Unanswered Questions

6
votes
1answer
76 views

Present tense and conditional tense in a stated past tense

I have a question about using past and conditional tenses in a context that refers to something told in the past. I think I’ve seen both forms used in films/books, etc., but I'm not sure about it ...
6
votes
3answers
291 views

The horribility of English language

Pretty much every adjective that ends in the suffix -able or -ible gives rise to a related noun: corruptible becomes corruptibility mutable becomes mutability respectable becomes respectability ...
4
votes
6answers
492 views

Difference between “would have + past participle” and “would + bare infinitive” in the main clause of a past subjunctive sentence

I'm wondering about the difference in meaning, if any, between the two sentences in each of the following examples. Example 1. a. If he was a serious leader, tackling the debt would have been a ...
4
votes
0answers
259 views

Dictionary of English constructions

There is a family of grammars called construction grammar that started perhaps in the 80s with the work of Fillmore & Kay among others. Examples of constructions include: the time + away ...
3
votes
0answers
98 views

What is the origin of “alrighty”?

It is a friendlier and more colloquial version of "alright". It is also heard in the exclamation/interjection "Alrighty, then!". I usually hear it at the end of conversations in Canadian English, ...
3
votes
2answers
64 views

How to categorize this phrase. Relative clause, Interrogative clause, Adverbial clause?

What is "Where to go" in the sentence "Where to go is the question." Is it a adverbial phrase or a relative clause? And what is "Why go" in the sentence "Why go when you can stay?" - is it a clause?
3
votes
0answers
128 views

Transformation? Cleft?

I am wondering if the difference between "It is terrible." and "What it is, is it is terrible." can mostly be described in terms of transformations, grammatically. Is it a kind of cleft sentence?
3
votes
2answers
225 views

meaning of bare infinitivals

[i] I saw her clean the room. [ii] He helped me do the work. [iii] She made me clean the room.         What makes you think so?         ...
3
votes
2answers
406 views

Pure verbal nouns/deverbal nouns vs. gerunds

This is a follow-up to a previous question which I am still trying to understand. I think I'm making progress in my understanding, but I would appreciate feedback to help me refine my thinking. Here ...
2
votes
0answers
44 views

“Most important” vs “most importantly”

I was always under impression that "most important" is correct usage when going through the list of things. We need to pack socks, toothbrushes for the trip, but most important is to pack ...
2
votes
1answer
39 views

Which is better equivalent for “in stock”? “At hand”, “on hand”, or “in hand”?

Which is a better equivalent for “in stock” (meaning a product is in stock)? “at hand” “on hand” “in hand” Can any of them be used? Which is the most appropriate? Which is second-best?
2
votes
2answers
45 views

Is the term “disillusion” being used correctly here?

It's easy to disillusion ourselves by thinking just because the output of our function looks very random, that it is very random. I asked a friend about this passage. I argue that it should ...
2
votes
1answer
71 views

Why the zero article in “in daily life” and “became pointless talking”?

A Japanese friend sent this: IDOBATAKAIGI - いどばたかいぎ - 井戸端会議 - Have you ever heard of "IDOBATAKAIGI"? Initially, it meant a short chat among house wives in a daily life. And now it became a ...
2
votes
0answers
65 views

Different vowels in “coo” and “cool” in Estuary English?

According to J.C. Wells (1994) coo either has the vowel [ʉː] or the diphthong [ɨʉ] while cool has the vowel [uː] or the diphthong [ou] in Estuary English. However, he doesn't state any reason for ...
2
votes
0answers
60 views

Usage of the word universe

Playing around with Google's Ngram viewer, where you can see how many times a word is used in books, I stumbled on this: It shows how often universe and Universe have been used in books. I think ...

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