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

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3
votes
2answers
26 views

Position of interrogative auxiliary verbs as replies to statements

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? ...
1
vote
1answer
16 views

Use of the adverb first in conjunction with then

Are the use and the positions of the adverbs first and then correct in the following two sentences? We prove, first, two preliminary properties, and, then, the whole theorem. We first show ...
-1
votes
1answer
40 views

Why does “chain and whips” sound 'wrong' in a Rihanna song?

I was asked recently about word order in the Rihanna song "S&M". There is a line in the chorus that uses the word order of "chains and whips": Sticks and stones may break my bones, but chains ...
-1
votes
0answers
16 views

Is a “hot cup of tea” the same as a “cup of hot tea”? [duplicate]

Would it be correct to use the phrase "a hot cup of tea"? I have been told that the correct phrase would be "a cup of hot tea", but I do not agree, as I feel both phrases are correct and convey the ...
-3
votes
1answer
42 views

Am I able to finish a sentence with 'for'? [on hold]

Am I able to finish a sentence with 'for'? eg. "...age that had long since disappeared but the return of which they desperately yearned for."
5
votes
2answers
491 views

Why “inspector general”, and not “general inspector”, like German “Generalinspektor”? [duplicate]

I would expect the term "inspector general" to be "general inspector" instead. In part, that may be because I know the German variant as "Generalinspekteur" of "Generalinspektor". But I'm pretty ...
0
votes
1answer
30 views

Experience/Experienced: “With” or “In”?

Very simple question this time around, folks! (Have) experience or (be) experienced both generally create a connotation of living through something and/or learning about it. The big question is which ...
1
vote
1answer
47 views

send something to someone|somewhere

Background: I am writing a computer application which can understand English sentence. For that purpose, I was preparing frames of each word. For example: send something to recipient|place ...
2
votes
2answers
44 views

Problems with the meaning of the word 'even'

I understand the meaning of this word in general, but there's just one question. Here are two examples: We painted even the floor. AND We even painted the floor. Are they correct and if ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

About using “only” with present perfect

I have seen this sentence in a status from one of my facebook friends. It doesn't sound right to me. We have only left the city for the day. I think that it should be something like: We have ...
9
votes
4answers
8k views

Differences between “just might” and “might just?”

Can someone help me understand more precisely the connotative differences between "just might" and "might just I came upon this dilemma while working on a short comic strip. In the first panel, a ...
14
votes
5answers
62k views

Should an adverb go before or after a verb?

For example: The word rarely turns up outside of those contexts. The word turns up rarely outside of those contexts. Which one is correct and why?
0
votes
1answer
68 views

Order of noun + modifying noun

Which one is correct or preferred? The command /reload is... < some description > The /reload command is... < some description >
1
vote
3answers
41 views

Usage of the phrase “type of”

I'm creating a worksheet for my students, and one of the questions asks them to identify which expression from three given expressions is correct. I am not sure how to pose the question, but I think ...
3
votes
5answers
1k views

“Please explain” or “explain please”

Which one is correct in this context? Person A: I think Apple will displace Google. Person B: Please explain. Should he say/write "Explain please"?
0
votes
1answer
23 views

“Even to” or “To even”?

I am not sure which one is grammatically correct. It could be both or none. Could you select which sentence would be grammatically correct? The only difference between the sentences is even to vs. to ...
1
vote
3answers
561 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.
1
vote
2answers
349 views

Use of “as well” in the middle of the sentence

I was wondering if the use of "as well" in the middle of the sentence is right in formal English. The particaular sentence I am writing is: "I got ample opportunities to communicate with a large ...
0
votes
1answer
62 views

Are there exceptions to the “place yourself last” rule for listing people? [closed]

Forgive me if this has already been asked. I understand that some aspects of this lovely language have dependencies on where and when things are used so I'm not quite sure if this question can be ...
1
vote
0answers
59 views

The use of "were- should- had” at the beginning of sentences instead of “if”

Conditionals in English are usually formed by using if with normal word order; but for the three past (subjunctive) forms were, should, and had, it is also possible to express the conditional through ...
0
votes
0answers
21 views

Position of subordinate clause in a sentence

Which sentences are correct and according to what grammar rule? Throughout this text, we will use an example of sustainability management at a large university. We will use throughout this ...
0
votes
1answer
62 views

“Why can I not” vs. “Why can not I” [closed]

Consider the following two sentences: Why can I not open the door? and Why can not I open the door? Which is more common? What's the subtle difference between them?
-1
votes
1answer
51 views

Disclaimer that covers everything in condensed wording

Let’s say I wanted to set up a comedy show using a particularly vulgar comedian. The comedian in this show would primarily use comedy insulting or degrading to individuals or organisations. I would ...
5
votes
2answers
282 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
1answer
111 views

Is there anything awkward in saying “ Prince Charles is now a husband”?

In my English class today my prof gave us a sentence: Prince Charles is now a husband. He then told us to find out if there is anything wrong with this sentence as our homework. Undoubtedly, ...
19
votes
6answers
33k views

Which is correct: “the below information” or “the information below”?

