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Q&A

Posts tagged grammar

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Q&A What is the possessive form of et al.?

When referring to a paper with multiple authors by using the name of the first author and "et al.", how does one indicate possession? For example, is it correct to write, "Einstein et al.'s paper ...

3 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by BR11‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by celtschk‭

Question grammar
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Q&A "The tale how" vs. "The tale of how"

My SO and I were discussing the following sentence in his writing: This is the tale how once the Septemi helped King Nicodemus subdue walking firestorms, how we hunted cultists and mongrelfolk i...

2 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by Sigma‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by xtal‭

Question grammar
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Q&A Is it acceptable in academic writing to write "their very self" or "very + [noun]"?

Is the "very + [noun]" structure, as an emphasis on the noun, formal-enough for an academic paper? For example in the sentence below: "The environment had a significant impact on the state of his ...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by nra‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Secespitus‭

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Q&A Is there any difference between these two sentences? (Adverbs)

I'm just trying to work around the whole "Adverbs are the devil" rule. Is there any difference between these two lines in regards to writing quality: He smiled patronisingly at them And H...

6 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by klippy‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by DPT‭

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Q&A What do sentences look like in a rough draft before they are combined into a cumulative sentence?

I am unwilling to draft without editing as I go because I worry I won't be able to translate my thoughts into cumulative sentences. For instance let's take the sentence: "He walked to the store, an...

4 answers  ·  posted 5y ago by g.arbia777‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Capitalization after use of colon?

This is a sentence from a current writing project detailing how people in jail feel about reading. It provides an escape from the reality of what lies before them: time. Should "time" be capitali...

3 answers  ·  posted 5y ago by WelderGuy‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Should I capitalise the first letter of a title that an unnamed character has?

I'm writing from a third person viewpoint. I have a character who does not have a name. He is simply known as "The Sentinel". In fact, that is the only introduction he gives for himself. So when I'...

3 answers  ·  posted 5y ago by user96551‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

Question grammar
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Q&A Is there a way to improve my grammar without so much cost? [closed]

I'm definitely poor at English and I always have grammatical errors. After posting a question about what apps can I use to start writing my stories, I searched in this site if how can I improve my...

3 answers  ·  posted 6y ago by Invoker‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Turning normal phrases into gerund phrases: What's the effect in the reader?

For example, what's the difference between: She closed her eyes and thought about her life. He was so confident and handsome women circled him like vultures. And this: Closing her ey...

2 answers  ·  posted 6y ago by alex‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Capitalize 'it' when referring to a strange being?

I have a being with a name. I capitalize its name when I mention it. But mostly, I refer to it as "it". I use "it" a lot in dialogue, as characters talk about this being. Should I capitalize "i...

1 answer  ·  posted 6y ago by horse hair‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Shifting Tense and Commas in Writing

I received some critiques on my writing where the reader indicated it read fine but there was just something off about my tense. However, he couldn't put a finger on what, exactly, was wrong with i...

1 answer  ·  posted 6y ago by anon‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

Question tenses grammar
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Q&A Comma before names of people or titles

I am wondering whether it's necessary to use commas in the sentences below when addressing or introducing someone: “You look after each other, okay children?" “You look after each other, okay...

2 answers  ·  posted 6y ago by MoniqueH‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Do you capitalize the names of governments in a story?

I know that names of countries, states, cities, and counties are always capitalized, but what about governments and organizations? In my novella there are basically 2 sections of space, and each ha...

1 answer  ·  posted 6y ago by Abram Frost‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Can basic grammar rules be skipped when writing text for machine safety labels?

First of all I'm completely against this idea but a few people who contribute to the technical documentation project constantly suggest that to attain a short, quick, economic, comprehensive messag...

9 answers  ·  posted 6y ago by Montag451‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Formatting dialogue and single lines

Consider the following exchange: "Hello" "Hi" They were sitting on the bench. The dialogue lines are indented. Should the descriptive sentence also be indented? What if we had "Hel...

1 answer  ·  posted 6y ago by socrates‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A They are = They're... when?

When is it NOT appropriate to use the combined words of "they" and "are"? (e.g., They're) Is there a grammatical rule to only refer to people or can it also refer to things? Referring to printe...

1 answer  ·  posted 6y ago by Rita B‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

Question grammar
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Q&A Why end sentences with commas instead of periods when the sentence is in a quote?

I've seen styles where writers end sentences with commas if it is inside double quotes and styles where writers end sentences with periods. For example: "She's late again." mumbled Jason. ...

