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Semi-Colon; moderate pause.

This is an awesome way to learn about grammar and punctuation . Do you have any other recommendations to make this sort of stuff fun?
posted by moocheen on Mar 1, 2010 - 11 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

Should our son skip a grade?

How did skipping a grade work out for you or your child, and what were the factors that made the biggest difference? [more inside]
posted by Betsy Vane on Feb 25, 2010 - 88 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

How to spell 101

"One hundred and one" vs. "one hundred one." Which is correct?
posted by nestor_makhno on Feb 11, 2010 - 61 answers

Proper use of commas for dates

"Sunday 7 February 2010." Is a comma required between "Sunday" and "7"?
posted by Busoni on Feb 7, 2010 - 16 answers

Help me choose a verb

I need a bit of grammar help, please. [more inside]
posted by shelayna on Jan 28, 2010 - 19 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

Linguistic study of math/physics equation "language"

I was thinking the other day about "all Greek to me!" as I was reading a physics book w/equations (using the Greek symbols) And equations are a sort of language, of course. So I wondered if there's some sort of linguist who's ever looked at the grammar or syntax of math/physics equations and tried to derive, whatever the hell it is linguists derive! Does this sound like something anyone has heard of? If so, have any links?
posted by symbioid on Jan 8, 2010 - 6 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

Is this sentence grammatically correct?

GrammarFilter - please hope us! [more inside]
posted by lwb on Jan 6, 2010 - 31 answers

I do like the word "pluperfect."

What tense is the following sentence: "If you were still around, we would have had a Merry Christmas by now." [more inside]
posted by Karlos the Jackal on Dec 29, 2009 - 13 answers

This doesn't look correct.

Affect/Effect [more inside]
posted by tizzie on Dec 22, 2009 - 9 answers

Help me stop sounding like a valley girl!

What are some tips in having better speech? [more inside]
posted by InterestedInKnowing on Dec 14, 2009 - 9 answers

Plural of "behalf'?

Quick grammar/usage question. Which is the preferred usage: "I'm buying this property on their behalf," or "I'm buying this property on their behalves." [more inside]
posted by crLLC on Dec 8, 2009 - 17 answers

That is the question.

What is a good heuristic for the usage of 'that'? [more inside]
posted by ageispolis on Nov 25, 2009 - 10 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

Are adverbs mere adjective spinoffs?

Are adverbs mere adjective spinoffs? [more inside]
posted by aswego on Nov 13, 2009 - 17 answers

That little red grammar book...

Anyone know the name of that handy little red grammar book? It's digest sized and I think it was published by Harcourt and Brace.
posted by zzazazz on Nov 11, 2009 - 4 answers

Baby, your words hurt me. Severely.

GrammarFilter: "I want to punch you severely." [more inside]
posted by opossumnus on Nov 4, 2009 - 30 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

Help me get these quotes right.

Editors, I need your help with quotation marks! Which is correct? a) I sent him an article about "The X Factor". b) I sent him an article about "The X Factor." [more inside]
posted by HeyAllie on Oct 26, 2009 - 40 answers

This made so much sense last night while falling asleep

How is "I should mind" used to mean "I don't really mind"? This and other grammar/language questions inside. [more inside]
posted by rossination on Oct 23, 2009 - 11 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

Long sleeve? Long-sleeved? Halp!

Please hope me with this seemingly-basic English grammar/spelling question! Which is correct: "long-sleeve t-shirt" or "long-sleeved t-shirt"? Is there supposed to be a hyphen between "long" and "sleeve(d)? [more inside]
posted by radioamy on Oct 2, 2009 - 38 answers

Me and him went shopping?

Why is incorrect pronoun usage so prevalent? [more inside]
posted by bengarland on Sep 14, 2009 - 55 answers

Phone call grammar

If I am on the phone with an unknown person, I usually say "whom an I speaking with?" to get the callers name. It doesn't seem to roll of the tongue very nicely though. What is the best way to get a callers name in today's world?
posted by kapu on Aug 23, 2009 - 41 answers

"Like Bob and Me" or "like Bob and I"?

So which sentence is proper English grammar: "If you eat like Bob and me, you will be healthy." or "If you eat like Bob and I, you will be healthy."
posted by 256 on Aug 14, 2009 - 73 answers

Any questions not answered in #2 pencil will receive a score of zero

Grammarfilter! Oh my. Is it "X and Y are two side of the same coin" or "X and Y two sides of the same coin"? This was an SAT sample question, and I, a poor girl's tutor, swore that "sides" must be plural in this context. Then the sample test website told me I was wrong, that it's "two side". [more inside]
posted by saysthis on Aug 13, 2009 - 19 answers

My name is Daniel Plainview. I am driven and goal-oriented, and I endeavor to forge new possibilities in alternative energy.

