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.

Do You Have a Question?

Submit your question

Latest Posts

Hi everybody! Few days ago my mate attended to a job competition for a job in the technical office of Rome. Among the many legal questions there were also some English questions. The one I am asking your help for is:

“Let ……. come in.”

the possible answers proposed are:

- his

- him

- he

I am sure that all of you are thinking that the only right option to chose is “him”, that’s it.

Initially it was confirmed “his” with correct answer and after few days was corrected with “him”.

The english questions/phrases put in these competitions are generally extracted form bigger pieces, books.. and my partner didn’t answer because he says that in a certain contests it can be also right “Let his come in”, for example:

Michele is waiting for the vet to visit his cat. When the vet wants to visit Michele’s cat can say to his secretary:

<< Let his come in >> instead of << Let his cat come in>>.

What do you think? Is it possible consider both the options “his” and “him” correct?
Have you read some examples in books or articles in which you have found the phrase “Let his come in” ?


It can help my partner to obtain the job because he got a score of 20.8 and he had to get 21 to obtain the job! So it is very important the help of all of you.

Thanks !!!!!!!!!

Read Comments

Sells or Sold? 

 

Does ‘sells’ in the sentence,”I find a pet store that sells ferrets.” stay as ‘sells’ or change to ‘sold’ if you are changing the sentence to Simple Past Tense? 

Read Comments

Which of the follow is correct? 

  • CAYA stands for “come as you are.” 
  • “CAYA” stands for “come as you are.”               

I am not referring to the Nirvana song, so I assume that capitalization is not necessary when spelling out what the initialism stands for.

Read Comments

so - Wiktionary gives these quotations:

“I can count backwards from one hundred.” “So can I.”

‘There’re another two.’ ‘So there are.’

Why is the first one inverted and the second one not? I read it somewhere that it is because the answer of the second quotation confirms the first sentence (aforementioned stuff), so it is not allowed to invert. First, I can’t find another source that corraborates this reasoning. Second, why is it not allowed to invert? There must be a specific reason for this subject–auxiliary inversion.

Read Comments

There is a town called “Two Egg” in Florida USA. My question is; why the egg is not plural there. Also there is something like “Two egg cake”.

Can someone explain it? Actually i am planning to establish a shop. Which one would suit better “two egg” or “two eggs”

Thank you?

Read Comments

I’ve developed a “tic” for adding - I believe the expression is “postpositively” “is what I’m saying” at the end of a sentence. In usage, it is an intensifier. So I might say “I’ve been noticing that I use this expression a lot, is what I’m saying!”  Typically after some prior exposition on the topic - this becomes the concluding thought. 

Two questions - has anyone else heard anyone else say this? Where does it come from? Where did I pick it up? I’m in the Northeastern US.  Is the expression or any variant from this region?  

It’s awfully similar to “I’m just saying” but my understanding of “I’m just saying” is that it’s somewhat negative - connoting an undercurrent of a wink and a nod.  “...is what I’m saying” doesn’t have that connotation, is what I’m saying. LOL! 

Read Comments

Consider the sentence, “I will go home.” Is “home” a direct object, or is it part of an adverbial phrase, “to home,” with “to” elided? Since one cannot properly say, “I will go the beach,” my conclusion is that eliding “to” from “to home” is idiomatic.  

Thoughts?

 

 

 

Read Comments

A Facebook reader complained that another commenter was incorrect to use the term “My Walmart” while speaking about the Walmart in closest proximity to her home. I use “my” like this all the time. Are we both incorrect to use the word “my” in this way, because we do not own the walmart as he points out, or is he just being a grammar prude?

Read Comments

I know “I’m having trouble logging in to my account.” is correct. But is “I’m having trouble to log in” correct?

Are there some rules in using "trouble to"? I could not find sentences using “I’m having trouble to...” but I have found “not trouble to do something” like:

Nina need not trouble to come down, everything had been arranged.

Do not trouble to don your hat and gloves, Nina.

My friends never troubled to ask me what I would like.

Nina didn’t trouble to hide his disgust.

Please help me.

Read Comments

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?

Read Comments

Latest Comments

Fetch Referring to People?

I have come to realize, through whoopycat's words, that I find the intonation that people use to affect how I perceive the word fetch. Too often, people use it through what I would call a "tired, high-and-mighty, proper British" tone which would annoy me, but when they use an American southern drawl, I find it refreshing and non-demeaning.

