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77 votes

Why do you say "air conditioned" and not "conditioned air"?

Air-conditioning is the process for treating the air in a building. The compound adjective air-conditioned describes such a building. Conditioned air would describe the air, not the building!
Kate Bunting's user avatar
  • 56.2k
50 votes
Accepted

I do not really understand the proposal: "Don't hate Monday. Make Monday hate you"

I like to learn English. Great! I do not really understand the proposal: "Don't hate Monday. Make Monday hate you". Well, it's not really a 'proposal' or offer. It's a motivational phrase ...
lly's user avatar
  • 4,901
49 votes

What's a lot of money {out of curiosity}?

I would put a comma between "money" and "out": "What's a lot of money, out of curiosity?" It's fairly common usage in British English.
Prime Mover's user avatar
  • 5,301
45 votes

Is it correct English to write "John he is my husband," or, "Mary she went to the store?"

This construction is common in speech, and in writing which emulates speech. The initial noun phrase acts as a discourse marker to announce a shift of focus to a new or resumed topic; it will usually ...
StoneyB on hiatus's user avatar
38 votes

Is it correct to say "My teacher yesterday was in Beijing."?

Both of those sentences are correct. They say roughly the same thing, but with slightly different emphases. The second makes the teacher's location yesterday more important. My teacher yesterday was ...
Ethan Bolker's user avatar
  • 7,123
36 votes
Accepted

“Let for each 𝑗” vs. “For each 𝑗 let”

Mathematician here. Your proofreader is right. The revised version is how this is normally written. I would understand your original text, but it would make me stumble. You should avoid wording that ...
Ethan Bolker's user avatar
  • 7,123
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 ...
StoneyB on hiatus's user avatar
29 votes
Accepted

Why is "for a tortuous three days" singular even though days is plural?

In phrases that follow this pattern: a {modifier} {number} {plural noun relating to time} {plural noun} is understood to be a duration. She spent a nervous thirty minutes waiting to be ...
TimR's user avatar
  • 128k
28 votes

Why is "for a tortuous three days" singular even though days is plural?

In general, dates & times, lengths and weights1, amount of currency and Maths expressions are not considered plural even if they use plural forms of words. Like these Three days isn't a long ...
iBug's user avatar
  • 1,030
28 votes

I do not really understand the proposal: "Don't hate Monday. Make Monday hate you"

Don't start your Monday with the thought that Monday is going to conquer you. Start your Monday with the thought that you are going to conquer Monday. You can replace "conquer" with a pithier ...
TimR's user avatar
  • 128k
28 votes

Is it correct to say "My teacher yesterday was in Beijing."?

In the sentence "My teacher yesterday was in Beijing", "yesterday" attaches to "teacher". Hence it means: "The teacher who was teaching us yesterday was in Beijing ...
Prime Mover's user avatar
  • 5,301
28 votes

Loud heavy/heavy loud metal band

The term "Heavy metal" is the name of a specific genre of music. See the Wikipedia article. A "heavy metal band" is a band that plays such music exclusively or primarily. A "...
David Siegel's user avatar
  • 41.2k
23 votes

Is it correct English to write "John he is my husband," or, "Mary she went to the store?"

As the sentences stand, the pronouns are normally redundant however, there are some circumstances where you would use it with some modifications in punctuation. The first is in poetic usage where the ...
Chris Johns's user avatar
23 votes

"Tea drinking" vs. "tea drunk" in this context

Tea drinking and drinking tea are both phrases that refer to the custom of consuming a beverage made by immersing the leaves of certain plants in hot water. The gerund drinking fits equally well ...
Ronald Sole's user avatar
  • 25.8k
21 votes
Accepted

“as would a calm dog whose yard…”

When she opened her eyes she saw a harbor seal, twenty feet in front of her, staring at her as would a calm dog whose yard she'd walked into. There's nothing missing from the basic construction. Your ...
BillJ's user avatar
  • 17.1k
19 votes

What's a lot of money {out of curiosity}?

