Questions tagged [grammar-myths]

For explanations of correct Standard English that contradict widely-taught (but incorrect) "grammar rules".

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17 views

Is it true that questions in English cannot end on a preposition? [duplicate]

Is it true that questions in English cannot end on a preposition? Somebody told me that, but the more I continue on my English tour the more I run into suspicions here. Are such questions like: ...
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3answers
7k views

Why “i” is written with a capital?

This is a long error that has run with me, so it is better to have to an understanding of why, I always used I in small letters, whereas I am always corrected that it is a capital I e.g I am not ...
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1answer
38 views

Splitting the infinitive particle with the verb…is it lawful?

I was taught that the infinitive particle "to" cannot be separated from the verb under no circumstances, but my friend (a Canadian) told me that she would prefer "I try to never tell a lie" over "I ...
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1answer
32 views

From where are/come you?

Is "From where are you" and "Where from are you" as correct as "Where are you from"? Or do you think one of those is more correct than the other? I'm aware of the non-existant rule about ending a ...
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1answer
101 views

“Never + past simple” vs “did not+ verb1” for denials

I have a question related to the usage of 'never'. I have heard native speakers use 'never' when they want to negate something emphatically. And they use 'never' instead of "did not verb1" to negate. ...
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1answer
102 views

She danced better than any of us (did?)

I read this sentence : The three individuals are so different that their tastes vary from one another's. In this their tastes are compared so apostrophe is used with another But in this sentence ...
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1answer
29 views

Would have +past participle/or will

We'd better buy something useful with the money would have spent or /will spend for the wedding party. My question is for you as a native speaker which one you might use and why? Thanks
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1answer
52 views

Confusing example of usage of was/were

I am just a beginner in English and want to know why is "were" used in the first sentence: The least proportion of men were detained. The number of men in the party was high. Number (in ...
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1answer
64 views

Doubt in the usage of was in two sentences

I was making complex sentences in the class today. There I got stuck in two sentences similar to these: The percentage of car accidents – which was recorded at 30% – was high. The percentage ...
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4answers
88 views

Use of articles for different qualities

Is the following sentence incorrect? Churchil was a great orator and a great politician of his time. Some say that when article refers to a single person it must be used just once As Churchil ...
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1answer
2k views

Any comment or any comments? Of or From?

Can you tell me which sentence is correct: 1) I'd appreciate any comment of (from) you. 2) I'd appreciate any comments of (from) you. First, I think "any comments" is correct but I also read a ...
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2answers
93 views

Is the phrase “a few” an exact synonym of “some” or it implies a fewer number?

I have just told by experienced native English author (or seems to be one) that "a few" implies a small number. When you say "In a few countries", this implies 3 or 4 countries, but when you say "In ...
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2answers
130 views

I and we think why Should India not be able to make such a huge expenditure? [closed]

I asked a question: I and we think, Why should India not be able to make such a huge expenditure for a region, which is urgently needed? Is the sentence grammatically correct? Does the question ...
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1answer
23 views

using “the” for the objects in the speaker's field of vision

I am one of those learners who have been greatly and negatively affected by various grammar myths. One of such myths is that you should always use "the" before a noun, by which you refer to an object ...
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2answers
47 views

When do we not put a comma before “because”?

In what situation do you put a comma before "because"? And, when do you not put a comma before "because"? I've always assumed that you put a comma, because the clause introduced by "because" will ...
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2answers
2k views

What's the difference between 'I have worked in this company before' and 'I had worked in this company before'

If I used to work in a company, which one of the sentences given below is correct when I am telling someone about this experience: (1) I have worked in this company before; or (2) I had worked in ...
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4answers
9k views

“Since” at the end of a sentence

I am confused with this and rarely see since put at the end of a sentence: There were the children to consider. She had told him she wanted a divorce two days ago, and neither of them had slept ...
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1answer
530 views

two consecutive adverbs ending in -ly

Please consider the following sentence: "He walked home seriously angrily." This sentence sounds a bit funny to my ears, even as a non-native speaker of English, an impression that is shared by ...
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3answers
173 views

A topic up with which I'm fed

The correct grammar for I'm fed up with this topic. would be This is a topic up with which I'm fed. which sound ridiculous. Is there a grammatical rule or guideline that states the first quote is ...
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2answers
11k views

is “them” only used for people?

Chop the tomatoes and onions and saute them/it? Should it be "them" or "it"? because I have heard that them is used only for people.
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2answers
125 views

Relative pronoun whom, who

When you speak to him remember to whom you are speaking. When you speak to him remember who you are speaking to. When you speak to him remember whom you are speaking to. What is the ...
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2answers
396 views

Is 'It's a pen you could use to shoot lasers out of' grammatically correct?

I heard someone explain to someone else what a laser pen/ laser pointer was. This is how he explained it, "It's a pen you could use to shoot lasers out of." and I have been wondering whether what he ...
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3answers
924 views

“something that you're not an expert in”

In The Big Bang Theory s02e09 Leonard says: And you wanna know the worst part? You don't understand what you did wrong because you can't conceive of something that you are not an expert in. Then ...
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1answer
1k views

The difference between “having seen”,“ having to see”, and “having seeing”, in the sentences down below?

The difference between "having seen"," having to see", and "having seeing", in the sentences down below ? Following is an excerpt from ' A Study in Scarlet'. 1- "from a drop of water,"said the ...
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5answers
10k views

Passive voice (consider revising). Why?

