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

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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 ...
2
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2answers
10k 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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2answers
3k views

“Could not have been” vs. “must not have been”

What's the difference between "could not have been" and "must not have been"? For example, That could not have been an easy task. That must not have been an easy task. I've seen both ...
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3answers
20k 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", ...
48
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7answers
241k views

“The Dude abides” — what does “abide” mean in that context?

I'm unfamilar with the word "abide" which is famously used the the movie quote "The Dude abides" (The Big Lebowski). Looking it up in a German/English dictionary makes me believe it's "The Dude lives ...
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5answers
2k views

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?
31
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4answers
22k views

“Cancelled” or “Canceled”?

Cancelled or Canceled ? Which one is right? You have successfully canceled the registration or You have successfully cancelled the registration
15
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6answers
243k 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.
14
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5answers
31k 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
35k views

“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?
21
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5answers
13k 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 ...
17
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3answers
104k 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.
11
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4answers
27k views

“He has yet to” vs. “he is yet to”

He has yet to receive an appointment. He is yet to receive an appointment. Is there any difference in meaning? Is one more correct than the other?
32
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7answers
60k views

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 ...
10
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5answers
16k 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 ...
3
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2answers
213 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 ...
17
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4answers
4k 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 ...
11
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5answers
77k views

Which one is correct? “Explain me” or “Explain to me”?

Which of the following expressions is correct? -Explain me. -Explain to me. I know "Explain it to me" is correct, but I want to know which one of the above is valid.
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4answers
6k views

“That was me” vs. “That was I” [duplicate]

When telling a story about myself from the past, I have found myself in an internal debate over whether the correct way to segue into the present is: That was me twelve years ago. Or: That ...
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 ...
8
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2answers
2k views

Should I always insert “and” between two verbs in imperative mode?

As far as I understand, the word and is usually inserted between two verbs used in imperative mood in English. For example, “Go and make me a drink.” How obligatory is this? Can I claim that it is ...
7
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1answer
740 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 ...
4
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3answers
1k views

Should I use “will” or “would” here?

I doubt they will exchange the 20 inch monitor. OR I doubt they would exchange the 20 inch monitor. Which is correct, and why?
3
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2answers
17k 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 ...
3
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2answers
21k 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
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2answers
1k views

“They knew what mercy is” vs. “they knew what mercy was”

They knew what mercy is. They knew what mercy was. Mercy is something that always exists so can I say is as in the quoted example?
2
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1answer
115 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 ...
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3answers
1k views

What is the origin of “GO + VERB + ING”?

The construction GO + V + ING is among one of the first things a learner is taught. Take for instance the verb swim, very often English expresses the activity in the present simple like this: I go ...
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3answers
5k 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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6answers
52k 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
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1answer
957 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.
7
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6answers
6k 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. ...
7
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5answers
398 views

“Gadhafi forces retreat” - how do you understand that?

Our local newspaper had the headline today "Gadhafi forces retreat" and I read it with "retreat" as the verb instead of "forces" as the verb. I know it is a poorly written headline, but which way is ...
6
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2answers
164 views

Verb agreement in “Where is the Messiah and his Kingdom?”

Where is the Messiah and his Kingdom? I think it should be "Where are the Messiah and his kingdom"; it just sounds better! But my friends and even a teacher claim that "is" would be correct.
6
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1answer
312 views

“What questions [is/are] your data team hoping to answer?”

Over at stats.stackexchange we are having a minor kerfuffle over whether a title is using incorrect grammar. It has been edited and re-edited several times. It would be great to get some arbitration ...
6
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2answers
12k 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 ...
6
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6answers
24k 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 ...
5
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1answer
16k 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 ...
5
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2answers
5k views

Hyphens in verb construction containing prefix such as “re”

In semi-formal business writing in the United States, I often observe that writers tend to add a hyphen between a prefix and the root infinitive of verbs. In many of the cases, the resulting verb ...
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0answers
4k views

How many tenses are there in English and what are they? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How many tenses are there in English? The number of grammatical tenses in English makes it confusing as to what they are exactly and what types of tenses there are. ...
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 ...
4
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4answers
362 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.
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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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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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0answers
315 views

“Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “Is become” vs “has become” This is a famous quote from J. Robert Oppenheimer after the successful detonation of the first nuclear weapon. The ...
3
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3answers
899 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
50k 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
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0answers
119 views

“Could help avoid” vs. “could help to avoid” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “Help to do” or “help do”? Is it correct to say: The right sitting posture could help you avoid back problems. OR The right sitting ...
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3answers
563 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 ...
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2answers
6k views

“If there were” vs. “if there was” [closed]

I saw that there were already examples on this, but I didn't find any specific enough. My problem is this sentence: If there were anything that he didn't want, it was to hurt me. I previously ...