91 posts tagged with English and grammar.
Displaying 1 through 50 of 91. Subscribe:

Seeking help for "help-seeking"/"help seeking"/"helpseeking"

Is the term "help seeking" one word or two? If it is two words, should it be hyphenated when it's not serving as a compound adjective? [more inside]
posted by quiet coyote on Oct 24, 2014 - 13 answers

Count/noncount nouns based on size?

So, I was designing rules with some EFL students in class the other day about how to differentiate between countable and uncountable nouns. We agreed that things which are too small to reasonably count are uncountable based on sand and the idea that liquids are uncountable (under the assumption that an individual 'piece' of a liquid would be a molecule and as such very, very small). Then one of the students broke the rule by asking why individual circuits are countable even though they are extremely small. So, is there an explanation for this? Does my rule just suck? [more inside]
posted by Literaryhero on Oct 15, 2014 - 25 answers

Online English Grammar Resources Needed

I am looking for three things here: 1) Some kind of drill, preferably in game format but anything good will do 2) tools to run my writing through to catch my errors and 3) generic reference materials. Online resources are strongly preferred, in part because I get sick when I handle books and papers too much. [more inside]
posted by Michele in California on Sep 20, 2014 - 2 answers

Grammar/style for mathematicians?

I'm interested in learning about the details of English grammar and usage, and also maybe in picking up some prescriptions or guidelines for writing well-styled/balanced prose (a la Strunk & White, though my understanding is that there's potentially a great many schools of thought to look at here). The kicker: my academic background is in math and computer science, including the very formal reaches of things like logic, formal languages, etc. Is there any way that this stuff can help me learn that stuff? [more inside]
posted by karo on Sep 18, 2014 - 9 answers

Help me be a more accurate grammar pedant

Is there a concise term that signifies the difference between phrases such as "not all dogs are brown" and "all dogs are not brown"? [more inside]
posted by komara on Sep 10, 2014 - 33 answers

Advice for confident everyday writing?

I'm looking for related resources (online & offline) for improving my writing skills for everyday work. [more inside]
posted by chrono_rabbit on Jul 20, 2014 - 9 answers

What Would Be In Your Best High School English Class?

I'm teaching high school-level English next year for students who need a high level of academic support and I want the class to be both highly engaging and content-rich. If you were a kid who LOATHED writing for school, struggled with boring English classes, or can remember what elements you truly enjoyed in your high school English class, what advice would you pass my way? [more inside]
posted by kinetic on Jul 17, 2014 - 46 answers

Using Flesch reading ease test

"Can you use the Flesch Reading Ease Formula with a one-word sentence or a phrase that isnt a complete sentence? Such as a multiple choice answer on a test.
posted by Postroad on Jun 24, 2014 - 3 answers

Help me find some U.S. elementary school study aids from the mid '80s.

Tryin' to track down a portfolio of English reading/writing laminated bifold four page workbooks. [more inside]
posted by coolxcool=rad on Mar 20, 2014 - 6 answers

What has happened to the past perfect tense?

I've recently noticed an irritating trend in English-language writing: sections that really should be written in the past perfect tense are instead in the simple past tense. I've seen this more in American English than in British English, but that might just be confirmation bias. Is there a reason for this, for example a new style of teaching in schools or universities? And is it really new, or am I just looking for things to get annoyed about? [more inside]
posted by daisyk on Dec 14, 2013 - 30 answers

A sign of the times?

I just had someone tell me that it is correct to close a letter with “Signed, [Mr. Letter Writer].” It’s the use of the word “Signed” that I find strange and just wrong. I have never in my life seen this and am having a hard time believing it is acceptable. Can anyone enlighten me?
posted by Dolley on Dec 13, 2013 - 36 answers

Is there any difference between the three sentences?

1)I should be going. 2) I shoud get going. 3)I should go. Please tell me the difference of the nuance between the three. Thank you.
posted by mizukko on Oct 23, 2013 - 25 answers

Vegan. Why is it a hard 'gee' when vegetarian is a soft 'gee'?

I couldn't answer this when my Polish friend asked me why the letter changed sound, does anyone else know?
posted by dash_slot- on Aug 12, 2013 - 3 answers

Apostrophe Usage, Part 748...

In athletics, do events named "boys 100m" or "girls javelin" have an apostrophe? That is, should they rightly be "boys' 100m" and "girls' javelin"? It seems that the standard usage for grownup events is "men's" and "women's", but I'm unsure. Opinions?
posted by Jehan on Jun 11, 2013 - 9 answers

Is my writing style overly complicated?

