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41 votes
Accepted

Is "slightly ajar" a tautology?

Redundancy or a pleonasm can be a device used by an author. That doesn't make it a grammar mistake. In some contexts, redundancy is avoided, but in many contexts it is just a natural aspect of ...
James K's user avatar
  • 226k
38 votes

Why is "John makes Bob looks short." wrong?

*John makes Bob looks short. make is a causative verb. langeek explains: The structure of making this type of causative is as follows: Subject + Causative Verb + Object + non-finite clause A non-...
Seowjooheng Singapore's user avatar
30 votes

Is it correct to say "Be m a number...", instead of "Let m be a number..." in math and elsewhere?

No, constructions like “Be m an integer” and others with be are not at all idiomatic in mathematical discourse. What you will find is things like “Let m be an integer,” “Suppose m is an integer,” and “...
Paul Tanenbaum's user avatar
22 votes

Is "slightly ajar" a tautology?

No, it is not a tautology. 'Ajar' means the door is partially open, or neither open nor closed. There are lots of gradations in between open and closed, so it seems perfectly reasonable to use an ...
Astralbee's user avatar
  • 106k
17 votes
Accepted

How to fill the blank in "Many of the world's great novels are reported ___ (make) into movies last year."?

The correct answer is C, "to have been made". You need an infinitive because the sentence already has a verb, "reported". That rules out A and D, which are not infinitives. "...
Jay's user avatar
  • 68k
16 votes

Why was 'Having seen that it is about to rain...' not the correct answer?

had better I suspect that you were caught out by the word “had”. After all, “had” is the past tense of “to have” (“I had a dog”), and it’s also used as a helper to signify the past perfect (“I had ...
KrisW's user avatar
  • 1,019
15 votes

Why is "John makes Bob looks short." wrong?

The expression make someone V takes the unmarked infinitive form of the verb. It is similar to many others: compare John makes his son do his homework. John watches his son play baseball. John helps ...
Paul Tanenbaum's user avatar
15 votes
Accepted

Can "He is an honest man" be passivized?

He is an honest man. Verbs that are static cannot be made passive. He makes cakes for children. = Cakes are made by him for children. It is said [by someone] that he is an honest man. It is said [...
Lambie's user avatar
  • 46.9k
13 votes

I would like to submit an opinion letter arguing that my sentence should also be considered correct

Sorry, your sentence isn't grammatically valid. It's not even a sentence! The original was quite complex, so let's demonstrate with something simpler. This light and this switch show whether the ...
Andy Bonner's user avatar
  • 15.7k
10 votes
Accepted

Conditional sentences and usages

Both are equally correct, and equally odd English. Both start with a hypothetical condition. This is odd, since you probably know which year you were born in, so why hypothesise? If you know you ...
James K's user avatar
  • 226k
9 votes

Can "He is an honest man" be passivized?

Not quite. If you understand your example as having omitted what you see between brackets: [Someone/People/They say that] "he is an honest man". Then what your friend proposes as a ...
fev's user avatar
  • 9,565
7 votes

Is it correct to say "Be m a number...", instead of "Let m be a number..." in math and elsewhere?

Is it grammatically sound using it in this context? No. Grammar guidance changes. This use of "to be" in the present subjunctive to indicate irrealis - a theoretical or possible state of an ...
user81561's user avatar
  • 2,642
7 votes
Accepted

I learned much of my English watching

Here are the correct explanations. They are not equivalent, contrary to some other 'answers'. I learned much of my English vocabulary [while] watching Hollywood movies. "watching Hollywood ...
user21820's user avatar
  • 1,459
7 votes
Accepted

Is “That store sells watches for one dollar each” grammatically correct? Are there better alternatives to this sentence, such as with “at”?

Yes, "for" is completely fine. I wonder where you heard this rule, because I can't think of any cases where it holds. You can buy, sell, distribute, purchase, or do any other commerce-...
the-baby-is-you's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

Can both "from"s be retained

Not quite. "From X to Y" describes a range of things, but doesn't function as a noun phrase itself. You need a noun for it to modify; the idiom is everything from X to Y: This is a place ...
the-baby-is-you's user avatar
6 votes

Is it correct to say "Be m a number...", instead of "Let m be a number..." in math and elsewhere?