3 answers  ·  posted 6y ago by RichS‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A In present-tense narrative, does "I spend the NEXT few hours..." make sense?

I was directed to the writers stackexchange from the English/grammar forums. I'm writing a novel in present-tense. If all the actions are in the present-tense, e.g. as the character is experienci...

1 answer  ·  posted 7y ago by user145906‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

Question style grammar
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Q&A Fragmented sentence

I have a book I am writing, and every time I go into a grammar fixing program, I get a lot of "Fragmented Sentences." Can some one explain to me how to fix these with out losing any part of the sen...

1 answer  ·  posted 7y ago by Tearya‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Do you capitalize common nouns (e.g. beach party) if they're part of an event name?

If I am writing an event invite for a [Company Name] Christmas Beach Party, should the Beach Party be capitalized?

1 answer  ·  posted 7y ago by Lauren‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

Question grammar
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Q&A Are position titles capitalized when the subject is dropped

Deputy is not capitalized when referred to as a position. “The sheriff had many deputies.” “A deputy, a sheriff, and a judge walked into a bar...” John is capitalized because it is a name. “T...

1 answer  ·  posted 7y ago by JALLRED‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

Question grammar
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Q&A How do you decide whether to use the infinitive or -ing version of a verb?

Example: Three months had passed since she started to avoid me. Three months had passed since she started avoiding me. Right now, what I do is to search for the phrase with the most resu...

2 answers  ·  posted 7y ago by Alexandro Chen‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Multiple sentences in a parenthetical phrase - How do I punctuate properly?

I keep on running into this problem. I will have a parenthetical phrase (which is something set off by parentheses, rather like this, for those of you that do not know), but I need to include multi...

1 answer  ·  posted 7y ago by Thomas Myron‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

Question punctuation grammar
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Q&A Do you have to write in the tone of ordinary speech?

Must writing always be done in the tone/style of ordinary contemporary speech? For example, some people might say that the conjunction "for" is archaic and should not be used in modern prose, but ...

3 answers  ·  posted 5y ago by g.arbia777‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Is it wrong to use the same word multiple times within a few sentences?

I have been told before that when describing things in writing I should use different words, and not to repeat myself so it doesn't become redundant, but sometimes there are no other words that wor...

4 answers  ·  posted 5y ago by EmmieCG‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

Question grammar flow
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Q&A Should I change from past to present tense to state a fact that continues into the present and is unyielding?

Within narration in past tense, should a statement of a universally true fact be in past tense or in present tense? For example, in the short text: It was late afternoon in Zubrin. The air was ...

3 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by billy p‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Should the name of a mythological creature be capitalized?

The name of the mythological creature in my novel is "manananggal". When I'm referring to it, should I capitalize what it is?

2 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by R. Narine The Author‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A How to indicate that the source language is gender-neutral?

The source language in question is Standard Chinese. It is a gender-neutral language. One big thing that English speakers complain about English is the gendered pronoun, namely the third person sin...

2 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by Double U‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Can I assign actions to broad concepts?

Whenever I write, I run into the problem where I have to assign human actions to subjects that, when I contemplate about it, cannot realistically perform those actions. A teacher told me years ago ...

4 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by user3776022‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Do I have to capitalize ESP in sci fi fiction sentences?

Some of my fiction sci fi characters are ESP sensitive and the term is used a lot. Capitalized ESP stands out in my sentences like yelling so I am using esp,lower case. Is that acceptable? Will a p...

2 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by Ray Wilder‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Is it acceptable to start a sentence with the word "But"

I have read some sources say you never start a sentence with a conjunction, other sources say it is acceptable. and in some cases better. So can you start a sentence with the word "But" and if so, ...

2 answers  ·  posted 6y ago by Osiris93‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

Question grammar
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Q&A Do you capitalize the "T" in "the" in a Title or Place's Name?

When writing a title or a name of a place in a novel, do you capitalize the "T" in "the"? For example the name of an establishment, which of these would be correct: They went to The Cloak and Dag...

1 answer  ·  posted 6y ago by Osiris93‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

Question grammar
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Q&A How to clarify the objects of a sentence's two pronouns?

I am trying to describe a process. There are two players in the scenario. Player A tries to find player B. If player A finds player B, then player A tags player B. Something like that. Here is an...

1 answer  ·  posted 6y ago by hebbo‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Where does the comma go when using 'but'?

