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

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26
votes
6answers
2k views

How is “Can anyone tell me how can I solve this” wrong?

I posted a question somewhere that said... Can anyone tell me how I can solve this? ...but someone edited it to... Can anyone tell me how can I solve this? ...and it was accepted. That's ...
0
votes
2answers
60 views

Why must “has” come before the main verb here? [duplicate]

Wrong Sentence: Never before in the history of the world such a thing has happened, I don't think that will ever happen again. Right sentence: Never Before in the history of the world has ...
1
vote
1answer
88 views

What is the differences between these three words? [closed]

tell apart say apart speak apart please tell me about differences between these words. And also what do they mean? Are they expressions?
-1
votes
2answers
92 views

Is this proper English? [closed]

The content analysis study our group undertook clearly indicates that, television advertisements and possibly the media as a whole, present children as exhibiting gender stereotypical behaviour.
0
votes
4answers
74 views

Who “substitutes” whom? [duplicate]

Context: Equation 1 requires substituting A for B. Does this mean all "A" in equation 1 is replaced with "B" or vice versa?
1
vote
3answers
58 views

Correct usage of “The” within this sentence

A client has requested that I put a notice in the form of ALL THE PRODUCTS ARE FOR RESEARCH USE ONLY on a web page. However, the word "THE" in the sentence appears unnecessary in my opinion. Is ...
1
vote
1answer
69 views

Putting a phrase like “in particular” before a negative statement

In a sentence starting with a word like nowhere, inversion is necessary like in the sentence Nowhere in this document is the use of other instruments even mentioned. But what happens if I add a ...
0
votes
0answers
15 views

You and someone else and someone else and you [duplicate]

Here's an exact example if the title doesn't make sense. Hello Bob, I wanted to thank you for your and Steve's time earlier this week. Or Hello Bob, I wanted to thank you for Steve's and your time ...
0
votes
2answers
298 views

“Could you please repeat?” or “Could you repeat please?”

While teaching my students in a elementary school, I asked them to use the question Could you repeat (that), please? However, the next day I received a letter from a mother saying the correct ...
-1
votes
1answer
76 views

divine a purpose = a divine purpose?

After reading and pondering on the answer for: http://philosophy.stackexchange.com/questions/8928/albert-einstein-on-divining-the-purpose-of-life/10169#10169 I wonder if the words marked in bold ...
4
votes
3answers
131 views

“To not” vs. “not to” [duplicate]

A little bit of context, I read the sentence below after the system - a computer application - has been subject to a certain kind of update: The system will be able to not create a record of that ...
2
votes
1answer
41 views

Difference between second actor coming first or second with trivalent verbs

Take the following two sentences: She gave him an apple. She gave an apple to him. What is the difference between the two sentences? I heard that the object at the end of the sentence ...
4
votes
1answer
165 views

Grammatical term for topicizing in English: Thing, question/statement about thing

I'm looking for the name of a style of sentence construction. "That word; I do not think it means what you think it means." (I know that is not the correct quote. Moving on) ASL has a common ...
1
vote
1answer
37 views

Economic Fact or Fact of Economics?

Demand will rise when prices fall is a basic economic fact/basic fact of economics? Which of these two is most appropriate and why?
1
vote
1answer
72 views

Can a present participle follow a subject?

Which is correct, and why? some days we went on adventures — him maneuvering our scooter, me resting my chin … or some days we went on adventures — he maneuvering our scooter, I resting my ...
1
vote
1answer
96 views

Does changing the position of an adjective, change the meaning of the sentence?

What are the differences in meaning between these sentences? The weather is hot on the island. The weather on the island is hot. On the island, the weather is hot. Do they mean the ...
1
vote
4answers
160 views

Can this sentence be ordered differently?

John and Tom, working together effectively, were gathered in the basement. I don't believe there's a problem with this. But what if you change the order to: The ones gathered in the basement ...
0
votes
1answer
343 views

What is the difference between “have not to” and “have to not”?

English isn't my native language, of course, to ask something like this. I personally thought that "have not to do something" and "have to not do something" were the same. But recently, I've seen a ...
0
votes
1answer
122 views

Where should adverbs be placed to be most easily parsed by non-native English speakers? [duplicate]

In English there is some flexibility in the placement of adverbs: A: Also I ate the lasagna. B: I also ate the lasagna. C: I ate also the lasagna. D: I ate the lasagna also. There is a ...
0
votes
3answers
68 views

“In [noun] terms” vs. “in terms of [noun]”

What are the differences in meaning between the followings? In society terms In terms of society
0
votes
2answers
48 views

“Huge potential profit” vs. “huge profit potential”

What is the proper usage — "huge potential profit" or "huge profit potential"?
0
votes
2answers
98 views

“It was a brilliant performance delivered in silence worthy of her name” — is this word order acceptable?

It was a brilliant performance worthy of her name. There's no problem here, but what if you then add this: It was a brilliant performance delivered in silence worthy of her name. What's ...
0
votes
1answer
604 views

Proper use of “you” with a second person's name

Which is correct? It was nice to meet you and Bob. or It was nice to meet Bob and you.
0
votes
1answer
103 views

What do you think about using an adjective before a person's name?

For example: James snatched the papers out of the flustered Jenifer's hands. You could say, "James snatched the papers out of the hands of Jenifer, who was flustered," but if the first sentence is ...
6
votes
2answers
351 views

using noun as adjective; does position matter?

