Questions tagged [sentence-usage]

The usage of a particular sentence, how and where it is supposed to be used properly, so as to convey the intended message properly and obtain the most favorable outcome.

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How to express wait for (at most) how long and wait for something at the same time

I am not a native English speaker and am writing a command line program interacting with the end user. I need to prompt the end user in my program before a long wait (a kind of polling until some ...
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Is the following phrase "He disappointed me of the money he promised" correct?

Is the sentence "he disappointed me of the money" correct? Are there similar examples with the verb disappoint in English?
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Is it rude to say you would not know what it is

Suppose someone asks me what questions you got in the interview. What could I reply if I didn't want to reveal the question? Is saying: The interviewer asked the question on the call. You wouldn't ...
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Is it wrong to say “Today is Sam’s birthday” instead of “It’s Sam’s birthday today”? [closed]

I was watching a YouTube video where they’re saying so. They’re also saying that it’s wrong to say ‘Today is Sunday’ instead of ‘It is Sunday today’. Are these really true?
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"I hope not" vs "I don't hope so"

'Is that woman American?' 'I think so. / I don't think so.' 'Do you think it's going to rain?' 'I hope so. / I hope not.' (not 'I don't hope so'). We can say "I don't think so"; but why ...
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Should I repeat the word "hand" in this sentence?

Should I repeat the word "hand" in this sentence? My right hand is holding my left hand. Or, are there other ways to say that? For example: My right hand is holding the other one. or ...
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Can I use "have" and "had" in one sentence, like "I have had my revenge at last"? [closed]

'I have had my revenge at last.' -what kind of sentence is this? Can I use have and had in one sentence?
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Just checking you or just testing you

Sometimes when people point me on my mistakes in grammar or speech I say as a joke: "I was just checking you! :)" meaning that it was a trap, to see if people notice the mistake. However, ...
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Can "could be" be used for past?

For example, I could be asked yesterday. We could be asked that time about where we were Are these sentences correct? Can I not use "could be" to indicate about the past? Is my second ...
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1 answer
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Do I have to specify the time when I say "How silly of me!" in the past? (see example)

Do I have to specify the time when I say "How silly of me!" in the past? Let's say I'm telling a friend about something silly that I did in the past, and I say: How silly of me (it was) not ...
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Does my description of wok wall make any sense to native speakers?

I am going to describe a wall called wok wall in China. Can I say "a Wok wall is one with a semi-circle extension on the top middle, making the top of wall like a wok with a pair of handles and ...
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Correct me the sentence : "you were the one who i talked to yesterday, weren't you?"

I will give you guys the situation. I met someone yesterday and had talking about something. The next day I met the same person But i wasn't sure that he was the same person. So I asked him you were ...
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If I was there, I am not alive now or I would not be alive now.(indicative or subjunctive usage) [closed]

If I was there yesterday, I am not alive now or I would not be alive now. If I had been there yesterday, I am not alive now or I would not be alive now. Which one between 1 and 2 is more widely used ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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word usage “only”

I believe, Only mostly means as one of its kind. Correct me if I am wrong. Last week, I texted my friend asking her where she was she replied I am at home only. Sometimes I see people using it in ...
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"the best singer of those ones who sang" / "the best singer of those who sang" / "the best of the singers who sang"

He was the best singer of those ones who sang in the concert yesterday. He was the best singer of those who sang in the concert yesterday. He was the best of the singers who sang in the concert ...
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How it can be "The name sounds familiar to me."?

The name is known to me. (a medium level of knowing) - OK The name is familiar to me. (a high level of knowing) - OK The name sounds known to me.(it seems that is a medium level of knowing) - OK The ...
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Do I need a second verb in a descriptive sentence like: The definition of x is something (eg.:) done contrary to y?

I am not sure if I need a second verb in a sentence like the above. One actual example is: The definition of illegal is something done contrary to or forbidden by the law. Do I need 'done' here? ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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Is/was it right that I told him the truth?

To mean "Was I right to tell him the truth?" Can we say: "Was/Is it right that I told him truth?" Context: I want to ask if what I did is morally right. I know that we can say ...
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8 votes
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"....in 10 days" or ".....after 10 days."

The text is from BBC web site: "....Under the measures, Austrians will be asked to work from home, non-essential shops will close, and schools will remain open for children who require face-to-...
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May I say "the use of English is acceptable?" on my website?

I'm a Taiwanese and I'm running a shopping website for my dad. I want to add a sentence to express: "If you want to contact us, but you don't speak Chinese, English is fine, then." So, is &...
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"Xs are those who are Y." vs "Xs are Y"

I read the following sentence from an LSAT: "Animated films appropriate for children are those that are innocently naive, mischievous perhaps, but not threatening." Would you kindly help ...
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'In contrast' at the beginning of a sentence

Can 'in contrast' start the sentence and be used without 'to' or 'with'? For instance, is the following construction possible? For the product A the procedure X is typically used. In contrast, for the ...
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Construction Shift [closed]

I need to construction shift this sentence but I have two options in mind that make sense somehow and those two options are options B and D. There was no remedy available for his constant attacks of ...
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"How about you start tomorrow?"

Does this a common phrase? Or at least does it sound natural? I know this is quite common: "Okay, you have the job. How about starting tomorrow?" But I'm not sure about this: "Okay, ...
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which one is better to be used in my sentence? (visible to/ visible for)

which one to be used? visible for/ to? 1.This webpage is only visible for registered users. 2.This webpage is only visible to registered users.
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Is it necessary to prepare anything else for our meeting? / Is there anything else to prepare for our meeting?

