Verbs are words that express an action, occurrence, or a state of being.

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What is the question form of “used to do”?

What is the correct way to convert "used to do" into a question? Since I want to emphasize that the action is not on-going any more, so simple past tense is not a good idea here. Could I say "do xxx ...
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3answers
829 views

“To do this or do that” or “to do this or *to* do that”?

I saw on the bottom of an email: To change your email preferences or unsubscribe from certain messages, click here. Is that correct or should it be: To change your email preferences or to ...
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2answers
51k views

When to use “has lived” vs. “lived” vs. “had lived”

Jim has lived there. Jim lived there. Jim had lived there. Are there any differences? When do I use one or the other? I'm trying to teach this to a foreign person and am having a hard ...
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6answers
99k views

Which is correct: “troubleshooted” or “troubleshot”?

Troubleshooted is not a word, but troubleshot is. Is this really the correct word to use? I always feel like saying: I troubleshooted it. vs I troubleshot it For some reason, it just ...
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2answers
4k views

Why is 'present perfect' present if it happened in the past? And why is it 'perfect'?

Why is 'present perfect' present if it happened in the past? And why is it 'perfect'?
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4answers
17k views

“Haven't you?” or “don't you?”

What is the right question tag (in British English) when we use the verb have? I have interviewed a few native speakers and none of them could explain why sometimes they prefer "haven't/hasn't" and ...
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2answers
10k views

Should I say 'What I wanted to say is' or 'What I wanted to say was'?

Following Martha's advice I am splitting up a question Compound sentences, the punctuation and mooore. Let's put what I said / wrote something in the past. And now I want to elaborate some key points ...
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7answers
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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 ...
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3answers
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“Important that John bring/brings” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When should I use the subjunctive mood? Given the sentence John brings his lunch to school, is it correct to say It is important that John brings his lunch to ...
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3answers
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Which nouns can be used as verbs?

Someone told me that the English language is special (compared to German, at least) in the way that every noun could be used as a verb. I think this phenomenon is called supine. Is this correct? ...
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2answers
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He was getting vs being beaten

I would need to understand the difference here: He was being beaten. He was getting beaten. I know "get" + ppt can be either passive voice or a change of state. What is that in this example? I ...
3
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2answers
355 views

How to distinguish between uses of words like 'Marry'?

Marry can be used both transitively: "Paul Married Jane" and intransitively: "I got married". Thus making the word ambitransitive But it has a third use: "Paul, the vicar Married Jane ...
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2answers
1k views

Use of “do” in affirmative statements [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When do you use “Did + 1st form” instead of “2nd form” When is do used in affirmative sentences? For example: I do think that this is going to be... Is it only ...
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2answers
190 views

Classification - There is/are

What is the official 'name' for the 'there is' / 'there are' construction? Is it a verb phrase or a lexical verb? I'd say possibly a verb but it must be the most difficult term to Google.
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2answers
6k views

When do you use “Did + 1st form” instead of “2nd form” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “did shoot” vs “shot” I often notice such sentences as: "EEG did show tumors"(from this week House M.D.) Why not "EEG showed tumors"? Is that ...
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10answers
66k views

“Unregister” vs “Deregister”

The concept of "undoing a registration" is widely used in my line of work. While most dictionaries define unregister as the proper verb for it, several widely used and highly considered sources also ...
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3answers
15k views

“It could/might/may be funny” — what is the correct usage?

What is the difference in meaning in these three sentences? it might be funny it could be funny it may be funny The answer was partially touched on in this post.
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4answers
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What's the difference between 'allow' and 'allow for'?

To be precise, I know that allow means to permit, and allow for is more like to make something possible, to enable, to make a provision for, but I'm still in doubt when I have to decide whether to use ...
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5answers
24k views

What is the difference between “begin” and “start”?

The children are eager to start the novel. or The children are eager to begin the novel.
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6answers
3k views

Is using the present perfect old fashioned?

I was talking to a Singaporean (English is her native language. I think, closer to American rather than British) friend. I learned in English class that you can use present perfect when there is a ...
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2answers
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Rules for nominalizing a verb

To nominalize a verb, you sometimes use the gerund. to happen --> a happening Sometimes it's a different word. to arrive --> an arrival so we don't write to arrive --> an *arriving ...
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2answers
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Origin of different past tenses for verbs with the same endings?

Why do we have a situation where the past of "to blow" is "blew", but of "to glow" is "glowed"? And don't say "flew" if you mean "it flowed". The poem Lovers, by Phoebe Cary has many examples of ...
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6answers
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“I'm done” or “I've done”

When someone asks whether you have completed a task e.g. shopping, dinner. What should be your answer? I am done. or I have done. To me, the former sentence's formation, Sub + VBe+ Past ...
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2answers
5k views

How does “each” change “are” to “is”?

Relevant: 'Each' with plural or singular verb and What should I use between “triple” vs. “all”? The answers in the linked question don't quite help me. Specifically, what happens with this case: ...
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2answers
2k views

Why do you write “occurred” but “listened”?

