Submitted by ec  •  June 22, 2005

Assist in or assist with

Which is correct? (Intentional use of telegraphic style) Assists attorney in drafting documentation. Assists attorney with drafting documentation.


Submitted by jane  •  June 17, 2005

Jane and you or you and Jane?

Which is the correct usage of a proper noun and you? It was a pleasure meeting Jane and you. It was a pleasure meeting you and Jane.


Submitted by karendipeppe  •  June 4, 2005

in to or into?

When do you use “in to” versus “into”?

Submitted by mikeliu  •  April 30, 2005

verb tenses

Which of the followings are grammatically correct? I told him what happened and he examined me. I told him what had happened and he examined me. I had told him what had happened and he examined me? Thanks.

Submitted by tealee2  •  April 22, 2005

anyone & any one

Recently, I came across a problem. Should we say “anyone of us” or “any one of us”? My teacher says we can only say “any one of us”, but I remember a Gareth Gate’s song named “anyone of us”? Which one is right? Thank you very much.

Submitted by dave  •  April 21, 2005

This construction is puzzling me...

I wrote the following in a book review:

“How about a return to the days when women were in such vulnerable and inferior positions, they were easier to take advantage of by powerful men who knew they could get away with it?”

That bit “they were easier to take advantage of by powerful men ...” doesn’t sit right with me, but I can’t figure out why. Am I just imagining it, or is there a problem?

Submitted by damirhasandic  •  April 20, 2005

Past or Past Perfect

“He spoke to his teacher before the examination began.” Why wasn’t past perfect used at the begining of this sentence? Shouldn’t this sentence be like this?: “He had spoken to his teacher before the examination began.” I need your help. I am so confused.

Submitted by dave  •  April 17, 2005

American versus British question

A sentence such as, “The Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra entertained a crowd of over 500 Saturday evening,” makes perfect grammatical sense in American English, and the construction is commonplace in newspapers. An alternative would be: “...crowd of over 500 on Saturday evening.” (addition of “on”)

Since I am British-Canadian, and am doing copy for local press now, I have to be careful to use British English consistently, and I am unsure whether the former construction is standard British English. Certainly the latter is.

Any opinions?

Submitted by damirhasandic  •  April 14, 2005

Bring Brought

Could you please tell me which sentence is correct? “I am sorry for not bringing your package yet or I am sorry I have not brought your package yet”. Thank you in advance.

Submitted by emilienne  •  March 29, 2005

“by” vs. “of”

I was asked - What could your past employers count on you for? I replied: “I can be counted on to show up, to be on time, to get the job done, and always to be possessed of integrity, loyalty, honesty and commitment.” I think that’s correct - vs. ...possessed by integrity, etc.

Submitted by Dyske  •  March 18, 2005

Life Savers 5 Flavor

The package of Life Savers says, “5 Flavor”. Shouldn’t it be “flavors” (plural)? Why do you think it was left singular? The plural would make it rhyme better too. It’s a peculiar thing.

Submitted by marta  •  March 11, 2005

some troubles with passsives

What, do you think,is a better passive construction for the following sentence? ‘’They took no notice of her rude remarks.'’ A) ‘’No notice was taken of her rude remarks.'’ B) ‘’Her rude remarks were taken no notice of.'’

I know that the ‘B’ option is correct, at least it should be, but I wondered if ‘A’ is possible at all. Does it sound natural to you, the English people? Can’t we treat the word ‘notice’ as an object of the active sentence and then make it a subject of the passive one?

Submitted by xuan  •  February 22, 2005

None are/None is

I’m an unfortunate high school student who had to take the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills today, and an interesting problem came up. Is it “none are” or “none is”? (I’m leaning towards “none is,” even though I normally say “none are”).

Are there circumstances when both are correct?

Submitted by Dyske  •  February 6, 2005

I’m home

“I am home.” Does “home” function here as a noun or an adverb?

Submitted by jroo  •  January 21, 2005

30 minutes parking?

A Japanese friend asked me why some signs say 30 minute parking and not 30 minuteS parking, which he expected would be the case.

I was at a loss. I couldn’t come up with any other examples of this, either. What is this phenomenon called? Any rationale for why we do it this way?


Submitted by copydog  •  January 18, 2005

The Approaching-Ubiquitous “The”

At some vague point in the past few years, someone, somewhere decreed that when writing about an individual and his/her vocation, it would henceforth be necessary to affix “the” before the vocation. For example, “The blues guitarist, BB King.” Or “The mystery writer Clive Cussler.” How come and for what possible purpose? It’s been common parlance forever to simply say “Architect Frank Lloyd Wright,” or “Writer and philosopher Henry David Thoreau.” Faster, cleaner and much more listenable -- the creeping “The” is especially jarring when read aloud. Checked the NY Times and AP Stylebooks for it and there’s no mention. Anyone?

Submitted by frankjaha  •  January 14, 2005

Why ‘an’ in front of an ‘h’-word?

I have often come across cases where the rule that you only put ‘an’ in front of a word starting with a vowel seems to have been violated, as e. g. in:

“What’s needed is (a) conclusive research and (b) an holistic approach to changing the nation’s dietary habits”.

I have also seen “an historic event”. Can someone enlighten me as to what’s happening here?

Submitted by debbie  •  December 20, 2004

fill in the blanks!

I believe this phrase is commonly used by people who are Notary Publics, but for the life of me, I can not figure out what exactly goes in the blanks - of course with the exception of the date. Given under _______ hand ____ and seal ______ this _____ day of _______.

Submitted by marcelo  •  November 21, 2004

Something X Anything

I wrote this sentence talking about a website: “This is neither the beginning nor the end of something.”

I wanted to say that I wasn’t trying to start something new, it was just something temporary before I started the real thing.

Someone told me “something” is grammatically incorrect and that I should have used “anything” but in my opinion it implies a change in the whole meaning of the sentence.

I’d like to hear some other opinions about it.

Submitted by pbutler  •  November 17, 2004

Plural of word “rum”

Is the word “rum” like the word “Deer”? You never say “deers” for the plural--what about rum. Is it both singular and plural in that form? You can never say “rums” can you?

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