Hot answers tagged

92

"Come in" is permission, offered to someone who has asked for it (by knocking, for example). Unsolicited, it sounds imperative, or presumptuous; though of course this can be moderated by tone of voice or other context. "Come on in" is an invitation, much better as an unsolicited offer to someone who may not have been intending to enter. Offered to someone ...


91

Seldom is a word and you have used it correctly, however not very naturally! Seldom - not often; rarely (def. from google) I disagree with the correction. A better way to say this is: I also know, but seldom use, the meaning of the word in the context of musical instruments. I think the issue with the sentence, and the reason your original one sounds ...


53

Both styles are used. In most genres, no-one will object to either. However, traditionally, first, secondly, thirdly etc. is used. Only pedants will insist on this usage, but it is something to be aware of, as there are many pedants. See Fowler's Modern English Usage (3rd edition). The Oxford English Dictionary on firstly: Used only in enumerating heads, ...


50

People understand Ask away by analogy with certain other familiar sentences with away. Soldiers shout this when dropping bombs from an airplane (see, for example, this book): Bombs away! By itself, the word away means "located somewhere else" or "at a distance". In the phrase bombs away!, it suggests movement: "going somewhere else". Bombs away! ...


40

"Come on in" has the same meaning as "come in" but is a more folksy way of extending the invitation. It suggests a kind of rural, down-home hospitality that is redolent of (American) TV shows of the '50s, which were ever a myth (although a persistent one) about how friendly people in the hinterland were. This is an AmE usage, so I wouldn't expect to ...


35

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 raised and he died there. In a better example: "The very thought of her makes me cringe." Here it means "just the thought of her" (is all I need -or- is enough [...


35

What about good old "so"? German-made parts are way too expensive, so we ordered Chinese ones. This is by far the most natural way of saying this.


29

Native speakers would typically say "I have never been here before" in this context. You are talking about the place where you are currently, so here is correct. But the sentence "I have never been here" sounds self-contradictory: how can you have never been in the place where you are right now? Adding before restricts the "have never been" to the past ...


27

This seems to be a mistake. The original documentation, from 2013, reads: The World Wide Web was built over the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) and the Hypertext Markup Language (HTML). A User Agent, like a web browser, uses HTTP to request a HTML document. The browser then formats and displays the document to its user. HTTP is used to ...


26

The other answers do an excellent job explaining too adjective to infinitive, so I won't address that. I'll try to explain a different aspect of this, which might be what you're finding so surprising: specifically, how it could possibly be that removing an adverb could render a sentence ungrammatical? As you said, removing "slowly" from "He ...


25

"Fuckin'" here is an intensifier, and it modifies "far". The meaning is the same as "very", with the added connotation of expressing contempt for social propriety, since "fuckin'" is vulgar. Since "far" is an adjective, "fuckin'" is an adverb, if it matters. (That's not a "word class", though, that's a part of speech: the role played by the word in a ...


25

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 different adverbs (2,3): Harry felt strangely happy. Harry felt just as though he had entered a very strict library. Harry felt almost as though he had entered a ...


24

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 state of the waterway, not the manner of its flowing. Compare: John shouted at them angrily. (describes the manner of his shouting) John angrily read the ...


23

You're right. They're both adverbs. However, you can only say either to laugh out loud or to laugh loudly. There is no such thing as the phrasal verb to laugh out in English. It just does not exist. And because of that alone, to laugh out loudly would be an incorrect phrasing. However, there does exist the idiom to laugh someone out of something, but it ...


19

All are grammatically correct, but can have slightly different meanings. You also are allowed to see your son. This could mean that in addition to other things that you are allowed to do, you are allowed to see your son. Depending on context, it could mean that in addition to others being allowed, you are too. E.g. "Your son's wife is allowed to see him....


19

"Very" has come to indicate a great degree or extent, but this is not the only, or even original, meaning. Ultimately, "very" comes from the Latin for "truth". If someone is "very tall" then they are "truly tall". Over time it has taken on an emphatic meaning, perhaps by indicating that the phrase is more than mere hyperbole or by suggesting that what is ...


