0

In my other post ("time adverbs" vs. "adverbs of time") I use these two examples

The word already is a kind of time adverbs.

The word already is a kind of adverbs of time.

and suggest that both sentences are "grammatical and idiomatic".

I found lots of people also use the expression a lot.

Google Ngram might also justify that.

enter image description here

So, is it idiomatic to say "grammatical and idiomatic"?

  • Yes, but the sentences aren't "grammatical and idiomatic". The word adverbs should be the singular adverb. – Weather Vane Mar 11 at 11:35
  • Why do you think it is/isn't idiomatic? – CJ Dennis Mar 11 at 11:41
  • There's nothing wrong with the phrase, except that honestly, I've only seen it used on this SE site. – pboss3010 Mar 11 at 12:16
  • @pboss3010 I guess that's because native English speakers never care about if their expressions are idiomatic. Actually, what they say is idiomatic, right? – WXJ96163 Mar 11 at 12:21
  • @WXJ96163 No, even people learning English I've met in real life generally ask "does that sound right?", "is that how you use it?" or something similar. – pboss3010 Mar 12 at 16:32
3

"Grammatical" and "idiomatic" are two adjectives that may well be used together, but together are not necessarily an "idiomatic phrase", so be careful with what you label as "idiomatic". You say you have found "lots of people" saying "grammatical and idiomatic", so that really should indicate that it is both grammatical, and idiomatic in the sense that it sounds natural, but it is not really what you could call a "commonly used" phrase.

Also, be careful with your use of ngrams. They can be useful, they can also massively misrepresent a matter, especially when you represent something that is a true idiom and is commonly said against something that is perfectly grammatical but may not be said as often. To use an analogy, that is like comparing apples and oranges.

Look at this ngram that measures "grammatical and idiomatic" against "idiomatic and grammatical". One way around is favoured more than the other, but both have been used. I would suggest that grammar is the first consideration because if something is not grammatically correct then it cannot be idiomatic.

| improve this answer | |
  • Thanks for your answer. I guess I should have said "these sentences are both grammatical, and idiomatic", right? – WXJ96163 Mar 11 at 14:25
  • @WXJ96163 It's fine and dandy to use two adjectives without a comma. – Astralbee Mar 11 at 20:52
  • By "dandy", I guess you meant handy, right? – WXJ96163 Mar 11 at 21:12
  • 2
    @WXJ96163 the tools are there for you to use ;) – Weather Vane Mar 11 at 21:35
  • @WXJ96163 I was answering with an example - an idiom with two adjectives and no comma. – Astralbee Mar 12 at 8:58

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.