29 votes

Can you write "... me's" (the possessive)?

"The person behind me's breathing" is called a "group genitive". Grammarian Richard Nordquist states in his introduction to the topic on ThoughtCo: In English grammar, the group ...
Shoe's user avatar
  • 33.1k
13 votes
Accepted

Usage of "you" in scientific papers

In particularly formal writing, the pronoun "one" would likely be preferred over either "we" or "you" in situations like this. As Cambridge states, "one" is ...
alphabet's user avatar
  • 17.4k
10 votes

Usage of "you" in scientific papers

It is possible to write in clear simple English whatever the genre. When I was at school we were taught to write "A pipette was used" rather than "I/We used a pipette". Today that ...
Michael Kay's user avatar
8 votes

Usage of "you" in scientific papers

Yes, I agree "we" is better in your example. So, use that in your own writing. But... I would not go so far as to include use of "you" as a criticism of a paper I am reviewing.
GEdgar's user avatar
  • 25.1k
6 votes

"I was approached by what looked like a group of priests"

I would consider all of these nominal relative clauses that are acting as prepositional objects. Nominal relative clauses are used as objects, subjects, or complements for the main clause and they ...
Melissa M.'s user avatar
5 votes

Usage of "you" in scientific papers

Any personal pronoun used in a scientific paper may be viewed as bad form, since ideally science should operate with facts while completely eschewing emotion and/or manipulation. "You" is an ...
Ricky's user avatar
  • 20.3k
5 votes

Each other’s nose or each other’s noses?

Correct is somewhat subjective here. One version is more logical; the other is more common. Sometimes you must decide between standing on principle and sounding normal. Says one linguist: What about ...
Tinfoil Hat's user avatar
  • 16.5k
5 votes

Where better to whet one's grammar?

Short answer (tl;dr): You can use open interrogative words like who, but not closed ones like whether. Some open interrogative words appear only very rarely in this construction. Full answer: We ...
Araucaria - Him's user avatar
5 votes

"I was approached by what looked like a group of priests"

[1] I was approached by [what looked like a group of priests]. [2] This is the beginning of [what might be a new era of science]! [3] I'm sorry I'm late. I was held up for two hours at [what should ...
BillJ's user avatar
  • 12.5k
4 votes

What does “it” refer to in this sentence?

"it" doesn't have a specific antecedent here. From OED it's definition 3d As the non-referential subject of a verb or impersonal statement, expressing action or a condition of things simply,...
Barmar's user avatar
  • 20.4k
4 votes

As (It) Was Explained to You

All 4 versions, with or without "it", are correct and the presence or absence of "it" makes no difference to the meaning. It is unnecessary, but optional. In other words it may be ...
Peter Jennings's user avatar
4 votes

Yourself vs. yourselves when speaking to individuals in a group

The idea of "addressed to a group but to each individually" needs to be clarified. It's going to depend on the circumstances. If a person is literally addressing a group of people then it ...
DJClayworth's user avatar
  • 25.5k
4 votes

Is it normal to say "Allow myself to introduce myself"?

OK, since the moderators haven't migrated this, I'll risk incurring criticism and answer it. He should have said "Allow me to introduce myself." It doesn't make sense to ask another person ...
Kate Bunting's user avatar
  • 25.2k
4 votes

Why is "it" used instead of "he/she" for human being in "it becomes a wise and virtuous man…"?

No. The sense of the passage is not "He/she becomes a wise and virtuous man" (?). It refers to having recourse to such things (relaxation from work), which Aquinas says is becoming (...
Kate Bunting's user avatar
  • 25.2k
3 votes

Usage of "you" in scientific papers

This is what the passive voice is for. Active: In the following image, we can see cats. Passive: In the following image, cats can be seen.
Tinfoil Hat's user avatar
  • 16.5k
3 votes
Accepted

Why does emphasis of "it" allow phrasal verb syntax that would otherwise not be grammatical?

