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

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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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“1 out of 100 chickens is” or “1 out of 100 chickens are”?

I'm in an argument. To me "are" makes more sense. I understand the rationale for is because it's only one chicken, but chickens itself is plural. Help?
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Would you use the word “swum” these days?

Would you use the word "swum" these days? I mean, grammatically, it is the past participle of the verb "to swim", but it seems to me that no one uses it anymore. If it's the case, how would You ...
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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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“Had better” — what is the meaning of this grammatically?

I'm interested to know why we use had better for recommendation. Technically we're speaking of an action that hasn't yet occurred. Like he had better leave a tip means he hasn't yet left a tip, but I ...
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“home to” or “home for”?

Which of the following is correct? Himalaya is home to diverse flora. Himalaya is home for diverse flora. Or is there a better third possibility?
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What is the proper usage of “not only… but also”?

I'm trying to figure out how to use "not only... but also" properly. Basically, my goal is to combine two clauses by using "not only". For negations, I've figured out two styles that both sound ...
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174 views

Can you use “many, many” in this way?

Suppose I want to use the phrase "many, many" to compound the "maniness" of the thing I'm describing. There are many, many people. The people (of which there are many, many) The first one ...
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545 views

The “of” in “the month of January”

Why is it called 'the month of January' and not 'the month January'? As I was learning German, I noticed they used the latter (der Monat Januar). Why the discrepancy?
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“Dance macabre” or “macabre dance”

The role is the kind of high-wire dare certain types of actors and directors cannot resist. T. Scott Cunningham, who has created a number of lovable losers onstage in the last decade, lets the ...
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“Today's assumption” or “todays assumption” — which is valid grammar?

We (non native English-speakers) are writing a paper and are wondering if the following construct is valid English: Yesterday's assumption is no longer valid. Specifically the apostrophe after ...
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“I'm going to take and stir the cake mix”

Please explain why this sentence is grammatically incorrect. I'm going to take and stir the cake mix.
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432 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"? ...
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Use of “The better”?

Disclamer: English isn't my first language. I learned during my English courses (a few years ago), that there is, as in French (which is my first language), a comparative and superlative version for ...
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“How's things?” or “How are things?”

In a short interview where people were introducing themselves I saw something that grammatically sounds erroneous. Is the use of How's things instead of How're things a kind of expression or a simple ...
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“He didn't know where New Jersey was”

I know the past tense carries the past tense in every dependent clause, but referring specifically to places or to things that are eternal, like the Earth, seems a bit weird and therefore we sometimes ...
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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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Which one is correct, “best wishes to you” or “best wishes for you”?

Which one is correct, "best wishes to you" or "best wishes for you"?
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Is “Them’s fighting words” a right and received English expression?

I came across the phrase ‘Them’s fighting words,’ in the beginning part of a Time magazine (July 12) article in its Swampland section under the title “Don’t mess with the stimulus! It had all your ...
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“need to do” vs “need do”

Consider: I need to do this. I need do this. My English grammar knowledge tells me that "need" doesn't have the same status as the modal verbs "may", "can", "should" and what not. Hence the second ...
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Should you use “who” or “that” when talking about multiple people doing something?

Which of the following is correct? There were 10 people that went to the store. There were 10 people who went to the store. Edit: Which of the following is correct? There were 10 ...
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In reply to “Do they have…”, which is correct — “yes, they do” or “yes, they have”?

My daughter is in an 5th grade English class in Germany with a teacher who teaches British English. The teacher asked what is the correct response to Do they have some? My daughter, who has ...
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Is it correct to say “What was your name?”?

Is it correct to say "What was your name?"? The reason I am asking this is, generally the name of the person will not change. One should say "What is your name?" ...
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Indian English use of “only”

I am from Bangalore and people here tend use the word only to emphasise something in a sentence. For example: We are getting that only printed. What is the proper way to put it?
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What's up with all the words ending with “-eth” in the Bible? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What happened to the “-est” and “-eth” verb suffixes in English? How were they once used? With all this rapture thing going on now, I noticed ...
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Is “Many thanks” a proper usage?

