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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2
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2answers
25k views

What is the difference in using“ I want you to know…” versus “I wanted you to know…”?

Can anyone help me with this please? "I want you to know" versus "I wanted you to know." Are they both grammatically correct and pretty much one and the same? I understand the difference of tense ...
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3answers
3k views

why is it grammatically incorrect to say “very incredible”?

I have been told that it is wrong to say "very incredible " and "very fantastic". Could you tell me why?
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1answer
472 views

What is the function of “right” in this sentence?

In the phrase "[action] right from the comfort of your own home", what is the function of the word 'right'? It sounds normal and cromulent to my native American English speaker ear, but I'm having a ...
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1answer
1k views

Which sentence makes a logical comparison? [closed]

A. In 1990, Chicago had the tallest building of any other city. B. In 1990, Chicago had the tallest building. C. In 1990, Chicago had the tallest building of all. D. In 1990, Chicago had the tallest ...
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0answers
715 views

Is this an extraposed subject?

It is even possible I somehow sensed those qualities which I have since discovered to be so significantly a part of her. Does the sentence above have an extraposed subject? If so, which of the ...
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1answer
284 views

Is it a prepositional or a ditransitive phrase? [closed]

Prepositional phrase? I resolved not to allow frivolous preoccupations to deflect me. (I cause, not to receive frivolous preoccupations to deflect me) It had, after all, brought home to me (the ...
2
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1answer
443 views

How to properly use are and is [duplicate]

I am doing a project on wasting food and was wondering which phrase would be grammatically correct. "40% of most household bins are food" or "40% of most household bins is food", thanks :)
2
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0answers
304 views

“near 100% pass rate”? or, “nearly 100% pass rate” - on a test? [closed]

Which one is correct? The context is describing test results. near 100% pass rate nearly 100% pass rate If they are both correct, is there any difference in meaning? Also what are the ...
2
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1answer
426 views

Linguistic term for repeating a subject as in “We sat there, we two.” [duplicate]

From The Cat in the Hat, I sat there with Sally. We sat there, we two. And I said, "How I wish we had something to do!" How do modern linguists, eg CGEL authors or readers, characterize how We ...
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1answer
56 views

What does “of who Americans” mean in this sentence: “This challenges the very essence of who Americans are as as a people”?

This challenges the very essence of who Americans are as a people. What does "of who Americans" mean? This sentence originates from the newspaper The Economist.
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1answer
677 views

Is there any rules for abbreviating a word? [duplicate]

I use Prop. to abbreviate property or properties according to this website. Now I am wondering if there are common rules in English writing for abbreviating words.
2
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3answers
525 views

How do you describe someone who is in a middle scale often? [closed]

How do you describe someone who is always in the middle? For example, One person is always angry and another really calm and this person is both at times. Or they are shy and outgoing. Like science ...
0
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1answer
41 views

has vs have for a group within parentheses

Suppose I had a sentence of the following form: "Peter (and many of his other friends) has an apple." I, personally, believe it is more 'correct' to say have. Is it more correct to say 'have' even ...
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1answer
157 views

Is this sentence containing “it will bring you to watch them” grammatical?

"You can't imagine the freaky sense of time travel and second youth it will bring you to watch them." Is this sentence grammatical? I wonder if the clause "it will bring you to watch them" should be ...
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2answers
656 views

“Project X” vs “X Project” [closed]

Say you want to refer to your project which you have chosen the name "X" for it. What is the difference in referring to it as "Project X" or "X Project"? Is the first one more suitable for branding? I ...
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1answer
425 views

What is the grammatical name for a sentence whose predicate is a complete sentence?

What is the grammatical name for a sentence whose predicate is a complete sentence with a subject and a verb? As in the following example: Those who stole money from the company — we will fire ...
9
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3answers
42k views

“Here is my two cents” vs “Here are my two cents”?

Which of the following two phrases is correct, in the context of giving an opinion on a subject? Here is my two cents on subject X Here are my two cents on subject X Most of what I found online was ...
1
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1answer
204 views

Is 'I speak to what… [+complement]' the same as 'I speak of/about… [+complement]'?

While working on a translation (AmE to Por-BR), I came across the following sentence: 'I feel the need to speak to what I think of the book some three years later.' I don't think I've ever heard this ...
2
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2answers
344 views

An expression about gerunds [duplicate]

Can we say: His mother forbade his going out at midnight. In some countries, women's wearing tiny skirts is totally forbidden! But I don't mind (my) smoking here. here can we add "my"? Somebody ...
0
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1answer
395 views

Three sentences about v-ing meaning [closed]

I'm confused about three sentences of v-ing verbs. I love my cooking fish(Here my is unnecessary?) Besides I love my feelings(Here is ok, because means something you have got but not an act) But ...
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0answers
66 views

Confused of three deverbal nouns in dictionary

I have learnt something about deverbal nouns before. a)These readings are quite interesting (Here it means books,refers to something) b)I did some reading of history books(Here it means the ...
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2answers
486 views

Is it best to use height or length associated to width for describing a 2D object?

When it comes to 3D I see object dimensions described with attributes: - width - height - length When it comes to 2D I'm a bit confused, sometimes I see width,height sometimes width,length For ...
4
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1answer
1k views

What is the opposite of “acquired taste”?

I've been breaking my head trying to find an opposite term for the phrase/expression "acquired taste". I vaguely know that "acquired taste" refers to something (a taste) that you start liking after ...
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2answers
7k views

What is one word to describe someone who doesn't care about anything? [duplicate]

My friend says she wants me to describe her in one word and I think she does not care about anything most of the time. So I'm looking for a word that describes that.
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5answers
398 views

What is a more articulate method of expressing that one possesses technical aptitude?

