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

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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
717 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
5k 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
270 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
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 ...
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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", ...
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7answers
258k 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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4answers
25k views

“Cancelled” or “Canceled”?

Cancelled or Canceled ? Which one is right? You have successfully canceled the registration or You have successfully cancelled the registration
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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?
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6answers
274k 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.
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5answers
36k 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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4answers
35k views

“Will be doing” vs. “will do”

What's the difference between: I will be eating cakes tomorrow. I will eat cakes tomorrow. And, when should I use the first form?
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7answers
68k 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 ...
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5answers
14k 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 ...
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3answers
119k 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.
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4answers
32k 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?
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5answers
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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 ...
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2answers
229 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 ...
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9answers
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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?
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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 ...
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5answers
89k 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
7k 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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
853 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 ...
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1answer
15k views

“Seek” vs.“search”

I've been wondering, what is the difference between seek and search? When should one be preferred over the other?
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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?
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3answers
47k views

“Ponder about” or just “ponder”?

Which is correct? He was pondering about the meaning of life. He was pondering the meaning of life.
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2answers
19k 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 ...
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2answers
24k 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 ...
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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?
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1answer
137 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 ...
2
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2answers
929 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 ...
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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 ...
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8answers
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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. ...
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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 ...
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3answers
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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 ...
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6answers
60k 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
964 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.
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5answers
399 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 ...
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2answers
167 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
318 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
13k 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 ...
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3answers
5k views

Singular or plural verb after a series connected by “or”

The following sentence refers to an apocalyptic story where money no longer has any value: A can of sardines, radio batteries, or a bicycle is/are more precious than money. Should I use is or ...
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1answer
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“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 ...
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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 ...
5
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2answers
28k views

Verbing, or turning nouns into verbs [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is it called when a non-verb is used as a verb? The phenomenon of turning a noun into a verb is very common. Some are more well known, like "shouldering the blame" ...
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0answers
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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. ...
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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 ...