I'm doing some programming and I'm analyzing text written in English. I'm identifying parts of speech and I run into cases where I have something like vacuum cleaner. I, as a human, know that the word ...
2
votes
1answer
363 views

Is “I, too, did it” correct

I've heard sentences such as "I, too, did something," in which I would have used "I also did it," or "I did it as well," or "I did it, too." In school I've been taught I have to put 'as well' and ...
1
vote
2answers
436 views

Subject-verb inversion / verb-subject-object — is this correct?

I recently read the following in a schoolbook: Wrote the researchers, "[...]" I wonder if this is correct English. I have seen it a couple of more times. Is this just a matter of preference? ...
1
vote
1answer
469 views

What does “cynical confidence” mean?

I know that cynical means something along the lines of believing the worst in people, but how does this word coincide with confidence? For instance, what would this line mean? The witness had a ...
0
votes
1answer
91 views

Which position does “really” and “quite” go?

I know really is an adverb, and one that intensifies the verb. I also know that some adverbs go only in the beginning; in the middle or at the end of a sentence, and some can be placed in all three ...
0
votes
3answers
412 views

Keeping the same word-order in a sentence without changing the meaning?

In the first Venn diagram below, the two circles represent Freedom and Love, in that order. In the second diagram, they are the same Freedom and Love, but the label “Love without Freedom” puts each ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

Punctuation around the word “namely”

It seems somehow tricky to apply the right punctuation when it comes to the word namely. I got the following advice: Search globally for "namely", and add a comma after it, as well as a comma, a ...
0
votes
0answers
25 views

How are (any) phrasal verbs used with nouns? [duplicate]

I was unable to find anything worthwhile, so I'm eager to ask it here. Is it fully correct to put the "it" in the middle and say "turn it down" (or any other phrasal verb)? Can I say both "He took up ...
4
votes
4answers
267 views

Adjective order: Why is “big” before “beautiful”?

I was reading an English children story to my niece the other day when I came across these phrases said by three different characters: I want a big, beautiful hat! I want a big, ...
0
votes
1answer
59 views

How should I order the two marked phrases in the sentence 'I spoke (on the phone ) [with John]'

Regarding the sentence, I spoke (on the phone ) [with John], should the phrase in parenthesis precede the phrase in brackets, or vice versa? Do you know of a principle of construction that ...
1
vote
1answer
188 views

What are the rules for deviation from the Subject–Verb–Object rule? [duplicate]

English is taught as a strict Subject–Verb–Object, but I have seen quite a few exceptions to this rule. I noticed that I really enjoy such exceptions; one of my favourite ones is this phrase: – ...
1
vote
2answers
323 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
330 views

When should I repeat the definite article?

I am a bit confused about the rule of setting the definite article in a sentence when it is associated to two nouns. The beginning and end of the channel. The beginning and the end of the ...
4
votes
1answer
268 views

How does one decide whether an adverb of manner should precede or follow the verb?

How does one decide whether an adverb of manner should precede or follow the verb? In some cases, it seems to be more natural to have the adverb follow the verb, as in: “She moved slowly and spoke ...
3
votes
2answers
543 views

The position of “always” in different sentences [closed]

I want to know about the position of always in different sentences. For example: Always she is tidy and on time. Is it correct or not?
1
vote
0answers
23 views

“for which 'blah blah'” vs. “which 'blah blah' for” [duplicate]

When is it appropriate to use "for which" instead of "which .. for"? e.g. (talking about webpages) This method is useful for deprecated pages for which users have made bookmarks vs This ...
1
vote
3answers
768 views

Difference between “Can't you” and “Can you not”?

I've been wondering about the difference between questions that use can't you and can you not. Like: Can't you tell just by looking? [I read this from a comic-detective series] Can you not ...
1
vote
0answers
15 views

Syntactically and semantically discuss [closed]

(A) He cut the speech short. / He cut short the speech. (B) He broke the casket open. / He broke open the casket. (A) He hammered the metal flat. / *He hammered flat the metal. (B) He ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

Can I use “what are you talking about.” with the words in that order? [closed]

We've got a dispute on the point whether the phrase should be "What you are talking about." or "What are you talking about." in the affirmative sentence. I was arguing that it should be the former, ...
1
vote
1answer
59 views

What goes first: Sometimes, I bring X (1)'with me' (2)'to Y'?

Is one of the following constructions incorrect? If not, do they differ semantically in any way, even if only mildly so? Sometimes, I bring my lunch to work with me. Sometimes, I bring my lunch ...
1
vote
0answers
26 views

“Went to school happily” vs. “happily went to school” vs. “went happily to school” [duplicate]

The boy went to school happily. The boy happily went to school. The boy went happily to school. If the adverb “happily” is allowed to be put in the three places above, what are the ...
0
votes
2answers
128 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
202 views

“Take something into account” vs “Take into account something” — are both correct?

Are the two usages both correct? Personally, I'd prefer take something into account but I have heard some professors and academic textbook authors prefer take into account something. ...
2
votes
3answers
183 views

“put your coat on” and “put on your coat” but not “depend on someone” and “depend someone on*”

Why can you say "put on your coat" and "put your coat on" but not "depend on someone" and "depend someone on*"? Why are adverbs ("on" in the first sentence) mobile, whereas prepositions ("on" in the ...
-2
votes
2answers
153 views

Position of “to” in a sentence

Which of the following is grammatically correct and why? I got less time to focus per course. I got less time per course to focus on. Edit: I want to convey the idea that because I took ...
0
votes
1answer
80 views

“distinguish them more completely” vs. “more completely distinguish them”

Is there a rule I could tell the difference between: Both A and B have other attributes that distinguish them more completely. Both A and B have other attributes that more completely ...