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

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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 a 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 : Usage

Andrew Cuomo, in his popular COVID press conferences, often uses the words “dose” and “dosage” interchangeably (at least so it seems). Here is an example:

“We have the operational capacity to do over 100,000 doses a day — we just need the dosages.”

Here is another:

“To date, New York has administered 2.5 million dosages, with about 10% of New Yorkers receiving their first dose. Ninety-two percent of dosages allocated to the state to date have been used.”

I thought “dosage” refers to the amount in a dose, like x milligrams. A single dosage can have multiple milligrams, so, when you pluralize “dosage,” what exactly are you referring to, if not the number of doses?

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I recently ran across the working word in a document that was: “re-substantial.”

Even if it were only listed as "resubstantial," my question is this: Is this even a real word? If it is, what on earth does it actually mean?

Your help is greatly needed.

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Is it grammatically ok to use the adjective “respective” with a singular noun ?

Many dictionaries such as Longman define the term “respective” as follows.

used before a plural noun to refer to the different things that belong to each separate person or thing mentioned.

But, I often see “respective” used with a singular noun as follows (cited from an Internet site).

Each of the Division’s three regional offices - in Chicago, New York, and San Francisco - handles criminal matters arising in its respective area and serves as the Division’s liaison with U.S. attorneys, state attorneys general, and other regional law enforcement agencies.

I wonder if the above usage is now common, though it is gramatically incorrect.

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In our office we are advocates for our client and in representing what we do with a client we have times that we advocate for our clients. I am under the impression that you can advocate for your client to do something with them and several of my co workers disagree stating that you can only advocate for them to receive something with another provider or resource. Who is corrent? examples:

Can you correctly say:

“the care support provider provided advocacy in encouraging the client to participate in therapy” or the “Care manager advocated with the client to participate in therapy weekly.”

Can we advocate for a client to do something that they are recommended to do. Using advocated in the place of “encouraged”

office question responses appreciated.

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In some recent fiction books written by American authors, I have seen the word “acclimated” as in “...she took a day to become acclimated to her new area.”

Shouldn’t this word be “acclimatised” or is this a case of American’s using one word and New Zealanders using another, both for the same purpose?

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I’m reviewing a New Zealand scientific report which uses the word ‘equivalency’. This sounds to me like an Americanisation of the word ‘equivalence’, both being nouns but with the redundancy of an additional syllable in ‘equivalency’.

As we use British English (despite word processing software trying to force American English upon us) I’m inclined to use ‘equivalence’.  What do you think?

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It grates every time I hear a local radio traffic reporter say “there is an accident just prior to the Erindale Rd turn-off.” 

I believe I’m right in thinking the word ‘prior’ is more correctly used in a time context, meaning earlier than or sooner than. 


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In American Grammar specifically, there is a somewhat new trend of referring to a singular collective as a plural noun. For example, “The band are playing at the Hall tonight.” To which I want to reply “It are?” While the British and Canadians have never understood the concept of singular collectives such as large companies or the aforementioned musical groups known by a name such as Aerosmith or Saint Motel, but why is this becoming popular in America where singular collectives have been referred to, until recently, as a singular entity? It’s on the radio, it’s on TV commercials and even in print. Are singular collectives now plural?

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Hi everyone, I’ve got an interesting question from my student:

Trump’s “ask the gays” statement:

- what exactly is wrong with it grammatically?


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I would like to know if it is correct to use the adjective “key” predicatively. I was taught that this word is like the adjective “main,” which can only be used in the attributive position. I’ve seen sentences like “This is key to the success of the plan,” but I remember typing something similar and the word processor marked it immediately as wrong. I think both “key” and “main” are special, (irregular, if you want) adjectives (in fact, they have no comparative forms) and feel they should be treated accordingly. I’ve never seen something like “This book is main in our course.” We will normally say “This is the main book in our course.” Thank you for your help!

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No, a singular noun cannot represent a plural non-collective noun. In English grammar, nouns and their corresponding verb forms should generally agree in number.

A singular noun refers to one person, place, thing, or idea, while a plural noun refers to more than one. For example:

Singular noun: "book"
Plural noun: "books"
In standard English, a singular noun should be paired with singular verb forms, and a plural noun should be paired with plural verb forms:

Singular: "The book is on the table."
Plural: "The books are on the table."
However, there are some irregular nouns, such as "sheep" or "deer," which have the same form for both singular and plural. In those cases, the noun itself does not change, but the verb form still needs to agree with the noun:

Singular: "The sheep is grazing in the field."
Plural: "The sheep are grazing in the field."
So, in general, a singular noun cannot represent a plural non-collective noun. Each noun should match its corresponding number in a sentence.

In the sentence "I have two sons, Bill and Ben," a comma is more appropriate than a colon.

A comma is commonly used to separate items in a list or to provide additional information within a sentence. In this case, "Bill and Ben" are the additional pieces of information providing the names of the two sons. Thus, a comma is the appropriate punctuation mark to use.

A colon, on the other hand, is typically used to introduce a list, an explanation, or a quotation. It suggests that what follows the colon is directly related to or elaborates upon what precedes it. Since the sentence "I have two sons" does not require an explanation or a list, a colon would not be suitable in this context.

Therefore, the correct punctuation for your sentence is: "I have two sons, Bill and Ben." ielts coaching in delhi

When using the past perfect tense with "until" or "before," we typically express an action that was completed or occurred before a specific point in the past. Here's how you can construct sentences using the past perfect tense with "until" or "before":


Subject + had + past participle + until + specific point in the past.
Example: She had studied until midnight before the exam.

In this sentence, the action of studying (past perfect tense: had studied) was completed before the specific point in the past (until midnight).


Subject + had + past participle + before + specific point in the past.
Example: They had already left before I arrived.

Here, the action of leaving (past perfect tense: had left) occurred before the specific point in the past (before I arrived).

Five of Ten

Five to Ten or Five Past Ten? It's between 9:55 or 10:05


English is quite difficult! Moreover, it (of course, like all other languages) is constantly changing, even quickly. New words, terms, forms, and jargon appear. Grammar and writing are already my weak point. I recently found the site where I read an honest Edubirdie review, and now I know for sure I will use their services for help with writing texts. In fact, it is a matter of practice, but all these rules are so difficult to keep in mind. I wish you all the best of luck with learning grammar and getting writing skills.

Is “much” plural?

Ohhh, grammar..
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“Liquid water”?

Heh, interesting thoughts