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

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Is “breaths” grammatically correct?

In some books, I see the use of the word "breaths" in the phrase "they held their breaths". Is this correct? And if it is, should I go by the Ngram (below) in spite of grammaticality? Or are both ...
7
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4answers
3k views

“Till death do us part”

Every time I see this expression, I can't help thinking it's grammatically wrong. Is it grammatically acceptable? Why is it used extensively in this form?
6
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2answers
143 views

Verb agreement in “Where is the Messiah and his Kingdom?”

Where is the Messiah and his Kingdom? I think it should be "Where are the Messiah and his kingdom"; it just sounds better! But my friends and even a teacher claim that "is" would be correct.
6
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4answers
786 views

Usage of apostrophe in “baker’s dozen”

In the phrase “baker’s dozen”, why does the apostrophe indicate possession of a (single) baker? Shouldn't it indicate possession of all bakers in general? Shouldn’t it be “bakers’ dozen”?
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6answers
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‘With me being one of them’—grammatically correct?

Would the phrase 'With me being one of them' be grammatically correct? Sounds a bit odd in my head and I triple-checked mentally but couldn't tell if it was correct or not. 'With I being one of them' ...
5
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4answers
796 views

“We're all each other has”

I heard this phrase We're all each other has. in Family Guy and a quick googling shows about a hundred thousand occurrences. It sounds really strange to me. I would say We are all we have. ...
5
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5answers
34k views

Should I write “any question” or “any questions”?

Are they both correct? Should there be singular or plural that right after "any"? If they are both correct, what's the difference? Here, I quote some sentences from the Internet and I wonder if the ...
4
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2answers
1k views

“I have been keeping ignoring you.”

Does this make any sense? I have been keeping ignoring you. Besides that it sounds awkward, my Chinese buddy who knows more grammar rules than I care to list said that the phrase is ...
4
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4answers
568 views

Is it correct to append “no” to a question?

I have always been puzzled by some sentences people make that end in a no. For example, let's say someone instructed you not to leave your post before they arrive. Then they return but you're not ...
4
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2answers
421 views

Changing plurality in parentheses

If a set of parentheses lies between a subject and its verb, and the parentheses contain an substitutive subject whose singularity/plurality disagrees with the original subject, whose ...
4
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1answer
1k views

Use or omit “the” before profession?

This image-stabilising system for a hand-held camera, developed by cameraman Garrett Brown in 1973, offers (...) Wouldn't it be more correct to write "the cameraman Garrett Brown"? Is omitting ...
4
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0answers
313 views

“Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “Is become” vs “has become” This is a famous quote from J. Robert Oppenheimer after the successful detonation of the first nuclear weapon. The ...
3
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2answers
480 views

Tense agreement in conditional statements: “I could do whatever I want” vs. “I could do whatever I wanted”

Consider the following sentences: If I had my own place, I could do whatever I want. If I had my own place, I could do whatever I wanted. She said I could do whatever I want. She ...
3
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3answers
5k views

“You was trouble”?

guess some of you know the song "Grenade" from Bruno Mars, one of the lines is: Should've known you was trouble from the first kiss English isn't my mother tongue, but "was trouble" just sounds ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

About using “only” with present perfect

I have seen this sentence in a status from one of my facebook friends. It doesn't sound right to me. We have only left the city for the day. I think that it should be something like: We have ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

Is “between A to B” considered good grammar?

I looked at "Between A and B vs from A to B", but it didn't mention a third variation I've been hearing more often, recently. Even on the Australian national broadcaster, the ABC, I've heard ...
3
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2answers
432 views

When is it ok to create a contraction of words followed by “s”?

When is it correct to create a contraction of words followed by is? For instance is who’s a correct short form of who is?
3
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2answers
1k views

Can “advise” be used with the definition of “advice”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “Advise” vs “advice” I've seen twice in in 30 minutes how someone had said that they wanted advise on [...] subject, or how they needed advise on ...
2
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3answers
20k views

Which is correct: “is solved” or “has been solved”?

In a technical environment, what is the most suitable sentence to use when answering to someone about a problem that they had and we solved it for them: The problem is solved The problem has been ...
2
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2answers
289 views

Unnecessary pronouns: “The President he issued…”

Is it now considered acceptable to follow a proper noun with a pronoun? E.g. The President he issued a new executive order.
2
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1answer
991 views

Nationalities - When do we use the singular or plural form

I always have doubts whether to use a singular or a plural noun when I refer to certain peoples. For example, we say Americans, Italians, Brazilians, Russians and Austrians. But we say The British, ...
2
votes
3answers
3k views

Need for using the article “the” before “United States of America”? [duplicate]

Usually, we do not use the definite article, the, before names of countries but we use the before "United States of America". Is there a specific reason for using the article before the country ...
2
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1answer
1k views

Is it correct to say “There's many a …”? [closed]

Today on GUARDIAN life&style is this teaser: There's many a garden outbuilding crying out for a makeover. I'm wondering if this sentence is correct. I think there either should many be ...
2
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3answers
5k views

Using “and” twice in a list

About using and, I've learned it is usually used in lists, between the last two items. For example: I like movies, traveling and going out with friends. Please tell me if the use of and ...
2
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3answers
166 views

“I'm more against it than for it.”

