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 .

29 questions with no upvoted or accepted answers
Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
3
votes
1answer
28 views

Conjunctions, coordinators

I really know that for the levels of studying English language, we had always said that "for" is a coordinator. However, I would like to know what for serves in this sentence For God so loved the ...
2
votes
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
62 views

Avoiding use of double negatives

I teach an ESL Class for Spanish speakers. I've taught them the rules regarding "double negatives". Today, I had them translate the Spanish equivalent of "It isn't that he doesn't understand me." ...
2
votes
2answers
128 views

Is there a name for words like Terror in “The Tomb of Terror”?

I know that Terror is a noun, but is there a name for a noun that's used to describe another noun like this?
1
vote
1answer
43 views

Using the plural form of proprietary for software

I came across this sentence in an article. There is a balance of proprietary and open sources in the market. Should it be either of the following instead? There is a balance of ...
1
vote
0answers
23 views

Addressing two cities in the same country

Should I use "In 1347, the port cities of Messina and Genoa, Italy..." or "In 1347, the port cities of Messina, Italy and Genoa, Italy..."? just want to know if one is grammatically incorrect.
1
vote
4answers
50 views

Earliest I've been to work

I am supposed to clock in at 8 am every day to work. I was late today, just like every day, but today I was only late by 5 minutes, less than every other time. Is saying "earliest I've been to work" ...
1
vote
0answers
42 views

How can I describe a conjunction that ends a sentence (so, and, or, but …)?

Recently I (American English speaker / academic / raised in Appalachian and Southern dialect household) noticed myself falling into a conversational pattern with coworkers where I would end a spoken ...
1
vote
0answers
100 views

“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 ...
1
vote
0answers
29 views

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?
1
vote
0answers
714 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
65 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
29 views

Which is correct work or worked?

Which sentence is correct: It would be a good idea if you work hard. It would be a good idea if you worked hard. Thanks in advance for help
1
vote
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 ...
0
votes
0answers
37 views

'…have been on vacation…' and '…was on vacation…'

What does 'I've been on vacation for two days' mean? I mean, it means that the action happened in the past and ended in the past but has no specific date. But it also means that I'm still on vacation. ...
0
votes
1answer
21 views

Does “Verb to be” imply something?

This is.... blah blah. They shocked and angered, when the people sought to deprive them. compare to this This is.... blah blah. They are shocked and angered, when the people sought to deprive them....
0
votes
0answers
27 views

What is the theme in this sentence?

I study descriptive grammar of English and don't quite get the theme and rheme part. Could someone tell me what is theme in this sentence: "Where the first men originated we do not know." ?
0
votes
0answers
183 views

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 ...
0
votes
0answers
1k 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
60 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 ...
0
votes
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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
28 views

Finites in a conditional sentence

In the sentence below. How many finites are there? 'Interviewers ask respondents if they have been the victim of a crime in the past 12 months; if they have, respondents provide information about ...
-1
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
826 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 ...
-1
votes
2answers
1k views

I need a synonym for “part of”

In the following sentence I need to find a synonym for "part of". Also I don't like how "construe" sounds in the sentence. The sociological perspective of structuralism construes aspects of society ...
-1
votes
1answer
314 views

noun adjunct order with proper noun

Given a proper noun, "Widget", should a noun adjunct come before or after the proper noun? Consider: "Windows" operating system and a noun adjunct applying to it: Enterprise Windows This, to me, ...
-1
votes
1answer
2k views

Words that describes something of high quality?

I have been searching for a business name and happened to come across this site and thought I would see if I could get some help. I run my own High End Auto Detailing company. Where I spend countless ...
-1
votes
2answers
2k views

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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
91 views

Can a phrase including past participle be put right behind the preposition 'of'?

For all the English grammar my teacher taught me, the element put right behind the preposition 'of' can be: 1. a noun. The leg of the desk 2. gerund leading phrase which acts as a noun: The result ...