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

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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

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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“We have to go to the store yet.”

I would just remove the “yet” all together; however, I keep hearing someone use the word yet in this fashion and I am wondering if they are grammatically correct.

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Problem with capitalizing and pluralizing official titles. For example:

He is a State Governor (or a state governor; a State governor; a state Governor: a governor of a state; Governor of a State?) in Nigeria. 

She is a deputy registrar (or is it a Deputy Registrar?) in my university. Many Deputy Registrars (or is it deputy registrars?) attended the conference.

Some university Registrars (or is it university registrars) have criticized the policy. 

Many Presidents (or is it presidents) came in person. Others were represented by their Vice Presidents (vice presidents?)

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Is it correct to say “she is in my same school”?

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Dear Sirs, I read your post on “I was/ I were”.  I found it very helpful, resuscitating memories of English classes. I’m still not sure if I should use “was” or “were” in this sentence, below. 

“And if anyone else were to peek, they would see the bear cubs looking fast asleep, dreaming of all the things they loved.”

The “anyone else” might be peeking and might not be peeking. We don’t know. “were” sounds better to my ear, but my MS Word has it underlined in green. Who is correct? Me or the machine?

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Latest Comments

I feel that legos is correct, and evolved much like the verb google (from the brand Google) has become. No one is going to say Lego bricks or blocks, they're going say legos.

So, I support the pluralized version and will probably continue with that, since it is about all I hear. To satiate the masses, I would distinguish with a capitalized version. Lego = brand and legos is pluralized version of where the branded item has evolved.


The attributive use of 'chary' appears to work well. The word chary is less commonly used than wary and may be used to connote a slightly different tone in context with its use.

As an attributive term it is very descriptive; it seems to be more interesting and less cautionary than the more familiar term 'wary'.

Me neither is in no wY a double negative. “Me” is not negative but “neither” IS!

It is difficult to pronounce “me either” because you have to pu in a glottal stop before the “e” unless “either” is the first word of the sentence. Without the glottal stop you must say “meether”.

Reading these comments just confirms what I've been sure about for years - that there's total confusion about this. It's beyond me how the English speaking world got to the moon when not only can we not agree about what "next Wednesday" means but when most people don't even realise what a minefield for miscommunication it is!
I avoid using the word "next" in this context as much as possible, try to use language that can't be misunderstood and - to their bemusement - almost always check what exactly people mean.

‘S (apostrophe+S) versus OF

Not my first language, and yes it makes me crazy just to find an explanation to distinguish when to use these two. Can I just said that apostrophe+s is possessive but OF is more like the characteristic?

On Tomorrow

I've only heard black people use "on." Definitely not a southern thing, maybe just a southern BLACK thing. They have their own version of English. Lmfao

I actually googled "pronunciation of strong" and came upon this site. It's something that I notice and wonder about often. I had a friend back in elementary school who pronounces "str" like "shtr." Every time I hear it, I think of her. I was guessing it's the way someone's mouth is shaped, like a minor speech impediment. I still don't know what to think of it but I hear it often.

eat vs. have breakfast

Good job by your side ! Keep it up

Use my brain or brains?

After reading these comments, my brains are more confused than ever before.