354 posts tagged with grammar.
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grammar police?

Do you correct colleagues when they make grammatical mistakes? What is the proper etiquette? [more inside]
posted by pasici on Apr 10, 2008 - 21 answers

Is there a consensus on the grammatical relationship between emoticons and punctuation?

Is there a consensus on the grammatical relationship between emoticons and punctuation? [more inside]
posted by mkultra on Apr 8, 2008 - 37 answers

foreign language "bibles"

Foreign language "bibles" (superlative, comprehensive language resources) for language-learning lovers? [more inside]
posted by zeek321 on Apr 3, 2008 - 10 answers

Is this missing a verb?

I have a grammar question that has been driving me crazy. It's probably a matter of style but... [more inside]
posted by mekanic on Mar 31, 2008 - 17 answers


How do I pluralize a contraction that already ends with an apostrophe? [more inside]
posted by ignignokt on Mar 28, 2008 - 17 answers

Is there any hope?

Please hope me! Or why hope for help? [more inside]
posted by TheRaven on Mar 27, 2008 - 23 answers

A mp3 or an mp3?

Grammar Filter: A mp3 or an mp3? I can't make myself say the former! [more inside]
posted by tastycracker on Mar 25, 2008 - 25 answers

"And" versus "or"

Proper choice of coordinating conjunction in a list. "And" versus "or." [more inside]
posted by tentacle on Mar 18, 2008 - 14 answers

Help us with a syntax question (buffalo buffalo buffalo.)

Do fish fish fish fish fish fish fish? [more inside]
posted by ThomThomThomThom on Mar 5, 2008 - 35 answers

Bad Grammar pop lyrics

Please: I would like a bazillion examples of popular music lyrics and song titles that would make an English teacher cry out in empathetic pain for their abuse of grammar. [more inside]
posted by spock on Mar 4, 2008 - 89 answers

No he or she, just us

Are there any languages that do not contain gender-specific pronouns? (no he's or she's, just 'it')
posted by dinty_moore on Mar 4, 2008 - 19 answers

When is "to" unecessary?

Is there a grammar rule that deals with when to use a "to" following certain phrases like "help"? For instance, "Product Wonderful will help you sleep better" -or- "Product Wonderful will help you to sleep better." To my ear, I prefer it without the "to," but I don't know if there's a grammar issue let alone a style guide preference. [more inside]
posted by _sirmissalot_ on Feb 28, 2008 - 34 answers

This is an historic question.

What are some other examples of using 'an' in front of a non-vowel like some do with 'an historic...'? [more inside]
posted by afx114 on Feb 22, 2008 - 40 answers

This Needs Answered

I went to school near Pittsburgh and now live in Ohio. Both at school and here in Columbus, I notice people leaving off "to be" in sentences. This needs fixed, that neads cleaned, those need washed. What's the deal here? [more inside]
posted by lohmannn on Feb 21, 2008 - 45 answers

quirky sentence structure among sports fans

Why is there a disdain for the future conditional tense among people who talk about sports? [more inside]
posted by stupidsexyFlanders on Feb 8, 2008 - 31 answers

To question is human; to declare, divine

"How do we get to Jupiter? And do it cheaply..." [more inside]
posted by Terminal Verbosity on Jan 23, 2008 - 17 answers

censure, said the tenser

A) "At the next stage in the process, the tea leaves ARE blended". B) "At the next stage in the process, the tea leaves WERE blended". Is A correct from a formal grammar standpoint? If so, which tense is it using, and how is it using the past tense of "blend"? If not, why not?
posted by Jon Mitchell on Jan 11, 2008 - 19 answers

Grammar Question: Is or Isn't?

Grammar Question: Is or Isn't? [more inside]
posted by philmas on Dec 8, 2007 - 57 answers

If I were recently laid off, I would have a lot of time on my hands.

GrammarFilter: Is the sentence “If I were ______, I would have done _____” grammatically incorrect? If so, why? [more inside]
posted by jason's_planet on Dec 5, 2007 - 13 answers

Comma in an introductory clause

Do I need the comma in this sentence? "In _Grapes of Europe_, Joe Bloggs reports that grapes are purple." And if so/not, why? I've tried googling adverbial introductory clauses and prepositional introductory clauses, but I can't find a similar example where a work is being introduced.
posted by media_itoku on Dec 2, 2007 - 35 answers

when should I say 'african american' and when 'black' ?

when should I say 'african american' and when 'black' ? [more inside]
posted by krautland on Nov 16, 2007 - 71 answers

I need adjectives!

I need . . . adjectives! Is there a *scannable* online dictionary or some way in which I can search through giant lists just for the adjectives? [more inside]
posted by Dee Xtrovert on Oct 18, 2007 - 9 answers

What's the deal with male/female/man/woman grammar?

A guy becomes a "male president" but if it's a girl she is a "woman president." Can someone explain this grammar? [more inside]
posted by bryanboyer on Oct 2, 2007 - 7 answers

The subject verbs the object

Explain tenses to me? Past/present/future, continuous/simple/perfect, and so on, in English. I can use them with fluency, but I need to be able to explain them (when each is used, how to form them). I've tried Fowler's, Chicago Manual of Style, and a number of other resources, but they seem to subtly contradict one another. Is there a simple, go-to reference for this?
posted by sarahkeebs on Sep 28, 2007 - 16 answers

How do YOU use the '?

I have a friend named James, I'd like to know how to spell James's name. [more inside]
posted by Cosine on Sep 13, 2007 - 36 answers

Which is correct verb?

