Questions tagged [is-it-a-rule]

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Possessive 'it' : Pronoun vs Adjective [duplicate]

I was working on some grammar schoolwork, some pronoun revisions and it states that the pronoun 'it' has no possessive, it has an adjective possessive, but not as a possessive pronoun. I'm confused. ...
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-2 votes
1 answer
85 views

What are "double negatives" in English, and are they ever correct?

This is a followup to a comment exchange and particularly this comment over on ELL. One user contends that a double negative is always wrong in standard English. This user also maintains that: First, ...
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1 answer
62 views

Could you please help and explain to me how to correct the seemingly incorrect passive voice sentence pattern?

Could you please help and explain to me how to correct the seemingly incorrect passive voice sentence pattern? I would prefer it if we could be sat next to a window.
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1 answer
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Use of "put something in" vs "in which to put something" [duplicate]

What is the rule or the error involving, for example; I need a box to put my groceries in. vs I need a box in which to put my groceries.
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5 votes
1 answer
107 views

What or who is the source of the proscription on contractions in formal writing?

I couldn't find this exact question, though obviously there are many related questions around using contractions. I write academic work in a field where contractions are accepted but rare, and no ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Mixing noun and verb in conjunction

Having a watch is essential for looking good and timeliness. Disregarding the content of the above sentence, is it grammatically correct? To me it feels improper that "looking good" uses a ...
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1 vote
2 answers
165 views

How is this comma usage explained with Thomas Pynchon?

I read Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon last year, and there was some comma usage I’ve been curious about ever since. For instance, I’ve just opened up a couple pages of it and saw that he has this ...
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0 votes
2 answers
91 views

Verb tense consistency in a sentence [closed]

I learned that we do not shift tenses between sentences unless there is a time change that must be shown. I have two examples below that I'm not sure whether they're grammatically correct or not. I ...
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2 answers
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When is it acceptable to combine expressions of probability with expressions of expectation/planning?

While working on expressions of probability with some ESL students, the question came up of whether it'd be ok to say something such as: Hopefully, they will probably help us out in the future. My ...
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3 votes
1 answer
62 views

Why can’t we use the present continuous for the future with “be” itself by saying “I’m being there tomorrow”’?

The rule we were taught says that present continuous can be used for the future when the action implies “planning and arrangement”. And yet if I planned to be somewhere tomorrow, I still couldn’t say: ...
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0 votes
1 answer
231 views

First Conditional sentence with would

Grammatically, when we construct a first conditional sentence, the if-clause is followed by a result clause with a "will" in it. However, in many formal texts written by native English ...
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1 answer
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Why doesn’t the verb “read” have a corresponding noun form suffixed with “‑tion/‑ion/‑sion”?

Why there isn’t a ‑tion/‑ion/‑sion derived form for the verb read verb, such as for example the non-existent ✼readation or ✼readition? Example with an ‑tion form: exsanguination disobstruction ...
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0 votes
1 answer
455 views

Can you ask questions ending with "are you/do you/did you etc."?

Tired, are you? Cold outside, is it? Seen him around, have you? See her, did you? These sentences might not be grammatical, but I'd like to know if they would be frowned upon.
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2 votes
4 answers
642 views

Can there be a single word clause?

It's said that a sentence must always contain a subject and a verb but I have read somewhere that the word "No" itself is a complete sentence. How? Also a sentence always has at least one clause and ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Can possessives in the middle of a word exist?

According to one online dictionary, the apostrophe-s combination is an ending used in writing to represent the possessive morpheme after most singular nouns, some plural nouns, especially those not ...
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18 votes
4 answers
8k views

Why is "dark" an adverb in "dark blue"?

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 describing the noun ...
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0 votes
1 answer
266 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 ...
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1 answer
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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?
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2 answers
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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? ...
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3 votes
2 answers
230 views

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

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 ...
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3 votes
3 answers
280 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 offer ...
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1 vote
2 answers
4k 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" ...
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2 votes
1 answer
112 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 ...
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2 votes
3 answers
4k 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.
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2 votes
1 answer
378 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 ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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Past tense: "happen to have" or "happened to have"?

Which is the proper (i.e. grammatically correct) response?   Alice: "The earth is flat, and the sky is green."     Bob: "The earth is round, and the sky is blue." Alice: "...
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1 vote
2 answers
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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? ...
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1 vote
2 answers
649 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 ...
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2 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
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2 answers
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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
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0 votes
1 answer
8k 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 ...
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-2 votes
1 answer
567 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 ...
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0 votes
2 answers
856 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 ...
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5 answers
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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 ...
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0 votes
1 answer
417 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 ...
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1 vote
3 answers
631 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 "...
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1 vote
1 answer
2k 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.
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0 votes
2 answers
5k 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 ...
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5 votes
3 answers
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"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 a ...
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-1 votes
2 answers
98 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.
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0 votes
3 answers
4k 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 ...
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1 vote
2 answers
250 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 ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
102 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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0 votes
1 answer
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,...
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8 votes
3 answers
8k 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 ...
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0 votes
1 answer
576 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.
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1 vote
0 answers
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 ...
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0 votes
2 answers
704 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?
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2 votes
1 answer
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 ...
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9 votes
6 answers
38k 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 ...
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