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Questions tagged [grammar]

This tag is for questions about morphology and syntax, the two elements of grammar. DO NOT USE THIS TAG IF YOUR QUESTION IS ABOUT WHETHER SOMETHING SPECIFIC IS GRAMMATICAL. For such cases use the 'grammaticality' tag. Also do not use this for punctuation or spelling (orthography); those are not about grammar, and they have their own tags.

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1answer
6k views

Have grammar rules changed through the history of the English language?

When I want to know what form a word has say in 12th century (end Old English, begin Middle English), 14th century (end Middle English), or any other time in England history, I only need to track the ...
8
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2answers
841 views

How did 'mad' come to be a determiner?

There's a group of words — I think they're called determiners — used to indicate number in some way... like many, few, most, etc. During a linguistics class my professor said this was a closed group ...
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8answers
20k views

“Bob and us” or “Bob and we” or “Bob and ourselves”?

In the singular, it is quite clear that one uses "I" when referring to a third party and oneself, as in: Bob and I are going to build an aircraft. However, in the plural, it is a lot less clear. ...
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4answers
14k views

Does “whereabouts” function as a singular or plural noun?

His whereabouts is unknown vs His whereabouts are unknown Which is correct, or is this simply a matter of preference?
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3answers
506 views

BBC: “Man convicted of murdering his girlfriend and their 10-month-old daughter at Winchester Crown Court”

What do you make of the following BBC News headline: Man convicted of murdering his girlfriend and their 10-month-old daughter at Winchester Crown Court Is it just me, or does this read as if the ...
5
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2answers
3k views

Which punctuation for definition

I have the following sentence: To this end, I first devised a novel algorithm to enumerate all possible partitions; ways of dividing a network into meaningful parts. I was told that the ...
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2answers
611 views

Potential future events

Does the following correctly express potential consequences of meeting someone? A chance encounter is a great idea. However, in this case, chances would be very slim to meet her this way. Even ...
8
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3answers
1k views

The ambitious/arrogant tone of “I”

I don't understand why but I feel arrogant or ambitious when I use a simple sentence in active voice using "I" especially while I was writing my college essay or curriculum vitae e.g. "I managed a ...
9
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1answer
12k views

When to use “to” and when “for”?

Examples: It is important to me. It will be good for you. This sounds stupid to me. I'll make it comfortable for you. I'll make it available to you. Any rules here, dear native ...
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10answers
27k views

What does “it” refer to in “it's raining”?

I wanted to leave the question title as is so as not to take away from my amusement :). Anyway, It's raining. What is raining? Is it the sky? The clouds? The weather? The rain? What is "it"? Any ...
2
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3answers
15k views

Which prepositions should I use after “do your best”?

I always have been having problems how to understand which preposition to use. Of course there are examples, in which the preposition is obvious. For me the problem occurs when "Do your best in/on/at ...
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7answers
16k views

Use of the superlative when only two items are present

When speaking with my mother a couple of days ago, I read to her a message I was sending to my cousin on her behalf ending with: "... the birthday of your youngest." [implying her child] She ...
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8answers
4k views

Is the question mark misused in affirmative sentences?

For example, I found the following sentence written by a native English speaker (UK) so I'm going to assume that he knows how to put it the right way, although I wouldn't use this form. I now have ...
2
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3answers
902 views

go pay in “Why don't you go pay for them”

Why don't you go pay for them? It's pretty common in USA to form this question in this form. However, I suspect that we need to or "and" between go and pay. Why one is correct and why? Why don't ...
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5answers
399k views

Difference between “I have got” and “I have gotten”

I see these two expressions are used almost identically in different contexts. Is there a difference between I have got and I have gotten?
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3answers
7k views

“What kind of stuff is it?” vs “What kind of stuff it is?”

Please advise which version of the question is correct and what's the rule governing it?
4
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1answer
520 views

“Would have us view” — is it correct?

It probably is correct since the article is from Bloomberg.com website. However, I am not sure what it really means and why it's correct Mark Twain once quipped that “everyone complains about the ...
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3answers
36k views

“currently not” or “not currently”

What's the correct order: Lessons are not currently being offered. or Lessons are currently not being offered.
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9answers
5k views

Is it ever worth the time and effort to correct someone else's grating grammatical mistakes? [closed]

Whenever I hear statements like "It was a great deal for he and I" and "Call Karen and I in the morning," I die a little. Such solecisms, as Twain said in another context (Cooper's prose style), "...
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2answers
6k views

Why are words such as “that” and “those” not considered articles?

According to Wikipedia (disclaimer: of course I realize that Wikipedia should not be regarded as an absolute authority, but I generally consider it to be a fairly accurate and reliable resource): ...
4
votes
6answers
8k views

“Checked into the database” versus “checked in to the database” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When should “into” be used rather than “in to,” and vice versa? I was recently submitting ("checking in") some data to a database and composed an email ...
2
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1answer
2k views

“none of them sound right” or “none of them sounds right” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: None as plural indefinite pronoun because none of them sound/s like the obvious choice to me
6
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3answers
14k views

“bound” or “bonded”

If I use a computer command like: bind keystroke macro I refer to that keystroke as being bound to that macro. Is it also correct to say that they are bonded? If I bind a bunch of twigs together, ...
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5answers
78k views

“This works fine” Is this correct?

