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Questions tagged [style]

This tag is for questions relating to proper style or a specific instance of style in English.

1
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2answers
22 views

“possesses some amount of Japanese”

Can I use the verb "possess" in describing a person's level of proficiency in some language? Just like his brother Henry, he possesses some amount of Japanese that enables him to handle simple ...
0
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1answer
24 views

Hyphen between words

Does AP Style recommend a hyphen between the words philosophically-inclined? I have searched several editing and grammar sites and still do not know the correct answer.
2
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2answers
34 views

Velocity- and displacement-proportional forces

I have troubles building compound adjectives and enumerating them. In my field (mechanics) we deal with forces which are proportional to displacement or velocity. We tend to call them "displacement ...
0
votes
2answers
51 views

“We was” vs. “We were” and “Be you” vs “Are you” in song lyrics

Listening to an english song, I noticed the following sentences: "We was hitchhiking down..." (1:15) https://youtu.be/_lK4cX5xGiQ?t=75 "Be you angels?" (2:36) https://youtu.be/_lK4cX5xGiQ?t=155 Why ...
1
vote
1answer
28 views

Should 'cause have a left or right curly quote?

I tried to verify this with this Markdown converter: https://dillinger.io/ However, it doesn't convert the single quote into a curly quote: 'cause Should 'cause be written as ‘cause or ’cause? (...
0
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1answer
22 views

Putting physical and non-physical together

Is it good styling in English to place physical-thing and non-physical-thing nouns in one row? There are many kinds of creatures and cultural heritage in the sea. Here it looks like "many kinds" ...
0
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1answer
15 views

Using “right away” at the beginning of a sentence

Is it okay in English to use the adverbial phrase "right away" at the beginning of a sentence? For example, is it okay instead of I will hug him right away. to say Right away I will hug him. ...
1
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1answer
32 views

What are the rules of Parallelism?

What are the rules of parallelism? I've been reading a lot about it since yesterday and all I encounter is "They must have the same grammatical form"? What does this exactly mean? I know how to make ...
0
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0answers
16 views

Which comes first in writing dates with month names, month or date [duplicate]

This might seem so trivial question but may not be so trivial for non native. Apologies in advance. When writing date with month names. Is it: Jul. 28, 2018 Or 28 Jul, 2018
0
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1answer
22 views

Can one person/thing be something that is a plural noun?

Here goes a passage from Tim Pratt's Impossible Dreams short story: She understood character arcs, the use of color, the underappreciated skills of silent film actors, the bizarre audacity of ...
0
votes
1answer
38 views

Short clauses taking a comma (he's and she's) style or rule

So I read that short clauses taking commas is a style choice but preferably the use of a semi-colon, full stop, conjunction is accurate. As in: Experts teach; peers comfort (or and). But if for ...
0
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1answer
33 views

Comma accuracy and style choice

The fight cost him his life, almost. Laying in the grass, looking at the sky, she watched the stars in the awe, mesmerized at their beauty, natural beauty. Is the use of "almost" and "natural ...
2
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2answers
52 views

“Not a” vs. “no”: “a baronet and (no/not a) peer”

I had titled my question on History SE How is it possible to be a baronet and no peer? A native speaker came along and corrected it to: How is it possible to be a baronet and not a peer? Why ...
1
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2answers
59 views

Does “fundamental essence” sound eloquent?

As essential and fundamental seems to be synonym I doubt whether I can use "the fundamental essence" expression. However I see its usage in the internet. https://daveursillo.com/the-fundamental-...
31
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13answers
12k views

Is the language of The Economist artificially complex? [closed]

I wonder whether reading the articles of the journals similar to The Economist (including Time, etc) are in a style that make them difficult to flow even for native-readers? Is the effort to read ...
1
vote
1answer
323 views

Is the phrase “repeat again” always symmantically when requesting a repetition?

