"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?
Asking for my brother: Correct usage of the word "anymore." [more inside]
Somewhat silly usage question: If I'm someone's research assistant, how can I succinctly describe their relationship to me? [more inside]
Should "library" be capitalized? [more inside]
Can you help me explain how and when to use articles (a/an/the) to a non-native English speaker? [more inside]
Grammar question about gerund use in a sentence. Should be an easy one. [more inside]
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]
So am I good or well? [more inside]
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]
"To be" or not "to be"? That is the question! [more inside]
I'm looking for academic linguistic papers and/or books on classification of sentence structures. (Should I turn on the languagehat signal?) [more inside]
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]
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?
Looking for a good book on English grammar. [more inside]
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?
Which aspect of English do you find it difficult? [more inside]
How do you force yourself to slow down and take your time when proofing? [more inside]
Taxonomy (or just a list) of English grammatical constructs suitable for use as a checklist for a second language learner? [more inside]
I'm a native speaker of English and I feel like my poor English grammar is degrading me. [more inside]
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]
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?
In Comp I we read an essay about the use of overly formal language... [more inside]
Why is the sentence "Let's read, Freedom by Jonathan Franzen." incorrectly punctuated? [more inside]
In need of help with grammar, again. [more inside]
good web resources that compares english sentence structures to death? [more inside]
Grammarfilter: In the Pittsburghese construct needs + past participle (e.g., the car needs washed), what is the name of the "to be" that is dropped? [more inside]
Can you recommend good books on grammar and writing? [more inside]
What are the best Italian reference resources to have on hand? [more inside]
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]
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]
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]
English language filter: Do all nouns have a plural form? If not what is an example of a noun with no plural form?
What is the plural of "Batman"? [more inside]
Are there official grammatical rules about the capitalization of the words "god", "lord" etc. when referring specifically to Christianity (or any specific faith)? [more inside]
What's the proper way to order dates in geologic time when writing and why? In this example, The Iapetus Ocean existed between 600 and 400 million years ago, would it be equally correct to write 400 to 600 million years ago? Can you also direct me to a source for the rules?
UK spelling question: I'm applying for a job. Which format should I use on my CV and cover letter? [more inside]
Anyone have a simple way to teach the correct usage of 'who' and 'whom'? [more inside]
Is the double "would've" going to beat out the "had +" construction in the English language? [more inside]
I'm looking for resources that document the matching Korean grammar rules for Japanese grammar patterns and vice versa. For example: ～ている = ~고 있다; は＝은・는, が＝이・가 (for the most part, right?) [more inside]
Which language has the most homophonic words (one sound, multiple spellings. In English, e.g., BEAR and BARE)? It's hard to do precise comparisons across languages because they differ in what counts as a word, in how complicated their inflectional system is, etc. But even approximate data would be useful. I saw one paper on automatic speech recognition which showed that the system made more errors on French than Italian German etc. and that most of them were due to homophones. But, where are some real facts about degree of homophony across languages?
Asking a grammar question for a co-teacher, based on a Japanese textbook. [more inside]
Is anyone familiar with a German publisher of high-quality, thorough, foreign language grammars? I recall seeing a pretty comprehensive series for South Asian languages....but never made a note of the publisher.
Are there grammar textbooks at the middle school and high school (or even elementary school) levels that incorporate any of the developments in understanding of English grammar that have been made in the past several decades? [more inside]
Is there a short, lovely, simple poem I can give to ESL students that contains significant examples of English 'count' nouns (basic stuff you can count) and 'non-count' or 'mass' (concepts, feelings, liquids) nouns? [more inside]
My newspaper recently reported that X "has died of an apparent suicide." This strikes me as grammatically fuzzy. "X has apparently committed suicide.", I know is correct. How else could this be correctly rephrased, or is the original perfectly fine?
I'm a professional copy editor who has been blessed with an intern with good instincts and grammatical understanding, but needs to learn the techniques of the craft. Right now I'm just reviewing her work and discussing her mistakes/omissions as they arise, but I'd like to do more formalized instruction. Can anyone recommend a lesson plan? [more inside]
Where does the colloquial English phrase "I'm good" come from, and has it suddenly exploded in popularity? [more inside]
Grammar help: Constructing a question. [more inside]
Grammar question about putting question marks at the end of sentences. [more inside]
At my job we often need to ask the nationality of people we’re speaking to on the telephone. Help me solve a small disagreement around the grammar/ semantics of exactly how this is done. [more inside]