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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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1 answer
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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 ...
SBG's user avatar
  • 1
1 vote
2 answers
381 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 ...
ArtickokeAndAnchovyPizzaMonica's user avatar
0 votes
5 answers
1k 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 ...
Hokie Respect's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
182 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 ...
Muhammad Umar's user avatar
2 votes
4 answers
196 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 ...
N.Houghton's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
380 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 ...
user44462's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
2k 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 ...
Iris Kim's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
56 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 ...
Louisr's user avatar
  • 133
0 votes
1 answer
31 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 ...
user44007's user avatar
2 votes
9 answers
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, ...
QuietInMontana's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
516 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 "...
user676464327's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
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 ...
user44007's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
49 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 ...
user44007's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
25 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 ...
user44007's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
65 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 ...
SHE's user avatar
  • 1
1 vote
2 answers
130 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 ...
tr53's user avatar
  • 155
0 votes
1 answer
36 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 ...
TheSun'sTooth's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
82 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 ...
user6545's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
204 views

During a video tutorial, when asking questions to viewers, should I use the pronoun "I" or "you"?

I am making a tutorial video on a programming language. During the video I want to ask questions to the audience. My confusion is between 2 words: "I" or "you". Let's see few ...
Pirzada's user avatar
  • 111
-2 votes
1 answer
65 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?
Pierce Devol's user avatar
6 votes
5 answers
847 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 ...
Mitsuko's user avatar
  • 163
1 vote
0 answers
27 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 ...
user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
89 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 ...
Lin's user avatar
  • 11
4 votes
1 answer
192 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 ...
user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
48 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.
Dan's user avatar
  • 11
1 vote
2 answers
409 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 ...
RichS's user avatar
  • 307
1 vote
4 answers
4k 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 ...
Naghi's user avatar
  • 113
1 vote
1 answer
62 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 ...
nara's user avatar
  • 119
15 votes
5 answers
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 ...
klippy's user avatar
  • 2,041
10 votes
2 answers
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 ...
Louisr's user avatar
  • 133
3 votes
2 answers
363 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 ...
The White Cloud's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
2k 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 ...
The White Cloud's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
4k 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 ...
TitaniumTurtle's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
146 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 ...
Logrun's user avatar
  • 133
12 votes
3 answers
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'...
April  Salutes Monica C.'s user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
3k 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 ...
user3776022's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
210 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" ...
Sayaman's user avatar
  • 14.9k
2 votes
1 answer
66 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 ...
jennifer ruurs's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
715 views

Capitlization of A Named Experiment

I have an experiment which we call 'the krypton experiment'. In referring to the krypton experiment, should it be capitalized? e.g. The Krypton Experiment was used as a source of benchmark data. or ...
Terry Price's user avatar
0 votes
3 answers
141 views

Using a grammatically incorrect tense for stylistic effect

Immanuel Kant has been born in Europe. I heard you can't use the Present Perfect for dead people, so can I use it to indirectly state how influential Kant was (as if he were Immortal, or that he ...
Sayaman's user avatar
  • 14.9k
2 votes
4 answers
692 views

Replacing adverbs

I understand the reasons so many people have dislike for adverbs in writing, but I'm struggling with how to find a real balance. For example, these adverbs can die: "He ran quickly" is easily ...
Cobus Kruger's user avatar
11 votes
5 answers
10k views

Should I start a new paragraph after a dialogue if the action is being taken by a new person?

I am currently editing an original work of fiction, and one of the things I'm having the most trouble with is dialogue and paragraphs after certain character's actions. I know it sounds a little ...
Naomi's user avatar
  • 113
3 votes
5 answers
319 views

Should I change from past to present tense to state a fact that continues into the present and is unyielding?

Within narration in past tense, should a statement of a universally true fact be in past tense or in present tense? For example, in the short text: It was late afternoon in Zubrin. The air was ...
billy p's user avatar
  • 31
6 votes
5 answers
928 views

What are the chances that agents or publishers will accept my manuscript if there are some grammatical errors in it?

English is not my native one, but I can talk and write with it, but maybe not as well as I would like to. Many readers have told me that my stories I wrote are really good, but still, I make some ...
Jade's user avatar
  • 61
15 votes
3 answers
6k views

Should the name of a mythological creature be capitalized?

The name of the mythological creature in my novel is "manananggal". When I'm referring to it, should I capitalize what it is?
R. Narine The Author's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
73 views

How can I learn about syntax from the point of view of a poet?

Are there any resources that teach syntax aimed at creative uses? I find that having words to describe what I'm doing as a poet is very useful, so I want to talk about the different sort of ...
lightning's user avatar
  • 121
1 vote
5 answers
13k views

How can I state what is written on a sign?

Is it okay to write: "Shop Name", read a sign hanging above the shop. Should I use italics for the shop name or use any other type of formatting? I wasn't sure how to do this. This is for fiction.
Ann's user avatar
  • 11
1 vote
4 answers
148 views

When is it okay to say the word “now” in a past tense story?

I’ve seen it done in Harry Potter I just don’t understand when its okay to do it, like can I say something like “John walked away from the house and was now walking along the road” or not? When is it ...
Angel's user avatar
  • 1,654
6 votes
3 answers
489 views

How to indicate that the source language is gender-neutral?

The source language in question is Standard Chinese. It is a gender-neutral language. One big thing that English speakers complain about English is the gendered pronoun, namely the third person ...
Double U's user avatar
  • 2,512
3 votes
1 answer
390 views

Punctuation when using inline dialogue

I am a bit crazy about punctuation and I have a question that I'm struggling to find a consensus on. For dialogue (especially in fiction), I always use the standard format: "I told you I wanted ...
valoukh's user avatar
  • 181