5
votes
3answers
19k views

What does “pass it on” mean?

I love the song Pass It On by The Coral, but I can't understand the meaning of this sentence: Just find the feeling, pass it on. What does pass it on mean?
4
votes
5answers
3k views

How do I report speech containing “must not”?

What's the form for reporting speech that contains must not? I mean: I can't come to the meeting on Monday => She told me she couldn't come to the meeting on Monday. You must talk to me => ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

What's the rule for punctuating quoted words or phrases?

Please bear with me as I am not an English expert, only an aspiring amateur! I'm mostly aware of the rules regarding punctuation and quotes. Something like the following sentence makes sense to me: ...
7
votes
5answers
550 views

Is there a word for the uncanny ability to find one's way home when extremely drunk?

A small dispute broke out in the office today about this. Does anyone have any ideas?
317
votes
6answers
89k views

Did English ever have a formal version of “you”?

From the top of my head, Danish "De" (practically never used), German "Sie", Chinese "您", French "vous", Spanish "usted" are a formal way of addressing someone, especially if one isn't familiar with ...
3
votes
2answers
301 views

Is “you've coming from” a colloquialism?

In the Take That song, Never Forget, the lyrics run "Never forget where you've coming from". Was that a mistake, or is it a colloquialism (or something else) to say "you've" instead of "you're" in ...
3
votes
3answers
13k views

What does the word “shipping” mean?

What does word "shipping" mean? I've seen this word in many Internet shops.
23
votes
6answers
39k views

Why is the “ph” pronounced like a “v” in “Stephen”? Is this the only word like that?

While I know how my name is pronounced, I've run into many non-native english speakers who have stumbled over this unique exception to English. Even in the female name, "Stephanie", the ph is ...
5
votes
5answers
617 views

To add someone “to” Facebook or “on” Facebook

Which one is correct and why: It was the first time a girl asked me to add her on Facebook Or It was the first time a girl asked me to add her to Facebook
4
votes
2answers
3k views

About the 'as in'

if "minus" is conceivably an operator, as in "the band reunited, minus one member", you would use the singular. Which is preposition? the 'as' or 'in' or both as a whole is preposition? In ...
5
votes
2answers
387 views

Train service or Train's service - Adj or Possessive (Edit) Genitive

I saw this announcement on train: The train service terminates at ... I think, in the noun phrase the train service, the word train does not modify the noun service (Edit: as other noun acting ...
13
votes
3answers
4k views

Capitalization for a bullet list

The following is from some software documentation we are writing: NOTE: Refreshing a report may be necessary or helpful when: you believe the data in the report has changed since it was ...
19
votes
4answers
128k views

“At” or “in” the office?

When do you use at the office? And when do you use in the office? What's the difference between the phrases?
7
votes
3answers
3k views

When a negative question is asked, what is the grammatically correct way to answer? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How to answer a negative question without ambiguity? Response to “Would you not do it?” When a negative question is asked, what is the grammatically correct way to ...
66
votes
8answers
8k views

Is -1 singular or plural?

Do we say "-1 thing" or "-1 things"? I am interested in both two things minus one thing(s) and minus/negative one thing(s)
0
votes
2answers
477 views

When denoting a company name, followed by a strap line, what punctuation mark should I use?

When writing out a company name, which would you use: Company Name: Strapline Company Name - Strapline Company Name – Strapline Company Name, Strapline Or is the correct one ...
7
votes
5answers
102k views

Which one is more appropriate to use: “send you” or “send to you”?

Are both of the following sentences correct? Let me know if there is still something I need to send to you. Let me know if there is still something I need to send you. Which one is more ...
9
votes
1answer
660 views

Is this the correct usage of the word “fraught”?

MySpace is fraught with users sending friend requests to people they don't even know.
4
votes
5answers
10k views

What's the difference between “deserve” and “need”?

In the movie The Dark Knight, at the end, there is one memorable line "Not the hero we deserved but the hero we needed". So, what is the difference between "deserved" and "needed"?
2
votes
5answers
945 views

Are these kinds of sentences considered proper English?

Often, I come across expressions like 'I can't have no money', 'I don't want no help', 'Do you want them tomatoes', 'Be careful with them toes' when watching cartoons, movies and shows. Does anybody ...
4
votes
2answers
361 views

Spelling of small numbers? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why do English writers avoid explicit numerals? In German, numbers below (and including) twelve are spelt out (eins, zwei, ...) while the numbers above twelve are ...
7
votes
4answers
4k views

Different pronunciation between Thomas and Theodore

Disclaimer: I'm no native speaker. Thomas gets pronounced with a starting "T" (the "h" is silent), while Theodore with a "Th". What rule is followed here?
16
votes
5answers
95k 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?
5
votes
2answers
7k views

“Outside” or “outside of”?

The word rarely turns up outside that context. and The word rarely turns up outside of that context. Which one is correct and why?
5
votes
2answers
1k views

What does ‘a woman with seriously good hair’ mean? Is “Good Hair” primarily applied to American-African ladies?

Further to my question about the use of ‘MFF’ on New York Times article ( Jan.29 ) titled “As State of the Union Nears, Congress Plays Musical Chairs,” I have a question about the meaning of the ...
2
votes
5answers
4k views

Can one be uninnovative?

