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Grammatical gender consistency across languages

Are grammatical genders, as a rule, consistent across the Indo-European languages which use them? [more inside]
posted by obloquy on Dec 4, 2012 - 30 answers

Overuse of the word "that" in casual conversation

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 - 17 answers

"In hospital" and "In a hospital"

What is the name of the technical difference between "In *a* hospital" and "In hospital"? [more inside]
posted by 517 on Nov 5, 2012 - 15 answers

It's certainly not "myself"

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 - 30 answers

Confused by the singular "they"...

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 - 25 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

"Why am I supposed to divide here?"

I need books that are good at explaining how to explain things to children. [more inside]
posted by kingfishers catch fire on Aug 14, 2012 - 5 answers

Declension mode

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 - 21 answers

What tense does usage of 'Don't' normally infer?

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 - 20 answers

Is there a linguistic term for this?

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 - 12 answers

頭が真っ白!

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 - 13 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

Prefixes in a series--help!

Grammar question: How to treat hyphenated prefixes when used in a series. [more inside]
posted by Cash4Lead on Jun 27, 2012 - 4 answers

Apostrophe Help

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 - 11 answers

Best French grammar app or book?

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 - 12 answers

can the second noun ever be the subject?

[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 - 6 answers

Grammar correction in older fiction?

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 - 19 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

It's my problem, not there's...

How do I proofread my own work more thoroughly? [more inside]
posted by pantarei70 on Apr 23, 2012 - 29 answers

Miss Hanigan would be so disappointed

Grammar filter: "This earns you money." Is this correct? [more inside]
posted by stubby phillips on Apr 6, 2012 - 16 answers

¡Mi gramática en español es jodida! ¡Ayudame!

My Spanish grammar is all kinds of effed up. How do I correct this? [more inside]
posted by Che boludo! on Apr 4, 2012 - 8 answers

English grammar checker

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

Grammar: Is this phrasing a waste of words, or does it make sense?

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 - 26 answers

Minding my associate's and bachelor's

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 - 12 answers

Grammar police

How can I request that someone stop correcting my grammar and/or pronunciation of words? [more inside]
posted by Lord of the Sock Puppets on Feb 15, 2012 - 44 answers

It's purely textual...

Text? Or, texted? [more inside]
posted by AlliKat75 on Feb 8, 2012 - 34 answers

When does helping become cheating

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 - 9 answers

Non-Pausal Line Endings

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 - 0 answers

Tenses without English equivalents?

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

Need some grammar help

"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 - 27 answers

I usually think and write good.

Asking for my brother: Correct usage of the word "anymore." [more inside]
posted by sweetkid on Dec 24, 2011 - 28 answers

What is this person's relationship to me?

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 - 13 answers

Should "library" be capitalized?

Should "library" be capitalized? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Dec 1, 2011 - 31 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

Correct use of a gerund?

Grammar question about gerund use in a sentence. Should be an easy one. [more inside]
posted by Cortes on Nov 4, 2011 - 9 answers

Is our children learning?

How would one address atrocious grammar errors, poor sentence construction and spelling mistakes in the monthly email updates from administrators of your child's school? [more inside]
posted by webhund on Oct 26, 2011 - 25 answers

How am I? Well, that depends

So am I good or well? [more inside]
posted by anemone on Oct 9, 2011 - 34 answers

"1 in 10 kids" is or are?

Poking the grammatical hornets' nest. As seen on CNN.com as a headline: "1 in 10 kids isn't (something not relevant)." I think it's ungrammatical, my co-workers think it's correct. [more inside]
posted by sbutler on Oct 3, 2011 - 53 answers

"to be" or not "to be"

"To be" or not "to be"? That is the question! [more inside]
posted by Jayed on Sep 21, 2011 - 77 answers

How do I categorize sentence structures?

I'm looking for academic linguistic papers and/or books on classification of sentence structures. (Should I turn on the languagehat signal?) [more inside]
posted by Mr. Bad Example on Sep 13, 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

Why do people use (tm) and (c) and (r)?

What are the rules, or guidelines around the use of the (tm), (r) and (c) signs? They seem to be ubiquitous in corporate English, but as far as I can tell they're both unnecessary and ugly. Is putting a (tm) on a trademark something that's considered a required prerequisite to protecting it?
posted by Sebmojo on Sep 7, 2011 - 8 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

Is this grammatically correct?

This sounds odd when I say it aloud, but I think grammatically it's correct. Or is it? "My and Kelly's favorite restaurant is Valentino's." Is there a better way to say that?
posted by jackypaper on Jul 13, 2011 - 31 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

How do you force yourself to slow down and take your time when proofing?

How do you force yourself to slow down and take your time when proofing? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Apr 28, 2011 - 43 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

Language mistakes compared

Are grammatical errors more frequent in English than in other languages? What about spelling? Do foreign language have as many substitution errors as English? Do ewe speak a pear of foreign languages or more and what are you're experiences of these kinds of errors? Watt do there grammar Nazis do? [more inside]
posted by sien on Mar 28, 2011 - 24 answers

Help me tell me friend she's a terrible writer

I am currently a student in a graduate program. A very close friend, who is in the same program, has begun sending me essays for school and correspondence related to her job search to proofread. In doing so, I have noticed a pattern: her writing is full of truly awful, egregious run-on sentences. Nearly every sentence is a run-on. My friend is very smart and accomplished, and I'm not quite sure how she's come this far without this issue being brought to her attention. She has been experiencing disappointment in her grades and career search, and I suspect that this problem may be contributing to the situation. (We are in a highly competitive and nitpicky field.) I think that as a friend, I have a responsibility to bring this to her attention, but I have no idea how in the world to do so in a way that's sensitive and doesn't make her feel bad or damage the friendship. Do I need to tell my friend? If yes, how do I bring it up?
posted by anonymous on Mar 21, 2011 - 28 answers

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