19

I guess you want to use a subordinate conjunction (or a phrase with similar functionality) which simply means "because". In this context, I can mention several ones as below: Thus Therefore Hence consequently In this regard With this regard Under this consideration ... However, I think you can reword that sentence to a more concise sentence: Since German-...


18

Emphasis is a rather imprecise term here. Very signals not merely emphasis but contrast either with other entities of the same sort or with what the hearer might expect. In the first it is roughly equivalent to same, in the second to even or itself. Jack Scott was born not in [not just any home but] the very [=the same] home he was raised and passed away in ...


18

You've left out the most important alternative: almost. Here's an expanded version of your Google Ngram: In most everyone, most is a contracted version of almost, an adverb modifying the every component of everyone. (Yes, I know everyone is written as one word, but syntactically it's apprehended as a 'pronominal' version of every. Any(one) works the same ...


18

It is never easy to answer why a particular colloquial phrase is used. It just is. In this case I speculate that "come in" on its own might be thought to be slightly less encouraging than "come on in". You say "come in" if someone knocks on your door, and in that context it means "you may come in (if you really want to)". Whereas if you want to encourage ...


18

I mostly agree with Bee's answer: "but seldom" fits better than "and seldom" because of negative/positive usage. Switching to "occasionally" makes the sentence say you are happy about having opportunities to use the word, while writing "but seldom" instead would suggest you are disappointed you don't get to use it more. Either could be correct depending on ...


16

First, and firstly are both correct, since first is also an adverb. So you can say: I prefer the train because I can see the landscape. Secondly, I have control over my luggage, and thirdly, it is better for the environment. First, I prefer the train because I can see the landscape. Second, I have control over my luggage, and third, it is better for ...


16

Short answer: You (almost) always put always before the verb because adverbs of frequency precede the main verb. There are always(!) exceptions that proves the rule. Same applies to specifically. You'd usually put it precedent to the main verb but there are reasons to move it in end position which I will discuss shortly in the long answer. I always confuse.....


15

Only is one of the words (like even, too, and also) that have a stressed focus word in the sentence. The focus word takes a heavy contrastive stress in speech, no matter where only occurs. She only talked to Mrs. McGrew about Bill. (not talking about anybody else) She only talked to Mrs. McGrew about Bill. (not talking to anybody else) She only talked ...


15

To me likewise is redundant with same, unless your context clearly indicates that one given filtering can be applied in different ways. As a result, I would simply skip likewise and write: All five newspapers rely on the same data source, so all are subject to the same filtering.


15

I would tell your students it's a "trap word," that is, something they might hear when conversing with native speakers but something that others might find jarring or unacceptable. (English has a handful of these – another that I can think of is "The data is..." vs. "The data are...") As for Mr. Check New Dictionaries, I cringe when someone is dishing out ...


15

Used in this context, so is an adverb of degree, meaning very, extremely, or to such a degree. Adverbs of degree are used to qualify adjectives- so good, so nice, etc., or other adverbs- so nicely. pity is a noun: you cannot use an adverb to qualify a noun. You need to use a predeterminer + determiner sequence like such a to qualify a noun.


14

In North American Engish, Monday can be used as adverb to mean on Monday, in the same way Mondays is used to mean on Mondays, on each Monday. I have looked for sentences similar to the ones shown in the question on the Corpus of the Contemporary American English, and I found the following ones. (I looked for sentences containing "[vvd] hard [npd1]"; that is ...


14

The phrase the night before last night is exactly how I'd reference it, although, in many contexts – and that includes informal contexts – I'd typically leave off the second night: I left the night before last.


14

The construction in question is: too adjective to verb Examples: I'm too tired to drive I'm too bored to continue I'm too dizzy to stand The "too" here is crucial -- it's saying you're tired to such an extent that you cannot drive. Contrast this with: almost too tired to drive In this case, you're still indicating that you're tired, but not ...


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