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

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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 ...
19
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3answers
124k views

“Congratulate for” vs. “congratulate on”

Which is correct? I congratulated him for coming first in the race. I congratulated him on coming first in the race.
6
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3answers
36k 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
69k views

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
2k views

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 ...
11
votes
4answers
9k 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 ...
10
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5answers
18k views

Is “administrate” a valid English verb? What's the difference between it and “administer”?

We had an interesting discussion yesterday about the use of administer and administrate. I feel that there is a case for both usages -- sometimes you might administer something, and other times you ...
9
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2answers
7k 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 ...
3
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2answers
233 views

Over half our board and staff [are/is] people of color? [duplicate]

I'm under the impression that the correct verb to use is "are," but my colleagues believe it to be "is." And what about just: "over half our board [are/is] people of color" ? Another case: "over ...
30
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9answers
41k views

If someone is electrocuted, do they have to die or can they just be injured?

Is it correct to say I electrocuted my friend if he was only injured by electricity?
17
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4answers
5k views

Attempt at formulating verb tenses when time travel is involved?

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy has an amusing section on the problems associated with verb tenses when time travel is involved. It has several examples which appear to be constructed for their ...
9
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3answers
2k views

Is “get” (in the sense of “become/make”) appropriate for formal writing?

Is the use of "get + adjective/participle" appropriate for formal writing (for example, scientific papers)? I am thinking of usages analogous to get fat get inflated get sick where the meaning ...
9
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3answers
8k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
898 views

Can a gerund be modified by an adjective?

Is the sentence below grammatically correct? Good writing requires hard work. Or should it read: Writing well requires hard work. Can a gerund be modified by an adjective or must it be ...
6
votes
1answer
16k views

“Seek” vs.“search”

I've been wondering, what is the difference between seek and search? When should one be preferred over the other?
5
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1answer
852 views

“Years of experience that keeps us safe.” vs “Years of experience that keep us safe.”

If you've ever seen Mythbusters, you know that all episodes contain at least one safety disclaimer. Having recently rewatched several episodes, I've noticed that some disclaimers have Adam saying, "...
3
votes
2answers
25k views

Expect +to VS expect + ing

I know that expect is used this way: I expect you to do that. But I have also seen examples like with verb in its "ing" form: > What to expect working at... > I will expect you doing //...
3
votes
2answers
20k views

“I am going to bed” vs. “I will be going to bed”

What is the difference between saying the following? I am going to bed in a few minutes. I will be going to bed in a few minutes. Or I will be getting off here. Or, I guess, I will be ...
2
votes
2answers
938 views

Position of verb for object clause

Is the general word order of this sentence correct? We investigate how strong the effect of X on Y is. Or, as an alternative, We investigate how strong the effect of X is on Y. In a ...
2
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1answer
139 views

“Has changed since March 1” vs “Changed on March 1”

My address has changed since March 1. The new address is now 123 Mapple Street. Is the verb tense in “has changed” correct in this case? If the action is completed, it seems like it should be: ...
14
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5answers
1k views

Can a noun (such as “duct tape”) be used as a verb?

I found the phrase “duct-tape together” in the following sentence of a Washington Post (June 21) article written by Chris Cillizza under the title “Gingrich campaign hit by more departures.” The ...
8
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6answers
62k views

'Expired' or 'Passed away'?

When someone dies, do we say they expired or passed away? Does the word expired give any more respect when used? Or less respect than passed away?
8
votes
1answer
967 views

One word for the ta-daa! pose?

I can hardly describe this, which is why I need the one word. When you shout "Ta-daa!" and throw your arms out at your sides, does anyone have a one-word description for what you're doing? Argh.
8
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3answers
6k views

Reflexive love: where does “love me some …” come from?

It seems trendy to use a reflexive-like construction with love or hate plus some, like this: You know I love me some cheese! I hate me some cold and the temperature is dropping. Where did this ...
8
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11answers
11k views

Word to describe “when someone describes something in too much detail”

There's a word I thought I knew at some point, but can no longer remember what it was. I tried looking up various thesaurus websites to no avail. Similar words to what I'm looking for, but not quite:...
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8answers
7k 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
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2answers
14k views

“The contents are” or “the contents is”

I have the following sentence: The contents of those zip files are normally installed from the Setup. I found I have to use contents instead of content in the sentence. However, do I have to ...
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6answers
26k views

“Told” vs. “said to” somebody

I told him that you hate him I said to him that you hate him I was choosing between these two options, and I can't help thinking about the subtle differences. For example, "I told him your ...
5
votes
1answer
18k views

“Awoken” vs. “awaked”

I understand that the verb awake has two different past participle forms, awoken and awaked. Checking Google Ngram I saw that the former has become more popular than the latter in the last century. I ...
4
votes
2answers
6k views

What does “sunset” mean in this text?

