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

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12
votes
7answers
16k views

Which is correct: “If it were I” or “If it were me”?

I'm fairly sure it's the former, but it sounds even more stilted than the usual cases in which "I" is less common, but more correct.
0
votes
0answers
260 views

“into” vs. “in to”

What's the difference?
3
votes
0answers
240 views

When is “that” superfluous? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Use of “that” in a sentence What are some of the rules surrounding the word "that" and its inclusion or omission in a sentence? For example, "My boss ...
3
votes
1answer
184 views

Genitive plurals

What is the difference between the following? room's window room's windows rooms' window rooms' windows I'm mainly interested in the last two constructs.
4
votes
1answer
37k views

Which is correct: “he don't” or “he doesn't”? [closed]

Which one is correct in a sentence? He don't He doesn't I guess "he doesn't" should be correct because he is third person singular but I've seen some people using do with he. Which one ...
1
vote
2answers
261 views

Articles when talking about something certain, yet unmentioned before

The same sentence as in question Articles in conjuctions: As a result, hosting in IIS 5/6 is notorious for instability and the frequent need to reset the server or IIS 5/6. As far as I ...
4
votes
1answer
241 views

Articles in conjuctions

The following is taken from a book: As a result, hosting in IIS 5/6 is notorious for instability and the frequent need to reset the server or IIS 5/6. In the context above, why doesn't ...
11
votes
3answers
521 views

“A tax is a tax is a tax.” What does this sentence mean?

I am not a native English speaker and this question has been bothering me for a long time. I saw this sentence on my text book. However, I don't know what's the meaning of it. And I don't even know ...
6
votes
4answers
18k views

What is “For the better or worse”?

What is for the better or worse? I remember hearing this a few times before but am not really 100% sure on the exact meaning of it.
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Constructing compound sentences

Consider the following sentence: One of the items that needed a further development was a research on child nodes of a story representing its sub categories being updated the moment the list of ...
3
votes
1answer
4k views

“Changes would not be reflected” vs. “Changes will not be reflected”

Following Martha's advise I am splitting up a question Compound sentences, the punctuation and mooore. When I describe consequences of some actions one can take, what form of the verb "will" should ...
4
votes
2answers
8k views

Should I say 'What I wanted to say is' or 'What I wanted to say was'?

Following Martha's advice I am splitting up a question Compound sentences, the punctuation and mooore. Let's put what I said / wrote something in the past. And now I want to elaborate some key points ...
3
votes
4answers
6k views

“I am lucky to find…” vs “I am lucky to have found…”

Originally in the monstrous question Compound sentences, the punctuation and mooore, which I am now trying to split up, I wrote the following sentence: So lucky I am to find this site! And ...
1
vote
1answer
210 views

Is “you don't understanding why” just a mistake or yet another not widely known idiom?

From here Good advice comes with a rationale so you can tell when it becomes bad advice. If you don't understanding why something should be done, then you've fallen into the trap of cargo cult ...
2
votes
0answers
132 views

An or A with acronyms which sound like they start with a vowel? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Do you use “a” or “an” before acronyms? Should you use An or A with acronyms which sound like they start with a vowel when read literally? ...is ...
1
vote
1answer
6k views

“I was going to” expression. How to use it correctly?

I was going to pick you tomorrow from the airport (not a big deal to me, really), but remembered that tomorrow I'll be teaching the class, which ends at 8. in above example, I am trying to ...
4
votes
2answers
396 views

Name for phrase where you just state a noun

What is this type of phrase called? What parts of speech does it employ? Situation: your brother does something silly. You say to him: "You and your crazy antics..." This was brought up cause I ...
3
votes
1answer
31k views

'I was using', 'I have used', 'I have been using', 'I had used' - what is the difference amongst these?

First, is my question right? Does amongst fit here? Please differentiate the above phrases.
4
votes
3answers
365 views

Is this usage of “all” considered archaic?

I was writing, and this happened: It was a beautiful afternoon in mid-autumn, all chill air and dazzling sunlight. Is X, all Y considered archaic? I use this construction occasionally, but it ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

differences between different noun forms of same adjective

What is exactly the difference between nouning an adjective different ways? Some only have one form, but others have both. Examples: hilarious: hilarity vs. hilariousness virtuous: virtuosity vs. ...
4
votes
3answers
313 views

Is there a simpler sentence than this?

"Each of the first ten whole numbers is written on a card." The sentence will be used to support the following question: Find the probability that a card taken at random has a label of an even ...
1
vote
1answer
903 views

What do you infer from this sentence “X is not Y or Z”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is “not eating or drinking” equal to “not eating or not drinking”? I am confused in inferring a sentence of pattern "X is not Y or Z". Is it the ...
6
votes
1answer
382 views

Is “not eating or drinking” equal to “not eating or not drinking”?

Is "not eating or drinking" equal to "not eating or not drinking"?
11
votes
4answers
15k views

What are sentences like “the longer X, the more Y” called and can they be used in formal written English?

