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Questions tagged [sentence-construction]

This tag is used for questions about the proper construction of sentences.

29
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6answers
14k views

“I often buy fruits when I go to the supermarket” – illogical?

I am an English assistant and I often hear my non-native students say: I often buy fruits when I go to the supermarket. I think it is wrong logically because "go" means "to move or travel from ...
28
votes
4answers
29k views

Is “rain is falling” entirely wrong?

I thought it was a custom in English to write "it is raining" instead of "rain is falling". Still I don't know why the second construction is wrong. Yet I found a song called Rain is Falling, so I'm ...
26
votes
3answers
1k views

The summer training or (just) summer training

Should we use the summer training or just summer training in the paragraph. As per me training is a noun and before singular noun we have to use an article and I am using the because I am talking ...
24
votes
15answers
5k views

Why is “a road” incorrect in this test?

I apparently made a mistake in this text: http://www.learnenglish.de/games/articles/articles.html, where you have to fill in "a", "an" or "the" in the blanks. The relevant parts are: Looking out ...
24
votes
3answers
17k 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 ...
23
votes
3answers
3k views

Just because people don't talk doesn't mean they don't think

Just because people don't talk doesn't mean they don't think. Some people(non-native speakers) say this is grammatically incorrect. It is acceptable in casual conversation, but it should not be used ...
21
votes
8answers
10k views

How do I invite a friend “on my expense”?

I ask my friend to come over to my place and I want him to eat pizza on my expense. Is it correct to say like this: Come over to my place bro! I will eat you a pizza. or Come over to my home ...
21
votes
2answers
4k views

“It's them as should be sorry!” grammar

The sentence is from the book Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. I can probably get the meaning of the sentence, but the grammar really confuses me, especially the usage of the word as. I could ...
19
votes
3answers
2k views

These look like fragments. Help me to understand why they are okay to use

“How did I escape? With difficulty. How did I plan this moment? With pleasure. ” ― Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo I recently found out that when writing lists, items in a list don't ...
18
votes
5answers
22k views

“Who is you” – not “are”

Why do we say "who are you" when talking to a single person? Related question: "Who is speaking with each other?" Is this correct?
18
votes
4answers
4k views

Why does the spellchecker think this sentence is wrong?

Microsoft Word's spell (and grammar) checker makes the italic part of the following sentence sentence light up in green: Considering how both of the rotation vector sensors seem to have trouble ...
18
votes
1answer
14k views

The meaning of baggage vs luggage

What is the difference? Which one is better to use for defining some baggage (not hand one). Thank you in advance
17
votes
3answers
2k views

“When this battle will be finally over” - shouldn't it be “When this battle is finally over”?

I read something in the manga: When this battle will finally be over... take me out to eat some tasty yakiniku. "when...will be" seems strange to me, isn't it better saying "When this battle is ...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

“A * doesn't a good * make”

I'm curious about a certain sentence construct that I've seen in different contexts. I'm talking about sentences in the following style: A * doesn't a * make. (* being a wildcard). For example: A ...
15
votes
5answers
3k views

We are aware of that we are short on time

I'm a S. Korean so eager to learn English. My friends and I keep practicing English, and we often run into sentences native speakers might find awkward. Please take a look at this. This is what my ...
14
votes
2answers
1k views

“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 ...
12
votes
6answers
18k views

How to properly ask for store hours on phone?

I call a restaurant today and ask them for "Are you open till what time today?" as today is Christmas Eve and the person on phone asked me twice what? What? So how do I ask for a store/restaurant ...
12
votes
2answers
58k views

This is a good news. This is good news

This is a good news. This is good news. Which one is correct? Clarify the difference
12
votes
2answers
1k views

What does “…was a saint, upon which declaration…” mean in this Wikipedia article?

Source Canonization is the act by which the Orthodox, Oriental Orthodoxy, Roman Catholic, or Anglican Church declares that a person who has died was a saint, upon which declaration the person is ...
12
votes
4answers
10k views

What's the difference between “used to like” and 'liked'?

What is the difference between used to like and liked? What is the difference if I say... When I was 4 years old, I had one pink dress. My cousins used to like it (my dress) very much. Or When ...
11
votes
7answers
3k views

Am I overusing “the” in this sentence?

For some reason I feel its overkilling on the use of article(the) here, To refine the results, please use the categories on the left Can someone help?
11
votes
3answers
1k views

Will people get confused when they see 'Some of our customers speak Spanish, English, and German'?

Our cakes are very popular for foreign visitors. Some of them speak Spanish, Some speak English, and some speak German. Now, I want to make the second sentence neat and more easy to read, so I am ...
11
votes
6answers
39k views

Is “… to bring to your attention …” a typo?

I'm writing to bring to your attention the unprofessional attitude of one of your staff member. (From a book and some online resources) I feel like it should be: I'm writing to bring your ...
11
votes
3answers
85k views

“a comparison between A and B” or “a comparison of A and B”?

When I have to compare two things A and B, can I say "a comparison between A and B" or "a comparison of A and B". Which is best ?
11
votes
2answers
554 views

Success is a number/numbers game

Success is a number/numbers game. I was going through a novel where I found this sentence using numbers but success is a single entity that is singular. How can we use plural (numbers) here?
11
votes
5answers
8k views

What's the full answer to “shall I”?

The form Shall I is used to make offers, in general. For example Shall I help you? and one would answer Yeah, help me but what's the full answer? I mean, with a question like You will go ...
11
votes
5answers
3k views

Should I use 'nor' or 'neither' in this sentence?

