Proofreading Service - Pain in the English
Proofreading Service - Pain in the English

Your Pain Is Our Pleasure

24-Hour Proofreading Service—We proofread your Google Docs or Microsoft Word files. We hate grammatical errors with passion. Learn More

Proofreading Service - Pain in the English
Proofreading Service - Pain in the English

Your Pain Is Our Pleasure

24-Hour Proofreading Service—We proofread your Google Docs or Microsoft Word files. We hate grammatical errors with passion. Learn More

Discussion Forum

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.

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Latest Posts : Grammar

1.  You don’t know how I am delighted to have you as a friend

2.  You don’t know how delighted I am to have you as a friend.

3. I hope one day I can do something for you to show you how you are lovable in my heart and mind.

4. I hope one day I can do something for you to show you how loved you are in my heart and mind.

Sentences 2 and 4 are correct; sentences 1 and 3 are not.  Please could you explain why?  Thank you.

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Is it possible to say “by the time we arrived at the cinema, the film was starting”? Or do I have to say “the film had started”? 

Both structures sound ok to me if I use another verb (sleep) instead of “start” (“by the time I got there, he was already sleeping”) so I do not know if I am using the structure right (perhaps I should use “when” and not “by the time”) or if it is the verb “start” (due to its meaning) what makes “by the time we arrived, the film was starting” sound strange. 

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I’ve read a sentence like this:

Not only did George buy the house, but he also remodeled it.

think this counts as a complex sentence, but I want to get some extra opinions.  Doesn’t “Not only did George buy the house” modify “remodeled,” thus making the first clause dependent?  In common English usage, the position of the subject “George” after “did” is fine in an interrogative sentence, but it’s not in a declarative sentence.  Does the departure from standard declarative syntax suggest that the first clause is not independent (and therefore dependent)?

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I have recently been seeing rejections of many phrases with ‘of’ in them because they are “less concise.” An example of this would be changing “All six of the men were considered dangerous” to “All six men were considered dangerous.” Recently, someone corrected a sentence I wrote and it just doesn’t sound right even though it may be concise. They changed “There are six species of snakes and four species of butterfly on the list” to “There are six snake species and four lizard species on the list.”

Bonus question: Is it “species of butterfly” or “species of butterflies”?

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In the following sentence, are both parts of the clause correct for a present unreal sentence?

“She would have wanted you to become a doctor if she were alive today”

In this sentence, shouldn’t it be this?

“She would want you to become a doctor if she...”

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What does “that” mean in the following sentences? Are there any rules which apply to the exact phrases which “that” refers to?

1. The graphs above show the rates of electricity generation of Kansas and “that” of the U.S. total in 2010. 

Q. Doesn’t “that” refer to “electricity generation”? If yes, isn’t “of” needed before “that”? 

2. The rate of electricity generation by nuclear power plants in Kansas was about the same as that of the U.S. total. 

Q. Doesn’t “that” refer to “the rate of electricity generation by nuclear power plants”? If yes, why is it “that in the U.S. total”, instead of “that of the U.S. total” to be parallel with in Kansas?

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There is a structure used by native speakers that I often read on social media, referring to people who have passed away, on the day of their anniversary. e.g. “He would have been 60 today.” Shouldn’t it be “He would be 60 today”? Meaning, if he were alive, he would be 60 today.

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In making a plaque, I need to know the correct grammar for the following.

  1. Walking Heavens woods with her daddy.
  2. Walking Heaven’s woods with her daddy.
  3. Walking Heavens’ woods with her daddy.

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I just read this in a Wall Street Journal article

 ”Sandy Bleich, a technology industry recruiter, says that for years a bachelor’s degree was enough ... Now recruiters like SHE are increasingly looking for someone with hands-on experience...”

Query: is the use of SHE correct?!

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“I had a talk with so and so,” is a common phrase, so I would imagine that “I had a small talk with so and so,” is equally correct. But “small talk” appears to be treated as an uncountable noun most of the time. Is it countable or uncountable? If both, in what contexts does it become one or the other?

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Latest Comments

On Tomorrow

  • Mr. Me
  • August 6, 2020, 10:20pm

I am from South Carolina and never heard this term until I started working in the school system in NE Florida. I continually hear this term from colleagues; educated teachers, administrators, and staff. I have also heard it used by news people on the local TV stations. Don't attack me but I only hear people of color use this term, so I wonder if it is cultural?

and so...

Either use and or so. And so is being overused all the time in a way that sounds arrogant to my ear. I feel the English language is being bastardized. It’s an embarrassment that no one can spell or punctuate properly anymore.

We're specifically talking about silent letters in English, but everyone in the comments is like, "Je parle le Francais! Hoh Hoh! Oui oui!"

Might could

@Warsaw Will
Ulster-Scotch, Scotch/Scots-Irish. Nane o tha twa o thaim sez onyhin anent Scotlan ava.

Might could

Might could is from the ULSTER-SCOTS or SCOTCH IRISH, not from Scotland and yes Scots langage/leid can also be written and is known in legal documentation as "Scotch". Anyone who says otherwise is an eejit.

Over exaggeration

  • UnkaD
  • July 29, 2020, 10:26am

I personally feel that the term is a redundancy. While I can concede that some may see value in distinguishing higher degrees of exaggeration, the problem is that everyone I hear use the term "over-exaggerate" simply use it in place of "exaggerate" for every instance. It's the same problem that everyone has with "could care less" and "irregardless," or the rampant use of the term "literally." This is what upsets me about the word. There is no thought placed in its usage. It has simply become the new default, at least from my experience.

Being in the recruiting business, I learned early on that this causes a huge amount of confusion. Further complicating matters is the insistence that "next" needs to be used. Completely unnecessary. For instance, today is Tuesday. So I might say, "my daughter is graduating on Saturday." There is no need to say "this" Saturday, since it is implicit. Conversely, If I said, "my daughter graduated on Saturday." it is implicit that I am talking about the past Saturday which is obvious as the sentence is in the past tense.

Simpler is always easier and less fraught with confusion, so if your daughter is graduating on Saturday, there it is. I often ask people, "what is the difference between Saturday and this coming saturday?" The answer of course is there is no difference. So why bother with superfluous words?

Of course if I say, "next Saturday" obviously that means the Saturday after the upcoming Saturday. So the question to the confused person might be, "What is the difference between Saturday and next Saturday?" QED

at anytime...or anytime

  • erdall
  • July 24, 2020, 8:48am

Actually , We have developed the  plan on the layout , please see below markedand identified .Asap shipment of barricade arrive on the site .We aregoing to implement that plan. That is okey from our side to sit together  at any time 

Complete Sentence

You need to proofread your site. In the paragraph about complete sentences, you spelled complete incorrectly.

Hey! You dropped your hat kid...
hey! Leave it alone
Hey is to call attention alright. However when speaking or texting an adult specially an older person, your boss, your mother in law, your own mother or father, I feel it should be after you have said a proper greeting. Hello, hey do you know when will the children come from vacation? Better yet skip the hey all together. Personally I see it as a sign of ignorance.