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Questions tagged [word-order]

This tag is for questions about the correct order of words in a phrase or a sentence, or how changing the order affects the meaning.

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14 votes
3 answers
8k views

"I only teach you" vs. "I teach only you" vs. "I teach you only"

I only teach you. I teach only you. I teach you only. I think that all the sentences have same meaning, but my teacher says that they are different from each other. I think that the ...
Singh's user avatar
  • 443
12 votes
4 answers
32k views

Is there always a "the" before a superlative adjective?

For example: I could not face being alone again and losing the person dearest to me. I wonder why there is no "the" in front of "dearest".
dennylv's user avatar
  • 4,121
13 votes
3 answers
4k views

Usage of indefinite article and too

Is there any alternative to this construction? It was too stupid a question. I mean, can we somehow put the 'a' in a different position and is it used in English (maybe informal) or the version ...
Vlad Stryapko's user avatar
13 votes
5 answers
4k views

Why {are you / you are} making noise?

I always get confused between these two sentences: Why are you making noise? Why you are making noise? Could anyone put light in the differences between the two?
Sudhir's user avatar
  • 2,005
11 votes
3 answers
59k views

Should I write "X and I", "X and me", "I and X", or "me and X" in a conjoined object?

A question was asked in one of my friend's interview. The question was to determine the right form from the below sentences. Q. Correct form of English: Samuel was with Susan and I ...
Mistu4u's user avatar
  • 6,311
7 votes
1 answer
75k views

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?
varsha's user avatar
  • 183
8 votes
2 answers
2k views

"to not" vs "not to"

Which is more appropriate in the following sentence? "I asked him to not judge her according to (or: based on) her beauty" vs "I asked him not to judge her according to (or:based on) her beauty"...
Virtuous Legend's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
2k views

The order of adjectives: Is it exactly the same in GB, the USA, and elsewhere in the English-speaking world?

When learning the order of adjectives in a sentence, I thought up a word "saSHcomp" standing for the "Size-Age-Shape-Color-Origin-Material-Purpose" order. Later, I found out that there's a slightly ...
Victor B.'s user avatar
  • 9,352
2 votes
2 answers
2k views

Does the position of "only" give a different meaning to the sentence? [duplicate]

I've only been there once. (OALD) Does this mean ‘I’ve just been there not doing particular activities like studying or staying for particular something else, and I have once? (Because ‘only’ is put ...
Listenever's user avatar
  • 23.9k
2 votes
1 answer
915 views

position of 'only' and the respective change in meaning [duplicate]

What is the difference between the meanings of the two sentences given below? He plays only as an average player. He only plays as an average player. I think the second sentence emphasizes more on ...
Sanket Verma's user avatar
8 votes
4 answers
35k views

"My sister and I" versus "I and my sister"

I've been told to put "I" at the last part of the subject, as in "My sister and I walk to school." Is saying "I and my sister walk to school." wrong?
kartika's user avatar
  • 81
7 votes
1 answer
415 views

Why are lakes called "Lake Soandso" but seas are called "Soandso Sea"?

I am an English teacher for Brazilians. I was explaining the Great Lakes, and after that I mentioned the sea in Europe and noticed that the names were in a reversed order: Which of the great lakes ...
Ronaldo's user avatar
  • 71
3 votes
1 answer
2k views

Make up something or make something up?

Another murky subject arose today: Would like to know, which one is appropriate: I am unable to attend the mandatory meeting; I will make up some excuse. Or: I am unable to attend the ...
Ravi OpenSource's user avatar
15 votes
5 answers
9k views

Is it correct English to write "John he is my husband," or, "Mary she went to the store?"

Is it correct English to write “John he is my husband,” or, “Mary she went to the store?” I hear this construction frequently from TV and Radio Journalists. Is there a name for this construction?
rwhissen's user avatar
  • 159
6 votes
6 answers
1k views

The order of words in a clause: "tell me who is the real man" vs. "tell me who the real man is" [duplicate]

"Tell me who she is." "Tell me who your boyfriend is." We usually reverse the order, so it becomes like that. But I wonder whether "tell me who is the real man" also works because "tell me who ...
vincentlin's user avatar
  • 1,517
5 votes
1 answer
3k views

Adjectives order: opinion or size?

