Questions tagged [sentence]

A sentence is a set of words that is complete in itself, typically containing a subject and predicate.

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269
votes
16answers
51k views

How many spaces should come after a period/full stop?

In the past — or at least, when I was in elementary school — periods/full stops were followed by two spaces. Lately, it's become more and more common to see just one space. In the modern ...
123
votes
19answers
26k views

Is “women men girls love meet die” a valid sentence?

Is "women men girls love meet die" a valid sentence? If so, what does it mean? The sentence shows up in academic papers about the "Sausage Machine" for natural language processing. ...
79
votes
3answers
41k views

Donald Trump's run-on sentences

In every Trump speech, almost every sentence is a run-on sentence. Here is a quote from one of his speeches last year Look, having nuclear—my uncle was a great professor and scientist and engineer, ...
52
votes
10answers
25k views

Grammatically correct sentence where “you're” and “your” can be interchanged? [closed]

Most grammar checkers are capable of detecting the the misuse of "your" and "you're"; providing the necessary correction. I'm curious though, is there any sentence that can be constructed where ...
39
votes
3answers
21k views

How do you capitalize a proper noun such as “iPhone”?

I was always taught to capitalize the first letter of the first word in a sentence, and also the first letter of proper nouns. In the last few years it's been common for certain firms to name their ...
34
votes
4answers
4k views

Complete the job, as directed. There is a comma. why?

The following sentences both say that you have been directed to do a job: Complete the job, as directed. vs Complete the job as directed. But which of the two sentences above will assert ...
31
votes
11answers
13k views

Can a sentence start with “Because”?

In my grade school days, I recall a teacher proclaiming to the class: You should never start a sentence with the word "Because". Of course, I've since seen lots of examples to the contrary, and ...
30
votes
12answers
47k views

“Nothing to tell” versus “nothing to say”

There's nothing to tell. There's nothing to say. Can anyone explain the difference between those two statements and give some examples on how they should be used? I think I do have a basic ...
29
votes
3answers
77k views

“Outside” or “outside of”?

The word rarely turns up outside that context. and The word rarely turns up outside of that context. Which one is correct and why?
28
votes
2answers
239k views

When to use “rather than” versus “instead of”?

I never really gave a deep thought at this but recently a teacher of talked about language and there was an implicit question in it. something like there is a difference between "rather than" and "...
25
votes
17answers
171k views

Shortest comprehensive sentence in English [closed]

What is the shortest comprehensive sentence in English?
24
votes
5answers
10k views

Is it really incorrect to start a sentence with “and”?

I know it's wrong, but I do it all the time or else my sentences would go on forever.
21
votes
3answers
6k views

How should I end sentences with a URL as the last word?

For example, The website I was referring to is hosted at http://english.stackexchange.com. How should I place the fullstop at the end?
21
votes
7answers
3k views

Is there any valid rule discouraging the use of a certain word to start a sentence?

Is there any rule you think is valid that discourages the use of a certain word to start a sentence? Because I suspect the answer is no. But it would be good to have a blanket answer to this kind of ...
19
votes
6answers
24k views

Is there an online sample sentence database or search engine?

Sometime, I am not sure if I use a specific word correctly. I would like to get some sample sentences to learn from. So, is there a online sample sentence database/search engine?
18
votes
6answers
34k views

Russian speakers and “I feel myself to be …”

I was told that it is a typical mistake for Russian speakers to say I feel myself badly instead of I feel ill. I wonder to what extent such constructs sound wrong to native speakers? I feel myself ...
16
votes
5answers
37k views

What is the appropriate phrase to say if two people are on the same track?

I am sharing my understanding regarding a particular matter with a colleague just to make sure that both of we have same understanding. This is just to avoid any conflict or confusion among us. ...
16
votes
4answers
109k views

Comma in compound/complex sentences

Is there a rule, which states that one must or must not use comma before "then" in a sentence like this: If you can read this, then you might want to answer this question.
16
votes
3answers
18k views

Starting an independent statement with “I mean, …”

A friend was noting that his daughter would occasionally start sentences with the phrase "I mean, " simply for emphasis, not for clarification: Friend: How was the Miley Cyrus concert? ...
15
votes
3answers
48k views

What does “find someone well” mean?

I got some email from a stranger that contains: I hope this email finds you well. So what does "find you well" means here? Does it mean "Are you well" or "The email find the right guy"? I'm a ...
14
votes
2answers
28k views

Can you grammatically end a sentence with “with”?

Do you want to come with? Can I come with? I seem to hear this construction more often in recent years, but it still grates on my ear. I know it's often said that one shouldn't end a sentence with a ...
14
votes
1answer
12k views

How to deal with abbreviations at the end of a question?

In a sentence like Should we host them on imgur et cetera? where I want to abbreviate the "et cetera", what is the correct punctuation? Using a period after the "etc." like mid sentence usages ...
13
votes
5answers
165k views

Can you use two “and”s in a sentence?

For example, I like chocolate, vanilla, and lemon and orange ice cream. Indicating "lemon and orange" is a combined flavor, as an item in the list needing an initial and.
13
votes
3answers
1k views

Can a sentence have two or more successive separate sentences in its womb?

This website, upon crossing the milestone of 250 reviews, has sent me a message (in the field entitled "Achievements", being one of three fields that are there on the left side of the black band ...
12
votes
6answers
67k views

What's wrong with “We hope you will find our Qualifications to be well-organized, concise, and most of all, to exceed your expectations.”

Why is the following sentence grammatically incorrect? We hope you will find our Qualifications to be well-organized, concise, and most of all, to exceed your expectations. I've asked three ...
12
votes
6answers
2k views

What does “Has it come to this?” in “Republican leaders quickly voiced horror at these tactics. ‘Has it come to this?’ said John Boehner” mean?

