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Questions tagged [grammar]

This tag is for grammar questions, but only if you're not certain what other tag to use. If possible, tag as tense, verb, articles, prepositions, or some other more specific tag or tags instead.

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how to solve the ambiguity of “in” in this sentence

We did the task in ten minutes. I am pretty sure that it means 1) It took us ten minutes to do the task. (We spent 10 minutes doing the task) However, I see no obstacle to suppose that it may also ...
6
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1answer
766 views

When not to use existential 'there'?

Some dictionaries and grammar books in my language give funny restrictions for "There is ~" structure. A newer grammar book changed a little and now says it's ok to use "There is(are) ~" for proper ...
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1answer
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Did the printer get sick or not in fact?

From The Heart of a Broken Story: I’m a good printer’s assistant, but that’s all I am. One day the printer got sick, and I had to take his place. What a mess I made of things, Miss Lester. No ...
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5answers
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It is better to~ vs It is better off~

When I use the word better I've always used like it's better (for someone) to ~(Infinitive verb) I recently found out better off ~(verb+ing) is also commonly used in conversation and I can'...
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5answers
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Using “she” pronoun to refer to a ship

Why—and based on what—do we use “she” with “ship” in the English language? Why do we consider a ship female when we know that it is not alive?
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1answer
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Explanation of “did was [verb]” structure

All I did was hand someone a bag. There are three verbs that come together. The tense of the verb hand confuses me. It doesn't fall into any grammar structure I know so far. It would make more sense ...
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2answers
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Why we use a singular name “part” instead of “parts” in sentences like what I've mentioned?

I found this sentence as a sample for the word "indispensable" in the Longman dictionary: "Mobile phones have become an indispensable part of our lives." (we say: ...phones have become an ...
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2answers
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“What do you think ….” constructions

I am very confused regarding the use of What/how/etc. do you think ... as questions. e.g.: What do you think is my name? What do you think my name is? and, How do you think it is ...
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2answers
755 views

The easiest thing to do is [to] call for a taxi

Which is more natural? The easiest thing to do is to call for a taxi or The easiest thing to do is call for a taxi And what do you call this to in grammar terms if any?
6
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2answers
188 views

What is the grammar rule for this part?

Advertising used to be about persuading people to want your product. Now the task "seems to be to make "people admire your advertising. Shouldn't we say "seems to make" or "seems to be making"?
6
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2answers
83 views

'I know to drive' or 'I know how to drive'

I know to drive. or I know how to drive. Are both sentences grammatically correct?
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3answers
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Which to be used; “I only” or “I myself”? Or something else?

What should I say when I want to convey that the job was done by me when asked by someone? (In the context of no one but me) I only did this or I myself did this?
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2answers
292 views

Help parsing excerpt from Shakespeare's comedy “Love's Labour's Lost”

I have begun trying to read Shakespeare. My problem is I can't understand the writing at all. Why is Shakespeare so hard to understand? I hope that I am not the only one that finds it hard to read. ...
6
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6answers
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Do you mind me / my

Do the following sentences mean the same? Do you mind if I open the window? Do you mind me opening the window? Do you mind my opening the window? for me they all mean the same, bit #3 is ...
6
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3answers
786 views

Does `remembered to do` imply doing it

I remembered to lock the door. When I use remember this way, does it always imply that I actually did the action. Maybe I can use it in the sense "didn't forget" -- I just remembered to do something, ...
6
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1answer
591 views

The order of adjectives: Is it exactly the same in GB, the USA, and elsewhere in the English-speaking world?

When learning the order of adjectives in a sentence, I thought up a word "saSHcomp" standing for the "Size-Age-Shape-Color-Origin-Material-Purpose" order. Later, I found out that there's a slightly ...
6
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1answer
23k views

For the last Х years - with which tense

As far as I know "For the last Х years" requires the Present Perfect (continuous) and means that the action is still taking place. I have been building a house for the last three years. However, I ...
6
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1answer
28k views

“It works” vs “It is working”

The photocopier broke down yesterday, but now it's OK. a) It is working again. It has been repaired. b) It works again. It has been repaired. What is the difference in meaning between ...
6
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2answers
155 views

“Have never won” v/s “had never won”

In a book I found a sentence like this: The 2010 FIFA World Cup culminated in an epic final with two teams that have never won the World Cup. I'm wondering why have never won is used instead of ...
6
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2answers
6k views

Push Somebody To Do/Into Doing

I have a question about the usage of the patterns "push somebody to do something" and "push somebody into doing something": Police pushed him to give a confession. Police pushed him into ...
6
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2answers
1k views

“Subject + Be” vs. “Subject + Being”

I don't see things will improve anytime soon. I don't see things improving anytime soon. I don't see things are improving anytime soon. I don't see things are going to improve anytime soon. So I'm ...
6
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3answers
239 views

When “all” is used with personal pronouns? What exactly is it?

As you know, all can be used with personal pronouns, right? I want to know what exactly it is; an adverb or something else? Two examples: They've eaten it all. All it takes is 5 minutes to rock ...
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2answers
95 views

Duplicate “who”?

Who do you know would want to do that ?. Who do you know who would want to do that ?. Consider the declarative version : You know who would want to do that. -> Interrogative version, which form ...
6
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1answer
413 views

Can “using” be also a preposition?

"using" is basically a verb in the progressive aspect. Does it serve as a preposition, too? I can sometimes choose between which and that in a relative clause construction. But in a sentence such as "...
6
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4answers
592 views

compound adjective or phrase?

