All Questions

16
votes
4answers
10k views

Answering “Have you got” questions with “I do”

For the question "Have you got any ice cream?" which is correct: Yes I do Yes I have or inversely No I don't No I haven't got any
6
votes
6answers
31k views

“Important” and “significant”

"Important" and "significant" seems to be very close in meaning when denoting that something matters much. But am I right in thinking that "important" is less formal word than "significant"? And ...
30
votes
13answers
7k views

How can I reliably and accurately identify the passive voice in writing or speech?

How can I reliably and accurately identify the passive voice in writing or speech? I'm not interested in advice about whether or not to use it yet... I just want to know for sure what it is, so that I ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

Why “mind” means “pay attention to”

Why the word "mind" can be used as a verb, synonym of "pay attention to"? It has the same etymology of the "mind" (centre of thought, feelings, brain) noun? When it is better to use "mind" in place of ...
34
votes
3answers
10k views

Regulatory bodies and authoritative dictionaries for English

Some languages have a "regulatory body" issuing recommendations and guidelines regarding the use of that language. For example in the case of Spanish it's the Real Academia Española whose status is ...
66
votes
1answer
86k views

Do you capitalize both parts of a hyphenated word in a title?

Do you capitalize both parts of a hyphenated word in a title? "My Ex-Wife Hates Me" or "My Ex-wife Hates Me"
39
votes
13answers
21k views

Difference between “try to do” and “try and do”

What is the difference between try to do and try and do? To me (non-native speaker), asking someone try and do this seems a bit rude. It's like saying you can try all you want but this must be done: ...
8
votes
10answers
4k views

Pronunciation of “especially”

In some podcasts (it seems the speaker was from California) I heard that the word "especially" was pronounced with "ks" sound like "ikspeshally". What was it likely to be, personal way of ...
5
votes
6answers
17k views

What is the difference between “’ll” and “will”?

Is there any difference in the meaning when we use 'll or will? For example, I will go to university tomorrow. I'll go to university tomorrow.
20
votes
7answers
2k views

Where can I find a reasonably well recognized free style guide that is online?

I don't like prefixing all my answers and pontifications about English usage with IMHO. Where can I find a reasonably well recognized style guide that is online that I can refer people to? My first ...
7
votes
5answers
465 views

If the result of creating is creation

then what is the result of getting?
61
votes
3answers
151k views

When I should use “assure” vs. “ensure” vs. “insure”?

When is it appropriate to use assure vs. ensure vs. insure?
16
votes
3answers
83k views

Should you use “who” or “that” when talking about multiple people doing something?

Which of the following is correct? There were 10 people that went to the store. There were 10 people who went to the store. Edit: Which of the following is correct? There were 10 ...
37
votes
5answers
121k views

What is the best format to use when writing out dates?

What format of date is appropriate for different contexts (business, personal) in written English, nowadays? 1st of April, 2010 April the 1st, 2010 April 1, 2010 April 01, 2010 another one
19
votes
3answers
5k views

Why is Q used in some words instead of K or C

For instance in words Iraq and Qashqai? Are there any historical reasons for that?
138
votes
16answers
362k views

Should I put a comma before the last item in a list?

Should I put a comma before the last item in a list? I would like crackers, cheese and some soda. I would like crackers, cheese, and some soda.
37
votes
7answers
16k views

How bad is the f-word, really?

I am confused: on the one hand, many of my native-speaker friends keep telling me that the f-word is very, very bad. Much worse than the s-word for example. On the other hand, I see it being used ...
32
votes
5answers
20k views

“Specially” vs “especially”

When should each of them be used?
11
votes
2answers
14k views

“Also” and “as well” for conversational context

"Also" and "as well" seem to be quite similar in meaning, but I'd like to know shades in its meaning and usage, especially for everyday conversational language. What one will sound more natural and ...
8
votes
5answers
2k views

What is the etymology of “replenish”?

Where does the word "replenish" come from, and what does it mean? I know it is used as a form of "refill", but is that how it was originally?
48
votes
7answers
50k views

What are the differences between “assume”, “presume” and “suppose”

I believe that "assume", "presume", "suppose" are similar in meaning of to take some facts as a truth without proof. But it seems to me that "presume" is more formal, "assume" is less formal and "...
4
votes
2answers
4k views

Introductory phrases like “to tell the truth”

What is the difference between the following introductory phrases? To tell the truth Frankly speaking To be honest Are any of the phrases more old-fashioned or formal than the others or ...
29
votes
2answers
162k views

In what cases should I use a comma after “please”?

As far as I can see from different texts, there seems to be no strict rule about putting comma after "Please" when it is used as an introduction to a request. Am I right? In what cases using comma ...
46
votes
4answers
187k views

What are the rules for splitting words at the end of a line?

What are the rules in English language to split words at the end of a line? Where exactly must the hyphen split the word?
20
votes
6answers
8k views

How does one know when to use a gerund or an infinitive?

As a native speaker of English, the gerund version of this sentence sounds better: infinitive: When used together in chains, extension methods are an unprecedented tool to produce extremely ...
55
votes
4answers
326k views

When should the word “English” be capitalized?