The phenomenon of the "shtr" is caused by the inability to hold the lower teeth behind the upperteeth, as in a severe overbite.

Stood down

An example from "Sharpe's Eagle", set during the Napoleonic Wars. After a disastrous skirmish with the French, the South Essex regiment chief, Colonel Sir Simmerson, tries to lay blame on a major who was killed and otherwise thoroughly discredit him. General Wellesley sees right through it and after tearing him a new one, announces "The South Essex is stood down in name. If I wipe the name, I may wipe the shame. I am making you a battalion of detachments; you will fetch and carry. The Light Company put up a fight, so I will let it stand under the command of a new captain."

This leads me to believe that when you are stood down, that is someone stands you down instead of standing down yourself, you are effectively being suspended from your current active role, and it carries a punitive connotation compared to asking someone to stand down, which is more neutral and is effectively a synonym for "calm down" or "stop what you're doing".

“study of” vs. “study on”

  • Lena
  • September 9, 2021, 3:36pm

All the examples from New Oxford American Dictionary, use "study" as a noun. The question was should we use "study on" when "study" is used as a verb.
The verb "study" does not take any preposition to link to the topic being studied.
There is a difference between:
I studied on this topic (wrong)
vs
A study on this topic was presented... (good)

How do I write out .25% ?

  • Rer
  • September 6, 2021, 5:54am

like

Pronunciation: aunt

  • Baba
  • September 2, 2021, 12:09pm

This thread started with a question on 'ask' vs. 'ax'. Let's look at it from a linguist's perspective, shall we? In Old English, while there is still some debate, it appears we 'asked' for things. But all language evolves, and at some time during the evolution from Old English to Middle English, the 's' and 'k' became transposed, producing 'aksed'/'axed', or any one of the other spelling variants. I won't get any further into the weeds on the entomology. Beowulf uses that pronunciation. Chaucer, using his native Later Middle English, wrote it as 'ax'. The 1585 version of the King James Bible wrote it that way. It was pronounced that way during that time period.

While in England the evolution of English eventually resulted in it being pronounced 'ask' again, you had people migrating to the new world in the 17th Century, when 'ax' was still in use. This was the case even though amongst the educated elite, 'ask' had become the norm by Shakespeare's time. It must be kept in mind that most people who came to the New World were not the educated elite. So, the majority of English spoken in the colonies would have used 'ax'.

Interesting factoid: when a language is exported elsewhere, it tends to remain static in the place it lands, until outside forces cause it to change. Where English was concerned, the language evolved far more quickly in England than in the colonies. There are linguists that maintain certain forms of American English still more closely resemble Later Middle English than any English produced in England today.

Eventually, American English was influenced by newer forms of British pronunciations through exposure to the influx of British immigrants over many years. But certain populations largely escaped the levels of exposure necessary for 'ask' to become ingrained. One example of that is the Gullah-speaking people of the OuterBanks, which until
recently has been quite isolated. Still other examples are certain dialects within the Appalachias, where use of 'ax' continues to this day (albeit primarily amongst older residents.) In addition, until very recently, large segments of the Black population in general used 'ax'. Why Blacks? Segregation, of course. But that has been rapidly changing. With the advent of integration has come exposure to 'ask', and with exposure has come change. It's still early days in that process, but in the 'ax' pronunciation is quickly becoming the exception rather than the rule.

It's important to note that whatever your personal views on the 'correctness' of this word's pronunciation might be, linguists do not view 'ax' as an aberration or a bad thing; merely a dialectical difference, easily explained by history. I suggest y'all take up the same mantle.

Decision is a noun meaning choice or judgement. Replace "decision" with "choice" or "judgement" and you would never precede it with "take", you would always use "make".

Fetch Referring to People?

I don't hear this word referring to people anymore, but my grandma used it in that manner. "Go fetch your grandad", etc. Kinda weird to think about it being used in that manner these days. Btw, my grandma was born in 1910 in a very small town in northern
Nebraska. I've never been there, but in my mind I picture all towns in Nebraska as small. Are they? I need to go fetch google.

“Let his/him come in.”

If it's an exam and there's no space for comments, I would definitely put "him."
Having said that, there are some cases when it could be "his" such as in the following dialogue:
"There are three cats in the waiting room. Two are with a woman who has been waiting since 10 o'clock. The other is with a man who just rushed in and has to catch a plane in one hour."
"Let his come in."
Here we are distinguishing between her cats and his cat and it is very clear what is being said.