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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4 answers
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Why is it "to start laughing" and not "to start to laugh"?

Why do we use: to start laughing instead of, to start to laugh And what is the construction verb + (verb + ing) called?
Denis Kulagin's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
1k 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?
learner's user avatar
  • 5,918
61 votes
10 answers
15k views

Great Expectations [is written vs has been written] by Charles Dickens

I had a grammar quiz at the university today. One of the questions was: "Great Expectations" ____ by Charles Dickens. a) is written b) has been written c) was written Undoubtedly, the ...
Andrew Tobilko's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
3k views

"I'm used to him being away " or "I'm used to his being away"

I'm not sure "Being away" is a present participle or a gerund ? If it's a gerund , according to the rule "possessive before gerund" ,then "I'm used to his being away" should be correct. Am i right ?
user2747502's user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
19k views

"Many a year" vs. "many years"

so soon they were all seated at Beorn's table, and half had not seen such a gathering for many a year. Why is many a year used? Should not many years be used? What is the difference between many a ...
Inquisitive's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
827 views

What Figure of Speech is used in phrases like "sugar mugar"?

There are combinations like sugar mugar that people use in their speech while the second word has no meaning and only adds a rhythm. What is this called in English?
Juya's user avatar
  • 2,576
6 votes
1 answer
2k 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 ...
Victor B.'s user avatar
  • 9,535
4 votes
1 answer
5k views

Types of books or Types of book?

can anybody tell me which one of these is the correct one? I have been searching all over the internet but I have still got no answer. Types of books Types of book
Francisco's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
12k views

Can "short of" be used with a specific amount (cash)?

In another question regarding a difference between short on and short of, the answer says the following: ... But this is not always the case. A person can be short on/of money, but lacking a ...
John V's user avatar
  • 1,645
1 vote
1 answer
6k views

future or present with when

I just would like to know if this sentence would be grammatically correct and in which cases should I use it: I don't know when he is back instead of he will be back . I know the rule with when "no ...
Yves Lefol's user avatar
  • 7,509
1 vote
4 answers
51k views

"it" or "he/she" for animals

can i use it for animals in the following sentece? 1- I have a dog named Don. It is a very good dog. I know most people would use "he" instead of "it" in the following context and my grammar book ...
user254288's user avatar
  • 1,242
13 votes
2 answers
7k views

Some of you will have met me before vs Some of you met me before

I really do not get how "will" and past infinitive is used here. This comes from an example in a textbook, explaining usage of will in assumptions: Some of you will have met me before. I wonder, ...
John V's user avatar
  • 1,645
12 votes
2 answers
143k views

What is the difference between "I was there" and "I have been there"?

In our language, the difference between the two sentences is very vague. What is the difference between "I was there" and "I have been there"?
Dasik's user avatar
  • 2,409
9 votes
2 answers
26k views

When do you use Get or Be in the passive voice?

When do you use get or be in the passive voice? I have seen both used for passive voice. Sometimes they seem interchangeable and sometimes not. Is there a rule for which one to use? Examples where ...
Lemu17's user avatar
  • 165
8 votes
3 answers
5k views

Question about articles: Why is "before the train came" correct?

Example sentence: I had a little time before the train came. Would you please explain to me why it is correct to use "the" before "train"? My teacher told me that "the" is used before objects well-...
user5273's user avatar
  • 101
8 votes
2 answers
52k views

"See somebody do" and "see somebody doing"

My grammar book says that if you saw the complete action you use do/get/drive: "I saw him fall off the wall." Otherwise you use -ing: "I saw him standing at the bus stop." A native ...
mosceo's user avatar
  • 7,266
7 votes
1 answer
36k views

The confusion between "The" or "A" article

I was reading about articles in Wren & Martin and found the following explanation: 1)Use the definite article when a singular noun is meant to express a whole class. The cow is a useful ...
Tarun's user avatar
  • 217
7 votes
3 answers
5k views

How can I identify a word that ends with "-ing" as being a noun, a verb, or an adjective?