I am often confused how the word "English" should be written in phrases such as "English language", because I have seen both variants: capitalized and starting with lowercase letter. What is the most ...
9
votes
3answers
19k views

Why are words ending in “-um” and “-us” pluralized to end in “-a” and “-i”, respectively?

Where does the practice of using -a and -i for plural forms of -um and -us, respectively, come from? Bacteria vs. bacterium Fungi vs. fungus
10
votes
9answers
5k views

When is it acceptable to use Internet abbreviations such as “u” or “r”?

In my business communication over Internet text messengers, for example Google Talk or Skype, I see that many people often use shorten words like u instead of you, r instead of are and the like. How ...
13
votes
2answers
15k views

When is it OK to use OK?

I often use "OK" in business and personal emails and phone conversations. But I often feel uncertain if it is appropriate to use it in every type of context. Please tell how universally I can use ...
12
votes
8answers
2k views

“Football” and “Soccer”

I know that the game which is called football in Europe is called soccer in the U.S. But I wonder to what extent this differentiation is strict. What do people from England call their favorite game in ...
4
votes
2answers
34k views

“Each person's car” vs. “each persons' car” [closed]

Which of the following is correct? Each person's car has four wheels. Each persons' car has four wheels.
9
votes
2answers
4k views

All together vs. Altogether

Do all together and altogether mean the same and if not, what are the differences?
5
votes
3answers
476 views

Are there diagnostic tests to distinguish between proper and common nouns?

Are there some fill-in-the-blank type questions that, if one were to fill in the blank and it sounded right to a fluent speaker then it would have to be a proper noun (or it would have to be a common ...
48
votes
2answers
21k 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?
4
votes
2answers
7k views

“Certainly” and “Of course”: what is the difference?

Is there any difference in expressing consent and assurance using adverbs "certainly" or "of course"? What would be more appropriate one in everyday conversation?
90
votes
20answers
547k views

Which expressions can be used to close an email? [closed]

At the end of written communication like emails and letters, it is customary to use a closing valediction or "complementary close". Which formal and informal expressions can be used to end emails?
3
votes
1answer
704 views

Contemporary written usage of “whom” in objective case [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What's the rule for using “who” or “whom”? I was writing a LinkedIn recommendation one day, and ended up pondering for a while which of these forms ...
49
votes
4answers
44k views

When should a verb be followed by a gerund instead of an infinitive?

Some verbs are followed by ing, e.g. I enjoy swimming. We can't say I enjoy to swim. Likewise, some verbs are followed by to, e.g. I decided to make a plan. Which particular verbs are followed by ...
9
votes
6answers
66k views

Which is correct: “There are not any employees” or “There is not any employee”?

Sometimes I see two variants of following sentence: "there are not any employees" in the department "there is not any employee" in the department What is the correct sentence?
20
votes
2answers
4k views

“did shoot” vs “shot”

This morning I read this sentence (see story): On July 24th and again on July 29th, Egyptian police did shoot dead unarmed African migrants attempting to cross that border. Why "did shoot" ...
11
votes
2answers
29k views

What alternative would you suggest to “in/with regard(s?) to”?

I see in many of the "corporate emails" I receive the expression: "in regard to". Sometimes, it is also written "in regards to". First, to be sure: "in regards to" (with an extra 's') is incorrect, ...
64
votes
4answers
437k views

“Effect” vs. “Affect”

I've noticed that some people use effect and affect interchangeably. What are the differences between these two and when are the proper situations to use each of them?
62
votes
9answers
226k views

When do I use “I” instead of “me?”

From some comments in the answers for common English usage mistakes (now deleted, 10k only), there's confusion around the usage of I vs. me: While the sentence, "the other attendees are myself and ...
40
votes
2answers
29k views

What does the phrase “Begging the question” mean?

What does the phrase "begging the question" really mean? And does it even matter if I use it correctly? Almost everyone just uses it as a synonym for "posing the question" these days.
36
votes
11answers
77k views

What is the most professional name for “squiggly bracket”?

I am creating a software training video and need to refer to these brackets: { } I usually call them "squiggly brackets" or "curly brackets". Is there a more professional name?
9
votes
5answers
2k views

Recommendations for non-native English speaking bloggers [closed]

What if someone who is not a native English speaker wants to write for a blog in English, but is not sure about the correctness of his writings? How could one ensure that the article won't annoy ...
28
votes
7answers
340k views

Is it appropriate to use the salutation “Dear All” in a work email?

I have observed that in my work place, whenever a mail is sent to more that one person( like an information, meeting request or a notice etc.), the mail starts with the salutation "Dear All". This, ...
59
votes
3answers
9k views

“Toward” or “towards”?

Which one should should I use? For some reason I have always used "towards", but I see some people saying "toward", like here: A great deal of his work in economic theory has been directed toward ...
42
votes
3answers
17k views

Why does “orange” rhyme with (almost) nothing in English?

Joel Spolsky asked what rhymes with orange. The official answer is, "Nothing," although a creative poet can get close by using half words, just the -nge part or resorting to place names and foreign ...
18
votes
5answers
63k views

Which is correct: “standing on line” or “standing in line”?

I'm curious to hear from folks in the the Northeast United States (or anyone, really) an explanation of why "standing on line" seems preferable to "standing in line" in the US northeast. I imagine ...

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