What is the difference between those questions and which one is the correct form?

  • 3
    Ask yourself: Which one is the correct statement: You are still in my office OR You do still in my office.
    – Jim
    Feb 21 '14 at 5:17
  • 6
    Please visit English Language Learners.
    – Kris
    Feb 21 '14 at 7:03

"Why are you still in my office?" is the correct form.

"Why do you still in my office?" is grammatically incorrect. Because of the word "do" - the person has to be doing something in order for the sentence to work. So, since the word 'still' is not a doing word, that sentence doesn't make sense.

However, it would be correct to say "Why do you stand in my office?" - because stand is a doing word.

  • 2
    Why do you stand in my office is grammatically correct, but really odd.
    – David M
    Feb 21 '14 at 5:22
  • @DavidM yes I agree its odd, I was just trying to replace the word and that's the first thing that came to mind. Do you mean I should remove that part of the answer because it may further confuse? Feb 21 '14 at 5:25
  • Warning - I will vote you down on Sunday, if you still will have not removed the phrase "grammatically incorrect" and replaced it with a more precise term. Feb 21 '14 at 6:24
  • @BlessedGeek go ahead. Please also make sure you edit my answer with the "more precise term" in the process. Feb 21 '14 at 6:33
  • -1 for reasons state in my answer, below. Feb 21 '14 at 6:34

Both could be understood as meaningful, the first in two ways. Whether any one of them is correct would depend on whether the meaning fitted the circumstances being described. The possibilities as I see them are:

Sentence 1

  1. Why are you in a state of motionlessness in my office?

  2. Why, when I've asked you to leave, have you not left already?

Sentence 2

  1. Why do you distill liquor in my office on a regular basis?

Here, 'still' is used as a verb - see definition 3, in the second set (not the first set) here.

  • Given the exact wording of the question (What is the difference between those questions, and which one is the correct form?), I think you've nailed it. That said, common sense would say that two out of your three interpretations are a bit of a stretch. I don't think was wise to downvote the other answer, which probably better answers the O.P.'s query, at least in spirit. Had you merely left a constructive commment there, instead of downvoting that answer, you might have gotten more support on this answer.
    – J.R.
    Feb 21 '14 at 10:15
  • Downvotes are not mine, but ask yourself, is the second sentence likely to mean your given definition? The implication being that sentence No 2 is acceptable and plausible, which it isn't.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Feb 21 '14 at 10:16
  • How can something be deemed 'correct' on an assumption of intended meaning without at least some context to go on? My suggestions, in context, are not implausible. I stand by my actions and answer and am willing to be judged by them. Downgrade, by all means, but at least say why. Feb 21 '14 at 11:03
  • @Leon - No, not implausible, but highly unlikely. Most people do not distill liquor in an office, particularly someone else's office. Standing like a statue is perhaps more plausible, but that still seems very unlikely. That said, I loved your answer, but I still think your downvote on the other one was unnecessarily harsh – even though you were at least polite enough to leave an explanation.
    – J.R.
    Feb 22 '14 at 17:10

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.