15

The other answer is a good one. Here's another suggestion: A1 and B1 are on par with A2 and B2, respectively. However, this wouldn't work if you were talking about (A1,A2) and (B1,B2,B3). Respectively adverb in precisely the order given; sequentially. (of two or more things, with reference to two or more things previously mentioned) ...


14

Larry Trask’s advice in cases like this is to see what happens if you remove from the sentence the words marked off by the comma. If you are left with a meaningful sentence, then the comma is appropriate. If no meaningful sentence remains, you don’t need the comma.


13

Comma sense—a fun-damental guide to punctuation suggest to use the comma to set off introductory elements, which are reported to be: an adverb: First, I need to call my girlfriend. a prepositional phrase: After dinner, let's go to see a movie. an appositive: A stumbling giggler, Lumpy was hardly prepared for the relay baton suddenly being thrust upon him. a ...


13

I would go with this, or some small variation of it: The As are on par with one another, as are the Bs. Note that it's not in a par. Either on par or on a par can be used.


12

Is nothing singular or plural? All by itself, nothing is clearer than the fact that nothing is singular. However, the original question did not use nothing “all by itself”, and that is where things get sticky. The question asks which of these two versions should be used: Nothing but birds and a few insects was to be seen. Nothing but birds and ...


11

To get all linguisticsy about it, we can talk about the generalization of how verbs work. In traditional grammar, we talk about verbs having subjects and objects and whether they are transitive or intransitive. If we generalize this, we can talk about verbs being a kind of function that takes arguments, where subjects and objects are examples of kinds of ...


10

I think from the beginning puts a little more emphasis and focus on the significance of the beginning. If you were talking about a business, perhaps "he" was there in the planning process and integral to starting the business. Since the beginning places more emphasis on the intervening time period. Again, if a business, perhaps "he" is the most loyal ...


10

Your sentence contains an example of ambiguity resulting from a misrelated construction. The Oxford Dictionary of English Grammar defines misrelated as follows: Not attached grammatically to the word or phrase intended by the meaning, either joined to the wrong word or phrase, or completely unattached. Although terms such as misrelated, dangling, ...


9

“Very out of the way” It is a bit tough to find cases of very modifying individual prepositions, but it is easy to find cases of very modifying entire prepositional phrases as a unit, just as it does other adjectives and adverbs. I think it’s very out of character for him. Things can be very out of place. Or very out of date. And very out of the way. They ...


8

A prepositional phrase is a grammatical structure consisting of a preposition followed by a noun phrase. An adverbial complement is a grammatical function. Adverbial complements may be realized through prepositional phrases or other adverbials. Consider: I put the book down. I put the book on the table. I put the book down on the table. There are verbs ...


8

Like a lot of, something like 90% of functions not so much as a preposition as it does a premodifier. And premodifiers work like adjectives. They do not change the head noun, which remains the grammatical subject and still must be agree with the verb in number. People are coming. Trouble is avoided. A lot of people are coming. A lot of trouble is ...


8

Reverse the order, "since before I started kindergarten" D


7

Prepositions are often interchangeable in English, even when they seem to mean exactly the opposite thing in their literal sense. It is possible, for example, to say You'll find a Chevron station down the road about five miles. or You'll find a Chevron station up the road about five miles. or even You'll find a Chevron station along the road about ...


7

The question you ask, “Can the antecedent ever be used in a prepositional phrase?” is of course, certainly it can. Proof: After the meteorite fell on Jack, he was never again the same. Jack likes running with Jill. She is a good person. Jack likes running with Jill. He is a good person. As you see, I have constructed three such examples. The ...


7

'On asserting ...' here requires a main clause which does not describe a consequence or restatement, but merely an event happening (almost) simultaneously. AHDEL sense 3 for on: b. Used to indicate the particular occasion or circumstance: On entering the room, she saw him. By introduces a consequence, and in an explanation, an apposition. Here, by ...


7

If we take your specimen text, The thing I'm most afraid of is me. Of not knowing what I'm going to do. Of not knowing what I'm doing right now it is apparent that it is semantically one sentence that has been turned into one sentence plus two sentence fragments for rhetorical effect. (The main verb that makes gives meaning to the two sentence fragments ...


7

First, as Jim has commented, the word is spelled "wont" (though it's pronounced the same way as want in a typical American accent). Wont can be an adjective, as in I am wont to use antiquated language, or a noun, as in, I spoke in a stilted style, as is my wont. Because wont can be a noun, it's probably the case that "have wont" is grammatical (although, ...


6

There is no problem with this phrase - it is idiomatic English. With is part of the compound adjective over with. To be over with means to be finished. As far as I know, it's only ever used with the verb be. It's fine as it is. You could say "Can we get this finished?".


6

Your first two examples are a special use of of that's not readily explained by reference to its other uses. In each of them, the of is optional ("more of a sanity check" = "more a sanity check"; "more of a hack" = "more a hack"), and serves to introduce a singular countable predicate noun that's modified by more. The same happens with much ("it's not much ...


6

Support of an organization means that it is the organization that is giving the support. Support for an organization means that the organization is receiving support.


6

There are a number of cases where nouns are not preceded by any article (‘the zero article’). They include meals and places as institutions, times of the day, days, months and seasons and, as here, means of transport and communication. We speak of going by air, car, horse or rail and sending by mail, post or e-mail.


6

Both expressions appear to have currency according to a very quick look through the Google periscope. The Ngram chart shows an interesting result, suggesting that scared of emerged in the mid to late 19th C., which is contemporary with examples offered up by couple of online dictionaries: Mark Twain's Adventures of Tom Sawyer. It's not quite a "smoking pen"...


6

The context makes it clear who had stab wounds. I don't see anything wrong with the headline, or with your alternative. Both are ok. Alternatively, it could say: Passer-by finds victim with stab wounds.


5

I looked at a bunch of style guides to see what they have to say on this subject. The vast majority of them dedicate at least a paragraph to the distinction (or nondistinction) between "in behalf of" and "on behalf of"—but not one addresses the question of how to handle "on behalf of" when used by a speaker to refer to another person and to him- or herself. ...


5

After Understanding English Grammar by Martha Kolln, grammar.ccc.commnet.edu ... advises the following: Commas and Introductory Elements 1) When a sentence begins with an adverbial clause, put a comma after it. Although we had reviewed the film twice before, we never noticed these details about the shooting. As the day drew to a smoky end, the ...


5

'The novel, which was about whaling . . .'


5

Engage with somebody means, as others have said, to interact with that person, usually from a position of greater power (managers are frequently exhorted to engage with employees, but rarely the other way round). Engage somebody has many possible meanings, depending on context: the army engage the enemy, you may engage somebody in conversation by simply ...


5

School without an article means the school as an educational system. It's sort of like an abstract noun, I think. A/the school places more importance on the physical aspect of school. (Not necessarily the case for "the".) He is in school. = He is a student. He is in the school. = He is in a school building.


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible