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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4
votes
3answers
634 views

“Created them flawless/flawlessly”

Which is correct? He created them flawless. He created them flawlessly. If flawlessly is correct, what is it an adverb of?
1
vote
1answer
213 views

Is it okay to use Present Perfect Tense right after “to see how”?

Is it okay to use Present Perfect Tense right after "to see how"? For example, It is both sad and funny to see how these guys have never really got to the core of the matter.
25
votes
5answers
45k views

Is “either” only used with two options?

Does “either . . . or” apply to only two options? For example, can I say, “It can provide either 100, 150, or 400 amps of power”? Or should it just be “It can provide 100, 150, or 400 amps of ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Singular or plural: “The figure(s) in the center and on the right show that…”

In a paper I'm writing, there are three figures: one on the left, one in the center and one on the right. I want to say something about the one in the center and the one on the right. Should I use the ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Omitting “is”, like in “I think it strange”

What is the grammar behind the construction "I think it strange/necessary that ...", and when can and cannot this apparent omission of the copula be used? Do we always need the "that" clause? Also, ...
4
votes
5answers
2k views

Is “since I'm” now an acceptable alternative to “since I was”?

In a recent episode of the television show Entourage, Ari Gold (a 40 year old man) says: I've known her since I'm 19. In an episode of Sex and the City, a character, who is 15, tells Carrie: ...
1
vote
2answers
20k views

How to use the words ending with “-ly”?

First question: in the grammar world, where do the -ly ended words belong? Second question: how to use them correctly? Rarely (oops!), if ever, I get myself using -ly ended words in my writing. I'm ...
2
votes
1answer
472 views

Is the usage of “at” correct in this case? Should it go with “where” or “which”?

Can someone tell me whether we should use "at" when we use where: The design is so unified and everything is at where they should be. Or it must be like the one below: The design is so ...
0
votes
2answers
148 views

The use of “have”: “have a map on it” and “have a colony in the country”

I would like to know about the use of "have" combined with prepositional phrases. (ex.1) The table has a map on it. Example 1 can be paraphrased as "there is a map on the table". In this case, ...
4
votes
3answers
395 views

'To swiftly go' or 'to go swiftly'? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Are split infinitives grammatically incorrect, or are they valid constructs? One of my friends once told me 'to go' is considered a whole word and no word should be put ...
0
votes
2answers
181 views

What does “From Twitter came” mean? [closed]

Is this sentence in italics correct grammatically? Is it written in inverted order? If we rewrite this sentence, is it Came from Twitter? From Twitter came, "@dannyhakim Pictures of flooded ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

“Bring 6 eggs. If there are potatoes, bring 9.”

This is with reference to this comic, called A Programmer's Life (translated from Portuguese): Programmer: My wife asked me to go to the market and said: “Bring six eggs. If there are potatoes, ...
2
votes
3answers
469 views

“The great I” vs “The great me”

Are both sentences below grammatically correct? The great I. The great me. What is the grammatical breakdown in each case?
6
votes
1answer
275 views

Relative clause introduced by an adverb

“Your employment at Chent will terminate directly we find a suitable replacement.” (John Brunner, Quicksand, 1967) This sentence is said by a highly formal and stuffy character. I guess this use ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

May conditional be used after “if”?

Is a sentence like He asked if I would lend him my car. correct, or should it be He asked if I lent him my car. or something else?
4
votes
4answers
2k views

Why is he saying ”This is us” when it means “This is ours”?

I found two examples of this kind in Harry Potter so far and in both cases, the speaker is Mr. Weasley and the listener is Harry. Does it add some nuance? Is it his habit of saying? (In a lift of ...
1
vote
1answer
633 views

Server log shows normal activities OR Server logs show normal activities?

Where I am trying to collectively refer to server logs, should I say... Server log shows normal activities or Server logs show normal activities
2
votes
2answers
279 views

“Longer running time” vs “high performance”

I am always confused about the correct usages of words like longer, less, higher, high etc., for comparing performance of two programs. For example, if a program A completes its work in 10 seconds, ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

Usage of “just”, “only” and word-order [intended meaning]

I've got these sentences, which meanings are correct (my interpretations are in brackets): Use of only: (1) Only in 1996, Ford sold a rebadged Mazda 626 GV over here as its rebranded Japanese ...
1
vote
1answer
110 views

The condition for saying “You’re the door on the right.” etc. and its construction

This question is a spin-off from “Is you’re the door on the right. grammatically correct?” . After the original question, some ideas came to me, about its conditions and construction. I opened this ...
0
votes
3answers
3k views

We have a special machine, unlike no other

I was confused about which of the following 2 sentences are valid, does anyone know which is proper? We have a special machine, like no other. We have a special machine, unlike no other.
6
votes
2answers
55k views

Is “group” singular or plural? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is a company always plural, or are small companies singular? When I'm referring to a group of multiple things, should it be considered singular or plural for the ...
10
votes
7answers
9k views

Difference between “without” and “with no”

What is the difference between the usage of without and with no? For example, without sound and with no sound.
2
votes
3answers
6k views

“I am gonna have to” vs. “I have to”

What is the difference between "I am gonna have to" and "I have to"? When would you use the first one? update: I am specifically asking about situations like the one described here.
0
votes
1answer
4k views

“Don't/Won't/Wouldn't want to” [closed]

When do we use each of the following? I don't want to ... I won't want to ... I wouldn't want to ...
2
votes
1answer
216 views

“Is Ken home?” or “Is Ken at home?”

