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

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3
votes
1answer
335 views

The original usage of past participles

I have heard that the origin of the present perfect construction is that sentences like "I have it done" (passive) changed to "I have done it" (present perfect). Is that true at all? If that's the ...
3
votes
1answer
250 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
353 views

Which are the word orders that can be found in English?

Besides SVO, which are the word orders that can be found in English? Are there any that are peculiar to dialects such as Singlish or Indian English? Please provide an example sentence for each order ...
2
votes
5answers
419 views

Why should “be” come after “neither a borrower nor lender,” not before them?

I came across the maxim, “Neither a borrower nor a lender be” in the following sentence of Jeffery Archer’s fiction, “The Fourth Estate” (P.54), and found that the maxim came from Lord Polonius’ ...
2
votes
4answers
677 views

“Please explain” or “explain please”

Which one is correct in this context? Person A: I think Apple will displace Google. Person B: Please explain. Should he say/write "Explain please"?
2
votes
2answers
115 views

Choosing the better word order

In these two examples, what types of reasons (assuming the writing is generally about both characters) make a particular style a better choice? Or is this just an arbitrary choice that doesn't really ...
2
votes
5answers
403 views

“Sounds almost like” vs. “almost sounds like”

Which sentence structure is more accurate? ... that sounds almost like a command. ... that almost sounds like a command.
2
votes
6answers
768 views

“Sure I am not” — is that valid English?

Consider this conversation: — Iceland has more than 200 rainy days per year. — Are you sure? — No, I am not sure. Is it valid or wrong English to say, — No, sure I am not. ...in the ...
2
votes
3answers
300 views

Which is better, “provided object” or “object that is provided”?

Here is my original sentence that I was told needs correction. For instance, the provided metadata and types are sufficient for the automatic construction of the application user interface. ...
2
votes
4answers
450 views

Does adverb placement affect meaning?

He swam slowly to the island. He slowly swam to the island. Some experts say that there is a “slight difference” in meaning. Would you please tell me that difference?
2
votes
5answers
851 views

“Rather quite” or “quite rather”?

I'm a bit confused about this. They both sound correct to me. Quite rather weird Rather quite weird Which of the two is correct?
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
3answers
258 views

Question regarding sentence structure in a NY Times article about Michelle Obama

In a NY Times article titled "Michelle Obama and the Evolution of a First Lady", there is this sentence: Rahm Emanuel, then chief of staff, repeated the first lady’s criticisms to colleagues with ...
2
votes
3answers
99 views

Which of these sentences is better?

The user is redirected to your web page after the click. After the click, the user is redirected to your web page. Which kind of sentence should be used, the first, the second, or neither?
2
votes
1answer
67 views

“Blue colour” or “Colour blue”

Recently I started learning english on busuu.com. In on of the elementary exercices "Colours", that I performed, the following phrase was stated as the correct answer: "I like the colour blue" ...
2
votes
3answers
131 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
99 views

Usage of begrudge

While looking up this word, I found a weird usage, for example: She begrudged Martin his affluence She begrudged her friend the award. Applying common sense, it's clear that she envied her ...
2
votes
2answers
581 views

Position of verb for object clause

Is the general word order of this sentence correct? We investigate how strong the effect of X on Y is. Or, as an alternative, We investigate how strong the effect of X is on Y. In a ...
2
votes
1answer
866 views

Word order in defining and non-defining relative clauses

With defining relative clauses, there is a different word order according to the status of the relative pronoun in the sentence (that is, it can be either the subject or the object of the relative ...
2
votes
1answer
4k 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
4answers
870 views

“Run over XXX” or “run XXX over”

I would need to clarify which one is correct. My dictionary says “run somebody over” (meaning hit by car) and an example: I ran over the dog. On the internet I found: I’m afraid we’ve just ...
2
votes
4answers
373 views

What is the correct way to phrase this?

I asked this question on meta.stackoverflow.com, but I need some help. What would be the correct way to phrase "...diverse topics from software programming to cooking to photography and gaming." Or if ...
2
votes
2answers
458 views

What does “The man that once did sell the lion’s skin While the beast liv’d was killed with hunting him” mean?

I came across the following sentence in the context of four professional men discussing a plot to retrieve their lost $1 million, swindled from them by a nouveau riche American banker in Jeffery ...
2
votes
2answers
253 views

Is this correct grammar — “which feature in C/C++ don't you like?”

