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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 ...

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Type of usage in these examples? Clauses/fragments

Peter senses his father's danger and tries to reach him, but is forced to watch helplessley as his father is driven away. Her father struggles with complex emotions about the child he raised as his ...
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not to welcome or not welcoming

I have this sentence: One of the reasons for not welcoming this change is ... I am not confident that the use of not welcoming is correct. some of the choices are: not welcoming not to welcome ...
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Changing `his' to 'he' and 'him' and why or if the usage is wrong [duplicate]

I have taken this sentence from Roald Dahl's "Danny The Champion of the World" 'I have already told you he did not have a car of his own, so there was no question of his having gone for a drive.' ...
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27 views

Using commas around names that specify relationship

I've been getting conflicting information on this problem. If I write: "My brother Sam loves to eat cake." OR "My brother, Sam, loves to eat cake." OR to be REALLY clear "One of my brothers, Sam, ...
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“fresh and relaxed”

I have to identify the syntax used in these two sentences and explain. A. After a short vacation in Japan, Mr Chang appeared in my office, fresh and relaxed. B. After a short vacation in Japan, Mr ...
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Degrees of comparison - “is the” vs. “is more”

Can we say "John is the stiffest of Rachel and Mark.", OR "John is more stiffer than Rachel and Mark."? Which one is better?
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Is there any mistake in this idea?

If I had done something, I would have punched both of them, and I don’t know if I would have done something worse. I am not a native speaker. I always take into account grammar rules. However, I am ...
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35 views

The numbers of something or the number of something

I am ielts student. When I use graphs to show information over time. I don't know how to express correctly. For example, 1.The graph shows the number of books read by men and women at Burnaby Public....
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How do we grammatically describe 'thing'

There's a thing I'd like to ask, it's something you might know. When we say "bring me that thing over there" or "it's with my things", how do we grammatically classify this use of thing in English? ...
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47 views

Take an umbrella in case it may rain?

Take an umbrella in case it may rain. can anybody tell me why this statement was wrong? and the right one is Take an umbrella in case it rains.
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54 views

What do you call someone who is ungrateful, only sees things negatively and never acknowledges you

I am a team player and like to contribute. When asked to take on a task. I always say yes and I never get a thank you. He never provides all the details to what he wants and then asks why I didn’t ...
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“Some of the [superlative adjective] I've ever been” — another way to phrase this?

I can't seem to find a non-awkward way of expressing this sort of sentiment: suppose you want to tell a friend about some time you were really, really cold, but it wasn't the coldest you've ever been. ...
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Is there a term for using “or” to introduce something like an appositive?

Recently someone was trying to explain to me that "or" can have a non-disjunctive function, and this came to mind as a possible example but I can't figure out the terminology to describe it. I know ...
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71 views

In a world of descriptivist dictionaries, how is linguistic relativism avoided in discussions?

“If you wish to converse with me, define your terms.” —Voltaire During discussions and debates, especially those of a more academic or technical nature, it is important to establish agreed upon ...
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77 views

We are a group of people who/which/that..?

Which of these three is correct? We are a group of people who meet.. We are a group of people which meets.. We are a group of people that meets.. This is different from the case when "People" is the ...
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Defining and Non defining Relative clauses

Is the following sentence a define or not defining relative clause. Since, when we remove the part enclosed in commas, the remaining part doesn't make sense, I think it is a defining relative clause ...
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50 views

Alternative to “less good at” [closed]

Is there an alternative, yet polite way of saying: "For those less good at English" I know it's technically correct but it doesn't sound right to me. The context is that we are offering a service ...
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3answers
53 views

Pronoun: what does it refer to here?

In the following sentence, what does the pronoun it refer to? A differs from B in that it is.... I read before that a pronoun refers to the closest name (B in that sentence); however, here it ...
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Will vs going to [duplicate]

I want to say the feeling of missing to my friend but i'm confused to say,i will miss you or i'm going to miss you
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2k views

He discovered that his father had a special box in the basement

He discovered that his father had a special box in the basement I was told that I should not use "that" in the above sentence although it is grammatically correct to use it. Why I shouldn't use "that"...
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parts of speech of a word in a sentence

What is the part of speech of before in the following: Long before anyone coined the term sci-fi? I am wondering whether it is an adjective, an adverb, or a preposition?
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Using 'by + -ing' form in a sentence and it's difference without 'by'

I've come across several (scientific mostly) literature where the use of by+-ing was present. However, every time I do, I just get the feeling that is redundant. (I actually once thought that it was ...
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671 views

Neither will I. / I won't, either. What is the difference?

If you hear the following conversation between A and B, which line would you say, B1 or B2? What is the difference? What is the point of learning inversion as is used in line B1? Thank you! A) "I ...
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2answers
54 views

Is “Provincial Centre for Public Administration Services” correct phrase?

