Questions tagged [grammaticality]

This tag is for questions about whether something obeys the rules of grammar in English. The question must INCLUDE THE SPECIFIC GRAMMATICAL CONCERN. If your question is about grammar itself, please use the "grammar" tag.

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7
votes
2answers
130 views

How to elucidate a *speciously* threefold “correlative comparative” in written form

Consider this sentence: The more complex a law, the more difficult it is to comprehend, the easier it becomes for the experts to evade it. As RegDwigнt has pointed out ...the chain is not ...
6
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4answers
1k views

If I can say “not that good a review,” does that mean I can say “not that good reviews”?

I'm new to the template, so please forgive my ignorance of this community's parlance, formalities. I'd imagine that many here have seen the construction: "Adjective + Article + Noun," as in "so fine ...
3
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0answers
72 views

Is it correct to say “imperturbably take damage”?

I have the next sentence: Stay calm and imperturbably take damage or die if need be. Is it right? Can you give me any suggestions?
3
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1answer
571 views

A plural noun is used with a singular verb in a proper English speech—why?

From the film script of Gladiator (2000): Your faults as a son, is my failure as a father My question is: how come?! If anyone (unless you're one those very good few who get to define what the ...
3
votes
1answer
188 views

Seem small clause

It is said that the omission of "to be" is allowed only when the adjective (phrases), noun (phrases), or prepositional phrase comes after the to be like this: a He seemed (to be) angry about the ...
3
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1answer
303 views

Can you say “rancoring”?

I know it's an adjective, but I googled it, and found it in an article about John McEnroe, specifically, "a rancoring go-to-hell beast". I was wondering if it is okay to use the word as if it were a ...
3
votes
1answer
56 views

How do I make this sentence grammatically correct?

As this week’s lesson comes to an end, we have now completed both Unit One and Two, a perfect time to reflect on what we have learned. I think there is something wrong with the tense here, but I'm ...
3
votes
1answer
108 views

Subordinating conjunctions “who” & “when” as subject clause?

I understand who and when can be used to introduce adjective clause for sure like the following sentences. The time when it is good for us to meet has not been decided. The person who is ...
3
votes
3answers
224 views

Trying to determine if a specific clause/phrase is essential or non-essential

I am a volunteer English tutor. My advanced ESL student wrote the following sentence after reading an article: However, recent studies, in Sweden and in Finland, have found out that different ...
2
votes
0answers
54 views

“Named” as a past participle adjective or relative clause

'I passed the exam.' The exam = 'The passed exam.' 'I named the boy.' The boy = 'The named boy.' 'I called the girl.' The girl = 'The called girl.' What = 'The boy named John.'? What = 'The girl ...
2
votes
2answers
69 views

Can I use the verb "finish 'in present continuous tense?

Recently, in an essay, I used "finishing up" in a sentence. My teacher marked it wrong, because to finish something isn't an action that takes time. But I've heard "finishing up" used in real life. Is ...
2
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0answers
53 views

“Try one's hand at something” — why is it not hands?

I came across this phrase today Try one's hand at something Why is it not hands since we have a pair of hands? In addition to that, I have also noticed both pleasing to the ear pleasing ...
2
votes
1answer
59 views

Can present perfect tense be used with the adverb “earlier”?

I would like to know if the present perfect construction can be used in the two following sentences that employ the adverb earlier: As I have said earlier, I don't like her at all. I have been to ...
2
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0answers
95 views

Usage of “so” in “So do I”

What are the grammatical rules behind the construction using “so” in the following examples? A: “I like chocolate.” B: “So do I.” Alice likes chocolate. So does Bob. Both examples seem to be ...
2
votes
1answer
167 views

is or was usage in a sentence

I posted "today is the best day ever" and my friend said it's suppose to be "today was the best day ever". I said the day isn't over yet, so it's not past tense. any supporting ideas to say who is ...
2
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1answer
306 views

''Should you have decided'' Inversion

In an email I received from my university, the following is stated: ''Should you have decided to do the assignment, please send us an email.'' My question is whether the inversion and usage of should ...
2
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0answers
85 views

Semantic implications of “The President and we are disbanding the Forum”

In a widely publicized statement, a group of CEO's on President Trump's "Strategic and Policy Forum" wrote that because of contention surrounding recent statements by the president: As such, the ...
2
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0answers
288 views

Is the placement of the participial phrase correct here?

