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Questions tagged [grammaticality]

Grammaticality refers to whether something obeys the rules of English grammar.

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Analysing the “kind(s) of problem(s) are [ones]/[to be]” construction

A. These kinds of problem are to be avoided. B. These kind of problems are to be avoided. Are both A and B grammatical? If not, why not? If so, after having noticed the parallelism between A and ...
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“The group of fifty people {is / are} going to arrive Thursday” - which is preferred?

Isn't the following sentence grammatically correct? The group of fifty people are going to arrive Thursday. What's wrong with it? Someone said it should be The group of fifty people is going ...
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Which is correct? - “Guess, what it is?” or “Guess, what is it?”

I want to know which sentence is correct. If i say Guess, what it is? or Guess, what is it? which one is correct?
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“Is it proved that …?” vs. “Has it been proven that …?”

Searching The New York Times, I found 22,100 results for "is it proved" and, therefore, I argue that that phrase is likely correct English. But on History Stack Exchange a user edited the following ...
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Is it wrong to say “You are smarter than me”?

You are smarter than me. You are smarter than I am. Is there any difference between these two? One of my friends told me first sentence is wrong, but the second one is correct. But he could not ...
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1answer
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“Neither”, “none”, “no one” + [of them] + verb-s

In a comment on English Language & Usage I read the following answer responding to a(n) asker's question: "Neither sound natural." I have always had more than one doubt on the "neither" usage and ...
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Two consecutive gerunds? -ing -ing?

I am considering to set up a cyber cafe. I am considering setting up a cyber cafe. I think it should be version #2 where the verb considering is followed by the gerund setting. But it sounds ...
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On the singular vs plural aspects of “who”

In a question like this one, for example, Who have/has come? Is the word "who" singular or plural? Or is it both plural and singular? I have heard it’s plural. Please correct me if I am wrong.
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Present perfect or simple past?

I just came across this question: This tree (be) _____ planted by the settlers who (found) _____ our city over four hundred years ago. I think "over four hundred years ago" is an unspecified ...
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provides information “on”, “of” or “about” somthing?

Which is grammatical: "it provides information on something", or, "it provides information of something", or, "it provides information about something"? Or if all are grammatical, which one is used ...
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what kind of an animal vs. what kind of animal

An excerpt from Java for Dummies, 6th Edition: If you already know what kind of an animal Java is and know that you want to use Java, skip Chapter 1 and go straight to Chapter 2. Believe me, I won’...
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When to use “of”, “in” and “at”?

I never know how to use prepositions like of, in or at. What's the rules for each one of then? My last doubt was about this sentence: Order of importance Order in importance Order at importance ...
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1answer
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When do multiple negatives cancel and when do they not?

Which of the following is not stated in the passage? (a) Money will not be a factor in making the decision Here, not only is there a negative in the question, but there is also one in answer (a)...
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1answer
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Present/past perfect when the object is a dead person

I remember (vaguely) reading somewhere that it is wrong to use the present perfect when the subject of a sentence is someone who is long dead: *Einstein has visited the Philippines. My question is,...
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1answer
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Gerunds:Having+past participle and being+past participle

Here are two sentences: My having been to South-Korea helped me learn the languages when I took the classes. Being accepted to Harvard university was the greatest day of my life. Is it common ...
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“It's an interesting topic for me” versus “It's interesting to me”: Does it really matter?

I've just caught myself out twice by writing something down as being interesting for me! This is a typical Italian mother-tongue error, but Italian is not my first language. It used to be English, but ...
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“To go to buy” or “to go buy”?

When I spoke with a friend of mine, I had noticed she used sentences similar to "I need to go buy food." Is it correct to say "to go buy," or should I say "to go to buy"? I know that I could say "...
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2answers
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Houston, we have a problem: 'Has' or 'had'?

I was doing a research on some scientific topic, and while I was at it I just read the excerpt wikipedia gives about Persian wikipedia: The Persian Wikipedia (Persian: ویکی‌پدیا، دانشنامهٔ آزاد‎ ...
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'reason' vs 'reason that'

The complementiser that is the first word in a complement of a noun♦. When can it be omitted? Do 1 and 2 below differ? I am asking in general, but I exemplify with Prof John Lawler's examples ...
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1answer
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the verb in plural with one company

Do native speakers of English use verbs in the plural form when speaking about one company? I've come across such use by supposed natives. Don't you think that it is ungrammatical to use verbs in ...
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If “I woke up at 10” is okay, what about “I slept at 10”?

When did you wake up? I woke up at 10. But then if I say, “When did you sleep?” I slept at 10. – seems difficult to digest! That's because sleep is a process that includes duration. I ...
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What's wrong with “Most people in the country would like to own their house some day.”?

The following is a problem from my textbook. The following sentence has an error. Find it and correct it. (1)[Most people] in the country (2)[would like] to own (3)[their house] (4)[some day]. ...
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Is “Call me when you are available to talk” correct?

Call me when you are available to talk Is that correct? Can I use it that way?
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I have “a doubt” about whether this phrase is acceptable English

To my (British) ear, it never sounds correct to say you have a doubt about something. I expect that doubt to be pluralised, even if there's only one specific thing that I'm doubtful of, in one ...
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3answers
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“Not they” or “not them”

You, not them, are responsible for that. You, not they, are responsible for that. Which one is correct? And why?
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Why must the future tense not be used after 'unless'?

