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In one of the discussions here, Brian W. tells me that the following sentence is wrong:
“This is one of the most common errors people make…”
He says it should be: “One of the more common…”
Proper use of ‘most’ requires the size of the set in which the subject is a member: “one of the 10 most.” Without a numeric qualifier, all but the last are potentially included in the set “one of the most.” That (unfortunately) makes it as meaningful as “up to 10… or more!”
Now, is this a grammatical issue or stylistic issue? I see “one of the most” being used quite often.
As a side note, in Japanese, “one of the most” would be an oxymoron because the concept of “most” implies that it is at the top of the list, that is, there is only one thing that could be “most” or “best”. I remember feeling awkward about the phrase “one of the most” when I was first learning English.
What is it called when a verb is no longer the process of doing, but the process of being something? Is it still simply just a verb?
Sorry for the lack of example, it was troubling me late last night, if i still remembered the word, i probably wouldn’t be asking this question.
This is one of the most common errors people make, and I frequently come across people arguing about it. The explanations of how to use them properly are easy to find, but the conceptual difference between the two does not seem to stick in people’s mind. The confusion comes from the fact that “effect” can be used as a verb, although it’s rare. If it didn’t, there wouldn’t be any confusion (i.e. “effect” = noun and “affect” = verb). To make it worse, “effect” used as a verb is pretty close in meaning to “affect”. And, if that’s not confusing enough, “affect” can also be used as a noun, and it’s also similar in meaning to “effect” as a noun.
So, the only way to get the hang of using them properly is to see actual examples. While I was arguing about this with a friend of mine, I came across this quiz that tests your ability to use “effect” and “affect” properly. I’m curious how well or badly everyone does on this quiz.
So I frequently write headlines such as “Manchester United are in the quarter-finals” but I always wonder if it should actually be “Manchester United is in the quarter-finals”. I think I actually use them interchangeably depending on what mood I’m in. I guess the question is whether a soccer team is a group of players (”are”) or if it’s an entity (”is”). Which is it?
I cannot stand when people say “sleep” instead of “asleep”. For example I’ve heard, “When I got home, he was sleep on the couch”. What is this laziness of not saying ASLEEP?? I have lived in the North all of my life, and most recently moved to the south. This must be some sort of “southern dialect”, annoying to say the least....Has anyone else encountered this?
My wife is a non-native speaker and came up with the phrase above. Rightly or wrongly - I gently suggested that I’d use OR instead of AND ie
“I didn’t sleep last night AND the night before”. --> “I didn’t sleep last night OR the night before”.
That’s based on the sound of it (I’m no expert). The second sentence sounds better to me, but makes no sense really. Why is it “OR”.
In fact I’d probably use a slightly difference sentence in written English (after multiple hacks), and don’t really care re verbal use.
But that’s not my my question. I’ve been wondering about the use of ‘AND’ and ‘OR’ in similar contexts. For example:
“I don’t like chocolate OR ice-cream” “I don’t like chocolate AND ice-cream”
“I don’t like chocolate OR vanilla ice-cream” “I don’t like chocolate AND vanilla ice-cream”.
I think there’s two issues here... the grouping of words, and the way in which OR somehow acts like AND.
The AND vs. OR bit particularly bothers me... Can somebody explain this? In math/logic they are opposite terms.