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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

0
votes
1answer
37 views

Pronunciation rules [on hold]

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
96 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
54 views

mail address - construction of

I was taught that mail addresses are constructed from the personal to the impersonal. It seems the apartment number should appear before street address. This doesn't seem to be the general usage ...
1
vote
1answer
60 views

Why is the usage of split infinitives so controversial? [closed]

I know that some consider the usage of this as wrong grammar. I also realise that depending on the sentence context, the usage/non-usage of split infinitives can lead to changes in sentence structure ...
-1
votes
1answer
29 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
76 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
29 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
130 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. ...
17
votes
2answers
7k views

Why does the 'b' in absorb change to a 'p' in absorption?

The question pretty much says it all. Why is "absorbtion" an incorrect spelling?
0
votes
0answers
97 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. ...
5
votes
2answers
801 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
69 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 ...
22
votes
2answers
4k views

Why is it true that “I before E, except after C”?

I almost hesitate to ask this, because it is hard to believe no one else asked it; but it isn't showing up in the "similar titles" list. What is special about 'C' that switches the 'IE' immediately ...
1
vote
1answer
805 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

Are there any “-nk-” or “-nc-” words in English where there isn't a “ng” before the “k” sound?

In words like think and lank, we actually seem to be saying "thing-k" and "lang-k." Can anyone thing-k of any words or rules for sound use where this doesn't happen?
2
votes
1answer
340 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
8k views

When should a singular word ending in “y” end in “ies” plurally?

Words like "sky" and "money" have "ies" as a plural suffix (i.e. "skies" and "monies") but other words like "monkey" and "Emmy" do not ("monkeys" and "Emmys"). Is there a rule dictating the use of ...
3
votes
2answers
190 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
51 views

Capitalization of a two-line explanation after a colon [closed]

I came across the following capitalization in a documentation. In the actual documentation, the line is changed where I inserted brackets, and "T" in "Tilt" is aligned to "P" in "Pitch". Installation ...
1
vote
1answer
151 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
11k views

In which type of situations we can use “I Were”?

In some situations, we can use "were" with "I" although its grammatically wrong. But somehow it's being used many times, I don't know the situations any idea guys??
1
vote
4answers
1k 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
8k views

Correct usage of ‘on’, ‘at’ and ‘in’ from a foreigner’s point of view

As a foreign English speaker who never really studied too much English grammar other than the basics at high school, I am often struggling to use the correct form in certain phrases. At being ...
11
votes
6answers
19k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
61 views

By leaving a place are you always entering another place? [closed]

One of my co-workers made the statement that by leaving a place you are always automatically entering another place...is this always the case? For example: by leaving the house one enters the outside ...
2
votes
2answers
382 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 ...
0
votes
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 ...
0
votes
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 ...
0
votes
3answers
7k views

What words have “‑ei‑” (except in “‑cei‑”) pronounced [i:]?

The rule is that written ei is pronounced [i:] only after the letter c — or that what is pronounced [i:] is written ei after the letter c only. Here are exceptions I’ve found so far: foreign ...
7
votes
1answer
583 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?
0
votes
2answers
3k views
1
vote
5answers
2k views

Is the “an” rule applied when a sum of money is in between? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When should I use “a” vs “an”? I have recently seen this image: Should "a" have been used instead of "an" in the "...an $100,000 apartment" ...
0
votes
2answers
595 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?
7
votes
7answers
6k views

Use of the superlative when only two items are present

When speaking with my mother a couple of days ago, I read to her a message I was sending to my cousin on her behalf ending with: "... the birthday of your youngest." [implying her child] She ...
1
vote
1answer
229 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
1k 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?
1
vote
2answers
9k 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, ...
1
vote
2answers
159 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. ...
1
vote
2answers
258 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
171 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
265 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
640 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
225 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
654 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
votes
1answer
78 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
3k views

When the plural ends in “-ies”, how do I know whether the singular ends in “-y” or “-ie”? [closed]

my question is how am I supposed to recognize a singular form of a noun which plural form ends with "ies"? As you can see "cookies" are a "cookie" when singular, but at the same time "flies" stand for ...
0
votes
1answer
792 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?"
3
votes
2answers
498 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
715 views

Is “recyclist” a word?

If you are a person who avidly recycles, are you a recyclist?
0
votes
1answer
366 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 ...