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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Why are the articles "an" and "the" not allowed in this structure? "(The/An) X though Y was..."

(*An) astute businessman though he was, P was capable of extreme recklessness (*The) actual perpetrators though they were, the criminals never admitted their guilt in court Why are the articles not ...
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4 votes
1 answer
981 views

Is inversion using the present perfect correct in ''Should you have decided...''?

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 is ...
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3 votes
1 answer
656 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 ...
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3 votes
1 answer
200 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 ...
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3 votes
1 answer
436 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 ...
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3 votes
2 answers
102 views

Placement of “anymore” with respect to other complements, as in "not possible anymore to …"

I often see sentences like this from non-native speakers: ?It is not possible anymore to cross the border without a passport. To me, this sounds wrong, and I would write this instead: It is no ...
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3 votes
1 answer
95 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 ...
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3 votes
1 answer
464 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 qualified ...
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3 votes
3 answers
326 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 ...
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2 votes
2 answers
68 views

Why is "strategies to cutting" correct in this sentence?

I'm reading 'When Breath Becomes Air' by the late Paul Kalanithi, and I came across the sentence: "I could see that there were two strategies to cutting the time short..." My question is why "to ...
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2 votes
0 answers
215 views

Have got + adjective (Present Perfect)

this is a question most suited to British speakers! I am aware of the difference between the British and the American "get" conjugation (got-gotten). Now, I have come across the sentence "My cough has ...
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2 votes
0 answers
184 views

syntactic function of word "if"

What syntactic function does the word "if" serves in this sentence. Certain pesticides can become ineffective if used repeatedly in the same place. This sentence is taken from GMAC prep material ...
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2 votes
0 answers
77 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 ...
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2 votes
0 answers
132 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 ...
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2 votes
1 answer
624 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 ...
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2 votes
0 answers
102 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 correct....
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2 votes
0 answers
34k views

at our side / on our side / from our side

I'm developing a web form wich communicates with an external service and they are validating the data that I send to them from the web form. But, I would like to manage the validation by my self. I'm ...
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2 votes
0 answers
91 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 ...
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2 votes
0 answers
307 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 ...
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2 votes
0 answers
932 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 ... "...
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2 votes
3 answers
325 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. ...
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2 votes
1 answer
17k views

What's the correct phrase to use? In our app or on our app

This new service will be available in our app. This new service will be available on our app. What's correct? Second one feels wrong but interested to know what's right here.
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2 votes
1 answer
99 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 ...
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2 votes
1 answer
18k views

Which one is grammatically correct: "wood door" or "wooden door"

I have a grammar which says that: "The 'noun+noun' structure is normally used to say what things are made of." "A few pairs of nouns and adjectives are used as modifiers with different meanings. ...
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2 votes
1 answer
191 views

"The soil is too arid to plant seeds." Is "to plant seeds" correct here?

I feel something's wrong with the part "to plant seeds", whose logical subject should be a person. I wonder if the sentence is right or how to correct it the other way around.
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2 votes
1 answer
75 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 ...
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1 vote
0 answers
28 views

Position of relative clauses after verb

I myself consider the sentence offset below to be correct; however, some of my associates regard it as being wrong. I would like your advice on it. The sentence is Jane Austen published 4 novels, who ...
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1 vote
1 answer
120 views

Cardinal numbers in dates when speaking

I understand that in speaking (if we are talking strictly about formal rules) it is more common to use ordinal numbers and not cardinal numbers. However, it has come to my attention that people these ...
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1 vote
0 answers
41 views

(Rather than) as a conjunction

It is said that, as a conjunction, the two constructions on each side of (rather than) must be parallel. So can this phrase join two sentences like this? (I know there are better ways of doing it) I ...
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1 vote
0 answers
59 views

"there were expected" vs "there were expected to be"

There aren't half as many guests as there were expected. There aren't half as many guests as there were expected to be. What's the difference if I add in the end of that sentence "to be"? ...
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1 vote
0 answers
81 views

Can the use of singular 'they' for a dog that was just called 'she' be considered correct in English?

There's a video on the internet of a dog under the covers and the owner lifts the covers as the large dog spills out and onto the floor like water. The person refers to the dog as "she". In ...
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1 vote
0 answers
57 views

Could "being" be omitted in "spend time (being) someone"?

