Zero article before nouns in the commonest sense

I am interested in whether the article can be omitted in a phrase like The Ideas About a Woman in Roman Literature (as in the name of a scientific article). Is the article needed here at all, since the noun is used in its commonest sense? Some references can be found on websites of doubtful … Read more

Several questions regarding a passage by Robert Boyle

Robert Boyle once wrote in one of his papers: That, then, which I chiefly aim at is to make it probable to you by experiments (which I think hath not yet been done) that almost all sorts of qualities, most of which have been by the Schools either left unexplicated, or generally referred to I … Read more

“Neither of us are” -vs- “Neither one of us is”

This cartoon was recently posted on Facebook. My sister (who is a retired HS English teacher) says the grammar is wrong and that the correct wording should be: “Neither one of us is.” but I disagree. I am not an English teacher but I believe that “US” relates to “WE” and the correct wording for … Read more

Can I use a noun with a posessive determiner as adjunct?

For example: “Your level English” (Your level = adjunct)? Does it have the same meaning as “English of your level”? Answer At the very least you’d need to hyphenate, like this: your-level English. This would arguably be understood by most native speakers to mean English of your level. But I doubt any native speaker would … Read more

Determiner all + uncountable noun – which of the following sentences is correct?

All water has been filtered. or All water have been filtered. ? I’ve already searched about this especially in youtube. From what I learned, if it’s an uncountable noun after determiner all, it will be treated as singular therefore has should be used. I just need a confirmation that’s why I posted a question here. … Read more

When to use A vs An and inconsistency

I hear the phrase “an American” and wonder why “a American” sounds incorrect. “a [nationalism]” works in every other context. “a Libyan” “a Russian” “a Chinese”. Other examples where “an” sounds correct where “a” does not is “an Apache”. What is the difference between the determiners A and An and why the inconsistency? Answer It’s … Read more

Why is it necessary to include determiners like “your” or “my” in some sentences?

Why is it necessary to include determiners like “your” or “my” in sentences with enough context to omit them? “Bob, eat your breakfast.” “How do you like your eggs?” “I got my results back.” “I’m driving in my car.” I’m well aware that these words just fit there, but it seems to me like they’re … Read more

“Once each” or “once every” six months?

I’m formatting a bulleted list of benefits covered by a dental plan. I believe the text originally came from the insurance company’s official “schedule of benefits” document, which is written in legalese. A bunch of the benefits are limited to “once each” some number of months, as in: Bitewing X-rays once each six months Study … Read more

Can you put the article ‘a’ after the verb ‘are’?

So, I just read an article, and was confused by the sentence: In the study we just described, we found evidence that people’s self-discerning reflections — musings on whether parts of their identity truly define who they are or merely reflect their cultural upbringing — are a critical ingredient in the relationship between living abroad … Read more

Can I use “respectively” to refer to a list in the previous sentence?

Is the following sentence a correct usage of the word “respectively”, or can it only be used if the things it is referring to are listed in the same sentence? “There was a dog, a cat, and a hamster. Their names were Jess, Marc and Sam respectively.” Answer I think the usage works just fine. … Read more