I learned English as a second language (native is Finnish). The emphasis in school was on vocabulary and very basic grammar; we did not to my recollection deal with stuff like passive voice etc. So in terms of writing in English, much of my "voice" has developed simply from what sounds right inside my head. However, I've been told that the way I write is overly complicated. Is this so? [more inside]
posted by Unhyper on May 22, 2013 - 48 answers

"It work." or "It works". Which is correct?

Alright all your grammar masters. My wife is foreign and she announced "It work." when I rubbed her shoulder and fixed her pain. I corrected her by saying "It works." to teach her well. She then proceeded to explain to me the English of "plural" with adding an "s" to the verb. Is this correct?
posted by usermac on Feb 25, 2013 - 17 answers

Grammar nerd question

Which is correct? a) "Led Zeppelin is a band" b) "Led Zeppelin are a band" [more inside]
posted by deathpanels on Jan 9, 2013 - 30 answers

Dear Ms. Wilson and Messrs. Smith, Willians, Jones, and Davis,

I need to address a formal letter to five recipients of different rank and gender at once. How? [more inside]
posted by Nameless on Sep 14, 2012 - 22 answers

How do you transcribe stuttering dialogue?

Poor understanding of grammar might cost me my job. Can anyone help an audio-typist fight back? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jun 28, 2012 - 29 answers

Sources explaining why you shouldn't put a comma after the year when a date is used as an adjective?

Sources explaining why you shouldn't put a comma after the year when a date is used as an adjective? [more inside]
posted by flod logic on May 16, 2012 - 18 answers

English grammar checker

Do you know any English grammar checker? [more inside]
posted by - on Mar 16, 2012 - 11 answers

Tenses without English equivalents?

Tenses without English equivalents? [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Jan 20, 2012 - 25 answers

"The" Ukrainian Needs Help with "a" grammar issue.

Can you help me explain how and when to use articles (a/an/the) to a non-native English speaker? [more inside]
posted by shortyJBot on Nov 7, 2011 - 9 answers

Me fail English? That's unpossible.

So, this is a a little embarrassing. Apparently, I know nothing about the rules of grammar and English composition. Obviously, I have some of the basics of writing down (you can read this right?), but I don't know any of the terminology and nitty-gritty details about how sentences are constructed in English. I need help with resources to quickly catch me up to all the other kids in my Advanced Composition class. [more inside]
posted by runcibleshaw on Sep 7, 2011 - 28 answers

Looking for a good book on English grammar.

Looking for a good book on English grammar. [more inside]
posted by dbirchum on Aug 31, 2011 - 18 answers

English? Is that a strange language?

Which aspect of English do you find it difficult? [more inside]
posted by sanskrtam on Jul 11, 2011 - 30 answers

Taxonomy or list of English grammatical constructs?

Taxonomy (or just a list) of English grammatical constructs suitable for use as a checklist for a second language learner? [more inside]
posted by amtho on Apr 26, 2011 - 11 answers

English Panic

I'm a native speaker of English and I feel like my poor English grammar is degrading me. [more inside]
posted by sanskrtam on Apr 3, 2011 - 25 answers

Help Me Relocate Essay on Overly Formal Language

In Comp I we read an essay about the use of overly formal language... [more inside]
posted by alice_curiouse on Mar 1, 2011 - 4 answers

Comma usage in a subject/verb/object sentence.

Why is the sentence "Let's read, Freedom by Jonathan Franzen." incorrectly punctuated? [more inside]
posted by rinosaur on Feb 9, 2011 - 35 answers

Asked by a fellow teacher, hasn't got a clue.

In need of help with grammar, again. [more inside]
posted by Ghidorah on Feb 7, 2011 - 21 answers

No, commas are not added like salt and pepper (to taste)

I'm teaching a humanities course at an open-admission college. The students are extremely poor writers, and have almost zero knowledge of English grammar. This semester, I want to help them avoid comma splices, since that's one of the top three issues I see in their papers (spelling errors and sentence fragments being the other two). Can you help me design a lesson/activity to help them? [more inside]
posted by philosophygeek on Jan 11, 2011 - 16 answers

What are objective pronouns used with - direct or indirect objects?

