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

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5
votes
3answers
516 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
308 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
414 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
98 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
455 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
491 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
218 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
88 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
195 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
137 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
757 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
195 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
258 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
161 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
78 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
579 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
105 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
195 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
483 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
386 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
655 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
466 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
410 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?
15
votes
3answers
4k 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
606 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
95 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
544 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
6k 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
100 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
4k 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
8k 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
579 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
188 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
3k 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
675 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
356 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 ...