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

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1
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2answers
716 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?
0
votes
4answers
5k views

Is “forth and back” more proper than “back and forth”?

I think the term "back and forth" gets thrown around a lot without much thought. From Dictionary.com: forth    [fawrth, fohrth] adverb 1. onward or outward in place or space; forward: to ...
13
votes
2answers
434 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 ...
12
votes
6answers
890 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
244 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
2k 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
6k 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
2answers
519 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
5answers
1k 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."
4
votes
4answers
411 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, ...
4
votes
2answers
213 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
991 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
342 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
3k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
833 views

Inversion with “many times” at the beginning of a sentence

I am having a discussion with my friend. I said, "Many times I have seen him washing his car." He says it should be, "Many times have I seen him washing his car. Much like "Often do I see him", and ...
3
votes
2answers
289 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
286 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
3answers
225 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
3answers
102 views

Placing the object of an infinitive before it instead of after it

At the beginning of 1807, based on information gathered from Burr’s correspondence allegedly showing that he had begun preparations for a large-scale military expedition, the former vice ...
2
votes
2answers
347 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
1answer
3k 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
5k views

Position of 'also'

What is the correct position of the word 'also'? I would like to also talk about ... I would also like to talk about ...
2
votes
2answers
2k 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
1answer
972 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
6k 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
266 views

Mixing adjective and noun enumerations

I am having trouble writing a seemingly simple sentence. I am organising an event where three kinds of food will be served: hot beverages cold beverages finger food My trouble deals with putting ...
1
vote
2answers
646 views

''I don't know what" + direct object [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Changing subject and verb positions in statements and questions Why do we put the verb to be at the end of these questions? Is the expression I don't know what is ...
1
vote
2answers
132 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
3answers
229 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
1answer
426 views

“Learning always” vs “always learning”

What is the difference between learning always and always learning in terms of grammar and connotation? If the connotation is the same then which is preferred?
1
vote
5answers
158 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
1answer
545 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. ...
1
vote
1answer
580 views

Word-order and meaning - which is correct for this notice? [closed]

I'm creating some signs for the office car park, and one of these signs is to control access. What I'm trying to get it to indicate is that cars aren't permitted between 10 am and 4pm except for ...
0
votes
2answers
67 views

“It doesn't always X” vs “It always doesn't X”

When I read these two sentences out loud, I feel that they express very different things. 1. Job interviews don't always go well. 2. Job interviews always don't go well. At least to me, 1) ...
0
votes
2answers
76 views

“the below-identified person”: Term for this style and any style guides regarding

Are there any technical terms to specifically describe the two styles (A and B) below? Also, are there any prescriptive style guides that say which is preferable? My own preference is for style B ...
0
votes
1answer
271 views

Is this sentence grammatically correct? [duplicate]

Duplicate of: When is it appropriate to end a sentence in a preposition? Possessive connecting word for inanimate object I am not sure about following sentence being grammatically correct: ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

When to use inverted word-order like “great an option”? [closed]

I heard this in a movie yesterday: That is great an option! Why didn't he say: That is a great option! How does grammar desribe such inverted phrases? Where should I use this inverted ...
0
votes
2answers
256 views

Words order in a question

Which is better (and why)? Which feature should I attach this task to? or To which feature should I attach this task?
0
votes
3answers
394 views

Why are some adjectives placed after a noun?

How would you explain these words: Corporate America, Revenue Canada, ServiceOntario, etc.? Edit: To clarify my question, why is corporate America more popular than American corporate or American ...
-1
votes
5answers
681 views

“Not once he would” vs. “not once would he”

Not being a native speaker and suffering semantic satiation from overthinking this, I'd like to ask this probably overly simple question. Not once would he... uses reversal for negation and ...