In a sentence which begins, "I expect that the answer lay/lays/lie/lies not in the answers provided, but . . . ," which is the correct verb choice? [more inside]
posted by Dee Xtrovert on Jul 29, 2007 - 28 answers

How to define this language mistake?

Is there a term for mangling two words to create a new word or term? [more inside]
posted by suki on Jul 17, 2007 - 28 answers

What is the plural of "no"?

What is the plural of "no"? Example: You have to hear a hundred "nos" for every yes. What is the proper way to write "nos"?
posted by dzot on Jul 13, 2007 - 71 answers

Differences between UK and US English grammar?

What are some essential differences between UK and American English Grammar? [more inside]
posted by psmealey on Jul 8, 2007 - 71 answers

Most all people don't know proper English, amirite?

"Most all" - it is wrong. Right? [more inside]
posted by ClarissaWAM on Jul 2, 2007 - 45 answers

help me understand English grammar.

Best book for "learning" English grammar? [more inside]
posted by the luke parker fiasco on Jun 28, 2007 - 28 answers

[ArabicFilter] لكن vs لكنَّ: I still don't get the difference.

َ[ArabicFilter] لكن vs لكنَّ: I still don't get the difference. [more inside]
posted by Lockeownzj00 on May 30, 2007 - 9 answers

Who am I?

English grammar question: Which is grammatically correct, "If I were not myself" or "If I were not me"? Or is it "If I were not I"? [more inside]
posted by misozaki on Apr 5, 2007 - 24 answers

Looking for a mac word processor with French language support to replace Word

I'm looking for a mac word processor with French language support (spelling and grammar) to replace Microsoft Word 2004. [more inside]
posted by Frankieist on Mar 2, 2007 - 8 answers

How do I make "Player(s)" a possessive?

How do you show possession in the case of an optional pluralisation? For example, if the word is player(s), would you write player(s)'s? Player(s)'? Player('s|s')? [more inside]
posted by magacid on Feb 28, 2007 - 11 answers

Is the internet "dumbing down" language?

Help me find evidence contrary to this analysis that claims the internet causes language to be "dumbed down". As Hemingway said: "Poor Faulkner. Does he really think big emotions come from big words?"
posted by Acey on Jan 14, 2007 - 23 answers

From/until or From/to?

"From *date* until *date" or "From *date* to *date*"? Grammarians hope me! [more inside]
posted by Joseph Gurl on Jan 9, 2007 - 7 answers

nixon's last mistake?

nixon's last mistake? [more inside]
posted by krautland on Dec 29, 2006 - 9 answers

Modal verbs can versus could

English grammar: 'could be Xing' versus 'can be Xing' -- how can we explain why one is correct and one isn't? [more inside]
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken on Dec 12, 2006 - 23 answers

I was,were,will be confused!

is there a grammar checker out there that will check my documents for consistent tense? I have a teacher who's a real stickler, and even if I go over my paper with a fine toothed comb, I always miss one or two. Does anybody have a program I could use to save myself some points in class?
posted by gilsonal on Dec 8, 2006 - 10 answers

The first things you read when you open a book are...what?

I'm writing a book. What's the difference between a prologue, a foreword, an introduction, and a preface?
posted by soulbarn on Nov 29, 2006 - 12 answers

grammerFilter: present/past tense

I am writing a children's book (first time). I can't decide whether to use present or past tense. Here's a sample in present tense: Bobby walks slowly into the water. The waves rush up over his feet, but he is not afraid because the same thing happened last time. He goes a little farther. And a little farther. The water is up to his knees. and past tense: Bobby walked slowly into the water. The waves rushed up over his feet, but he was not afraid because the same thing happened last time. He went a little farther. And a little farther. The water was up to his knees. The present tense seems a little more "active", but past tense has certain story telling quality. Any comments on why I should use one or the other?
posted by allelopath on Nov 20, 2006 - 17 answers

What natural languages have unusual properties?

Hawaiian has only eight consonants. Pirahã purportedly has even fewer phonemes and no numerals. What other languages have properties which would be considered unusual by Indo-European language speakers?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Nov 16, 2006 - 33 answers

Testy Copyeditors (yes, one word)

Very straightforward: would a testy copyeditor say "take out our grammar frustrations" or "take out our grammatical frustrations" and why?
posted by vers on Oct 21, 2006 - 17 answers

"originality consists in returning to the origin" -Gaudi

Correct use: "consists of" vs "consists in" [more inside]
posted by primer_dimer on Oct 6, 2006 - 9 answers

كيف حالك ؟ Arabic Filter: Help me settle this question about cases.

كيف حالك ؟ Arabic Filter: Help me settle this question about cases. [more inside]
posted by Lockeownzj00 on Sep 21, 2006 - 15 answers

Grammar Wok Needed!

Weird grammar question that's been bugging me for a while with regards to reversing questioning clauses at the end of declarative sentences. [more inside]
posted by WCityMike on Sep 8, 2006 - 22 answers

help me understand programming grammar

How do I learn what goes on "under the hood" of programming languages? [more inside]
posted by grumblebee on Aug 14, 2006 - 34 answers

Suggestions for good, interesting books on English grammar?

My girlfriend is Korean, and has been living in the US since 2000. Her English is fairly good, but she still makes a few grammatical errors on a regular basis, especially when writing. Can anyone recommend a good, and probably more importantly interesting to read, book on English grammar she could use to get better? [more inside]
posted by Sangermaine on Aug 8, 2006 - 16 answers


Bruce Sutter's Hall of Fame plaque notes that he ..."lead the league in saves five times." Is this a typo? Or this one of those things that can go either way? ("led" or "lead" for the past tense of "lead")
posted by stupidsexyFlanders on Jul 30, 2006 - 14 answers

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