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.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
0
votes
0answers
7 views

With or without apostrophe: The Modal Analysis of Snowflakes' Wake Flows [migrated]

I am about to print my Master Thesis and I am a bit confused with the title. My supervisors didn't mention anything so I wanted to ask if the title is grammatically correct. In the thesis, I have four ...
1
vote
3answers
133 views

Any programs useful for writing?

I was wondering, which programs would you recommend for writing. Whatever they possess general functions to correct your texts and grammar, and/or functions specific for storytelling/worldbuilding (...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

"Lack of [plural]": should accompanying verb be singular or plural?

In this sentence: It’s not our lack of answers to these problems that causes us such pain. My word processor tells me that "causes" should be in the plural form "cause", but I'm ...
10
votes
6answers
3k views

Is there any pronoun in English that can include both HE and SHE?

Some languages like Persian do not have gender for pronouns. For example, they use just one pronoun (Ou) to refer to he/she. This makes the language gender-neutral which to me it is more convenient in ...
-1
votes
1answer
37 views

Best method to separate complex/multiple nouns and the verb? Semi-colon?

Would a semi-colon be appropriate separating a list of nouns all affected by a verb/or are all the agents responsible for said action? If not what do you all suggest without altering the structure of ...
9
votes
5answers
4k views

I am trying to find an online, free to use and algorithm-based grammar checker, that can reliably point out mistakes. Any suggestions?

I tried using Quillbot and Grammarly, but they sometimes give inappropriate edits, or not enough information to justify edits so I am often left confused. Any suggestion would be helpful. P.S: If such ...
2
votes
1answer
56 views

Should a common noun which has a specific word in a different language be capitalised?

The setting is that there is a celebration underway where people of different species (lets say, humans and elves) are attending. In the elves' language they call any celebration "Jashnak". ...
2
votes
2answers
77 views

Are "floating quotations" to be avoided in academic writing?

I am finishing my dissertation, and my advisor was highly critical of my use of "floating quotations" or "stand-alone quotations." She directed me to a University of North Carolina ...
0
votes
1answer
60 views

Adverbs in a complex verb? [closed]

I want to know if this sentence is grammatically correct. The actions he took have truly led to a lack of confidence in his work. The words, "have led," are a complex verb. Is it ...
1
vote
0answers
34 views

When do I use Is vs Are [closed]

4.5 hectares of communal land are degrading OR is it 4.5 hectares of communal land is degrading? I sense that it is the first option, but just need to check.
0
votes
0answers
46 views

Can I use the term 'the desperate' as a kind of 'desperate people'?

I'm not an native English speaker. I have written some lyrics: Like the desperate waiting for Messiah, I'm just waiting for you. I want to use the term 'the desperate' for the meaning of 'desperate ...
1
vote
2answers
47 views

Dropping repeated verbs/prepositions/adjectives for different subjects

I wonder if it's alright for us to drop words like verbs, prepositions or adjectives for different subjects in the same sentence if repeated. Consider this sentence: "My son was born in 1975 and ...
0
votes
1answer
35 views

What is the correct order of verb - modifer - subject? [closed]

Dummy question here, but would it be "pick up [an item] or pick [an item] up? Appreciate any help.
0
votes
1answer
66 views

City of [city name] or [city name] city?

I’m wondering what is more appropriate when referring to a city, let’s say Damascus for example. Is it better to say “city of Damascus” or “Damascus city”? Or are they both interchangeable. I know for ...
1
vote
2answers
140 views

What to do when a sentence is too confusing

I’m struggling to clearly yet briefly explain what’s going on. I’m fairly sure this sentence is grammatically correct, but it still sounds clunky and confusing. For context, my POV character sits down ...
1
vote
2answers
63 views

When a character is mentally recalling prior dialog verbatim, how should it be quoted?

When a character is mentally recalling prior dialog verbatim, should the dialog be surrounded by double-quotes or single-quotes, be italicized, or get no special treatment at all? For example: O'...
17
votes
3answers
4k views

I thought I understood tenses

I'm writing a story in the past tense, third person, deep POV. Similar to the first person, that implies that some of the narration can be read as the character's thoughts. Here are two trite examples:...
0
votes
1answer
19 views

Comma after adverb

Should you include a comma after an adverb, just before the adverb or not include a comma at all in this example. The adverb in question being 'prematurely'. 1 On Tuesday, the EU’s attempt to reach a ...
0
votes
1answer
17 views

Article use in "depending on problems to be solved"

I am writing a scientific paper, and I started the first sentence of one paragraph as below: Many algorithms are available, depending on problems to be solved. Someone told me that I need to add the ...
1
vote
0answers
54 views

The use of of repeated conjunction by tabloids

Here in Denmark, we have a tabloid newspaper (which will remain unnamed) which is infamous for, among other things, its ever-present writing mistakes, to the point that it almost seems intentional. I ...
1
vote
0answers
64 views

When to use adjective forms of anatomical nouns in scientific writing?

