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]
Is there such a thing as an "advanced" spelling and grammar program for Microsoft Word or WordPerfect? Bonus points if it is designed for the legal world. [more inside]
Grammar checker? [more inside]
Is the plural of a variety of bread, "breads" or does it remain bread? "I scale, mix and bake various breads from scratch for a busy café and catering orders."
Is there a word for "Debbie Downer", "Nervous Nelson", and similar labels? [more inside]
Punctuation filter: Comma, colon, semicolon, dash? Is what I'm saying even grammatically correct? [more inside]
"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]
Can you reccommend a good, in-depth primer on grammar? I don't mean where to use a comma, but rather a clear definition of, for example, nominative, accusative, dative and genitive cases. What exactly are tense, mood, person, number, and voice. That kind of thing. [more inside]
Please help resolve an office grammar debate regarding hyphenated adjectives! (Sounds fun, right?) [more inside]
Grammar filter: When do you say "up the street" versus "down the street"? [more inside]
I know this is a silly question, but I've never been able to figure this out. If my sister and I have a favorite song, how would I describe that fact in a sentence? "That's my sister and I's favorite song", "that's my and my sister's favorite song", "that's my sister's and my favorite song?", or some other permutation I may not be seeing? [more inside]
Looking for a handy reference book on English grammar. What would you recommend and why? [more inside]
In his book "Fathers and Sons", Alexander Waugh quotes an essay written by his grandfather Evelyn Waugh that includes this sentence:"He would have liked to do the same with me, but my school was less conveniently placed for visiting (sic) and the hard times of the First World War made hospitality difficult." Why the (sic)? What was Evelyn Waugh's error here?
Grammar filter: Is it wrong to use "myself" when "me" seems to sound better? [more inside]
What's going on grammatically in the opening verse of the Quran, which uses a sound masculine plural for the word "worlds"? [more inside]
Italian speakers/readers/writers: my client is naming his new business "Studio Della Statua" or "Studio della Statua". I know that in English, the second capitalization scheme would be fine, but... [more inside]
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]
Is the phrase "needs replaced" an English language regionalism? Is it an American English regional phrase? Is it of relatively recent vintage? Why does it seem to be gaining prevalence? [more inside]
When you pluralize a number, do you need an apostrophe? What I mean is if someone's address or phone number contains the number 3 twice, do I say it has two 3's or two 3s?
Please make these sentences grammatically correct for me. For some reason, I am unable to format this idea into a coherent couple of sentences that read well. Your help is greatly appreciated. [more inside]
This is an awesome way to learn about grammar and punctuation . Do you have any other recommendations to make this sort of stuff fun?
GrammarFilter: Present Perfect Passive Progressive. Real or a myth? [more inside]
How did skipping a grade work out for you or your child, and what were the factors that made the biggest difference? [more inside]
What's the proper use of the phrase "what would seem to be"? [more inside]
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?
"One hundred and one" vs. "one hundred one." Which is correct?
"Sunday 7 February 2010." Is a comma required between "Sunday" and "7"?
I need a bit of grammar help, please. [more inside]
GrammarFilter: Is the phrase "I will trade you.." often misused, or is it a perfectly valid usage that drives me crazy? [more inside]
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?
Can I use "Me either" in place of "Me too" in response to this statement..."I can't wait to see you!"? Please explain.
GrammarFilter - please hope us! [more inside]
What tense is the following sentence: "If you were still around, we would have had a Merry Christmas by now." [more inside]
Affect/Effect [more inside]
What are some tips in having better speech? [more inside]
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]
What is a good heuristic for the usage of 'that'? [more inside]
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?
Is English much more difficult than most languages to speak and to write? [more inside]
Are adverbs mere adjective spinoffs? [more inside]