I am using a participial phrase to modify the noun. But instead of the more common way of starting the sentence with the participial phrase, I want to use a medial parenthesis: So instead of this ...
2
votes
0answers
661 views

How to drop a pronoun? (pronoun-dropping/removing 'I'/omitting the subject)

I wrote resume and got stuck in this place. There are recommendations to write your achievements in the short form (without "I"): "Worked with ... " "Created something ... " "Collaborated with ... "...
2
votes
1answer
818 views

"it's a long time that.'

This question was posted here "It's a long time that" - correct or not? a few months back and an answer was selected. The answer given is hardly satisfying, and I feel that the question ...
2
votes
1answer
81 views

I am confused with usage about 'the' and object complement

Is the sentence as below correct in grammar? And is it clear enough? Please copy & paste keyword, mykeyword, into the search box of Google Play Store app or website to locate this pure app ...
2
votes
1answer
195 views

Small clauses (or verbless clauses)

Small clauses are clauses with "to be" deleted. I found him (to be) difficult. And as we all know, an adjective complement can be added afterward. I found him (to be) difficult to work with. ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

“Twice (adj.)-er” vs. “two times (adj.)-er” vs. “twice/two times as (adj.) as”

Suppose we are comparing a particular characteristic (that takes comparative -er) of two items, A and B. Compared to B, A displays double that characteristic. There are multiple ways we can express ...
2
votes
1answer
58 views

Posessive pronouns after a noun?

I seem to recall reading something like "anguish thine is but a dream". The posessive pronoun thine is after a noun anguish it relates to. Probably, it is from some verse. I don't encounter such ...
1
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0answers
71 views

What's the proper grammar for “My and my roommate's home…”?

What's the proper grammar for "My and my roommate's home..." The rule I learned is it should still be grammatically correct after removing the second part. E.g. after removing "and my roommate's", "...
1
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0answers
28 views

Can “earlier this year” be used with past progressive?

I am struggling with the correct tense for the following sentence: Some of you might know me already as I was interning for six months at this company earlier this year. Since "earlier this year" ...
1
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0answers
27 views

Apposition, commas and clause/phrase definition

I am looking at some appositives with proper nouns and wanted to know how they are analysed. The sentence is: "My brother, named John, is happy." I am confused with the verb "named". Does it make ...
1
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0answers
61 views

Is “she was peeled an orange (by me)” unacceptable in English?

Is "she was peeled an orange (by me)" unacceptable in English when 'she' is interpreted as an intended recipient? I found Kay (1996: 11-12) claims that "I'll peel you an orange" has two possible ...
1
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0answers
23 views

Usage of 'Both'

" Innocence is courage and clarity both." I heard this sentence. Is it correct?
1
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0answers
38 views

Constructions “be but one” vs “but + pronoun”

I've seen these constructions several times and I've found the following definitions (correct or confirm the definitions): but + noun/pronoun = except She gave the presents to everyone but me = She ...
1
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0answers
38 views

How should I phrase this?