"Out of curiosity" is a general phrase. It means you aren't asking the question for a special reason. You're simply curious. It's useless in your example -- the sentence would be better ...
Owen Reynolds's user avatar
19 votes

Only then are you free?

Only is one of a set of generally negative polarity items which, if first in a clause, trigger inversion. (They don't have to stand first, but if they do, inversion is obligatory). Other examples are ...
Colin Fine's user avatar
  • 75.9k
18 votes
Accepted

can we say "hour 11'' instead of ''11-hour''?

It isn't a common grammar, but since the rest of the sentence is perfectly fine we have to assume it is intentional and use context to glean the meaning. In this paragraph the author contrasts those ...
Andrew's user avatar
  • 88.4k
18 votes

Word order in "She is 5 years old"

"Years" is unit. It is a special class of noun that can combine with numerals to form phrases like "three metres" or "six pounds" These phrases may be used as modifier ...
James K's user avatar
  • 225k
17 votes

Put the phone down / Put down the phone

They both mean the same thing. You can say "Put down the [something]" or "Put the [something] down". Using old fashioned, wired, phones, you terminate a call by replacing the receiver in its cradle ("...
Michael Harvey's user avatar
17 votes
Accepted

How freely can I use numbers as modifiers?

If you really wanted to avoid the preposition, you could say that "the company's entire stock was sold...". That said, "100% of the company's stock" is idiomatic and natural, and ...
Maciej Stachowski's user avatar
16 votes
Accepted

What's the difference between "the killing machine" and "the machine that's killing"

Taking your two examples exactly as written... "The killing machine" would be a machine that can kill. "The machine that's killing" would be a machine that is currently killing. ...
Astralbee's user avatar
  • 104k
16 votes

"Is he not the carpenter's son?" v.s. "Is not he the carpenter's son?"

The KJV is over 400 years old. Because it is so well-known, contemporary speakers are able to understand much of it. Many of them have heard passages from it on a weekly basis for most of their lives,...
TimR's user avatar
  • 128k
15 votes
Accepted

What is the correct word order in this sentence?

This question relates to two debated points of English style: Who vs Whom (warning: silly but excellent explanation) and whether it is OK to end a sentence with a preposition (short answer: "yes &...
Andrew's user avatar
  • 88.4k
15 votes
Accepted

Isn't there a preposition ("to") missing after "IP addresses that devices are allocated"?

There's a potential difference in meaning depending on whether we explicitly specify the preposition in contexts like the OP's example. a set of IP addresses that devices are allocated [to] With to, ...
FumbleFingers's user avatar
14 votes

Put the phone down / Put down the phone

The actual meaning is the same, but in normal conversation I would be more likely to say "put the phone down", but if I lost patience with you because you are not listening this would turn to "Put ...
gnasher729's user avatar
  • 3,877
14 votes

Word order in "She is 5 years old"

"five years" is called a phrase of measurement or a measure phrase, and it is normal to put these before an adjective that describes what they measure. He is six feet tall.
JavaLatte's user avatar
  • 60k
14 votes

Why is this kind of sentence still officially accepted?

You are broadly right. However, the thing in the box isn't a sentence. It is a dictionary definition. In a definition, you first have the the headword. It is often printed in bold. There is then a ...
James K's user avatar
  • 225k
14 votes

Why is this kind of sentence still officially accepted?

— Who is the author of the article? — The author of the article is Allan Allandale. The answer tells us who the author of the article is. — Who is the author of the article? — Allan Allandale is the ...
Gilles 'SO- stop being evil''s user avatar
13 votes

"How long have you been working?" vs. "How long you have been working?"

How long have you been working? *How long you have been working? The former is grammatical; it's a direct or normal question. The latter has not been formed properly. If you omit the question ...
Khan's user avatar
  • 27.2k

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