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

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4answers
16k views

Is there a better way to say: “My question is, is…” (e.g. “The question is, is it the right time”)

It feels a little weird for me (or should I say to me?) to say: So my question is, is having two 'Is' correct? And also this seems to me incorrect grammatically: So my question is, is ...
3
votes
2answers
637 views

Verb form of “spontaneous human combustion”

In English there are plenty of examples of noun-verbs. What are the rules for making more complex compound noun structures into transitive verbs? In particular I would like explanations involving the ...
2
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4answers
2k views

What is the grammatical function of the word ‘ever’ in this example?

What is the grammatical function of the word ever in this example? Police found the country's biggest ever drugs plantation.
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2answers
93 views

About the pronoun “one”

and the choice of what to include and what not to include was necessarily a personal one Could it be said: "...was necessarily personal"? Which is the "one" to substitute, "choice"?
2
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3answers
6k views

“If I was really ugly” versus “if I were really ugly” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “If I was” or “If I were”. Which is more common, and which is correct? I tweeted a little earlier today: I mean, if I was really ugly they ...
9
votes
1answer
686 views

When can a noun be used attributively?

Nouns can modify nouns: cat food, coffee cup, gold ring, laser surgery, flood insurance. It seems to me there are even cases where a noun sounds better than the corresponding adjective: sociology ...
0
votes
3answers
966 views

Is this a correct sentence?

Either a dryer hook-up kit or power cord and separate vent kit are required. Basically means either a) dryer hook-up kit b) power cord and separate vent kit are required. The sentence ...
0
votes
3answers
373 views

Can this sentence be switched around like this?

I kept studying to the point that I became dizzy. Can that be switched around to become this and still be grammatically correct? To the point that I became dizzy I kept studying. Is ...
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5answers
1k views

“because” after “since”

Can "because" come after "since?" Here's an example sentence. I don't like when you do that, because since it makes you look weird, it also makes me look weird when I'm with you. Is there ...
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6answers
4k views

Is this grammatically correct? “Thinking of you and I”

http://vaadin.com/ makes a tool for User Interfaces (UI). Their tag line is “Thinking of U and I.” A play on words, I suppose, for UI, and “you and I.” It bothers me, though, because I think both ...
1
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5answers
760 views

“Little by little I began to have increasing doubts” [closed]

Is the sentence Little by little I began to have increasing doubts grammatically correct? One reason I think it might not be is that if I google little by little I began to have increasing I ...
2
votes
1answer
367 views

Is “East or west India is the best” grammatically correct?

In India there is a popular slogan: East or west India is the best. Is this slogan grammatically correct? I know directions have the before them. The east or the west India is the best. ...
4
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3answers
289 views

Help with verbs: “is” or “are”?

Making adult decisions are/is really not fun. What is the proper answer and why? My gut says "is" but I can't explain why.
3
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3answers
1k views

Is “I am still taking fun of it” correct usage?

Is I am still taking fun of it correct usage? I want to mean that it is still funny to me.
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2answers
1k views

The grammatical strangeness of “done me wrong” and “did me service”

Why are "done me wrong" and "did me service" established phrases instead of the more standard "He wronged me" and "He serviced [helped] me"? EDIT: I just realized whatever connection I saw with ...
5
votes
2answers
6k views

“understand” or “understood”?

When I explain something to my friend and I want to make sure they got what I said, what should I say? "Do you understand?" "Did you understand?" "Have you understood?" etc.
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5answers
4k views

Is “I lost my bus” correct usage?

Is it correct to say, "I lost my bus," when you miss a bus? I have seen it commonly used.
5
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4answers
6k views

What is an “infinitive”?

I've heard that a verb usually follows the 'infinitive' but how does one define an 'infinitive'?
3
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4answers
9k views

“I am working” or “I have worked almost two months at this project”?

Which one is correct? "I am working almost two months at this project" or "I have worked almost two months at this project" I want to give this meaning: I'm still working on it.
5
votes
3answers
201 views

Parenthetical double negation?

Is this a double negation? Is it still grammatically correct? If not, what is a better form? He cannot go outside (legally, not physically), because he is under house arrest. The meaning is that ...
6
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2answers
19k views

“has been” vs “have been”

I am answering an online English grammar test and encountered the following question Where was Jack yesterday? —I don't know. He ________ seeing the doctor. My answer is: might has been Correct ...
1
vote
0answers
273 views

Should one use 'a' or 'an' when the following word is in parentheses? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “a/an” preceding a parenthetical statement This question is a little hard to summarize in the title. I sometimes like to use parentheses to add additional ...
3
votes
2answers
4k views

What is the grammatical function of 'that' in this sentence?

Scenario: 'Are you stressed by his threat?' Answer: 'I'm not that concerned.' What is the grammatical function of 'that' in this sentence?
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1answer
2k views

Why can't I say “I have a brown hair”?

Why can't I say, "I have a brown hair," to describe the colour of my hair?
2
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1answer
3k views

“It's too late for me to do that now.”

Is this sentence OK? Is the "now" at the end of the sentence redundant?
2
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2answers
168 views

“grew warmer” vs. “became warmer”

Can "grew warmer" be used as a replacement for "became warmer" anywhere? I've started to think of the phrase "grew warmer" and it seems kind of strange. Things can become warm, but it sounds strange ...
15
votes
6answers
2k views

Do serious grammarians endorse the “Can I”/“May I” distinction?

