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

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.

Do You Have a Question?

Submit your question

Latest Posts

I am working on a documentary film and have hit upon a conundrum that we hope one of the fabulous Pain in the English grammarians can solve. We are using the full capital case (”all caps”) to identify our experts, in a text box that pops up below them during their appearances on screen; for example: JOHN SMITH, HISTORIAN. One of our experts has a name that includes a superscript letter (e.g.: JANE MCDONALD) and another has the abbreviation Jr. after his name (e.g.: WILLIAM DOE, JR.). 

Question: Should those superscripted and abbreviated letters stay in all caps, too? Or should they be treated differently, either lower case or small caps? (e.g.: JANE McDONALD / WILLIAM DOE, Jr.) I’ve searched the Chicago Manual of Style and the Government Printing Office’s online manual, and have found no guidance in either.

Thank you for your help!

Susan

Read Comments

I have an issue with the use of the past perfect tense with “until” (and sometimes “before”). Can you please tell me which of these sentences is correct and why?

She hadn’t realized that she was addicted to nicotine until she smoked ten cigarettes a day. (i.e.: Before she smoked that many cigarettes, she didn’t have that knowledge about herself - not realizing/knowing was earlier.) 

or

She didn’t realize that she was addicted to nicotine until she had smoked ten cigarettes a day. (i.e.: First she smoked that many cigarettes, and then she realized.)

Read Comments

I cringe whenever I hear the way Brits say: ‘the company ‘are’ or ‘the school board ‘are’ voted in by the parents. What is really frightening to me is that Americans are starting to use the same construction. My research tells me that Brits treat collective nouns as plural, while in the USA we consider them singular. ‘School Board’ is singular. ‘School Boards’ is plural.

Read Comments

We are all aware of the "different from/to/than" debate, and I have no wish to resurrect that discussion. However, I have lately noticed that there are a few other instances of what might be termed “erroneous use of prepositions.” It almost seems that there is a drive to make “to” the de facto default preposition. Consider the following:

  1. “separate to” vs “separate from”
  2. “deal to” vs “deal with”
  3. “think to” vs “think of”

I have also heard “bored of” rather than “bored with.” There are probably many more examples. One has to wonder what has happened to the teaching of English Grammar in the modern era.

Read Comments

I was taught that one should never use double negatives. But I was also taught that if you do, it can have the opposite meaning.

Example: The box does not contain nothing.

means: The box contains something.

So I heard the President’s speech. Note that he was not the first person to say it because I have also heard several newsmen use a similar expression. When I heard it, it sounded wrong.  But I could NOT put my finger on why it sounded wrong. Then suddenly it occurred to me, a double negative!

So here is what I heard...

“Putin badly miscalculated.” or

“He badly miscalculated.”

Since bad is the negative of good and the prefix “mis” makes calculated negative, isn’t this a double negative? I know what they mean. Shouldn’t this sentence be written like so?

“He severely miscalculated.”

Since severe is neither negative nor positive. It just indicates the degree of something.

Read Comments

I wrote, “I have two sons, Bill and Ben.”

An editor said that the comma should be a colon. That opinion is backed up by various style guides which say a list (and presumably “Bill and Ben” is a list) should be preceded by a colon. I still feel that a colon is unnecessary, though I probably would use a colon if I had five sons not two. Would I use a colon with three sons? I’m not sure.

Had I written, “I have two sons, Bill and Ben, both in their twenties” there would surely be no question of a colon being required. It seems odd to me that omitting the final phrase, “both in their twenties” forces the first comma to become a colon.

I would be interested in others’ views.

Read Comments

I was reading an old novel, British English written around 1850. I came across the phrase “I saw signs of elephant in the forest”. This intrigued me as the word "elephant" implies anything from a single to multiple animals. The word "signs" seems to have taken on the role of plurality for the noun. I was asked a similar question by my partner who is editing a book in which the phrase “I saw fairy dancing in the woods,” not meaning a single fairy but many fairies dancing. Can anyone expand my knowledge on the use of a singular noun being used as a non-collective plural noun?

 

Read Comments

I am a bit confused about whether or not I should use “the” before “most” in the following sentence. I have searched on the internet but I have before more confused about the issue so please help me in this regard. I will add this sentence to my formal writing.

