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 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

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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Could somebody please explain the problem with “as such”? I understand the frustration with its incorrect usage as a synonym for “therefore” or “thus”, but the response thereagainst wants to banish its usage entirely. I am confident that I am using it correctly, but I am constantly being directed to remove it from my papers nevertheless. Could you explain its proper usage?

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I noticed in reports of the recent GOP debate a number of instances where the phrase “Person A debated Person B.” was used rather than “Person A debated with Person B.” Is this common in USA?

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Latest Comments

sensational spelling

I learnt dat frum dis new ting dey got called Wikipedia

I am still confuse with those words
can someone help me??

Our country has recently been exposed to the risk of Novel Coronavirus (nCoV) and the virus is getting serious nowadays. _____, we would like to have your confirmation on Ilse’s trip to Malaysia this month(on 24th Feb, 2020).

I have a P. O. Box! When asked for street address and it's says no P.O. Box I put the street address of the post office where my Po. Box is! With the PO box number listed too. I was told I could do this by the one of the employees at Post Office. I do this with packages and some mail(if allowed by that company). If it will fit in box they will put it there. If it's a package, and will not fit in my box, I can go to the counter and get it. Hope this helps!

For example
200 Old Hendersonville Hwy. #676
Brevard, NC 28712

On Tomorrow

I am from the South and I have never used "on tomorrow." That is incorrect English.

I don't think 1 and 3 are wrong, but they mean different things.

1. would mean that you don't know in what way I'm delighted. I could be delighted like Charlie Chaplin might be (exaggerated), or Humphrey Bogart might be (reserved).

2. would mean you don't know the degree to which I'm delighted.

Inch vs. Inches

Please, can you tell me how to correctly format the following sentence?

"...comprised of four, .5" layers of felt..." OR "...comprised of four, .5"-layers of felt...?

Many thanks in advance for your help!

“she” vs “her”

  • Jordyk
  • February 7, 2020, 3:57am

Was that Emily and she in the car next to us?
Was that Emily and her in the car next to us?

To intentionally mislead is a lie. Call it deceit or fallacious, but in my mind it is a lie.

Fora vs Forums

  • DELee
  • February 3, 2020, 2:11am


And long live fora!

Growing up in Kansas (midwest US), greeting is/was Hi. Moved to (South) Georgia US when I was 12. Greeting here is Hey. Has a special sound with a southern accent (My Georgia history teacher was Ms. Ray, so I got to practice by saying "Hey Ms. Ray". It's not the same as in a sentence such as "Hey, what are you doing?" Reading the comments above re Native American words, I'm wondering if that IS connected.