Grammaticality refers to whether something obeys the rules of grammar for English.

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“Alternately” or “alternatively”

What is the difference between alternately and alternatively? I've seen both words being used, but which one is grammatically correct? He could do X. Or alternately, he could do Y. He could do ...
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What is the difference between “as per” and “according to”?

See the following two sentences. As per my knowledge it is right. According to my knowledge it is right. Are both the sentences right? What is the difference and use of "as per" and ...
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Can a noun (such as “duct tape”) be used as a verb?

I found the phrase “duct-tape together” in the following sentence of a Washington Post (June 21) article written by Chris Cillizza under the title “Gingrich campaign hit by more departures.” The ...
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“that” + “would” = “that'd”?

Is "that'd" an appropriate contraction of "that" and "would"? I say it, but I'm not sure if it's a legitimate contraction in written form.
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“Writing things down” vs. “writing things up”

Is there any difference in the usage of "writing things down" vs. "writing things up"? Are they both correct?
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Is “misconfigured” a word?

I use the word "misconfigured" all the time, but MS Word, Chrome, and the two dictionaries I checked don't list it as a word. I'm going to keep using it instead of "configured incorrectly" because I ...
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Ellipsis that results in one word serving as both subject and object

Quoting from Jeff Atwood's blog: [I expanded the team] by adding Kevin, who I didn't know, but had built amazing stuff for us without even being asked to, from Texas. And again by adding ...
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Should an adverb go before or after a verb?

For example: The word rarely turns up outside of those contexts. The word turns up rarely outside of those contexts. Which one is correct and why?
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Descriptivism and widespread misspelling

If you search google for "fuscia" it asks "did you mean fuschia?". The correct spelling of the word is "fuchsia". (This was pointed out on the xkcd blog a while ago.) So enough people are spelling ...
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“They had whatted the car?”

The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language says this: Echo what is syntactically very different from the interrogative pronoun what. It can replace words of more or less any category, and can ...
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1answer
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What are the rules about using 'half of' with plural nouns?

Here are some sentences with 'half of' and plural nouns that I consider to be well-formed: Half of all films are a waste of celluloid. Half of users surveyed said they preferred the old product. ...
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Is it grammatical to split either/or into different sentences?

I came across the following sentence in Wikipedia: The bitangent lines can be constructed either by constructing the homothetic centers, as described at that article, and then constructing the ...
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Is “How and why child is become criminal” proper English?

My friend is writing a paper for his Criminal Justice class and has asked me to take a look the the rough draft and point out any grammatical errors that I can spot. The first thing that jumped at ...
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1answer
475 views

“All your commas are belong to Array” and similar — is this grammar form “proper”?

I've often come across "weird" sentences like, say, instead of: All of your commas belong to Array. It writes: All your commas are belong to Array. It's not just once or twice, I actually ...
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658 views

Which is right, “bananas and apples” or “apples and bananas” or both?

My English teacher just asked us to write a random sentence in English. Off the top of my head I wrote "I like to eat apples and bananas". She highlighted "apples" and said: "man, this is blatantly ...
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8answers
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“I'm lovin' it”

How normal-sounding is the slogan "I'm lovin' it" to native ears? I know it sounded quite odd to me when I first heard it — and it still sometimes does —, but I can't even tell why. Sure, love is ...
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“In time” versus “on time”

Which one is correct: Submit your work in time. Submit your work on time.
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Sentences beginning with “so”?

This also came up on either a BBC or CBC science program, but not as a linguistically-oriented discussion. Over the last two or three years I've noticed a lot more people starting a sentence with ...
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why is “their” the wrong usage in this sentence?

Why is their in the following sentence wrong? The modern American family differs in many significant ways from their nineteenth-century counterpart.
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“on the train” or “in the train”?

Which of these is correct: "I am on the train" or "I am in the train"?
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If I help “evacuate” a building, what am I doing to the people?

I remember reading somewhere that to evacuate a person is a medical procedure, and not something to be done during an earthquake. (I thought it was in Fowler, but I just looked and couldn't see it). ...
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Is it correct to say “the bird is in the tree” or “on the tree”?

In the children's rhyme: Johnny and July sitting in a tree K I S S I N G First comes love Then comes marriage Then come children in a baby carriage They are said to be sitting in a tree. ...
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Is “agreeance” a proper word?

Many people in my area use the word "agreeance" and I find it irksome. Dictionary.com seems to be in agreement with me (har har): http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/agreeance Main Entry: ...
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Is “redact” an acceptable substitute for “delete” or “omit?”

I am constantly reading comments and documents from people who use the verb redact to refer to the act of deleting or otherwise censoring content. This never seemed correct to me, but until today it ...
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Which is correct: “bored of”, “bored by”, “bored with”?

I have been asked by a young friend, "Which is correct: bored by, bored of, or bored with?" My instinct is to say that "bored of" and "bored by" are fine, but "bored with" sounds like she is being ...
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Why is the phrase “should have went” so widely used?

