Questions tagged [is-it-a-rule]

The tag has no usage guidance.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
15
votes
4answers
3k views

Why is “dark” an adverb in this sentence?

The sky is dark blue. Source: BBC English Catherine: The sky is dark blue. The sky is dark blue. Finn: So, is blue an adjective or adverb? Catherine: It’s an adjective. Blue is ...
0
votes
1answer
66 views

In what cases can we begin noun clauses with a preposition?

In what cases can we begin noun clauses with a preposition? Is there any rule? My examples (sorry if they are bad): 1. You need to choose with what you agree and with what not. 2. Don’t tell him ...
1
vote
1answer
59 views

When to use “And” at the start of sentence? [duplicate]

I know that and is used to join two sentences or phrases. There are some places I've read that have And is used at the beginning of a sentence. What are the occasions when this is done?
0
votes
2answers
39 views

What adjectives can be used as adverbs? [duplicate]

Are the following sentences acceptable to native speakers? I want it so bad. The children grew up happy and healthy. Jimmy works hard. He followed her quick. What adjectives can be used as adverbs? ...
2
votes
2answers
85 views

What are the real rules for choosing between the simple past and past perfect when both actions are in the past?

What are the real rules for choosing past perfect versus choosing past simple when you have two different past actions? I ask because the English sequence of tenses rules I was taught would have ...
3
votes
3answers
161 views

What type of if-conditional is: “A shop offered us a reduction if we paid in cash.”?

What type of if-conditional is this sentence? A shop offered us a reduction if we paid in cash. As far as I know, the only right conditional sentences are these four: Zero Conditional: A shop ...
0
votes
2answers
319 views

Use of two tenses in one sentence (“That's when I heard his voice…”)

In the book " Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe" the author writes the following sentence. "That's when I heard his voice, kind of squeaky(...)" Is it correct to say "that is" ...
2
votes
1answer
93 views

Is 'Robin Hood, reversed' a sentence?

In an extremely well written and justifiably incisive article on British austerity measures since the credit crunch of 2008, Peter Goodman of The New York Times writes the following : In these ...
0
votes
3answers
2k views

Which one is grammatically correct, with “have” or without “have”?

I have been admitted to the upcoming class and been planning to live in the dormitory. I have been admitted to the upcoming class and have been planning to live in the dormitory.
2
votes
1answer
223 views

When and by whom was the rule for using 'compare to' versus 'compare with' first recorded?

A longstanding question on English Language & Usage asks "Compared with" vs "Compared to"—which is used when? and has drawn several useful answers. But the question doesn’t ...
2
votes
2answers
8k views

Past tense: “happen to have” or “happened to have”?

Alice: "The earth is flat, and the sky is green."     Bob: "The earth is round, and the sky is blue." Alice: "Can you provide indisputable proof of these claims?"   &...
1
vote
2answers
100 views

Is “myself” okay in this sentence (grammar, style, etc.)?

I read some other questions about "me" vs. "myself". If I understood the answers right, "me" is correct or preferable in most cases. So my question is, is it okay to use "myself" in the following? ...
1
vote
2answers
487 views

Making adverbs from adjectives

Is it possible to make an adverb out of any adjective? I am aware that not all word forms appear in all dictionaries and while I can find all word forms in some dictionaries, as a non-native speaker ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

All Both of Them?

Recently, I was in a conversation with my friend about pool balls while playing a game. In the conversation he referred to knocking in his last two balls as, "I just hit all both of them in." When I ...
-1
votes
2answers
2k views

Can I use the same preposition twice after the verb?

Can I use the same preposition twice after the verb? For instance: the expectations provided for for the grade
0
votes
1answer
6k views

Can I begin a sentence with, “Unless, that is …”?

