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
1k views

“A reality” vs “reality”

Which one is correct? help [something] become a reality or help [something] become reality What would be the reason to use / not to use the article?
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3answers
192 views

The other end of an “offer” [closed]

In replying to this email, sender: I believe you were interested in applying for a Moffat Scholarship Award (etc. etc.) my response: Thanks for your email and I appreciate the offer. But I'm ...
1
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2answers
199 views

Compound adverb — “kick-start a party soccer style”

I have asked this question in ELL site, but there were not much reply, and so I decided to ask the same question here. Though I will change the question a little bit to exactly what I need more and to ...
3
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2answers
7k views

which could have or which could have had?

I saw the following sentence from Time, and have been wondering whether 'which could have had an impact' is the correct choice rather than 'which could have an impact'. The first study did not ...
0
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0answers
24 views

doesn't has to /have to [duplicate]

Why do we use have instead of has with doesn't like in the following sentence: He doesn't have(not has) to go there. Please explain the grammatical reason behind it. Thanks
0
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1answer
206 views

The difference between these two sentences? [duplicate]

Would you mind arranging to travel with us Would you mind to arrange travelling with us
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1answer
69 views

“What could X do besides Y?” or “What could X do, besides Y?”

Example: But what can a tree do(,) besides turning carbon dioxide into oxygen? Should I place a comma there? Why or why not?
2
votes
1answer
167 views

judging the intended meaning of the two sentences below

james is max's supposedly Irish ancestor. james is max's supposed Irish ancestor. what can we interpret from these? which is the correct one? I understand that "supposedly" modifies the adjective "...
0
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2answers
490 views

English Article [duplicate]

I have come across a sentence where 'Niagara Falls' is used without an article. I seem to remember that there is a basic rule of the English language that there should be an article before any ...
-1
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1answer
114 views

Which is correct and why [closed]

You work (too hard/ too much hard). I have (quite a lot of free time/ quite free time).
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1answer
146 views

Another 'me' versus 'myself' usage question

I am quitting a job. I wrote a letter of resignation and have come upon the following sentence: "Moreover, I believe [name of restaurant] will be better suited to have an employee that is different ...
0
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2answers
137 views

What is the proper use of the word “state of the art”? [closed]

I am a bit confused with using the phrase state of the art. Is the following usage correct? My motivation relies on the fact, discussed above, that there is little global state of the art ...
2
votes
2answers
128 views

Why do we say “your letters” and not “the letters”?

So I was reading "A Game of Thrones" by George Martin and at one point one of the characters asked another: "Do you know your letters?" meaning "Can you read/write?". So I was wondering why does she ...
0
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1answer
51 views

How to determine which part attributes which in a complex context?

I'm not sure what the grammatical terms are called so please accept my apology if I explain it a bit unsophisticatedly (is that a word?). First, let's take a simple example. living room work ...
0
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1answer
166 views

How can I use a different sentence structure every so often

Instead of saying "you told me to call him when you are back" (note that here both 'you' is the same person ) can I say "you said that call him when I am back". In both can you also tell me that using ...
7
votes
2answers
253 views

why is the first sentence wrong out of the two given below?

*Her company is outperforming those of her competitors. *Her company is outperforming the companies of her competitors. The question is from a Manhattan GMAT book. It says there is lack of number ...
1
vote
1answer
126 views

why is the pronoun “it” wrong in the given sentence?

Although the term "supercomputer" may sound fanciful or exaggerated, it is simply an extremely fast mainframe that can execute trillions of calculations every second. What is the antecedent? Why is ...
6
votes
3answers
587 views

What does “not” modify?

The word "not" is an adverb. I am trying to clarify what it modifies. 1: Consider the sentence: "The person is not smart". Is "not" modifying "is" or "smart"? How can I tell? According to the ...
2
votes
1answer
264 views

Two verbal nouns with one/two prepositional phrases

I have a question on English style. Take the following sentence: Following the Candidate Shabbat, all participants are mailed an official letter of acceptance to or rejection from the program. ...
2
votes
1answer
156 views

Wherefore/whence the incorrect grammatical use of “code” (“a code was written”)?

I've noticed a seemingly increasing number of students now refer to the end result of programming to be "a code" rather than "a program", "a script", or even "some code". For example, taken from a ...
7
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1answer
5k views

Are “was/were able to” and “could” interchangeable?

In a grammar book, the claim was made that in the following sentences one cannot substitute "was/were able to" with "could." The fire spread through the building very quickly, but everyone was ...
0
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1answer
408 views

looking for appositive that-which phrases

I asked sentences having an appositive that-which phrase like the following sentence in English Language Learners. The insect propagates best near "disturbed land," that which is being cultivated ...
1
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3answers
368 views

Correct? “I have three new books, two bought from Amazon, and another one given by my sister” [closed]

"I have three new books, two bought from Amazon, and another one given by my sister". I was writing this sentence, but is not sure if it is correct grammarly. Is there a better way to say it? ...
3
votes
2answers
120 views

Is he “a hero” or “hero”?

Edward Snowden's leak of classified government documents has provoked mixed reactions: is Snowden hero or traitor, patriot or coward? So is hero here used as an adjective? If not why is there no ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Usage of “As …” in the beginning of a sentence, Any alternatives?

I use the following type of sentences a lot, because I do not know any alternatives: E.g. As my child grows over time, I become older. By which I mean that I my child is growing, and I am ...
0
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2answers
161 views

Enumeration of few objects

If I want to enumerate few indicators that were measured, how can I do that without using a word "indicators"? My friend suggested "Were measured: professional identity, professional motivation, ...
7
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7answers
4k views

How to say “You have this much work to do because you decided to do that much” more elegantly?

