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

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3
votes
5answers
602 views

“Will shortly appear automatically” — what is the correct order of words in this fragment?

I want to say that an answer will appear shortly, and automatically, on the screen. I'm not sure whether the correct sentence is: The answer will shortly appear automatically. or maybe: The ...
3
votes
1answer
157 views

“not meant merely to” vs “not merely meant to”

I don't know which of the two is more correct: This site is not meant merely to determine the popularity of specific tools. This site is not merely meant to determine the popularity of ...
3
votes
3answers
261 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
353 views

Can I use the adjective as the first word?

Is it okay if I rearrange the sentence The apple on the table was green or The green apple was on the table to put the adjective in front, as the first word, like Green, was the apple on ...
3
votes
2answers
3k 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?
3
votes
1answer
600 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
562 views

Adverb placement in “Let's simply share”

To me the expression Let's simply share seems wrong. I've always thought the adverb should come after the verb. Is that correct?
3
votes
1answer
71 views

“Drupal Planet” versus “Planet Drupal”

Between Drupal Planet, and Planet Drupal, which one is correct? I would think Planet Drupal is correct, in the same way Planet Earth is correct. Which one would be the interpretation of Drupal Planet? ...
3
votes
2answers
225 views

word order in superlatives: “She booked the earliest flight to London she could.” or “She booked the earliest flight she could to London.”?

What is the correct (Ooops, I'm afraid it's me again! rule-o-cratic French speaker), preferred, then, word order in a superlative? "She booked the earliest flight she could back to London." or "She ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

“to further assist [you]” — Split infinitive or fixed VP?

From a descriptive standpoint (and the problem that English has at least two words in an infinitive), I understand why the split infinitive is becoming more acceptable, but is there any other excuse ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Proper usage/origin of the generic phrase “[action phrase] does not a [noun] make” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why is “xxxx doth not a yyyy make” considered valid English? I occasionally come across a sentence formulated in a manner similar to the following: ...
3
votes
1answer
595 views

Semantics and frequency of use of different adverb orderings

Is there any semantic difference between these two sentences? Also, is any of them more "correct" or frequently used than the other? This problem has been recently addressed by several authors ...
3
votes
2answers
280 views

The Order of Modification in English Nouns, Preceding or Succeeding? [closed]

As I don't know the exact linguistic terms, what I mean my "preceding" and "succeeding" in modifying nouns is as follows. Preceding : delicious food, long way, kind person, et cetera Succeeding : ...
3
votes
1answer
1k 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
309 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
290 views

“He said, X” vs. “X, he said” vs. “X, said he”

I’ve long wondered how in reported speech, what sort of change in nuance is produced by switching around the normal order of the subject (that is, the speaker) and the “speech-related” verb (such as ...
3
votes
2answers
820 views

“Does not make changes” or “makes no changes”

I was thinking of using this sentence on my computer program: This action does not make changes on user's machine. Just to be sure, I checked Google Translate which suggested: This action ...
3
votes
1answer
7k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
212 views

Use of “did” in an affirmative sentence before subject [duplicate]

I wrote the following sentence in an article: Only in June it created repositories. The editor corrected me: Only in June did it create repositories. What's the explanation for "did" in ...
3
votes
1answer
398 views

Ordering prepositional phrases

I have rewritten a sentence like the one below several times, and I could not seem to put the prepositional phrases in an order that sounded correct to me. Is there a better way to construct this ...
3
votes
1answer
101 views

Fronted adjuncts

Is it correct to begin sentences with adjuncts? To which degree are the sentences below acceptable? Do you need a special context to license this word order, or can you start a text with these ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

“The more…, the less…” sentence with the same verb

I'm kinda ok with basic "The more..., the less..." type of sentences, like The more you think about it, the less likely you are to take action, but what if I want to say next: The more ...
3
votes
1answer
859 views

How to describe braces, brackets, parentheses?

I have this term: ((x ,y, z)) and I need to describe in words that the x in this term should be outside the bars? Is this correct? outside the bars? x ((y,z)) The position of the x ...
3
votes
3answers
198 views

Using “kindly” as an adverb to indicate humility [duplicate]

Is it the following correct to say? May I kindly request ..." As when calling a celebrity onstage during an event Would it not be better to say, May I request so and so to kindly come ... ...
3
votes
1answer
72 views

When is it correct to postpone an attributive clause?

Normally, the attributive clause precedes the predicative phrase: The bag that he bought cost forty dollars. Those verbal valency complementations that are referentially identical with some ...
3
votes
1answer
311 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
2answers
57 views

Position of interrogative auxiliary verbs as replies to statements [closed]

Imagine someone states the following to you: I think you're mistaken. We've never traveled to Italy together. What's the difference between the following two responses, if any? Haven't we? ...
3
votes
2answers
389 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
2answers
132 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
542 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
4answers
696 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
6answers
1k 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
412 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
3answers
98 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
25k views

“A is followed by B.” What's the order?

So the English class teacher is teaching IEEE referencing style, and we have something like this as an example: Chan [1] claims that... The teacher said: The referencing number is followed ...
2
votes
5answers
1k 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
3answers
254 views

Why is “till” used in this expression: “If we don't leave till after lunch…”?

If we don't leave till after lunch we'll be cutting it very fine. I understand it to mean: "If we don't leave after lunch, we'll be cutting it very fine." (In the event of our not leaving ...
2
votes
2answers
771 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
3k 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
267 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
102 views

Which of these sentences is better? [closed]

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
98 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
400 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
120 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
721 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
1k 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
3answers
266 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
4answers
1k 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
5answers
689 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
284 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.