Grammatically speaking, opinion goes before size, i.e. opinion, size, age, shape, color, origin, material, purpose. However, I saw this example in Practical English Usage, third edition, page 12: ...
Mori's user avatar
  • 2,111
5 votes
2 answers
3k views

Position of 'not' in a negative interrogative?

Source: Carlill v Carbolic Smoke Ball Company [1892], judgement of Lindley LJ But there is another view. Does not the person who acts upon this advertisement and accepts the offer ♦ put himself to ...
user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
4k views

difference between not to verb , to not + verb

"Name three things that, if you were told were part of the job, would cause you to not take the position. " I've just come across this sentence while reading the news. Question is: Why to not is ...
Cihangir Çam's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
341 views

The movie "Die Hard" or The "Die Hard" Movie?

Sometime like this case I don't know if I can put the name before or after the label (movie in this sentence)... The movie "Die Hard" or The "Die Hard" Movie? The variable "X&...
Ahmad's user avatar
  • 8,771
3 votes
3 answers
18k views

"Not to" or "to not" [duplicate]

What is the difference between: "I promise not to misbehave." "I promise to not misbehave." as in something a kid would say to convince its parents that it will behave well?
Yassine Imounachen's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
3k views

"How good do you think it is?" or "How good do you think is it?" [duplicate]

Which one is correct? Leaning towards first one but I am unsure because a more basic version would be "How good is it?"
L.White's user avatar
  • 313
2 votes
1 answer
2k views

Is the phrase "to not" correct in English?

There is something that I often I meet in English. It is the use of "to not", and I'm not sure about its correctness since I'm not a native English speaker. For example: I brought it to you in ...
Virtuous Legend's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
3k views

3 sentences with "only" [duplicate]

I only play tennis in the summer. I play tennis only in the summer. I play tennis in the summer only. It there any difference in these 3 sentences?
Volodymyr Bezuglyy's user avatar
28 votes
3 answers
21k 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 ...
MasterPJ's user avatar
  • 1,465
21 votes
4 answers
214k views

How do I use "also" in a sentence?

Which of the following sentences are grammatically correct in written text? You also are allowed to see your son. You are also allowed to see your son. Also, you are allowed to see your son. ...
Hakan's user avatar
  • 1,283
19 votes
6 answers
6k views

difference between "came along" and "along came"

What is the difference between the two? For example John came along. Along came John. I don't understand the difference in usage and yet I come across too many sentences starting with '...
Leo's user avatar
  • 3,161
14 votes
3 answers
49k views

Where should the word “probably” be placed

Consider the following sentences: I'll move to the south by then probably. I'll probably move to the south by then. I'll move to the south probably by then. Which of the three is correct....
hjpotter92's user avatar
  • 2,725
7 votes
2 answers
16k views

Difference between "such things as" and "things such as"?

I read a lot of English books, and I have noticed that when authors need to list examples of something, they tend to use "such things as" rather than "things such as", although they both sound correct....
Masked Man's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
894 views

How to properly position adjectives

Sometimes I find myself in the position to describe something and of course making massive use of adjectives. Check out the following sentences, I would say, for example: three large red apples; ...
haunted85's user avatar
  • 999
6 votes
3 answers
13k views

"God only knows" vs. "Only God knows"

One can say only God knows in reference to some mystery only an omniscient being would know, or for those who prefer their oaths minced, heaven knows or goodness knows or lord knows. The inverted ...
choster's user avatar
  • 17.6k
5 votes
2 answers
245 views

"There are a good many scholars ..." is it right?

In "Seeing like a state" of James C.Scott there is a sentence at the beginning of a paragraph (Acknowledgements xi): There are a good many scholars whose writings opened up new perspectives for ...
Ramid's user avatar
  • 489
4 votes
2 answers
9k views

"Not only… but also" at the beginning of a sentence

Do we always have to use inversion when we start a sentence with "not only… but also"? For example: Is it correct to write/say: Not only they were tall, but also they were strong. Or Not only ...
Learner's user avatar
  • 41
4 votes
2 answers
2k views

Grammatically correct? 'big fat funny cats' and 'fat silly cats'

As someone who didn't emphasize on learning grammar at all, I still sometimes find a case that calls for grammar rules. I was asked which one is correct: fat silly cats or silly fat cats? ...
Damkerng T.'s user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
13k views