In the definition of USA PATRIOT, I read the following text: Many of the act's provisions were to sunset beginning December 31, 2005, approximately 4 years after its passage. In the months ...
4
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3answers
8k views

The times are a-changing? Why a-? [duplicate]

I'm Italian so I don't know English very well. While listening to Bob Dylan songs I've heard some strange use of progressive tense (is that the correct term?), the title of this question is one ...
4
votes
5answers
2k views

What is the verb used to indicate that you have travelled from point A to B by motorboat?

Please consider the following and fill in the blank. This has driven me crazy ever since I moved to florida. How would somebody say the travel often by a boat without any sails. I drove from New ...
4
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2answers
2k views

Simple present vs. present continuous

What is the difference between saying: Are you still working there? Do you still work there? Which is more common in spoken vs written English? Google books returned results for both of ...
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4answers
376 views

The verb “to get” + particle …?

In the phrase "to get all crazy" am I correct when I say that the "all crazy" is a particle phrase? Example: I'm up for tonight's party. I'm going to get all crazy.
3
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3answers
993 views

Correct usage of “see” vs. “watch”

I have seen them grow up. I have watched them grow up. Though the intended meaning is conveyed in both sentences, I want to know which in this case is a better fit, see or watch.
2
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3answers
70k views

Which is correct: “is solved” or “has been solved”?

In a technical environment, what is the most suitable sentence to use when answering to someone about a problem that they had and we solved it for them: The problem is solved The problem has been ...
2
votes
3answers
132 views

Placing the object of an infinitive before it instead of after it

At the beginning of 1807, based on information gathered from Burr’s correspondence allegedly showing that he had begun preparations for a large-scale military expedition, the former vice president ...
2
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2answers
11k 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
10k views

“Where am I?” vs. “Where I am?” [closed]

Which is more correct to say in a question? (For example a guy that wakes up in a train) "Where am I?" or "Where I am?"
1
vote
1answer
548 views

A turned on or off car?

Will these expressions sound natural (to native English speakers)? Any better way to say: 1 - A turned on car 2 - A turned off car 3 - An idling car 4 - An idled car 5 - The car is turned off 6 ...
1
vote
4answers
473 views

Style of technical warnings. Why is it acceptable to omit verbs?

Dear language professionals, What are grounds for using shortish phrase "Life vest under your seat" on the warning sign on the planes. Is it stylistically caused? If this style allows main verb ...
1
vote
2answers
323 views

Explanation of Grammatical structure is needed

The crowd saw him clap his hand to his mouth. This is a sentence from Harry Potter I. I don't understand how "clap" is used right after "saw". Shouldn't there be a "to" in between? i.e. "saw ...
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3answers
1k views

Meaning of “just about everybody else has” in this context

— I ever tell you how much she depends on you? — I ever tell you what an asshole you are? — Nah. But that's okay, just about everybody else has. They both laughed. Is it "...everybody else has ...
1
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3answers
1k views

Is the sentence “I want to take a rest” wrong?

I heard that we should use "I want to rest" instead of "I want to take a rest." I also heard that "I want to take a rest" is not a sentence a native speaker would use. Is that correct? Should we ...
0
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1answer
1k views

Which of the following sentences is/are incorrect? (“Permit” vs. “allow” vs. “let”)

Which of the following sentences is/are incorrect? Why? The visa permits you to study for two months. My father would never allow me to study English Let me to go. You're hurting me. This is ...
0
votes
3answers
23k 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", and ...
0
votes
4answers
6k views

What is the difference between 'tell' and 'say' [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “Nothing to tell” versus “nothing to say” Both words seem to be used interchangeably. I generally don't differentiate between them and intuitively ...
0
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2answers
129 views

Word with -ee as a suffix

Is it correct English to be able to add the suffix -ee on to any verb to show the object of that verb? Ex: Abandonee is "one to whom something is abandoned" Observee is "one who is observed" ...
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11answers
8k views

You “show” someone a picture. You “---” someone a song?

In Maltese, we have a verb meaning "to show" corresponding to "to see/to look", and we have a different verb corresponding to "to hear/to listen": inti tara stampa (you look at a picture.) ---- ...
19
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6answers
284k views

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.