Questions tagged [descriptive-grammar]

Descriptive grammar is a set of rules about language based on how it is actually used. In descriptive grammar there is no right or wrong language. It can be contrasted with prescriptive grammar, which is a set of rules based on how people, mostly writers of style books and grammar text books, think language should be used. See https://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/article/descriptive-grammar .

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Which one of these interpretations is correct? [closed]

I visited that beach and took my wife there a month ago. Would this mean a single occasion where he takes his wife to the beach or 2 separate times where he visits (1) and takes his wife there ...
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This moment carried the weight of significance [closed]

Does this sound right? Or is it weird/ how better to express it?
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Will we use "will" or "would" in that sentence? [duplicate]

She promised me that she(will/would) help me in the training tomorrow.
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What are some rules that native speakers instinctively know about English that non-native speakers usually don't? [migrated]

For example, the famous tweet quoting Forsyth, [A]djectives in English absolutely have to be in this order: opinion-size-age-shape-colour-origin-material-purpose Noun. So you can have a lovely little ...
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I'm looking for a word or phrase to describe a realization that a long held belief is wrong [closed]

I'm looking for a word or phrase to describe the realization that what you've always believed is not real. As an example: Let's say you grew up in a country that you where led to believe was far more ...
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What is the word for extra, unneeded descriptive words describing something in a sentence? [duplicate]

What’s the term for extra, synonymous unneeded adjectives describing a noun or verb in a sentence?
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3 votes
1 answer
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A great use of the f-word

Can someone analyse this sentence for me please? I heard a trucker say this, in the workshop, when we told him the starter motor on his truck was knackered. To our amusement he said: "Fuck, the ...
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13 votes
5 answers
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Can I say "the US people"?

Is it fine to describe people of the USA as "US people"? For instance: "the US people display different cultures and traditions." What I want to ask is that can I use the word &...
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Due to/because of [duplicate]

...does happen due to...; didn't happen due to; Carpal tunnel syndrome 'doesn't occur due to, but because of...extended use', for example. So, do any of those sound right — even if they're all wrong? ...
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2 answers
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Capitalisation for emphasis?

Let's say we have a time card software system. In the help FAQ, is the second version grammatically correct, or preferable? How can we locate time cards that had errors? How can we locate Time Cards ...
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6 votes
4 answers
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In what regions is "Do you work tonight?" clear and acceptable usage?

In my answer at ELL regarding a question of whether someone is working that evening, I suggested the alternative: Do you work tonight? There was a comment about this being incorrect usage, because &...
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1 answer
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Someone who denies talking about something but then indirectly drops hints

For example, someone had said something to me, obviously meaning something but then right after said that they weren't talking about that but then preceded to indirectly reference it, hint at it or ...
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1 answer
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Indefinite article + noun + that + be + adj [closed]

" On top of their fees, the famous have the potential to earn huge amounts of money from promoting luxury brands. A type of wealth that is possible because celebrities are often seen as role ...
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Usage of we instead of us [duplicate]

Lest they do anything before we. Lest they do anything before us. One of my students, for their creative writing coursework, phrased his sentence as shown in quote 1, but I have a confusion as to ...
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Is this grammatically correct? I am not sure of the sentence structure. "She saw two boys in white dresses standing by the road?"

I am kinda confused of the participial phrase in that sentence. Is that grammatically correct? Do I need to put a comma? Does the sentence make sense?
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Complex transitive complementation

Would it sound appropriately if to relay a sentence: "We expected him to make a good job of that" in the following ways: We expected for him to make a good job of that. We expected it for ...
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What is “what” in “what has been called“?

Climate change is thus a prime example of what people have called a "social ecological system" with factors from different domains interacting on different spatial and temporal scales. The ...
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Is "persuasive techniques" or "persuasion techniques" more grammatically correct?

I've tried looking this up on various sources. Wikipedia has a category called Persuasion Techniques. However a couple of different Google searches for "persuasive techniques" and "...
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-2 votes
2 answers
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Verbs "COME" and "GO" followed by the gerund

Good evening everyone, I was listening to Tears for Fears' song Everybody wants to rule the world, and I came across the line "when the walls come tumbling down". I looked the expression up ...
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Single word equivalent for short, natural length grass?

I am trying to describe the length of grass in an area without dwelling on it too much with multiple adjectives or a more in depth explanation. The main point I am trying to get across is that the ...
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17 votes
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Why can’t I turn “fast-paced” into a quality noun by adding the “‑ness” suffix?

I needed to write a word that expressed the quality of being fast-paced. "Fast-pacedness" sounded off and I looked the dictionaries up. Collins is my favourite one. Webster I use when I need ...
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What should be the correct form of 'be' verb in the following sentence? [duplicate]

So I was asked to rewrite the following sentence with the correct tense of the verb given in bracket: It is I who (be) to do it. Initially I believed, the following would be correct: It is I who has ...
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Is "considering stealing" grammatically correct? [duplicate]

I am working with a student who sends me essays and I help edit them. In one of his paragraphs, he wrote "The lecturer indicates this is illegal since it is considering stealing." In my head,...
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is there an expression to describe “something/someone that is more real than the original item/thing”

I’m looking for a word or a phrase that describes the following: “something/someone that is more real than the original item/thing” I am looking for something specific, if possible! Thank you!
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"I found that, on average, there are...." or "I found, on average, that there are..."? [duplicate]

So if you couldn't figure out the question from the title, does the subordinating conjunction (the word "that") precede or succeed the extra information between the commas?
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4 answers
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Does saying "I was stolen by my sleep" make sense in English?

