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

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“Eat” is to “feed” as “drink” is to what?

I can say "I feed someone". Am I forced to say "I give someone a drink", or is there a single word for this (as in "I [verb] someone")? Unfortunately my thesaurus can't really help me.
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4answers
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“Would have” in conditional clauses

I have been taught to use the if I had form in conditional clauses referring to the past: If the president had asked me, I would have told him the same thing. As far as I can tell though, the ...
29
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3answers
136k views

“Let's” vs. “lets”: which is correct?

Say I'm promoting a product. Which is correct? [Product] let's you [do something awesome]. [Product] lets you [do something awesome]. Or neither?
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2answers
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Why is the phrase “should have went” so widely used?

Rarely do we hear "should have gone" in common speech. Some background: My father immigrated to the US in the late 60s. He learned English first overseas, British English. Then he studied extensively ...
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2answers
15k views

Should I use the singular or plural verb in mathematical formulae (“Two and two make/makes four”)?

I remember somebody correcting me once when I said, "Two and two makes four", since the conjunction and would imply the use of a plural verb. They would prefer I said: Two and two make four. ...
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3answers
84k 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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3answers
3k views

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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1answer
1k views

“Help rule out” vs. “help to rule out” [duplicate]

Duplicate of: What is the correct way to use infinitive after the verb “help”: with or without “to”? “Could help avoid” vs. “could help to avoid” “Helping you do ...
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6answers
24k views

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
25k views

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? ...
3
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2answers
447 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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3answers
704 views

What are the guidelines for usage of “will” and “is/are going to”?

I use them interchangeably, however I'd like to know when one is better or more appropriate than the other.
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3answers
1k 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
7k 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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5answers
17k views

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 ...
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6answers
124k 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 ...
12
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4answers
24k 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
5k 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
8k views

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 ...
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6answers
23k views

“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 ...
5
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2answers
14k 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 ...
9
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4answers
5k views

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
7k views

“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 ...
21
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2answers
1k views

“Fire” a weapon before firearms existed?

Did the verb “fire a weapon” exist before the actual introduction of firearms on battlefields? More specifically, does it make sense for a creative work to have archers (or whatever ranged weaponry) ...
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5answers
10k views

Is “shined” correct? If so, is “he shined X on the tree” also correct?

Recently, I overhead a former professor of mine use the word shined, a word that makes me grammatically uncomfortable. She used it as following: "Then, after we shined a light on the other ball, what ...
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4answers
14k views

Opened vs open?

Is there are rule when to use opened vs open? I always get confused even though I've been speaking English as the dominant language for more than half my life. E.g. Is the door open(ed)? ...
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3answers
2k views

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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10answers
79k 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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7answers
109k views

What is the difference between 'make decision' and 'take decision'?

What is the difference between make decision and take decision? When to use the one and when the other?
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4answers
13k views

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 ...
4
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3answers
21k 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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9answers
81k 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
4k views

Origins of the “‑cede/‑sede/‑ceed” suffix

Somewhere in the back of my mind I seem to remember that cedere meant “to go or yield” in Latin. Presumably this gives us the words concede and accede. (?) But what about the words supersede and ...
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5answers
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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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7answers
147k views

“Take a rest” or “have some rest”?

Which one of the these is the correct, or can I use both? take a rest have some rest Or is there any better way to say that?
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3answers
30k views

“Seem”, “appear”, “look” — how to differentiate?

Are there any significant structural or semantic differences between seem, appear and look in the sense of "to give the impression of being or doing something"? She looks unhappy. He seems ...
11
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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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4answers
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Why is “rollback it” incorrect?

I recently wrote the following sentence: Please roll it back. But if I were to describe the action on its own I would say: This rollback was due to objections by the original author. If I ...
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2answers
6k views

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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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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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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2answers
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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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3answers
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Past tense of wake: is there a difference between “waked”, and “woke”?

I just stumbled over the verb "to wake", which according to various sources has two valid forms for the past tense: "woke" and "waked". Some further research stated, that there seem to be two (Old / ...
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7answers
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How to use “text” as a verb

–verb (used without object) Digital Technology. 15. to send a text message: Texting while driving is an accident asking to happen. Can I use: I text to her but she didn't text me back. ...
5
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1answer
392 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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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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3answers
695 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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2answers
688 views

“The more, the merrier!” — Is this a sentence? If not… what?

Is The more, the merrier! a sentence? It doesn't seem to have a main verb, so I'm inclined to say no, but it certainly functions as a sentence in everyday speech. I can think of three ways of ...
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3answers
259 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 ...