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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
21 views

Writing in “First person implied”

As far as I know a pronoun "I" is usually omitted when personal achievements are being described (writing in "First person implied"). For example it's better to write: Performed a review of the ...
3
votes
1answer
104 views

Are three dots (…) used to indicate only ellipsis?

I googled it and found out that three dots (...) in English means "ellipsis", But in my language, we use three dots quite commonly not only when we use ellipsis but also in the title of an article, ...
3
votes
2answers
261 views

Should I use Present or Past perfect for describing a case in a figure?

I have this sentence Figure 2 shows a screenshot of a dialogue for creating an anchor. In this dialogue, the anchor ( has been / is / was ?) specified by a text pattern. I don't want to say how ...
0
votes
1answer
20 views

using different prepositions in relation to a same period of time mentioned in different clauses

If I have already used preposition "during" in relation to one period of time in the first clause, can I use "in" in relation to a same period of time in the second clause? For example, She was ...
2
votes
2answers
97 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
95 views

Unclear English sentence containing “with was”

Consider: Disconcerting as the grin he then waited my pleasure with was the cast of his features, not just like any I had seen. I do not perfectly understand "with was" -- with what? This is ...
5
votes
3answers
35k views

Asking 'the pleasure of your company' in an invitation

This is a great site - I would happily pay for this advice. I must fess up and say I am a native English speaker (albeit an Irish one) but I'm running into trouble wording a party invitation. Is it ...
-1
votes
2answers
26 views

Using “discriminated against”

In my sentence, there are some users are discriminated against by some operator. If I want to refer to users' data, I say: reveal those discriminated against users' data Is this correct use of ...
0
votes
1answer
31 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.
1
vote
1answer
38 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
26 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
41k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
39 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
611 views

What is wrong here in this sentence?

Would someone help me figure out why this sentence sounds off, and help me rewrite it? We're talking about a group of people so deeply-rooted in and so appreciative of their ancient past, yet ...
0
votes
2answers
66 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
31 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
votes
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
votes
1answer
27 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. ...
0
votes
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
48 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
votes
1answer
34 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 ...
32
votes
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 ...
2
votes
2answers
54 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
vote
2answers
100 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-...
0
votes
2answers
105 views

How can I avoid repeat “the user” in a paragraph

Consider this part of paragraph: The elements of the page get highlighted as the mouse moves over them to make it easy for the user to detect the boundary of each element. Then, the user specifies ...
1
vote
1answer
705 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
votes
1answer
29 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
2k 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
95 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
689 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
54 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
3k 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?
1
vote
3answers
60 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
2k 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
1answer
34 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
31 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 ...
6
votes
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 ...
0
votes
0answers
159 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
486 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
108 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
vote
1answer
93 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
96 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
4k views

What's more accepted: “I know that” vs “I know this” & “I know it”? [closed]

What's more accepted in the spoken English: 1) "I know that" 2) "I know this" 3) "I know it"? Context: 1) Q. "Do you know Oxford university?" A. "Yes, I know it / this / that" 2) Q. "...
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 ...
0
votes
2answers
66 views

The position of 'been' and 'he' in the following question.

When writing a question that has two auxiliaries, which of these is grammatically correct? Could not he have been sick that day? Could not have he been sick that day? Also in formal/...
1
vote
1answer
82 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. ...
6
votes
2answers
116 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
45 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
75 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 ...