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
134 views

How to use “theme”?

When you want to ask for the theme to someone who is dressing up as something, which is the correct English? "what's the theme?","what's the theme of?" or anything else more natural expressions??
0
votes
1answer
803 views

“have to” a phrasal verb

Why is "have to" not listed as a phrasal verb in the dictionary? "have" means to be in possession of something while "have to" means "obliged to". So "have to" seem to be non-compositional in terms of ...
-3
votes
1answer
11k views

“I ordered” vs. “I have ordered” [duplicate]

A I haven't received the book I ordered. B I haven't received the book I have ordered. Which one would you say is more often used / colloquial, and which one is more formal / more ...
0
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4answers
443 views

B is 4, A is 10 times more, is A 44? [closed]

B is 4, A is 10 times more, is A 44? I am really confused by "times" and "more" or "better".
0
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2answers
741 views

Which is better, “on” or “in” + place?

I am sometimes confused the usage of prepositions. I say, "It happened in the bathroom." Native speakers of English would say, "It happened on the bathroom." Is one, both, or none correct? What ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Would the rejection of an argument because of a grammatical error be a type of logical fallacy?

Many people may have experienced situations (often online) where someone dismisses another's argument not on the merits of the argument, but because of a grammatical (or, more generally, mechanical) ...
1
vote
1answer
164 views

Confused by “you came in here knowing what you had to do”

This is a caption taken from an episode from a tv series. To set the scene, a lady comes into Frank's place seeking his help in making a decision. After conversing with her, Frank realizes she might ...
1
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2answers
6k views

What does “brother mine” mean?

What exactly does "brother mine" mean? Is it the same as "my brother"? As far as I know "brother" is a noun and "mine" is a pronoun, so it doesn't make much sense to me why one can precede the other. ...
3
votes
1answer
158k views

What informal and formal letter/e-mail closings are used the most? [duplicate]

I often struggle with doubts about the correctness of the closings which I use. I'm not a native speaker and I'm worried that I'll make a mistake in the last part of the letter/e-mail. Some examples: ...
0
votes
1answer
647 views

Difference meaning :having ving vs having p.p

Having learning English in three months, Jovovich grabbed the attention of photographer, Richard Avedon. Having learnt English in three months, Jovovich grabbed the attention of photographer, Richard ...
0
votes
0answers
33 views

We can use SHOULD+HAVE+P.P. in two different meanings [duplicate]

Am I right? 1.We can use 'should have' to talk about past events that did not happen. I should have let her know what was happening but I forgot. He should have sent everybody a reminder by email. ...
1
vote
5answers
396 views

“For dragons are fire made flesh, and fire is power.”

This quote is from "A Clash of Kings: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Two" By George R.R. Martin. This is the full quote: "They shall come day and night to see the wonder that has been born again ...
1
vote
3answers
346 views

Subject–Predicate Errors [duplicate]

The following quotes all seem to contain agreement errors between their subjects and predicates: A total of five youths were arrested in both incidents. Shouldn't it be "A total . . . was"? The ...
8
votes
2answers
89k views

“Have you got a chance to” vs “Did you get a chance to”

What is the difference between following two statements? Have you got a chance to look into this? Did you get a chance to look into this?
0
votes
2answers
634 views

Is the sentence “We are invested” correct?

Is the sentence "We are invested" correct? I found it in a blog and was wondering whether it is correct. I do not want to discuss the usage, but just if the combination of "are" + "invested" is ...
2
votes
3answers
237 views

“Boys will be boys!” Is 'will be' a future simple of 'be' or a present simple of modal auxiliary 'will'?

In the proverb: Boys will be boys! is 'will be' one verb or two? the future simple of 'be' (one verb)? or the present simple of modal auxiliary 'will' + the bare present infinitive of 'be' ...
2
votes
0answers
29 views

Resources on writing grammatically and clearly [duplicate]

The first part of this question is about how I should ask this question. I am a bit confused about all the terms used to describe books written about English. For example, "usage", "style", ...
1
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2answers
315 views

Difference in meaning [closed]

Is there a difference in meaning of the following sentences? It will take two years to build a bridge on this river. It would take two years to build a bridge on this river.
0
votes
1answer
504 views

Academic writing: “one's”

Is it allowed to use the word "one's" in academic writing? For example: It can help improve one's vocabulary.
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2answers
23k views

Which is correct: “as good as possible” or “as best as possible”?

Which one is the correct expression: as good as possible as best as possible Both were suggested to be used in the following sentence: The activity has been performed as good/best as ...
0
votes
2answers
99 views

“Better have it get fired at someone” - get fired?

I know "get" has so many meanings but I just do cannot figure out the right one here: If you establish a gun in Act 1, you better have it get fired at somebody by Act 3. Would it not work ...
0
votes
1answer
21k views

What is the difference between “have had” and “had”?

I have had letters delivered to me that had abuses. I had letters delivered to me that had abuses.
0
votes
2answers
1k views

Bunch of girls/Buncha girls

as English isn't my first language, I don't really 'feel' whether bunch of girls/buncha girls is offensive, friendly, etc.? Could you tell me what's the proper meaning of the phrase? I hear it in ...
0
votes
1answer
769 views

active or passive voice sentence?

Statement : Govt asked about safety of northeast community.
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2answers
2k views

What (if any) is the proper hyphenation for the phrase “it's all too easy”? [duplicate]

Are any of the following correct? It's all too-easy It's all-too-easy It's all too easy Explanation/citations would be greatly appreciated
2
votes
1answer
23k views

Is “mine's” a valid contraction?