I just realized that I'm reacting to the following conversation. A: "I think that xxx and hhh, jkjkj and lpoopik..." B: "Could you repeat that again, please?" The reaction I'm getting is due to the ...
0
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1answer
26 views

article vs paper

I would like to clarify the stylistic differences in the usage of the words article and paper (in the meaning a piece of writing). When writing a research article/paper, or its abstract, in which ...
0
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0answers
433 views

“provide insights” vs “give insights”

I'd like to clearly understand the usage of "provide insights" in comparison with "give insights". Are they interchangeable? I suppose there are stylistic differences. Also, what preposition - into/...
3
votes
1answer
781 views

“correspondence with” vs “correspondence between”

Meaning "correspondence" as "letters" or "exchange of letters" (not similarity), which sentence would be more appropriate (may be there are only subtle differences in style): The correspondence ...
2
votes
1answer
77 views

Can 's express plural?

There's a sentence in my textbook: My sister got A's in her final exam. Shouldn't be As instead in this case? Can 's also be a kind of stylish for the plural?
1
vote
1answer
403 views

Can you use “the undersigned” and “I” in the same paragraph?

"The undersigned" and "I", when used in a letter, both refers to me. So is it possible to use them both in the same paragraph? Consider the following example: The undersigned respectfully moves for ...
0
votes
1answer
49 views

A question about comma usage: should it be “me,” or “me”, in this case? [duplicate]

I am reading an article here: https://waitbutwhy.com/2014/12/what-makes-you-you.html When you say the word “me,” you probably feel pretty clear about what that means. It’s one of the things you’re ...
1
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3answers
58 views

“To be” or NOT “to be”

A large part of what I do is critiquing, in writing, the work of others. I am constantly wondering if I am structuring my sentences correctly. Part of the challenge is that I need to temper my opinion ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

“just now” vs “only now”

What's more sounds naturally in the following scenario? A very good friend call me and I saw his unanswered call after 2 hours. Then I want to explain him that I saw his call two hours later. The ...
0
votes
2answers
1k views

“I'd” or “I would” in official letters?

Should I use "I'ld" and the like in official documents like motivation letters or is "I would" better?
0
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0answers
19 views

Formatting of References

I arrange the references in the order of some books. My question is whether this arrangement is correct linguistically (if the reference is three names of authors, is it permissible to put a comma ...
0
votes
1answer
33 views

“Berlin private art school” vs “Private Berlin art school”

I have a sentence which I can change the words in some versions without changing the meaning, but I'm not sure which one is the most natural to the English native speaker, therefore I would like you ...
2
votes
1answer
30 views

“Expanding his chest went out of the room.”

Source: Anna Karenina For a few seconds Oblonsky stood alone; then he wiped his eyes, sighed, and expanding his chest went out of the room. Why isn't this sentence in this way: wiped his ...
0
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0answers
137 views

“Had + object + P.P.” Vs “Had + P.P. + object”

SOURCE: A game of thrones The breath of man and horse mingled, steaming, in the cold morning air as his lord father had the man cut down from the wall and dragged before them. Is it a ...
6
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3answers
2k views

Can there be a “handwritten paper”?

Yesterday, someone slipped this sloppily handwritten scrap of paper under my door. which (without the adverbs and fancy adjectives) essentially conveys this idea: Someone gave me a handwritten ...
2
votes
2answers
417 views

Is using unnecessarily long words bad practice? [closed]

From my country's Biology board book: The scientific naming of an organism is accomplished in accordance with some rules and regulations set internationally. which essentially means Some ...
1
vote
1answer
79 views

Is this passage natural for a native-speaker?

The following is part of a book that I guess is written by a non-native speaker because some parts of it do not sound natural to me. Can you please let me know if the marked words and the passage in ...
1
vote
1answer
81 views

My request letter sounds awkward and I'm not sure how to end it

I'm not a native English speaker, and formal letter writing classes from my school days involved archaic grammar and language. When I write a formal letter to a native speaker, I'm constantly second ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Best way to say I keep on doing something?

