Looking to confirm that the following and variations are grammatically correct and the grammatical reasoning why: He put the spoon on the mat, then put the fork to the side. [more inside]
posted by angrycat
on May 17, 2013 -
I have just finished a college course in business English. I did well, but I want to be able to look at parts of speech in a sentence and understand enough to know for sure why I am using who or whom or when to choose subjective or objective pronouns. (Example: Do you think it was THEY who left the door unlocked overnight?) My textbook spent more time telling you to substitute he or him for who or whom, but I wanted to be able to understand what part of speech was responsible for the choice. What is the best college level or above textbook to teach me this? Thank you in advance.
posted by Leah
on May 7, 2013 -
In the past week or so I have seen numerous constructions like this
headline and lead sentence ("Erik Loomis argues that the reason we don’t see more tragedies like West, Texas is because the US has outsourced industries to places like Bangladesh..."). Should there not be a comma after "Texas" in that headline and sentence? I have even had writers tell me that editors (on internet sites) have actively removed the second comma in a mid-sentence "Cityname, State, ... " construction. Is it not still "West, Texas, ..."?
Punctuation police—can we get a ruling? Are standards shifting, or is this just a case of bad editing?
posted by stargell
on Apr 25, 2013 -
There is a name for a type of grammatical phrasing in which something is described at the end of a sentence of paragraph by distinct but different examples. For instance, "The dish was delightful to look, smelled wonderfully and was absolutely delicious." This phrasing is most often in threes. What is it called?
posted by CollectiveMind
on Apr 6, 2013 -
Hello, I'm having some difficulty getting a conclusive answer to the question of which is more "proper" grammatically and in academia. When referring to "blacks" and "whites" in society, I used to write them without quotes until a professor corrected me. However, when I use quotes now, some people disagree. Could you all help me find the correct usage? Professors explanation inside... [more inside]
posted by Knigel
on Mar 10, 2013 -
Is it more appropriate grammatically to say "I will commit myself to posting with all my heart and to answering questions very well" or "I will commit myself to posting with all my heart and answering questions very well," with the difference being the "to" before the gerund. I am writing something important and want to make sure everything is absolutely correct. [more inside]
posted by tweedle
on Mar 3, 2013 -
Whenever it comes up while I'm texting I come to an impasse. I know that I don't want to type the whole word because I have a dumbphone and I want to minimize thumb-wear. If I were writing a novel I would write it as 'cause
, but I'm not so it's still too long. The phonetic cuz
is clear and concise but somehow doesn't fit my personality or the tone of most of my communications. I started using cos
but for some reason I associate that with UK English and I'm from the states and it doesn't quite feel right. What do you use and why, if there is a why.
posted by TheRedArmy
on Feb 27, 2013 -
What are your tips and techniques for learning advanced vocabulary and grammar in a foreign language? [more inside]
posted by kristi
on Feb 26, 2013 -
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 -
When talking to a coworker I offered the phrase, "hey kid, go ask your Mom what herpes are.". My coworker responded with "herpes is.". We then started a discussion of the proper use of is/are and could not come to a conclusion. Any insight? [more inside]
posted by JakeEXTREME
on Feb 15, 2013 -
My wife has organized a 5k as a fundraiser for her school. The event website lists it as the "First Annual"
race. She got a nitpicky email chastising her her about it, complaining that it should be the "Inaugural"
race. What do you think, and how should she respond? [more inside]
posted by RevRob330
on Feb 15, 2013 -
I lead a team of podcasters. They're all great people--intelligent, articulate, and very good speakers. We now wish to translate our spoken success to the page, and our early attempts have shown that despite the successes we have as speakers we're finding our writing skill (specifically in regards to concise, clear, engaging, and personable communication through the written word) is in need of honing. I need suggestions how to do that. [more inside]
posted by arniec
on Feb 4, 2013 -
What resources would you recommend for an adult who is a native English speaker who nonetheless struggles with grammar and spelling? I'm asking on the behalf of my boyfriend, who dropped out of middle school, and is also dyslexic. He asked if I had a book or website to recommend, but most of what I could find is geared towards kids or people learning English as a second language. He already feels insecure about all this, so recommending an ESL book seems really patronizing. He even acts sheepish asking me about grammar or how to spell something, so something he can pursue on his own would be ideal (even though I'm happy to help and don't judge him whatsoever).
posted by anonymous
on Jan 31, 2013 -
In Chicago style, or barring that, in Generally Accepted Historical Practice, how should one capitalize the following sentence, which discusses the "Isthmus of Panama" (which is undoubtedly capitalized when it appears in full): "The canal crossed the i
sthmus." or "The canal crossed the I
sthmus."? (My CMS subscription has lapsed and I can't afford a re-up, alas.)
posted by flibbertigibbet
on Dec 5, 2012 -
Are grammatical genders, as a rule, consistent across the Indo-European languages which use them? [more inside]
posted by obloquy
on Dec 4, 2012 -
Linguists, is there a name for this annoying trend, and can we point to where/when it originated: Overusing the word "that" without first defining what you are talking about? [more inside]
posted by jbickers
on Nov 26, 2012 -
What is the name of the technical difference between "In *a* hospital" and "In hospital"? [more inside]
posted by 517
on Nov 5, 2012 -
Which version of this sentence is grammatically correct and why?
