This tag is for questions about the correct order of words in a phrase, or a sentence.

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2
votes
1answer
2k views

Usage of “just”, “only” and word-order [intended meaning]

I've got these sentences, which meanings are correct (my interpretations are in brackets): Use of only: (1) Only in 1996, Ford sold a rebadged Mazda 626 GV over here as its rebranded Japanese ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Use of “only” and word-order

I'm writing an automobile website and some of my paragraphs contain the word "only". I understand the following. As far as I'm aware, this is right: Only the Volkswagen Polo, Golf, Passat, Passat ...
1
vote
1answer
812 views

Position of “of which” in the sentence [closed]

In a post here I found that both following sentences are correct..is that true? Is the first one really grammatically correct? A camera of which the wires go through the wall. A camera, the ...
0
votes
2answers
80 views

What are the differences between “go to school happily”, “go happily to school” and “happily go to school”?

There are three similar phrases which I would like to know the differences between: go to school happily go happily to school happily go to school I have long been confused by the ...
0
votes
1answer
484 views

“have basically been doing something” or “have been basically doing something” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Position of the adverb “of course” Should an adverb go before or after a verb? I was wondering what position of an adverb relative to more than one ...
0
votes
1answer
561 views

“Data source types” vs. “types of data sources”

Is there any difference in meaning between "Many different data source types" and "Many different types of data sources"? I have no strong understanding on the use of "of".
17
votes
6answers
19k views

Why do you say “so do I”?

Why is the order of the words in "so do I" or "nor do I" different from the normal order?
14
votes
3answers
684 views

Difference between styles of English in technical communication

I have a collaborative software project with two other users. Nearly every technical report and documentation written goes through the following editorial changes to some of the sentences (examples ...
9
votes
2answers
6k views

“Built-in” or “In-built”

Is there any difference between using in-built or built-in? Is one more correct than the other, or does it depend on the context, or ”house style”? This oven comes with a built-in extractor fan. ...
8
votes
4answers
855 views

“Why is this not” versus “why is not this”

Should I use "why is this not" or "why is not this?" Or are both correct?
23
votes
7answers
6k views

Is it acceptable to start a sentence with “however”?

I have heard that starting a sentence with however is wrong. What are the grounds for this view and is it still held by a majority of pedants? They would suggest changing However, some people are ...
13
votes
2answers
528 views

“Who turned off the lights?”

Who turned off the lights? Who are you? Why do the words in those questions have a different order than the following questions? Does she like ice cream? Where do you live? Where do you ...
6
votes
1answer
517 views

Word order for “What is… that … called?”

I am having difficulty with finding the natural word order in the following passive construction: What are people called who do a lot of unnecessary work? What are called people who do a lot ...
26
votes
8answers
35k views

Distinction: “What can I do you for?” vs. “What can I do for you?”

Usually, when being served the phrase "What can I do for you?" is used but sometimes I also hear "What can I do you for?" in quite the same context. So is there a difference or is it just a slip of ...
7
votes
3answers
344 views

Word order, e.g. in “Hotel California”, “Brothers Quay”

This is a question about the order of words when a common name is associated to a proper name. Does it matter to say "California Hotel" rather than "Hotel California"? Similarly, there are two ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

“Now I am” vs. “I am now”

Which is more correct? Now I am the main stakeholder... or I am now the main stakeholder... Do the intonations imply different meanings?
5
votes
3answers
843 views

Word order in imperative sentence

What are the correct possibilities for word order in the following sentence? Is there any general rule for imperative sentences? (Like SVOMPT?) Please, check regularly the updated information about ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

Is there a difference in meaning between “does not seem to” and “seems not to”?

Consider the following sentences: Try not to be alarmed if a rule doesn’t seem to work for a specific sentence. Try not to be alarmed if a rule seems not to work for a specific sentence. ...
3
votes
1answer
428 views

The position of “strong enough” in “there is no headache strong enough” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: There is no headache strong enough, that a good coffee won't relieve There is no headache strong enough, that a good coffee won't relieve. I know that this ...
3
votes
1answer
20k views

Should I say “I’ve been also” or “I've also been”?

Where should the word "also" appear in the sentence: I've been in Paris. Google result count: "i've been also" 2,090,000 "i've also been" 76,000,000 It seems like the second is more common, ...
3
votes
2answers
398 views

“Julio and I” vs “I and Julio” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “My friends and I” vs. “My friends and me” vs. “Me and my friends” Is naming the first person last proper grammar or just proper manners? "Julio and I went to the ...
1
vote
2answers
266 views

Using 'for' as a coordinating conjunction at sentence beginning

As I understand it, 'for' is a coordinating conjunction. Learning German as a second language has taught me specifics about reforming sentences, but it is an awful lot less common in English. If I ...
1
vote
1answer
453 views

If you place an ly adverb after the verb is the meaning different than if it were infront of the verb? [duplicate]

For example: I did not respond physically I did not physically respond I can't escape the sense that #2 'strongly' leaves open the possibility (or implies) that the writer responded some way ...
1
vote
3answers
384 views

Do these adjectives refer to ice?