In my native language, we say "my sleep stole me" when we unintentionally fall asleep. I'm guessing it's more of an idiomatic expression. My question is, can it work in English?
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Sentence structure and form

Is this sentence grammatically correct? "The great sea creature came alongside Lotty and nudged him, so he climbed on board its strong back. I don't get what sentence structure the second part ...
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How to describe the use of 'them' with nouns? [duplicate]

I'm looking for a short and precise word to describe the use of the pronoun them with plurals, i.e. Let's kill them zombies! Them townsfolk sure are full of baloney. I hate them bees. It appears to be ...
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Can I use where instead of from which? I want to migrate this question to English Learner Site [closed]

Imagine something secretly entering your body and controlling your behavior, turning you into one of those zombies from science fiction movies. Does that sound creepy? That's exactly how a parasitic ...
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2 answers
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Word choice - Grammar! [closed]

I came across these questions in an old English Language book from the 70s and was wondering if one form of the following sentences is more correct than the other. Only the team with the lowest ...
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adjectival/adverbial grammar issue relating to "undisturbed"

In the sentence "The blackbird was singing undisturbed on the outskirts of the wood" Could the word "undisturbed" be seen as both adjectival (qualifying "blackbird") as ...
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Agree with/on/about/to the book - In what scenarios are these correct?

Is my current use of these correct: We agreed on that book. - Eg.: When in a book club you are choosing the book for the next session. We agreed about that book. -Eg.: When two friends discussed a ...
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Can 'where' introduce a specific manner without an antecedent?

I came across this sentence when reading Eclipse, where Sam (werewolf) was the leader of the pack: “ Sam approached Carlisle where he stood in the front, the huge pack right on his tail.” I've known ...
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Why is the article "the" used with "population?" [closed]

Why do we need an article before "population?" Why is "the" the correct article to use in the following sentence? The population is suffering.
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2 answers
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What is right? (English question)

I am a high school student studying English in Korea. I am asking this question because school changed the original text on the English test. So, I have some question and want to get your explanations....
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2 answers
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The doctor prescribed that the child must take/should take/take the medicine every 8 hours

Non-native here. The reason why this question confuses me is that this should be "took" based on what I have learnt in grammar classes. But that doesn't sound right. I am confused between ...
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Passive and active verbal adjective

guys. Hope you are all in greatest condition. I do know that a verb can serve as an adjective when it is placed before a noun and this verb is either a past participle or a present participle in this ...
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1 vote
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Why is the order "is not" instead of the more rationally intuitive "not is"?

He not is. He is not. Using the second method, you have to listen to the third word 100% of the time, instead of only when "not" is used.
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2 votes
2 answers
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Is the phrase 'top-level' appropriate to describe data that makes general obeservations as opposed to more detailed ones?

I am trying to find an appropriate term to describe general data in the form of statistics or reports that give somebody a general overview on a topic. I am trying to distinguish this from very ...
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1 vote
2 answers
552 views

Should I use the word "might" to express someone's wish/hope in a past situation?

The dictionaries are very clear as to the use of "may" to express a wish or a hope - and one can easily infer that a sense of future is always implied in such use. For example: "May she ...
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'Such' in place of a demonstrative pronoun. Such a configuration or such configuration?

I read some explanations about the use of 'such' as a determiner, but I still could not figure this out. If, in scientific/formal writing, I want to use 'such' instead of 'this' to specify a ...
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Which one of the sentences is grammatically correct?

1: In their article published 10 years ago, they concluded that the ant was an amazing creature. 2: In their article published 10 years ago, they concluded that the ant is an amazing creature.
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First conditional sentences

Certain grammar websites describe type 1 conditional sentences as the ones in which the time is the present or future and the situation is real. Examples given are: If I have time, I'll finish that ...
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1 answer
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Grammar - for you / with you?

I am writing a letter and got stuck here: Will that be alright for you? or Will that be alright with you? Which one is the correct version?
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1 vote
2 answers
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does an "issued" a threat become "rescinded/revoked" when acted upon?

In the sense of a direct threat like "If you do X, I will beat you", which is a threat with a promise that is clear. One would say a threat was "issued". If something can be issued, it can be revoked/...
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0 votes
2 answers
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Elided Compound or Simple sentence

In the example "He gave Tom a cycle and Jack a bike" Is this a simple sentence or an elided (stripping) compound sentence which can be expanded to “He gave Tom a cycle and he gave Jack a bike.” ...
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0 votes
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Combination of the present perfect and the simple past?

Is there a chance to combine these two tenses this way, I have checked with several sites, and I found out that it's seemingly some jobless old latino, definitely not Willis.
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0 votes
1 answer
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With object adjective

I just watched a movie in which someone more or less says "Oh yeah, with him dead, you want me hacking the computer" My question: to what extent can I use this construction? Is it grammatically right ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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After and Before Clauses

guys. I would like to ask whether a clause should always be in the past if it follows another clause starting with after in the past. For instance: After she read the note, she understands/understood ...
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587 views

Is it grammatically correct to say ( can I kindly bring your attention to .... )?

Is it grammatically correct the position of the adverb in the following question ( can I kindly bring your attention to .... ) ?
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