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

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0
votes
2answers
1k views

“Sometimes also” or “also sometimes”?

I have a sentence where I think I could use either of these two constructions. They seem very similar in meaning, so I'm not sure which I should prefer. There might be some subtle point of grammar ...
0
votes
1answer
879 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
1k 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".
27
votes
6answers
5k 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
13k 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. ...
32
votes
8answers
77k 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
2k 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?
14
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
863 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
49k 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, ...
10
votes
3answers
12k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
801 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
1answer
5k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
812 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
729 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
697 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?
13
votes
2answers
519 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
463 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
7k 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
572 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
148 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
384 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
7k 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
335 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
2answers
1k 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
1answer
1k 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
1answer
68k 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
792 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
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?
0
votes
3answers
225 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
1k 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
2answers
153 views

Is it “Don't let's” or “Let's don't”?

On Downton Abbey, I heard Mrs. Crawley say: "Don't let's make a thing out of it!" On The Goodwife, I heard Dianne Lockhart say: "Let's don't invite trouble for ourselves." It seems that ...
6
votes
2answers
15k views

What is the correct use of “even” as an adverb, with the verb “to be”?

http://www.onestopenglish.com/community/your-english/word-grammar/your-english-word-grammar-even/156431.article gives some examples of correct use of "even" as an adverb to indicate that something is ...
6
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
268 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
2answers
732 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
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."
4
votes
2answers
304 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
466 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
154 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
299 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
405 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 ...
2
votes
5answers
99 views

So do I ( what word type is “so” functioning as?

In the following example: I like cakes. So do I. What word type is "so" taking the role of? Verb, adverb? I understand that there is some ellipsis happening and the sentences could be re-written: ...
2
votes
2answers
671 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
2answers
683 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
2k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
6k 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
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 ...