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

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4
votes
2answers
176 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.
3
votes
2answers
255 views

Meaning of “Irish true”

This is a sign from a pub. I would expect it to read “Irish truth” or “true Irish”. Why is “Irish true” used?
1
vote
1answer
3k views

“You should have also named” vs. “you should also have named”

Out of the two sentences, which one is correct? You should have also named it the Daily prophet. You should also have named it the Daily prophet. My guess is it's the first one.
5
votes
1answer
146 views

When to put a verb ahead of its doer?

I have read this at the Science.com, and it's in the second line of the last paragraph. A bow and arrow or an atlatl allows users to attack prey—and enemies—from a safer distance than does an ...
2
votes
0answers
38 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 ...
-1
votes
2answers
76 views

“Stock pole” vs. “pole stock”

I found this sentence, and it confused me: Loads may be transferred in one operation from stock pole, production point or delivery vehicle practically to their destination on the building. I ...
-1
votes
5answers
539 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
102 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
172 views

A “black, full beard” or a “full, black” one? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the rule for adjective order? This is from the Hound of the Baskervilles , where in Chapter 5, one of the characters is referred to as having "a black, full ...
0
votes
2answers
437 views

Word order with “just” and “only” meaning “merely”

Marking a German student's test I have encountered the following problem: The relationship between the two adolescents is one-sided. Just the boy really feels something, the girl hates him. Can ...
0
votes
2answers
986 views

Adverb word order: “nicely shows” vs “shows nicely”

I have the following sentence in my dissertation: The even-tempered STO basis for Mg shows nicely why the virial theorem cannot be trusted as an error indicator. However, previously I had there: ...
-2
votes
2answers
360 views

Direct object “it” in final position… grammatical?

In a video a native speaker of English said: I gotta show you something... it is important. I need to show you it. I am not a native speaker and this last sentence sounds extremely weird to me. ...
3
votes
2answers
584 views

Position of “now”

What is the difference in meaning between these two sentences? This feature is now disabled. This feature is disabled now.
1
vote
1answer
428 views

“There's a missing page” vs. “there's a page missing”

Sometimes we see the adjective "missing" used before nouns and sometimes after nouns. What is the difference in usage in this regard? For example: There is a missing page in the book. There ...
4
votes
3answers
404 views

Titles of British Lords [closed]

In an old episode of The West Wing, a British Ambassador is referred to as "Lord John Marbury". Ignoring that once he became Ambassador he'd be Mr Ambassador, what are the possible correct addresses? ...
0
votes
4answers
3k views

“Introduce person to object” or “introduce object to person”?

I'd like to introduce you to this technology. I'd like to introduce this tech to you. Which one is right and what are appropriate uses?
15
votes
3answers
3k views

How does one correctly punctuate a sentence that declares that one has a question? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Punctuation with “The question is…” '.', '?' or ' “… ?” ' Position of question mark when sentence doesn't end ...
4
votes
3answers
572 views

Placement of the word “later” in a sentence

Why is it correct to say "it later came to pass" instead of "it came to pass later"? What is the rule for this placement?
18
votes
6answers
3k views

When can the -ing form of a verb be placed before a noun?

My native-speaker's grammatical intuition tells me that: There is a sleeping man under the tree. is fine but There is a fishing man by the river bank. is wrong. Why? I've thought about ...
4
votes
3answers
92 views

“Really” modification problems

I can read a French newspaper with the aid of a dictionary, but I cannot speak the language or understand it when spoken. So I do not really know French. Some people say that really modifies know; ...
2
votes
4answers
477 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
2answers
5k views

“They all are fine” vs. “they are all fine” [closed]

The situation is that someone asks me how my family are; I then want to answer that they all are fine. I want to know whether the sentences "They all are fine." and "They are all fine." have the ...
1
vote
2answers
99 views

“Far enough removed” vs. “far removed enough” vs. “removed far enough”

Which of the following word orders is grammatical? Games based on real life are sometimes not far enough removed. Games based on real life are sometimes not far removed enough. Games based ...
4
votes
3answers
3k views

Why does “Why doesn't it work?” become “Why does it not work?”

When you uncontract doesn't in "Why doesn't it work?" the not moves to "Why does it not work?" This confuses me even more when I use a longer phrase instead of the pronoun it like below: Why ...
3
votes
2answers
7k views

Adverbs position in English: “place–manner–time” or “manner–place–time”?