I know some phrases can make up compound adjectives. But how can I tell if it is an adjective or not? Examples: I threw away the worn-out socks. (compound adjective) I put the socks worn ...
6
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1answer
110 views

Why not accrues?

From Emma by Jane Austen: It may be possible to do without dancing entirely. Instances have been known of young people passing many, many months successively without being at any ball of any ...
6
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1answer
3k views

Autonomic vs Autonomous

What is the difference between the two words "Autonomic" and "Autonomous"? Are they interchangeable in any situation?
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4answers
234 views

What is the sentence structure of the sentence?

At that time I had a much-petted, much-abused doll, which I afterward named Nancy. She was, alas, the helpless victim of my outbursts of temper and of affection, so that she became much the worse ...
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3answers
4k views

Why don't we add an “s” on to these verbs?

Why we don't add an "s" on to the verb in these examples? John, turn on the light. Stig, eat your breakfast. Maya, wait a minute, please. I learned in school if the verb comes before "he"...
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6answers
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What does “such as” refer to in “Public transportation such as train or bus”?

Example Sentence: Public transportation such as train or bus. Question: What do the words "such as" refer to? Do the words "such as" refer to "public transportation" or to "train and bus"? I ...
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3answers
676 views

“Equivalent part on my body” or “the equivalent part of my body”?

What's the correct option? The former yields zero results on Google the latter has one. So, I'm not very sure about the correct answer. Example sentence: She stood silently beside me, her shoulder ...
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3answers
2k views

Should I use “moved” or “moving” in this sentence?

We were able to walk along the brown and golden sand beaches, and moved/moving among the fur seals, without bothering them. In this sentence, which is right, one of them or both of them? I think only ...
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4answers
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Can I use “who when” together?

For example: I hope there is at least 1 person who when (s/he) sees the quality of final outcome, s/he will be delighted... is this possible and if not what could be the appropriate structure that ...
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4answers
557 views

Passive voice of “they did not do the work”

What is the passive voice of “they did not do the work”?
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2answers
3k views

Why is “it's nice to hearing from you” wrong?

why don't we say: it is nice to hearing from you is it because nice does not come from a verb, like confessed to, opposed to, close to, in the expression such as I am opposed to drinking, or I am ...
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4answers
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she kicked me right in the teeth. Is there a pun in this phrase?

dialogue of an NPC in the game. I ran forward into the crowd, yelling for them to stop, but… I… I tripped and fell in the mud. I looked up and saw the face of a kindly grandmother. I reached for ...
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2answers
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How to use article 'the' with conjunction?

The first and second chapters are.... Or The first and the second chapters are... Which is the correct usage? Is it correct to use the for both the phrases or not?? Please explain to me.
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3answers
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Changing the word order changes the meaning?

I read these sentences recently in a book. What is the difference between these two sentences? I had my car cleaned. and I had cleaned my car. The book gave two different meanings. How would ...
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5answers
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Correctness of “It is rarely that + [clause]”?

It is rarely that police arrest people without adequate suspicion. I suppose it means that: The police rarely arrest people without adequate suspicion. but I couldn't find this in my grammar book....
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4answers
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Can we use articles with adjectives?

https://m.9gag.com/gag/aGeAxDw In this video the girl says I think I can smell the spiritual As far as I know articles can not be used with adjectives . No?
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2answers
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How paradoxical that the world’s greatest chefs

How paradoxical that the world’s greatest chefs have all been men! Cooking would clearly seem to be a field that lies exclusively within women’s realm, yet the annals of cookery are replete with ...
5
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3answers
605 views

Shall I use “am” or “is” following a sentence prefixed “Me”?

The sentence structure is a bit unusual, like this: me is tired this morning Is this proper use of the sentence structure? Shouldn't it be "Me am" instead? Considering sentences starting with "I" ...
5
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3answers
4k views

What's the meaning of “Late Wednesday night”?

Does Late Wednesday night mean last Wednesday night or on Wednesday this week, but in the late night? The translation tells me that the first explanation is right, but I cannot find a relative ...
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1answer
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Talking about the future using “Could have”

"How long will it take to make, anyway?" said Harry as Hermione, looking happier, opened the book again. "Well, since the fluxweed has got to be picked at the full moon and the lacewings have got to ...
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4answers
220 views

“If + would” conditional in present perfect tense

Is it allowed to use the "if + would" conditional when speculating about a polite request that could have taken place in past? I know that the would structure can be used to make a polite request, but ...
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2answers
905 views

“Lived a lion” or “there lived a lion” [closed]

Long long ago in the dense forest lived a lion. OR Long long ago in the dense forest there lived a lion. Are the both correct?
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4answers
753 views

Definite article and “only”

I wrote: Here one may use the average value of the first and second squares instead of only the second square. I doubt if I must write Here one may use the average value of the first and second ...
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3answers
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What are these things called?

I recently went on a trip to Peru, and met some pre-inca people. They braid their long hair into two ponytails, and weave balls of cotton to the end of the ponytail. What are those called? Bon-bons or ...
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4answers
146 views

Infinitive vs Gerund

The business hoped to devote most of its fund to ______ for new television ads since it wanted more coverage. Should the answer be "pay" or "paying"? Why and, what difference would it make (if any)?
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1answer
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“Must have done” meaning

Some days ago I got a sentence on my lesson, which I had to rephrase. The sentence was: “I m sure, that the Smiths bought this house” And I said “ The Smiths must have bought this house”. My ...