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

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442 views

Is “Actor Peter Fonda found dead body inside car” correct?

"Actor Peter Fonda found dead body inside car" - that's the title that Yahoo first chose for its news article confusing so many people Is this kind of title correct? (They just changed to "Police: ...
3
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2answers
1k views

Is this correct: “.. get us one of them thousand foot perimeters.”

In a recent Daily Show episode, Jon Stewart said this (position: 00:40 in video): Can the rest of us get us one of them thousand-foot gun-free perimeters? I am not a native speaker, so I am ...
2
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1answer
305 views

Where is the modifier in “the majority of senators”, “a number of students”, “the range of documents”?

Where is the modifier in "the majority of senators", "a number of students" and in "a range of documents" in these sentences: The majority of senators will be fired tomorrow. A number of students ...
10
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1answer
2k views

How do I determine subject and subject complement in “A side-effect is the spread of commercialese to other domains.”?

Consider this example: Commercialese is an instrument of art, designed to enrich and invigorate our language—surely you will all agree with this—, and we should encourage newcomers to learn ...
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3answers
9k views

“I am hungry/hunger of/for knowledge”

I am not sure which one is the correct one: A: I am hungry of knowledge. B: I hunger of knowledge. C: I am hungry for knowledge. D: I hunger for knowledge. But my feeling says that A and ...
11
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4answers
2k views

May, might confusion

When should I use each of the following: This may help. This might help. I always get confused about the use of may and might.
2
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3answers
2k views

Can ‘although’ be used in this way?

We still haven't got a sponsor although the fact that we've written to dozens of companies. What's wrong with ‘although’ in the sentence above?
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7answers
104k views

Which is correct: “drive safe” or “drive safely”?

Which one is correct? Similarly, is "do good" correct?
0
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2answers
106 views

What are the reasons that its decision to open itself automatically or not is based on?

Is the following phrase grammatically right? "When Twitter shows a notification, what are the reasons that its decision to open itself automatically or not is based on?" This question is probably ...
14
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1answer
1k views

Did the English language ever have noun genders?

And if so, how did they differentiate between male, female or neuter nouns? Did English ever have gender-specific (in)definite articles? (like der/die/das in German)
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1answer
1k views

Two adjectives for two nouns

I saw this on a billboard recently We have new and pre-owned cars and trucks Clearly the intention is to modify "cars and trucks" with the two adjectives "used and preowned" and although the ...
2
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3answers
2k views

“Adapt himself to being/be free”

A sentence from my reference book is He can't adapt himself to being free again. Why is being used instead of be? Isn't verb form and not verb + ing form used after to?
2
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1answer
223 views

Choice of an agent to give an active voice - me or the computer program

Background I am writing a scientific article that describes a computer program. Although it is common in the field to use a passive voice, it is also acceptable, and my preference, to diversify the ...
2
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1answer
581 views

What is “however” in this sentence referring to?

No definite mass is identified. However, for further evaluation of this patient given his symptoms, an MRI is recommended. In the above sentence, does the "however" refer back to looking for a ...
1
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1answer
832 views

“Recommend someone to represent…” vs. “recommend someone represent…”

Looking at the sentence below I have a feeling it is wrong, though I can't explain why: I highly recommend Dave to represent you in Korea with your software. I have thus rephrased it to the ...
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2answers
779 views

About the use of the definite article “the” before a word starting with capital letters

I am writing a scientific paper. I have made several assumptions which are properly ordered. When I cite them, shall I use, i.e., "... by the Assumption 1,..." or simply "... by Assumption 1,..."?
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0answers
182 views

When can you leave off 'that' in a sentence? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Use of “that” in a sentence Some times I find myself leaving out the 'that' that binds two parts of a sentence together, because it reads 'smoother'. Here's ...
2
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2answers
158 views

Usage of “the” for possible future objects

I am writing a software user manual so the topic is about possible situations which its users may come across. Here is an example sentence below: Enter the window ID which contains an image.
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2answers
805 views

What do you call “that” or “where”?

For words that sit as placeholders for other words (and introduce subordinate clauses), is there a name? For example, The quick brown fox that jumped over the lazy dog. The man who killed ...
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2answers
515 views

In a conditional sentence where the condition contains a list, which serial punctuation mark is used in the list?

For example, If Bobby buys a pencil, an eraser, and a pad of paper, then he can write his essay. To remove the ambiguity in the final comma, my instinct is to write: If Bobby buys a pencil, ...
15
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2answers
12k views

Can “due to” and “because of ” be used interchangeably?

Is it fine to use due to in place of because of ? How about the other way around? Are any of these sentences ungrammatical? He was lost because of the storm. He was lost due to the storm. He lost ...
0
votes
4answers
763 views

What's the meaning of “he walked away a free man”?

I am reading a grammar book. There is an example sentence I can't understand. There is a special pattern where a complement occurs with an action verb, not a linking verb. The related example ...
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2answers
36k views

When to use “is” and “was” for thing that has happened?

I've found some sentences that seem odd for me such as, "She is married" instead of "She was married" or "This transaction is approved" instead of "This transaction was approved" I want to know which ...
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1answer
186 views

Punctuating and constructing a confusing list

I need to write a list that I cannot find a great parallel construction for because certain items in the list use "of" and one uses "to". The sentence as originally written: Ratification, ...
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4answers
737 views

Statement of fact: future simple

Why is the simple future used in the following sentence instead of the simple present? A client software will not transfer files.
3
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1answer
150 views

Which verb form for helper in question?