When you ask someone if your buddy Ken is at home or not, what is the correct question, "Is Ken home?" or "Is Ken at home?"? I'm pretty sure both of those are correct, since I've seen a lot of times ...
122
votes
3answers
5k views

Where were “should”, “shall”, and “must” in the 18th Century?

According to the following Google Ngram, in the U.K. the modals should, shall, and must were virtually missing from English writing during the 18th Century (I've added will for a comparison modal ...
5
votes
3answers
861 views

Adjectives that do not have predicative position

I've read somewhere that some adjectives cannot be used in the predicative position; for example "this is a major problem" is acceptable, but "the problem is major" is not acceptable. I'm wondering ...
8
votes
5answers
10k views

Use of “-wise” in phrases or words

What is -wise in phrases or words that end with it? How do we use it correctly? Floor is obscenely expensive computational-wise. I found a similar thread here but I don't understand much.
1
vote
1answer
634 views

Word-order and meaning - which is correct for this notice? [closed]

I'm creating some signs for the office car park, and one of these signs is to control access. What I'm trying to get it to indicate is that cars aren't permitted between 10 am and 4pm except for ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Is “he plays the piano” stative or dynamic?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stative_verbs: The same verb may act as stative or dynamic. An English phrase like "he plays the piano" may be either stative or dynamic, according to context. ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Is the complement considered a part of the predicate?

Is the complement a part of predicate? For example, in the sentence: "He was the strangest person she had ever met" - "he" is the subject, "was" is the link word and "the stangest person she had ever ...
0
votes
2answers
872 views

A better way to express this sentence to clarify its meaning?

I apologize if this is a broad question. My friend and I have been arguing about the following sentence for 2 hours. I think that there is something missing in the following sentence. Though, I am ...
5
votes
2answers
37k views

Looking forward/forwards to your reply [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Forward vs Forwards I always wonder whether I should say "looking forwards to your reply" or "looking forward to your reply", which one should I say in a email?
8
votes
5answers
18k views

When to use words quite, rather, pretty, fairly etc

Is there any logic to this or just decision? I would use the following combinations: quite amazing rather large pretty good I would not use the following combinations: pretty amazing quite large ...
9
votes
2answers
859 views

Some sentences in the beginning of movie “Forrest Gump”

In the beginning of movie "Forrest Gump", Gump said: 1. I wish I had shoes like that. Why did Gump said "that"? Is it correct? And what about "I wish I had shoes like those?" 2. She said they was ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

How do noun clauses work when they seem to leave no independent clause?

Another thing that was raised in conversation with my ESL friend is noun clauses. I was aware of Adverbial and Adjectival Clauses and thought that the things he was demonstrating to me were in fact ...
3
votes
1answer
173 views

Frequent ping-ponging of priorities?

I came through the following sentence in a technical research paper. Is it correct to use ping-ponging word? Please let me know. With TS policy, priorities of threads change very frequently for ...
12
votes
2answers
92k views

How to use “to + V-ing”?

I saw some scenarios that used the structure "to + V-ing", such as the following: Looking forward to hearing. Disposed to using few words. I would like to apply what I learned in school to helping ...
0
votes
4answers
17k views

Using “compared with”, “in comparison with” or “than” to compare

Which one of the following sentences is correct and more appropriate? Please let me know. The configuration-A produces higher error-rate compared with the configuration-B. The ...
12
votes
3answers
28k views

How do you make the possessive form with “He and I”-style subjects? [duplicate]

Despite being a native speaker of American English, I cannot find a construction that sounds natural when trying to form a possessive from coordinated subjects including a first person pronoun, like ...
4
votes
2answers
5k views

Use of “and lo” in a sentence

What, if any, is the right way to use "and lo" in a sentence? My basic structure is "[discussion about thing], and lo, [example of thing]", kind of like: There's a cliche about circus clowns being ...
5
votes
4answers
16k views

Is “close proximity” a tautology?

I was rooting about in the OED and one definition is "The fact, condition, or position of being near or close by in space; nearness." Then in the citations for that definition they had: 1872 H. I. ...
5
votes
4answers
7k views

What do we call an adjective made of a verb?

What do we call adjectives formed from verbs? For example: Lost is an adjective made from lose, Forgotten is an adjective made from forget, Broken is an adjective made from break. What is the ...
2
votes
1answer
426 views

Which sentence is more acceptable? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: When do I use "I" instead of "me?" Which is correct, "you and I" or "you and me"? Which of the following sentences is more ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Why is “doing” used here instead of “to do”?

I have read this question: “I like to do (be) something” vs “I like doing (being) something” and I get (although the answer could not be applied to my example) that using "to do" means in general I ...
6
votes
2answers
962 views

What's the rule for writing sentences with parallel clauses?

I've sometimes seen very nicely written sentences that have 2 clauses: the first is a full sentence, while the second, which is supposed to have a similar structure, was shorten into a special ...
8
votes
2answers
4k views

Plural of “abacus”

A colleague and I were having a discussion as to the proper plural form of abacus. I believe the plural would be abacuses and he feels that the proper form would be abaci. I believe that abacuses is ...
2
votes
5answers
620 views

Is it correct for someone to say that they've “fixed the apparent problems” with something?

Either there were no problems and therefore nothing to fix. Or there were some problems are therefore something to fix. But how can apparent problems be fixed? Unless "apparent" in this context means ...
3
votes
1answer
4k views

Using “a/an” with uncountable nouns in exclamation sentences

I work with Chinese children to practice some English. I have a sentence like this: "What an useful advice you gave me!" However, on most Chinese materials I have with me, it is said that the ...