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20
votes
6answers
3k views

“Don't let's fight”

I was watching a movie the other day and one character said to another, "Don't let's fight" instead of "Let's not fight." Is this proper usage, and if so, what is the grammatical rule that applies ...
17
votes
4answers
943 views

'The X-ing of Y' vs just 'X-ing Y' : why are both 'the' and 'of' necessary together?

Take the example of There is very little that a conforming POSIX.1 application can do by catching, ignoring or masking SIGSYS (From the SIGSYS article) This can be rewritten as There is ...
13
votes
4answers
571 views

The use of “trespasses”

According to a dictionary search for "trespasses": v. Enter the owner's land or property without permission n. A voluntary wrongful act against the person or property of another, esp. unlawful entry ...
11
votes
4answers
5k views

Is “criterions” a valid plural for “criterion”?

Is criterions a valid plural for criterion? Dictionary.com says it is, but Oxford does not confirm or reject it.
11
votes
2answers
6k views

Meaning and usage of “be of”

I see such sentences all the time and I'd like to learn more about their grammatical structure (e.g. how they are described in grammatical terms), their meaning and how to use them in different ...
8
votes
6answers
732 views

What is “long” doing in “all (time-period) long”?

What part of speech is long playing the part of in the bold parts of the quotations below? For one thing, it shows at a glance how much money is on hand for any particular purpose all month long. ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

“Let's get it over (with)” — do I need the “with”?

I'm trying to understand why there is this "with". I can say "Let's get this done". So, why "Let's get this over with?" I would really appreciate if someone could explain that a bit.
6
votes
3answers
11k views

How do I properly use [sic] for a phrase? Or do I use it at all?

The actual sentence I am quoting is: Company A will provide regular communications to Company B on the status of level of effort in comparison the projected monthly amounts contained in our ...
6
votes
3answers
217 views

“To buy a bed with” vs “to play a ball with”

I got into a discussion with a friend and we're trying to figure out why we omit with when we say I have no money to buy a bed [with] when, grammatically, it's the same as I have no ball to ...
5
votes
3answers
493 views

“Even were he not to…”

I am currently reading "Do androids dream of electric sheep?" by P.K. Dick and I have come across a grammatical structure I don't quite understand. The excerpt is the following (no spoilers, don't ...
5
votes
6answers
674 views

“I had John return the video”: why do we use “return” instead of “returns” or “returned”?

I had John return the video for me. In this sentence, why do we use return and not returns or returned?
5
votes
4answers
3k views

“After reviewing …, it …”: is it grammatical?

I was interested in the sentence “After reviewing the special commissioner's report, it is obvious to me that Mr. Namnum abused his responsibility and privileges to secure a job for his wife, who was ...
5
votes
4answers
505 views

What is the grammar behind “Thanks be to God”?

What is the grammatical interpretation of the phrase? I don't understand what verb tense or voice is used.
5
votes
4answers
1k views

Is the structure “can have verb-ed” possible?

I have seen and heard sentences like these: He could have gone too far. John can't have eaten all the cake. But I don't seem to encounter this structure: She can have done the work. I ...
5
votes
7answers
3k views

Em dash vs semicolon: which is more appropriate in the following examples?

I am very confused by these, and even when I understand other people's usage of them I find it difficult to know when to employ them myself. For this reason, I am trying to make my own examples and ...
4
votes
2answers
360 views

Is the following sentence written in a conditional sentence structure?

is this sentence correct? It starts a small paragraph. My question is, does it violate any English rules? If it does, which ones? If it doesn´t, which rules validate it? It sounds perfectly fine to ...
4
votes
11answers
7k views

Is “Am I needing to. . . ?” grammatical?

In the course of answering this question, we have evoked some dispute over whether the phrase Am I needing to read this book? is grammatical. I think it is correct, although not common, but ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

Noun + participle as adjective phrase

There's a construction in English that allows us to form a compound adjective from a noun and a past participle. Examples: This is a volunteer-built home. Our newspaper is student-run. ...
4
votes
4answers
74 views

When to use this construction: so Adjective a Noun

In "The Quiet American" by Graham Greene, Mr Fowler says: I watched her closely while she asked how I was and touched my splinted leg and gave me her shoulder to lean on, as though one could lean ...
4
votes
1answer
197 views

Can I use an explicit verb in a comparison clause?

It seems that I often write something like this: The sizes of these datasets seem to grow faster than the processing power of computers does. Now, a longish text I'd written was proofread (by a ...
3
votes
5answers
4k views

“Did what I say/said make sense to you?”

Which is correct? Did what I say make sense to you? Did what I said make sense to you?
3
votes
2answers
9k views

Verbing, or turning nouns into verbs [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is it called when a non-verb is used as a verb? The phenomenon of turning a noun into a verb is very common. Some are more well known, like "shouldering the blame" ...
3
votes
6answers
146 views

Is there a functional difference between “not believing” and “believing not”?

If you tell your friend some incredible story and they say, "I don't believe you!" It seems like they are pretty obviously trying to say that they believe that your story isn't true. I have someone ...
3
votes
3answers
3k views

Is it grammatical to finish a sentence with “also”?

In the following text, I wonder if it's grammatical to finish the sentence with also. it does sound weird to me. The sentence sound incomplete somehow and makes the audience wait for more. Here ...
3
votes
1answer
101 views

The reason and meaning of repeating

In the movie "My Fair Lady", the main character will use this structure a lot; "I'm a good girl, I am." or "I washed my face and hands before I come, I did.". I like to know more about this structure ...
3
votes
2answers
496 views

Why is it “objections to moving”, not “objections to move”? [closed]

I got this sentence from the Economist: There are two primary objections to moving to the chained CPI. My question is, why have they used moving instead of move after objections to?
3
votes
2answers
536 views

Is the sentence “The world is getting smaller and international connections tighter.” grammatically correct?

