2
votes
1answer
60 views

Redundancy: If they should

Today’s horoscope on New York Daily News says (the link may be broken after tomorrow): If they should find out something before you had a chance to tell them, it could cause real friction. How ...
2
votes
2answers
34 views

Is the describer needed in 'not…but…" type constructions?

Consider these two sentences: "His actions reveal him to be a husband who is not jealous but is zealous." "Those words demonstrate not his jealousness but his zealousness." Are the words ...
0
votes
0answers
22 views

In the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-centuries; suspended hyphen [duplicate]

How would you suggest to list centuries here: Suspended hyphen: In the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-centuries... Separated by commas: In the late nineteenth-, and early twentieth-, ...
0
votes
2answers
63 views

How should we put a website address into a sentence? [closed]

Is the following a right way to put a website address in a sentence? You can visit the website http://english.stackexchange.com/questions/ask for English grammar problems.
0
votes
1answer
102 views

Question building in English vs. in French [duplicate]

Question about language grammar etymology. In French the question «Do you love?» can be written as «Aimez-vous?» in German — «Mögen Sie?», but in English — «Do you love?». Why should we use the verb ...
4
votes
3answers
375 views

Comparative or superlative to describe a quality of a member of a set of two things?

For example, 'he's the bigger of the two guards' or 'he's the biggest of the two guards'? The comparative indicates that something is bigger/more difficult than another member. If there's only two ...
0
votes
1answer
40 views

An (consonant) object [duplicate]

My original sentence was: ... an array of ... However I decided I wanted to elaborate on this, as "(traditionally two-dimensional) array". We usually use parentheses for extra detail not ...
0
votes
1answer
92 views

What does the reviewer mean?

I submitted my paper in a journal and after five months the reviewer replied as follows. I cannot understand him. Would you please let me what is really he means (bold words below). Words are omitted ...
1
vote
2answers
85 views

where- and there- compounds

Are these lexical formations considered archaic or can they still be used without fear of appearing extravagant or even old-fashioned? ... the book in which I read that... ... the book wherein I ...
0
votes
2answers
293 views

Which one is correct and why?

Across the Chesapeake Bay from the rest of the state ........ , whose farms produce beans, tomatoes, and other garden vegetables. A. there lies Maryland's Eastern Shore B. lies Maryland's Eastern ...
1
vote
1answer
197 views

on multiple infinitives

It is my greatest intellectual satisfaction to be able to read a line from Plato's dialogues and see what is sounds like in any of the languages in which I can read. It is my greatest intellectual ...
2
votes
2answers
859 views

which was given me VS which was given to me

I have come across occurrences of which was given me on many occasions; mostly in 19th century novels, where the mark of the dative case, to, was usually omitted. Which was given to me, on the other ...
1
vote
2answers
98 views

'Ask' and its objects

I'd like to know if the objects of the verb 'ask' must follow an order. If so what is that order? Should the first object be the person (someone) or the thing (something)? For example: Will you ask ...
5
votes
4answers
861 views

Is “I can have cheeseburger?” really grammatically correct? [closed]

As I was looking for a grammar and style plugin for a word processor to help catch my grammar and style errors. I found LanguageTool. On that page I typed the phrase "I can has cheeseburger?". The ...
1
vote
0answers
67 views

Customizable style checker [closed]

I am looking for a customizable style checker. Preferably with Ruby bindings. I have seen previous posts on here about static "grammar" checkers. However, I want something much more flexible allowing ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

A better, more academic way of saying 'whether or not'

This is my sentence, and I was hoping to make it sound more academic: The aim is to ascertain whether or not the actors from the two films analysed can be considered to be heroes Is there a ...
3
votes
1answer
191 views

Does this stylistic guideline have a name?