My little province in Vietnam has just established a center, which is meant to be a central place for all services provided by the local government that the provincial citizens can come and deal with ...
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49 views

Cohesion in English writing using antonyms

Can someone help me to understand how antonyms can be used effectively to achieve cohesion in English writing along with some simple examples? I have tried to search the relevant information a lot on ...
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2answers
774 views

of the highest quality vs high quality

Which sentence makes the most sense: ...produce the most sophisticated tool and of the highest quality to perform the job or ...produce the most sophisticated and high quality tool to perform ...
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Omission of repeated components in the sentence

Is it correct to say: "The A ratio is increased by 20%, and B ratio by 30%"? I feel the omission grammatically correct and more natural in: "The A ratio has increased by 20% and B ratio by 30%,"...
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What is the phrase called when a noun is either given an article or doesn't need one? [closed]

As I understand it, there are singular nouns such as cat and spaceship that need to be preceded with some kind of specifier like an article (a, an, the) or a possessive word (my, Jane's, etc.) or the ...
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53 views

is “all” implied in a list?

If I have a list that begins with: "Cars He Wants to Buy" Is it implied that that list contains ALL the cars he wants to buy? Or is it implied that it is just some? My thought was that an "all" is ...
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2answers
328 views

Why do we say “eat healthy” instead of “eat healthily”? [duplicate]

Why do we say "eat healthy" instead of "eat healthily", even though the latter is the only "correct" one, according to the comments in "eat healthy" or "eat healthily" What ...
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4answers
144 views

I am looking for a word that can be used to describe a person who can switch bodies with another human

Not to be confused with a person who can morph themselves into someone else or a creature by will, but someone who has an ability to body swap - without necessarily having control over it. I am ...
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2answers
53 views

When describing an action by two persons is it ever correct to name oneself first? [duplicate]

When describing an action by two persons and that action has a negative outcome or nature, is it correct to name oneself first? As in I and he played poorly.
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“you is” in place of “you are” [closed]

Recently I listened to this song "You is smart, you is important ..." This is the link for this song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3H50llsHm3k Can I say "you is" in place of "you are"? Thanks ...
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137 views

Harry Potter grammar question

In the book Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 2, page 14, last paragrapgh appears 2 sentences like this, "They lets Dobby get on with it" and "Sometimes they reminds me to do extra ...
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1answer
44 views

Difference between “as” and “like”

Can anyone please tell me what the difference between as and like in the following sentence is. And which one is correct? Here's the example: None of the other students helped the old man across the ...
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14 views

Proper wording for health assistance

Is the following correct? Psychological counselling, as well as support from a health assistance team during recovery. We are unable to use the phrase medical assistance team.
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1answer
122 views

Multi-colorful or multi-colored? [closed]

Is multi-colorful a word? Or is the correct word multi-colored?
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495 views

“no one” vs “no one else”

Can anyone please tell me if I should use no one or no one else in the following sentence? Here is the example: John is a very good friend of mine. No one (else) likes me more than he does. I think ...
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28 views

Different tenses in paragraph writing [duplicate]

I am trying to write a paragraph about Mahatma Gandhi Who died in 1948. Can you please tell me which tense I should choose? My problem is that I can't decide present or past which tense I should ...
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1answer
78 views

The usage of “…that one might assume” [closed]

I have a question about the following sentence. In the (A) option, I'm aware that's a classical "as .... as you assume". But my main confusion is that (B) option seems really legit to me gramatically. ...
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2answers
96 views

Would a drinking straw, made out of natural straw, be called a 'straw straw'?

Significant efforts are afoot to reduce plastic waste and one way of doing so is to revert to using natural straws as drinking straws. This example uses wheat straws but it doesn't matter which plant ...
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2answers
48 views

Term for noun phrase containing contrasting things

For a sentence along the lines of "There were celebrations and not-so-celebrations among the people." what would the correct term for a this phrase? I thought it may be a comparison or something along ...
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1answer
88 views

Are people now “watching a lot of phone”?

It used to be said of some people that they "watched a lot of television". In those days there was nothing else to watch, in that kind of way. But how do I describe what is being done today ? Are ...
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662 views

Tense in newspaper reporting

I have a grammar question. I have seen that in news paper reporting writers almost always use "past tense". Can you please tell me why? Silliguri, November 15 : Another Mig fighter plane of the ...
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1answer
820 views

Is letting someone know you'll provide details “to follow” correct? [closed]

I was told it is incorrect to send a meeting invite and note "agenda to follow" I cannot find any grammatically info on whether this is incorrect. Is it because I have to say "Agenda to follow shortly"...
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10 views

Usage of “any” regarding singular and plural nouns [duplicate]

Which of the following sentences is correct? Can anyone please tell me whether I should use Singular or plural nouns after "any" in the following context? 1- If any car is parked in the road, it will ...
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1answer
453 views

Preposition At + Place and/or At + The + Place

I know that I can use this structure: I AM + AT + THE + NAME OF THE PLACE + TYPE OF PLACE For instance, I can say: I'm at the Empire State Building I'm at the Hilton Hotel ...
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Phrase type - considerably more humble than this

I'm preparing for my exams, and I found an example that I cant figure out. The task is to find the head of the phrase: "considerably more humble than this", and determine it's type. Meaning is ...
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133 views

Can the word “vernacular” be used as a way to describe a visual scene set in everyday life?

Can the word "vernacular" be used as a way to describe a visual scene set in everyday life? For example: Thomas is a photographer best known for his fine art series of nostalgic Star Wars scenes set ...
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1answer
30 views

Make us to choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong

What is "to" doing there in front of "choose"? It's part of West Point's Cadet Prayer.