QUESTION Which one of these is right:
- I said it grammatically correct.
- I said it grammatically correctly.
SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Wed, Jun 21, 2000 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE You said it correctly, and since you want another adverb to modify the adverb "correctly," you need grammatically. If you used a linking verb (instead of a transitive verb such as "said"), you would say something like "He was grammatically correct."
QUESTION In the following sentence, should the verb be "allow" or "allows"? Is it refering to "one" or to "institutions"?:"It is one of the few institutions today in the United States that allow citizens to study..."Thanks!! SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE San Jose, California Thu, Jun 22, 2000 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE It's referring to "institutions," so we want the plural "allow." Try turning the sentence around: "Of the few institutions today in the U.S. that allow citizens to study. . . , it is one."
QUESTION What is the proper use of the verb "to be" when the subject is a group?The Jacksons is back. or The Jacksons are back. SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE New Orleans, Louisiana Thu, Jun 22, 2000 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE Those Jacksons may be a band or singing group, but they're still acting as a group of individuals. We want the plural verb "are." It's in the nature of the name of the group, though. We'd say, "The Emerson String Quartet is back," but we'd say "The Beatles are back."
QUESTION The word "senior" is commonly used as a noun (a senior), or an adjective (a senior citizen) without any indication of a possessive. The plural of this word is "seniors" (a group of seniors) and is often used as an adjective (e.g. senior s' housing is purpose-built housing for a group of seniors). But should it simply be "seniors housing" (which seems incorrect to me, but to younger colleagues appears correct)? SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Vancouver, BC, Canada Mon, Jun 26, 2000 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE When you have a more common group like writers, say you can use the word either as a possessive a writers' group or as an attributive noun writers group. I have to agree, though, that using seniors as an attributive noun looks odd; I would prefer the possessive form. In fact, you might sometimes see the singular used as an attributive senior housing (but senior citizen housing is much more common). It might be a matter of getting used to it, but I wouldn't use seniors as an adjective.
QUESTION My question is regarding whether the clause "as witnessed from" in the following sentence is correct. I'm leaning toward "as witnessed by":Consumers hold widely varied opinions on the subject, as witnessed from the past few years' wild ride through fat-free dining to protein-heavy/low carb fad diets.Thanks for your help! SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Chino Hills, California Mon, Jun 26, 2000 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE The trouble with "witnessed from" is that it appears you're referring to a perspective from that "past few years' wild ride," and that's not what you mean. I agree that "witnessed by" would be an improvement, but wouldn't "evidenced by" or "shown by" be better yet?
QUESTION Should you say:
- "Most important, one must remember that..."
- or "Most importantly, one must remember that..."?
SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Washington, D.C. Mon, Jun 26, 2000 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE You don't want an adverb there; an adverb could end up modifying the wrong thing. "Most important" will suffice. Since you have a strong "must remember" in that sentence, you might consider leaving the phrase out altogether.
QUESTION We are trying to do the following correctly.
Take: Fun and Games
Make Fun N Games
Is there 0, 1, or 2 apostrophes?
We are creating a newsletter and want to use this correctly and we are all debating. Thank you in advance for your answer to this question.
- 1. Fun 'N' Games,
- 2. Fun 'N Games, or
- 3. Fun N' Games
SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Columbia, Maryland Mon, Jun 26, 2000 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE If you really must resort to the shortened form of "and," then you want to put an apostrophe on both sides of the "n." Otherwise, you could end up with the shortened form for "than," as in "He's taller 'n me." I would use the lower-case form of the letter: "Fun 'n' Games."
QUESTION I'm trying to find out about the proper uses of ", then" and "and then". Where can I find help on this? SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Cincinnati, Ohio Mon, Jun 26, 2000 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE I think you're referring to the use of then as a conjunction that connects two independent clauses. In formal text, at least, it's not a good idea to use then in that matter: "He ripped off all the old shingles, then he put on a new layer of tar paper." You can connect those two independent clauses with a comma followed by "and then," or you can use a semicolon, or you can use two separate sentences. But in this situation, the ", then" creates a comma splice. It's probably a good idea to be alert to the possibiity of a comma splice whenever you see that comma + then combination.
QUESTION How should the phrase "due to" be used? I don't mean as a synonym for "owed to," like the following sentence: $300 is due to Citibank as payment for our last Visa bill.
One writing guide I consulted said that "due to" should be used to modify a noun (the accident was due to bad weather); "because of" should be used to introduce an adverbial phrase (the game was lost because of carelessness).
Is "accident" or "weather" the noun being modified in the "due to" example above? And I'm not sure what an adverbial phrase is... a phrase that modifies an adverb? So I am confused, since I thought "carelessness" was a noun. In short, I cannot tell the difference between the two examples.
I avoid altogether using the phrase "due to" since I'm not sure when it should be used. Unfortunately, "results from" and "is attributable to" are not as multi-purpose as I would like. Do you have other suggestions for "due to" replacements?
SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Raleigh, North Carolina Mon, Jun 26, 2000 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE You've described the situation well, and I don't see anything wrong with "due to carelessness," myself. Burchfield describes some people's attitude toward due to this way:Hostility to the construction is an entirely 20c. phenomenon. Opinion remains sharply divided but it begins to look as if this use of due to will form part of the natural language of the 21c., as one more example of a forgotten battle.I would relax my guard against due to, but stay away from the wordy due to the fact that, which can nearly always be cut down to because.
Authority: The New Fowler's Modern English Usage edited by R.W. Burchfield. Clarendon Press: Oxford, England. 1996. Used with the permission of Oxford University Press.
QUESTION I am editing a memo written by someone else in my organization. I want to prune out the phrase "the fact that", but am wondering if there is a way to use the word "regardless" in this phrase without it:"It is our contention that in doing this the new directors exercised control over the company, regardless of the fact that they did not own a majority of shares."I have edited the sentence to read as follows without "regardless", but wonder if there is a way to keep "regardless" in the sentence:"It is our contention that in doing this the new directors exercised control over the company, despite their not owning a majority of shares in the company."No doubt the whole sentence could be improved, but I am especially curious about the use of "regardless" with "of the fact that". Thank you SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Toronto, Ontario, Canada Mon, Jun 26, 2000 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE I think you're wise to avoid the construction "regardless of the fact that." Can you substitute "even though they did not own a majority of shares"? Or "although"? "Despite their not owning," sadly, is not a clear-cut advantage.
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