Just now, I wanted to ask a question that was something like, "Can I get a thorough list of all the parts of speech that a sentence can be broken down into?" But then a nagging voice appeared in my ...
10
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3answers
1k views

Do people in Miami really talk like they do in the television series “Dexter”?

as I'm far from being good English speaker, I use to watch series to improve my skills. I'm fan of various genres, from Star Trek to How I Met Your Mother and I can say until now, I felt "aligned" ...
2
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2answers
462 views

Is “is” an auxiliary verb?

John is working now. Is the verb 'is' in this example an auxiliary verb?
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8answers
1k views

Why do we say “Japan earthquake” and not “Japanese earthquake”?

Isn’t earthquake a noun and the preceding word an adjective? Isn’t “Japanese” the adjectival form of “Japan”?
0
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2answers
92 views

Should I say this forum is a free 'voting discussion' or 'voted discussion' site?

I'm building a forum where people can ask questions and get replies. Those questions and replies can get votes but no one can be targeted as best answer. What's the right way of saying that? This ...
2
votes
3answers
788 views

Valid or not: “Treat others with the same respect you’d want them to treat you”?

Is this valid? Treat others with the same respect you’d want them to treat you. I'd normally phrase this as: Treat others with the same respect you'd want them to treat you with. Or, ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Should “that” and “the” be used in these situations?

I'm always uncertain whether or not I should use "the" and "that" in the following cases: There is no guarantee (that) measurement values are the cause of . . . and Which will lead to (the) ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Can adjectives always be used as nouns when they denote a plural and are preceded by the definite article?

An adjective appears to be used as a noun when denoting an animate plural and preceded by the definite article: 'The successful are those who strive.' 'The foolish are those who ...
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0answers
143 views

What does 'it' refer to in this example? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: It's raining. What is? 'It is raining.' What does 'it' refer to? I know some people might say 'the weather' but you wouldn't say: 'The weather is raining.' But ...
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1answer
1k views

Simple present used to describe past events as a list of actions?

In relation to you not meeting me at the train station yesterday: 'I wake up early, travel all that way, wait for you in the rain, and you don't meet me!' Is this not the simple present being used ...
11
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2answers
2k views

How should lists of questions be punctuated?

If one wishes to pose a series of questions in the form of a list, how would one go about punctuating that list? For example: I write to a colleague asking for an update on a project he is working ...
1
vote
2answers
609 views

Do I need to use comparative degree?

Maybe it's a little long story. Maybe it's a little longer story.
4
votes
2answers
758 views

Can I drop the second “having” in this sentence?

Can I drop the second having in this sentence? : So, having looked through your posts and having read all the materials that you referred me to, I came to the conclusion...
2
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4answers
3k views

Is the following sentence grammatically correct? It doesn't sound right [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: “A total of 10 babies is sleeping.” v.s. “A total of 10 babies are sleeping.” v.s. “Ten babies in total are sleeping.” Is “a total ...
3
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10answers
1k views

Is this grammatical construction an imperative for the third person?

Is the construction 'Let + subject + verb' considered as an order/imperative for the third person: Let every man count his days when it is intended to mean 'must'/'is ordered to'?
2
votes
1answer
543 views

Using “it's” vs. using “it is” at the end of a sentence [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is there some rule against ending a sentence with the contraction “it's”? Why is it that the following sounds incorrect: "Would she know where it's?" ...
15
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6answers
1k views

What are the principles that make certain lists sound euphonious?

Has this ever happened to you: You write a question, include a list or two in the discussion, and then come back to edit that list because the order doesn't sound "right"? Off the top of my head, I ...
5
votes
1answer
457 views

What is the possessive for several names?

If Alice and Bob each has a house, are these "Alice and Bob's houses" or "Alice's and Bob's houses"? Does that change anything if each of the houses belongs to both of them?
1
vote
2answers
136 views

Does the verb 'skid' take an object?

Does the verb “skid” take an object? So is it OK to say: He skidded his car on the road.
0
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2answers
2k views

“All Things Is/Are Ephemeral”

All Things Is/Are Ephemeral I know that are is meant to be the verb connecting the two fragments together, but why...? (Gut instinct)
0
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2answers
182 views

How should I construct “the who”?

In correspondence this morning, I found myself using a very verbal construction: Your Recommendation is entirely up to you in terms of the who and why. With due respect to the he:him::who:whom ...
1
vote
2answers
719 views

What does “an adverb tells us something about the sentence” mean?

Wikipedia states : In grammar an adverbial is a word (an adverb) or a group of words (an adverbial phrase or an adverbial clause) that modifies or tells us something about the sentence or the ...
0
votes
0answers
330 views

Recommendation for English Grammar books? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What are some of the better English reference grammars? I grew up in a non-English speaking country. During my elementary and middle school years, I self-studied the ...
3
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2answers
16k views

Usage of “When doing something”

How to understand the usage of "when/while doing something" in grammar? For example, I am watching TV, when sitting in my sofa. I think "when" and "while" can never be used as prep.. They are ...