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

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1answer
15k views

“Not… neither… nor…” word order

George Galloway is an outspoken MP with excellent rhetorical skills. I will take a part of his speech to convey the idea of my question. Video Iraq is neither strong, independent nor even a ...
1
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3answers
120 views

Does ordering make a difference?

I would like to know whether there is a grammatical or semantical difference between "notion of " and "-notion". I do not know what to search for to answer this question so maybe someone can help me ...
3
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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 ...
0
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1answer
410 views

Adverbs right after the subject [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Should an adverb go before or after a verb? Is it correct to write a sentence this way? Now we can speak about the steps that I’ve previously listed. Or it would ...
1
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3answers
610 views

Do these adjectives refer to ice?

In this sentence from Wuthering Heights I declined joining their breakfast, and, at the first gleam of dawn, took an opportunity of escaping into the free air, now clear, and still, and cold ...
1
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3answers
584 views

How should this sentence be structured?

I want to know which one of these two sentence structures is correct grammatically: This book is, despite being dense, a good read. This book, despite being dense, is a good read.
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3answers
289 views

The phrase 'give you me'

There was another sentence that I wasn't sure about: "Rather, O blessed one, give you me boldness to abide within the harmless laws of peace, avoiding strife and hatred and the violent fiends of ...
0
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0answers
29 views

Difference between the two sentences? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Correct position of “only” I got confused between these two centences: I answered only four questions in my exam. I only answered four questions in my exam. ...
1
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3answers
980 views

“I was really thinking” vs. “I really was thinking”

Which one of the following is correct? I was really thinking to do that. I really was thinking to do that.
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2answers
320 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
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4answers
1k 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 ...
5
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6answers
128k views

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

What's the correct sentence? Belated happy birthday! Happy belated birthday!
0
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1answer
1k 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
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2answers
726 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
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5answers
598 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
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3answers
998 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
307 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
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2answers
2k 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” ...
18
votes
3answers
990 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 ...
5
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1answer
482 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
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5answers
4k 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
310 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
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2answers
4k 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
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2answers
465 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 ...
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votes
1answer
166 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
701 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 ...
5
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5answers
3k 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?
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2answers
3k 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
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0answers
30 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 ...
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votes
2answers
405 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
449 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
108 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
642 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
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2answers
860 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
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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 ...
5
votes
1answer
264 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
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2answers
4k 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
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1answer
99 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
286 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
259 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
38 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
161 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
969 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
237 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
279 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
5k 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
229 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
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0answers
41 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 ...
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2answers
85 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 ...
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votes
5answers
872 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 ...