When a sentence uses more than one object, how are objective pronouns used with them? Common sense would say that they are only relevant to the direct object, but what if I want to refer to the indirect object? Hardcore grammar-mining ahead! [more inside]
posted by Senza Volto on Jan 8, 2011 - 21 answers

Do any graduate programs emphasize writing while teaching English grammar, literature, and Latin?

Is there any graduate program that emphasizes writing skills (in English) while providing a rigorous education in grammar, literature, and related languages (i.e. Latin), without focusing on literary criticism, but rather on writing itself? More after the jump. [more inside]
posted by Nebula on Jan 8, 2011 - 17 answers

Do all nouns have a plural form?

English language filter: Do all nouns have a plural form? If not what is an example of a noun with no plural form?
posted by West of House on Dec 16, 2010 - 46 answers

What is the plural of "Batman"?

What is the plural of "Batman"? [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Dec 9, 2010 - 60 answers

Don't be such a Gloomy Gus

Is there a word for "Debbie Downer", "Nervous Nelson", and similar labels? [more inside]
posted by fleeba on Jul 17, 2010 - 11 answers

"Best" and "worst" experiences involving grammar?

"Best" and "worst" experiences involving grammar and learning grammar? I think we were asked to write this to increase empathy, but I can't think of anything with any emotional weight, so I thought I'd ask for your experiences. Please answer especially if you had a difficult time with grammar. [more inside]
posted by amtho on Jun 8, 2010 - 31 answers

"Myself" vs "me"

Grammar filter: Is it wrong to use "myself" when "me" seems to sound better? [more inside]
posted by stenoboy on Apr 21, 2010 - 33 answers

Are surfing The Google with iPad?

What's the term for the use of a product name as a singular noun (like iPod), and why do companies do this? [more inside]
posted by tmcw on Apr 4, 2010 - 9 answers

Is Present Perfect Progessive Passive possible in English?

GrammarFilter: Present Perfect Passive Progressive. Real or a myth? [more inside]
posted by MostHolyPorcine on Feb 26, 2010 - 10 answers

English usage: "what would seem to be."

What's the proper use of the phrase "what would seem to be"? [more inside]
posted by exphysicist345 on Feb 18, 2010 - 11 answers

Indefinite articles used with acronyms starting with U

Why do we precede acronyms starting with the letter U with 'a' instead of 'an', e.g. "a USB key" or "a UFO"? Acronyms starting with a consonant are frequently preceded by "an" because consonants' names have a different spelling than the letters themselves, e.g. M as em and H as aitch, therefore "an HIV outbreak" or "an MRI". However, U's name is spelled u, and acronyms that start with other vowels are preceded by 'an', e.g. "an ABC license". What's the deal?
posted by BigSky on Feb 12, 2010 - 31 answers

I'll make you a trade, but am I saying this backward?

GrammarFilter: Is the phrase "I will trade you.." often misused, or is it a perfectly valid usage that drives me crazy? [more inside]
posted by mikeh on Jan 11, 2010 - 24 answers

Either or too

Can I use "Me either" in place of "Me too" in response to this statement..."I can't wait to see you!"? Please explain.
posted by likeapen on Jan 8, 2010 - 19 answers

Help me subjugate the subjunctive, or I might get moody.

Yet Another English Grammar Question: Which is correct? Based on my facial expression right now, you would think I [were/was] excited. The former sounds wrong, but reading about subjunctive moods makes me think it's right. Does it matter whether I intend to imply that I was not in fact excited?
posted by phrontist on Nov 23, 2009 - 27 answers

Difficulty of writing and speaking English?

Is English much more difficult than most languages to speak and to write? [more inside]
posted by ragtimepiano on Nov 23, 2009 - 37 answers

To answer, you would have had to have been able to have answered this question...

GrammarFilter: A friend and I have been discussing this construction: "would have had to go" vs. "would have had to have gone." It seems they are both correct and are almost always interchangeable, so it would seem the former, simpler version is preferable. Thoughts, explanations, examples otherwise? Are they both correct? [more inside]
posted by Badasscommy on Oct 26, 2009 - 10 answers

Tell me about this sentence construction

Tell me everything you know about this sentence construction: "Are you finished your lunch?" [more inside]
posted by peep on Oct 22, 2009 - 91 answers

Why is "win" often implicitly considered a conditional verb?

Grammarians: Is it OK to take liberties with the word "win" when publicizing a contest or draw? [more inside]
posted by wackybrit on Oct 5, 2009 - 15 answers

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