All Questions

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
21
votes
7answers
133k views

How can I explain to people that the phrase “off of ” is grammatically incorrect? [closed]

How can I explain to people that the phrase off of is grammatically incorrect? I‘ve heard this phrase used a lot, especially by Americans (though they aren't the only ones). In my understanding, ...
33
votes
6answers
497k views

Which is correct: "the below information" or "the information below"?

I frequently see statements that refer to something later in the text that use a phrase such as "the below information". Is it more correct instead to say "the information below" (or "the following ...
22
votes
7answers
518k views

"I'm well" vs. "I'm good" vs. "I'm doing well", etc

The greeting How are you? is asking How are you doing in general? — How are you? I'm well. [Misunderstood the question.] because well as an adjective which means: in good health especially ...
8
votes
5answers
4k views

Is it correct to say "the 'following' customer"?

It happens all the time. You are in line at the grocery store, Starbucks or anywhere cashiers are employed. Having finished a transaction, one will cheerily offer to help "the following customer." I'...
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.
6
votes
4answers
958 views

How to pronounce abbreviations by prefix part?

For example, how to pronounce the following: dir (directory), deer or /də:/? char (character), /kær/ or /tʃa:r/? def (define), deff or diff? mic (microphone), mik or mike? var (variable), vaar or /...
95
votes
7answers
324k views

"Compared with" vs "Compared to"—which is used when?

Is only one of them correct? Are they used in different situations? Or are they interchangeable?
264
votes
7answers
96k views

How are "i.e." and "e.g." pronounced? [closed]

How are i.e. and e.g. pronounced?
22
votes
21answers
51k views

What is a less offensive synonym for "retarded"?

I occasionally use "retarded" when chastising myself or other friends. I know it's not Politically Correct, but am I only allowed to say stupid? How long before we can't say that anymore? Other ...
20
votes
6answers
34k views

Is "inactivate" really a word?

At my business most of the employees use the word inactivate frequently. Is this proper grammar? I've always used deactivate.
7
votes
3answers
12k views

What is a better way to write: only three people signed up: you, me and "thehulk66"

It is better to write this: Only three people signed up: you, Jim, and I. than this: Only three people signed up: you, me, and Jim. Because "I" is a subject and not an object. But what if ...
5
votes
4answers
31k views

In the format of A.B. Name, which is the given name and which is the family name?

For example, Bill Henry Gates, which of following is right? Bill H.Gates B.H. Gates H.G. Bill Gates Bill B. Gates H. Gates BHG HGB GHB
57
votes
6answers
45k views

Where does the phrase "dry run" come from?

I've heard the phrase "dry run" being used with the meaning of rehearsal, experiment or test exercise in various contexts. For example: They did a dry run of the demonstration before showing it to ...
2
votes
5answers
1k views

Is it correct to say "...of guys got fame..."?

When reading a post I've seen this comment: Stupid idea from a bunch of guys got fame for helping people steal stuff – now they want to help you beg for money. I think these guys have high ...
51
votes
10answers
175k views

Is there a standard ordering for the question mark and the exclamation mark used together?

We've all wanted to express certain questions, rhetorical or not, with annoyance, excitement, surprise, frustration and so on. What better way than with both a question mark (?) and an exclamation ...
21
votes
4answers
113k views

How do you use "i.e." in a sentence?

How does one properly use i.e. in a sentence? I'm not referring to Internet Explorer.
102
votes
8answers
22k views

Which is correct: "__ is different from __" or "__ is different than __"?

As someone who learned English later on in life, I was taught that different from is the correct grammar to use: this is different from that. However, it seems these days everyone uses different than ...
307
votes
10answers
221k views

What is the correct way to pluralize an acronym / initialism?

For example, if I wanted to write the equivalent of There are many automated teller machines in this city. Would it be There are many ATMs in this city. or There are many ATM's in this city. (...
15
votes
6answers
6k views

Should nouns borrowed from Japanese be pluralized?

As someone who has watched a lot of subtitled Japanese animation, it seems odd to hear a word such as ninja (used in the plural) in the dialogue and see it transliterated as ninjas. It somehow seems ...
49
votes
6answers
38k views

Is there some rule against ending a sentence with the contraction "it's"?

I heard this lyric in a song the other day and it just sounded so wrong that I assumed it must be incorrect grammar, but I can't find any specific prohibition that applies. That's what it's. That ...
11
votes
3answers
8k views

"Pretty" as an adverb

How correct/common/proper is "pretty" as an adverb? It is hard for me to see, since it's my native dialect, but I say "pretty often" pretty often, and "fairly often" fairly rarely. Does "pretty" mark ...
70
votes
11answers
23k views

"Less" vs. "fewer"

I've just received a memo which says (effectively) As more people leave, there will be less people available. I want that word to be fewer. Are there guidelines for which word ought to be used ...
17
votes
4answers
23k 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
7
votes
6answers
41k 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
8k 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
4k 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 ...
36
votes
4answers
11k 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 ...
76
votes
1answer
118k 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"
46
votes
13answers
36k 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
8k 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
23k 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
617 views

If the result of creating is creation

then what is the result of getting?
71
votes
3answers
188k views

When I should use "assure" vs. "ensure" vs. "insure"?

When is it appropriate to use assure vs. ensure vs. insure?
19
votes
3answers
124k 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 ...
42
votes
5answers
137k 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
9k 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?
157
votes
16answers
434k views

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

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.
36
votes
7answers
22k 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 ...
34
votes
5answers
31k views

"Specially" vs "especially"

When should I use specially and when especially?
12
votes
2answers
20k 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
3k 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
64k 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
5k 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 ...
43
votes
2answers
227k 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 ...
55
votes
4answers
224k 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
7answers
10k 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 ...
63
votes
5answers
397k 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
26k 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
6k 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 ...

15 30 50 per page