Wikipedia tells us that the order should be place–manner–time. However, this webpage tells that it should be manner–Place–Time. Which one is correct? I have one sentence in two different orders: ...
1
vote
0answers
31 views

“in America in the 21st century” or “in the 21st century in America” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: The Royal Order of Adverbs Which of the following sentence is correct? – No child should grow up in poverty in America in the 21st century. – No ...
4
votes
1answer
530 views

Placement of “off the beaten track” in context

I know that "off the beaten track" means "unusual". Can it be used before a noun and after a verb? For example, an off the beaten track place This holiday is off the beaten track. Is it ...
-1
votes
1answer
174 views

What qualification you are looking for? [closed]

Well this may be a very silly and obvious question but it's bothering me so I am asking it here. I am writing a letter and I asked the question What qualification are you looking for? However my ...
-1
votes
4answers
2k views

Put the words in the correct order to make question [closed]

I am not a native speaker. I am doing the exercise "Put the words in the correct order to make question" from my workbook. I have this set of words: your / best / see / did / friend / when / ...
2
votes
2answers
667 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
303 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?
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
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? ...
9
votes
3answers
3k views

The Royal Order of Adverbs

I know that the pattern manner-place-time shouldn't be taken too seriously if one wants to speak natural English. In real life, people rarely use a string of adverbs. Speakers will easily break the ...
1
vote
0answers
27 views

What is the correct “noun-verb” order when preceded by “only when”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Sentences using: [something] + have + they Inversion in “Only when the virus introduces its nucleic acid into a cell does disease occur” In a sentence like this: ...
14
votes
3answers
788 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 ...
17
votes
2answers
1k views

White-orange or orange-white? Which color comes first?

When referring to something, (electrical wires, in my case) and it is half white and half other color, do you put White or the other color first? I want to describe the color of these wires as ONE ...
5
votes
2answers
227 views

Is this correct: “Aloof the hallow things shall always be”?

I'm writing a poem, and I wondered if, to a native speaker, this would sound awkward (or grammatically incorrect): Aloof the hallow things shall always be. As a variant of The hallow things ...
1
vote
3answers
111 views

Does “allegedly made a drug that does X” or “made a drug that allegedly does X” sound better? [closed]

As an engineering-type fellow, I was thinking about this article about a drug that replaces sleep. It occurred to me that I could frame it in two ways: Scientists allegedly created a drug that ...
1
vote
3answers
528 views

“If only I” or “If I only” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Correct position of “only” Should I use only before or after the pronoun? If only I had a chance If I only had a chance Both sentences bring a lot ...
0
votes
1answer
3k views

Do the adjectives always precedes the noun or pronoun? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why do some adjectives follow the nouns they modify? Attributive and predicative position of an adjective “A place nearby” but not “A place good” ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

“…and me” or “me and…” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “Me and my wife” or “my wife and me” I keep seeing that it's just courtesy to put yourself last in a list of nouns. eg. "They went to the game ...
15
votes
3answers
738 views

“You just can't” vs. “you can't just ”

I'm a bit confused about this. Which expression is correct? You can't just do that. or You just can't do that. I'm trying to say: You can't just bash an ideology because of what ...
2
votes
1answer
875 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 ...
0
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
403 views

“An abandoned cute little kitten” or “a cute abandoned little kitten” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the rule for adjective order? I saw an abandoned cute little kitten. I saw a cute abandoned little kitten. Which sentence is correct? What is the ...
11
votes
2answers
378 views

“A place nearby” but not “A place good”

I can ask any of: Do you know a breakfast place nearby? Do you know a nearby breakfast place? Do you know a good breakfast place? but I really can't ask: Do you know a breakfast place ...
7
votes
2answers
395 views

“put X down to” vs. “put down X to”: subjects of verbs with two particles

I expect I would have to put down many coats to do the job. (SOURCE) One factor to distinguish phrasal verbs from prepositional verbs is particle movement. Phrasal verbs can place the particle ...
2
votes
2answers
326 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
241 views

Which is correct: “first ever loss” or “first loss ever”

Consider the following two phrases Microsoft reports first quarterly loss ever Microsoft reports first ever quarterly loss Which of the them is correct?