I am writing an article on Microsoft Word and it underlines all my passive voice sentences such as this one: Our current electric grid was conceived more than one hundred years ago where energy ...
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5answers
12k views

Which vs. Whose

Which of the following sentences is correct? "These kind of branding strategies are adopted by those firms and organisations whose sales are decreasing day by day. Or "These kind of branding ...
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1answer
196 views

Subjunctive in if clause

I have a question about the use of the subjunctive in if clauses. I usually use grammarly as a grammar checker and ran into following problem: I wrote: If he stay at home, he would die. Grammarly ...
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1answer
13k views

What's wrong with saying “I am watching TV” instead of “I am watching television”?

I was told that I could only say or write "TV" when it is accompanied with a word like "show" or "program", but if I refer just to TV, I should say or write "television". For example: I am ...
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1answer
1k views

Can we say “Are we finished?”

I am wondering if it is grammatically correct to say this. I have heard it a couple of times and was just wondering. I know that the correct way to ask this question is in present perfect, "Have we ...
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6answers
2k views

Do they wish to personify BBC Worldwide? Or it's merely an ordinary mistake?

A message, on YouTube, popped up before my eyes. It read: This video contains content from BBC Worldwide, who has blocked it on copyright grounds. My concern is about the presence of the pronoun ...
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4answers
8k views

Why do people, incorrectly, begin a sentence with the word “But”?

I find myself editing a good number of people's questions on Stack Exchange sites in order to correct grammatical errors. A large number of these edits include fixing what appears to be the common ...
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1answer
4k views

Usage of 'Those' who/'Those students who'/'students who'

I have question related to grammar. Can I change the phrase "those who" With "Those students who" and "Students who" In the following context? Here is the example: 1-Dear students, On 26 th December,...
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1answer
819 views

“present perfect continuous” vs “present continuous” with 'So far'

Could anyone please tell me whether I should use present perfect continuous or present continuous tense with 'so far'? I have seen native speakers use both tenses with 'so far' like "How's your day ...
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3answers
1k views

“more depressed than her/she”

Please explain the error in the following: He looks more depressed than her but I don't know the reason. Is there any error in it? My book says her should be replaced by she. This confuses me ...
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2answers
424 views

Negative deduction

In grammar books, it is written that you can use "cannot" or "can't" for negative deduction like: 'Susy cannot stay at her mother's house because she is in hospital.' I know that this works for ...
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5answers
2k views

Is ending a sentence with a preposition acceptable?

When I learned English at school, I was taught that I should not end a sentence with a preposition. Is it correct to end a sentence with a preposition? To avoid starting a sentence with a ...
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1answer
46 views

What is “from” here? how translate “America's second biggest wrestling federation”?

What is "from" here? America's second biggest wrestling federation finally hit consoles with a roster of 25 stars to choose from.
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1answer
59 views

Is it grammatically correct to put “more” instead of “more of” immediately before a predicative noun in this sentence?

I came across this sentence and I'm not sure if it is grammatically correct. Are the dinosaurs of Jurassic World more fact or fiction? The word "fact" and "fiction" are nouns. I'd use "more of" ...
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2answers
997 views

Why don't English speakers like sentence in the passive form?

In my native language (Indonesian), the passive form is used as frequently as the active form, if not more often. So I read passive sentence in English without problem. I also see it more convenient ...
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3answers
18k views

Is the SVOMPT word order necessary in creating a sentence?

I learned the English word order SVOMPT (Subject, Verb, Objects, Manner, Place, Time) rule at school. Although it was a quite straightforward rule when I was studying, now (under more influence from ...
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2answers
58 views

How to correct “Take heed to not wake the sleeping baby”?

Take heed to not wake the sleeping baby. What is wrong with the above sentence? Should it be "take heed of not waking"? The answer in the book suggests, "take heed not to wake"
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1answer
652 views

Special Form of “I”, “Me” [duplicate]

I have two sentences: John, Jane, and I went to the party. He and I went to the party. But I think there is a rule that says a pronoun at the end of a list should be in a special form (for "...
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1answer
624 views

correct use of “tear up” in a sentence

She was so angry that she tore the letter up. I'd like to know whether the use of the phrase "tore the letter up" in the above sentence is correct or not, or whether it should be "tore up the letter"....
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2answers
2k views

When can we use 'much' in affirmative clauses?

I found the below in Cambridge Dictionary web-site: We use much in questions and negative clauses to talk about degrees of something. We don’t use much in affirmative clauses. Also, it the ...
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1answer
7k views

“The children are happily playing” — grammatically correct?

I would like to seek clarification on this sentence. The children are happily playing. Is it grammatically correct? Or should there be a place as an object to follow?
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1answer
261 views

Using they to reference non-person entities?

Suppose the following situation where I'm talking about artifacts. "Debit and credit notes are" ... Is it correct to reference Debit and credit notes later on by using the subject "They are ..."? It ...
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1answer
4k views

Can “never” be put inside an infinitive (“to never do”)

"George vows never to buy Elaine lunch again." I have two questions: never to do — Is it proper grammar? I know I can say not to do. to never do — Since the 60's the popularity of this ...
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2answers
249 views

Should we end the given sentence with TO in the given situation?

He's this person who I owe 40$ (to). He's this person I owe 40$ to. He's this person who I owe 40$. Are all these sentences grammatically correct? Are the first and second one grammatically ...
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1answer
60 views

How should I write a sentence that has multiple questions?

I got these words from a speech, so I'm not entirely sure how I would write this... Is the website easy to navigate? Easy-to-read? Well-structured? Concise? "Easy-to-read" and the others are ...
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3answers
36k views

“also has been” vs “has also been” [closed]

Split infinitives are considered no-no's to boldly go where no man has gone before being one of the more famous examples. In the sentences He also has been a poet. He has also been a poet. ...