What is better to say: I am continuing to do something. I am carrying on doing something. I keep doing something. How to say it better if, for example, I continue to make my mobile ...
1
vote
1answer
28k views

Difference between ' and "

What's the difference between a single and a double quotation mark in English? I've heard that it only depends on where you live US (for double quotation mark) or UK and Australia (for single ...
1
vote
1answer
71 views

Would a native speaker consider this dialogue natural? [closed]

I am practicing for the speaking part of TOEFL. Below is a practice speech for a sample question I made. I was wondering if it sounds natural to a native English speaker. I hope you could help me. ...
2
votes
0answers
44 views

Do word contractions and brief sentences make for a more conversational speech? [closed]

I'm currently studying what makes a sentence sound/ read conversational to native English speakers. Do word contractions and brief sentences make them so? Please consider the dialogues below. Are both ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

“Behind each other's back” <— is 'other's back' correct here?

People are always talking about each other behind each other's back. Should be other's or others' or if they are both ok, and why? Should be back or backs here? The effect of each other is ...
6
votes
2answers
112 views

“process used to manufacture Atinumab” vs. “manufacturing process of Atinumab”

Analysis of the stability of the process used to manufacture Atinumab, substance-solution. Analysis of the stability of the manufacturing process of Atinumab, substance-solution. Which one is ...
3
votes
1answer
69 views

Is “precipitating cause” a pleonasm?

While writing a medical article, in sources I used I encountered the phrase precipitating cause several times. One of the definitions of to precipitate is: to make something serious happen ...
1
vote
1answer
78 views

“We are going inside to the someone's heart” vs “We are going into someone's heart”

When we love someone, what's more appropriate for use? "we are going inside her heart" or "We are going into her heart"?
1
vote
2answers
1k views

Correct way to use “beholden to”

What of the following two sentences using the phrase "beholden to" is more correct or sounds more like natural English? I am beholding to you a lot for your helps to me. I am being beholden to ...
0
votes
0answers
31 views

Is it okay to start a sentence with “There is” especially when concluding a paragraph?

Is it okay to start a sentence with "There is" especially when concluding a paragraph? Example: There is a resemblance between the Flashlight song and my parents because they specifically serve as ...
1
vote
1answer
105 views

“my mother was my powerhouse” and “father a school of thoughts”

I remember: In a palace of formations, my mother was my powerhouse and father a school of thoughts. Is this style of writing correct? What can be better choice for the same sentence, grammatically?...
-1
votes
1answer
110 views

a sentence with several verb [closed]

A great approach base on statistical analysis which cause "to reducing" the number of experiments, "evaluating" relationship between variables, "creating" empirical model and finally "specifying" the ...
0
votes
1answer
42 views

Preset participles as adjectives

Can such a long turn be used as an adjective? Looking at a sinister, standing on the tribune and fiercely gesticulating in his usual manner general, John felt terrified. Should I move the noun (...
1
vote
0answers
50 views

Is the phrase 'for me' wrong? [duplicate]

Ever since I can remember, I've used 'to me' and 'for me' interchangeably. Examples: To me, writing about the future is too troublesome. Writing about the future is too troublesome for me. ...
4
votes
3answers
81 views

Acknowledging someone had an impact on your choice of career

In the acknowledgements section of my thesis, I just wrote: I would like to thank my supervisor X [...]. To a large extent, it is to his credit that I found my way into the field of Y and I am very ...
0
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1answer
40 views

The equations that describe the evolution are: [closed]

I would like to rephrase this sentence The equations that describe the evolution are: ... in a better sense. the word that sound miscellaneous.
2
votes
2answers
96 views

Is using “general plan of structure” appropriate in biology?

I'm reading now a book (which was written by a non-native English speaker) that states under the title of the topic: "general plan of structure of the digestive tube" The chapter there explains ...