I'm often confounded when trying to articulate in a concise manner that a person is literate or savvy in matters technical (i.e. computers, software, IT). For example, I am composing an email with ...
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1answer
435 views

Is its grammatically correct to say “As we grow old we will encounter many a situations together..”? [closed]

I know we can use "many situations" instead. But I wanted to know if "many a situations" makes sense.. Tia
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1answer
945 views

Order of “sometimes” relative to the subject of a sentence in the passive voice

I have a doubt that is the following one: I have two alternative sentence transformations of this sentence below and, I wonder if it is possible to write the adverb "sometimes" before the subject "...
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1answer
883 views

A question on usage of could and was able to

As you know,we use could for general ability. But if we want to say that somebody did something in a specific situation,we have to use was/were able to or managed to **(not **could ). I know the below ...
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2answers
1k views

If they had continued… question

"He headed the truck to the school, part way his wife decided to convince him to turn back to their house because there was fire everywere on the way to the school and she thought that they were going ...
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4answers
26k views

Question about the phrase “interests me”

The teacher marked the words "interests me" in the following sentence to be gramatically wrong, why? I think the sentence is gramatically correct. "I never thought that I was going to be accepted ...
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5answers
2k views

“Are YOU coming to get me” / “Are you coming to GET me” Is there any grammatical or semantic difference?

Is there any grammatical or semantic difference between the phrases: "Are you coming to get me?"—used to imply the question of whether that particular person is coming to get whoever. And this ...
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1answer
458 views

Same as.. vs as much as

I'd like to know whether the following sentences express the same meaning. Are both of them correct without the "provided with" at the end? Have the foreigners been provided with the same level of ...
2
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1answer
2k views

What is the grammar in “I was like”?

In the sentence "I was like whatever", what is actually going on under the hood? "I" is presumably a pronoun, but what about the "was", the "like" and the "whatever"? Is the "was" on its own a verb? ...
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2answers
300 views

Is it valid to use future continuous for intention/coming event?

In my native language, we can use future continous to say a thing we are going to do in a short time or right at that time. For example, my boss assigns me a task and I would answer (literally ...
4
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1answer
313 views

Is there any dialect of English that uses “positive ever” to mean “once”?

One of the most interesting things for me is to learn that some construction that seems completely ungrammatical to me is completely okay for speakers of some other dialect of English. For example, ...
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2answers
2k views

Using “that” 2 times in a sentence next to itself [duplicate]

Can I use "that" 2 times in a sentence next to itself?
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1answer
1k views

Adjective for someone unable to cope with the past

I'm looking for a word that could describe a character's personality in the sense that he is someone who (re)lives the past too much and is uncapable of overcoming it and moving on with his life. Any ...
0
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1answer
319 views

'Including' Grammar

Applicants for this position must have successfully completed Grade 12 or the equivalent including Grade 12 Mathematics, Grade 12 English and 1 senior Science. Does this mean the applicant will ...
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2answers
3k views

Proper usage of “does” in “Where does it come from?”

When inquiring after the immediate origin of a thing (i.e., where I purchased this gallon of milk), my wife will frequently say, "Where does it come from?". This always sounds odd to me—I'd say "Where ...
2
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1answer
227 views

What was the usage of EModE’s four-form system for answering yes–no questions?

It is well-known that Early Modern English, if not earlier forms of English too, had a four-form system for answering yes–no questions. ‘Yea’ and ‘nay’ answered questions phrased positively (analogous ...
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3answers
537 views

Is this type of conditional sentence used by native speakers?

I was wondering if any native speaker uses the following type of conditional sentence: If my mother-in-law was coming tomorrow, I would have spent all day cleaning the house. The sentence ...
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1answer
1k views

Simple Present vs Simple Future [duplicate]

This is my first grammar-related post in this forum. It's my honour to be associated with professional native English teachers. My question is based on the nuanced difference between Simple Present ...
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2answers
204 views

What rule can I give to authors who start sentences with “-ing” words when it's inappropriate?

I work as an editor and I've found that many writers (usually novices) inappropriately begin sentences with "-ing" words (as opposed to appropriately beginning sentences with "-ing" words. It's a ...
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1answer
2k views

Is this the right usage of word 'sprain'?

There has come a sprain on my foot mysteriously through the night :), not able to walk comfortably. Also, is there any other general grammatical mistake in the above sentence?
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2answers
1k views

Something “is to” become something

"An atom 'is to' become a positive ion when it has more protons than electrons." Is it proper for "is to" to be in that sentence? If it is, would someone please tell me what does "is to" mean in that ...
4
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5answers
623 views

What word would you use to describe this workflow?

I have a friend with an interesting workflow, and I wonder if there's any good English words that kind of describes it. Basically if he makes a video-game he first quickly makes the game playable and ...
10
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6answers
13k views

Conflicting Advice: “Not Only,” “But Also” Constructions — Comma, No Comma, Parallel Structure?

I've searched for the answer on this site and other websites, and found conflicting advice and sample sentences that look wrong to me. I'm posting this question hoping for clarification. My ...
3
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2answers
312 views

“Whenever I discuss X, people don't know what I'm talking about” — why the progressive tense?

Consider the two sentences: Whenever I discuss X, people don't know what I'm talking about. Whenever I discuss X, people don't know what I talk about. I think the first one should be ...
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2answers
84 views

In which single word can this be summarized?

Say you have several companies working for you to achieve/complete a certain task, but the one who does best/finishes the job gets the commission for the job. I'm aware of the term pitch (from the ...
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1answer
10k views

“Who we are?”or “who are we?” [closed]

"Who we are?" or, "who are we?" Which one of these expressions is the the correct way to title a content equivalent to about-us meaning?