It's archaic, but with that in mind it is arguably correct. Only arguably so, however: most native speakers would probably (as you see here) call it incorrect, because they aren't well versed in ...
phoog's user avatar
  • 1,978
6 votes

Is it 'did you used to' or 'did you use to'?

[1] *What games or activities did you used to play during recess or after school? [2] What games or activities did you use to play during recess or after school? Only [2] is correct. The uncertainty ...
BillJ's user avatar
  • 17.3k
6 votes
Accepted

Correct grammar with "For what kind" questions

The most correct usage would be: For what kind of applications may its use not be appropriate? But since you are asking for a correct answer from a list I'm guessing this is for a test. The second; ...
Elliot's user avatar
  • 315
5 votes

I don't understand use of "you" in "away support you were amazing"

The message uses extremely informal writing. There are three separate parts: "Fun game" Hopefully self explanatory. "good performance from the boys" This is complimenting "...
Laurel's user avatar
  • 15.7k
5 votes

Is "New rules are adhere to" grammatically correct?

Adhere as in adhere to is what’s known a prepositional verb—an intransitive verb that appears with a particular preposition along with the preposition’s object. Prepositional verbs, unlike other ...
Tinfoil Hat's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

"A too large dataset is difficult to learn" vs "If the dataset is too large, the learning is difficult"

The grammar of "Too adjective" is a little odd. You can use it as a predicate freely: This dataset is too large. Pianos are too heavy to lift. But it is at least awkward to use it ...
Colin Fine's user avatar
  • 76.3k
5 votes

I learned much of my English watching

Yes, these are all idiomatic and equivalent. But note, not all of these work in other contexts. I learned all my English from Fred. —right I learned all my English by Fred. —wrong I learned all my ...
Andy Bonner's user avatar
  • 15.7k
4 votes

Why was 'Having seen that it is about to rain...' not the correct answer?

This is an idiomatic use of "see", and doesn't really mean "behold" or "look at with your eyes". It means more "be aware" or "know". Seeing as it's ...
James K's user avatar
  • 226k
4 votes

Is "slightly ajar" a tautology?

The phrase "slightly ajar" could be considered a bit redundant, but it's not necessarily a clear-cut tautology. "Ajar" itself means slightly open, so adding "slightly" ...
tonyk's user avatar
  • 49
4 votes

Is “That store sells watches for one dollar each” grammatically correct? Are there better alternatives to this sentence, such as with “at”?

For is the way that it would most likely be expressed. How much did you pay for that? How much do you want for that? I got it for a song [very little money]. They sold their house for nearly $700,000....
Paul Tanenbaum's user avatar
3 votes

Is it grammatically correct to say "it is itself something"?

Itself, herself, himself, themselves when used in that manner make reference to an earlier remark or to an extant context, often to point out some kind of inconsistency or discord. (So you should ...
TimR on some device's user avatar
3 votes
Accepted

"They’re just kids, so treat them as." — grammatical?

For the sentence to be complete and grammatically correct, it should be, "... so treat them as kids" or "so treat them as such" (or perhaps some other similar wording. The meaning ...
Jay's user avatar
  • 68k
3 votes
Accepted

The Usage of "Would"

Would in the OP sentence has a conditional sense. The implied condition is space junk hitting the station: if that happens, other outcomes will follow. So you are not correct to read it as They assume ...
Peter Kirkpatrick's user avatar
3 votes

Are both grammatically correct: "Our type of child…" OR "A child of our type…"

They are both grammatically correct but do not make the same statements. To say it as you have suggested would be to imply something different. "Our type of child . . ." --> This ...
Biblasia's user avatar
  • 1,532
3 votes

Suffix -dom and -ness

richdom is a rare obsolete word inherited from German. Don't use it. But when it was in use, the primary meaning was "Royal power, sovereignty" ("kingdom" was an even rarer sense ...
FumbleFingers's user avatar

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