F.E.
  • Member for 8 years, 2 months
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Is "Is it a girl or a boy?" really calling the infant an "it"?
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42 votes

"Is it a boy or a girl?" I'm wondering about the grammar: what role is that "it" playing in that sentence? Is it a personal pronoun or a dummy pronoun? 1.) The word "it"...

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"Which one is you?" vs "Which one are you?"
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24 votes

1.) Which one is you? 2.) Which one are you? Which is correct? * Both are "correct". They just have different subjects. . LONG ANSWER VERSION: Let's identify the subject of each ...

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"There Is"/"There are" depends on plurality of the first list element or not?
23 votes

Yes, you should trust your ear. :) This topic comes up a lot. Your question involves an existential construction. It is safest (imo) to consider that the dummy pronoun "there" to be the ...

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He died [as?] a broken man
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21 votes

1.) He died a broken man. 2.) He died as a broken man. * Both are fine, are grammatical, and are standard English usage. In your two examples, the expressions "a broken man" are predicative ...

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How is "Can anyone tell me how can I solve this" wrong?
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14 votes

I posted a question somewhere that said: 1.) Can anyone tell me how I can solve this? but someone edited it to: 2.) Can anyone tell me how can I solve this? and it was accepted. That's wrong isn't ...

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"I didn't know you liked her" or "I didn't know you like her"
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11 votes

I have a friend who insists that 1.) "I didn't know you like her" is more correct than 2.) "I didn't know you liked her" if the liking is still taking place. But to my ear, ...

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What is the correct verb that follows "as well as?"
10 votes

Which of the following sentences is correct? He as well as they are in the wrong. He as well as they is in the wrong. Sometimes the expression "as well as" behaves like the coordinator ...

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"He didn't know where New Jersey was"
10 votes

1.) "Last week, I found out that NASA stands for 'National Aeronautics and Space Administration.'" or 2.) "Last week, I found out that NASA stood for 'National Aeronautics and Space ...

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Is "many a times" correct?
10 votes

QUESTION: Is there any usage of "many a times" that is correct, or is it always wrong to apply a singular "a" to a plural noun? . The 2002 reference grammar by Huddelston and Pullum et al., The ...

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"This is allowed", is this passive voice?
9 votes

This is allowed. Is the verb "is" a linking verb, or is this passive construction? Is there a difference? How does one tell? Let's directly address your question, which is asking: How is ...

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Behave as if it was or it were
9 votes

You can place the script in the head or body as you like. The script will behave as if it was/were located exactly where you put the script tag in the document. * The version with the modal ...

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Unnecessary pronouns: "The President he issued..."
8 votes

Is it now considered acceptable to follow a proper noun ... or any noun ... with a pronoun? E.g. The President he issued a new executive order. Yes, it is grammatical, and has been for a long, long ...

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When can one omit "that" from a sentence?
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8 votes

All three of your examples use a "that" which is a marker of clausal subordination: in your case, that "that" marks the beginning of a declarative content clause. Sometimes that "that" marker is ...

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Can I say "Coming!" for "I am coming!", and why?
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8 votes

QUESTION: Can I say “Coming!” for “I am coming!”, and why? In some languages we can remove the subject (and sometimes a verb too) from a sentence. In Toy Story 3, the kid says "Coming!" ...

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How would you describe the semantic phenomenon that allows this joke?
8 votes

I've had a wonderful time; this wasn't it. The joke works on the cancellation of a previously created implicature. The first clause, I've had a wonderful time; implies that the speaker (the "I") ...

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Are "kinda", "sorta", "oughta" and "sposta" acceptable in formal writing?
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7 votes

I guess I kinda can add something of value here. I'm AmE, and I do sometimes use those colloquial, non-standard spellings, such as "kinda", "sorta", and others -- intentionally. (There are other non-...

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Why is “I am finished” the Passive Voice?
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7 votes

"I am finished with the website for now". First of all, there's nothing inherently bad or wrong with using passive voice--often times, it is the better way to construct a clause. Now, with that ...

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Using past tense when referencing a still-true fact
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7 votes

If she currently has a son, then you can use either version #1 or #2: 1.) "I didn't know [(that) she has a son]." 2.) "I didn't know [(that) she had a son]." For that situation, ...

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"Put me in touch with whomever created it"?
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7 votes

Put me in touch with whoever/whomever created it. Your example involves a fused relative construction. In this construction, the antecedent and the relativized element are fused together instead ...

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Comma after address
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7 votes

Both versions are imperative clauses, and both have directive force. The difference is: your first version uses a 3rd person subject, while the second version uses a vocative. In both versions, there ...

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A or An in "a (relatively) obscure meaning"?
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6 votes

The writer should have taken care not to hide such a (relatively) obscure meaning underneath an obviously silly one. Could the indefinite article "an" be used here, instead of "a"?...

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Is it correct to use two present participles sequentially?
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6 votes

"We are currently in the process of finishing planning for the outage." There can be grammatical constraints on some types of double "-ing" phrases. I'll mention some of them here,...

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Is this usage of 'nor' correct?
6 votes

We do not have the equipment needed to measure buoyancy nor/or air volume. Either "nor" or "or" can be used. It is up to the style you wish to follow as to which one might be ...

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Which verbs apart from the pure copula follow the existential 'there'?
6 votes

You might be interested in the related topic of the presentational construction. In form, the presentational construction uses the dummy pronoun "there" as subject but some other verb than BE as the ...

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Is it ordinary to use “between” for selection among two or more things?
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6 votes

Nothing's changed much. "I have sand between my toes." "I never eat between meals." "He hid it somewhere between the back door, the shed, and the oak tree." and "Among the meals that we had, ...

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How to tell if an adjective is attributive or predicative [EFL context]?
5 votes

I do understand how attributive and predicative adjectives work, yet I can't find an easier way for learners to differentiate between both types - especially if such differentiation doesn't exist in ...

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What kind of inversion is this? "Out come the pocket calculators"
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5 votes

When the girls get their bills, out come the pocket calculators. The main clause of your example has undergone subject-dependent inversion: [the pocket calculators] come [out] -- (non-inverted) [out]...

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"Attached {is/are} X, Y and Z." If X, Y and Z are all singular, is it correct to use "is" here?
5 votes

Your #1 is grammatical, while your #2 is ungrammatical. Your sentence examples are in the form of subject-dependent inversion. The subject has been inverted with a verb-phrase (VP). The subject is the ...

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Friends "that or who" I consider my best friends
5 votes

I have friends from all walks of life who/that/whom I consider my best friends. In a sentence like yours, the usage of all three relative words ("who", "that", whom") are acceptable in today's ...

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Is dropping the verb "was" an option?
5 votes

If someone can provide the grammatical terms related to my question it would be greatly appreciated as I was uncertain of what search phrases would apply. Perhaps search on "extraposition" (and maybe ...

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