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.
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In the sentence “Karen is the taller of her and Lin”, why is the pronoun ‘her’ used (as opposed to ‘she’)? I would have thought that, since Karen is the subject of the sentence, the appropriate pronoun would be ‘she’? This sentence comes out of the Institute of Professional Editors Accreditation Exam, so I can only assume that it is correct. Thanks to anyone who can help!
The following sentence is taken from Advanced English CAE:
Within seconds Barry, who was wearing enormous rubber boots, had tied a rope to the front bumper of the car and was pulling it out with the tractor.
Within seconds Barry, who was wearing enormous rubber boots, tied a rope to the front bumper of the car and pulled it out with the tractor.
I recommend that you do not take this pill.
I recommend that your wife does not take this pill.
I recommend that you not take this pill.
I recommend that your wife not take this pill.
Are all four sentences correct English? Do many native American/British English speakers use verb forms like in the first two sentences?
My co workers and I are in disagreement over how a phrase should be worded using proper English in the legal documents we type into our computer system.
If one were to say (using proper English) that John Smith used to own a piece of property would one say:
“The current tenant states that John Smith IS the previous owner of 2400 Green Cir.”
OR would one say:
“The current tenant states that John Smith WAS the previous owner of 2400 Green Cir.”
Which way is correct? And WHY (please explain why the correct way is correct--what rules apply, etc.).
I was talking with someone via Facebook. I thought she was wrong, and she wrote back to me: “No, Donna, it is you who are wrong”. Had she left out the word “who” then I believe “are” would be correct, but since she included the word “who” then it changes to singular “you” which would require the word “is”. I believe it shoud read “No, Donna, it is you who is wrong”. Please help me on this grammatical issue.
Watching the World Cup recently has prompted me to ask: Why do the announcers refer to teams as if they are plural? For instance, “England are on the attack.” I think it should be “England is on the attack,” as we are referring to the English team which is a single unit and therefore singular?