What is the type of sentence exemplified below called? Is it appropriate to use it in a scientific paper and formal written English in general? 1. The more pronounced the variation, the more the ...
11
votes
3answers
6k views

Prepositions at the end of sentence and whom

I believe it's okay to end a sentence with a preposition. That seems to be the consensus here as well. Now I think that when who is the object of a preposition, it should technically be whom, e.g. ...
10
votes
1answer
7k views

“Alternative to” vs “Alternative for”

I'm wondering whether there is a difference between these two expressions. I never know which one to use. Google seems to return the same amount of results for both, so I suppose there might be a ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

“Any” or “some” in various questions?

I'm wondering why I always hear "some" in questions, although according to English grammar there should always be "any". At least the one I'm looking at uses "some". For example: Why are some ...
21
votes
2answers
123k views

Is there an apostrophe in a master's degree?

The question asks it all really. When referring to a master's degree, do you use an apostrophe or not? That is, is it "a master's" or "a masters"?
4
votes
5answers
455 views

'Am I interpreting' vs 'Do I interpret'?

Am I interpreting the results correctly? Do I interpret the results correctly? Do they have the same meaning? Are both or just one correct?
2
votes
6answers
1k views

Does the following sentence make any sense? [closed]

Is the following sentence grammatically correct and does it make any sense? "Humans made god to live in pieces and not peace." It was posted by some atheist in response to this quote: "God ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

How are embedded quotations used?

How would embedded quotations be used when quoting from passages/sources within an essay? What would be the difference between normal quotations and embedded quotations?
6
votes
0answers
257 views

Should “none” as a pronoun be used as singular or plural? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: None as plural indefinite pronoun I was programming when it suddenly struck me that I did not know if "none" should be singular or plural. Fore instance, should I write ...
16
votes
5answers
5k views

Are these garden path sentences grammatically correct?

Background A garden path sentence is one that is exceptionally hard for the reader to parse. English is especially prone to this because it is an analytical language and so many words can be many ...
6
votes
1answer
731 views

How do I take a partial quotation that ends with a question mark (but not within my quote)?

I am in the process of writing a paper on Shakespeare's Macbeth, and I want to take a quotation from the following passage: Which thou esteem'st the ornament of life And live a coward in thine ...
7
votes
8answers
458 views

Rewrite this grammatically troubling movie poster

On a Wiki-walk the other day, I stumbled across the movie poster for Devil. The tagline on the poster is: Five strangers trapped. One of them is not what they seem. The writer was obviously ...
6
votes
1answer
6k views

Is “pain” a noun or a verb?

For example, which of the following sentences is correct: My eyes are paining. There is a pain in my eyes.
4
votes
1answer
778 views

How to compare quantities and values?

Which is the correct way to compare two values or quantities? Apart from 'greater than', or 'lower than', could you say something like '1 is close to 2, but far from 9'?
24
votes
4answers
6k views

Plural of an initialism that ends with the letter S [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the correct way to pluralize an acronym? I was answering something on Super User and wrote OSes as part of my normal flow without really thinking about it. On a ...
7
votes
2answers
316 views

The all-powerful “to have”

"To have" seems to fill a lot of different needs in the English language, apart from its literal meaning of possessing something. It's an integral part of perfect and perfect progressive verb tenses: ...
7
votes
4answers
681 views

Why “present simple” and not “simple present”?

When reading grammar, I find the names of the tenses kind of weird to me; Present simple and not simple present past simple and not simple past present continuous and not continuous present etc ...
2
votes
2answers
17k views

Which is correct: “is it worth it?” or “does it worth it?” [on hold]

Which one should I prefer? Is it worth it? or Does it worth it? Additionally, is the following form (without it) correct? Is it worth?
0
votes
0answers
552 views

“I have” = “I've”. Is that always correct? [duplicate]

Duplicate: Is it appropriate to use short form of “have” ('ve) when it means possession? I feel uncomfortable saying sentences like the following: "I've a car" instead of ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Tending to misuse comma

I tend to misuse commas in large way. Whenever I draft a professional mail, I get engrossed in the points, and somewhere along the way I get the feeling that this sentence is too long. I then ...
3
votes
2answers
371 views

Can we say “Had Einstein used his spare time on something more useful for the society, …”

The complete sentence is : Had Einstein used his spare time on something more useful for the society, the improvement of our knowledge of the nature of the universe would have been greatly ...
14
votes
4answers
13k views

Should I use “ related” or “-related”

What is the correct use of the term "related?" For example, should I use it like computer related, or is it more proper to use computer-related (where the word "computer" is just part of my ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

What are the uses of ellipses in essays? [closed]

I’m wondering about how ellipses are used in essays. Are there any examples that I could see?
5
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the name of this system of proof correction marks?

I remember in English classes when my teacher had used this sort of system when correcting essays in the class. I never asked her about what it was and just complied and made the revisions to my ...
3
votes
6answers
2k views

How can I structure this sentence correctly?

A friend of mine announced her pregnancy via email. I wanted to tell her how pleased I was to hear she was going to have a baby, as this was something she'd wanted for a long time. I was about to say ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Is this correct : “the bigger a dream is, the harder is to achieve.”

I believe it's correct from a view of grammar, but is it clear?
4
votes
3answers
4k views

Isn't “behind your back” in front of you?

We've all heard the phrase that usually goes along the lines of "blah blah did something behind my back". I've always thought that from your back's point of view, anything behind you is in front of it ...