I came across a sentence in Maugham's The Moon and Sixpence that I don't quite comprehend: They may spend their whole lives aliens among their kindred, and remain aloof among the only scenes they ...
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1 vote
0 answers
32 views

Why do we sometimes omit and sometimes retain the conjunctions "because/while/when etc" when reducing adverb clauses?

We can reduce this sentence "Because she has a test next week, she is studying very hard." (1-1) -> "Having a test next week, she is studying very hard." (1-2) "Before he ...
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1 vote
0 answers
30 views

Perfect infinitive- Expressing future

The perfect infinitive can refer to something that will be completed at a point in the future. Example: We hope to have finished the building works by the end of March. Can I replace the verb "...
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1 vote
0 answers
183 views

Why do Christians in American deep south say "whenever" when they mean "when"?

As a midwestern American (Iowa), I want to understand the history, reason, and mechanics of why southern Americans say "whenever" when the word "when" would suffice. For instance: ...
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1 vote
0 answers
57 views

Can we neglect subject in passive voice?

Hello I want to know that whether the following statement grammatically and semantically correct or not ceremony has been decided to be held tomorrow here it is in passive voice and we are not ...
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1 vote
0 answers
22 views

Dialogue usage uncertainty

Sorry for the vague title! I'm writing a short story and I'm wondering if the below sentence is correct. Should a new paragraph be started when she hears the shout, since it's technically dialogue? Or ...
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1 vote
0 answers
86 views

Is this the correct usage of commas in Alice in Wonderland?

Reading Alice in Wonderland, I noticed a strange use of commas: The only things in the kitchen that did not sneeze, were the cook, and a large cat which was sitting on the hearth and grinning from ...
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1 vote
0 answers
71 views

What does this "neither....nor" sentence really mean?

"There are neither serious doubts about Facebook’s dominant position on the German social network market nor the fact that Facebook is abusing this dominant position,” the court said. What does ...
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1 vote
0 answers
71 views

I would enjoy it, but I've already seen it

CONTEXT: John has asked Samantha out, and they are going to the movies. John tells Samantha the name of the movie they are about to watch. Samantha has already seen that movie, and she doesn't want to ...
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1 vote
0 answers
32 views

Why un-grammatical if no action verb precedes "in response to"?

What "verb" must precede in response to? Why in response to incorrect "without a verb"? I think authors made mistake, because "were" IS a verb? Just not ACTION verb? ...
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1 vote
0 answers
645 views

Training of vs Training for

training for all users across.. training of all users across.. Are these interchangeable and grammatically correct?
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1 vote
0 answers
178 views

Help me understand the structure of this sentence from Virginia Woolf To the Lighthouse

I have some knowledge of English syntax with tree diagrams. Now, I'm learning traditional sentence diagramming. Of course, I want to challenge myself, and I chose to understand a sentence from ...
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1 vote
1 answer
129 views

Can "life" be used in reference to more than one person?

Is it grammatically correct to use the word life in the singular when referring to more than one person? I found the following sentences in the Corpus of Contemporary American English. a. we can ...
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1 vote
0 answers
18 views

Singular vs plural when listing multiple items

Mutation of the human genome results in three classes of genomic variant: single nucleotide; short insertions or deletions; and large structural variants (SVs). Is this case, should genomic variant ...
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1 vote
1 answer
33 views

Generalization or definition of the word "from" when used in "I returned to the city from having travelled the world"

I contrived this sentence, but had a hard time explaining how to construct sentences of similar nature, the sentence being He returned to the city from having travelled the world Meaning, "[...
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1 vote
0 answers
36 views

Omitting the verb but changing the subject in enumeration

If I say: Alpha denotes the car's speed and Beta [denotes] the acceleration. Can I omit the second "denotes"? Is there any rule that justifies this? The omission sounds good to me in the ...
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1 vote
0 answers
24 views

Is this an explanatory/appositive phrase, and do I need to separate it with a comma?

In the following sentence (forgive the obscure acronyms): To begin with, we search within three pixels of the predicted position to lock onto the target, using the WCS header in each FITS file to ...
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1 vote
0 answers
21 views

Every single logo, advert, presentation and video IS or ARE?

I know that every single is followed by singular, but what if there are different units after "every single"?
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1 vote
0 answers
92 views

How should a numbered list be punctuated within dialogue?

In a story, a character reads aloud a numbered list. What should the punctuation be? I was thinking of treating it like a recitation of a poem or song - indented and italicized. There are 26 items in ...
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