Questions about the rules of English. This tag is overly broad and discouraged.

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Notable English grammar rules changes in modern grammar books

Modern English grammar books like English Grammar In Use, first published in 1985, for example, has four editions till now, I am wondering if there are any notable worthy examples of changes in modern ...
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0answers
27 views

Rules for pronunciation from spelling? [duplicate]

Is there a kind of list of rules that one could rely on for the pronunciation while reading? I'm quite sure there's some kind of rule that explain how to properly read english. It often happens when ...
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0answers
50 views

Is there a rule for when to pronounce “ah” instead of “ae” in RP versus GA? [duplicate]

I would like to know if there is a rule when to pronounce ah in RP versus ae in GA. Is it a question of vocabulary or is there a rule for that? Examples: dance- in RP is pronounced ah but in GA it ...
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1answer
71 views

Past tense means politeness? [closed]

Questions asked using past tense, some examples like: "Would you mind...?", "Could you please...?", "Should I do...?", "Did you want...?" It seems people are using past tense in these sort of ...
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2answers
42 views

Comma rules - found a lot of special rules, but not general ones

I have read a lot on proper punctuation: grammar.ccc.comnet.edu grammarbook.com And some more... Now I remember my English teacher warning me that in English, you should use a lot less commas then in ...
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1answer
40 views

Are there Official Rules for Comma Placement?

In this answer, the linguist John Lawler gave the following advice concerning comma placement: If you would use that intonation in speaking, write a comma. Otherwise don't. This sounds like as ...
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1answer
58 views

Grammar rule for 'the' in front of a noun

Is there an exhaustive list of rules for when to put 'the' in front of a noun, more specifically a location? I want my program to be able to be smart about doing exactly this when building sentences. ...
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1answer
46 views

Mystery behind silent letters [closed]

I have doubts about words in the English language that have a silent letter. So I want to know how to understand whether a letter is silent or not.
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1answer
92 views

as little as 1 day as an adjective object phrase of a preposition

You can get your money back in as little as 1 day! It is a sentence I heard from an advertisement. Sadly, I cannot tell if this is what the advertisement said, for I did not pay much attention to ...
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3answers
205 views

Prefix 'mono' + 'o-'

Monobjective vs monoobjective. I do not know which of both words is right in English. Context: scientific/formal. Example: "monoobjective optimization". Is there any general rule in English about ...
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1answer
1k views

I would love it versus I would love

What is correct? "I would love if you could do that" versus "I would love it if you could do that" Is there a general rule I can follow in cases like this?
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1answer
124 views

English Production Rules [duplicate]

Does an official set of production rules (formal grammar) for English exist? Something along the lines of: Sentence -> Clause EndPunctuation Clause -> Subject Predicate Subject -> NounPhrase ...
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3answers
10k views

In what context is the plural of genius, “genii” acceptable to use in a sentence?

How exactly can one acceptably use genii in a sentence. Can it be used in everyday language, or does it have a very specific ruleset in how and where it may be used?
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1answer
144 views

Definitive way to separate prefixes from roots

Prefixes and suffixes change the meaning of roots, therefore to properly analyze a word it is often helpful to know what is the prefix and what is the root. Prefixes are a syllable or syllables in ...
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1answer
71 views

Pronunciation rules [closed]

I was always wondering if there is a compact set of rules that helps readers enunciate English words. One of the reasons why I believe there are such rules is that there are some online dictionaries ...
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1answer
72 views

Referred as … below [closed]

When I'm writing a rule, I meet a problem that I need to define a word used below. For example: "Group", or "The Group" below means "the ??? Group." The Group will not...... How can I ...
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1answer
277 views

Phonics, the letter “I” and its rules

Logo/Linguaphiles, I am in need of your guidance. What were you taught when it came to phonics of words that start with the letter "I"? When is a short/long "I" sound used and what are the rules ...
3
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1answer
346 views

Use/non-use of articles before Adjective + Abstract noun

I have confusion regarding use/non-use of articles before adjective + abstract noun. Eg. competent handling, prolonged tread life, enhanced durability Providing COMPETENT HANDLING and PROLONGED TREAD ...
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0answers
36 views

Are there rules about where a long title should be broken across lines? [closed]

Here is the title: Clean your vessel & everything on it in a single session! Clean your vessel & everything on it in a single session! Clean your vessel & everything on it ...
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2answers
524 views

Is there a rule for when to write numbers in full?

I was recently taught that numbers should be written in full if: The number is between zero and ten. The number has three or less digits. The number is present at the start of a paragraph. (...
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0answers
280 views

“She talked about how…” Grammar Rule

I'm trying to find the grammar rule or name that explains these types of sentences: The movie was about how we all need to love each other. She talked about how there is a great fear of technology. ...
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1answer
95 views

Order of prefixes when more than one is present

In Words having two prefixes incorporated the person asking the question is curious about the name for words with more than one prefix. I am interested in knowing the rules dictating their order. Why ...
3
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2answers
227 views

Does -able have an imperative meaning?

In a question on SO I ran into a question about the meaning of word "closeable". As far as I know (and my teachers taught me so) it has two meanings: possible to close should be closed The ...
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1answer
228 views

Semi-colon or colon?