Please see these two sentences: I am not your slave, nor do I have to follow your advice. I am not your slave, neither do I have to follow your advice. Which one is correct? If neither ...
11
votes
1answer
32k views

“as such” or “therefore”

Additional calculations suggest that teacher effects on college going and wages may be as much as three times larger than that predicted based on test scores alone. As such, more than half of teachers ...
10
votes
4answers
5k views

When you're having a cat nap and a bad car accident happens

Imagine yourself in a road where the driver is your friend and your are sitting in assistant seat. You feel a bit tired and are catching some Z's. Suddenly a car accident happens and you notice it, ...
10
votes
7answers
2k views

When you want to ask someone to maintain their class

Please imagine that you take a friend (a guy) to meet a group of your friends at a party. The group and the guy are have never met one another and know nothing about one another. The guy starts ...
10
votes
3answers
35k views

When can I remove the word “that” in a sentence?

I have this bad writing habit, I use the word 'that' so many times. I know it is grammatically valid, but using 'that' too often is not good. But I don't know in which sentences I can remove the word '...
9
votes
2answers
832 views

What does “and she them” mean?

Moaning Myrtle was crying noisily in her cubicle, but they were ignoring her, and she them. I guess it just means she was ignoring them too. But I have never seen this kind of structure before. Is ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Use of 'And' as the first word of a sentence

Can I write: We need to have a deep sense of morality. And moral science teaches us morality. But I was told that I should not use that full stop. But I am not clear. I know its a conjunction but ...
9
votes
2answers
5k views

'in the first place' instead of 'firstly'

I wonder that if I start introducing some things at first, Should I start with 'in the first place' rather than 'firstly'? For example: In the first place, I would like to introduce ..... Does ...
8
votes
3answers
4k views

This sentence is so awkward that I don't know where to begin

I think this sentence needs to be split, but I don't know where. I think it is clear what is trying to be said, but I don't know how to write it better. The SI encouraged mom to work with pictures ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

Which of the revisions of “Yesterday I went to the wedding of a daughter of my husband's brother.” is grammatically correct?

My friend asked me to rephrase this sentence. Yesterday I went to the wedding of a daughter of my husband's brother. I came up with these: a.) Yesterday I went to my husband's brother's ...
8
votes
7answers
636 views

Can “Et cetera” make a separate sentence?

Will it be legitimate to say something like "We did nothing much this evening. John drank beer. Bob and I played cards. Et cetera."
8
votes
8answers
16k views

Is “Hello.” a sentence?

I've seen this at many places, that people who know very good English (even native speakers of English) write "Hello" followed by a full stop. My confusion is that the use of the full stop indicates ...
8
votes
2answers
769 views

One of only five

Here's a paragraph cite from a magazine: "... When we found out that our proposal was one of only five that had been accepted, it felt like God had stepped in to help us start our business." My ...
8
votes
4answers
12k views

To answer the question ((What is your name?)) [closed]

There is this problem I came up with in one of my classes. How common is it to answer the question “What's your name?" with It's ________. Instead of My name's ________. I would ...
8
votes
4answers
4k views

how to say the sentence “I am walking on the steps of bus”?

When I catch the bus , I say I caught the bus (or) I got the bus. But I need to say I am walking on the steps of bus. how can I convert that into a sentence? I don't have a clear idea.
8
votes
3answers
1k views

can't…since vs. haven't…since

I read the first sentence on FB (I know, this is not the right place to look for perfect grammar) and would like to know if this is right: I can't sleep well since last week I thought a ...
8
votes
3answers
164k views

Uses of “have you had” and “did you have” [duplicate]

When to use have you had and did you have in sentence? e.g. 1) To ask some if he had his lunch or not? Have you had your lunch? Or Did you have your lunch? 2) To ask some if he faced this ...
8
votes
2answers
477 views

What does an expression “there + a verb” mean?

I'm curious whether it is correct to replace such sentence as "There is an interesting file in the root directory" with "An interesting file is in the root directory". I think the phrases are ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Difference between late getting back and late to get back

I have a question about the following sentence - "I'm sorry I was so late getting back to you." Is it possible to say that - "I'm sorry I was so late to get back to you." About the first ...
7
votes
8answers
2k views

What is the word that means “not saying anything bad in any way about someone”?

I have this sentence where I used the word infringement, and I think I'm exaggerating things a bit by choosing it. Moreover, I want it to mean: not saying anything bad in any way about someone, not ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Move one seat right or Move to one seat right or Move one seat to right

Let say you are in a cinema and you would like to say to a couple that you can just move to the next seat so that they could sit but I couldnt figure out which one is correct form. I can move one ...
7
votes
4answers
3k views

Is this sentence 'I know him a teacher.' acceptable?

I made the sentence like 'I know him a teacher.' I want to express the sentence containing the meaning of 'I know that he is a teacher.' Can I use the sentence 'I know him a teacher.' instead of 'I ...
7
votes
1answer
4k views

Differences “so-called” and “called”

I really wonder if I express "so-called" in a sentence, can I also use "called" for the same way? For example: The new technique so-called "blablabla" is to consume a lot of energy. Can I write ...
7
votes
3answers
168 views

Are these two expressions similar?

Let's say I am in my room, and the door bell goes off. Are these two expressions similar and have the same meaning? Is the second construct correct? By the time I get to the door, my friend has ...