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

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1answer
64 views

I need to comment on Bill Gates's blog. In my comments I would frequently want to refer to him (I don't want to address him) with respect [duplicate]

What should I add before or after his name to show respect? In India we do that adding sir after the name but I don't think it's done in standard English.
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5answers
139 views

I want to refer to Bill Gates on his blog with respect in the comments section

One way to address Bill Gates with respect would be to simply write Sir, but I don't want other readers to get confused about who I'm referring to. How do I refer to him with respect without creating ...
0
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1answer
66 views

My and Linda's or Mine and Linda's? [duplicate]

How do you use possessive pronouns in cases where there are multiple "owners" and "objects" in question? For example would it be: "I've included my and Linda's suggestions in the file" or "I've ...
2
votes
1answer
45 views

Can you place a cardinal number after a noun?

Is it possible to express a number of something by placing the cardinal after the noun? I know the concept of postpositives, like snow galore etc. but does this apply to cardinals? E.g. you can say ...
1
vote
1answer
91 views

Word order in salutations

Can we use a reverse order in salutations? For example, Tom, hello/hi instead of Hello/hi, Tom
7
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1answer
179 views

What colour eyes

I've just stumbled on this sentence What colour eyes does she have? in my grammar book. What got me interested in this is the combination of the words colour, eyes with what and without any ...
0
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3answers
72 views

Should the verb of the independent clause come before or after the dependent clause?

Which of the following is correct? The Boeing 777 crashed, carrying 227 passengers and a crew of 12 members, into international waters. The Boeing 777, carrying 227 passengers and a crew of ...
2
votes
3answers
139 views

Noun-adjective reversal - was it ever in use in plain speech?

In some more or less archaic texts I found the order of noun and its adjective reversed at times, like: I traveled through nights starless, and roads unmapped. I wonder, is it a stylistic tool ...
26
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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
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2answers
62 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
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1answer
90 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?
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2answers
93 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
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4answers
75 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?
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3answers
61 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
76 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
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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
332 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
78 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
138 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
166 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
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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
73 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
98 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
161 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
374 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
124 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
72 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
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2answers
50 views

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

What is the proper usage — "huge potential profit" or "huge profit potential"?
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2answers
99 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
645 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
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1answer
107 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
357 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
381 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
439 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
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1answer
491 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
95 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
416 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
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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
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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
269 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
194 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
340 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
278 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
585 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
790 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 ...