Submitted by joanne  •  October 22, 2005


I am having a dispute with a colleague about the use of the word ‘Everyday’. Can you please clarify for me if the word has been used correctly in the following example:

Everyday over 50,000 pupils miss a day of school without permission and an estimated 7.5 million school days are missed each year through truancy.

Submitted by m56  •  October 6, 2005

“my tire flattened”

Hi All. Take a look at this if you will:

“And my tire flattened as I was riding it to work this morning. The leak was slow enough that I could limp to work by pumping it up along the way (not recommended procedure, but tolerable for very short distances.)”


Do you, or have you ever, used the expression (my/the tire flattened)?

It expresses an inchoative (bridging or transitional ) event. It focuses on the transition between “tyre is not flat” to “tyre is flat”. But would you, have you ever, or do you, use it?

Other examples:

I liked him within a minute.

The weather changed.

The car rolled down the hill.

My situation changed this morning.

Stevie is ripping his script up. (causative-inchoative)

Submitted by karuro  •  October 4, 2005

Computer mouses or computer mice?

Normally, the plural of mouse is mice when you are referring to those real rodents. However, in the case of a “mouse” used for the computer, can you still use the plural form “mice”, “computer mice” if you are referring to lots of computer mouse? “Computer mouses” i guess is not proper. What do you think?

Submitted by djjothic  •  October 2, 2005

Complete Sentence

In a compelte sentence, you need a Subject and a Predicate. But what about the sentences that are, “Okay.”, “Yes/No/Maybe”, “Hello.” etc. Are they considered a Complete Sentence or thought?

Submitted by jiri  •  September 28, 2005

verb + off of

I often come across this construction:

verb + ‘off’ + ‘of’ + object

I’ve never really heard it in spoken English and wonder if you can say the same without ‘of’.

Just one example here from EFL Geek:

... just to get it OFF OF my hands since I wasn’t using it anymore.

Submitted by steve2  •  September 28, 2005

Fill it or full it

I’m no English expert so this one is probably obvious to all of you. In some places in the Caribbean, the people do not “fill” up a gas tank. They “full” it. As in “Full up my gas tank”. I’m not sure if this is wrong. It’s like saying in the imperative, “Make my gas tank full!” Well, is it wrong?

Actually there are a few idioms in the Caribbean like this. “How comes you doesn’t call?” I’m not sure about the “comes” in that sentence.

Submitted by cobra  •  September 27, 2005


When should I use “farther” as opposed to “further”? ex. I went farther down the road than I expected. I went further down the road than I expected.

Submitted by virtualpear  •  September 27, 2005

off the mark

Is ‘off the mark’ a proper english?

“My earlier calculation on the number of slides is off the mark. I have just added on department of building & the current total is 97. I still haven’t receive department of Real Estate which would be another 17 slides. The total will be around 120 slides.”

Submitted by mike  •  September 26, 2005


Is there any reason for the “that” in the following sentence?

I thought that the day was warm. vs. I thought the day was warm.

Submitted by joe  •  September 24, 2005

The double “to”

It comes up every now and then and really looks crazy if you dont work around it in some way.

“Home Depot is the store I go to to buy screws”

Is that sentence just completely wrong or completely normal and just looks funny?

Submitted by karuro  •  September 18, 2005

at anytime...or anytime

Is the usage of “at anytime” in a sentence has the same connotation as “anytime”?

“You can remove any user from your chat environment at anytime”

“You can remove any user from your chat environment anytime.”

Submitted by nolagranola  •  September 7, 2005


I was taught that biweekly and bimonthly meant twice a week and twice a month, respectively. I can even reference this in my very old dictiionaries as being correct. I now see definitions in dictionaries that define biweekly as twice a week AND every other week (Random House, Webster’s), and bimonthly as every other month. These “new” definitions are also used in every-day conversation, and can be confusing (I now have reverted to twice a week or every other week to clarify). When did this change? If biannually is always twice a year, why are not bimonthly and biweekly twice a month and twice a week?

Submitted by m56  •  September 6, 2005

Odd sentence?

Anything odd about this sentence?

“All of a sudden, there was a bottle breaking on the table.”

Submitted by angie  •  September 2, 2005

“identical to” and “identical with”

A fairly authorative, university entrance exam site says this:

Identical with (not to): This bid is identical with the one submitted by you.

However, I have found that “identical to” is more commonly used. Is there a difference? The dictionaries accept both versions.

Submitted by gp2  •  August 13, 2005


I’ve been told before that I should always avoid the word “got”.

I was reading another question and the phrase “I got burnt” was being thrown around quite a bit, whereas I think “I was burnt” sounds much better grammatically.

Similarly, instead of “I got some mail”, “I received some mail”, and, “I earned straight A’s” instead of “I got straight A’s”.

Is there any basis for this, or are there times when “got” really is the best choice?

Submitted by gp  •  August 3, 2005


I don’t think there are any rules about which adjectives come before others in describing something, but nobody would say “red big ball”. Unless they were emphasising the “red” part, as opposed to the *blue* big ball. In what order would you use “mediastinal”, “cystic” and “benign” to modify “teratoma”? Maybe it’s just a matter of what I want to emphasise more, eh?

Submitted by m56  •  July 20, 2005

Omitting “will”

“1. I am a carnivore and a predator though sometimes I will scavenge. I live in the Arctic where I stay by myself most of my life. I am well camouflaged in the snow, though my skin is actually black to absorb the heat of the sun. I will kill and eat seals and walruses, but I will also eat carrion, such as a dead whale. I love water and am such a strong swimmer that I can swim miles at a time. Who am I?” From

How would the removal of “will” affect the meaning of the above passage? Would the writer’s intended effect still be fully appreciated?

Submitted by fionateresa  •  July 19, 2005

Back and behind

I teach English to adults as a second language. I am having difficulty explaining to my current group the difference of “back” and “behind” and its usage. Can anyone help me out here.... FYI, I am teaching 3 26 year-olds with elementary (literally) knowledge of spoken English.

Submitted by m56  •  July 14, 2005

Present adverbs in past narrative


Would it make a major difference to the meaning of the sentence below if “now” were omitted?

“Three months after his father’s death, Dave was now running the shop.”

Submitted by m56  •  July 14, 2005

Using prepositions “by” and “with”.

Can anyone tell me why “by” and not “with” was used in the following?

“In the course of his narrative he refreshes himself by a draught from the drinking-horn into which meanwhile Hagen has pressed the juice of an herb.”

“or succeedeth in smuggling in a drink, or after much importuning, the janitor is induced to cool the coppers by a draught from the spigot that sizzes and adds to the thirst that is not quenched;”

“With these preliminary remarks, and after wetting his whistle by a draught from a small pocket flask, he made the echoes of Kenmuir ring with the following, which he sung to the old Gaelic air, ‘I am asleep, do not waken me:’-”

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