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Questions tagged [verbs]

This tag is for questions about verbs. Verbs are words that express an action, occurrence, or a state of being. Add this tag to single-word-requests if you are looking for a verb. Add the tag word-usage if you are asking about the usage of the verb.

162
votes
7answers
54k views

How do the tens­es and as­pects in English cor­re­spond tem­po­ral­ly to one an­oth­er?

Non-na­tive speak­ers of­ten get con­fused about what the var­i­ous tens­es and as­pects mean in English. With in­put from some of the folk here I've put to­geth­er a di­a­gram that I hope will pro­...
158
votes
11answers
156k views

“Unregister” vs “Deregister”

The concept of "undoing a registration" is widely used in my line of work. While most dictionaries define unregister as the proper verb for it, several widely used and highly considered sources also ...
141
votes
5answers
261k views

“log in to” or “log into” or “login to”

When writing an instruction about connecting to a computer using ssh, telnet, etc., I'm not sure what spacing to use in this familiar spoken phrase: "Log in to host.com" "Log into host.com" "Login to ...
109
votes
4answers
167k views

“Unselect” or “Deselect”?

If I want the user to revert their operation of selecting an item, should I say: "Unselect the option" or "Deselect the option"?
107
votes
11answers
101k views

How many tenses are there in English?

Do we have 16 tenses in English? With future present past future in the past in these forms simple continuous perfect perfect continuous Can we manipulate these together to create English tenses? ...
81
votes
10answers
357k views

What is the correct way to use infinitive after the verb “help”: with or without “to”?

What is the correct way to use infinitive after the verb "help": with or without "to"? For example: Please, help me to understand this. or: Please, help me understand this.
72
votes
3answers
59k views

Difference between “delete” and “remove” [closed]

I am writing a mobile application that will, as a part of its functionality, display a list of recorded thoughts. Now I am deciding the textual content of the menus and that left me thinking whether ...
66
votes
14answers
13k views

How to avoid ambiguity in “I am renting an apartment in New York”?

Does the sentence: I am renting an apartment in New York. imply that I am the landlord or the tenant? How can I unequivocally communicate that I am the tenant (or the landlord)?
64
votes
5answers
7k views

Help, the “onus” is on me! What do you call whatever it is I'm supposed to do with it?

We all know the phrase: "The onus of proof is on you" or "The onus is on you to do some thing or the other." Ok, so the onus was put on me and I have done that thing or the other. Now, with respect ...
63
votes
18answers
7k views

Central Pennsylvanian English speakers: what are the limitations on the “needs washed” construction?

In the Central Pennsylvania dialect of English (and possibly elsewhere), the following construction is possible: This car needs washed. (=needs to be washed) The room needs cleaned. (=needs to ...
60
votes
3answers
416k views

“Let's” vs. “lets”: which is correct?

Say I'm promoting a product. Which is correct? [Product] let's you [do something awesome]. [Product] lets you [do something awesome]. Or neither?
59
votes
8answers
375k views

“The Dude abides” — what does “abide” mean in that context?

I'm unfamilar with the word "abide" which is famously used the the movie quote "The Dude abides" (The Big Lebowski). Looking it up in a German/English dictionary makes me believe it's "The Dude lives ...
57
votes
4answers
14k views

If I farm, I'm a farmer. But if I guard, I'm a guard?

One who farms is called a farmer. One who waits is called a waiter. One who dives is called a diver. One who programs is called a programmer. But one who guards is called a guard. How did it come ...
57
votes
11answers
10k views

You “show” someone a picture. You “---” someone a song?