Rarely do we hear "should have gone" in common speech. Some background: My father immigrated to the US in the late 60s. He learned English first overseas, British English. Then he studied extensively ...
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Ellipsis or Ellipses?

Inspired by this question: What is the correct term to use when describing the "three dots" (. . .), ellipsis or ellipses? And are either of these terms considered plural? For example, if I wanted to ...
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“As part of” versus “as a part of”

When should I use "as part of", and when "as a part of"?
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Is it “a uniform” or “an uniform”? [duplicate]

On a Physics specification, it says: 6.7 Know how to use two permanent magnets to produce a uniform magnetic field pattern. Isn't it "produce an uniform magnetic field", or is the existing ...
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Is it ok to start a sentence with “also”?

Is it ok to start a sentence with also? Also, I had given him the file you sent me.
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825 views

“This box of matches is empty”

There are several Japanese books teaching Japanese students how to write in English. I found this example in 『英作文参考書の誤りを正す』 (Correcting Errors in English Composition Manuals) by Michio Kawakami and ...
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Is “I am sat” bad English?

Is "I am sat" bad English? I believe it is incorrect and instead either the present continuous I am sitting or the predicate adjective I am seated should be used. I hear this quite often, ...
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Is it wrong to say “cook a cake”?

Is it wrong to say "to cook a cake"?
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Can you grammatically end a sentence with “with”?

Do you want to come with? Can I come with? I seem to hear this construction more often in recent years, but it still grates on my ear. I know it's often said that one shouldn't end a ...
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What's the correct usage of “hopefully”?

I said, "Hopefully, I will get better" to a friend and he said that I was using it incorrectly, stating that hopefully is an adverb meaning "full of hope" that modifies a verb. It sounds right, but ...
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Is “The City Beautiful” (Orlando's motto) grammatically correct?

I have always wondered why the motto of the City of Orlando, FL (USA) is worded as The City Beautiful instead of The Beautiful City: Is The City Beautiful grammatically correct? If so, do you have ...
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Which is correct: “with regards to,” “in regards with,” “regarding”?

I have been using the following phrases but I am still not confident that they are grammatically correct and sound right: "in regards with something" "with regards to something" "regarding ...
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When is it OK to use OK?

I often use "OK" in business and personal emails and phone conversations. But I often feel uncertain if it is appropriate to use it in every type of context. Please tell how universally I can use ...
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“Congratulate for” vs. “congratulate on”

Which is correct? I congratulated him for coming first in the race. I congratulated him on coming first in the race.
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Is a thumb also a finger?

The thumb has a different name compared to the other fingers (index, middle, ring, little) and it does not end with "finger". Also, when referring to the hand, I have seen literature where it is ...
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Collective nouns and subject-verb agreement: general rule or arbitrary?

A newspaper ran this headline recently: (1) Police crack down on IAC protesters. [emph added] Why did it not read: (2) ? Police cracks down on IAC protesters. I have found instances of ...
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Where does “emphasis mine” go in a quotation?

I have often seen the term emphasis mine used whenever an author wishes to denote that emphasis in a given quotation originates from said author rather than from the original source. What is the ...
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How can I explain to people that the phrase “off of ” is grammatically incorrect?

How can I explain to people that the phrase off of is grammatically incorrect? I‘ve heard this phrase used a lot, especially by Americans (though they aren't the only ones). In my understanding, ...
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Is it grammatical to say “the batmen”?

As far as I know, the five actors to have played the role of Batman in films are Adam West, Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney, and Christian Bale. Is it grammatical to call them "the batmen"? ...
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Is “non-vegetarian” a correct word?

I've heard that the words "non-veg" and "non-vegetarian" are not legal English words (i.e aren't in the dictionary). Is this true? If so, what is the right way to say that something contains ...
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Morbid curiosity about “more better”

I have a grammatical question regarding one of the worst pieces of grammar imaginable. One of my students made the argument that better things could be considered a single item. Is it possible for the ...
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Why to use “May” before using “May God bless you”?

I heard it many times but I haven't really pondered on that. We can hear these following sentences in our daily lives: May God bless you. May God be pleased with you. May God accept your ...
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“Gassy emissions from these giant dinosaurs” vs. “… by these giant dinosaurs”

Reading a science article on Huffington Post, titled "Dinosaur Farts, Prehistoric Climate Change Linked In New Methane Gas Study", I came across the following sentence: The gassy emissions from ...
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“Would you mind to do something?”

Is it correct to say "Would you mind to do something?". I've seen this usage in a few places, but it doesn't sound right to me. I would guess that it's proper to use "Would you mind doing something?" ...
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“Can I help who's next?”

This seems to happen every time I go to my local bagel shop. Everyone is waiting in a line, and when the cashier is ready to help the next person, he/she asks, "Can I help who's next?" or "May I help ...