How can I distinguish between words which have the -ing in a sentence that are nouns, verbs, or adjectives? For example sometimes -ing come with word to give us a noun, and sometimes a verb or an ...
user87151's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
5k views

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 ...
mosceo's user avatar
  • 7,266
6 votes
1 answer
2k views

the structure "like for somebody to do something"

I ran into this in the novel The Old Man and the Sea, “I do not like for him to waken me. It is as though I were inferior.” What has happened in the first sentence "I do not like for him to waken ...
Juya's user avatar
  • 2,576
6 votes
2 answers
8k views

Why do I have to say “want you to do” instead of “want you do”?

I'm confused about 'want you to do (something)' and 'want you do (something)'. Example: "I want you to eat fish" instead of "I want you eat fish" or "I want that you eat fish". Can anyone ...
Nyctea's user avatar
  • 71
5 votes
5 answers
2k views

Can “How to” be a question?

Can I use “How to” instead of “How do I” when I ask a question? And will it be grammatical? I often notice some English learners use “How to” when they ask a question.
user70960's user avatar
  • 288
5 votes
2 answers
1k views

Is "which are" omitted from this sentence?

I have a sentence here: Software quality assurance is a planned and systematic pattern of all actions necessary to provide adequate confidence that an item or product conforms to established ...
user2747502's user avatar
5 votes
6 answers
19k views

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?
rozz's user avatar
  • 53
5 votes
3 answers
24k views

"While" and "When" phrases in the future tense

When I am using the future tense, why do "while" and "when" clauses have to be in the present tense? For instance, "While I am eating you will be speaking on the phone" and "I will be ...
Shlomo Green's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
12k views

"like to be..." vs. "like being..." (and why?)

What is the difference between the following? A) She likes to be looked at. B) She likes being looked at. Could you please elaborate your explanations? The more detail, the better.
nima's user avatar
  • 5,817
3 votes
5 answers
18k views

"learn to" vs "learn how to" and "teach to" or "teach how to"

Which sounds better: learn to or learn how to? teach to or teach how to? I'll make the question clearer with examples. a. He taught me to solve sums. b. He taught me how to solve sums. c. I ...
Vaibhav Sharma's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
3k views

"Meet my boss" or "meet with my boss"?

What is the difference between "meet" and "meet with"? For example, which of these should I say? I met my boss yesterday I met with my boss yesterday I'm meeting my friends tonight I'm ...
Jessica Reichenbach Debons's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
2k views

Usage of "would" and "will"

What is the difference between would and will in the following examples? How would you use this word in a sentence? How will you use this word in a sentence?
Amir's user avatar
  • 279
2 votes
2 answers
3k views

Can "THAT" be omitted here?

So we can say "Do you think (that) he'll come?" (in other words, we can omit THAT in conversation) But what about with a sentence like "Did he deny (that) he went to Thailand?" Can "that" ...
Anna's user avatar
  • 637
1 vote
2 answers
879 views

How to use "be + going to" and the present continuous?

I wonder how to use "be + going to" and the present continuous. For examples: If I say I’m leaving tomorrow. does that mean I’ve got my plane/train ticket? And if I say the sentence I’m ...
nkm's user avatar
  • 2,493
1 vote
2 answers
104 views

Why to go to work and school, without "the"?

Why does one say "I'm going to work. / I'm going to school." without "the"; but says "I'm going to the hospital. / I'm going to the museum."? Why doesn't one say "I'm going to the work. / I'm going to ...
Qàtrè's user avatar
  • 263
16 votes
5 answers
3k views

What is Latin Grammar?

Another product of the eighteenth century was the invention of "English grammar". As English came to replace Latin as the language of scholarship, it was felt that one should also be able to control ...
gaoxinge's user avatar
  • 495
14 votes
2 answers
39k views

"he leaves for New York tomorrow". vs. "he will leave for New York tomorrow"

Which one is grammatically correct? I don't know when he leaves for New York tomorrow. or I don't know when he will leave for New York tomorrow Is it correct to use the future form of the ...
user32733's user avatar
  • 141
12 votes
2 answers
9k views

"many a time" means "many times"?

