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 a 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 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 : Misc

I thought you could put /s/ on a copy of a signed letter to indicate the original had been signed. Right or wrong?

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Can anyone tell me why the second ‘a’ in Canada and Canadian is pronounced differently? 

I’m English/British and I and from England/Britain.

Surely it should either be Can-a-da & Can-a-dian or Can-ay-da & Can-ay-dian...

My guess is it has something to do with the French influence, but I would love to know for sure.

Here in the UK our language has been heavily influenced over the years, including by the French and it has always interested where these things start or change.

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I was in empty space in an elevator one day when it occurred to me that it’s actually “pains-taking”, the taking of pains to do something thoroughly. I’d never thought about it before.

But it’s too hard to pronounce “painz-taking”, because the “z” sound must be voiced; whereas the unvoiced “s” combines easily with the “t” to make “-staking”, so that’s what we say. That’s my theory, but BrE might be different. Is it?

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Why does the Western media have so many different spellings for some Arabic terms?


1. hezbollah hesbollah hizbullah hizbollah hisbollah

2. ayatollah ayatullah

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I’m having a custom item made to indicate when our home was established.  The year will be the year my husband and I were married and started our family.  My issue is I’m not sure how our name should appear.  Here is the text.


Est. 2008

Our last name is Myers.  Please help!  I’m not sure if it should be possessive (ownership of the home/family) or plural (for the people).

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At the clinic I was directed to the “subwait area” and left to ponder my fate. I did wonder whether this should be sub-wait and how fully portable “sub” has become as a preposition and/or prefix, when attached to a Germanic-rooted word. What other words are there where “sub” is used as an English word, apart from phrases like “sub judice” and “sub” as a short form of “substitute” eg in sport “he was subbed off”?

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Can you please comment on a trend that I have noticed recently. More and more people seem to be pronouncing words that contain the letters “str” as if they were written “shtr”. Strong sounds like shtrong, strange sounds like shtrange, and so on. I have noticed even my favorite NPR journalists mispronouncing these words. I first noticed this pronunciation in one of Michelle Obama’s early speeches. I’d appreciate any insight that you might have.

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I have always believed, probably in common with most Scots, that the pronunciation of “gill” varies depending on whether one is referring to the organ of respiration in fishes and other water-breathing animals ( /ɡɪl/ ), or a measure of liquid (/dʒɪl/ ), or even one of the many other variations of the word. I was therefore somewhat surprised recently when watching an episode of QI to hear the erstwhile Stephen Fry and his guests use /ɡɪl/ for both the fishy organ and the liquid measure..

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Does anyone know if there are rules governing the pronunciation of “a”? It’s either “AYE” or “UH”, depending on the word following. My preference is dictated by how it sounds and how it flows off the tongue, but I have never been able to establish if actual rules exist.

Americans and Australians tend to use “AYE” all the time and sometime it just sounds ridiculous, like...”Aye man driving aye car stopped at aye traffic light”

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What diacritic would I use over the word YANA to accent the first a as an “ah” (short o) sound. It is pronounced Yahna. Thanks!

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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