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63 votes

Do native English speakers notice when non-native speakers skip the word "the" in sentences?

Articles (and determiners in general) in English are important because it connects the flow of expectations between speaker/writer and listener/reader and helps one side understand what's expected to ...
LawrenceC's user avatar
  • 36.9k
63 votes

Strange omission of "to be": "The ground was hard and the rime thick and crisp on the grass."

It's quite normal in English, when two short parallel clauses need the same verb, for that verb not to be repeated: I wore a blue dress and my sister a red one. Peter was born in Scotland and Paul in ...
Kate Bunting's user avatar
  • 56.2k
62 votes

Is an "are" omitted in this sentence

I think there is a word missing in the sentence, but not the one you think it is. I would expect Three things in life that, once lost, are hard to build up. Once lost is a "small clause", ...
Colin Fine's user avatar
  • 75.9k
56 votes
Accepted

Why should "rip a man apart like a rag doll" be read "... like [it can rip apart] a rag doll" instead of "... like a rag doll [can rip apart a man]"?

You're right. The sentence is formally ambiguous, and only real-world knowledge allows us to choose among possible interpretations. This is common in language (which almost always developed naturally, ...
Colin Fine's user avatar
  • 75.9k
54 votes
Accepted

"as rich as him", "as rich as he" or "as rich as he is"

What's happening in these sentences is that you are starting with an original idea like this: I have never met a man who is as rich as he is rich. That sentence sounds strange because we haven't ...
JavaLatte's user avatar
  • 60k
48 votes

Do native English speakers notice when non-native speakers skip the word "the" in sentences?

Yes, absolutely. Some don't mind, some do, but all will notice. It's jarring to the native listener, and immediately betrays a less-than-fluent non-native speaker.
Asteroids With Wings's user avatar
39 votes
Accepted

Is "Being a heavy stick the dog has held it tightly by the middle" grammatically correct?

You are referring to a "dangling modifier" (a species of "misplaced modifier") and yes, many writers, teachers, and grammar books tell us it is an error. But it is not a ...
Jeffrey Carney's user avatar
35 votes

Does "nor he mine" make sense here?

It's elliptical, that is, it drops some words for economy of expression, since the words omitted will be obvious to the native speaker. I looked up, though I could not see his face, nor could he see ...
Jack O'Flaherty's user avatar
33 votes
Accepted

Why is "of" dropped in 'as X (of) a something'?

Of is not 'deleted' in the second sentence; it is improperly intruded into the first. This intrusive of has been common in colloquial English at least since I was a child in the 1950s, but it is not ...
StoneyB on hiatus's user avatar
33 votes
Accepted

What does it mean by "my days-of-the-week underwear only go to Thursday" in this context?

Go from [something] to [something else] can describe or define a sequence from the first something to the other something. In other words, from and to are being used in an ordinary way to indicate a ...
Em.'s user avatar
  • 45.4k
31 votes

What does it mean by "my days-of-the-week underwear only go to Thursday" in this context?

It is possible to buy underwear with a day printed on it as a joke or as a gentle reminder to a child (or adult) to change their pants each day. But I think Lorelai is being very sarcastic here. ...
James K's user avatar
  • 226k
29 votes

"Too expensive for me to afford it" why ungrammatical?

As far as I can see, it is grammatical both with and without "it" at the end. I think I would usually say it with "it", but I'm not certain.
Colin Fine's user avatar
  • 75.9k
25 votes
Accepted

Seemingly unnecessary verbs in comparisons: "He runs faster than Robert (does)"

As @P.E.Dant writes, dropping it is ellipsis. So if either option is less careful, it would be dropping, not adding, the second verb. (That said, both are very common in every register of speech.) The ...
Luke Sawczak's user avatar
23 votes

Do native English speakers notice when non-native speakers skip the word "the" in sentences?

Yes, we do notice but it seldom affects the meaning. Some people get upset by things like that others do not. When Chinese colleagues give me their work to edit I always put the articles back in ...
mdewey's user avatar
  • 4,601
23 votes

Grammarly says that starting "Like Pearl was hesitant to..." with "Like" is fine, but my parent says it is grammatically incorrect

Grammarly is right because the sentence is grammatically correct. Your teacher has a point because there are several issues with the usage of like in this sentence. According to the Cambridge ...
JavaLatte's user avatar
  • 60k
22 votes
Accepted

Why isn’t the pronoun “it” placed after But?