As I understand it, both sentences are grammatically correct, but the second version is used more often. Why? Is that because the second version is less formal? Or are there any other reasons in ...
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Why don’t English speakers say “I’m cold very much”?

When I’m very cold, I noticed I say “I’m very cold.” But why not “I’m cold much” or “I’m cold very much”? You can say “I’m cold now” adverbs can be added and “be” and “cold” mean the same. Or, "I ...
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2 answers
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Is it wrong to say "I ate one soup" today

I am wondering is it correct to say "I ate one soup today. I didn't eat much."
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What is the proper way to thanks a professor for asking me to TA for her course?

I want to thank a professor for asking me to TA for her course, because it made me happy that she had thought of me for the position. As a non-native English learner, it is sometimes hard for me to ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Tell me whether the statement is right or wrong

"Whoever reads this comment, I wish u achieved all the goals in your life and became a great person!" is this correct? I saw this comment in a youtube video... I think it's incorrect because ...
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1 answer
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I need help for a definition [closed]

Does this sentence make sense, and is it correct? “ Her honest opinion seemed very abrasive to others”
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1 answer
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go from work to home on foot / go home from work on foot / come back from work on foot [closed]

I know that the first sentence and the second one are used in English. How about the others? Maybe, some examples are grammatically correct, but awkward in English. I usually walk home from work. I ...
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1 answer
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adjective + wh-

Be careful whom you hire. There is an example in Oxord advanced learner’s dictionary. careful when/what/how, etc. I wonder if the sentence I mentioned above is part of the usage of the adjective + wh-...
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1 vote
2 answers
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How to express “I feel some thing has been done” in English?

(This question was closed in the English Language & Usage forum. I guess I should ask it here?) I'm a English learner and I encountered a situation which I didn't know how to express in English. ...
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We will select 3 participants and each will receive a goodie bag of their choice, **subject to availability.**

We will select 3 participants and each will receive a goodie bag of their choice, subject to availability. If no other context is provided, does the sentence convey that there are more than 1 goodie ...
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The mess in your room reflects on you. (Is this idiomatic?)

The mess in your room reflects on you. Is this sentence idiomatic? (The intended meaning is "the mess=your status of mind or situation")
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1 vote
1 answer
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How to express "to the extent of my ability" after receiving a recommendation letter?

I asked and received a letter of recommendation from someone outside my company. This person is considered an expert in the field, and has much more experience than me (decades v. years). I am very ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Can double "but"s be used in a sentence?

It's not literally double "but"s, but here's the sentence that I'm talking about: The old system had its flaws, but nevertheless it was preferable to the new one. I picked this up from ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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The application of tense agreement

Do the rules of sequence of tenses apply to an adjective clause? Can the tense of an adjective clause be different from the main clause? The examples are as follows. The latest preliminary report I’...
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The committee split over government subsidies. (split-split-split)

The committee split over government subsidies. How can I make clear the meaning of the sentence in case I want to differentiate 'present form of split' from 'past form of split'?
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"should at least be" or "should be...,at least" or "at least, should be" , which one is grammatically correct?

Which of the following sentence would be correct, please explain and also tell about cases where each of the correct sentences can be used: The number of employees should at least be 1. The number of ...
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other meanings of the word "appetite"

I was having an interview yesterday and I was talking about people's tastes when it comes to food. The interviewer asked me a question about whether young people and old people in my city like the ...
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-2 votes
2 answers
58 views

How do you do? vs. How are you doing?

How do you do? Why native English users say 'How do you do?' when they meet each other for the first time? In my culture, it's natural to say "Nice to meet you." and feel that if we know ...
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Sentence structure in poems

Ah, had I but the strength of my hands, And could for one hour win out of here, For one winter hour, then I with this host-! But around me lie iron bonds, The fetter's chain rides on me... Found this ...
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How should I frame these sentences?

If you would have told me I would have done it. I would mind if you wouldn't do it. I wouldn't mind if you would do it. If you wouldn't have told me I would have done it. Are there sentences correct?
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2 votes
2 answers
2k views

take time to do something / doing something

While in New York he took time to visit some friends. This is an example of the phrase take time to do something from Longman Dictionary. My question is, can we also say While in New York he took ...
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22 votes
5 answers
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Why is it that when we say a balloon pops, we say "exploded" not "imploded"?

Sometimes I wonder, when a balloon pops, we say: Oh the balloon exploded! Instead of: Oh the balloon imploded! When a balloon pops, it becomes smaller. As I see it, the meaning of "imploded&...
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1 vote
3 answers
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Is using “pretty damn spicy” to mean “actually very spicy” proper?

I often say something like: This soup is pretty damn spicy! I am wondering now if this is actually proper grammar. On Urban Dictionary, it says the meaning of it is “approximately”, but when I use ...
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24 votes
9 answers
15k views

I'm baffled at this expression: "If I don't talk to you beforehand, then......"

A client wrote to me and ended his email with this line: If I don't talk to you beforehand, I hope you have a very happy, healthy and safe holiday! It seems to me that this expression is for giving ...
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Can we say "swap/trade something" instead of "swap/trade something for something"?

In all dictionaries I looked at, there are examples of the structure, "swap something for something" and "trade something for something," but there are no examples of "swap ...
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