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

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12
votes
2answers
896 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
53k 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, ...
16
votes
9answers
2k views

“Assign a variable to a value” or the other way round?

I was wondering which of these phrases is/are correct: assign a variable to a value assign a value to a variable I'd say the second is correct, but I'm not a native speaker. A quick Google search ...
11
votes
3answers
13k views

“currently not” or “not currently”

What's the correct order: Lessons are not currently being offered. or Lessons are currently not being offered.
7
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
6k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
826 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
585 views

Why “inspector general”, and not “general inspector”, like German “Generalinspektor”? [duplicate]

I would expect the term "inspector general" to be "general inspector" instead. In part, that may be because I know the German variant as "Generalinspekteur" of "Generalinspektor". But I'm pretty ...
6
votes
1answer
12k 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. ...
5
votes
2answers
829 views

“Can't it also be” or “Can't it be also” in a question?

They both have plenty examples available, but which one is preferable? "Can't it also be" — 1,310,000 Google results "Can't it be also" — 1,430,000 Google results
2
votes
1answer
742 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 ...
17
votes
6answers
957 views

Why does left come before right?

For example in the idioms "left and right", "left, right and centre", and in many contexts where both left and right are mentioned, it seems that the left usually comes before the right. Why is this ...
13
votes
2answers
533 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
2answers
470 views

Why is the Dostoyevsky novel “The Brothers Karamazov” not translated “The Karamazov Brothers”?

In most cases I would say that the family name should come first, as in "the Ringling Brothers circus" or "the Bronte sisters", but then there is the Dostoyevsky novel "The Brothers Karamazov". Why ...
6
votes
3answers
20k views

Adverbs position in English: “place–manner–time” or “manner–place–time”?

Wikipedia tells us that the order should be place–manner–time. However, this webpage tells that it should be manner–Place–Time. Which one is correct? I have one sentence in two different orders: ...
6
votes
3answers
8k 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
2answers
7k 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
3answers
355 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 write ...
3
votes
3answers
152 views

Is it wrong to use 'not" in sentences that have an “all…not” form

All of the women in the district did not vote for the lone female candidate. What, if any, is the semantic problem in the above sentence? I was suggested the following sentence by my senior peers. ...
2
votes
2answers
2k 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
2answers
1k 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?
1
vote
3answers
813 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
1answer
74k views

Is it correct to start a sentence with “with” in English?

Is it correct to use with at the beginning of a sentence? Here's an example sentence: With the development of the economy, living standards improved. To my eyes this looks unnatural; I would ...
0
votes
3answers
246 views

Use of a pronoun with another person [duplicate]

Which is the correct form? Tommy and she went to the store. OR She and Tommy went to the store. I hear the second example much more frequently in conversation, but I believe the first one is ...
12
votes
6answers
2k views

What number bus is that? or What bus number is that?

Imagine you are at the bus stop. You see a bus coming, but you can't read the number, so you ask: "What number bus is that?" However, usually the noun used as a determiner precedes the main noun, for ...
8
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
334 views

Meaning of “And the day came when … ”

I saw some sentences that start with this phrase: "And the day came when ... " For example, the following sentence form The Garden Party and Other Stories by Katherine Mansfield At last the day ...
5
votes
3answers
6k views

How to properly write sentence with double words

I commonly come across sentences where I have to write the same word twice such as, This is what I've been looking for for a long time. and in these cases I just try to rewrite the sentence to ...
5
votes
2answers
756 views

Inverted adjective in “in matters political”

In in matters political, one can notice the inversion of the standard adjective-noun order. Here's an example in context: political obligation is only one consideration among many in a ...
4
votes
2answers
315 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
3answers
481 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
5k views

“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.
4
votes
5answers
1k 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
1answer
859 views

Where do you place the word 'only' [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Correct position of “only” Use of “only” and word-order Should one say The bidders shall not be permitted to bid for one or two tenders only. ...
4
votes
5answers
2k views

“Really” in a negative sentence

I am not really ready to get married. Did I put "really" in the right place? I just want my sentence to sound stronger than "I am not ready to get married."
3
votes
2answers
418 views

Word order for subordinate questions

I know subordinate questions have no inversion. Should this sentence: "Do you know what are the good things to do around here?" be "Do you know what the good things are to do around here?...
3
votes
1answer
434 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 Mr....
3
votes
1answer
182 views

When may adjectives precede determiners? (E.g. too difficult a task)

The expression too difficult a task sounds a little pompous, but it doesn't sound ungrammatical. According to my folk-beliefs about English grammar, determiners precede adjectives. However, the ...
2
votes
1answer
859 views

Why do we write the name of Judges in a strange way?

I did a bit of law when I was in school, and recently, I recalled a unique feature of the law system regarding the way the names of judges were written, especially those with the title of Justice. ...
2
votes
2answers
765 views

Does 'which' refer to the noun immediately preceding it?

Is the 'which' in Proposition 25 suggests a better definition of m-reducibility than given in Definition 23, which is also the one typically given in texts ambiguous? It is a line from an ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Object pronoun: me and John, or John and me?

When using ourselves and another person as the subject of a sentence, we use their name first (like "John and I"); but when the same two people become the object of a sentence, which order should the ...
2
votes
1answer
1k 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
2answers
7k views

“Pick up something” or “pick something up”?

I have difficulties with word order: I have picked up the pencil from the floor. [says my dictionary] ?I have picked the pencil up from the floor. [could be?] ?I will pick up it. [sounds ...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

Should personal pronouns always be placed at the end of a list? [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” vs “I and Julio” ...
2
votes
0answers
44 views

Unusual word order in a sentence [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why is “xxxx doth not a yyyy make” considered valid English? Proper usage/origin of the generic phrase “[action phrase] does not a [noun] make” “Two films don't a revolution ...
1
vote
2answers
97 views

“Not only … but also” —parallelism in a particular case

I have been looking around to find an answer to my question, but I was unable to find one that addressed my specific problem. I want to create the following sentence, but I'm not sure whether it's ...
1
vote
3answers
388 views

Preferred list ordering [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What are the principles that make certain lists sound euphonious? Name for a type of idiom with two things joined (like “raining cats and dogs”, “bread and ...
1
vote
5answers
168 views

Precedence: and > or?

The question Precedence of “and” and “or” asks if there is any notion of precedence ordering in the English and it would seem not, based on the answers. Regardless of that, if you saw the following ...
1
vote
2answers
142 views

Do I need “have” here?

Was it specifically mentioned as part of their teaching or they have just happened not to have killed anyone? Do I need have there?
1
vote
2answers
333 views

where to place *further* , *considering further*

As the closing sentence of a cover letter for an application I would like to write the sentence I would appreciate your further considering my application and remain... but is this correct, or ...