Is the usage of the word "fine" correct in the following sentence? This works fine It seems that the author of the statement wanted to say that something was working, but not working well.
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2answers
6k views

Should I use “will” or “would” when I suggest that something will/would come in handy?

This second part would hopefully come in handy tonight. This second part will hopefully come in handy tonight. Which one is correct and why?
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2answers
13k views

Is using “both of you” along with “each other” redundant?

OK, things are going well, both of you are enjoying each other's company, and both of you are attracted to each other. Is the usage of "both of you" correct? Sounds a bit off to me. BTW what ...
2
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0answers
708 views

Difference between 'If ..was' and 'If …were' [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “If I was” or “If I were”. Which is more common, and which is correct? Hi, I have seen different usage of the phrase 'If..was' and 'If..were'. But I ...
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2answers
563 views

Why Should One Capitalize Titles When Publishing?

What is the motivation behind capitalizing the first letter of each word except prepositions in news, articles and blog post titles?
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3answers
9k views

Is “Stick no bills” correct English?

'Stick no bills' sounds awkward. Shouldn't it be something like 'Do not stick any bills'?
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3answers
244 views

Why use the prep “to”, why not others like “of” in the following sentence?

There are three fundamental parts to the <locale> header.
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5answers
1k views

*all of us's friend

There's this funny gap I tried to write a paper once upon a time when I studied linguistics, and I'd like to know if anyone has insight into it. The construction in question is the possessive ...
3
votes
2answers
6k views

Does one stand by or at the bar?

When you are in the pub, ordering a drink from a bartender, which of the following is the correct way to say it? When both of you're stand by the bar ordering a drink, and a bartender asks to ...
2
votes
1answer
352 views

Verb agreement in the sentence

I suspect my verbs do NOT agree =) In the following sentence, I'm trying to say that I've asked this girl out for drinks in the past. However, every time I'd ask, she would agree at first and later ...
1
vote
1answer
3k views

“the best you could say” vs “the best you can say”

One want to ask a question in regard to a person's suggestion to contribute: Tina: "You should get laid more than once a year" Tom: "the best you could say? should I use can or could?
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1answer
2k views

What is the meaning of the phrase “clean up after” and when and how to use it?

The guarantees made by constructors and destructors offer a nice way to let the compiler clean up after you.
6
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1answer
6k views

“e-mail me” or “e-mail to me”?

What is the correct way to direct a request: "Would you please e-mail me the check?" or "Would you please e-mail to me the check?" And why?
8
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2answers
557 views

Chainsaw-equipped or chainsaw equipped?

Is it chainsaw-equipped or chainsaw equipped? And with what kind of former words to use "-" properly?
2
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1answer
22k views

“Hopefully you’d make some time for me.”

It's a never ending barrage of doubts about a difference in meaning using auxiliary verbs would as opposed will. I've just written this sentence, and once gain was unsure whether I should have used ...
13
votes
7answers
32k views

Which is correct: “If it were I” or “If it were me”?

I'm fairly sure it's the former, but it sounds even more stilted than the usual cases in which "I" is less common, but more correct.
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0answers
365 views

“into” vs. “in to”

What's the difference?
3
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0answers
287 views

When is “that” superfluous? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Use of “that” in a sentence What are some of the rules surrounding the word "that" and its inclusion or omission in a sentence? For example, "My boss mentioned ...
2
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1answer
629 views

Genitive plurals

What is the difference between the following? room's window room's windows rooms' window rooms' windows I'm mainly interested in the last two constructs.
13
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1answer
171k views

Which is correct: “he don't” or “he doesn't”? [closed]

Which one is correct in a sentence? He don't He doesn't I guess "he doesn't" should be correct because he is third person singular but I've seen some people using do with he. Which one is ...
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2answers
356 views

Articles when talking about something certain, yet unmentioned before

The same sentence as in question Articles in conjuctions: As a result, hosting in IIS 5/6 is notorious for instability and the frequent need to reset the server or IIS 5/6. As far as I understood ...
4
votes
1answer
297 views

Articles in conjuctions

The following is taken from a book: As a result, hosting in IIS 5/6 is notorious for instability and the frequent need to reset the server or IIS 5/6. In the context above, why doesn't "...
12
votes
3answers
988 views

“A tax is a tax is a tax.” What does this sentence mean?

I am not a native English speaker and this question has been bothering me for a long time. I saw this sentence on my text book. However, I don't know what's the meaning of it. And I don't even know ...
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4answers
52k views

What is “For the better or worse”?

What is for the better or worse? I remember hearing this a few times before but am not really 100% sure on the exact meaning of it.
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1answer
2k views

Constructing compound sentences

Consider the following sentence: One of the items that needed a further development was a research on child nodes of a story representing its sub categories being updated the moment the list of sub ...
3
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1answer
12k views

“Changes would not be reflected” vs. “Changes will not be reflected”

Following Martha's advise I am splitting up a question Compound sentences, the punctuation and mooore. When I describe consequences of some actions one can take, what form of the verb "will" should I ...
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2answers
43k views

Should I say 'What I wanted to say is' or 'What I wanted to say was'?

Following Martha's advice I am splitting up a question Compound sentences, the punctuation and mooore. Let's put what I said / wrote something in the past. And now I want to elaborate some key points ...