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

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Verbs in a list separated by commas

I'm not talking about the basic items in a list (e.g. X, Y and Z), but a list of clauses (I think). Example: I am interested in things like going to this place, going to that place, eating food, and ...
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“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 ...
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4answers
665 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 ...
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3answers
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Direct and Indirect Objects with the verbs: Give, Buy, and Bring

Both these phrases are correct, Give me it Buy me them so why are these sentences wrong? Give John it Buy John them In these sentences, "me/John" are both indirect ...
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“Will discuss the matter” vs. “will discuss on this matter”

I received an email with the following sentence: The meetings will be discussing on this early next week. I have two questions: Should we use will discuss rather than will be discussing? I ...
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Present perfect tense with the verb 'is'

I would like to know how to use the verb to be and its past participle. For example: The rain is gone. Is is present perfect tense here?
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“Is” vs. “Are” when using the word “Pair” in a mathematical setting

I've seen equally good arguments for and against using "is" for this sentence. The pair of polynomials (f,g) is/are related by the reciprocity law. Which verb is used correctly?
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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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4answers
783 views

login and payoff are nouns. But can they be used as verbs?

I know that words like login and payoff are properly nouns but I increasingly notice many (not at all uneducated) people use them as verbs: Will you payoff your credit card this month? and ...
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'Hark' and 'behold' call attention to what we can hear or see. Is there an equivalent for smell?

'Hark' calls attention to something that we hear - for example: "Hark, the herald angels sing" (hymn of the same title, by Charles Wesley) 'Behold' calls attention to something that we see - for ...
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3answers
817 views

Evolution of irregular verbs over the last century

I learned at school that irregular verbs are slowly disappearing from the language: "spelled" is more used than "spelt", "learned" than "learnt", etc. But recently, someone told me that some new ...
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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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2answers
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Is “want” a causative verb?

I've always held on to the definition that Causative Verbs express how the Noun before the Verb influences the execution of an action. Similarly, the Longman Student Grammar of Spoken and Written ...
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2answers
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Historical usage of “was”/“were” with “you”

I was reading letters from a surgeon to his wife during the Civil War and noticed he used "was" as opposed to "were" on many occasions. Examples: I truly wish you was here with me. Was you ...
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4answers
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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 ...
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Why is “can” such an odd verb?

The English verb can is very strange for several reasons: It drops the to on any infinitive verb forms that follow it. That is, unlike in the verb want in the sentence I want to eat, you would not ...
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5answers
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“I am thinking to invest” or “I am thinking investing”?

Which of the following sentences is correct? I am thinking to invest in stocks. I am thinking investing into stocks.
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2answers
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What is the difference between “raise” and “rise”?

What is the difference between raise and rise? When and how should I use each one?
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“Cancellation”, “Canceled”, “Canceling” — US usage

I'm trying to figure out if there is a specific rule behind the word "cancel" that would cause "cancellation" to have two L's, but "canceled" and "canceling" to have only one (in the US). I ...
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5answers
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“How much water do you take a bath with?” — Is this sentence correct?

I corrected the student, saying that he should write "How much water do you use to take a bath?" because his sentence seemed unnatural to me. Do you consider it correct? Would you use it?
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5answers
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What is the meaning of “ought not”?

Consider this example: A few strong branches over water reach for what they ought not reach. Which of the meanings comes closest to “ought not” in this sentence? Is it “doesn't have to”, “should ...
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1answer
443 views

Verb form of “to blacken” versus “to brown” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Verbed color names and “-en” It just sounds right, but why is brown its own verb when "to make Black" turns into blacken? I assume it's something to do with ...
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Long subjects in indirect questions

I know that to indirectly ask: What is your name? I should say something like: I don't know what your name is. But what if the subject of question is longer than "your name"? Something ...
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1answer
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Usage of “compensate” as a recompense for gain instead of loss [closed]

To keep this PG, I've changed the popular saying we've all heard: "He has a huge truck to compensate for his small ego" But I've recently been using a sort of counter to the joke, in one form or ...
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2answers
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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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1answer
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“I finally was able” or “I was finally able”?

Is one form wrong or more correct than the other? Or do they have different meanings? I'm a non-native speaker trying to figure it out.
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581 views

Is “lay” in this sentence in the correct tense?

