2
votes
2answers
1k views

Is “Joe, I've been finishing with the task” correct?

Is this a correct phrase? Joe, I've been finishing with the task.
2
votes
3answers
952 views

Which one should I use (“suggesting” or “to suggest”) in the example provided?

I can’t find anything suggesting that one cannot take out principle from Roth IRA account for education or housing purchases. Nor it’s indicated that money are doled out in a form of a loan. Part ...
3
votes
3answers
336 views

Is the “us” in “all that will be left is us” correct usage?

In this sentence taken from the movie AI is 'us' the correct form of the pronoun? It certainly sounds better than if it were written with 'we' instead of 'us'. Also, I can sort of see why 'is' is ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Is there a rule for “‑ance” vs. “‑ence”?

OK, so I’m ashamed to admit that as a native speaker I think I’ve missed something somewhere. I was typing up some documentation and spellchecker kept bugging me. So I looked up some words and found ...
5
votes
4answers
9k views

What is the origin of “that's using your noggin”?

I find myself using the phrase "that's using your noggin" in various situations, even though English is not my native language. Most likely I picked it up watching some tv show. I understand that ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Is “to” really part of the infinitive?

Consider this: I like to eat here. vs I would eat here. It appears to me that "to" has nothing to do with the infinitive form of the verb that follows. It is, in this example, an integral ...
3
votes
3answers
138 views

How to say: “After cartoons are over” or “After she's done watching cartoons” or how?

Imagine this situation: a wife asks her husband to read some stories to their daughter. The husband replies: "She is watching cartoons now. I’ll read stories to her after the cartoons are over" or ...
3
votes
5answers
22k views

Mixing up “quiet” and “quite”: spelling or grammar error?

Look at this sentence: It wasn't quiet what I wanted And this one: The music was too quite for me Obviously quiet and quite are mixed up. Is this considered a spelling mistake? In both ...
9
votes
3answers
4k views

Online rhyme dictionary/rhyming resource that lists rhymes by vowel sound (assonance)

Anyone know of an online rhyming dictionary or rhyme resource that lists rhymes by vowel sound (assonance)? RhymeZone.com doesn't have such an option.
3
votes
3answers
17k views

Asking for feedback on a meeting summary

I've got to write a meeting summary, and amongst the recipient will be my boss. To ensure that I was accurate, I would like to ask for feedback from my recipient. I've got the following sentence: ...
2
votes
1answer
776 views

“Using Verb Tenses in Sequence”

http://www.arts.uottawa.ca/writcent/hypergrammar/vbseq.html Here, what does 'sequence' mean? Does it mean 'multiple sentences'? Or it means 'a paragraph'?
3
votes
8answers
915 views

What is the correct word for a person whom I am interacting with?

I need to program computer agents that interact with each other (for example they play a computer game with each other). Sometimes it happens that two agents are interacting with each other. I need to ...
7
votes
5answers
14k views

What does “hit me like a two-by-four” mean?

What does this sentence mean? This observation hit me like a two-by-four Source.
4
votes
1answer
23k views

What does “Hollaback Girl” mean?

Gwen Stefani says, "I ain't no hollaback girl" in her song. What does it mean?
11
votes
2answers
2k views

How should I pluralise “as is”?

Let’s say I write: “Just send me these documents as is”. Is that correct? Should it be pluralised into “as are”, which sounds so wrong to me? Or are they both incorrect, in which case I may write “as ...
6
votes
6answers
2k views

What does “high-capacity magazine clip” mean?

Washington Post (January 19 issue) carried an article reporting the latest results of Washington Post / ABC News poll, in which I came across the phrase high-capacity magazine clips. My understanding ...
1
vote
2answers
11k views

Is the following usage of “matter-of-factly” correct?

Most of the usage of "matter-of-factly" that I've seen is to describe a manner of speaking - "He said, matter of factly,...", etc. A friend brought up the following usage, which seems wrong, but I ...
6
votes
2answers
10k views

What (grammatical) tense to use when doing reference in a paper?

For example, A published a paper with title B in 2000. Then, in my paper: A says / said that [C works / worked out perfectly]. and B illustrates / illustrated that [C works / worked out ...
18
votes
3answers
23k views

“Gentleman” is to “male” as what is to “female”?

For males, it's gentleman; and for females?
0
votes
3answers
5k views

“consolidate on” or “consolidate into”?

At work today, I wrote "we have several XXs. We should consolidate on one XX." A colleague corrected it to consolidate into. Which is correct? I'm English and my colleague is American, if that ...
6
votes
3answers
42k views

“Interested on” or “interested in”

Which is correct: interested on or interested in?
18
votes
5answers
79k views

What is the best way to punctuate a list of questions in a declarative sentence?

In my report a need to write a list of example questions that someone might ask, but I would like to do it in a sentence rather than a separate list. Here is an example: This poses questions such ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

Is there a better noun form of “unreasonable” than “unreasonableness?”