I saw emails from English people with Many Thanks as a signing off phrase. Is that proper usage? Or is it a phrase created by continental English speakers due to the influence of their native ...
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Is “all total” grammatically correct?

We have three apples all total. All total, we have 75 bananas. How many cucumbers do we have all total? I have heard many sentences like this. I always wonder, is this grammatically ...
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Is “It won't let me not.” grammatically correct?

I found myself saying the following sentence the other day: I always fasten my seat belt because my car won't let me not — it starts beeping loudly. If I were to use allow instead of let, I ...
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When to use “have” and “have got”

When do I use have and have got? Are "I have the answer" and "I've got the answer" both correct?
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“Well” and “good” as applied to the quality of photographs

These photos came out well. or These photos came out good. According to the proper usage of well and good, the former would be describing the quality of the taking and developing of the ...
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Which phrase is correct: “dependent on” or “dependent upon”

Which sentence is correct?  my project is dependent upon your project completing my project is dependent on your project completing.
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“Compose” and “comprise”

The whole comprises the parts, for example The board comprises five members. and the parts compose the whole such as Five members compose the board. The preceding sentence can be written ...
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Can “so” and “very” be used together?

Is it correct to use so and very together in a single sentence? For example: You are so very funny. Is it grammatically correct or not?
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When is it correct to use the “-wise” suffix?

I found myself writing the following in a bit of technical documentation: The Trainers' and Students' clients have very little in common, both user interface-wise and code-wise. At first, I ...
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Is this correct: “I'd have to have had…”

This sentence makes my head hurt a bit, and it doesn't seem right, but perhaps you guys could help me sort it out. "If I would've gone to Canada, I'd have to have had some kind of winter gear."
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Is it correct to say “cold temperature”?

Is it correct to say "cold temperature"?
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Is it correct to say “the 'following' customer”?

It happens all the time. You are in line at the grocery store, Starbucks or anywhere cashiers are employed. Having finished a transaction, one will cheerily offer to help "the following customer." ...
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Are collective nouns taught at school (and one has to learn them) or are they just a fun thing?

I speak English as a foreign language and find it unique in several aspects. One of them is the large number of collective nouns, especially for groups of birds. Such high degree of specificity ...
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Is there an exception to the prohibition against ending a sentence with “ ’s ” at work here?

The ’s can be used as a contraction representing a weak, unstressed word that is not pronounced. It allegedly cannot occur in sentence final position. She is not ready, but he is. She’s not ...
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Grammar: “Just because A, doesn't mean B”

I hear this all the time, and often from writers, but it never sounds right. I found myself using it in something I was writing. For example: "Just because I stopped eating doesn't mean I'm full." ...
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Is it correct to say “one out of *a* possible four”?

I am curious if it is correct to say "one out of a possible four". This is what I found in a publication: Discrete level (one out of a possible four), corresponding to a range of safety ...
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Is it correct to use “uppercased”?

Is uppercase a valid verb? Could I say for example "you should use your password uppercased"?
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“Any” with countable nouns in questions

I have seen "is “any” also used with plurals", which explains that any can be used with singular, plural, and uncountable nouns. However, I want to ask specifically about questions. ...
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Usage of “we” as plural second-person

I often hear people saying phrases of the type "How are we doing over here?" by servers at restaurants, for example. Obviously they mean "How are you (plural) doing?" Where does this type of usage ...
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Is “a total of 10 payments” singular or plural?

A total of 10 payments were made. OR A total of 10 payments was made. Which is correct? Or can both be correct?
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Definite article with proper nouns, titles followed by a common noun

Over time I developed this rule where if a title or a proper name is followed by a common noun that represents the class of the entity I am referring to, then I use the definite article. In Example 1, ...
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Why do I so often want to replace “happen” in sentences?

Consider the following variant sentences: Colloquia and seminars both happen in an academic setting. and Colloquia and seminars both occur in an academic setting. Using happen to describe ...
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“How to […]?” and “Where to […]?” Questions that are not questions. Is this defensible?

Adding a question mark to the end of a "How to" or "Where to" sentence appears to be quite common. Here are two examples from this very site: How to punctuate a list of questions? (link) Where to ...
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“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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Do two people have “breaths”?

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 ...