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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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
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3answers
589 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
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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
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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
409 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
370 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
165 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
803 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
0
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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
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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. ...
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votes
1answer
155 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
votes
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
votes
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
254 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
votes
2answers
653 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
votes
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 ...
0
votes
1answer
409 views

Position of only in a sentence and meaning? [duplicate]

OK, so I fall down on this one sometimes, but here goes, what sentence means which? from my geography paragraph; Only East Anglia was voted the most coastal part in the North London commuter belt. ...
2
votes
2answers
642 views

Is the term “very average” correct?

In general does the phrase "[adverb] average" follow the rules of proper English? For example I asked of the water level of a forest and someone replied that it was "very average for this time of year"...
4
votes
2answers
441 views

“Give him a box that everyone knows what it contains.”

"Give him a box that everyone knows what it contains." Is this correct English? It sounds wrong to me.
1
vote
1answer
105 views

Outward vs Out-swing door

I am curious what the proper use of language is when your talking about doors. Should a door that swings out be called "Out-swing door" or "Outward swing door"? I'm not sure if there is a proper use ...
1
vote
1answer
365 views

Is it grammatical to say “I saw her dropping the ticket” as opposed to “I saw her drop the ticket”? [duplicate]

What is the difference between using the past tense and the present participle, since both sentences indicate the speaker witnessed the action of the ticket being dropped?
0
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2answers
89 views

Is it right to say “to help learning”?

I am comparing two products and want to say: Inter-comparisons of FGH products with other products at the global scale help to learning the regions where they agree or differ I wonder if help to ...
1
vote
1answer
612 views

will have + past participle

In the following two sentences “Your will have heard the news, so I need not repeat it.” “They will have received our letter now. ” , how to understand the "will have + past participle"? Is it future ...
1
vote
2answers
399 views

The clock (has kept/kept) precise time for over forty years? [closed]

The correct answer is "kept" but I don't understand why because shouldn't "over forty years" make it past progressive? This is from an ACT practice test. The passage talks about a guy making the ...
1
vote
1answer
149 views

What do you call this (these) writing “fallacies”

I just read this answer on Chinses.Stackexchange, and I see some obvious logical "leaps of faith" that I would like to know their most accurate and concise labels. Many thought it is difficult to ...
1
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2answers
252 views

Using a comma this way

I am reading "The Reader Over Your Shoulder" by Robert Graves (author of I, Claudius), which is a clarity\grace guide for written English. He has a section about punctuation, which gives examples of ...
4
votes
2answers
225 views

In Spanish 'Ocho' means 'eight', or 'Ocho' means 'eight' in English?

I only picked the number eight to shorten the title, but this question is for any scenario where you are explaining to someone what something means in another language. I've heard this said both ways,...
1
vote
1answer
173 views

Yet another question about the pronunciation of the letter i

First, let's not talk about the long i (as in the name of the letter) or the short i (as in 'incorrect') pronunciations. This question is about the third and usually not talked about pronunciation - ...
3
votes
3answers
245 views

subject - verb - ? and parsing

Compare these 2 sentences: The capital of Belgium is Brussels. Brussels is the capital of Belgium. I have a few questions: What is the grammatical name of the non-subject, non-verb part in the ...
0
votes
1answer
502 views

Only requires or requires only [duplicate]

I am always unsure about the position of "only" in the sentence. For example: This ticket only costs 5 dollars. This ticket costs only 5 dollars. Are there any difference? Which one is ...
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votes
1answer
94 views

What to use : “that” or “who”? [duplicate]

Consider this sentence : "I was going down the hill and on my step down I saw a guy who appeared to be disguised". "I was going down the hill and on my step down I saw a guy that appeared to be ...
0
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0answers
22 views

How to ask this as question [duplicate]

I am wondering how to turn the following into a question "Narendra Modi is the 18th Prime Minister of India" How to ask this as question, so that answer will be 18th I have tried searching ...