1
vote
2answers
93 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
236 views

“Developed to [infinitive]” vs. “developed for [gerund]” [duplicate]

I am confused about when to use "to verb" and when to use "for verb+ing" constructs. For example what would be the proper construct for the following sentences extracted from scientific journals: ...
1
vote
2answers
81 views

Is “mainstream” an acceptable verb?

I recently read the word "mainstream" as a verb and doubted whether it was the best choice in the sentence. Can you say you want to "mainstream" something? Perhaps it is grammatical but just ...
5
votes
5answers
2k views

Why put the verb before the subject?

The opening sentence to The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien reads, In a hole in the ground there lived [verb] a hobbit [subject]. I wonder if there are accepted stylistic purposes for such a structure. ...
6
votes
5answers
782 views

How to use “used to use”?

Is it correct to say something like this? I used to use the knife to open things like cans.
3
votes
1answer
139 views

X beats Y beats Z

On one of my pages, I have the following text: If a tie occurs, the tie is broken as follows: Spicy beats Dry beats Sweet beats Bitter beats Sour, and Spicy beats Sour. This text explains how ...
3
votes
4answers
375 views

Number agreement of “a thing of the past”

Is the pluralization correct in the following sentences? To Do lists are a thing of the past. To Do lists are things of the past. A To Do list is a thing of the past. Are they all ...
2
votes
2answers
7k views

Verb+ing as a verb beginning a sentence

Is this good English? Falling into the ocean, the drop dies as a drop, but not as water. Or should I say: When it falls into the ocean, the drop dies...
23
votes
7answers
5k views

Using “utilize” instead of “use”?

My friend has been raising a ruckus about the abuse of the word "utilize" in place of the word "use." He complains that it just makes your sentences sound pretentious. u·ti·lize [yoot-l-ahyz] verb ...
4
votes
3answers
10k views

Is it always bad to use “get” or “got”?

Back in grammar, one of the many rules we were given was to always avoid "get," "got," or "gotten" due to their ambiguity and tendency toward poor grammar as in: What happened to your arm? It got ...