[Source:] !! Do not use the future tense after unless [✓] I won't go unless you go [✘] [I won't go] unless you will go. [✘] Why not? Even if the above is prescriptive, what may be some reasons? ...
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Why is 'neither' (without 'nor') singular?

I ask about 'neither' as a determiner. I want to dredge below the last 5 paras under 'Tip 2' , which don't explain. Neither does p 90, A Student's Introduction to English Grammar (2005). Consider: 2. ...
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1answer
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“Are” vs. “is” after “parents and the family”

I was reading the news on Yahoo and found a mistake (as per my opinion). I need your valuable feedback to make sure if it was a mistake or I am wrong! It is a paragraph on Yahoo. Please check and let ...
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2answers
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“me [gerund]” or “my [gerund]” at the beginning of sentences?

A.1 The lions reacted to my singing. A.2 The lions reacted to me singing. B.1 My singing alarmed the lions. B.2 Me singing alarmed the lions. As far as I know, both A.1 and A.2 are ...
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2answers
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“in the morning” vs. “in morning”

I messaged you in the morning. I messaged you in morning. I am confused which sentence is correct. I think both are correct, but please help me out and tell me which sentence is grammatically ...
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1answer
18k views

“Wrote it wrong” or “wrote it wrongly”?

Which is grammatically correct? He wrote it wrong. He wrote it wrongly.
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“We plan” versus “we are planning”

Is there a semantic difference between the following two sentences? In the future, we are planning to migrate our tool to the Z3 solver. In the future, we plan to migrate our tool to the Z3 ...
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“Not enough memory” vs. “no enough memory”

Which is correct? Why? Not enough memory No enough memory The first variant seems to be significantly more popular on the Internet than the second one. I want to use such construction as an error ...
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“bigger” vs. “more big”

As we know, comparatives compare two things. So, for example, we say that one thing is larger or more temperate than another thing. Now, let us consider the following examples. A. The African ...
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Question regarding simple/compound/complex sentences

We read about these three classes of sentences. For example, It is too hot to go out without an umbrella. (Simple) It is so hot that we cannot go out without an umbrella. (Complex) It is very hot and ...
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Best grammar-checking software [closed]

What is the best grammar-checking software to check the grammar errors in novels and screenplays? I heard about Grammarly and Whitesmoke but I'm not sure which is good.
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What is the subject of “But to start it probably helps to have an understanding of what a 404 page actually is.”?

If this sentence is correct, so what is subject? But to start it probably helps to have an understanding of what a 404 page actually is. I think the subject is "To start it probably".
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1answer
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Why no subject after “as”?

Please correct me, but does as function as a conjunction here? I already tried i, ii, and iii. Page 3: In any event it might be said that Hart ‘won’ the debate in the sense that it was his infl ...
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2answers
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Is the possessive gerund preferred in “with Windows 7's being installed”?

I have to work on my laptop with Windows 7's being installed. Can the possessive gerund be used in this way? In case this phrase doesn't make sense: I'm trying to say that on my laptop Windows 7 is ...
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“My hand breaks” or “My hand is broken”

Can you guys help me with my problem here. I"m confused between these two sentences: My hand breaks and My hand is broken As far as I'm concerned, for the first sentence "breaks" is a verb. ...
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1answer
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Word order: “10 minutes more” or “10 more minutes”?

I'm still packing my clothes. I'll need 10 minutes more. I'm still packing my clothes. I'll need 10 more minutes. Are both grammatically correct?
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1answer
153 views

Are those sentences grammatical? [closed]

Q1. Are those 8 sentences grammatical ones? or if not could you tell me? Q2. Why do we use 1 instead of 3? It seems both are similar but is there any meaning difference or any purpose? I love it ...
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1answer
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A question about using the “v-ing” verbs

To native speakers, normally do you use adverbs to modify these v-ing worlds especially when they are the objects of the verbs? Like: I regret swimming hurriedly Not I regret hurried ...
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1answer
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Interpreting having known

Please look at the following sentence Having lived all my life in India, I can speak Hindi very well. Does this mean I still live in India, or can it also be used if I have just moved from ...
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Chance For me to

Would you please give me one more chance to prove my worth to you? Vs Would you please give me one more chance for me to prove my worth to you? Vs Would you please give me one more chance so ...
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6answers
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Why is “Mary told the cake to be cut by John” ungrammatical?

Mary told the cake to be cut by John. A textbook says that this example is ungrammatical, but it seems to make sense to me: where does the sentence have its fault?
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1answer
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'starting cleaning' vs 'starting to clean'

In an answer to this ELL question, one of our users provided this example sentence, claiming it was grammatical: He sighed starting cleaning the floor. That sentence seems to clash in my native ...
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A sentence in Present tense was understood as future tense

I came across a Chinese web site selling skirts and then paid for two skirts in different colors. After I had paid for the skirts, I sent a short message to them: please let me know when you send ...
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1answer
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Question about “might like” vs. “would like”

Good evening! I took a modal verbs test at a website and one of my answers was marked off as wrong: Julie might like to visit Kyoto when she is in Japan I should've instead filled in "would", ...
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1answer
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“How much time” versus “how long”

Scenario: You're calling the taxi to come pick you up. The taxi driver says he can come pick you up soon. You: How long will it take you to get here? Taxi driver: It'll take me about about 20 ...