Emphasis may give a pronoun enough weight to act as one of the heavier noun phrases that support shifting the NP to after the particle. In a 2017 Language Log post ("English Verb-Particle ...
TaliesinMerlin's user avatar
3 votes

Why is "it" used instead of "he/she" for human being in "it becomes a wise and virtuous man…"?

"It" is here the neutral pronoun; it is used in a grammatical turn called "extraposition of a subject clause" (Quirk, A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language, § 2.59 ...
LPH's user avatar
  • 19.8k
2 votes

Can an independent clause have an implied (or null) subject?

I feel like this is a stylistic choice. Commenters seem to be getting hung up on the OPs sentence and the use of the word "anyway," vs. the actual question at hand. If we replace that ...
ScottHall's user avatar
2 votes

Is "iff" considered a real word or just an abbreviation?

Although I had expected recent dictionaries to agree unanimously that iff is primarily an abbreviation, I found that is not the case. On the one hand (consistent with user16269's answer from 2012), ...
Sven Yargs's user avatar
  • 163k
2 votes

Is "What courses is everyone taking?" grammatical?

What courses is everyone taking? This is technically grammatical, even though it may sound odd to a non-negligible amount of people. "What courses" is not a grammatical subject in this ...
herisson's user avatar
  • 81.5k
2 votes

Why do Indian people usually ask questions in English using the first-person-plural form?

In the context that you outline, it seems quite natural for a speaker to use the we pronoun, because, as @Brandin notes, such jobs are normally done in teams. And anyway, it's part of an online forum, ...
Heartspring's user avatar
  • 8,572
2 votes

"Enough" can't appear in the subject of a negative sentence

There may be some reason to avoid it, because it could lead to scope ambiguity. The sentence "Enough people didn't attend" could mean either "There were enough people who didn't attend&...
alphabet's user avatar
  • 17.4k
2 votes
Accepted

Using the word "he" twice in the same sentence - is this grammatically correct? If not, why are there published books that break this rule?

It is grammatically correct to repeat words in a sentence. There is no rule against this. I've typically been told you should never repeat a word in a sentence if possible by English teachers in high ...
dubious's user avatar
  • 2,836
2 votes

Usage of "you" in scientific papers

To respond to your question directly, using "we" can signal solidarity. However, using "you" can do so as well depending on the style that you adopt. I will also respond to other ...
Gabriel's user avatar
  • 121
2 votes

you vs yourself?

Only you can persuade yourself, so if a comparison with other people is being made A doesn't work. Personally, I would say No one is better at persuading you than you are yourself.
Kate Bunting's user avatar
  • 25.2k
2 votes
Accepted

The use of "one" as a pronoun

If it's advice directed at a reader, it would sound cleaner with "you": When describing yourself in a resume, don't understate your abilities. If you insist on the remote-sounding "...
Jack O'Flaherty's user avatar
1 vote

Where better to whet one's grammar?

Who better to and how better to are both perfectly acceptable - see this. You could also say What better way of cooking potatoes than baking?
Kate Bunting's user avatar
  • 25.2k
1 vote
Accepted

Is it correct to say "None can stop me" without mentioning a specific group of people?

"None" is rare as compared to "no one" or "nobody", but it is correct. This is possibly so because "none" means also "not one of them", and so it is ...
LPH's user avatar
  • 19.8k
1 vote

Can the pronoun 'its' referring to a clause as a whole be placed at the beginning of the next sentence?

I think it can, yes, provided that the next sentence is preceded with a full stop, and not a conjunction. Example 1: I can't get to him in time and it's frustrating! (sounds like poor phrasing) ...
Ahmed Yosri's user avatar
1 vote

Can you write "... me's" (the possessive)?

People might say it colloquially, but it doesn't really sound right. If you think about it as "the-person-behind-me" being one object, then it seems like it could technically be correct, but ...
JamesW's user avatar
  • 119

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