In Maltese, we have a verb meaning "to show" corresponding to "to see/to look", and we have a different verb corresponding to "to hear/to listen": inti tara stampa (you look at a picture.) ---- ...
56
votes
14answers
18k views

“To camouflage” is to sight as “to ____” is to sound

I am looking for a word that describes disguising or hiding sound with other sound. Much in the same way that camouflage acts in hiding visual objects. I ______ our conversation with loud music to ...
54
votes
8answers
9k views

“To science the sh*t out of something”

In The Martian movie, Matt Damon (Watney), when left stranded on Mars with very limited resources to survive, says: Mark Watney: In the face of overwhelming odds, I'm left with only one option, I'm ...
53
votes
10answers
52k views

“Eat” is to “feed” as “drink” is to what?

I can say "I feed someone". Am I forced to say "I give someone a drink", or is there a single word for this (as in "I [verb] someone")? Unfortunately my thesaurus can't really help me.
53
votes
7answers
350k views

What is the difference between 'make decision' and 'take decision'?

What is the difference between make decision and take decision? When to use the one and when the other?
52
votes
2answers
585k views

“Have a look” vs. “Take a look”

What is the difference between Have a look and Take a look (meaning/connotations)? For example: Have a look at the question. Take a look at the question. For some reason I only found first ...
52
votes
10answers
9k views

Is “rather” shifting to become a verb?

In colloquial English, I constantly run across sentences of the form: I rather my [noun] [verb] A quick Google search returns tons of examples: I rather my opponents don't find out. I ...
50
votes
16answers
35k views

Antonym of “recommend”

What's the antonym of recommend? For example: I recommend that item! I tried to use unrecommend, but the spell-checker throws an error and it sounds stupid as well!
50
votes
9answers
131k views

Is “errored” correct usage?

If "errored" is not a valid word, then how should I say: The program errored at line 44 I guess I could say: The program threw an error at line 44 But why is "errored" wrong? Is there a better ...
50
votes
8answers
36k views

Is it appropriate to use short form of “have” ('ve) when it means possession?

I feel uncomfortable saying sentences like the following: "I've a car" instead of "I have a car" "They've a great time" instead of "They have a great time" "He's a pen" instead of "He has a pen" etc ...
49
votes
2answers
22k views

When is “L” doubled?

Some verbs can have double Ls in the gerund form; for example: modeling; modelling traveling; travelling Which form should we use, or which form is used more in the literature?
48
votes
7answers
128k views

Can 'revert' be used as a synonym of 'reply'?

I am a native speaker of American English, and I have only ever heard this usage of the word revert from one person. This person is not a native English speaker (he is from India), so he may just be ...
47
votes
5answers
403k views

Difference between “I have got” and “I have gotten”

I see these two expressions are used almost identically in different contexts. Is there a difference between I have got and I have gotten?
47
votes
3answers
646k views

“Agree on” vs. “agree with” vs. “agree to”

What are the differences between "agree on", "agree with" and "agree to"?
45
votes
3answers
292k views

“Inputted” or “input”

I have used the word inputted in an assignment and am being forced to change it to input. However, both the Oxford English Dictionary (I am in New Zealand so this is most relevant) and MS Word list ...
44
votes
8answers
14k views

Can I “wear an umbrella”?

Does it make sense to say the following? Yesterday I wore an umbrella and a coat.
42
votes
13answers
15k views

Word to describe to sit in quiet anger

I need a word to describe someone who has been told something they don't like, but they have to accept it. EX: "We need to travel all the way to Montreal to pick up my sister," Mom says. ...
42
votes
4answers
77k views

“Cancelled” or “Canceled”?

Cancelled or Canceled ? Which one is right? You have successfully canceled the registration or You have successfully cancelled the registration
42
votes
8answers
37k views

Is there an antonym for “capitalize” (as in letter-case)?

A word that starts with a lower-case (lowercase?) letter can be capitalized, but what is the converse action? Google has only one page in the top results that addresses this and the closest thing to ...
42
votes
6answers
244k views

Which is correct: “troubleshooted” or “troubleshot”?

Troubleshooted is not a word, but troubleshot is. Is this really the correct word to use? I always feel like saying: I troubleshooted it. vs I troubleshot it For some reason, it just doesn't ...
40
votes
9answers
7k views

“I sightsaw London.” Is this correct?

Is the following phrase correct? I sightsaw London/the museum.
40
votes
8answers
17k views

Using “utilize” instead of “use”?

My friend has been raising a ruckus about the abuse of the word "utilize" in place of the word "use." He complains that it just makes your sentences sound pretentious. u·ti·lize [yoot-l-ahyz] verb (...
40
votes
9answers
15k views

Word meaning both create and update?

I'd like to know if someone has a better word than authored or produced, for both creating and updating something. Context: I'm a software developer and I'm trying to think of a clever way to name ...
40
votes
5answers
47k views

What's the difference between 'allow' and 'allow for'?

To be precise, I know that allow means to permit, and allow for is more like to make something possible, to enable, to make a provision for, but I'm still in doubt when I have to decide whether to use ...
38
votes
23answers
10k views

What is the verb for criticizing someone (especially juniors) in an annoying way?

I am looking for a verb (or a phrase) to describe a situation that someone criticizes you in an annoying and constant way. For example, an elder in your family (mostly in conservative environments) ...
38
votes
6answers
56k views

I <verb> and am <rest of sentence>

I sometimes find myself writing something like this: XXX is a project I admire and am very interested in. The "I <verb> and am <something>" feels strange here. It somehow sounds more ...
38
votes
6answers
864k views

“Paid” vs “payed”

I think I have always used these two words interchangeably without noticing until my professor was saying how some students misspelled the word and he was amazed. Can someone tell me when I should ...
37
votes
2answers
413k views

“provide” vs. “provide with”

I am wondering if the following sentence is correct: We add the information their study provides with to our article. The context is: their study provides with some information. And we add the ...
37
votes
5answers
66k views

Why is the spelling of “pronounce” and “pronunciation” different?

Why is the spelling of pronounce and pronunciation different? If one originally did not know the spelling of pronunciation, one would when hearing it verbally deduce its spelling to be pronounciation, ...
36
votes
6answers
18k views

Is it acceptable to use “is become” instead of “has become”?

In the King James version of the Bible there is a verse like this: The Lord is my strength, and my fortress, and my song. And He is become my salvation. Is it still feasible to use "is become" ...
35
votes
22answers
27k views

Is there a word that means “to walk slowly”? [closed]

The only word that comes to my mind is tiptoe. However, this word implies that you are walking stealthily or cautiously. Is there a word that just means to walk slowly? Example sentence: Without ...
35
votes
6answers
196k views

Word meaning “to make more efficient”?

I think this question came up in a conversation with a friend...we were discussing how serving lunch could be made more efficient. They could _____ the lunch line by doing this or that. The only ...
35
votes
4answers
18k views

What is the difference between “lay” and “lie”?

How do I know when to use lay and when to use lie, and what are the different forms of each verb? I'm always getting them confused.
35
votes
2answers
2k views

unknown usage of verb “pit”

I've checked major online dictionaries to get this clarified but have had no luck so far. What does to "pit a car" mean? Example sentence: Pitting a car in a residential area is really dangerous. ...
35
votes
7answers
100k views

“Focussed” or “focused”? Rules for doubling the last consonant when adding -ed

Initially, my question was: is "focussed" or "focused" the correct past tense of "focus", but since this applies to a lot of words, I would like to generalize and ask: is there supposed to be a rule ...
34
votes
18answers
17k views

What's the verb to describe a good guy becoming a bad guy?

I am looking for a verb to describe the action of a good guy becoming a bad guy. There is a word for it in my mother language, but I am not sure if there is a word for it in English. The verb, which ...
34
votes
13answers
14k views

What is the “fundamental” difference between ‘search’ and ‘seek’?

So why do human beings spend so much time playing? One reason is that we have time for leisure; animals have very little time to play as most of their life is spent sleeping and (2)________ food. ...