I'm making a description for an app, this strikes me as a bit awkward for some reason: "I wanted to create an app that lay somewhere between an ecosystem and a musical instrument." Is the word ...
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3answers
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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 ...
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4answers
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If I can “fall in” love, can I “fall in” depression?

In Italian we say essere innamorato (to be in love) whereas the English idiom, to fall in love, expresses the idea of abandonment, of letting oneself go. mi sono innamorato = I am in love, and ...
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2answers
397 views

Historical Basis for “To Graduate” Being Only a Transitive Verb

About nine years ago, I received from a quite insistent source the claim that the verb "to graduate" is transitive, and, specifically, that the intransitive usage was wrong. For example, the ...
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What is the correct verb for 'driving' a ferry?

The captain of a ferry appears to steer or drive it. What is the correct verb for this?
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4answers
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What are the antonyms of “append” and “prepend”?

I need the antonyms for "append" (that is, I need a word that means "to remove at the end", since "append" means "to add at the end") and "prepend" (that is, I need a word that means "to remove at the ...
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2answers
150 views

To write or to write to?

Is it correct to say "I wrote him" or "I wrote to him"? My Mother was a stickler for English grammar and would say "I wrote your Uncle..." rather than "I wrote to your Uncle..."
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3answers
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Difference Between “Sell” and “Sale”?

I'm a copy editor at a law firm and need to give a quick-and-dirty explanation of the difference between "sell" and "sale" to a native English speaker (a legal secretary) who is very self-conscious ...
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2answers
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“Would you have liked to have been” vs. “would you have liked to be”

I was interested in the following sentence which appeared in an article titled “No Rest for the Weary” in The New York Times (February 15, 2008). Would you have liked to have been president from ...
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1answer
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Present perfect and present perfect continuous for actions in progress [duplicate]

My grammar book says that both present perfect and present perfect continuous, when used with "for, since, etc", express a situation that began in the past and continues to the present. When used ...
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1answer
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“has” vs “have” usage after enumerating two subjects, the first one in plural [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Singular or plural following a list I'm inclined towards the 2nd sentence, because 1) the first subject is plural and 2) there are two subjects. Sub-question: but what ...
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“Please explain” or “explain please”

Which one is correct in this context? Person A: I think Apple will displace Google. Person B: Please explain. Should he say/write "Explain please"?
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2answers
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Does the verb after 'set of' agree with 'set' or the plural noun that follows?

Does the verb after 'a set of + plural noun' agree with 'set' or 'noun'? For example: 'Law is a set of rules that govern/governs society.'
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“has been raised” or “was raised” in an academic journal [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Past simple and present perfect The first line in my research is the following: Since the May 6, 2010 ``Flash Crash’’ event, the following question has been raised ...
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2answers
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Using verb tenses correctly

I'm trying to keep this descriptive essay in the past tense. I bolded the words of my concern (and italicized the ones I believe are in the right tense) in the following passage: As a result of ...
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5answers
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“A classmate and I was” vs “A classmate and I were”

I'm writing a resume right now targeted towards a specific company. My girlfriend (a classmate) and I were (see, I don't know if that's the right word, hence this question!) the first from our school ...
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4answers
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Explain the verb tense in “I wish I never woke up this morning”

This is from a song by Police, Darkness: "I can dream up schemes when I'm sitting in my seat I don't see any flaws 'til I get to my feet I wish I never woke up this morning Life was easy ...
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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. ...
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2answers
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Close by or nearby? [closed]

The cops traced residential address of his relatives who lived close by. Close up/down, close off, close in are terms well understood, I have not seen such usage of close + by. Would it be ...
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1answer
306 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 ...
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1answer
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There is vs There are [duplicate]

I'm aware of (multitudinous) related, similar questions concerning this, but I still feel tentative for the following example. I also referenced ...
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1answer
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Unusual word order in “Fear not this night”?

Yesterday, I've listened to a song called "Fear not this night". I find the syntax unusual (as a foreigner, I have never encountered it). Is it the same meaning as "Don't fear this night" ? What's the ...
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Verb to describe “to enable or to disable”

I'm looking for a word that describes "to enable or to disable". This related question found the hypernyms mode and state, but I am looking for a verb. I.e. a word for "(potentially) change ...
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Sum up the users? Or sum up the number of users?

Let's say that there is a list of users and I want to know how many users are in the list. Would I 'sum up the users,' 'sum the users,' 'sum up the number of the users,' 'sum the number of users,' or ...