In English, I can never remember where to put the comma when using the conjunction word, but. For example: I'd like to stay home and read a book, but I need to pick up some cat food. Jenny asked...

2 answers  ·  posted 6y ago by 4m1r‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

Question punctuation grammar
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Q&A When not to use commas before dialogue (and capitals)

I'm struggling with when to omit the comma before dialogue (as well as when to use capitals) in fiction writing. My understanding is that you would omit the comma before/after something like "he sa...

2 answers  ·  posted 7y ago by MoniqueH‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A How would I keep using past tense with resulting actions

I'm having trouble figuring out which form is the past tense for sentences like these. For each example, which would be correct? Or have I completely missed something? Thanks. John stepped on the ...

1 answer  ·  posted 7y ago by kraryal‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Should I write "what do the data show" or "what does the data show"? [closed]

I wonder what the proper way of writing this question is: What do the data show? What does the data show?

1 answer  ·  posted 7y ago by Asimov4‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Is it OK to omit the following "grammatical rules" in fiction? [closed]

Okay, I'm not sure if they are "rules" or "grammatical", but here they go: After a while our necks began to ache, so we sat on the rest chairs behind (us). I liked it here. The air was fresh ...

1 answer  ·  posted 7y ago by Alexandro Chen‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Is the word block in 'block D' capitalized? [closed]

When referring to an apartment block? Should it be: Block D, or block D?

2 answers  ·  posted 7y ago by horse hair‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

Question grammar
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Q&A When to introduce a list of two with the word "both"

I cannot think of any sentence where the word "both" is not dead-weight. Can you help me understand when it is and is not appropriate to include "both" when proceeding a list of two. For example:...

1 answer  ·  posted 6y ago by COMisHARD‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

Question word-choice grammar
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Q&A How to write about transgender issues while avoiding cognitive dissonance?

As a writer, it is difficult to help your readers hold two dissonant ideas in their heads. This can occur when the situation you are describing does not match well with the lived experience of your...

1 answer  ·  posted 7y ago by Nathan VanHoudnos‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

Question style grammar gender
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Q&A How can I revise these sentences to be more correct while still keeping the effect? [closed]

I have written these two sentences: Despite her temper, I loved her still. Or perhaps not despite; perhaps because of. The second sentence feels grammatically incorrect; how can I revis...

1 answer  ·  posted 11y ago by Yamikuronue‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

Question editing grammar
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Q&A Is the phrase 'tiny bit' an idiom or an adverb and a noun? [closed]

I have found in WordReference English-Greek Dictionary that the phrase 'tiny bit' is an adverb and a noun. That dictionary gives the following examples: This version is just that tiny bit bette...

0 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Marios Athanasiou‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

Question grammar
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Q&A 'This one' as a pronoun

I'm writing a story in English but I'm not a native. I’m a Brazilian Portuguese speaker. It bothers me how repetitive and ambiguous pronouns can be. In my language we can use the equivalent to ‘th...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by Louisr‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

Question style grammar
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Q&A When should the dialogue reference be written, before or after the dialogue?

This might be a very trivial question but I don't know what to google to get an answer so asking anyways. In this dialogue; "I have such a miserable cold, your sarcastic remarks are hardly m...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by codeNewbie‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

Question grammar dialogue
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Q&A What tense to use for events that are still happening?

The question is similar to this but the answers does not answer me. In my general fiction novel, which is told in first person singular past tense, I encounter moments where I am confused whether t...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by codeNewbie‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A How to handle characters who are more educated than the author?

This is inspired by a few things that have been breaking my immersion when reading Worm. The main protagonist is a teen, and most chapters are first-person POV, so grammatical casualness fits. I ...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by April Salutes Monica C.‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Using a possessive pronoun before using its antecedent in a poem

I was seriously wondering if it's a problem to use the antecedent, which is "Mr Spooner", after the possessive pronoun "his". Also, I am wondering if we can use "his" without ever using an antecede...

0 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by repomonster‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A Should I start a new paragraph after a dialogue if the action is being taken by a new person?

I am currently editing an original work of fiction, and one of the things I'm having the most trouble with is dialogue and paragraphs after certain character's actions. I know it sounds a little co...

2 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by Naomi‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

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Q&A What are the chances that agents or publishers will accept my manuscript if there are some grammatical errors in it?

English is not my native one, but I can talk and write with it, but maybe not as well as I would like to. Many readers have told me that my stories I wrote are really good, but still, I make some g...

5 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by Jade‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by System‭

Question publishing grammar

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