Questions tagged [grammar]

Questions about the rules of grammar, and how to properly apply them to writing. Note that questions asking to improve or check grammar of a specific piece are off-topic.

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26 views

Is the first and last sentence grammatically correct? [closed]

No point wanting affection from strangers since they will never understand you better than yourself. Power to those who know how to rise above the spiteful comments of people. I personally feel more ...
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0answers
37 views

Starting a sentence with a past verb? [migrated]

I am a spanish speaker, and the last night I watched the movie "The Silencing". There, some characters used expressions such as: "Realized I did not like to let animals suffer" In ...
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0answers
54 views

“-Based” vs. “ Based” [migrated]

I am in the process of finalizing an academic research paper and I am struggling to identify the correct hyphenation for the title: Option 1: Adaptive Chirplet Transform-Based Machine Learning for ...
4
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0answers
531 views

Am I using the word paradox right? [migrated]

I'm writing a short bit on time travel just to get my thoughts on paper and try to organize them, and need to make sure I'm using the word paradox right. Here's the quote I'm concerned about right now-...
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2answers
58 views

What could be a way to improve my English writing?

I know there are general recommendations to improve English writing skills but I wonder if anyone could suggest hyper-personalized ways for me. I studied English as a second language from middle ...
2
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2answers
40 views

Correctly phrasing a sentence containing “along with” followed by a list

I have the following sentence structure and I am wondering about the best way to phrase it: "Along with A, B, C and D have been shown to influence the production of E." What I am trying to ...
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1answer
66 views

Capitalization for a thought mid-sentence [duplicate]

This is an example of something I've run into: I felt my excitement grow at the view, with “now THIS is a true alien world!” running through my mind. Should the "n" in "now" be ...
2
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1answer
87 views

“He laughed a laugh.” It seems correct to use a noun as a verb in the same sentence but should you? [closed]

I'm struggling with the title question in some of my current writing, so should you? Or is it just bad to repeat words? Other examples: "the remains remained", "she peeled the peel"...
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2answers
45 views

Hyphen or no-hyphen for adjective phrase for impact/emphasis/clarity?

Here are two alternatives, one with a hyphen of previously-obscured one without as previously obscured: As our global society becomes evermore connected, we become increasingly aware of the ...
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1answer
59 views

A question about punctuation

Every man chased three deer going to the forest while eating oranges. Every man chased three deer going to the forest, while eating oranges. Does the comma greatly alter the meaning of the second ...
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1answer
52 views

Tense-inadequate but Meaningful

I was writing the conclusion to one of my short stories in which the main character has to endure a bit of humiliation so that everyone else gets to have a good time. The closing sentence is: They ...
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3answers
149 views

Engineer who wants to improve their writing from scratch

To expand on the title, I am about to finish my engineering degree. However, I haven't really written an essay for the past ten years. The main reason was that I focused all my attention on maths-...
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1answer
57 views

Formal letter: capitalization after salutation?

In many formal letters, the first word after the salutation (e.g. "Dear Sir or Madam,") is the pronoun I, which is always capitalized. However, I recently wrote a letter for which this is ...
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1answer
27 views

Resume sentence fragment conundrum [closed]

I am updating my resume and need help making this sentence grammatically correct. Is it ok as is? It is for a bullet point list of job duties on a resume. “Review, prioritize and respond to ...
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2answers
103 views

Characters with apostrophe names

I have created a world, and one of the cultures has mainly apostrophe names - Vax'Ildan, Vex'Ahlia, Soih'Ym... How would this work grammatically - possessive and nicknames, in writing? (To forestall ...
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5answers
990 views

Should my character speak like an layman or a Latin teacher?

'He tracked and updated 182 patient statuses' OR 'He tracked and updated 182 patient stati?' I believe "statuses" is correct. However, the originator is claiming some sort of Latin derivation as to ...
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2answers
66 views

Is it really necessary for a novelist to follow phrase structure rules radically?

I have read many novels and found that the writers do not follow basic phrase structure rules while constructing a sentence. For example, they may write a sentence with only one word like "Fear" And ...
2
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4answers
130 views

If you're writing a story where the location is based in the USA, should you adapt your spelling to the American way, rather than British?

If an Australian writer writes a story based in America or another country that uses American English, should you change your spelling to American English, or continue using British English? Is this ...
1
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1answer
37 views

Zero-that clause (noun clause with that)

After omitting "that" from a that-clause, is the clause still dependent? Or, does doing this turn it into an independent clause? For example: Before: "I suggested that she not go there." After: "I ...
2
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1answer
173 views

Using “her/him” twice in a sentence

I'm an English learner, and I had a question about writing "her" twice in one sentence. For example, what would sound better for formal writing? (This is not an actual sentence that I'm using.) This ...
3
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1answer
55 views

Adjective alongside verb [closed]

"Marlon walked suspicious along the corridor". It's important to stress that Marlon was (still) suspicious (not suspected, nor walking suspiciously) about something (that was already covered in the ...
0
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1answer
27 views

Which sentence is grammatically correct? [closed]

Question.. Which sentence is grammatically correct below? It forces me to confront my issues as there are no visible clutter that is distracting me. or It forces me to confront my issues as there ...
2
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9answers
4k views

Do academic papers have to be necessarily grammatically correct?

I notice that a lot of beautiful literature contains sentences that are not grammatically correct. Here are some examples: “Still, there are times I am bewildered by each mile I have traveled, ...
4
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1answer
473 views

Apparent contradiction in rules about writing that I learnt throughout my education

I noticed that there are a few inconsistencies in what I was taught throughout my English education, and I hope to clarify them. I think the nature of the question is somewhere between "grammar" and "...
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0answers
24 views

How do you quote a quote? [duplicate]

There's this sentence from Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing that I want to use as a title of my project, and I'm not sure if I ...
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1answer
32 views

How to properly put asterisk around a term?