Consider the following anatomical parts of crustacean: carapace, abdomen, and areola. In much of published literature, you'll see the phrases "carapace length", "abdomen length," ...
-1
votes
2answers
125 views

Do grammar mistakes matter? [duplicate]

Do English-language speakers care about grammar so much? For example when someone makes errors concerning mixed tenses does that bother readers so much?
2
votes
2answers
125 views

How do I write thought?

The question basically explains it all. How should I write thought? Should I use quotations? Italization? Or should I just leave it be? This question has been bugging me for a while and I decided ...
2
votes
1answer
72 views

Should an edit notice be in plural when mentioning multiple document titles?

I'm sending a message to a group of people informing them of an edit to one of their documents now mentions a reference to multiple documents and their titles. There is a total of four documents with ...
1
vote
1answer
122 views

Using an em dash in a sentence spanning over multiple lines

When using em dash in a sentence that runs to multiple lines, especially in poetry, can it be the last word of the continuous sentence? For example, let us consider the following Wordsworth poetry. (I ...
0
votes
2answers
43 views

What is the correct usage of "sometimes" as a prefix?

For example, if one might describe themselves as an "occasional writer;" or, identifies as a writer, yet only "writes occasionally." Would "sometimes-writer" be a more ...
-1
votes
2answers
69 views

"not as well educated as..." vs "Not so well educated as..." [closed]

I am writing a scholarship essay and one of my sentences is: "Although both of my parents have bachelor’s degrees now, they were not as well educated or stably employed when I was growing up.&...
0
votes
2answers
93 views

Use of asyndeton in a list preceded by a colon?

Would the word and be omitted before the last item in either of these two sentences? Maximum tree-ring counts for species sampled are as follows: American beech (50), tuliptree (125), white ash (221),...
2
votes
3answers
135 views

Is it bad to use "ok" in professional writing. Should I always use "OK" or "Okay?"

So basically I'm writing two books right now, and there's something that's been bugging me since day one, when I wrote the very first word of the very first chapter of the very first book, and that is,...
1
vote
0answers
33 views

Should I use a comma or a colon? [closed]

I am a bit confused as to whether I should use a comma or a colon for the following sentence: Art quickly became a world where I could trust my abilities, a world where I can share my emotions and ...
0
votes
2answers
133 views

According to CMOS, can I change plural words in a quotation to singular, and vice versa?

Consider, for example, that the following sentence is from an external source and that I desire to quote it in my own work (please pay attention to the structure of the sentence, not its ambiguous or ...
4
votes
5answers
199 views

The right way to write

When debating with someone about how to write eloquently, I argued that one needs to learn grammatical structures so that grammar comes easily when writing, but he said that one should focus on ...
2
votes
1answer
45 views

Where does "inaugural" go in this sentence?

I’ve been trying to adjust my short bio/blurb on LinkedIn to include the word “inaugural” in it, but, as soon as I do, it makes everything feel off and I'm not sure why. Here's what I've written (...
1
vote
1answer
45 views

Separating two separate bits of information in parenthesis

I have this excerpt of text from a scientific paper: ... such as mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA; maternally inherited) or non-recombining regions of Y-chromosomal DNA (paternally inherited), ... Where I ...
3
votes
3answers
168 views

Specific use of apostrophe at the beginning of a sentence

This is a highly specific scenario for which I haven't been able to find a concrete answer. When you write the contraction 'Tis (It is), should the apostrophe be an opening or closing apostrophe? A ...
0
votes
1answer
99 views

Is it acceptable to put the period after the quotation mark?

As a programmer, it always bothered me when the period was inside the quotation marks, like so: His nickname was "Quincy." I'd much prefer to do it this way: His nickname was "Quincy&...
1
vote
1answer
45 views

Indirect reference following brackets in scientific literature

I've got a bracketed reference in a scientific manuscript I'm writing, that immediately follows bracketed text like so: ...rather than visiting flowers that were in ‘same scent’ group (same scent and ...
13
votes
4answers
4k views

Should items separated by commas be alphabetical?

When writing a list of items, should they be alphabetical? The late Jurassic periods are Tithonian, Kimmeridgian, and Oxfordian. better? The late Jurassic periods are Kimmeridgian, Oxfordian, and ...
0
votes
1answer
968 views

Using 'somehow' in a sentence

This is what I have: Entering the house, she realized that somehow, inside was worse. I'm just using the comma here as a natural pause but should it have a comma before 'somehow' as well? That was ...
2
votes
1answer
34 views

How are the limits of regional vernacularism/slang should be employed in a novel that is true to the area and time?

What's an acceptable amount of non-standard English that can be used to depict the language of a certain area of the South (Louisiana) without turning off readers? My current work in progress has ...
0
votes
2answers
82 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
votes
2answers
44 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
125 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
votes
1answer
98 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"...
0
votes
2answers
55 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
65 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
54 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
169 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-...
0
votes
1answer
489 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
35 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 ...