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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173 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
61 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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1answer
216 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
115 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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1answer
366 views

Multi-colorful or multi-colored? [closed]

Is multi-colorful a word? Or is the correct word multi-colored?
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1answer
2k 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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1answer
165 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
129 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
50 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
94 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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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
3k 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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1answer
835 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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1answer
31 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.
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1answer
53 views

Is the verb “went” necessary? [closed]

I wrote the following sentence at Wikipedia concerning Bob Wian who later founded the Big Boy restaurant chain: His father's furniture business bankrupt, Wian washed dishes in the school cafeteria ...
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6answers
2k views

Word to describe an absorbing activity which causes one to fail to notice the passage of large amounts of time

The phrase, "Time flies when you're having fun," is often used when one has become absorbed in an activity and lost track of time. I'm looking for a word to describe something that has a tendency to ...
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2answers
1k views

Why does “no problems” go with plural verb? [closed]

It is a general rule in English that singular verb goes with singular noun. However, I find it strange when in certain clauses like "there were no problems", the verb is plural. In this case, does "...
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2answers
6k views

Is using a comma after 'or rather' necessary?

Is using a comma after 'or rather' necessary? The sentence would be: "So begins the most intriguingly opening book I’ve ever read. Or rather, the only book that was gripping from the very start."
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2answers
541 views

Which one of the following sentences is correct? (scrambled text question) [closed]

Which one of the following sentences is correct? a. I drive to german used an old blue car. b. I drive an used old blue car to german. c. I used an old blue car drive to german. My English ...
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1answer
261 views

Meaning of “Twice Upon a Time” and its usage in a sentence

This is my first question on english.stackexchange.com/questions/ask. Could anyone tell me the meaning of "Twice Upon a Time"? It's the title of Doctor Who's Christmas special episode, the last of ...
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0answers
2k views

Difference between “after” and “since”

I have a question related to the usage of "Since" and "after". Actually I found these three sentences on news articles. And I have seen a large number results both in "news" and "Ngrams". Are all ...
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1answer
381 views

Error check regarding grammar [closed]

According to my teacher all of the following sentences are wrong. The test was given regarding modals and prepositions.Look: 1:I walked on the road. (She says across is correct instead of "on") 2:The ...
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3answers
583 views

Is the speech after the quotative “like” always non-literal?

I like to use "like" as a quotative for non-literal speech (and non-literal speech in general), speech that no one has said but might have said if given the opportunity. This is a useful expressive ...
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0answers
29 views

Use of “yes” and “no” in answering questions worded in the negative [duplicate]

In studying other languages (Korean at the moment) the use of “yes” and “no” when answering questions that are worded in the negative seems to be opposite English (at least American English) style. In ...
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1answer
42 views

is there a word to describe an instance of a person pretending to be lesser than what he/she actually is?

Is there a word for someone who is a gifted artist pretending to be self-conscious about her work, to the point that she overindulges in self-pity and criticism, in an attempt to receive gratifying or ...
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4answers
456 views

What stylistic or grammatical reasons prevent users and grammarians from reaching a consensus in the debate over the comma splice?

This is not a duplicate of earlier questions asking whether or why the comma splice is an error, because I am asking about the debate itself: unlike many another grammar rule that is widely accepted ...
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1answer
7k views

"Gifted ___ with'' Is it correct? [duplicate]

Sentence for example She gifted him shoes, to whom he had gifted diamond with I want to know if gifted ____ with can be used. The sentence above is just an example.
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My Boyfriend and I's favorite song… How would you phrase this? [duplicate]

I was always taught that if you want to make sure that the possessive pronouns are correct when referring to more than one person, you should try to say the sentence alone and use that pronoun. My ...
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1answer
585 views

Is it undesirable to have two consecutive words end in “s”?