I encountered the question, "Which trait does a savings account and a checking account have in common?" I suggested that it should read, "Which trait do a savings account and checking account have in ...
56
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3answers
161k views

What is the difference between “till” and “until”?

What is the difference between till and until? When to use till or until? Please explain with examples.
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2answers
2k views

Capitalization After Colon

Should the first word after a colon be capitalized? "For example: This." OR "For example: this."
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1answer
368 views

Can “a person” be considered a collective noun

If used in the sentence: "Once a person has become X their psychological state becomes Y." does the "a person" count as a class and thus make the use of the plural "their" correct?
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3answers
2k views

Choosing a section title for scientific papers: “How it works” or “How does it work?”

I am writing a scientific paper and confused with choosing the correct form to use as the section title. Which one is the correct one? How it works or How does it work?
7
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4answers
833 views

What is the accepted stance on using “they” in a singular form? [duplicate]

Is it good English to say "They have just left", when talking about a single person (perhaps someone you don't know the gender of)? (I am a native English speaker, I'm looking for the view held by ...
3
votes
1answer
539 views

What is “depth grammar”?

I remember learning about it (ha) in linguistics class at uni, but then I went to the pub. I remember the idea was interesting. It had something to do with the undiscovered rules of language that we ...
4
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1answer
862 views

Why can we not use the pattern “If S will V, S will V”?

In English grammar, the following pattern is regarded as a wrong pattern. My parents will send me to a mental hospital if I will kill someone.
5
votes
2answers
913 views

Could “are he” be correct?

I was just trying to formulate a sentence in an email, and wanted to reference a third person, inquiring as to which of something that person was referring in the forwarded mail message. Is it: ...
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1answer
462 views

“… help you get oriented for …” or “… help get you oriented for …”?

We will look at just a few key things to help get you oriented for the recipes discussed in this chapter. or We will look at just a few key things to help you get oriented for the recipes ...
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4answers
1k views

What's the best way to find the subject in a sentence?

What's the best way to find the subject in a sentence? How do you define a subject? I am especially curious about such cases, in which the subject seems to be represented by more than one word: The ...
6
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2answers
7k views

Why is 'an' used with 'an honour'?

Why is 'an' used with 'an honour'? Isn't 'an' limited to the vowels?
7
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1answer
204 views

What is the name of words like 'bottle' or 'clove' that provide a singular for a counted item?

Title pretty much askes the question. What is the term for words like 'bottle', 'cup' or 'clove' (as in clove of garlic). Are they counters, countables, determiners...? I swear it's on the tip of ...
5
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1answer
5k views

Adjectival step by step

When used as an adjective, is it step by step or step-by-step? Example, Thank you for this step by step guide. or Thank you for this step-by-step guide.
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2answers
3k views

Have grammar rules changed through the history of the English language?

When I want to know what form a word has say in 12th century (end Old English, begin Middle English), 14th century (end Middle English), or any other time in England history, I only need to track the ...
8
votes
2answers
511 views

How did 'mad' come to be a determiner?

There's a group of words — I think they're called determiners — used to indicate number in some way... like many, few, most, etc. During a linguistics class my professor said this was a closed group ...
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6answers
4k views

“Bob and us” or “Bob and we” or “Bob and ourselves”?

In the singular, it is quite clear that one uses "I" when referring to a third party and oneself, as in: Bob and I are going to build an aircraft. However, in the plural, it is a lot less clear. ...
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4answers
7k views

Does “whereabouts” function as a singular or plural noun?

His whereabouts is unknown vs His whereabouts are unknown Which is correct, or is this simply a matter of preference?
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3answers
421 views

BBC: “Man convicted of murdering his girlfriend and their 10-month-old daughter at Winchester Crown Court”

What do you make of the following BBC News headline: Man convicted of murdering his girlfriend and their 10-month-old daughter at Winchester Crown Court Is it just me, or does this read as if ...
7
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4answers
6k views

Emend and Amend- What's the difference? They both have the same definition

What's the difference between the words emend and amend? They both have the same definition.
4
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2answers
1k views

Which punctuation for definition

I have the following sentence: To this end, I first devised a novel algorithm to enumerate all possible partitions; ways of dividing a network into meaningful parts. I was told that the ...
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2answers
377 views

Potential future events

Does the following correctly express potential consequences of meeting someone? A chance encounter is a great idea. However, in this case, chances would be very slim to meet her this way. Even ...
8
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3answers
642 views

The ambitious/arrogant tone of “I”

I don't understand why but I feel arrogant or ambitious when I use a simple sentence in active voice using "I" especially while I was writing my college essay or curriculum vitae e.g. "I managed a ...
7
votes
1answer
5k views

When to use “to” and when “for”?

Examples: It is important to me. It will be good for you. This sounds stupid to me. I'll make it comfortable for you. I'll make it available to you. Any rules here, dear native ...
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10answers
11k views

What does “it” refer to in “it's raining”?

I wanted to leave the question title as is so as not to take away from my amusement :). Anyway, It's raining. What is raining? Is it the sky? The clouds? The weather? The rain? What is "it"? ...