Why is “dark” an adverb in “dark blue”?

The sky is dark blue. Source: BBC English Catherine: The sky is dark blue. The sky is dark blue. Finn: So, is blue an adjective or adverb? Catherine: It’s an adjective. Blue is describing the noun sky. Now number two: it’s actually the same sentence but this time, think about the word dark. Is dark … Read more

In what cases can we begin noun clauses with a preposition?

In what cases can we begin noun clauses with a preposition? Is there any rule? My examples (sorry if they are bad): 1. You need to choose with what you agree and with what not. 2. Don’t tell him what to do. He knows with whom to work and with whom not to work and … Read more

When to use “And” at the start of sentence?

I know that and is used to join two sentences or phrases. There are some places I’ve read that have And is used at the beginning of a sentence. What are the occasions when this is done? Answer You start a sentence with a conjunction when you want to call a clause out for special … Read more

What are the real rules for choosing between the simple past and past perfect when both actions are in the past?

What are the real rules for choosing past perfect versus choosing past simple when you have two different past actions? I ask because the English sequence of tenses rules I was taught would have made me choose different tenses than those the writers in all three examples I show below chose. That makes me think … Read more

Use of two tenses in one sentence (“That’s when I heard his voice…”)

In the book ” Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe” the author writes the following sentence. “That’s when I heard his voice, kind of squeaky(…)” Is it correct to say “that is” in in the same sentence of a verb used in the past tense? The use of both tenses confuses me, … Read more

Is ‘Robin Hood, reversed’ a sentence?

In an extremely well written and justifiably incisive article on British austerity measures since the credit crunch of 2008, Peter Goodman of The New York Times writes the following : In these communities, Mrs. Thatcher’s name is an epithet, and austerity is the latest villain: London bankers concocted a financial crisis, multiplying their wealth through … Read more

Which one is grammatically correct, with “have” or without “have”?

I have been admitted to the upcoming class and been planning to live in the dormitory. I have been admitted to the upcoming class and have been planning to live in the dormitory. Answer Your question concerns ellipsis, omitting one or more words obviously understood but needed to parse the grammar. For this to occur, … Read more

Is “myself” okay in this sentence (grammar, style, etc.)?

I read some other questions about “me” vs. “myself”. If I understood the answers right, “me” is correct or preferable in most cases. So my question is, is it okay to use “myself” in the following? My hunch is the administrator I’m writing to would like it better than “me”. After reviewing the documentation I … Read more

How is this comma usage explained with Thomas Pynchon?

I read Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon last year, and there was some comma usage I’ve been curious about ever since. For instance, I’ve just opened up a couple pages of it and saw that he has this sentence: They move slowly, but without resistance. Now this is interesting to me, because I thought you … Read more