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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

14
votes
3answers
24k views

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 ...
14
votes
1answer
18k views

Which is correct: “you and I” or “you and me”?

I was told the correct usage is for example: "My wife and me" but I hear often "I and my wife" or "my wife and I". Google gives 34M results for "My wife and I" and 909K results for "My wife and me" ...
14
votes
2answers
678 views

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 ...
14
votes
5answers
4k views

Should I use 'or' or 'nor'?

This document does not cover the SDK interfaces nor any other reference material. I think the above is correct, but my grammatical checker in Microsoft Word underlines nor and suggests or. Why?
14
votes
4answers
2k views

What is it called when words are deliberately written wrong but pronunciation is kept unchanged?

For example, Night -> Nite Nite even appears in some dictionaries as having the same meaning as night. What is it called when words are deliberately written incorrectly but the pronunciation ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

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 ...
14
votes
4answers
359 views

“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 ...
13
votes
5answers
4k views

I <verb> and am <rest of sentence>

I sometimes find myself writing something like this: XXX is a project I admire and am very interested in. The "I <verb> and am <something>" feels strange here. It somehow sounds more ...
13
votes
4answers
450 views

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 ...
13
votes
4answers
669 views

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 ...
13
votes
3answers
55k views

“Solution for” or “solution to” a problem?

I need to find a solution to/for this problem. Can to and for be used interchangeably here? Is one of them just plain wrong?
13
votes
5answers
631 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 ...
13
votes
6answers
1k views

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.
13
votes
7answers
5k views

“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 ...
13
votes
7answers
2k views

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). ...
13
votes
3answers
296k views

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: ...
13
votes
4answers
20k views

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 ...
13
votes
7answers
17k views

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 ...
13
votes
2answers
12k views

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 ...
13
votes
1answer
7k views

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. ...
13
votes
1answer
6k views

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 ...
12
votes
4answers
729 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
465 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
47k views

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 ...
12
votes
6answers
35k views

“on the train” or “in the train”?

Which of these is correct: "I am on the train" or "I am in the train"?
12
votes
2answers
18k views

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 ...
12
votes
5answers
47k views

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?
12
votes
5answers
8k views

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. ...
12
votes
1answer
1k views

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 ...
12
votes
5answers
1k views

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 ...
12
votes
2answers
4k views

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 ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

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 ...
12
votes
8answers
147k views

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 ...
11
votes
4answers
15k views

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 ...
11
votes
10answers
665 views

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"? ...
11
votes
7answers
30k views

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.
11
votes
5answers
4k views

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 ...
11
votes
7answers
11k views

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, ...
11
votes
7answers
31k views

“In time” versus “on time”

Which one is correct: Submit your work in time. Submit your work on time.
11
votes
6answers
4k views

Is it wrong to say “cook a cake”?

Is it wrong to say "to cook a cake"?
11
votes
3answers
983 views

“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 ...
11
votes
4answers
13k views

Is “stuff ” a plural word? [closed]

I'm wondering which one of these expressions is correct? This stuff or these stuff?
11
votes
6answers
8k views

“For both our sake” or “for both our sakes”

Should sake be pluralized in this usage? For both our sake, I'm going to leave now. For both our sakes, I'm going to leave now.
11
votes
5answers
8k views

Future tense in conditional clauses

All the textbooks I have ever come across during the course of my studying English emphasize that future tense should not be used in conditional clauses. For example, If it rains in the evening, ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

Can “real” be used as an adverb to describe an adjective?

Is this correct? That is a real cool answer. I learned that that was incorrect, since "real" is an adjective which can describe a noun, e.g. "real answer" but it is not an adverb which can ...
11
votes
7answers
485 views

“I've gotten better-looking as I get older” When did “gotten” re-enter the BrEng vernacular?

This summer I went to Ireland, to be more precise Dublin. Overall good weather and good fun. Anyway, while I was staying in Dublin I'd buy the local newspaper and one tabloid headline caught my eye. ...
11
votes
3answers
10k views

Is “I'm glad it helped” grammatical?

Is the phrase "I'm glad it helped" grammatically correct? And if it is, does it express correctly that I am more than happy that I could help someone?
11
votes
3answers
51k views

“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.
11
votes
3answers
230 views

Is the SE “new privilege” notification message a sentence?

When a Stack Exchange user gets a new privilege, it's accompanied by the following notification: Congrats, you've gained the privilege – talk in chat learn more That phrase "may be oddly worded, ...
11
votes
4answers
10k views

“Haven't you?” or “don't you?”

What is the right question tag (in British English) when we use the verb have? I have interviewed a few native speakers and none of them could explain why sometimes they prefer "haven't/hasn't" and ...