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51 votes

Slang from Fresh Prince from Bel-Air S01E03: Vacuumed, Cheese Dog, Harley, Fly for Me

She's been vacuumed more times than a hooked rug. She struggles with her weight and has had liposuction several times. Mimi wants a street-wise, Harley, bad-to-the-bones type of guy, man. Mimi ...
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  • 8,124
47 votes

Why are there two “is”’s in: Why is yawning is contagious?

There is no "explanation". These are simply errors. You should not see these in any edited text, but this kind of stumbling over words is not uncommon in unrehearsed speech. The example in ...
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  • 149k
35 votes
Accepted

What is the order of events? "I had milk and played computer games."

The default interpretation of consecutive 'eventive' clauses (clauses which express an action or event rather than a state) is that the events occur in the order they are specified. Since had in this ...
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21 votes
Accepted

"Hope this help" or "Hope this helps"?

So my original answer was incorrect. "Hope this helps!" is a declarative, not an imperative. Instead of deleting my answer, I think it might be helpful to explain why I should have known it wasn't an ...
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  • 11.6k
19 votes

Why are there two “is”’s in: Why is yawning is contagious?

The sentence with is repeated appears to be an error. The sentence with was twice is perfectly good, though a little confusing. It reads What was saleable as far as the freak was concerned was, of ...
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  • 64.1k
17 votes
Accepted

Sentence started with Verb+ing, but it's a really different structure

Facing the square is the Palazzo Marchesale This is equivalent to: The Palazzo Marchesale is facing the square The reason the author inverted it is so they could more easily attach the relative ...
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  • 7,846
16 votes

"Hope this help" or "Hope this helps"?

1: hope this helps - Informal but commonly used as the subject (I) is implied. Technically, it is not a complete sentence as it does not have a subject. 2: hope this help - Informal and wrong as ...
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  • 7,501
15 votes

"Assume something be" or "Assume something is"?

Let us assume x is real This sounds about right. Let us assume x be real This is grammatically incorrect. Let us assume x to be real This is grammatically correct, but sounds awkward, though ...
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  • 1,477
12 votes
Accepted

Slang from Fresh Prince from Bel-Air S01E03: Vacuumed, Cheese Dog, Harley, Fly for Me

She's been vacuumed more times than a hooked rug Just wave a chili-cheese dog in front of her nose n see how much of your arm you come back with Edit: While my original guess on the meaning of ...
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  • 2,963
9 votes

The woman "with" a hat or the woman "wearing" a hat?

Both are grammatically correct and could be used, almost interchangeably. The first option is less specific: the woman could be holding a hat in her hand or otherwise has the hat, but might not be ...
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  • 1,749
8 votes

When dependent clauses require commas, when do they allow them, and when are they definitely incorrect?

Learners from German or Russian (for example) will tend to place too many commas. When writing in English, try to think of commas as a very "heavy" form of punctuation, i.e. that it signifies a ...
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  • 231
8 votes

"Hope this help" or "Hope this helps"?

I will answer this question from a native speaker's perspective. 3 is very commonly used and is grammatically correct as it has an explicit subject and as Kevin mentions "help" is used as an ...
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  • 89
8 votes
Accepted

Which sentence is the "main clause"?

In an "If..., (then)...." the main clause follows the conjuction "then". A shorter example would be: If he apologises, then she will forgive him. The main clause is "she will forgive him". So in ...
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  • 149k
7 votes

Isobel,whose brother he was..or...was he

Of the two, the following sentence is better: Isobel, whose brother he was, had heard the joke before. However, I wouldn't use this formulation at all, because it's really confusing - note how ...
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  • 426
7 votes

Slang from Fresh Prince from Bel-Air S01E03: Vacuumed, Cheese Dog, Harley, Fly for Me

Hilary: She's been vacuumed more times than a hooked rug. Will: She looks good now, right? I don't see your point. Hilary: Just wave a chili-cheese dog in front of her nose n see how much of ...
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  • 1,034
7 votes

"However" used in a conditional clause?

However is fine if you introduce a statement that is going to contradict something you've said before. I am worried about your if-clause, though. However, I would be able to transfer the money if ...
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7 votes

Sentence started with Verb+ing, but it's a really different structure

The Palazzo faces the square (its front forms all or part of one of the four sides). The second phrase explains what the palace is, the third explains who the family are.
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  • 30.8k
6 votes
Accepted

help me make sense of the following sentence

It's a poorly-written sentence to begin with... let's see what we can pull out: The currency's down Yes, this is equivalent to The currency is down This is your subject and verb. The rest of ...
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  • 440
6 votes

What is the subject in the introductory clause "After studying for 1 year. . ."?

When the subject + verb of a subordinate clause like that is replaced with an -ing form, the subject of the subordinate clause is usually the same as a the subject of the main clause. So, After I ...
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  • 1,527
6 votes

exception in the past tense clauses sequence rule?

I heard a little boy waving his hands above the water. This sentence is fine. "A little boy waving" doesn't violate the rule you stated because it's not a finite present tense verb phrase; it's a ...
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  • 4,425
6 votes

Is "The way we are learning English is not good" a clause?

It is a noun phrase, and the subject of the sentence. It is not a clause, but it contains one. The noun phrase has a noun "the way" and a relative clause; "we are learning English" is the relative ...
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  • 149k
6 votes
Accepted

What is "more carefully than I do" in "My wife drives more carefully than I do", grammatically?

Welcome to English Language Learners. In this sentence, the phrase, 'more carefully than I do', is an adverbial phrase. It can't be considered an adverbial clause because it doesn't have its own ...
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  • 4,653
6 votes

Why are there two “is”’s in: Why is yawning is contagious?

Some of these sentences are simply errors, such as “*Why is yawning is contagious?” If I had to guess, perhaps the writer meant to type, “Why is yawning so contagious,” but accidentally typed si for ...
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  • 4,419
5 votes
Accepted

Can clauses be singular and/or plural?

Clauses do not have inherent number, but when a clause is employed under the category of an NP† it must be treated as either singular or plural. A single clause so employed is treated as a singular ...
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5 votes

"None is" or "none are"

First, let's just dispel the idea that none of them has any "fixed, correct" plurality... Note that it's much the same for us as it is for them, and any other animate/inanimate group whom/which we ...
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5 votes
Accepted

"It was an admission that all might not be right between them." - that-clause as subject.. or not?

Summary The that-clause is a "content clause" that functions as a "complement clause" of the noun phrase by "postmodifying" it. In the sentence, It was an admission that all might not be right ...
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  • 26.8k
5 votes

help me make sense of the following sentence

The currency's down 46 percent this year through yesterday, the result of tumbling prices for oil, Russia's top export, and international sanctions tied to the Ukraine conflict. The currency is ...
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