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

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0
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2answers
119 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
1k 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
158 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
386 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
635 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
496 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
584 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
134 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
456 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
3k 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
336 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
64 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
240 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
345 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
494 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
401 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
1k 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
1k 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
22 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
69 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
186 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
300 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
283 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
232 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
93 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
987 views

He truly is great or he is truly great?

Where is the correct place to put the "is"? I speak several languages and get confused when switching from one to the other.
1
vote
1answer
127 views

“In both an accurate and commercial” vs “in a both accurate and commercial”

Which of these two sentences is (more) correct? I can translate your texts in both an accurate and commercial way. I can translate your texts in a both accurate and commercial way.
0
votes
1answer
73 views

“which is to the best of our knowledge” vs “which to the best of our knowledge is”

I would like to know which one of the following is correct: We ran the experiments on the XXX, which is to the best of our knowledge the largest publicly available sample of YYYs. We ran the ...
0
votes
1answer
202 views

Hyphenation rules for product shelf life

Given this sentence: Studies confirm the longest product shelf life of 3 years. How do I make it correct and clear? The product has a set of shelf lives (it is a pharmaceutical product). ...
1
vote
2answers
119 views

“I will rob you of it” vs. “I will rob it of you”

Which of these is grammatically correct, and why? I will rob you of it I will rob it of you
0
votes
1answer
820 views

has just had or just had a baby

My question is not whether the correct grammar is either "She has just had a baby" or "She just had a baby". I am aware that the official grammar is "She has just had a baby". But in a way that ...
-1
votes
1answer
1k views

“They had already decided what to do” vs. “they had decided what to do already”

I was surprised that they had already decided what to do. I was surprised that they had decided what to do already. Which sentence is correct?
0
votes
1answer
278 views

Usage of the part 'through other means'

It might not be the typical way to say this, but is it incorrect or does it sound really awkward? Thank you all for the birthday wishes, by postcard or through other means. Or does it ...
-1
votes
2answers
131 views

Placing “first” in a sentence; would it change the meaning?

How does the meaning of the following two sentences differ? I first wanted to tell you about it. I wanted to tell you about it first.
0
votes
1answer
74 views

Merge into syntax [closed]

Assuming two companies one called A which is the bigger (master), the other call B which is the smaller (child). B is going to join A to be part of A. Which one is the correct phrase here ( B merge ...
0
votes
1answer
292 views

Do all variations of this sentence seem grammatically correct? [duplicate]

There is an interesting English sentence which is making rounds in the social media nowadays. It goes like this: For the following sentence, add the word "only" anywhere in this sentence, and ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

Noun order: “He and we…” or “We and he…”? Similarly, “…him and us” or “…us and him”?

It's convention and polite to always list yourself last in a list. I say "John and I went to the store" and not "I and John went to the store." So does that mean that I should always list myself ...
1
vote
1answer
234 views

Is there ambiguity in this sentence?

Further to fathom Aquinas on this matter, however, it is useful to remember that, when he explains what goodness is, he typically says that to be good is, quite generally, the same as being ...
0
votes
3answers
206 views

“Currently the environment is so contaminated” vs. “the environment is currently so contaminated”

Currently the environment is so contaminated that urgent measures should be taken. The environment is currently so contaminated that urgent measures should be taken. Are both sentences ...
14
votes
6answers
823 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

“There are still problems” vs. “there still are problems”

There are still problems. There still are problems. Is one word order more correct than the other and do they have identical meaning?
-5
votes
2answers
148 views

Why people don't use “Where it's?” question? [duplicate]

Why "Where it's?" is incorrect while "Where is it?" is considered correct? Was it like this all the time in English? Because the word oreder is wrong here too: Why it's there? = Why ...
2
votes
2answers
93 views

Word order with 'used to' [duplicate]

Is there a difference between I didn't use to do that and I used to not to do that For example, I don't use to read books when I was a child. Would both be correct? Is the second ...
0
votes
2answers
126 views

“is only mentioned” or “is mentioned only”? [closed]

The list was mentioned only at the meeting. or The list was only mentioned at the meeting.
2
votes
3answers
594 views

“This helps us how?” vs. “How does this help us?”

In the sci-fi movie Inception by Christopher Nolan, in the first level of dreaming, they kidnap Cilian Murphy and Tom Hardy tries to get some information from him, by impersonating Browning, his ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

Does the position of “while” in a sentence affect its meaning?

"While I hate to watch TV, my wife loves it very much." (self-made) When denoting a contrast, "while" is to be in the beginning of the first clause. I complained about the unfair competition in ...