The principle would be something like: Avoid a long modifying clause that creates distance between your subject and verb For example, according to this guideline, the sentence One of his uncles ...
2
votes
1answer
452 views

Where do I use (and not use) “that?” (not a vs. “this” question)

Given this sentence, the that feels unnecessary: If I believed that I were in a position to do so, I would. I find these seemingly spurious instances of that working their way into my prose all ...
3
votes
1answer
826 views

What do you call “to be to” constructions and are they proper/good English?

Consider the following examples: You have to be really patient if you are to go shopping in the afternoon. It must be active if it is to record the film. What is the construction in bold ...
3
votes
3answers
326 views

Sentence with two not-so-related parts

Quite a lot of articles in Wikipedia, especially about people, have sentences like this one: Author of Gitanjali and its "profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse", he became the first ...
0
votes
2answers
347 views

Mixed tenses in a sentence [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: ‘Had’ or ‘has’ to describe a past condition which is still present? Tense change: previous actions on something that's currently true The employee was injured while ...
2
votes
1answer
317 views

Are general questions formed in plural or in singular?

When asking a general question about something in English, should they be formed in plural or in singular? Or rather what is a good way of forming it? How are articles used in English? Or ...
1
vote
1answer
429 views

“30 year” vs. “30 years” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Pluralization rule for “five-year-old children”, “20 pound note”, “10 mile run” Reading a report online, I read something like this. ...
3
votes
3answers
247 views

Can one suppress the pronoun “one” in a list?

On another site it sometimes happens that I give answers like: The first formula is correct but not the second one. This is probably grammatical, but I find the formulation a bit clumsy, ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Is it correct to combine multiple clauses into one sentence?

Is it correct to combine multiple clauses (sub sentences) into one? For example, let us consider this sentence: On managerial side, I am experienced in accounting software, have been working ...
5
votes
1answer
391 views

Is it acceptable to use 'that' followed by a direct quote?

New York Times: Even before President Obama declared this month that “I have Israel’s back” in its escalating confrontation with Iran, pro-Israel figures like the evangelical Christian leader ...
0
votes
4answers
13k views

“Has not been updated” vs “Doesn't seem to be updated”

I was talking to the computer guy at our school about my grades, and I came across the following two options: I hadn't received my grades for one of my courses until last week. But it doesn't seem ...
9
votes
5answers
832 views

'How to' vs 'How do I'

This question is inspired by comments on a question on stackoverflow. The original poster wrote: How to correct this error? And comments say that it's an incorrect question. Better is How ...
0
votes
1answer
1k views

Improving written English and Grammar [closed]

What is the best way to improve your Grammar and improve your writing style? What would be the best online resource to improve my grammar? I maintain a blog of my own, and I have reasonably good ...
15
votes
7answers
7k views

Is using passive voice “bad form”?

Whenever I create a document in Microsoft Word, it complains about a lot of my sentences being in passive voice. But, when I read that sentence aloud, it sounds fine to me. I am not sure if it is just ...
15
votes
6answers
948 views

What are the principles that make certain lists sound euphonious?

Has this ever happened to you: You write a question, include a list or two in the discussion, and then come back to edit that list because the order doesn't sound "right"? Off the top of my head, I ...
1
vote
2answers
173 views

How to modify “one-third” by an adverb?

Would it be correct to merge with hyphens one-third-contiguously in the following phrase? I propose to elect by 3 quotas, each per one-thirds-contiguously of time-zones.
-1
votes
4answers
2k views

Usage of “What” + verb without auxiliary one

This is a subquestion to my "And lead raptivity captive" question. As I understood from a comment by RegDwight, it was incorrect to ask: What mean raptivity and phrase "And lead raptivity captive"? ...
2
votes
1answer
201 views

Choice of an agent to give an active voice - me or the computer program

Background I am writing a scientific article that describes a computer program. Although it is common in the field to use a passive voice, it is also acceptable, and my preference, to diversify the ...
1
vote
1answer
765 views

“Recommend someone to represent…” vs. “recommend someone represent…”

Looking at the sentence below I have a feeling it is wrong, though I can't explain why: I highly recommend Dave to represent you in Korea with your software. I have thus rephrased it to the ...