The sentence:

"What fascinates me the most about the textile industry is that it drives the economy of many third world countries”

or

"What fascinates me most about the textile industry is that it drives the economy of many third world countries”

Which one is correct and why?

Read Comments

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

Latest Comments

Texted

The term "Texted" is an incorrect past tense representation of the verb, or of the referenced noun text. The verb text has always been past: text, Present: (text later with cell phones texting, showing present form), and Future: text.

Incorrect language: we had texted.
Any competent English teacher can tell you what is wrong with that statement.
You do not use the past perfect in a later action. Please ask a credible Professor.

The term texted is a term made up in the later 1990's to early 2000's. It was a slang used by some whom did not understand tense in the English language. Putting in Wikipedia and others, till they repeat/accept it, does not make it correct language.

Yes, I understand, the English language isn't easy. We All make mistakes! It would seem as a natural progression to just add "ed" to the end of text thus creating texted. However, that addition is in contradiction to the basic rules of English. If teachers of English would have been more educated in the texted orgin, they would have fixed this before it started.

Thanks for listening, all education can be difficult, and the English language is one made more so, because it is the melting pot of most languages on the planet.

Victorian Era English

Started by Hutu nationalists in the capital of Kigali, the genocide spread throughout the country with shocking speed and brutality, as ordinary citizens were incited by local officials and the Hutu power government to take up arms against their neighbours

s/he

I'm sure that making an article is difficult! I was convinced of this from my own association with the most well-known approach to thinking about in school. I generally go to https://myassignments-help.com.au/assignment-help-sydney/ for help - these people are genuine experts among other electronic organizations. Writers help out you who will adjust to any subject on time and without counterfeiting

s/he

The main problem with "s/he" is this: how the hell is it pronounced?

This is silly. Ignorance with an air of superiority. The rules of modern standard British English don't necessarily apply to all other variants. One example, is this, 'bring' and 'take'.

In Irish English, and from Irish, tóg, meaning take, traditionally was used primarily to 'take' possession of something (from someone). Take a sweet! So you can take something given to you or you could steal it. Something is 'changing hands'. But there was 'no movement of travel', so traditionally it would be, (take the kids 'from me') and bring them to school. Will you bring the kids to school? In Irish English, you bring the kids TO school and then you bring them home FROM school (One verb is enough, no need to reference 'taking possession') You bring food (with you) to the party. No one ate any of it. You (take it and) bring it home with you at the end of the night.

Of course, you can TAKE an umbrella, BUT WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WITH IT....""BRING"" it with you, therefore 'BRING AN UMBRELLA in case it rains!'

In Br-En you use TAKE (for bringing something/someone) from HERE to THERE.
I am taking the kids TO SCHOOL. Take that to them.
and you only BRING from THERE to HERE.
I am bringing the kids home FROM SCHOOL. Bring that to me!

Weird snobbery across these posts. Likely due to the British 'take/bring' directionality rule becoming commonplace. Still silly though.

It may be significant for you to search for help from capable researchers and essayists to do my programming assignment by https://www.aussiessay.com/programming-assignment-help/. These people will make a made paper out of any unpredictability for you with a reliable splendid result for your school execution! All that made work is done on time and without copyright encroachment

A pure second conditional would have both an unreal present (or future) condition and result: "If I studied hard, I would get a good grade"

"Lego" is the plural of "Lego."
I would no more look at a bunch of branded, plastic pieces and call them "Legos" than I would look at slices of bread and call them "breads."
It's the same. It's a slice of bread, a loaf of bread; it's a piece of Lego, a Lego brick a Lego set, a pile of Lego. It's not "a bread" and it's not "a Lego," either.
And just because a bunch of people say it that way doesn't make it any more acceptable. Unless, of course, they all started saying "breads," too.

Past tense of “text”

Past tense of "text" is text' as in "he text' her his reply"
The implied "ed" is not spoken, much as in the same way that the "s" is not added or pronounced when we attribute ownership to a name ending in "s" e.g. "the robe belongs to Jesus" or "that is Jesus' robe" not "Jesus's"

Wholeheartedly agree