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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1answer
53 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 ...
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2answers
128 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 ...
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2answers
55 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'...
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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:...
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1answer
16 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 ...
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0answers
7 views

Pre-assembly or Pre assembly or Preassembly [migrated]

I am in the process of writing a publication and I use the term 'pre-assembly' quite frequently. However, my grammar-checking software shows the dreaded red line beneath the word. Hence, as the title ...
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1answer
15 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 ...
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0answers
50 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 ...
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0answers
63 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," ...
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2answers
118 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?
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2answers
124 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
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1answer
70 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 ...
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1answer
111 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 ...
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2answers
40 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 ...
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2answers
68 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.&...
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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),...
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3answers
130 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,...
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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 ...
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2answers
111 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 ...
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5answers
197 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 ...
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1answer
43 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 (...
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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
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3answers
133 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 ...
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1answer
96 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&...
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1answer
43 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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
318 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
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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 ...
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2answers
80 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
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 ...
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1answer
95 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
97 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
51 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
61 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
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 ...
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3answers
164 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
329 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
33 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 ...
1
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2answers
160 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
999 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 ...
2
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3answers
113 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
141 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
147 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
339 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 ...
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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
492 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 ...
0
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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 ...