The question in question is this: Which feature in C/C++ don't you like? Just wanted to know if that is proper way of asking. Not sure if "don't you like" is the right way there.
2
votes
2answers
158 views

How to express a chronological dependency?

How do I express a chronological dependency between two events? Is it alright to say : "Event A must be chronologically after Event B"? Any suggestions are welcome.
2
votes
1answer
62 views

Is “Rouse me not” grammatically permissible? [duplicate]

In A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin, he writes that the “words” [see footnote] of House Grandison are Rouse Me Not. Is this grammatically correct? Does English allow such word-scrambling ...
2
votes
3answers
194 views

Adjective + “of them”

My wife and I were discussing whether it is allowable to put an adjective in front of "of them". For instance, I could say "I want 5 cats" and "I want 5 of them". However, while it sounds perfectly ...
2
votes
2answers
72 views

A suggestion for a change by reviewers

One of the suggestions that I got in my paper review is just indicated as a mistake in There is, however, no proven criterion when to stop. What is wrong with the above sentence. Word ordering? ...
2
votes
3answers
218 views

Loathe. The atypical use of the verb [closed]

I have a quick question about the atypical grammar of mine. I am a poet using iambic pentameter. The question is whether the following is grammatically correct: I she loathes. That I loathe. ...
2
votes
1answer
340 views

What's it called when you make an adjective post-positive? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why do some adjectives follow the nouns they modify? In English, adjectives usually precede the nouns they describe, as in "organic carrots". However, in some cases ...
2
votes
2answers
325 views

Difference between “had [verb] not to” and “hadn't [verb] to”

When we talk about things that we intended to do, but didn't or will not do in the future, we can use past perfect. I did a question in a reference book: I hadn't intended to become a doctor, I ...
2
votes
2answers
165 views

Are “now … any time” and “any time now” different meanings?

We know what "any time now" means, indeed: from now on it will happen soon. But in the sentence, which is quite informal, "Now yo'berths's ready any time, Miss" - said by the porter in the train (Pale ...
2
votes
1answer
899 views

Correct position of the word “hence”

Which one of those two versions is correct: ... and seems hence to be ... ... and hence seems to be ...
2
votes
3answers
7k views

Is “as” used correctly in this sentence?

Young, naive and trusting as I was, I believed every lying word he said. From what I learned, "as" used the way here should mean "though". But if it means "though", the meaning of this sentence ...
2
votes
3answers
67 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
71 views

Proper use of “what's”

I've seen people write a sentence like this: Example A: "I'm often asked what's the story behind my work." To me, it just seems that this reads rather poorly. I feel like it should be written as: ...
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
361 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
435 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
577 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
339 views

Order of participial adjective

I'm proof-reading a thesis by one of my friends and there's some recurring construct which I always mark as false but I'd like to check with you. In the comments I was told that the example I ...
2
votes
1answer
2k 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
2answers
323 views

Not always + inversion? [closed]

My neighbour's little son (they are from UK) asked me for something, saying that he wants it and hence he will get. I realized I do not know how to say that correctly (for the first one I used ...
2
votes
2answers
4k views

Order of phrases after verb: Prefer “share with you X” or “share X with you”?

Which of these sentences is grammatically correct? I wanted to share with you the outcomes of today's board meeting I wanted to share the outcomes of today's board meeting with you
2
votes
2answers
9k views

“But (something) instead” versus “but instead (something)”

Please consider the sentences: They do not overpower the city, but empower it instead. They do not overpower the city, but instead empower it. I'm doubting the use of but + instead. Is ...
2
votes
1answer
123 views

“used word” or “word used”?

The word used in that context should be gusto. The used word is wrong. Is it correct to place used after word? When should I use word used, and when used word?
2
votes
3answers
182 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
84 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
79 views

Position of “to” in the sentence

Is there any difference between the below two statements: I have to pay bills I have bills to pay Could you please tell us the difference between the above two statements and when to use them.
2
votes
3answers
291 views

“My latest five novels” or “my five latest novels”?

Is it okay to say "my latest five novels" when I want to express "five of my latest novels"? As far as I know, "five" is a postdeterminer, so it precedes an adjective (except for ...