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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3
votes
1answer
669 views

Old-fashioned use of “because”

In books written in the nineteenth century, you can come across sentences like this (quoting from Ambrose Bierce's The Devil's Dictionary): A Pilgrim Father was one who, leaving Europe in 1620 ...
3
votes
2answers
563 views

“Why wouldn't they process?”

Today I was talking to one of my friends who couldn't process her application. So she told me the following: I just don't understand. Why wouldn't they process my application? I was only 5 minutes ...
9
votes
3answers
600 views

The use of “therefor” in my High School Diploma

I just received my High School Diploma and want to make sure the following sentence is grammatically correct. The diploma contains the following line: "This certifies that [Name] has satisfactorily ...
2
votes
2answers
685 views

Using modal verb 'could' for simple past

If I form a sentence like: I could read the book if I hadn't wasted my time. Would it be considered a past perfect sentence with the part I could read the book being in simple past for context ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

Can “should be” be used for past possibility?

I was reading the following report on the NY Times, and came across the following: The goal has to be to shut down all of the program that gives Iran the capability to build a bomb. The United ...
2
votes
1answer
410 views

Are general questions formed in plural or in singular?

When asking a general question about something in English, should they be formed in plural or in singular? Or rather what is a good way of forming it? How are articles used in English? Or ...
-1
votes
1answer
646 views

Rule for present perfect continuous

Consider the following sentence: Have you been watering the plants? Is the above sentence grammatically correct? Or should it be something like: Have you been watering the plants for 5 minutes? ...
1
vote
2answers
166 views

Is this headline as redundant as it seems?

Drunk driver found hiding after hit-and-run Is it necessary to write "found hiding"? It seems like the only time you can find something is when it is hidden or missing. Is this statement ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Future Perfect with the preposition 'since'

I have a question regarding the future perfect tense and which prepositions go with it. Understandably, by, for, and in work very well with the future perfect. By friday, I will have been working ...
0
votes
4answers
11k views

I lived vs I used to live

I cannot see any difference between these two sentences. I assume both express the same but what is the difference? I thought that "used to" is used to describe an action that was happening in the ...
-3
votes
1answer
267 views

“How did you sorted among such large number of t-shirts?” Correct or not? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Question about interrogations in past tense I asked this question to a friend of mine and he said that you can't use "sorted" with "did". Is he correct? If yes, what is ...
2
votes
1answer
581 views

I'm having so much fun watching

I'm trying to analyze the construction of this sentence: I'm having so much fun watching. so much fun = NP, Direct Object of the verb am having watching = My question is, is #2 an NP (and ...
2
votes
3answers
309 views

Referencing problem with the word “which”

I have written the following sentence: I had taken Course A at School A that is similar to Course B in School B, which appears to be more difficult to get through its prerequisite. In case ...
1
vote
1answer
528 views

“30 year” vs. “30 years” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Pluralization rule for “five-year-old children”, “20 pound note”, “10 mile run” Reading a report online, I read something like this. ...
4
votes
3answers
480 views

passive voice for quit

What will be the passive voice for - "she quits her teaching job in school".I have come up with -"the teaching job in school is quit by her".But somehow its not sounding correct.Is it fine?
0
votes
1answer
2k views

Should it be 'Is there are' or 'are there'?

I am confused between 'Is there are' and 'are there' which one of them is correct? For example 'Is there are/are there any time before 1 o'clock?' Thank you.
0
votes
1answer
196 views

Word order again?

I have been thinking about word order and its meaning, thus when we have for instance: Planet of the apes or Apes planet Proposal for extra work or Extra work proposal Which is the more ...
5
votes
4answers
10k views

You didn't miss me, right? (possible answer with correct use of English)

A) No, I didn't miss you. B) Yes, I didn't miss you. C) No, I did miss you. D) Yes, I did miss you. According to my common sense perfect answers can be C) and B) only, and reason behind it is- ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

“whether it be a Tuesday or not”?

There is a claim at this link to another stackexchange question that the usual form is "On rare occasions, whether it be a Tuesday or no, I will go to the supermarket." as opposed to "whether it be a ...
1
vote
3answers
11k views

In which type of situations we can use “I Were”?

In some situations, we can use "were" with "I" although its grammatically wrong. But somehow it's being used many times, I don't know the situations any idea guys??
1
vote
3answers
10k views

When we entered, he had been there

So I heard this sentence and also few contradictions about that. Does it mean that when they entered, he was already gone because he had there been before them? Or he just was there before them and ...
0
votes
1answer
107 views

What is the meaning of “does is”?

I have read this sentence and can not get "does is" meaning. Which type of grammar is it? Couchsurfing is a fairly new website, and what it does is it allows travelers from different parts of ...
1
vote
3answers
575 views

present or past participles?

I am very confused of the grammars behind the phrases or words like problem finding, problem solving and pain killing. I feel that rather than present participle, past participles should be used ...
1
vote
4answers
638 views

'Would' for past events

For the sentence, He said he would buy a new car. Does adding 'He said' in front make it sound like an event that happened in past? For example, if I write He would buy a new car then that ...
5
votes
4answers
198 views

Can I separate events with period to form past perfect?

