In the sentence who is saying “that’s your business,isn’t it ,cousin”

Laila remembered another fight, and, that time, Mammy had stood over Babi and said in a mincing way,That’s your business, isn’t it, cousin? To make nothing your business. Even your own sons going to war. Howl pleaded with you. Bui you buried your nose in those cursed books and let our sons go like they … Read more

What is wrong with the sentence “There put a student an amazing answer to the test”?

Why is this sentence ungrammatical? There put a student an amazing answer to the test. Answer It’s not ungrammatical. It’s simply a marked order rather than the normal order. The normal order of English is subject–verb–object (SOV) for transitive verbs and subject–verb–complement (SVC) otherwise. The important thing is that normally English is SV, not VS. … Read more

Information given versus given information

In exam question writing, suppose that some information is given for a question. When the question is referring to this information, which of the wording “Determine something based on the information given” or “Determine something based on the given information” sounds better? I am puzzled, as English is my second language. Thank you so much. … Read more

About repeating nouns, adjs, and prepositions

Example 1: Historical economic data, meteorological data, and hydrological data were collected from various sources. Data referred here are all historical data. Should I repeat historical, and are the repeated “data” redundant? Example 2: This result can be explained by A, and by B A and B can be two clauses or nouns. Should I … Read more

“I you already know”: is this proper English?

I found this sentence in Terry Pratchett’s “Interesting Times”: (*) “Great wizard,” said Butterfly, bowing. “I you already know, but these two are Lotus Blossom and Three Yoked Oxen, other members of our cadre. […]” It’s certainly not the usual word order, but there’s clearly emphasis on “I” and that often can reason about alterations … Read more

Which “not” is not in the proper place: “Not only does (not) she (not) know, but also …”

I know that whenever we bring “not only” at the beginning of a sentence, what comes after it has to be in question form. Now, I’m having a problem with the negative form of this question. Which one of the following sentences is correct? Not only doesn’t she know, but also … or Not only … Read more

How does the “reverse syntax” in Middle English work?

I was reading the Romance of Tristan and I came across the passage: “Therefore did Tristan claim justice and the right of battle and therefore was he careful to fail in nothing of the homage he owed King Mark, his lord.” I see these kinds of grammar reversals a lot in older English, like: “Quickly … Read more

Why do “X associate” and “associate X” have such different meanings?

This answer describes the American English term “stock associate”, as meaning a relatively low paid store worker who fills shelves. By contrast, high status work seems to have the job descriptor after the word “associate” (“associate director”, “associate justice”, “associate” member of some professional body). Is it always/usually the case, that “associate” after the rest … Read more