Which is correct: “This is her” or “This is she”?

Upon answering the telephone, the person calling asks if Joan is available. If Joan is the person who answered the phone, should she say “This is her” or “This is she”? Answer Traditional grammarians prefer the nominative (“she”) for the complement of the verb “to be”. Most usage in my experience prefers the accusative (“her”) … Read more

Prepositional phrase modifies another prepositional phrase? Or both modify the verb?

Consider: Smoke hung in the air above the city. I see lots of sentences containing the structure of “verbal phrase + prepositional phrase + prepositional phrase” like the example above. I just do not know whether the second prepositional phrase (in this example, above the city) modifies the verb (hung), or if it modifies the … Read more

Can ‘all’ be used as a predicative complement?

“But what are you going to do with it [= dragon’s egg] when it’s hatched?” said Hermione. “Well, I’ve bin doin’ some readin’, said Hagrid, pulling a large book from under his pillow. “Got this outta the library –– Dragon Breeding for Pleasure and Profit –– it’s a bit outta date, o’ course, but it’s … Read more

How reliable is Word’s grammar checker?

I am a foolish. How s you. Do these sentences have grammar problems? Because I think foolish is an adjective. In general, how reliable is Word’s grammar checker? What do I have to watch out for? Answer An odd fact of English, which differentiates it from all the other (European) languages I have even a … Read more

Is this a predicative adjunct?

Harry swung at it with the bat to stop it from breaking his nose, and sent it zigzagging away into the air. (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone) ‘Zigzagging’ seems to be a predicative adjunct as the case below. Can both be the same case? They served the coffee blindfolded. [predicative adjunct] (The Cambridge Grammar … Read more