I am writing a cover letter for a resume that will be sent to a hopeful job of four years at my university. I am short on cash and would be beyond ecstatic to receive this job but this sentence or ...
1
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0answers
26 views

“has” versus “have” after the preposition “of”

In the sentences A copy of your documents has been emailed to you@gmail.com. A copy of your documents have been emailed to you@gmail.com. I believe the subject is "copy", and since "has" ...
1
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2answers
36 views

Is the phrase “fitting (someone) in (to a schedule)” alright to use or is there a better way to say this?

fit (someone) in (to a schedule) Is this phrase useful for scheduling meetings and appointments. When you're talking to someone with a busy schedule, you may have to ask them to "fit you in". "...
1
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0answers
35 views

must have washed downstream VS must have been washed downstream

There are two hikers hiking near a stream. One of them seeing it in says: Look! A miner's old pack and gear! Must have washed downstream! My question is: Is it just a simple passive voice sentence ...
1
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0answers
36 views

Differences in antonyms of “balance” with negative prefixes

Most words only have one correct negative prefix out of "in-", "im-", and "un-". Why are both "imbalance" and "unbalance" both grammatically correct (but "inbalance" is not")? What are differences in ...
1
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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
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2answers
35 views

Relative frequencies of words of a certain length?

I struggled to find this online, so I have turned to the English stack exchange... Is there a list of relative frequencies of words of a certain length? For example, how much more common is a word ...
1
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0answers
69 views

Is ‘the reason why’ somehow objectionable?

It has just come to my attention that some consider ‘the reason why’ ungrammatical or otherwise unfortunate. David Crystal mentions it in his introduction to Fowler's Dictionary of Modern English ...
1
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0answers
118 views

Using 'would' or 'used to' with a time reference in a different sentence

In a test there are such sentences: "When I was little, I shared a bedroom with my sister Catherine. As I was eight years her junior, I obviously (used to go / would go) to bed earlier than her." ...
1
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1answer
41 views

Any more+comparitive+than

I heard a person saying, “That place is not any more riskier than this place”. (And it wasn’t about time- like how it has changed from earlier to now) I thought it’s grammatically incorrect to say so. ...
1
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0answers
27 views

Using “Mix of” with one object

"Mix of" is most frequently used to show that two or more items are included in the creation of something. Is it still grammatically correct to use "mix of" when there's only one item, but the item is ...
1
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0answers
49 views

Does 'evinced' make sense in this context?

Is this sentence correct, and if so, does the word evinced make sense here? An aura of gloom and doom had also settled over the City, evinced by a fusion of dirt, ash, building debris, and ...
1
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1answer
545 views

Should I use “training in” or “training about”?

Which of the following sentences is correctly phrased: "I have been actively involved in training students about Ground Operations", or "I have been actively involved in training students in Ground ...
1
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0answers
155 views

“It only matters the story they tell when you're gone”

Lionsgate just released a poster and a trailer for their upcoming western movie The Kid, with the tagline "It only matters the story they tell when you're gone". As far as I can think of, the only ...
1
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0answers
24 views

Possessive with distinct ownership by multiple parties, “please remember to unlock John's and my offices”

I apologize if this has already been asked, I was unsure how to phrase my question. If I am trying to ask someone to remember to come by unlock the office of my coworker and my own office how would I ...
1
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0answers
31 views

Should say “his own wife” or “his wife”?

I was narrating a movie to my friend where I made a statement like “his own wife killed him” where my friend said it doesn’t sound right to say “his own wife” and corrected me to say it as just “his ...
1
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0answers
48 views

Is it ok to use just “Careful!” instead of ”Be careful!” preceded by “be”?

Is it “correct” if I say Careful! here without be in front of it? Careful! There is a car coming! Careful! Just one step back and you will fall off the cliff.
1
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0answers
30 views

About the usage of “had” in this sentence?

Epistemologically speaking, it is facts about the relationship had with the trusted that determines the justification of trust, it is not the mere absence of defeating reasons. (Source) It seems to ...
1
vote
1answer
60 views

“a food-hygienically acceptable substance”: Grammatical syntax?

In a document (written by a native Japanese speaker), I see the following phrase that sets off my acceptability and grammaticality alarms: a food-hygienically acceptable substance Google shows ...
1
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0answers
31 views

Avoiding splitting the subject and verb with a long explanation

I want to avoid an expression of the form the probability that blah blah blah blah blah would increase. The greater the number of blah's, the more awkward this construction becomes. Is it ...