Can one be uninnovative, or un-innovative? I'm looking for a direct antonym of the adjective innovative. I see an entry at Dictionary.com, but nothing at Merriam Webster (innovative, *uninnovative).
12
votes
4answers
10k views

What does “I’ve had a little bit too much” mean?

I don't understand this sentence: I’ve had a little bit too much. What does it mean? PS. My native language is Ukrainian (Russian)
2
votes
4answers
819 views

In English, what is a 'being', and what things cannot be called 'beings'?

Maybe this a philosophy question. But this is also an English question.
4
votes
1answer
205 views

Elusive meaning of “affects”

Pandit affects a down-to-earth demeanor. What does affect mean in this sentence?
12
votes
3answers
14k views

How to use “I love you”?

In Italy, you have two options to say "I love you", I'll try to translate them the best I can: I love you (Ti amo.) I want you to be ok (Ti voglio bene.) The fact is that in English, both ti amo ...
2
votes
2answers
965 views

Talking in a “football voice”

English is not my native language, but normally when I listen to the radio I have no problem understanding what's being said. That's different when I listen to sports commentary, I really have to ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Could you help me to do a syntax analysis of this sentence?

The more I use Froyo the more new stuff I discover. Does it mean: I more use Froyo, I discover more new stuff.
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Complement or object?

I saw him cross the road. Is cross the road the object of saw? Or is it the complement of him?
12
votes
7answers
3k views

When and how did “fail” become a noun?

Does anyone know when and how fail became a noun? I'd love to see one of those charts that shows the date of origin and subsequent growth of this usage.
14
votes
22answers
1k views

Is there a good substitute for the word “scarper” in American English?

I used quick, let's scarper before the boss comes back to inject some levity into a recent meeting, but got only blank stares for my trouble. When asked to explain scarper to my American chums, all I ...
16
votes
3answers
29k views

Why is “lucked out” such a good thing to be?

This still strikes me as odd, even after 12 years in the US. Being out of luck is a bad thing, but lucked out is a good thing, e.g. we 'lucked out' and were able to get two extra tickets for the ...
4
votes
1answer
418 views

Can the word 'BFF' be applied to decent adults like Senate members?

The beginning lines of today’s New York Times article titled “As State of the Union Nears, Congress Plays Musical Chairs” provided me with a set of interesting acronym, word, and idiom new to me, such ...
11
votes
5answers
13k views

What is the origin of the phrase “'til the cows come home”?

What is the origin of the term 'til the cows come home? While discussing this with friends tonight, the group had two possible explanations: Cows return to their barn for milking at a given time ...
6
votes
1answer
7k views

“I saw him crossing” vs. “I saw him cross”

I saw him crossing the road. I saw him cross the road. Which one is correct and why?
1
vote
2answers
273 views

Is this correct English? What should one do when you're supposed to have *two* punctuations at *one* position?

This is the first sentence of which ground-breaking document: "The importance of a Web page is an inherently subjective matter, which depends on the readers interests, knowledge and ...
13
votes
12answers
39k views

What would you call a person from India?

My guess would be Indian, but that sounds like a guy with a feather on his head who hunts buffalo. Is there a better name?
4
votes
1answer
510 views

May en-dashes be used in sports scores?

The accepted answer to the authoritative question When should I use an em-dash, an en-dash, and a hyphen? currently has this to say regarding the en-dash: An en-dash is use to connect values in a ...
17
votes
4answers
4k views

Attempt at formulating verb tenses when time travel is involved?

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy has an amusing section on the problems associated with verb tenses when time travel is involved. It has several examples which appear to be constructed for their ...
14
votes
3answers
33k views

Footnote marks at end of a sentence

I find it common in my writing to end up a sentence with a footnote reference mark. Should the footnote mark come before the stop or after it? ... this is some text1. ... this is some text.1
6
votes
2answers
701 views

What is the difference between `-` and `--` [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When should I use an em-dash, an en-dash, and a hyphen? Is there any difference between: - and -- or in some cases, a long dash I have seen these two used lots of ...
10
votes
2answers
387 views

Is there a term that means “oft-used misquotation”?

There are some quotations that people always seem to get wrong: Alas, poor Yorick, I knew him well. [Real quote from Hamlet: "Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio."] I have nothing to offer ...
2
votes
4answers
419 views

How should this sentence structure be interpreted?

I'm playing an online game in which I came across a message in the form of a sentence of which the structure is new to me. It read: You do not have a hatchet which you have the level to use. ...
9
votes
3answers
35k views

“Whole” vs. “entire”

I wonder if there is a difference between the words "whole" and "entire". For example, the following sentences: I spent my whole life waiting for you. I spent my entire life waiting for you. ...
2
votes
1answer
416 views

About the position of the object clause

1.Which of the sentences below is best, and why? People are saying that this is great about X (for example: our new product). People are saying about X that this is great. People are saying ...
3
votes
3answers
8k views

Choosing between “100%” and “cent percent”

I am a non-native English speaker. I am applying for the USA university for management studies. While writing the essay I came across the sentence, "I was 100% confident." My query: Is it ...

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