Is following sentence grammatically correct? The world is getting smaller and international connections tighter. What kind of construct is this? Parallel structure?
3
votes
3answers
95 views

That's the way it worked

Mendoza said that's the way it worked. In this sentence why are we using that's? Why not that was? Wouldn't that was be much better? To clarify my question, Mendoza originally said "That's the ...
3
votes
3answers
237 views

structure or phrasal verb?

I think I understand what he wants to say, but cannot figure out the sentence structure or I just don't know such a phrasal verb. "I thought of the Lake Como what I had thought of Lugano."
2
votes
3answers
8k views

What's wrong with these sentences? [duplicate]

My workplace has presented me with the opportunity this month to attend a "grammar" webinar that is suppose to help me enhance my grammar skills. I thought they were good already... I don't have time ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Is 'this this' correct?

The ability to echo words and still make a meaningful statement has always bugged me. Take this example sentence: "Thank you for bringing this issue to my attention. We will take care of this this ...
2
votes
4answers
739 views

Which is the correct passive construction of 'she bore him on the Christmas day'?

I think I understand the difference of meaning between 'born' and 'borne', plus I have also checked out a few questions that were asked about the two terms on this forum. So, I hope I am not posting a ...
2
votes
1answer
371 views

Is the use of 'has' appropriate with first person singular?

We have been learning since childhood that Has can only be used with third person singular but I have seen and heard people using has otherwise. For example, the other day I was reading that ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

What does “just between you and me” function as?

We are trying to figure out the parts of speech in the following sentence and have been stumped by the first phrase: Just between you and me, those boots aren't cool this year. I say ...
2
votes
2answers
779 views

Suggestion phrased as a question

I recently received a mark-down for the following phrase: With this regard, will you please accept the Takeover agreement on this quote so that we can proceed with the validation process? The ...
2
votes
1answer
211 views

Use of plural form when applied to both singular and plural cases

There is a situation where I have never worked out the correct thing to do. For example, here is a sentence I just used in a comment on Stack Overflow: The 'strong disagreement' was about ...
2
votes
2answers
219 views

Why is present continuous used in “A key goal is learning to read”?

A key goal is learning to read a matrix. Why is present continuous used here? As I understand goal is a final state. So learning is the process, to achieve something, not the goal itself. So this ...
2
votes
3answers
77 views

Help me identify the structure of this excerpt

"Girls being kept out of the sciences and pushed into the humanities; the humanities being valued less in our society than the sciences;... " This sentence is weird and I want to know why. I noticed ...
2
votes
2answers
338 views

Preposition placement mid-sentence

I was recently reviewing a piece of writing for a friend of mine who wrote Though such a theory does not describe the world we live in, it will undoubtedly shed light on... I told him to ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

As much [as] or more than

On dailymail.co.uk there is a news article titled "Can love survive when a woman earns MORE than a man?" Obviously, I don't want to spend my time asking silly questions, but the journalist confuses ...
2
votes
2answers
345 views

Is “gets” the correct tense to describe a continuous process in “John gets mentored on a daily basis”?

John gets a mentor to guide him throughout his life. — OR — He gets mentored on a daily basis. I believe this is just as acceptable as the simple past: John got a mentor to guide him ...
2
votes
1answer
120 views

“got to have” in a sentence

Is the following sentence right: "You got to have that satisfaction to never being satisfied" English is not my first language and a friend of mine wants this as a tattoo. I can't shake the feeling ...
2
votes
1answer
28 views

state the reach of something against something as doing something

I encountered this sentence while translating a lawsuit and now I'm quite confused about what it intends to say: Court stated the reach of the per se rule against tie-ins under 1 of the Sherman Act ...
2
votes
2answers
152 views

Sentence structure for grammar: parallel vs. what feels natural

Are the following both grammatically correct, or is one incorrect and why? (Usage context: book, not an essay). Original: He erases whatever he wills, and fixes. With him is the original record. ...
2
votes
1answer
242 views

“Do you like my present” vs. “do you like your present”

When my daughter received the present I bought to her, I asked her: Do you like my present? Is this correct? Or I should say: Do you like your present?
2
votes
3answers
260 views

Is 'so I did', and other like expressions, at the end of a sentence good English?

In Northern Ireland people will say 'He went to Bohemia on holiday, so he did', or 'I need to do some shopping, so I do'. Is this correct English?
2
votes
2answers
206 views

South Park grammar perplexity 2

This is another strange example from South Park I am posting : "How about you come up with the reason why we don’t break your arms?". Why is the present used in the second part of the sentence? How is ...
2
votes
0answers
115 views

Identifying verb types, nouns, adjectives and adverbs in a sentence - 5th grade

While helping my son, who happens to be in the 5th grade, with his English grammar, I have realized that I am confused. The following sentence, that I gave him as an exercise, he has identified the ...
2
votes
0answers
24 views

“I thought it was important that he say it in his own voice.” – That he say it? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When should I use the subjunctive mood? I have often come across constructions such as the one highlighted below and wondered how to explain the grouping of a third ...
2
votes
1answer
68 views

is “I've never said that nor thought it” correct? [duplicate]

"I've never said that nor thought it" I don't think so, but I don't know how I can say it.