This is a forum to discuss the gray areas of the English language for which you would not find answers easily in dictionaries or other reference books. You can browse through the latest questions and comments below. If you have a question of your own, please submit it here.
Search Pain in the English
It seems like I’m seeing, more and more, “believe” and similar words being used as nouns. At first I thought that it was an ESL issue; perhaps in other languages, the same word is used for both “believe” and “belief”. But that explanation is looking less and less plausible. Is it just me, or are other people baffled by this? I don’t understand how any native speaker can confuse the two words. Perhaps there are accents in which they are pronounced the same?
Do we use “shall have done” followed by second and third persons? I understand that if ‘shall’ comes after second and third persons, it is employed to indicate an obligation or a warning, etc. How about ‘shall have done’?
for example: Company A shall have contributed 50 million dollars to the joint venture.
Is such usage correct? I feel somewhat strange. I understand that if we want to use future perfect tense, we will use “will have done” and in case of first persons “shall” could be adopted instead of “will”. If we want to use subjunctive mood, we will use “should have done”.
“[third persons] shall have done” looks neither future perfect nor an indication of obligations. I think it is wrong. Am I right?
My husband and I disagree on the use of these two words. I say, since we have three children, two girls and a boy, that I can say that “Rebecca is the younger daughter, and the youngest child”. He says that since she is the youngest of all three children, that he can say she is his youngest daughter. I feel that it should be she is the younger daughter since there are only two daughters and of course, she is the youngest child.
Help! I have an annual report ready to go to print....Can someone please tell me which footnote is grammatically correct?
Percents do not add to 100 because members may indicate more than one business activity.
Percentages do not add to 100 because members may indicate....
What is the consensus on using words like “therefore” and “thus” as conjunctions (i.e. to connect two sentences), such as:
“I ate a burger, therefore/thus I am full.”
Or, can they not be used as conjunctions, and does a “real” conjunction or a semicolon need to be inserted?
“I ate a burger, and therefore/thus I am full.” “I ate a burger; therefore/thus I am full.”
a) a program that is open source b) an open source program
(b) sounds right because “open source” is in fact a whole adjective. It is neither “open” nor “source”. So the construct in (b) is just like “a blue book”.
a) the machine that is spinning around b) the spinning around machine
Somehow, (b) doesn’t look right for me, because the base adjective is only “spinning”. Is it just my feeling, or is it indeed wrong? If wrong, is there a way to somehow “correct” it?
Thanks a lot.
I’m getting married and my fiancee (with a Harvard PhD) says that our vows should end as “until death us do part.” My priest (with a PhD equivalent who studied in Rome under the Pope) says that the traditional language is “until death do us part.”
I’m just a Texas Aggie who thinks that perhaps we should use “for as long as we both shall live.”
But just for grins, which of the “until death . . .” phrases is correct? Or are both correct?