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

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1
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2answers
254 views

Mixing adjective and noun enumerations

I am having trouble writing a seemingly simple sentence. I am organising an event where three kinds of food will be served: hot beverages cold beverages finger food My trouble deals with putting ...
1
vote
4answers
819 views

“I and others” or “others and I”?

I have traditionally learned that a first-person pronoun should always come last in a list, e.g. Bob and I found this to be interesting. However, it sounds awkward to me when this rule is used ...
4
votes
6answers
89k views

“Belated happy birthday” or “happy belated birthday”?

What's the correct sentence? Belated happy birthday! Happy belated birthday!
0
votes
1answer
789 views

“Enables you to quickly and easily identify” vs. “enables you to identify quickly and easily” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Are split infinitives grammatically incorrect, or are they valid constructs? I'm currently having a bit of a dispute and would appreciate your help please. Which one is ...
0
votes
2answers
539 views

Can a verb split a subject and its attributive prepositional phrase?

Recently a program gave me this text in a dialog box: "All purchases have been downloaded for this account." While I understand its meaning, splitting the subject (the noun and its attributive phrase) ...
3
votes
5answers
453 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
698 views

The placement of “only” in a sentence with perfect continuous tense and “been”

I was just wondering if there is a significant difference between placing "only" before and after the word "been". Examples: I've only been fixing cars since I was young. vs I've been only ...
3
votes
2answers
279 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
1k 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” ...
17
votes
3answers
835 views

You don't want to answer this word-placement question, now do you?

Prompted by this question I got to thinking about the placement of the word now. If it's placed before the comma, it refers to an immediate condition: You don't want to answer this word-placement ...
4
votes
1answer
367 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 ...
5
votes
5answers
3k views

Why put the verb before the subject?

The opening sentence to The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien reads, In a hole in the ground there lived [verb] a hobbit [subject]. I wonder if there are accepted stylistic purposes for such a structure. ...
3
votes
1answer
277 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
3k views

Place of an adverb in the passive present perfect progressive

I was wondering where an adverb should (or could) be placed in the passive present perfect progressive in English. I have been being carefully tickled. OR I have been carefully being ...
2
votes
2answers
392 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
142 views

When tagging a picture, which statement is correct if it includes yourself and a friend? I was taught friend's name then mine [duplicate]

Duplicate of: John, Valencia, and I (or me)? “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? And ...
5
votes
3answers
553 views

“Even were he not to…”

I am currently reading "Do androids dream of electric sheep?" by P.K. Dick and I have come across a grammatical structure I don't quite understand. The excerpt is the following (no spoilers, don't ...
4
votes
5answers
2k views

“How best to handle” vs. “how to best handle”

Are there rules on the placement of 'best'? They are deciding how to best handle the matter. They are deciding how best to handle the matter. Is one of them wrong?
1
vote
2answers
2k views

“A, B, C, or etc.” vs. “A, B, or C, etc.” vs. “A, B, C, etc.”

I think correct usages of "and" and "etc." are: A, B, C, and etc. A, B, and etc. But the example usage of "or" and "etc." I found in my dictionary is: A or B, etc. Why it is not: A, ...
2
votes
0answers
27 views

Adjective order convention [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the rule for adjective order? As a native speaker, I would always say "big red ball," but never "red big ball." Further, I would say "Big red furry ball," and ...
-2
votes
2answers
319 views

Where to place the word “easily”? [closed]

Where should I place the word easily — before or after edit and share your bookmarks? Do you want to edit and share your bookmarks easily? or Do you want to easily edit and share your ...
13
votes
2answers
426 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
102 views

Won't followed by noun

I try to understand the song 'Sober' by band Tool. And there are couple of sentence with won't followed by pronoun or noun and without verb. For example: 'Jesus, won't you f*cking whistle nothing ...
4
votes
2answers
484 views

What's the difference between “Not Completely True” and “Completely Not True”?

From what I understand, in second order propositional logic, ∀¬x and ¬∀x are equivalent statements. Apparently these are not equal. ¬∀x ≡ ∃¬x However, rendered into the English language, consider ...
1
vote
2answers
565 views

''I don't know what" + direct object [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Changing subject and verb positions in statements and questions Why do we put the verb to be at the end of these questions? Is the expression I don't know what is ...
2
votes
0answers
24 views

Why ‘a great green dragon’ but not ‘a green great dragon’? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the rule for adjective order? In Letter #163 to W.H. Auden from page 214 of The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Tolkien mentions his mother noting but not explaining ...
4
votes
1answer
219 views

Where does the verb go on this question? Is it even a reported question?

I understand that when I report a question, I put the subject back in front of the verb, as in: "He asked if she was going to be late." But I always get puzzled when it comes to reporting a question ...
0
votes
2answers
3k views

“Where am I?” vs. “Where I am?” [closed]

Which is more correct to say in a question? (For example a guy that wakes up in a train) "Where am I?" or "Where I am?"
1
vote
1answer
89 views

“I ordered us…” vs. “I ordered for us…” vs “I ordered … for us”

I usually use a phrase such as: (1) I ordered us a box. Would it be more correct to say: (2) I ordered for us a box. Or, better still: (3) I ordered a box for us. Example 3 sounds ...
3
votes
1answer
204 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
238 views

“You're too clever a man”

You're too clever a man to imagine this. The above sentence was said by George Galloway, a man of excellent rhetorical skills. Since he said it, I doubt it's wrong, grammatically. But, I wonder ...
2
votes
0answers
33 views

Is the phrase “fresh six muffins” grammatically correct? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the rule for adjective order? A non-native speaker that I know always puts the count before another adjective, as in "fresh six muffins". "Six fresh muffins" ...
0
votes
1answer
138 views

the use of both to show emphasis and experimentalist and theoretician communities [closed]

In your opinion is both superfluous in the following sentence? Efforts from both experimentalist and theoretician communities, started to increase over the last decades in order to turn the ...
8
votes
2answers
802 views

When can an adjective be postposed?

I read this at the economist, and it's the 2nd sentence in the 2nd paragraph. That is small consolation for an Israeli establishment still hankering after the much easier rapport it had with ...
4
votes
2answers
204 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
259 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
4k 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
169 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
39 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
80 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
616 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
106 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
215 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
508 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
1k 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
402 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
701 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
492 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
416 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? ...
1
vote
5answers
4k 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?