The past tense of to occur is occurred (not occured), but the past tense of to listen is listened (not listenned). Why? What is the general rule that is applied to make the past tense of a verb?
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4answers
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Should proper nouns used as verbs be capitalized? [duplicate]

When a proper noun like "Skype" is used as a verb ("Skyping"), should it be capitalized? My thinking is that it should be capitalized because the root is a proper noun. Does anyone know of a rule ...
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3answers
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Recommend someone

I'd like to ask about the use of the verb "recommend" in the following sentences: We'd recommend you to book your flight early. The plumber recommended me to buy a new water heater. The ...
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6answers
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Do you “watch” a movie or “see” a movie?

Which of the following verbs is most commonly used with movie? Or are they both used, but the connotations are different? I watched a good movie yesterday. I saw a good movie yesterday.
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1answer
294 views

Where does the verb go on this question? Is it even a reported question?

I understand that when I report a question, I put the subject back in front of the verb, as in: "He asked if she was going to be late." But I always get puzzled when it comes to reporting a question ...
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3answers
11k views

“To hear” or “to hearing”?

I often see constructions like this one: I look forward to hearing from you soon. It seems a little strange to me. In my mind it would look better using the infinitive form "to hear". I don't ...
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3answers
53k views

Difference between “think of” and “think about”

Is there a difference between "think of something" and "think about something"? I've also met "have heard of/about something".
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6answers
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If I drive a car and ride a motorcycle, what do I do with a boat?

Once we have specific verbs to refer to the action of operating a vehicle, my question is: What verb should I use to "drive" a boat/ship?
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5answers
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What's the difference between “speak” and “talk”, grammatically speaking?

There are a number of questions (example, example) that deal with the slightly different connotations of the words "speak" and "talk". However, there also seem to be some grammatical differences ...
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3answers
600 views

How did the phenomenon of doubling words come about?

I am referring to phrases such as: "Do you like her, or do you like like her." Can someone provide an explanation of this? There are many more examples but none come to mind at the moment.
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3answers
240 views

What sentence parts needs to be repeated here?

What of the following is right? "We need to find out..." "...how to lower the costs or how to produce more." "...how to lower the costs or to produce more." "...how to lower the costs or produce ...
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2answers
3k views

Not only X but also Y are (is?)

At first glance, sentence 1 below seems more correct because there are two subjects. However, something seems more natural about sentence 2. Maybe there is something abbreviated, elliptical, or ...
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3answers
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Does the verb 'rain' belong to some special class of verbs since its subject is always 'it'?

The subject of the verb 'rain' is always 'it' when the referred sense of the verb is 'rain fall' It rained heavily last night. Do you think it will rain again this evening? It looks as ...
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2answers
9k views

'Did see' and 'Saw'

The blog post here uses the title “Isn’t this just the cutest thing you ever did see?” I am sure this is correct, but my question is, but what difference it would have made had he used the ...
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3answers
16k views

“I understand you” vs “I do understand you” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the difference in meaning between “I play” and “I do play”? What is the difference between "I understand you" and "I do understand you", ...
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5answers
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Is it possible for a new irregular verb to appear in English language?

Consider these verbs in past tense: faxed, emailed, googled they are all regular verbs made out of new nouns. Are there any new irregular verbs that I'm not aware of?
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6answers
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What's the difference between “I look forward to” and “I'm looking forward to”?

I just don't get the reasoning behind which one is correct in which situation. Typically I use the wrong one, or I use them when I'm not supposed to.
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5answers
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Is there any difference between “talk to someone” and “talk with someone”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “Speak to” vs. “Speak with” Well, the question is in the title. I always had the impression that "talk to someone" refers to situations when some ...
25
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9answers
69k views

Is “errored” correct usage?

If "errored" is not a valid word, then how should I say: The program errored at line 44 I guess I could say: The program threw an error at line 44 But why is "errored" wrong? Is there a ...
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1answer
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“Did you find” versus “have you found”

What is the difference between "Did you find?" and "Have you found?" When should I use the first sentence, and when the second one?
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5answers
10k views

Is there any other way you can “wax” as you do when you “wax philosophical”?

The wax in the phrase "wax philosophical" is a pretty strange bird. Its wax is obviously not the ordinary definition of wax, which my dictionary summarizes as an "oily, water-resistant substance", a ...
12
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5answers
23k views

“Know about” vs. “know of”

Recently one of my friends told me that there is distinct difference between 'know of something' and 'know about something' expressions. 'know of' is used when you have personal experience with what ...
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1answer
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Origins of the “‑cede/‑seed/‑ceed” suffix

Somewhere in the back of my mind I seem to remember cedere meant “to go or yield” in Latin. Presumably this gives us the words concede and accede. (?) But what about the words supersede and proceed? ...
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Can 'revert' be used as a synonym of 'reply'?

I am a native speaker of American English, and I have only ever heard this usage of the word revert from one person. This person is not a native English speaker (he is from India), so he may just be ...
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3answers
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“Inputted” or “input”

I have used the word inputted in an assignment and am being forced to change it to input. However, both the Oxford English Dictionary (I am in New Zealand so this is most relevant) and MS Word list ...
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4answers
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Meaning of 'up/down' after a verb [closed]

There are lots of instances of using 'up' or 'down' after verbs. Instances: eat up, drink up, meet up, finish up, start up, fill up, clean up, wipe up, tie up, etc. What do they add as meaning to a ...