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41 votes
Accepted

"One of THOSE days" vs "one of THESE days"

One of these days One of those days These are idioms. The former means sometime in the near future. So you can say "we really must visit them one of these days". The latter (one of those days) ...
Khan's user avatar
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36 votes
Accepted

Is there a rule that prohibits us from using 2 possessives in a row?

I've answered essentially the same question over at english.stackexchange.com: Why is “our today's meeting” wrong? Usually, a noun phrase in English must have exactly one determiner: you can say "I ...
Tanner Swett's user avatar
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33 votes

Why is there no article after "no" in "I have no car"

Articles belong to a group of words called "determiners". Besides articles, there are other determiners in the English language, and "no" is a determiner too. Let me quote from BBC: No is a ...
CowperKettle's user avatar
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33 votes
Accepted

Why is there no article after "no" in "I have no car"

"A" is like saying "one": I have a car I have one car Logically then, saying "no" is like saying "zero": I have no car I have zero cars. Therefore, there is no need for an article. "Not" is ...
Astralbee's user avatar
  • 102k
32 votes
Accepted

When is 'what' used for living beings?

Which is ordinarily used when asking for the identity of a specific member or members of a known group: A: The government said they would release three prisoners. B: Which prisoners? There are ...
StoneyB on hiatus's user avatar
31 votes

Can "few" be used as a subject? If so, what is the rule?

We use "little" for uncountable nouns and "few" for countable nouns. In your sentence Little has changed at work since the last employee survey was carried out. The general situation has changed a ...
Kshitij Singh's user avatar
29 votes
Accepted

(The) Putin's ratings shot up. Is the definite article allowed here?

You should not use the in The war campaign has shot up Putin's ratings. Yes, the noun "ratings" is definite, but it already has a word that indicates whose ratings they are: Putin's ratings. You ...
CowperKettle's user avatar
  • 36.6k
23 votes

Is there a rule that prohibits us from using 2 possessives in a row?

There isn't a rule that you can't use two possessives, but they don't indicate possession of the noun at the end, but instead each one modifies the next phrase. Our last week's meeting Is ...
Pete Kirkham's user avatar
  • 1,005
22 votes

"The" vs "that"

At a very basic level, that is the verbal counterpart to pointing at something in order to focus another person's attention on it in particular, so that the person does not mistake something else ...
TimR's user avatar
  • 125k
22 votes
Accepted

Can I say "This your pen is beautiful"?

It's not correct English as you intend it. "This" and "Your" are determiners, and specifically referring determiners. And you only use one referring determiner at a time. This pen My pen the ...
James K's user avatar
  • 219k
22 votes

"Look at the pictures" or "Look at these pictures"?

Either the or these is fine, though the meaning is subtly different. "The plural noun" indicates you are talking about a (singular) group of items (plural) that are known to be the subject ...
Richard Winters's user avatar
21 votes

She does homework every day vs She does her homework every day vs She does the homework every day

All your examples are grammatically correct. I haven't collected statistics but I'd guess "her homework" is most commonly used. You could certainly say that "her" is not required, as the reader is ...
Jay's user avatar
  • 65.6k
17 votes

Is "How much underwear?" okay?

Underwear, like trousers or jeans, are referred to as a pair, because it's a throwback to when pants (pantaloons) originally came in two pieces - a matching pair. A person would put on one leg, tie it ...
mike's user avatar
  • 9,843
17 votes

Is there a rule that prohibits us from using 2 possessives in a row?

Our last week's meeting is a little akward, but I for one do not think that it is incorrect. The answer by Tanner Swett says "it's never acceptable for a noun phrase to have more than one ...
David Siegel's user avatar
  • 41.1k
16 votes
Accepted

Can I use two “half” for emphasis?

No. The three sentences all mean different things. Half of an apple is eaten means there was one half of an apple, and all of that one-half is eaten. Picture someone cutting an apple into two halves; ...
randomhead's user avatar
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13 votes
Accepted

Does An only come before apple

In English, we use a before words that sound like they begin with consonants. We saw a book on the table. There is a spider on your shoulder. Some words begin with vowels, but when pronounced ...
Kman3's user avatar
  • 2,797
12 votes

Can I say "Any tiger is a dangerous animal"?

Yes, you can, but in the context of your second sentence it makes more sense. Two zoo workers are talking: A. That old tiger can't be dangerous, it's hardly got any teeth left. B. Look, ...
Andrew's user avatar
  • 88.3k
10 votes

"One of THOSE days" vs "one of THESE days"

The short answer. The two phrases are idioms. one of these days On some day in the future one of those days a day when everything goes wrong So if you want to visit them in the near ...
Em.'s user avatar
  • 45.4k
10 votes

"A my friend", "A friend mine"

In English we can only have one central Determiner in a noun phrase. Determiners are usually words like a, the, no, some, any, which, my, your, his, her and so forth. Because we can only have one of ...
Araucaria - Not here any more.'s user avatar
10 votes

Use of "the" and cardinals

When using a cardinal number to form a noun phrase you can always use the definite article to identify a specific instance of a number of things, in the same way as you would with any other noun ...
SteveES's user avatar
  • 4,659
10 votes

Problem regarding the use of determiners in the English language

"There is still little milk in the glass." I think this is grammatically sound, but it's not idiomatic. It's not something we're likely to say. It sounds very awkward. We would say "...
rjpond's user avatar
  • 23.1k
9 votes
Accepted

Which one is better?: Do you need a/any/some help?

Do you need help? This is used for directly asking if a person needs help without thinking whether the person actually needs help or not. Do you need a help? This is not grammatical. "...
Mikiko's user avatar
  • 854
9 votes
Accepted

Has she came or Did She came

First off, you are talking about a particular teacher. So you should use the determiner "my" or "the" in front of "teacher". Secondly, you use the first form of a verb with the auxiliary verb "did". ...
Khan's user avatar
  • 27.2k
9 votes

"The" vs "that"

"The" and "that" share the same etymology. They both come from the same Old English demonstrative pronoun/adjective (Old English didn't distinguish "the" and "that", but that word was flected by ...
Sasha's user avatar
  • 439
9 votes

How many are you guys? or How many people are you guys? which one is correct?

Neither sound good. The usual construction is "How many [apples] are there?" not "How many are there apples?" So the question when asked of people could be "How many guys are there?" The "guys" is ...
James K's user avatar
  • 219k
9 votes
Accepted

Must I use "my" when referring to my own bodypart or can I use "the" without technically breaking any rules?

English is very short on "rules" - we don't have a "Royal Academy of the English Language" like some languages do - but the forehead here sounds weird to US English speakers. My ...
stangdon's user avatar
  • 40.9k
8 votes

Has she came or Did She came

If you are still at school when you are asking the question you could say "Did the teacher come today?" but it would be better to say "Has the teacher come today?" because you are expecting your ...
BoldBen's user avatar
  • 1,190
8 votes

Are we to use any with plurals or singulars?

Both are correct. However, the second ("any" + singular) is less commonly used nowadays, and so it sounds somewhat old-fashioned. As for difference in meaning, in theory, the first is asking if he ...
Tim Pederick's user avatar
  • 8,325
8 votes

Can "few" be used as a subject? If so, what is the rule?

This sentence would work: Few have changed at work since the last employee survey was carried out. The difference is that few requires a plural verb form. Few has is ungrammatical, but few have is ...
Jason Bassford's user avatar

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