance between a negative clause and a positive one. Just look at these ...
4
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2answers
546 views

Are there any definitive sources for English word forms?

My interest in English grammar began because of learning about the rules of grammar while learning Latin. In inter-language dictionaries, it's common to mention the declension of nouns, conjugation of ...
2
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1answer
52 views

“Orthotopic” or “orthotopal”

An n-orthotope is a fancy name for an n-dimensional cube. I'd like to describe an object that has this quality. Which is the correct adjective: orthotopic or orthotopal?