Not mines, but mine's (mine is). As in, "You cooked a good turkey, but mine's better."
0
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2answers
3k views

What's the meaning of “should we be interested”?

I contacted someone and he replied: ... I've passed your information along and someone will get back to you should we be interested. After sending him another message he replied: ... ...
38
votes
6answers
105k views

“Replace with” versus “replace by”

I often see "replace with" and "replace by" used interchangeably, but this doesn't sound right to me: I replaced that component by this one. I would use "with" in such a sentence. "By" only ...
3
votes
2answers
715 views

SAT Writing ambiguous pronoun error?

Can anyone please explain why this sentence is incorrect? When Russell Wallace and Darwin independently proposed similar theories, Darwin had already accumulated extensive evidence with which ...
1
vote
2answers
16k views

“In” or “At” sole discretion

We're drafting some legal stuff, and our lawyer used this phrasing... ...whether any particular enhancement is to be categorized as such shall be made in the sole reasonable discretion of ...
1
vote
3answers
36k views

How can I use “must have been”?

Must have been can have two meanings— it depends on the text. Must have p.p. doesn't always mean that, for instance, something did not occur— it might occur. For instance: Clerks must have been ...
0
votes
0answers
657 views

“Order something done” for “Order something to be done” [duplicate]

As far as your variety of English goes, can the verbal turn "order something done" be used interchangeably with "order something to be done"? "We ordered this item sent to our local store." ...
-1
votes
3answers
10k views

What does “I do believe” mean? [duplicate]

Sentences like "I do believe" or "I do love you" are common. But I was wondering what do they mean? I've never seen structures like this in grammar. In fact I don't understand what is the diference ...
0
votes
1answer
1k views

what book to read & which book to read

In the absence of a clear context regarding how known or unknown is the number of books available for me to read, should I use what book to read or which book to read? I don't know what book to ...
1
vote
2answers
285 views

where- and there- compounds

Are these lexical formations considered archaic or can they still be used without fear of appearing extravagant or even old-fashioned? ... the book in which I read that... ... the book wherein I ...
0
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2answers
2k views

“There are more than one people” or “There is more than one people”?

Given the following two sentences. There are more than one people. There is more than one people. Which one of them is grammatical, both of them, any one of them or none of them? The noun people ...
1
vote
1answer
151 views

“Their Own Pages” or “Their Own Page”

Your images will have their own pages/page. I want to talk about several images. Each image has one page. Should I use pages or page? Why?
1
vote
1answer
943 views

Why “Game Over” not “Game Is Over”

According to basic grammar, there should be a be verb in front of the Over. So why do all games display Game Over instead of Game Is Over?
1
vote
3answers
7k views

“since ages” or “for ages”?

since is used to refer to a point of time in the past and for is used with time interval. However I've come across this phrase "I haven't seen you since ages". Is it correct usage of since since ages ...
0
votes
2answers
131 views

Is It “Category URLs” or “Categories URLs” [duplicate]

I want to talk about several categories. Each category has only one URL. Which one is correct and why? Category URLs Categories URL Categories URLs
0
votes
1answer
85 views

Who are the witnesses in a court hearing?

Among the witnesses called by petitioner were Mr. Allen; Ms. Farrow; Dr. Susan Coates, a clinical psychologist who treated Satchel; Dr. Nancy Schultz, a clinical psychologist who treated Dylan; and ...
2
votes
3answers
265 views

What does “But Half Fancy?” mean?

I'm having trouble understanding this paragraph, mostly the part in bold. Is it regular grammar? This is a piece from Moby Dick: If I had been downright honest with myself, I would have seen ...
1
vote
4answers
3k views

What if + would

I have a question about what if... Here's the thing: Do you think they shouldn't attend that school? What if they would become great musicians? Do you think they shouldn't attend that school? What ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

How to use however in a contrarian statement that ends with a question? [duplicate]

After making a statement in the prior sentence, I want to make a statement that contradicts it and then asks a question. I want to use however and I want to know to make my contrarian statement. I am ...
2
votes
1answer
4k views

Use of “not merely” in a sentence

I'm doing SAT writing practice questions, and I came across a problem I believe has multiple solutions. The incorrect sentence is as follows (i shortened it): He was not merely expected to work ...
0
votes
1answer
66 views

Shouldn't the verb be in the third person?

I came across this book It's Not the Big That Eat the Small...It's the Fast That Eat the Slow and my question is why eat is not eats ? Thank you very much
11
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5answers
2k views

“buy… clever” & “buy… miserable”

You can’t buy your kids clever. What’s more, if they’re merely above average, by sending them to some hideous Holland Park hothouse, you’re probably buying them miserable. As far as I know, clever ...
0
votes
2answers
370 views

Past Perfect Continuous/Past Perfect or?

Which tense should I use in the following example? Is it OK to use the Past Perfect Continuous if I want to explain to someone that I had been working in some company for 10 years, without mentioning ...
0
votes
1answer
40 views

Does not or Might not?

This is the message: The user might not fall under the scope of this policy. It denotes that a setting is not applied to the user because the user is not part of the policy. He's surely not ...
0
votes
1answer
71 views

Is the adjective common between “form” and “colour”?

In the sentence: "The Bayeux Tapestry of 1068 shows designs in colour but not of heraldic form." Is "heraldic" common between "form" and "colour"? I mean is the adjective "heraldic" joint to both ...