How do I properly put asterisk around this title? Do I put it at the end of the title of after the term, KonMari Method? Which one is correct? How the KonMari Method Changed My Daily Routine* or ...
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0answers
21 views

How do you properly quote a quote as a title? [duplicate]

There's this sentence from Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing that I want to use as a header/title of my project, and I need ...
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1answer
57 views

How can I make this formal paragraph more exciting, engaging and friendly? [closed]

Text: "Your order has been received. A digital proof of your personalized item will be sent to you via Etsy Conversation within 1 business day of placing your order. With your confirmation that the ...
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2answers
31 views

wreckage or wreckages

I'm trying to describe a ring of broken, destroyed spacecraft. I want to use wreckage ring or ring of wreckage or ring of wreckages. Wreckages is an interesting word that I'm confused about. I've ...
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1answer
32 views

Is the punctuation of my dialogue in this novel section correct? [closed]

I am just starting out my novel, if I can get this quotation punctuation correctly it'll massively help me throughout the book, I need your help! “In six months time Vledos Manis will be leaving ...
2
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3answers
48 views

Where can I find a beta reader for grammatical issues?

I’m looking forward to finding a beta reader to help getting me past my grammatical inaccuracies during my attempts at writing short stories. I’m not a native English speaker, so I found myself ...
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1answer
56 views

Software or Softwares [closed]

It seems to me that softwares is incorrect. I am of the opinion that software is partitive. I try to use some software or piece of software. Do you think it is incorrect to say softwares?
6
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5answers
432 views

As a writer, how can I avoid exposing myself as a non-native English speaker in my texts?

I am a Japanese student learning English, and one of my current goals is to learn to write texts in such a way that no reader will realize I am not a native speaker. I am humbly seeking advice on how ...
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0answers
22 views

Where do I place parenthetical citations?

Do I place it inside the sentence like this: Family engagement is crucial to developing children’s emergent literacy skills because children who are raised in homes that promote literacy do better ...
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1answer
58 views

How to translate written shorthand to dialogue

I have a character who's going to answer a question with "Either/or." She pronounces it simply either or, but I know some people pronounce the slash itself sometimes. How do I indicate explicitly how ...
4
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1answer
102 views

Add Comma After “official” in “official third-party documentation”?

I'm drafting an internal standard on internal documentation covering third-party products or services in my organization. Documentation covering third-party products or services SHOULD NOT: Include ...
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2answers
41 views

Is this sentence grammatically correct? [closed]

The sentence is "How calculating are you?". I am simply wondering if under standard conventions of the English language, that this sentence ought to be perceived as being correct.
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2answers
81 views

Is it better to go verb-then-name or name-then-verb when writing sentences with quotes?

Which of these is correct? The first? The second? Both? verb then name: "She's late again," said Jason. name then verb: "She's late again," Jason said. I have almost always used the first ...
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4answers
88 views

How can I abbreviate “Equations” and “Recommendations” in a text?

When I want to abbreviate the words "Equations" and "Recommendations" in a text, how can I do this? for example Solving the above eqs. / eq's. is not possible unless by computers. After ...
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1answer
46 views

Is it acceptable in academic writing to write “their very self” or “very + [noun]”?

Is the "very + [noun]" structure, as an emphasis on the noun, formal-enough for an academic paper? For example in the sentence below: "The environment had a significant impact on the state of his ...
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5answers
2k views

Is there any difference between these two sentences? (Adverbs)

I'm just trying to work around the whole "Adverbs are the devil" rule. Is there any difference between these two lines in regards to writing quality: He smiled patronisingly at them And He had ...
9
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2answers
2k views

'This one' as a pronoun

I'm writing a story in English but I'm not a native. I’m a Brazilian Portuguese speaker. It bothers me how repetitive and ambiguous pronouns can be. In my language we can use the equivalent to ‘this ...
3
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2answers
227 views

When should the dialogue reference be written, before or after the dialogue?

This might be a very trivial question but I don't know what to google to get an answer so asking anyways. In this dialogue; "I have such a miserable cold, your sarcastic remarks are hardly ...
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3answers
192 views

What tense to use for events that are still happening?

The question is similar to this but the answers does not answer me. In my general fiction novel, which is told in first person singular past tense, I encounter moments where I am confused whether to ...
1
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0answers
659 views

Is there a prefix for 'old'? [closed]

I am writing a sci-fi novel in which humanity has struggled to survive in colonies throughout the solar system after the Earth becomes uninhabitable. I am writing a passage about a main character's ...
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2answers
123 views

Grammar of, in dialogue, someone quickly negating a previous word?

For example, let's say that someone says a word, but then immediately "corrects" it to a different word. Do you use a comma, an em dash, or what? In addition, if it's at the beginning of a ...
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3answers
1k views

How to handle characters who are more educated than the author?

This is inspired by a few things that have been breaking my immersion when reading Worm. The main protagonist is a teen, and most chapters are first-person POV, so grammatical casualness fits. I don'...
9
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2answers
2k views

When quoting, must I also copy hyphens used to divide words that continue on the next line?

I want to quote a text in which re of the word relationships is on one line while lationships is on the next, and a hyphen follows re (re-) to indicate that the word continues on the next line. When I ...
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2answers
82 views

Using a possessive pronoun before using its antecedent in a poem

I was seriously wondering if it's a problem to use the antecedent, which is "Mr Spooner", after the possessive pronoun "his". Also, I am wondering if we can use "his" ...
2
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1answer
53 views

Crowdsource feedback for research articles

Are there crowdsourced feedback platforms, or does somebody know where I can find somebody that does not ask a lot of money for checking some research articles that I have written for mistakes in ...