I want to try word this a bit more elegantly, fancy, etc. Basically that is a reply to a co-worker who said to me in an email saying "Too much work to do!" and I want to reply to that in an ...
0
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1answer
22k views

What's the difference between “someone” and “somebody”? [duplicate]

What is the difference between "someone is waiting for me" and "somebody is waiting for me?" Please make it clear for me.
0
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1answer
797 views

When i can use “Copy that”? [closed]

When i can to use copy that, just to response of "do you copy" ? tanks for your helps
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0answers
20 views

having problem with different dialogues of english movies [duplicate]

Can we use 3rd form of verb after subject? E.g: I seen it. Mostly I have seen this sentence in Hollywood movies like another example "I been with you"
3
votes
0answers
408 views

What is the point of prescriptive grammar? [closed]

There seems to be a distinction and even rift between descriptive and prescriptive grammar, though wikipedia points out that they can apparently "inform each other": Despite apparent opposition, ...
3
votes
1answer
253 views

Grammatical term for a noun phrase which consists of an alternate descriptor of the object

(EDIT: It's called a noun phrase, not a clause) I'm wondering what the correct term for this type of clause is, and what the appropriate punctuation is. For example: "I have lost my red hat, the ...
9
votes
3answers
51k views

First, Second, Third, and Finally

Is it grammatically correct to sequence paragraphs using First, Second, Third, and Finally? If not, is there a good word that replaces Finally? Starting a paragraph with Final doesn't sound correct. ...
-2
votes
1answer
153 views

Format of this sentence [closed]

(Thank you) (for something), (John). Or (Thank you) (John) (for something). The former sounds more suitable to be used in a normal conversation wheres the latter sounds more suitable to be ...
3
votes
2answers
174 views

Is “not having…full time” partial negation or complete negation?

I got a bit confused by this sentence: "I’ve got used to not having a man around full time." I am not sure if it is partial negation or complete negation. Does this mean: I've got used to ...
4
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2answers
23k views

The use of “who has” or “who have” in a sentence [duplicate]

Consider the following example: It is you who has taken the garbage out. It is you who have taken the garbage out. Does one use "has" or "have" in this sentence construction? Which of ...
0
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2answers
1k views

“sufferings” is plural though it is uncountable,but how?

We know that there is no plural form of the "uncountable noun," but, for example, we write: His sufferings force us to retain pity for him. Is it possible to make an uncountable noun plural? If ...
2
votes
1answer
252 views

which is better, that that or that [duplicate]

Which is better, "Bob knows that that is wrong" or "Bob knows that is wrong"? It seems to me that the first "that" is acting as the relation between Bob and the thing that is wrong, while the second "...
2
votes
2answers
88 views

The set of (the?) numbers of the form 2x+1

Which of the following sentences is grammatically correct? The set of the numbers of the form 2x+1 is infinite. The set of numbers of the form 2x+1 is infinite. That is, should I or shouldn't I ...
0
votes
1answer
189 views

Tenses in the clause “was about to do” [closed]

There are two verbs in the clause "was about to do", and I think I have established that "was" is an auxiliary verb, but I am unsure of what the verb "do" is. It is not a present participle, but I don'...
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votes
1answer
2k views

“I will call you back” instead of “I will call back you” Why? [duplicate]

Why "I will call you back" instead of "I will call back you"? Here "call back" is a phrasal verb, and "back" is a particle. Then why are we separating the particle? Is there any rule for it?
7
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3answers
12k views

What is the correct verb that follows “as well as?” [closed]

Which of the following sentences (1, 2, both, neither) is acceptable? He as well as they are in the wrong. He as well as they is in the wrong. Reopen note: Two things are troublesome about this. ...
7
votes
2answers
489 views

Name for when an adjective modifying a noun leaves the class of objects the noun describes

When adjectives modify nouns, usually they restrict the class of objects that the noun refers to. For example: Red car A red car is, in particular, an instance of a car. However, in specialty ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

Why “he is known to me” instead of “he is known by me”

Why do we say he is known to me instead of he is known by me? We know that the passive is formed by by. Then why is it not he is known by me? Actually I want to know the structure.
1
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1answer
1k views

“Without first having…” vs. “Without having to first…” [closed]

Which one of the following is better? Without first having... Without having to first... Is there a difference?
0
votes
0answers
29 views

Do you need to get “a” -or- “an” European ID [duplicate]

I'm writing the sentence: You need to get a (an) European ID. Everyone I've spoken to says "an European ID" sounds strange (we are Americans). What is the correct way to write this sentence?
5
votes
3answers
49k views

Is this correct: “Let me know once you finish”?

Please help me. Which of these is correct? Let me know once you finish Let me know when you finish Let me know when you have finished.
0
votes
1answer
136 views

would it be use to or used to? [duplicate]

Jasmine use to take piano lessons, but now she is learning to play the trombone. Jasmine used to take piano lessons, but now she is learning to play the trombone
4
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2answers
652 views

What evidence is there that 'to' belongs to any particular part of speech?

Reopen note: There is a quite finite and modest amount of evidence in the literature about this issue, which members can record here as they see fit. Less than there is for example about what a noun ...
4
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0answers
312 views

Are there nouns that embody adjectives+verbs? (Not asking about attributive nouns) [closed]

I'm not sure if there's a better way for me to word my question. I've sorted through "noun" + "adjective" search results here on SE, but found nothing approximating what I'm after. I'm trying to ...