213 votes

Why can "low" become "lower" and "lowest", while "up" can't?

Well, the opposite of low isn't up but high, which has the comparative higher and the superlative highest. So they're equivalent in that regard. The opposite of up would be down. But up and down when ...
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  • 1,259
75 votes

Why do you say "air conditioned" and not "conditioned air"?

Air-conditioning is the process for treating the air in a building. The compound adjective air-conditioned describes such a building. Conditioned air would describe the air, not the building!
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  • 32.3k
72 votes

Why can "populace" be used as an adjective in "most populace cities?"

You've misheard, but it's an easy mistake to make. What the person suggested was: The most populous cities Populace and populous are homophones—Oxford Dictionaries lists both as /'pɒpjʊləs/. ...
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  • 5,532
70 votes
Accepted

Do you say “2 Byte” or “2 Bytes”?

Both are possible, although the former would normally employ a hyphen. When used as an adjective, 2-byte refers to size of something: The computer's memory is organized into 2-byte words. The ...
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  • 108k
62 votes
Accepted

Is there a word for a man who behaves like a woman?

The English adjective to describe a man or boy whom the speaker/writer regards as exhibiting stereotypically or inappropriately feminine characteristics is "effeminate." Please note that this word ...
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  • 2,863
61 votes

"severe" as a verb: is it acceptable usage?

You are confusing "Sever" with "Severe" Severe is definitely used as an adjective. It means: very great; intense. While, sever is a verb which means: divide by cutting or ...
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  • 3,107
52 votes
Accepted

"I hate red color" or "I hate red": why exactly is the first option ungrammatical

When "red" is followed by a noun, native English speakers will classify "red" as an adjective. If that noun is then singular (and the noun phrase is undetermined, i.e. has no definite article, ...
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  • 1,198
42 votes
Accepted

What is the difference between feet and very feet?

When we say things like Lead will be changed into gold before your very eyes. and The treasure was buried beneath our very feet. and The clue had been there all along, under our very noses. ...
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40 votes

Why is "crime story" more correct than "criminal story"?

"Criminal" means "against the law", like "criminal behaviour", "criminal organisation", "criminal enterprise", and so on. The story is not against the law, the story is about a crime, so it's a crime ...
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38 votes
Accepted

Construction of “females representatives”

You have certainly found a typographical error. That you found multiple examples is testament not to its correctness, but only to the frequency of the phrase "female representatives" and to the ...
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37 votes

The difference between "Older" and "Elder"

The use of elder is restricted to compare human beings, mostly in family relationships. The one who is elder is the one who was born first. This is my elder sister Betty. You cannot substitute ...
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  • 5,231
36 votes

Using 'very' to emphasize a 'noun' where emphasizing is NOT possible!

Very is used in this way to mean precisely or just. In your example "the very home" means precisely the home and indicates that all those things took place in that same house: he was born, he was ...
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  • 6,639
35 votes

Why can "low" become "lower" and "lowest", while "up" can't?

The word you're looking for is uppermost or upmost: adjective Highest in place, rank, or importance. adverb At or to the highest or most important position. Oxford Dictionaries There ...
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  • 12k
32 votes

Why is the adjective for "mutate" not "mutatable"?

Good question. The reason has to do with the fact that the verb mutate was a back-formation from the noun mutation. That is, the English noun mutation existed first, and the verb mutate was invented ...
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32 votes

Can adjectives modify a pronoun like "rich they", "poor you" and "beautiful I"?

A good question! No, you can't (normally) put an adjective before a pronoun. All of your examples sound incorrect and non-fluent. But there is one way that you can correctly put an adjective in ...
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  • 35.8k
31 votes
Accepted

Is the "global" in "global pandemic" redundant?

Not redundant. Every definition of pandemic that I’ve read specifies that the word is used when referring to widespread diseases and not just global ones. For example, see Wikipedia’s definition. ...
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  • 12k
31 votes
Accepted

“ What is the different between COVID-19 antibodies that you “ - Is the word different wrong in this sentence?

Yes, that's a typo. "What is the difference" would be correct. Typos can slip in even in the most professional writing, but things on the internet exist on a wide spectrum of formality. The ...
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30 votes
Accepted

"my" vs "mine" (adjectives vs. possessive )

The correct phrasing is my question is. As you rightly note, my is a possessive adjective and mine is a possessive pronoun. So, this means you use my where you already have a noun (such as question) ...
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30 votes

What is the difference between feet and very feet?

Looking up very in the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, you can see that very can be an adverb or adjective, and that as an adjective one of its senses is 3 —used as an intensive especially ...
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  • 3,148
30 votes

We're waiting in a BIG or LONG queue?

A "queue" is, by definition, line-shaped, therefore it makes sense to define it by its length rather than its size. So "a long queue". In contrast, a "crowd" is kind of blob-shaped, so you would say ...
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  • 87.1k
29 votes

"I hate red color" or "I hate red": why exactly is the first option ungrammatical

I think the sentence that you are looking for is "I hate the color red." This sentence suggests that you have a certain hatred or dislike of the certain color red, regardless of its medium or location....
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28 votes
Accepted

What does "to be painted shut" mean?

We tried, but the window couldn't be opened. It was painted shut. It was painted to a "shut condition". The process of painting the window resulted in it being shut. The paint got in the ...
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  • 36.2k
28 votes

Is there a word for a man who behaves like a woman?

Effeminate, an adjective that means "having feminine qualities untypical of a man; not manly in appearance or manner." Nanigashi makes an excellent point about the cultural and temporal boundaries ...
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  • 10.2k
26 votes

To take oneself's life is not an act of courage

In English we often have to use a reflexive pronoun when we have two noun phrases that refer to the same person in the same (immediate) clause. In this post, I use a small < i > to show that two ...
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25 votes

Is "horrorest" a correct English word?

No, it is not a correct English word. Apparently Merriam-Webster includes an adjective definition for 'horror', but I have to disagree with them here. The example usage is 'horror movie', which you've ...
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  • 3,256
25 votes

Why has "strangely" been used instead of "strange" in the sentence "Harry felt strangely"?

Strangely here is not a predicative complement of the verb feel but an adverb modifying as though he had entered a very strict library. Compare these parallel uses with a different PC (1) and ...
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25 votes
Accepted

Is "drawable" a correct word?

English is fairly flexible and open to the creation of 'new' words and compound words from familiar prefixes and suffixes, "-able" being one such example. A Google search finds quite a lot ...
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  • 74.4k
24 votes
Accepted

"waterway ... flowed sombre" - Should Joseph Conrad have used an adverb, not an adjective?

I've just been reading on "depictive constructions" and it seems to be the term used by some lingusts to describe such constructions. The waterway flowed sombre. The construction depicts the ...
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  • 36.2k
23 votes
Accepted

An adjective for something that is not as well-known as it should be

Underrated might be what you're looking for. It means something that deserves more attention than is given to it.
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  • 346

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