I never saw anyone work as hard as he did, many a time I saw him on the weekends working to his highest standards to give the best research he could give. From the context, I understand many a time ...
Juya's user avatar
  • 2,576
11 votes
3 answers
141k views

Family do or does?

What should I use My family do not give me permission to be outside after 10pm. or My family does not give me permission to be outside after 10pm. Now as I typed in MS-word it says does is ...
Anirban Nag 'tintinmj''s user avatar
9 votes
3 answers
35k 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 ...
user1425's user avatar
  • 4,410
6 votes
4 answers
28k views

"going to be doing" vs "going to do"

From NPR: She's been doing a project called Wordless News every day for about a year now and next week she's going to be doing drawings based on stories she hears right here on MORNING EDITION. Is ...
Searene's user avatar
  • 2,733
4 votes
2 answers
2k views

pay for the library card vs pay (without for) the library card

Happy New Year my friends! I have just received a letter from my school librarian on the stroke of 00:00. He asked me if I had paid for the library card. Given that context, what is the difference ...
kitty's user avatar
  • 5,585
4 votes
2 answers
372 views

What is it all about this usage? would of+verb

We short men are in big trouble because if we want a shoe that feels decent we feel short and you can’t put in lifts, if you get a shoe with lifts it doesn’t feel comfortable I feel really trapped, ...
Mehdi Haghgoo's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
2k views

Question-like structure (word order) in non-question sentences

Occasionally I see constructs like this in English sentences: Not only is this true in this case, but ... What puzzles me is the "is this" part of it. The sentence is not a question, yet it ...
ojkoorde's user avatar
  • 141
4 votes
2 answers
4k views

Are "passive participle" and " Passive voice" the same thing in Modern English?

The following examples from Wikipedia illustrate what is "passive participle" The bus has gone. (Here gone is an active past participle). ex_1: The window was broken with a rock. (Here broken ...
WXJ96163's user avatar
  • 3,049
4 votes
3 answers
823 views

Report of a truth

I know that when reporting a truth, we don't need to backshift: (1) John: The sun rises in the east. John said the sun rises in the east. I don't know if we have to backshift in the situations below:...
LE HANH's user avatar
  • 403
3 votes
4 answers
21k views

Future Simple and Future Perfect

I've read the question about Future Simple and Future Perfect, but I still can't understand the exact usage of these two tenses. Is there any diffrence between the following? I will do my homework ...
Vlad Stryapko's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
2k views

Use of each and every

Practically every part of the banana tree is used by man. I think this sentence is correct but my grammar book say there should be each instead of every. I know we can't use every as a pronoun but in ...
starun008's user avatar
  • 1,725
3 votes
6 answers
8k views

What is the difference between “home” and “house”?

Can you explain more? I do not know when we can use them in the sentence. Can we use them instead of each other? They have a beautiful home. They have a beautiful house.
golnaz's user avatar
  • 647
2 votes
1 answer
4k views

Differences between Going to and Will in Informal and Formal English

In formal English (or written English), I'm super sure that the Be going to and Will rules are "respected". (Correct me if I'm wrong) For example, probably in formal English, they probably use "Going ...
Jason O'Neil's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
30k views

In two days' time = within two days?

What is the difference between: The package will be delivered in two days' time. And The package will be delivered within two days. Are they the same or different?
John Arvin's user avatar
  • 2,677
2 votes
5 answers
8k views

Why "would" instead of "will" in this sentence?

The goal for these negotiations is to reach a mutually-agreed long-term comprehensive solution that would ensure Iranˈs nuclear program will be exclusively peaceful. (Source) what does would imply ...
Juya's user avatar
  • 2,576
2 votes
1 answer
3k views

Wh question structure

What you look like. What do you look like? When forming the wh question, do I need to use a verb or auxiliary verb in between wh and subject? What · he said · turned out to be true? What · ...
Amish Aa's user avatar
  • 1,363

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