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

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49
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7answers
266k 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 ...
33
votes
4answers
27k views

“Cancelled” or “Canceled”?

Cancelled or Canceled ? Which one is right? You have successfully canceled the registration or You have successfully cancelled the registration
11
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4answers
39k 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?
43
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8answers
9k views

Can I “wear an umbrella”?

Does it make sense to say the following? Yesterday I wore an umbrella and a coat.
17
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8answers
8k views

Is there any subtle difference between “to study” and “to learn”?

I don't know how to phrase my question better, but I just want to know if there will be any little difference if I directly replace one with the other.
8
votes
4answers
8k views

Differences between Verb + to be + adjectives and Verb + adjective

If you have a more illustrative title, feel free to change it. I searched but I couldn't find one. This may be an easy and trivial question; if so, I am sorry. What are the differences between ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Is “nothing but birds and a few insects” singular or plural?

Nothing but birds and a few insects [was/were] to be seen. In that sentence, should the verb agree with "nothing" or with "birds and a few insects"?
15
votes
6answers
2k views

Why “ruled supreme” instead of “ruled supremely”?

In this sentence: With George, his perfect manservant, and Miss Lemon, his perfect secretary, order and method ruled supreme in his life. Why is ruled followed by supreme instead of by supremely?...
12
votes
4answers
32k 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 ...
2
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1answer
59k views

where should we use has/have been and had been?

Where should we use "has/have been" and "had been"? What is the difference between them?
11
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3answers
18k views

“Bless you” & sneezing

Why do you say Bless you when people sneeze? Is there good reason or history? When someone sneeze, if I don't say Bless you, am I rude?
11
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3answers
18k views

Should I say “Your order is now complete” or “Your order is now completed”?

When a user finishes an order on my website, what's the correct way? Your order is now complete. Your order is now completed.
9
votes
3answers
10k views

needn't = don't need to?

Are these two sentences equivalent? You needn't pay at once. You don't need to pay at once. If yes, which one would you recommend? Is it an US/GB thing?
4
votes
2answers
7k views

Usage of “would have been”

In the movie "A Walk to remember" Jimmie's father says the following to his son-in-law who got into medical school. Actually Jimmie is dead when he says, We are proud of you, son. Jimmie would ...
14
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5answers
94k 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.
12
votes
5answers
18k views

Install on, install in, install to

When I say "programs to install on a new PC" it sounds alright to me, but I'm not sure if it's the correct usage. Which one of the following should I use? Programs to install on a new PC Programs to ...
7
votes
3answers
299 views

Spelling etymology of “-il[l]” words

I've noticed that modern English seems to have a very strong bias at the end of verbs towards the spelling "-ill" (i.e. with a double "l") instead of "-(consonant)-il". The overwhelming majority of ...
6
votes
2answers
52k views

“Expected of” vs. “expected from”

It is expected of/from you to find the solution. Such rude behavior was not expected of/from you. I am quite sure that from is the correct usage in both cases, but of could be used in the first ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

When can “have” be used without “got”?

I read this article and now I'm confused when got can be omitted when using have. Could this be explained in plain English without technical terms? Is there a different usage in past tense?
5
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5answers
6k views

What is the difference between “horrify” and “terrify”?

When would I use one, versus using the other?
5
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2answers
7k 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: ...
5
votes
5answers
3k views

Is verbing in “I medalled in volleyball” correct?

Is “I medalled in volleyball” a grammatically correct sentence? According to OED, medal is a verb and a noun. I haven't seen any usage of the word as a verb, but I am assuming the above sentence is ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

“To service” vs. “to serve”

I seem vaguely to recall that a long time ago, servicing was something a bull did to a heifer or a boar to a sow. But it seems to be creeping in to general usage as a synonym for serving. Has anyone ...
9
votes
3answers
600 views

Verbed color names and “-en”

"whitened", "blackened", and "reddened"; but "yellowed", "grayed", and "blued". Is there some rule or is it just one of those things? "Greened" makes sense; no one is going to say "greenened". "...
9
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5answers
108k views

“Centered on” or “centered around”

I have often heard presenters talking about something centered around another thing, but it seems a bit illogical and hence improper to talk like this. Am I right about this?
9
votes
3answers
894 views

Is “to anagram” an established verb?

To his amusement, Jason realized that the words Madam Curie anagrammed to Radium Came. Is the above sentence idiomatic? I am not sure if I can use anagrammed to. If this is inacceptable, what is the ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

Are there any cases where “prepend” cannot be replaced by “prefix”?

"Prepend" is seeing a fair amount of use, both in programmer jargon and elsewhere. Its use seems to come from a desire to create a word that is a direct parallel to "append." However, such a word ...
8
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4answers
19k views

Is 'quantitate' a synonym for 'quantify' or just a misnomer?

