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]
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.
GrammarFilter: "I want to punch you severely." [more inside]
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]
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]
How is "I should mind" used to mean "I don't really mind"? This and other grammar/language questions inside. [more inside]
Tell me everything you know about this sentence construction: "Are you finished your lunch?" [more inside]
Grammarians: Is it OK to take liberties with the word "win" when publicizing a contest or draw? [more inside]
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]
Why is incorrect pronoun usage so prevalent? [more inside]
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?
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."
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]
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]
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?
I want to ask several questions in a row in a research proposal. What is the grammatically correct way of doing this? [more inside]
LanguageFilter: How can a native English speaker develop a better sense of grammatical cases? [more inside]
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?
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]
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]
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]
Can one 'criticize that?' [more inside]
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.)
Help settle a grammar dispute: Can I say "He was to Africa," the same way I would say "He has been to Africa"?
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]
Question about the usage of 'satiety' [more inside]
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?
I'm putting together a writing guide for my undergraduate philosophy course. What information should I put in the guide? [more inside]
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]
"Gotten" = "have had?" [more inside]
Good examples of intercultural communications based on ideograms or common concepts? [more inside]
Looking for online grammar exercises, games, etc. that would enable me to do a few exercises here and there throughout the day. [more inside]
Why is Sudan frequently referred to with an article, as in the Sudan?
"has been changed" vs "had been changed" [more inside]
When should I use "instructive" and when should I use "instructional"? [more inside]
Should I "take" or "make" a decision? [more inside]
Looking for examples in literature where the author had to rely on his/her editor rather heavily. I'm thinking of instances where the authors were capable of spinning a good yarn, yet they had trouble with grammar, structure, punctuation, etc. [more inside]
GrammarFilter: Origins and form of "As well he should"? [more inside]
Please help me with a quick English grammar question. [more inside]
I need help with a pronoun issue. In the following sentences, what noun is the word it replacing? [more inside]
What do you call this ugly form of conjoined sentence, and am I right in thinking it's ungrammatical? [more inside]
When I was in high school, we had a writing lab with some type of mainframe-ish type terminals setup, where there was writing software available which would list frequently repeated words, point out large paragraphs, spelling errors, document complexity, punctuation errors, etc. This was awhile ago, is this type of thing freely available anywhere these days? [more inside]
In a sentence such as "When I was younger, I would swim a mile before going to work every day," what grammatical tense is in play? [more inside]
I am married to a wonderful (black) man who sometimes has terrible grammar (sliding into ebonics). Should I continue to correct him, even though technically, he knows the proper way to say things or should I stop nagging because it will never work? [more inside]
I've noticed the New York Times is now using "Miss", or Ms., as the accepted honorific for a women both married and unmarried. Is this MLA, or is the New York Times in the vanguard? Is Mrs. dead?
Extra! Extra! The verb "to be" missing from TV newscasts! Anchors and TV reporters omitting "to be," often favor using participles instead. Why? [more inside]
In French, the singular of eye is "oiel" and the plural is "yeux." Are there any nouns in English that have completely different spellings of the singular and plural like this?