"do you not" vs "do not you"

Which one of those two sentences is correct? Do you not think it has made our lives better ? OR Do not you think it has made our lives better ? I want to know if the technology has made our ...
Mohamad Haidar's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
1k views

Confusion over the position of an adverb

We are taught that an adverb should be placed behind the verb it modifies or at the end of the sentence. For example: 1: I run quickly; 2: I love her deeply. However, I see sentences in which the ...
Ann Xie's user avatar
  • 305
3 votes
4 answers
792 views

Please tell me how much {I should / should I} pay for this

I am confused about the correct order of the modal verb (should) and the pronoun (I) in the example below. Generally, I feel that the sentence is a request, which implies it is a question. Must the ...
Sarmen's user avatar
  • 149
3 votes
1 answer
9k views

If you have more than one adjective to describe a noun, is there is a specific order you put them? [duplicate]

According to an answer in Quora to the question: What are the most frustrating grammatical errors you see online? there is a specific way to position adjectives based in their type, how accurate is ...
marcanuy's user avatar
  • 147
3 votes
3 answers
1k views

What is the correct word order in this sentence?

I was looking at the title of this post: To whom does the Islamic State sell their oil? and it sounds strange to me. Shouldn't the word order be the following? Whom does the Islamic State sell ...
Federico's user avatar
  • 169
2 votes
3 answers
17k views

Are you Vs You are

I was wondering if you let me know which group of the self-made sentences below grammatically is corect: A) Where in the world are you? What in the world are you doing here? Who in the ...
A-friend's user avatar
  • 14.1k
2 votes
1 answer
107 views

Where to place 'only' [duplicate]

I have seen the word 'only' placed both before and after a noun. Where should the word 'only' go in this sentence? Is it the writer's choice? If you have attended every lesson, only the songs need to ...
user28781's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
31 views

Adverb attachment order

Why does I worked hardly. sound so wrong and I hardly worked. is the only correct (or at least idiomatic) expression. Yet I worked quickly. is correct this time and I quickly worked. sounds ...
theonlygusti's user avatar
  • 2,068
2 votes
2 answers
2k views

Does healthy or strong go first when used together?

He is a strong healthy man. He is a healthy strong man. Which is the correct answer and why?
I don't know who I am.'s user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
279 views

Aren’t I? vs. Am I not?

I am a good man, aren’t I? I am a good man, am I not? The first sentence is often used. According to grammar books, the second sentence is also correct, but it is rarely used. Can native speakers ...
Delfino's user avatar
  • 265
1 vote
2 answers
3k views

Any difference btw 'Aren't/Don't they/we/you ...' and 'Are/Do they/we/you not ...'

As in title, Don't they know it? Do they not know it? Are these sentence the same? or the second sentence is plain wrong? Is there any case where they are different?
dan's user avatar
  • 12.8k
1 vote
1 answer
56 views

Noun order in a noun phrase

Is there any rule of where to place the name of a brand/movie/book (before or after the noun)? I would usually put it before the noun if the name has only one word. Examples: The "Apple" brand is ...
Alan Evangelista's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
24k views

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?
user2246's user avatar
  • 191
1 vote
1 answer
40 views

Is a word-order inversion required for the second related question in a sentence? "Do you want anything else, or (can I)/(I can) go home now?"

How must this blank be filled? Do you want anything else, or ...... go home now? I can can I I thought the answer is the number one, since the real question has been asked at the beginning of the ...
user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
94 views

Does the meaning of a sentence change when I change the order of the adverbial (preposition) phrases in it

i always thought that when we have more than one adverbial phrase (two mostly) They hold equal emphasis or modify the verb at the same level. Is it correct, i thought it was correct. Read the ...
Rav Rk's user avatar
  • 1
0 votes
1 answer
1k views

She certainly has gone up or she has certainly gone up

She (certainly has or has certainly) gone up in my estimation since she told the manager what she thought of him. Should 'certainly' be used before or after 'has'?
Seema Bhukar's user avatar
  • 1,545
6 votes
4 answers
4k views

"Bring up the subject" vs "bring the subject up"

Example: I stared at my brown sneakers, deciding whether to bring up the subject. I stared at my brown sneakers, deciding whether to bring the subject up. What's the different between ...
alexchenco's user avatar
  • 7,105