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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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 ...
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3k 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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977 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
77 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." ...
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2answers
129 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?
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16 views

Can 'on one occasion' and 'at 5am' be called sentence connectors /conjunctive adverbs?

In the given examples: He never invited anyone. On one occasion, somebody came. Does "on one occasion" act as sentence connector here acting as conjunctive adverb? He has a tight schedule. At 5 ...
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24 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.
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4answers
183 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" ...
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0answers
50 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 ...
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0answers
131 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 ...
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0answers
30 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?
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1answer
37 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
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1answer
1k 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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1answer
49 views

Which type of sentence is- May I please have an ice cream sundae after dinner?

Type of sentence-May I please have an ice cream sundae after dinner?
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46 views

I can't tell whether it is right or wrong

This question is from the Korean high school English test. I wonder if the summary is a proper (ex English composition, collocation or grammar) in the box below. [Question] Many advertisements cite ...
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0answers
21 views

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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26 views

Has “was” been left out before shown because of parallelism?

If this work could be discovered, it might, he thought, in all probability be restored. Some of the country people were therefore seized, and, inquiry being made of them, the line of the canal was ...
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17 views

'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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45 views

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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1answer
26 views

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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49 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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21 views

Should the asterisk of a postscript correspond in size to the first asterisk, or be the same font size as the postscript's lettering?

The former makes sense in terms of its intent--which is to take off where it leaves off, the reason why an asterisk is used on both ends--but perhaps this is trumped by the importance of font size?
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26 views

Describe something will be made to do smth in short

Good day, all! I'm writing an IT specification for adding a new feature to some existing functionality. Let's say some "sender" plugin will be improved in a way it'll be able to access attributes of ...
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12 views

Time reference of imperatives/modals

What time reference is indicated by imperative sentences/Sentences with modal verbs (present or future)Some say it is present time others say it indicates future since the action can only happen ...
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1answer
26 views

Adjective /Adverb modifier

"The decision affects people at large/in general" what role does the phrase 'at large/in general' perform here? Are they used as adjective modifier of noun 'people ' or adverb modifier of verb '...
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14 views

Type of co-ordinator

In the example sentence   "He cannot compete, let alone/much less win //// not to mention/not to talk of winning" What role/s do let alone / much less / not to mention / not to talk of perform? Are ...
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6 views

Making sense of Complex conjunction

1.When a connector is added to a co-ordinating conjunction what is the combined entity called ? An emphatic conjunction? Example-He is young and therefore,strong.(and therefore) 2.Similarly, when ...
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22 views

Mixing Conditional 1 and 2

Are the following sentence ok to use ? Are they related to the mixed conditions where you mix between conditional 1 and 2 ???? 1-I want to travel abroad and complete my study if I could. 2- I want ...
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45 views

Got arrested or Was arrested

Not really sure how to use Get/Got + V3 or V.to be + V3 ( Passive voice ) Can anyone explain, are there any differences between these two grammar structures ?
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26 views

Grammatical status of Question tags in Sentences

When a question tag is added to a simple sentence, what does the combined sentence become? (compound sentence/complex sentence) Can it be classified as asyndetic co-ordinate clause? If question tag ...
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0answers
25 views

there WOULD be at least 10 people and out of that 10 people at least 2 WOULD

Context- I was teaching a child about how the economy is being effected by the corona-virus. I pointed at a street with some stores and restaurants and said: "If it weren't for the virus there would ...
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28 views

Grammatical rules describing use of “um”, “so”, “basically” in spoken language?

Use of filler words seems to be proscribed as bad or incorrect, yet they also seem so common that they are part of spoken language. Whether desirable or not, are there grammatical rules that describe ...
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1answer
737 views

Follow vs Follow after

Is the expression "follow after", e.g; "He followed after her", grammatically incorrect or an awkward phrasing? I use the phrase "follow after" to put an emphasis on the action, it also gives me a ...
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0answers
2k 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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0answers
66 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 ...
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0answers
75 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 act, it ...
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1answer
51 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
144 views

if you would have told me to move I would have moved

I was standing I gave this answer this answer . is this a correct way
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1answer
37 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 ...
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2answers
7k 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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1answer
1k 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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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 ...
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1answer
364 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, ...
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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 ...
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2answers
5k 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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
14 views

correctly punctuate each sentence to make it meaningful

Ten(10) editor-in-chiefs from two(2)media houses were present at the seminar During the nineteen eighties(1980's) there was severely famine All seven former heads-of-states were at the inaugural ...