I read a related question on this topic, the title of which bears great similarity. But I was unable to find an answer in that question, and it seems the example given was dissimilar. Here is an ...
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4answers
280 views

How can you say something is good at an evil task? [closed]

I want to say something like: "Trading goods were excellent carriers of pathogens and contributed to the spread of epidemic diseases." But I feel like "excellent" and "contributed" have positive ...
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0answers
39 views

collective noun/verb agreement [duplicate]

Please someone who specializes as a grammarian answer this: The family is/are pursuing their individual interests. Could you also give me the authoritative source for the answer!!!
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1answer
453 views

“Basic idea is” or “Basic ideas are”

Not sure how to adequately describe a process. Say I want to describe how to bake a cake. Which would be a better fit? The basic idea of making a cake is to mix up the batter, put the batter in a pan,...
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1answer
3k views

Confusion about “too…to” [closed]

I thought the combination of too...to always resulted in a negative meaning, as in this sentence: He is too smart to fall for your tricks. (which, of course, means he is so smart that he cannot ...
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1answer
519 views

What/which difference [duplicate]

Do both the following sentences mean the same? If not, what's the difference? 1- Which colleges in India are run by the right wing students' group? 2- What colleges in India are run by the right ...
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2answers
7k views

I will/would say that

What is the difference between the following sentences? 1- I will say that it is good for you. 2- I would say that it is good for you
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1answer
473 views

In what contexts is “gross” commonly used to mean 144? [closed]

Are there specific items that are commonly bought/sold in a gross, or certain industries in which the term is used frequently?
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3answers
646 views

On the phrase “You wouldn't think it to [look at him]”

There is an oft-used phrase structure that appears odd to me, but I can't tell if it qualifies as a set phrase, idiom, a mere grammatical fluke, or an archaic grammatical structure. The superstar ...
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3answers
256 views

Is there a word or phrase in linguistics describes the patterns of English in common use?

The crux of my question is how do we get from descriptive linguistic grammars for English to the often confusing contradictory and tedious grammar rules taught to native speakers and esl students? ...
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2answers
281 views

Is “ but ” a conjunction here? [closed]

We failed to make a thorough search of the house; but no trace of her could be found. [Cf. English for S.S.C. Bank & Other Competitive Exams by Dr. Shambu Sharma (P.D.F)] Is the ...
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1answer
3k views

At the top or on the top

The society is growing at the top of the deep trenches left by centuries of colonial repression. Can we write on top of the deep trenches here in the above question ?
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1answer
68 views

What is a word that describes a random word presented in a conversation? [duplicate]

For example, if two people are discussing cows & dairy farming & one person mentions carpet. Is there a word for this? Maybe a literary term?
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2answers
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How to ask “What did you talk about … with …”

I'm trying to understand what the right way is to ask someone what he discussed with someone, or talked about with someone, or talked to someone about. (Like asking what the content or essence of the ...
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5answers
10k views

Is “I’ve boughten many vinyls” correct in its use of “boughten”?

Per Merriam-Webster (https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/is-boughten-a-word) boughten is an adjective. According to my non-native-English-speaking friend the sentence "I've boughten many ...
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1answer
430 views

Metaphors that appeal to more than one of the senses (hearing, seeing, smell, etc.) at a given time?

I'm curious about the origin of using descriptors of one sense (e.g. sight) in order to describe a different sense (e.g. touch). (Please note that humans have more than five senses, as this may affect ...
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1answer
970 views

How do I describe the booting sound of some electronic devices?

I'm working on a scientific novel where I need to describe the futuristic drones are initiating and booting. How do I describe that kind of sound? The sound that is similar to the sound when an auto-...
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1answer
960 views

What is the difference between “How close is your house to the highway” and “How far is your house from the highway”?

I was talking to a friend of mine when I asked: How close is your house to the highway? He said that, since I was discussing distance, it would have been more grammatically correct to ask: How ...
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2answers
136 views

What does “With the exception of some rather irritating posturing in bars" mean? [closed]

"I realize I was poised in a sort of half-crouch, one hand out like a wrestler. In the other hand I held my pitiful folding knife, so small it needed several runs at halving a good-sized apple. Worst ...
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1answer
300 views

“Image set” or “Images set”?

Should it be "image set" or "images set"? What about "datum set" and "data set"? Or does it just depend on the context? For the above, I would use "image set" and "data set". I am trying to decide ...
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0answers
61 views

The problem of (was)

I used this sentence in a motivational letter, and I am worried if the usage of (was) in this sentence is right or wrong because I discovered the problem very late: I have been fascinated by the ...