In There Will Be Blood, Daniel Plainview delivers the line: "I have a competition in me." Could this be described as grammatically correct, strictly speaking? Or is it idiomatic, but not strictly correct? Is Plainview saying, essentially, "I have a [sense of] competition in me," a sentence that, were it to be spelled out as such, would lose its rhetorical punch? Could it be argued as a case of poetic metonymy or something of the kind? [more inside]
posted by Busoni on Aug 8, 2009 - 27 answers

A Question About "I" Vs. "Me"

I understand the normal rules for "I" and "Me" in sentences, but I simply cannot figure out the answer to this example. What I want to say is that my dad and I are regional truckers (or me and my dad are regional truckers). If I stay true to the "I" vs."Me" formula I learned in school and eliminate the objective pronoun, the simplified version of the sentence can be written as either "I are regional truckers" or "me are regional truckers", and both of these look atrocious written down. I'm not a seasoned grammarian, but even I know that neither one of these seems to be the correct answer. Am I missing something?
posted by Buddy-Rey on Jul 31, 2009 - 22 answers

Burnt-out Grad Student Seeks Grammar Help

I want to ask several questions in a row in a research proposal. What is the grammatically correct way of doing this? [more inside]
posted by hiteleven on Jul 23, 2009 - 15 answers

Grammatical Case Headspace....

LanguageFilter: How can a native English speaker develop a better sense of grammatical cases? [more inside]
posted by mary8nne on Jul 22, 2009 - 16 answers

"Take the heart of me?" You can just say, "my heart."

In Return of the King, Aragorn says: "I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me." What precisely does he mean by this? My confusion is with the phrase "take the heart of me." Is this a standard idiom?
posted by Busoni on Jul 15, 2009 - 15 answers

Is possession for nouns that end in x indicated by a quotation mark alone or is the quotation mark accompanied by an s?

Genuinely dumb question to waste on the brain trust here but: when nouns end in x, do you indicate possession with just a quotation mark or do you need to include the s? [more inside]
posted by christhelongtimelurker on Jul 13, 2009 - 23 answers

WordMacroFilter

WordMacroFilter: So my new boss is great but he has some crazy grammar and wordsmithing quirks. I received a list (no joke) of the edits he wants to see of documents that come to his desk (use affect instead of impact, effect instead of impacts, etc). I'd like to create a Microsoft Word Macro that will automate the task. [more inside]
posted by roundrock on May 19, 2009 - 7 answers

Languagehat, please hope me!

Grammarfilter. The question: "Haven't you been to Italy?" The answer: I've been to Italy. Is the correct response yes or no? [more inside]
posted by ohcanireally on May 11, 2009 - 27 answers

Can you 'criticize that'?

Can one 'criticize that?' [more inside]
posted by chndrcks on May 10, 2009 - 32 answers

Attn Grammar Nerds! "To include" or "including"?

GrammarFilter: A co-worker regularly uses the phrase "to include" in sentences such as: "Max has achieved the goals, to include such-and-such." I suspect "including" should be used instead of "to include," since "to include" implies future tense but the verb is past tense. Am I right? If so, can anyone find a link that explains this? (Google results tended us use the phrase "to include" in their text, not as their content.)
posted by quinoa on May 7, 2009 - 8 answers

He was to Africa many, many years ago...(?)

Help settle a grammar dispute: Can I say "He was to Africa," the same way I would say "He has been to Africa"?
posted by alona on May 1, 2009 - 61 answers

And so I found myself asking this for some sort of reassurance, which question would be fielded by AskMefi's language nerds with bewildering rapidity

In David Foster Wallace's A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again he uses the word "which" in a way that I found unusual - a usage that is described under heading three here. I think I'm fairly well read, but I can't remember ever having seen this before. I've been having (what I think are) migraines lately and I'm curious if I'm becoming linguistically befuddled, or if this is just an obscure or archaic usage. Examples after the jump. [more inside]
posted by phrontist on Apr 20, 2009 - 28 answers

Question about the usage of 'satiety'

Question about the usage of 'satiety' [more inside]
posted by puloxor on Apr 15, 2009 - 13 answers

Going to war with prepositions

John Locke wrote "one may destroy a man who makes war upon him." I understand that in this sentence "one" and "him" are the same person, and "man" and "who" are a separate person. In the most basic sense, this sentence justifies fighting against people who war with you. But I have read sentences before - often in poetry - where cases are switched. If the above sentence were such an example, then "one" and "who" would be a person, and "man" and "him" would be the other person. In this case, the sentence would suggest that one runs the risk of destroying someone if they make war against that someone. What are some examples of such sentences?
posted by nushustu on Apr 6, 2009 - 8 answers

Help me design a writing guide for undergraduates

I'm putting together a writing guide for my undergraduate philosophy course. What information should I put in the guide? [more inside]
posted by philosophygeek on Apr 1, 2009 - 14 answers

I'm kicking around a concept for a theoretical piece I hope to work on in the near future, dealing with the way "femininity" and the "female" category are conceived of linguistically. Help me find some empirical data!

I'm kicking around a concept for a theoretical piece I hope to work on in the near future, dealing with the way "femininity" and the "female" category are conceived of linguistically. Help me find some empirical data! [more inside]
posted by parkbench on Mar 24, 2009 - 24 answers

Gotten = Have Had?

"Gotten" = "have had?" [more inside]
posted by CaptApollo on Mar 6, 2009 - 28 answers

Good examples of intercultural communications based on ideograms or common concepts?

Good examples of intercultural communications based on ideograms or common concepts? [more inside]
posted by Bio11 on Feb 22, 2009 - 13 answers

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