Given a rather long sentence that finishes with something like: ... and therefore, you need not submit that form. Is it allowable to start the next sentence with, "Unless, that is, you .....", or ...
-2
votes
1answer
498 views

Is it Correct To Start A Sentence With a Coordinate Conjunction [duplicate]

This seems to be argued back and forth by my Writing and Reading teachers. Here is the problem. For example I write this sentence: And I went to bed to get some sleep. Just a simple sentence with ...
1
vote
2answers
535 views

Isn’t this sentence a case of double negative?

Isn’t this sentence a case of double negative? No, failing at something doesn’t mean you can’t be happy. What are some other cases where double negatives may work or where they may not actually be ...
1
vote
5answers
3k views

Can “most of which” be used in the beginning of a sentence? [duplicate]

Just out of curiosity I would like to ask. By searching through the web I could not find an answer yet. Can "most of which" be used in the beginning of a sentence? Here is an example of a sentence ...
0
votes
1answer
367 views

(allegedly) ungrammatical preposition stranding [duplicate]

Certain types of preposition-stranding are considered by some linguists to be "ungrammatical" in English, even though they do not seem remotely strange to me (an English speaker). I'm not talking ...
1
vote
3answers
247 views

Why should a copula link two noun phrases of the same case?

https://english.stackexchange.com/a/30392/50720 motivated this question: To quote from the clear explanation: The rule for what [Fowler] and others consider technically right is ... that "...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

What comes first—verb or adverb? [duplicate]

Do you say, to effectively communicate or would you say to communicate effectively. As ENL learner I get this confused quite often. Thanks.
1
vote
2answers
2k views

Using adjectives after verbs?

In a lot of sentences when speaking people use adjectives after verbs. In some examples it sounds right, however, and I was wondering if such uses were valid in formal writing. The only example I ...
5
votes
3answers
10k views

“if you have any questions, please call myself” and other bizarre new reflexive pronoun usages

This is not a question about when to use reflexive pronouns. I am perfectly clear on that, and I understand that there are questions on the site already about when and when not to use them. This is ...
-1
votes
2answers
94 views

Word usage of “not to fly” vs “to not fly ” [duplicate]

I often read the phrase "not to" preceding an action, as in "not to run" or "not to swim". It seems awkward. Please explain explain the usage.
0
votes
3answers
3k views

Alternative to ending an sentence with “contribute to”

I have a bad habit of leaving ending sentences with prepositions. I'm inclined to write: Two communities I'm working to contribute to Is there a phrasing, and possibly a grammatical rule, that ...
1
vote
2answers
162 views

Is it OK to use 2 consecutive abbreviations? [closed]

The title is self-explanatory, but let's consider the following abbreviations: GI: gastro-intestinal DA : dopamine (the neurotransmitter) Is the following sentence correct? (Would you be insulted ...
-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 ...
-3
votes
1answer
2k views

Is there a non-transphobic alternative to “he or she”? [duplicate]

For instance, "A politician must be able to think quickly on the spot. He or she must also have no qualms about lying." I know some people who use "they", but as that both sounds and is ungrammatical,...
8
votes
3answers
6k views

“The more, the merrier!” — Is this a sentence? If not… what?

Is The more, the merrier! a sentence? It doesn't seem to have a main verb, so I'm inclined to say no, but it certainly functions as a sentence in everyday speech. I can think of three ways of ...
0
votes
1answer
466 views

Complex usage of “nor” and explanation

I'm positive this is an acceptable usage of "nor," but I can't find a rule that explains the usage. Please help! He was too tired to walk to the next open crossing. Nor to start an argument.
1
vote
0answers
29 views

“Which foods do you…” vs. “What foods do you…” [duplicate]

The word "which", by its definition, is "asking for information specifying one or more people or things from a definite set." So, naturally, "which foods do you..." is the correct way of phrasing this ...
0
votes
2answers
558 views

Present perfect and Past tense in a specific place

Have you seen/Did you see my shoes in here Do I have to say Did you see because it happened in a specific place?
2
votes
1answer
2k views

Can the Oxford Comma be used with a list of adjectives of the same type?