I have always used quantify, but have been encountering quantitate more and more in scientific literature. Is quantitate a "valid" verb and a synonym for quantify? Otherwise is there a subtle ...
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 ...
8
votes
2answers
12k views

When to use “use” and when to use “utilize” in a sentence? [duplicate]

Sometimes I go through articles and find the expression utilize, I've always been wondering if there are special cases in which it should be used instead of used. Also because google ngram clearly ...
7
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3answers
11k views

Does “you're” also qualify as a valid contraction for “you were”?

If not, is there a way to write "you were" in a short form?
7
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4answers
1k views

The verb for carrying out a bitwise OR/AND operation

I'm writing a scientific/technical text which involves describing some low level code. I need to complete the following sentence: When two values are combined, their tags are _ _ _ _ _ _ together ...
7
votes
2answers
108k views

Can “casted” be the past tense of “cast”?

'The Hindu,' an Indian daily, reports: Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitely casted his vote at Chimanbhai Patel Institute opposite Karnavati club. Does the verb cast has a form as ...
6
votes
3answers
421 views

Better term to put on a label of a bottle of milk to describe that it's 'made' in a particular geographic location

While waiting for the kettle to boil this morning, I was idling and reading the label on the bottle of milk and was struck by the declaration: "Permeate free, made in WA". Here's a shot of the label ...
6
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1answer
1k views

Why is the verb form of “record” pronounced [ri-kawrd] but the noun form is pronounced [rek-erd]?

Is there a different origin of pronunciation style for record as a verb and as a noun? Fun fact: in OS X, if you type say "this record" and say "record this" — the text to speech system picks up the ...
6
votes
2answers
633 views

What do you call a verb which accepts 2 nouns?

In English, there are intransitive verbs which can't used with a noun, or aren't being used with a noun (eg. listen, die, ...), and transitive verbs which can be (eg. almost all of them). However, ...
5
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2answers
21k views

Correct use of “consist”

Which one of the following two sentences is correct? We are only concerned with crystal systems which consist of an inversion center. We are only concerned with crystal systems which consist ...
5
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3answers
7k views

Sentences with no verb

In Spanish we've got something called "Oración unimembre" which refers to a sentence with only one kind of part (the one with the verb or the one with the subject). I don't know the way it is in ...
5
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8answers
11k views

Is a sentence always grammatically incorrect if it has no verb?

Is the following grammatically correct? My friend says the second sentence is grammatically incorrect, but couldn't explain why. I have always been fascinated by statistics. The different ways in ...
5
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3answers
1k views

Is it possible to verb anything other than a noun?

Is it possible to verb anything other than a noun? Although slightly meta, I noticed that English SE has verbing as a tag, rather than verbing-nouns.
5
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1answer
1k views

Flexibility of English: Always so?

The other day I read a question about nouns being used as verbs. An answer informed that in English any word can be used as a verb, but that it is not so in other languages. Beyond verbs, English is a ...
5
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3answers
62k views

Which past tense of “to light” should I use here?

I know that there are two ways to form the past tense of to light (i.e. lit/lighted). Which one is appropriate for the sentence below? His thoughts lighted our way. or His thoughts lit our ...
4
votes
2answers
143 views

Does the “she was found in violation of…” <-> “she was violated” equivalence have a name?

This is a follow-up to this question: Why is "violated" being used as future perfect with a person as the object? At that question, it was established that there is a jargon/slang usage of ...
4
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4answers
1k views

Jameson whiskey commercial construction with implicit verb

While watching the Daily Show, a commercial came on. Here is the construction: "...When the Hawk of Achill took a barrel of John Jameson's whiskey, well that was another matter. But Jameson was ...
4
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4answers
916 views

The object of “I don't like people telling me what to do”?

In the sentences I don't like people telling me what to do. I'm fed up with you telling me what to do. What are the objects of like and with? Is it "people" or "people telling me what to do" ...
3
votes
4answers
706 views

Future perfect progressive

When is the future perfect progressive used? I am trying to understand in which cases it should be used, but I cannot find any practice examples of sentences using that tense. I will have been ...
3
votes
7answers
29k views

“Situated” vs. “located”

I found the following example in my vocabulary: The town is situated on a plateau high up among the mountains of the north. Can I replace situated with located for the example above? What's the ...
3
votes
1answer
865 views

Specific vocabulary for making someone laugh by rubbing their underarm with finger

To make someone laugh, we sometime rub his underarm with our fingers in a way that makes him feel restless and then he starts laughing. My question is: What is the specific vocabulary in the English ...
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?
3
votes
3answers
51k views

“Ponder about” or just “ponder”?

Which is correct? He was pondering about the meaning of life. He was pondering the meaning of life.