There was the following sentence in July 19 New York Time’s editorial titled “Democrats Gain the Upper Hand”: “Senator Patty Murray, a member of the Democratic leadership, said Monday that her party ...
12
votes
4answers
6k views

Why must you capitalize the first word of a sentence? [closed]

My suspicion is it provides more visual indication that a new sentence is starting, but it bothers me because I think a period / exclamation / question mark seems sufficient to me. Plus, if a proper ...
12
votes
4answers
24k views

Can I start a sentence with “i.e.”?

While writing a rhetorical question I ran into a case where it seemed natural to start a sentence with "I.e": How do we handle the case when the list is empty? I.e., if the filter matched no ...
12
votes
3answers
7k views

The sentence with the most prepositions at its end — does it really work?

What did you bring that book that I don't want to be read to from out of about 'Down Under' up for? I was wondering whether this sentence is actually correct and if it is, whether someone could ...
12
votes
2answers
26k views

Initial capitalization of foreign surnames when starting a sentence

In the book, "The Crystal Shard," by R.A. Salvatore, a character is surnamed "de Bernezan." Which of the following complete sentences uses the correct English-language capitalization: de Bernezan ...
11
votes
6answers
37k views

“Since” vs “ever since”

Example: Tufy was our Chihuahua. He'd been in the family (ever) since I was born. Would adding ever change the meaning of the sentence?
11
votes
4answers
147k views

Usage of “in contrast”

I want to explain something in the first sentence and then say some opposite thing in the second sentence. I thought, I could use the phrase in contrast to make the flow of a paragraph. For example: ...
11
votes
2answers
5k views

What does the phrase, “there is properly no history, only biography” mean?

I found Ralph Waldo Emerson's famous words, “there is properly no history, only biography,” in his “Essay I” being quoted in the article titled “Keeping the dream alive: A biography,” appearing in ...
10
votes
4answers
124k views

Can I start a sentence with “Whereas”?

The sentence is supposed to be contradicting a previous situation explained thoroughly in the precedent paragraph. The contradiction is on the same subject (in the past/now). Can the sentence be ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

Why am I always compelled to begin a response with “Well, ”?

Because of a certain 140 character limit I've learned where I can trim characters on responses but even after all this time I still reply with "Well, so and so . . ." and I go back and have to delete ...
10
votes
3answers
176k views

Comma before “including”?

Does this sentence require a comma before including? He has written on a range of moral issues including poverty, globalization, and euthanasia.
10
votes
3answers
579 views

Do listeners understand different adjective orders?

I found What is the rule for adjective order?, but I keep wondering if listeners actually understand what I mean when I don't follow that order. For example, if I say, "a lovely long white coat," I ...
10
votes
3answers
15k views

“If it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be…” What does this mean?

I'm translating a book, which involves logic and quoted the sentence from Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass: "If it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain'...
9
votes
7answers
18k views

“Viewer discretion is advised”

This program contains material that may be disturbing to some viewers. Viewer discretion is advised. Is that 100% correct English? This is the text shown before some TV programs. When I first saw ...
9
votes
2answers
5k views

Is it okay to start a sentence with a Greek letter (variable)?

Is it okay to start a sentence with a variable? Do I need to rewrite a sentence just because the subject is typeset as a Greek letter? For example: Φ is treated in a special way. vs. The ...
9
votes
2answers
556 views

Help me parse this sentence so I can understand what joke my ancestors played on the King

I'm reading an old history book about my ancestors entitled "Rulewater And Its People: An Account Of The Valley Of The Rule And Its Inhabitants" published in 1907 by George Tancred. In it, I'm having ...
9
votes
5answers
169k views

'balls have dropped' what does it mean?

I am seeing an episode of a British sitcom, The Thin Blue Line, where an officer makes a remark Just once in a while, I'd like to nick someone whose balls have dropped! What does this sentence ...
9
votes
3answers
22k views

Should I use “him” or “her”?

Which is correct, and why?: If my daughter was born a boy, I would have named her Harry. Or If my daughter was born a boy, I would have named him Harry. I'm sure my reasoning for both is self ...
8
votes
8answers
5k views

“…and all would have to be accounted for.” Improper sentence ending at 'for'. Please suggest alternative [duplicate]

I have this statement that I do not want to end at 'for' (I read somewhere that it is improper to end at 'for'). The problem is hard as there are many sources of failures, and all would have to ...
8
votes
5answers
4k views

Meaning of “She was a girl who for a ringing phone dropped exactly nothing” [closed]

Can you tell me what the following means? She was a girl who for a ringing phone dropped exactly nothing.
8
votes
5answers
764 views

What does “I believe in making America safe for old-fashioned light bulbs and not those weird curly ones,” mean?

I saw the line, “That’s all I believe in. That and making America safe for old-fashioned light bulbs and not those weird curly ones,” in the speech of Michele Bachmann quoted in Maureen Dowd column in ...
8
votes
1answer
81k views

Is it bad to start a sentence with “as”?

My boss doesn't like it when I start sentences with "as", and I'm not sure if it's actually a problem. A case where I would start with "as" would be: As your new account manager, it is my ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Ambiguity of “I don't know what you know.”

This sentence is interesting to me: I don't know what you know. It seems ambiguous. It has two possible meanings. It is so ambiguous that I'm actually struggling a bit to explain the differences ...
8
votes
1answer
428 views

Is it correct to use “rescued to a place”?

I want to write a sentence in which someone is rescued and then taken to a safe place. Can I write it in following way: ? The man was rescued to a safe place.
8
votes
1answer
69k views

“As for me” in the beginning of the sentence

Could I use "As for me" in the beginning of the sentence? For example, when somebody asks the whole group of people what was done, and one in that group answers what he did: "As for me, I did that ...

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