I frequently see statements that refer to something later in the text that use a phrase such as "the below information". Is it more correct instead to say "the information below" (or "the following ...
2
votes
3answers
85 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
105 views

“I don't agree totally” vs. “I don't totally agree” vs. “I totally don't agree”

What is the difference between the following? I don't agree with him totally. I don't totally agree with him. I totally don't agree with him. I'm puzzled at the meaning of negative ...
2
votes
1answer
31 views

What's the appropriate place of “languages” in this sentence?

I'm trying to express this idea (not one not another, using nor and neither) but I do not know what is the most appropriate form in English. Is any order usually established for the position of the ...
-2
votes
1answer
676 views

What's the best way to write a reported question? [closed]

Which of the following is correct: People ask me, what Google.com is? or People ask me, what is Google.com?
0
votes
3answers
45 views

Use of a pronoun with another person [duplicate]

Which is the correct form? Tommy and she went to the store. OR She and Tommy went to the store. I hear the second example much more frequently in conversation, but I believe the first one is ...
0
votes
1answer
32 views

difference in meaning depending on placement of “already” [duplicate]

Maybe the bus already left. Maybe the bus has already left. Maybe the bus has left already. I am not a native speaker so don't know if there is any difference among those three sentences, not ...
1
vote
2answers
241 views

“had initially” vs. “initially had” [closed]

As in: I initially had planned to cite my sources. Rather than: I had initially planned to cite my sources.
1
vote
0answers
28 views

What will be the word order in converting this to reported speech? [duplicate]

We need to convert the following to reported speech: Why have you taken a room on the tenth floor? I am confused about the word order. Should it be He asked her why she had taken a room on ...
1
vote
3answers
37 views

Word order in: What would be the further steps? [closed]

What is the right word order in sentence: What would be the further steps? or What would the further steps be?
5
votes
5answers
5k views

Why do some adjectives follow the nouns they modify?

Right now I can only think of one instance in which this regularly occurs. The adjective proper is sometimes placed after the noun it modifies, e.g: Reptilia: A class of cold-blooded oviparous or ...
36
votes
7answers
6k views

Why use “of” in the phrase “delivered of a baby”?

With all the "Royal baby" craze comes something that really confuses me. All the news media used pretty much the same sentence to make the announcement: The Duchess of Cambridge has been ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

What exactly does “All Items Not On Sale” mean?

Here's a quote from Bill Bryson's "The Mother Tongue": Imagine being a foreigner and having to learn ... , that a sign in the store saying ALL ITEMS NOT ON SALE doesn't mean literally what it ...
0
votes
2answers
54 views

Word order in english (adverbial modifier of place)

Could you tell me what’s wrong in this phrase: "In this database, there are failed copies of the file." Is it grammatically correct to write "In this database" at the beggining of a sentence? Thank ...
11
votes
5answers
3k views

“You're not the boss of me” vs “You're not my boss”

For some years now I've heard You're not the boss of me increasingly more often relative to the more "correct, natural" (to me, at least) You're not my boss. Thanks to the magic of NGrams, I've ...
-1
votes
3answers
93 views

Green color or color green? [closed]

Can I replace all of the bold text with color green? I don't know when should I use green color and when color green. I have my wall painted in green color and it is generally believed that ...
1
vote
8answers
4k views

Past participle after noun: “proposed cost” vs. “cost proposed”

I have the following two examples: Our proposed cost is expensive. Our cost proposed is expensive. Is there any difference between them? Or is the second sentence wrong?
2
votes
2answers
2k views

“Would have not” vs. “would not have”

That would not have happened if John had completed his work. That would have not happened if John had completed his work. The former seems correct. The latter doesn't seem incorrect. ...
0
votes
1answer
54 views

“what I am” or “what am I” [closed]

What is the difference between/which is right: "What I am doing wrong" vs "What am I doing wrong" ?
0
votes
1answer
61 views

“got X confused with Y” versus “confused X with Y” [closed]

I am really confused which of the following sentences is correct Maybe they got thin confused with short. Maybe they confused thin with short. If both are correct which one would be more ...
0
votes
2answers
49 views

Can the non-restrictive clause NOT be next to the noun it modifies?

The idea was borrowed from finance companies' high-efficiency routine of aligning business processes to achieve optimal growth, which abused the local laws to limit competition. The idea was ...
1
vote
1answer
58 views

No inversion in questions in headlines and titles

Why do many titles and headlines read: "Why Europe should become...", NOT "Why should Europe become..."; "How an inventor lost...", NOT "How did an inventor lose..."; "How the photocopier changed...", ...
-1
votes
2answers
66 views

What's the hypercorrect way to phrase a sentence with two 'for's in a row?

Some backstory: It was the Friday before Valentine's day, and I walked into a classroom to find a pile of Hershey's Kisses left for someone in the class. Initially, I wanted to take one, but then I ...
4
votes
5answers
228 views

“The last movie I played” vs “the movie I played last”

On a chat channel today I was reading two people talk about some of the more popular movie formats and movie players available. One of the interlocutors said something that got me thinking. I will cut ...
1
vote
1answer
43 views

In what case, can the object be placed at the beginning of a sentence?

Every word I say is true; this I promise you. I think the pronoun 'this' is the direct object of the verb 'promise' and 'this' should be be placed after 'you', but it is placed at the beginning ...