A: "Try not to be as bad as J. and I in the Masters semis last year."
B: "Try not to be as bad as J. and me in the Masters semis last year."
Make up you mind now. Arguments for each inside. [more inside]
posted by Cogito
on Oct 24, 2012 -
GrammarFilter: "Would [my friend] rather have their significant other think they find them ugly, or think they find them stupid?" Is this ambiguously worded? Help me settle a dispute. [more inside]
posted by Yma
on Oct 18, 2012 -
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 -
How can I brush up my language skills, given I seem to have a difficulty with rote learning? [more inside]
posted by mippy
on Aug 3, 2012 -
Please help settle a grammar disagreement.
My Boyf and I are having a grammar disagreement and I was hoping that the wonderful Askme members could help settle it.
If someone states "We don't do X" which of the following would you assume was correct?
A: That the reference to 'X' applies to the past, present and the future.
B: That the reference to 'X' applies to the past and present.
C: That the reference to 'X' applies to the past only.
Context is the sentence "We don't go on on Holiday".
posted by Faintdreams
on Jul 24, 2012 -
Is there a term for, or linguistic function fulfilled by, the phrases "no yeah" and/or "yeah no" when used for the purpose of agreeing?
posted by CitrusFreak12
on Jul 18, 2012 -
Bilinguals and polyglots of AskMefi please hope me. I understand a lot of words and grammar in Japanese but don't seem able to use them. How do you make the leap from "knowing" a word or grammar pattern to actually being able to use it in conversation? [more inside]
posted by ultrabuff
on Jul 5, 2012 -
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 -
Apostrophe help: System's' Anlaysis. Wiki
does not have one, and neither does this page
. Talk page
says it should, but it shouldn't. Brethower
(big name in the field) doesn't use one. I'm writing a resume for employers who maybe-do, maybe-don't have familiarity with the field. Should I say "System's Analysis," "Systems' Analysis," or "Systems Analysis?"
posted by rebent
on Jun 7, 2012 -
I'm relearning French and I would like a really good workbook/program that focuses on grammar. I have vocabulary and pronounciation fine (Mindsnacks & Anki, Pimsleur and Michael Thomas) and I'm practicing reading and writing with several texts and Lang8.com. I keep tripping up on half-remembered grammatical rules, and I really want something I can work through at my own pace. I would much prefer an app with built-in drills, but I'll buy a workbook/textbook as well. I want something like Chapter 7: Passive verbs, Chapter 8: Interrogatives with an explanation of the rules, examples and then drills. Not a complete French course, but just grammar.
posted by viggorlijah
on Jun 1, 2012 -
[Language Processiong / Grammar Question] With a pattern of noun infinitive adjective noun verb infinitive, can the second noun ever be the subject of the verb? Bonus question (below the fold): In the second case does the adverb of the verb always determine the sentiment of the second noun? [more inside]
posted by Nanukthedog
on May 20, 2012 -
Correcting the grammar of other people. How long has this been a part of popular culture? [more inside]
posted by teraspawn
on May 17, 2012 -
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 -
Grammar: Is it better to say that a committee "will be implementing a new policy" or "will implement a new policy"?
I favour the latter because it seems more succinct; however, all my colleagues use the former convention.
What am I missing? Does their way make more sense, grammatically or stylistically? Or is this just a collective habit that they've all adopted and I should avoid picking it up? [more inside]
posted by cranberrymonger
on Mar 15, 2012 -
I'm on a tight deadline and my brain is fried, so I'm turning to AskMe for help on a grammar question I should probably be able to work out with googling and Chicago
, but for some reason can't: [more inside]
posted by prior
on Mar 8, 2012 -
How much help is too much help when it comes to a friend's application to an accountancy training programme? [more inside]
posted by muhonnin
on Feb 3, 2012 -
In printed vocalized Arabic poetry, if pausal forms are used at the end of some lines but not others, is a meaningful distinction being made? [more inside]
posted by Paquda
on Jan 31, 2012 -
"It hadn't been raining all morning
, but drops began to fall at lunchtime."- is the bolded clause grammatically correct? Is there ever a case where it could be properly used in a sentence? If the person wants to say that there hadn't been any rain that morning, wouldn't he say "It hadn't rained all morning, but drops began to fall at lunchtime"?
On the other hand, if the person is trying to say that it had
rained that morning, but not non-stop the entire morning, how would he say it? He still wouldn't say "It hadn't been raining all morning,..." would he? Or would it be correct in that case?
posted by shelayna
on Dec 31, 2011 -
Somewhat silly usage question: If I'm someone's research assistant, how can I succinctly describe their
relationship to me
? [more inside]
posted by dismas
on Dec 3, 2011 -
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 -