Is this sentence fine? He gave his opinion on this issue. I’m more against it than for it. Or what else can I say expressing the same meaning?
1
vote
1answer
871 views

Singular or plural “set”?

I'm having some issues with a sentence that is part of the purpose in a report that I'm writing. I'm not sure if the word "communicate" (in bold) should be singular or plural. The applications in the ...
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vote
0answers
148 views

“She don't care about me”: how to explain this? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: The grammaticality of “that don't impress me much” I know the rule, the correct form is: "she doesn't care about me," but I heard it in Lost series, I ...
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5answers
6k views

“Put it into the refrigerator” or “Put it in the refrigerator”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When should “into” be used rather than “in to,” and vice versa? I am sorry if the question is silly, but I think I heard both options spoken by ...
0
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1answer
292 views

Imperative of 'to lie'. [duplicate]

At our regular supermarket this morning I noticed that they have put stickers on the check-out conveyor which say 'Lay bottles this way' with an arrow indicating that they want them parallel with the ...
0
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2answers
4k views

“Where am I?” vs. “Where I am?” [closed]

Which is more correct to say in a question? (For example a guy that wakes up in a train) "Where am I?" or "Where I am?"
0
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3answers
917 views

“By the bus” or “on the bus”

Is it more correct to form a sentence such as John went to academic conference by the bus using by as the preposition indicating what he took to the conference, or is using on the correct way? ...
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3answers
238 views

To download something ON or ONTO a device?

I've seen both these forms used and I was wondering, is either of them incorrect or are they interchangeable? You can download something ON your device. You can download something ONTO your ...
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3answers
2k views

“Feel committed to [gerund/infinitive]”

Does "feel committed to" require an infinitive or gerund complement? For example, which of the following is grammatical? I feel committed to following up on that. I feel committed to follow ...
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13answers
2k views

Why do I instinctively want to use the present tense with a conditional?

My boss is not a native speaker of English, so he often asks me to correct his writing. The problem is, he wants me to explain why I make changes, and doesn't accept "it just sounds better that way" ...
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5answers
6k views

Is “Just a friendly advice” grammatical?

I know that "advice" is uncountable and thus is incompatible with the article "a". However, the phrase "Just a friendly advice" seems to be rather widespread. Is it idiomatic, or incorrect? What is ...
60
votes
10answers
38k views

What is wrong with the word “performant”?

I keep getting the red underlining in Word whenever I write the word "performant". Here I intend to refer to something that performs well or better than something else (i.e., it's more performant). ...
28
votes
6answers
36k views

Why is it “on *the* one hand”?

According to all dictionaries I can see and everyday use by native speakers, this is the correct way: On the one hand, it's larger; on the other hand, it's more expensive. What makes no sense to ...
10
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4answers
16k views

“He has yet to” vs. “he is yet to”

He has yet to receive an appointment. He is yet to receive an appointment. Is there any difference in meaning? Is one more correct than the other?
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4answers
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“Sally broke her leg” vs. “Sally has broken her leg” Does switching the past simple with the present perfect affect its meaning?

Earlier today I had a private lesson with an Italian student—intermediate level, who has been studying the present perfect vs. past simple tense. His teacher had given him an exercise where a list of ...
10
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2answers
38k views

“Thanks” or “thank you”?

Which one is correct — "Thank you Jim" or "Thanks Jim"? If I start an email with the sentence "Thank you Jim" in Outlook, it shows grammar error while if I begin with "Thanks Jim" it doesn't.
10
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5answers
686 views

What does the door do?

We would like to enlist your help in arbitrating this grammatical dilemma. Given the question: What does the door do? Which of the following options is most correct as a response to the ...
7
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4answers
7k views

Is it incorrect to say, 'Give me it'?

Is it incorrect to say, 'Give me it' ? I am told that it is and one should always say, 'Give it me'?
7
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5answers
3k views

Using the word 'Only'

I am confused about using the word only. I often hear it being used in many contexts that sound wrong to me - but I'm not sure if it's me or them. Let me give some examples: A: Where were you ...
7
votes
5answers
4k views

Use of “myself” in business-speak

Occasionally, I will hear or read coworkers using "myself" in place of "me," as in: If you have any questions, you can contact Gimli or myself. I have sent the list to Legolas, Glorfindel, ...
6
votes
3answers
9k views

Do things use apostrophe for indicating possessive? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is using the possessive 's correct in “the car's antenna”? If someone owns something I would say: Mom's car. But if the owner is not a person, does ...
4
votes
3answers
13k views

“Neither” and “either” usage in negative sentence

I would like to make sure I understood the usage of these: Do you want A or B? I do not want either. [none of them] I want neither. [Can I say that?]
27
votes
7answers
11k views

Is it acceptable to start a sentence with “however”?

I have heard that starting a sentence with however is wrong. What are the grounds for this view and is it still held by a majority of pedants? They would suggest changing However, some people are ...
16
votes
3answers
45k views

“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 ...
11
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4answers
17k views

Is “stuff ” a plural word? [closed]

I'm wondering which one of these expressions is correct? This stuff or these stuff?
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5answers
3k views

“My last couple of years” — singular or plural?

Should I use "wasn't" or "weren't" in the following sentence? My last couple of years as an Edison Eagle wasn’t all about fighting and bad friendships.