I was wondering if a list of classifying adjectives of the same type could use the Oxford Comma. For example: social, political, and economic problems is it a correct expression? I was checking a ...
9
votes
6answers
26k views

Beginning a sentence with a gerund?

My teacher recently marked on my paper not to use a gerund to start a sentence. I have been told by teachers in the past to use that format to vary sentence structure. It seems to make the paper flow ...
0
votes
1answer
654 views

“with” vs “to have”

I have a tendency to say things like: It was nice with cake. Usually it's in the form of: It was adjective with noun. whereas my wife is always correcting me to: It was nice to have cake. ...
-2
votes
2answers
871 views

And/Or and Except/Only

I have the following sentence: Who am I? Picture James Bond, except without the British Accent. Or the six-pack. My question is about two words: except versus only; also, or versus and. Seems ...
3
votes
5answers
4k views

Why is it “wherever” instead of “whereever”?

The popular question words how, when, what, why, which and some more all have their accompanying word ending in -ever, like however and whatever. It seems to me that the word wherever is somewhat ...
0
votes
1answer
670 views

Exceptions to Rules of Parallelism

Ok, it all starts with this thing we learned back in our elementary school that is called parallelism. What it basically says is that you can’t compare a thing to a person and vice versa. But here ...
1
vote
1answer
354 views

Obligatory punctuation for independent clauses as parts of a noun phrase?

Consider the following sentence: I remember the time I pushed John and he fell over. Is that sentence correctly punctuated as written? I ask because it has no commas. As I understand it, the ...
12
votes
1answer
9k views

When did “ain't” become slang?

In Anthony Trollope's The Way We Live Now, there are several places where "ain't" is used instead of "am not", such as: "I ain't afraid of him, if you mean that," continued Lord Nidderdale. — ...
1
vote
1answer
778 views

Is there any difference between “like” and “as”?

Why is it not right to say: He speaks like his father does. But it’s quite correct to say: He speaks like his father. He speaks as his father does.
2
votes
1answer
837 views

Correct usage of *which* and *that* [duplicate]

I keep seeing written usage of which in cases where the writer clearly intends it to be restrictive. For example: "Is there a word which means whatever you want it to mean? Or has no meaning?" "It ...
29
votes
6answers
11k views

What great writers have used coordinating conjunctions at the start of sentences?

I had a discussion today with a friend over the validity of using (coordinating, correlative) conjunctions like but or and at the start of sentences. His position was that it breaks a rule of grammar....
3
votes
1answer
3k views

Stative verbs in the continuous form?

As a nonnative speaker of English I was always taught in school that there are verbs that cannot be used in the continuous form, i.e. the stative verbs. However, I've seen some stative verbs used in ...
4
votes
3answers
29k views

When is it acceptable to start a sentence with an “-ing” word?

Here's my example. It is a sentence that begins in the middle of a paragraph and I'm using it as a transition. "Living in Costa Rica also gave me the opportunity to interact with the local ...
28
votes
3answers
51k views

Is more than one “nor” after a “neither” correct?

Is it correct to use more than one nor clause in a neither expression? For instance: Neither the question, nor the answers, nor the comments Even if it is, is it so rarely used that it would be ...
50
votes
7answers
79k views

“between” vs. “among”

Today I was cut off in the middle of the following sentence: Between Cook, Strauss, and Pietersen— My friend said I was wrong. He said that for more than two entities, among/amongst are used, and ...
41
votes
7answers
90k views

Is using passive voice “bad form”?

Whenever I create a document in Microsoft Word, it complains about a lot of my sentences being in passive voice. But, when I read that sentence aloud, it sounds fine to me. I am not sure if it is just ...
7
votes
5answers
610 views

Does any English dialect use any non-English foreign letters in their alphabet?

Which English dialects use non-English foreign letters in their alphabets? Does any English dialect currently include any foreign letters as part of their alphabet? Are any English dialects currently ...