I simply can't bring myself to use unreasonableness, but can think of no synonym or alternate form with comparable meaning. I'll restructure if necessary, but wonder if I'm missing a suitable ...
12
votes
4answers
65k views

When do I use a question mark with “Could you [please] …”

A sentence like Could you please pass me the pepper shaker is not really a question. Should I use a question mark or a period to end this sentence? What about: Could you let me know when ...
4
votes
5answers
2k views

“Needs cleaned” or “needs to be cleaned”

I'm from Western Pennsylvania. Until I moved away, I never realized that when I omitted the to be from phrases like needs to be cleaned, my usage was different than what most English speakers are ...
19
votes
3answers
5k views

“to be all but X”

What does "all but" mean in this expression? Today, under pressure from P2P distribution, optical disc piracy in wealthy countries is "all but eliminated" and profit margins elsewhere are slim. ...
1
vote
2answers
308 views

Issues with articles

Do I need an article in these sentences (marked in bold)? And in the message, I asked for her e-mail address and suggested the time and place. A list of items required at the interview ...
17
votes
4answers
876 views

When does a mistake become standard usage?

We all know that word meanings and usage change over time (though not all of us are happy about it). How long does a word have to be used in a particular way for that usage to be "okay"? At what ...
7
votes
4answers
9k views

Is it incorrect to say, 'Give me it'?

Is it incorrect to say, 'Give me it' ? I am told that it is and one should always say, 'Give it me'?
3
votes
3answers
166 views

Is it acceptable to drop “having” in “having to do with?”

I encountered a problem having to do with the connection… vs. I encountered a problem to do with the connection… Is the second option a legitimate expression?
1
vote
2answers
1k views

Can a verb in the -ing form take a direct object?

Here is the example: We condemn such behavior that can risk damaging a company’s brand and reputation. I think, the 'a company's brand reputation' is the object of 'damaging'. And the whole ...
2
votes
2answers
728 views

Does “precluded from” require a direct object?

In a copy-editing job I'm doing, I came across the following phrase: "a man is precluded from all women except for his wife" - i.e., his sexual relationship with her is (should be, anyway) ...
110
votes
10answers
24k views

Differences between slang words for breasts

What is the difference between “tits” and “boobs”? P.S. I'm not sure if this question is appropriate but as English is not my native language I really would love to know the difference.
2
votes
1answer
144 views

Is a question the only thing that can be asked?

I will admit that I am clueless about all grammar-related terminology (prime example right there), but I'll try to explain as best as I can. Conceptually, there's a difference between these two ...
3
votes
6answers
43k views

Is “would” the past future tense of “will” or just a modal verb?

What's the difference: Would you give me some advice? Will you give me some advices?
4
votes
3answers
488 views

What is a “Mexican Ultimatum”?

This is a term I read recently, but I didn't understand what it meant. I can't remember the exact context except that it had nothing whatever to do with Mexico. Edit: ElendilTheTall suggests this ...
17
votes
8answers
4k views

How should foreign words (with foreign characters) be written in English text?

This question is not about italicisation or how to construct plurals. I wonder what are general guidelines for writing foreign words based on a Latin alphabet in English text. I know that, for ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the stylistic device used in this poem?

I am not sure if there is a kind of stylistic device in below poem sentence. The king’s horses are purebloods, his barns cut stone; roans, blacks, dapples, bays; the granite reds, greys, blues. ...
2
votes
1answer
310 views

What does 'Reno-era' policy mean?

I saw the following sentence in today's Washington Post article. What does 'Reno-era' policy mean? It's a new word to me. Can somebody tell? Reno-era policy kept Jared Loughner off FBI gun list. ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

Can “his/her” be replaced by “his”?

Yesterday, I asked this question on Web Apps: If a Facebook user dies, what happens to the account? Actually, I wanted to ask it this way: If a Facebook user dies, what happens to ...
1
vote
1answer
321 views

How could I different the subjunctive mood from wrong tense or singular from in third personal?

Here is the example, which is right? It's important he know this. It's important he knows this. It's important he has known this. or, those above all right, but express different meaning.
5
votes
3answers
9k views

How to use “if you will”

What is the proper way to use if you will? Here is an example. It's like riding a car, if you will. Is the punctuation right?
1
vote
1answer
1k views

“It's important that he should know” vs. “… shall know”

Which sentence is right? It's important that he should know this. It's important that he shall know this. Is the shall/should auxiliary or modal verb?
9
votes
5answers
93k views

“Centered on” or “centered around”

I have often heard presenters talking about something centered around another thing, but it seems a bit illogical and hence improper to talk like this. Am I right about this?
14
votes
7answers
3k views

Why do signs read “wet floor”, not “slippery floor”?

Every other time I see a "wet floor" sign the following idea comes to my mind. That sign forces me through unnecessary mental effort to deduce that wet floors can be slippery. I think it's like ...
-1
votes
1answer
251 views

Do these sentences have the same meaning?

Please tell me if the following sentences have the same meaning or if there is any difference between them. I can't do this task. I didn't finish this task.
6
votes
2answers
17k views

“Can” vs. “could” in asking a question [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When do I use “can” or “could”? I am a little bit confused about asking a question: Can you please tell me my next work? or Could you please tell me my next ...
9
votes
3answers
508 views

Why one place on stack exchange is called “area51”?

Why this place on stack exchange is called "area51"? Is it a special idiom in English for some places where things are being developed? Does 51 have some special meaning besides being just a number? ...
4
votes
2answers
53k views

“Ongoing” or “on-going”

As per the title, is the proper usage "ongoing" or "on-going" when writing something such as ongoing research projects?
7
votes
3answers
5k views

Is it mandatory to use a comma before a coordinating conjunction uniting the two independent clauses in a compound sentence?

My friend and I had an argument about whether this sentence required a comma: I understand where you're coming from but I disagree. My friend insisted that there should be a comma before "but": ...

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