I'm writing a descriptive piece, and can't figure out whether this is grammatically correct, or whether I ought to place a semi-colon between "entry" and "crooked": "As I walked in using the cobbled ...
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5answers
2k views

Variations in the pronunciation of “the”

Although there are rather simple rules determining the pronunciation of "the", native speakers quite often deviate from these rules (including, e.g., TV shows). According to the Longman Pronunciation ...
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0answers
33 views

Singular vs plural: the effect of conjunctions [duplicate]

Consider: Please check that the username and password is correct. Please check that the username and password are correct. If I had to break the statement into its parts: Please check that the ...
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2answers
1k views

A case of optional “that”: “check the” vs. “check that the”

Consider the following use case: Please check the username and password are correct. Please check that the username and password are correct. In this case, I would say that that is required ...
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0answers
34 views

Are there any rules for genitive case not indicating possesion? [duplicate]

My teacher, a native English speaker, was quite puzzled when I asked this and could not answer this question. Why there is: child seat but children's love //why these are different ...
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2answers
903 views

Is there any rule for pronouncing words beginning with “re-”?

It’s hard for me to guess how to pronounce words beginning with re- correctly. Sometimes it is /rɛ/ as in reference, but sometimes it is /ri/ as in report. Is there any rule about this?
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2answers
8k views

Is it proper grammar to write a number with “th” after the month or only if it is used before the month? [closed]

Is it proper grammar to write July 17th or would it be the 17th of July?
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2answers
853 views

Why are there exceptions for the i before e except after c rule? [duplicate]

The exceptions such as"foreign" and "weird" seem abnormal to me because most of the rest of the ie or ei words follow the i before e rule. They don't have a "c". Why does that happen?
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2answers
5k views

“24 years old or 24 year old”? [closed]

I'm wondering if there should be an "s" when telling about ages. I have heard from my native English friend says "I'm 24 year old" is it correct?
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1answer
505 views

Comprehensive list of grammar rules?

Does anyone know of a near-comprehensive list of grammar rules? (Specifically those which a poor writer of English might violate.) The most amusing candidate I've found was http://www.listsofnote.com/...
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1answer
844 views

In a combination of two vowels (such as “ae”), what rule determines if the first (“a”) or second (“e”) is silent?

In a combination of two vowels (such as "ae"), what English rule determines if the first ("a") or second ("e") is silent? For example, in the word "praetor", the vowel "a" is silent but in the word "...
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2answers
999 views

Usage of “go to” vs “go”

I'm trying to explain the difference between "go to" and "go" and I'm not sure what the actual rule is. I've tried searching about it, but I couldn't find anything. When should I use "go to" and when ...
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2answers
227 views

Is there a grammar rule that defines the properties of a legally accepted word [closed]

I would like to know if there is a grammar rule(s) that defines whether a word is gramatically legal or not. I understand a word is given meaning by a human and anyone can give meaning to anything. ...
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6answers
38k views

What's wrong with “We hope you will find our Qualifications to be well-organized, concise, and most of all, to exceed your expectations.”

Why is the following sentence grammatically incorrect? We hope you will find our Qualifications to be well-organized, concise, and most of all, to exceed your expectations. I've asked three ...
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1answer
404 views

What are the implicit rules for creating new portmanteaux in English?

Wikipedia defines a portmanteau1 as: “Portmanteau word” is used to describe a linguistic blend, namely “a word formed by blending sounds from two or more distinct words and combining their ...
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2answers
196 views

Payed or paid, is there a rule for this change in vowels?

Why do some verbs combine the "y" and the "e" in the past tense, while others retain "ye"? For example, pay to paid, but flay to flayed? Is there a rule for this change? Any help would be ...
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2answers
389 views

Use of “either/or” in a negative phrase

I'm not sure if a sentence I wrote is correct: "The last one didn't get neither my changes nor thiago's". I'm trying to say that the last activity I ran in a system didn't get the changes I sent ...
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1answer
1k views

“E” at the end of words to make a word

I was wondering about adding an e at the end of a word to change it from a noun to a verb. For example. cloth to clothe, and breath to breathe. My question here is if this is some special rule, or a ...
2
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1answer
88 views

Suffered from vs suffered

When should I use from? Example: His company suffered a setback. Vs His company suffered from a setback. She suffered from a heart attack. Vs She suffered a heart attack I realise that sometimes ...
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2answers
14k views

Rules of thumb on using the correct tense forms and auxiliary verbs

For example, when using "since", you should use "present perfect": Mr Smith _ _ _ the company since 1990. runs has run is running ran Is there any reference on similar rules, ...
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1answer
887 views

Job requirements. Why do they write words with capital letters within sentences?

I noticed the capitalization within sentences. For example, Great experience in Java, Android SDK with core knowledge of Object Oriented Programming principles and Design Patterns. Is there a ...
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1answer
1k views

Is downtown an adverb of place? [duplicate]

What is the explanation for why we say "I'm going downtown" instead of "I'm going to downtown?"
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2answers
619 views

Which word is technically correct in English: debrick or unbrick?

With certain electronic devices if you make a mistake you can brick (used as a verb) the device, so it ends up in a defunct state. So the device ends up being bricked. What is the correct term to ...
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2answers
1k views

Character vs Charm - Pronunciation

Is there a rule to understand how the group "Cha" has to be pronounced? "Character" sounds with a hard first syllable, while "Charm" sound softer, but I don't find how to tell which sound to use ...
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1answer
999 views

How to guess the pronunciation of some inconsistencies in English?

I’m not a native English speaker, and I have a lot of problems when is comes to pronouncing words like archive, archon, zealot, heal, health. Why is the ch sometime pronounced like a k? Why is the ...
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1answer
512 views

Comma Rules: Conflicting Rules Concerning the Setting Off of Commas

I've got a sentence where the independent clause is in the front, a contrasting phrase follows, and then a simile is made to modify or elaborate the contrasting phrase. I am wondering where commas ...
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1answer
146 views

Proper apostrophe usage? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the proper way to write the plural of a single letter? (another apostrophe question) Plurals of acronyms, letters, numbers — use an apostrophe or not? Take for ...