The two verb phrases sent soldiers... and is nonetheless... are conjoined by but and share the subject, Poland; parse it like this: sent soldiers ... Poland but is nonetheless ... ...
StoneyB on hiatus's user avatar
22 votes

Grammarly says that starting "Like Pearl was hesitant to..." with "Like" is fine, but my parent says it is grammatically incorrect

In the strictest sense, it is indeed grammatically correct. However, it’s not well written, and this is often misinterpreted as being equivalent to saying it’s grammatically incorrect. Consider for ...
Austin Hemmelgarn's user avatar
19 votes
Accepted

Why didn't the author write "the rules we follow in dealing with sets are derived from them." instead of "sets derive from them"?

This word American Heritage Dictionary derive v.tr. 1.a. To obtain or receive from a source: a dance that is derived from the samba; confidence that is derived from years of experience. v.intr. To be ...
Jack O'Flaherty's user avatar
19 votes
Accepted

"She was seriously ill as (she was) an infant." — Is this a case of ellipsis?

No, your version, "...as she was an infant", doesn't really work, because it changes the meaning. As is a word with many meanings. The original sentence says that she was seriously sick ...
stangdon's user avatar
  • 40.9k
18 votes
Accepted

What does "for" mean in "...for works written by and for the sophisticated adults .."

The first "for" does indeed mean "because". The second one, however, means "aimed at". So the sentence basically means this: These [writings] were chosen by teachers in the Renaissance after a lot ...
Nathan Tuggy's user avatar
  • 9,514
18 votes
Accepted

How to understand "Ron had gone a nasty greenish colour"?

It is idiomatic to speak of the person using their name, even when speaking of body parts, and especially when speaking of the face, which can be very expressive of the person's self and identity. ...
TimR's user avatar
  • 128k
17 votes
Accepted

"Awaits for you" or "awaits you"?

Await has both transitive and intransitive uses; I believe most of the other answers are focused on the transitive usage, reading the sentence as [Happiness] [awaits for] [you], which is indeed non-...
choster's user avatar
  • 17.7k
16 votes
Accepted

Meaning of "work as hard"

The statement is elliptical. ...so you don't have to work as hard [as you would have to work without their help]. It's like saying: ... so your job is easier. Easier than what? Easier than it ...
TimR's user avatar
  • 128k
16 votes

Does "nor he mine" make sense here?

Yes, it's grammatical. In the context of the sentence, nor he mine is a shortened form of the following: nor [could] he [see the face that was] mine The missing words are assumed from the context of ...
Jason Bassford's user avatar
16 votes
Accepted

Is it correct to say "What, my family and friends would say, is ...?" instead of "What would my family and friends say is ...?"?

(1) and (2) are both correct, but do not have the same meaning. (This may already be obvious, but for the sake of completeness or for future readers). Consider: (1) "What would Socrates say is a ...
Kaia's user avatar
  • 992
14 votes

Omitting 'that' in this sentence

Others have explained why you can't simply omit the "that". However, in this case it would be idiomatic to omit "that is", leaving "There is so much at stake for many."
Especially Lime's user avatar
14 votes
Accepted

"Too expensive for me to afford it" why ungrammatical?

In your first example, there probably isn't an adequate grammatical rule about why. I can tell you the it is unnecessary, and generally you don't want to use more words than necessary to communicate. ...
ACH's user avatar
  • 291
13 votes

"as rich as him", "as rich as he" or "as rich as he is"

All three are OK, some purists will argue that the second is formally correct I've never met a man as rich as he The use of the personal pronoun ‘he’ sounds more refined to some ears, more "...
Mari-Lou A's user avatar
  • 27.8k
13 votes

Does "nor he mine" make sense here?

The sentence follows a pattern of leaving out words in cases that a reader may understand those words from context. The general pattern is called ellipsis, and the specific type for this sentence is ...
brainchild's user avatar
  • 1,741
13 votes

Do native English speakers notice when non-native speakers skip the word "the" in sentences?

Yes. Even online. Your English could be otherwise impeccable but if you skip more than one word when writing I will immediately think you are a non-native speaker. The words you choose to omit also ...
DKNguyen's user avatar
  • 334

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