In this sentence from Wuthering Heights I declined joining their breakfast, and, at the first gleam of dawn, took an opportunity of escaping into the free air, now clear, and still, and cold ...
1
vote
2answers
236 views

“Time elapsed” or “elapsed time” [closed]

In a document I have a plot where one of the labels represents the total time taken for the process to complete. Should I label it as "Elapsed Time" or "Time Elapsed"? Which one is correct?
0
votes
2answers
518 views

“Plugging in X” vs. “plugging X in”

Does one say Plugging in that value into the previous equation... or Plugging that value in the previous equation... or something else?
13
votes
2answers
385 views

What is the name for the inverse of an aphorism

For example, given a common saying or sequence of words, like A picture is worth a thousand words One reverses the order and obtains A word is worth a thousand pictures Is there a name for ...
8
votes
4answers
589 views

“Back up data” or “back data up”?

Which is correct? To back up data. To back data up. The context is the following: He was careful enough to perform tests and [back up data | back data up] to avoid any problems.
7
votes
1answer
227 views

“You're too clever a man”

You're too clever a man to imagine this. The above sentence was said by George Galloway, a man of excellent rhetorical skills. Since he said it, I doubt it's wrong, grammatically. But, I wonder ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

When to put “River” before or after its name and why?

Unlike mountain names, where "Mount" always precedes its name, e.g. Mount Everest, I've noticed that some rivers have "River" before its name, e.g. the River Nile but others have it after, e.g. the ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

“Everybody is not” vs “Not everybody is”

Everybody's got a water buffalo, yours is fast but mine is slow. You can't say everybody's got a water buffalo! Everyone does not have a water buffalo! This construction: Everyone ...
6
votes
3answers
4k views

“currently not” or “not currently”

What's the correct order: Lessons are not currently being offered. or Lessons are currently not being offered.
5
votes
4answers
400 views

“Mom and Dad” vs “Dad and Mom”

I'm curious if the order implies anything here. I'm pretty sure "Mom and Dad" is standard in English. The issue was hard for me to google, so I'm asking it here: Is using "Dad" before "Mom" ...
5
votes
5answers
2k 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. ...
5
votes
2answers
207 views

Is this correct: “Aloof the hallow things shall always be”?

I'm writing a poem, and I wondered if, to a native speaker, this would sound awkward (or grammatically incorrect): Aloof the hallow things shall always be. As a variant of The hallow things ...
4
votes
1answer
200 views

Where does the verb go on this question? Is it even a reported question?

I understand that when I report a question, I put the subject back in front of the verb, as in: "He asked if she was going to be late." But I always get puzzled when it comes to reporting a question ...
4
votes
2answers
145 views

“Pay-for” vs. “for-pay”

Is pay-for or for-pay the correct word? For example, which of these two sentences is correct? This is a pay-for product. This is a for-pay product.
4
votes
5answers
851 views

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 ...
4
votes
3answers
289 views

“Today is Joe's birthday” or “Joe's birthday is today”

Perhaps some of you have already observed that Facebook reminds one of friends' birthdays using [xyz]'s birthday is today. To my ears, Today is [xyz]'s birthday sounds better. I guess both ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Rule about order in modal + adverb + to be

I am currently reading a book, where I found the following sentences: The X can be also applied to Y Later in the book, I find The X may alternatively be spread over two Y My question is ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

“Subject, verb, direct object, object complement” versus “subject, verb, indirect object, direct object”

Reading English Grammar (HarperCollins College Outline, published by HarperResource, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers) I found a chapter (Sentence Basics) that explains that in English there are ...
3
votes
2answers
223 views

Sometimes the article precedes the noun and not the adjective

I have a question that baffled me for a while now, and I'd be a happier person for an answer. Why in sentences such as It's not that big a deal. And He was as nice a friend as you were. Or ...
3
votes
1answer
236 views

Positioning “only” in “I have worked with X” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Correct position of “only” Which of the following sentences are correct? I have worked with only Mr. X. I have worked only with Mr. X. I have only worked with ...
3
votes
1answer
432 views

Adverb placement in “Let's simply share”

To me the expression Let's simply share seems wrong. I've always thought the adverb should come after the verb. Is that correct?
3
votes
3answers
169 views

Questions containing “or”

Do you prefer to stay home, or do you want to come with us? Should I prepare dinner, or are we going to go to the restaurant? Are the questions correctly written? Is there a preferred way to ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Adverb position in perfect tenses [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Are there any rules on the positioning adverbs should take in a sentence? My question concerns the adverb position in perfect tenses. For example look at these ...
2
votes
1answer
765 views

Phrase and word-order meaning

I know that "only" and "just" and word-order are oft-mentioned topics on here, but word-order for phrases and meanings - don't both of these mean different things? Here is an example of how word ...
2
votes
1answer
5k views

Not only… but also

Consider the following: Not only you should be able to speak but also able to write. You should be able to not only speak but also write. You should not only be able to speak but also be ...
1
vote
2answers
301 views

Is saying “Let me show you it” totally wrong?

My kids (8-10yrs) love to saying things like this. It just rolls naturally out and I correct them often. Is there is a specific reason the grammar is wrong? Maybe for the brain it is more direct than ...
1
vote
3answers
561 views

Does it matter where you put “only”? [duplicate]

Could you please tell me which one of these sentences is correct, or are they both grammatically correct? This will only happen if you go with me. This will happen only if you go with me.