Can I say the following? The doorbell rang. He had finished his meal. I know I could join the sentences into one sentence to get the same meaning. I want to know if this would be correct if I ...
4
votes
5answers
3k views

If he is still alive today, he…

Suppose Jeff was born on 1/1/1982. He went missing a long time ago. At the present time, he could be either dead or alive, but nobody knows for sure: 1 "If Jeff is still alive today, he is 30 years ...
1
vote
1answer
386 views

How the infinitive is used? [closed]

Here ,I have some question in which how to use infinitive and rewrite them: 1)Let us pray. 2)I heard her sing. 3)Men must work and women must weep. Can any one say about it?
-1
votes
2answers
2k views

In Moderation, In Revision

1 The forum comments are under moderation. 2 The forum comments are in moderation. 3 The book is in revision. 4 The book is under revision. Could 1 & 2 be the same? Could 3 & 4 be the same ...
0
votes
1answer
292 views

Grammar correctness of “could” sentence

I would like to know whether the following is correct: Someone is knocking on your door. Who could it be? As far as I know, modal verbs do not change its form in reported speech: He ...
0
votes
2answers
5k views

Entertaining multiple goals (makes / make) a person’s life stressful?

As per the following grammar rule, the singular "make" should be used but it shows "makes" in the answer. This is a little bit confusing. Rule: When acting as subjects of a sentence, gerunds and ...
5
votes
4answers
14k views

“again” in “Today is the oldest you've ever been and the youngest you'll ever be again.”

Saw this sentence today. It has two variations, one ends with again and one without it. While the again does have a nice ring to it, I kind of feel that it makes no grammatical/semantic sense for it ...
5
votes
0answers
166 views

Why is “won't” allowed? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is “won't” a contraction of? Why is it that we have "won't"? It makes no sense to me as there's no intuitive combination of two words such as ...
1
vote
1answer
3k views

“Than I” or “Than Myself” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: I can run faster than _. (1) him (2) he? Which is grammatically correct? My friends seem to be having more fun than I, Me, Myself, and Them Also, Good people ...
1
vote
3answers
22k views

What do brackets in a quote mean? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the proper use of [square brackets] in quotes? What do brackets around a word or words in a quote mean? This may seem silly, but I've never figured this out. ...
1
vote
1answer
791 views

Unreal vs real time in that example

I have following sentences : She looks as if she is ill. //she really looks ill She looks as if she was ill //she definitely is not, I am being ironic or whatever And when I shift these into ...
0
votes
2answers
557 views

Destroy or Destroys [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is a company always plural, or are small companies singular? I came across a mocked up newspaper article earlier and there was a discussion about whether the following ...
1
vote
2answers
6k views

Why “he knows it” and not “he know it”

Why is it I know it and They know it but He knows it? But then I knew it, They knew it and He knew it?
4
votes
2answers
329 views

Is 'why wait?' a correct usage?

I need to write a short tag line for an ad. 'Why do you have to wait?' is too long. instead can we use 'why wait?'
2
votes
2answers
985 views

Is “which [noun] …” correct? [duplicate]

I came across this literature recently: An Owner may apply for a Change of Name of a registered Greyhound by submitting to the GBGB the appropriate form duly completed, which form shall include ...
0
votes
4answers
948 views

Can itself be used for a group of people?

Reading the following in Harry Potter 1 made me think if it was okay to use itself for more than one person. One morning in mid-December, Hogwarts woke to find itself covered in several feet of ...
2
votes
2answers
4k views

“I have to” vs. “I must”

When would you use the following? I have to go the market. I must go to the market. I need to go to the market. If I replace 'have' with 'had' would you have any other way to say it? E.g. I had to ...
0
votes
2answers
130 views

“See less events” or “see fewer events” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “Less” vs. “fewer” I'm placing a button on a website and need to know which is the proper way to write this out: see less events or see fewer ...
2
votes
3answers
5k views

Use of “make someone able to XXX”

I have some doubts about the construction of this sentence: I want to make you able to play. In my language this is a common construction. Is it a valid sentence in English too? This is the ...
3
votes
3answers
270 views

Can one suppress the pronoun “one” in a list?

On another site it sometimes happens that I give answers like: The first formula is correct but not the second one. This is probably grammatical, but I find the formulation a bit clumsy, ...
0
votes
0answers
64 views

How can I answer back? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How to answer a negative question without ambiguity? If someone ask you this question "Don't you have exam? " how can I answer back using only (Yes and No). that's ...
2
votes
2answers
509 views

Past perfect events timeline

In the following example: He had walked away when she looked at him. If it is correct then which event came first? "She looked at him" should come first before "He had walked away" but here to me, ...
2
votes
3answers
767 views

Noun or non-finite subordinate clause?

Consider the following sentence: The government wants to encourage understanding of science. Now, "to encourage understanding of science" is a non-finite subordinate clause functioning as an ...
16
votes
2answers
104k views

“As a side note” vs. “on a side note”

What is the difference between "as a side note" and "on a side note"? Are they interchangeable? Which one is preferred over the other?
6
votes
4answers
924 views

Pluralization of Germanisms

The German noun "Ansatz" is widely used (at least) in physics and, less frequently, in math texts in English. I have seen it always in singular though and now I must use its (English) plural. The ...
15
votes
4answers
3k views

Is “very crucial” redundant?

This came up as a multiple-choice question in an exam. Is using "very crucial" redundant?. . . or tautology?