QUESTION Marking papers, evaluating them, and writing comments is (or are?) time consuming. SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE St. Louis, Missouri Fri, Nov 24, 2000 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE All three of these activities combine to form one activity (in my experience). I'd go with the singular verb, "is." If you wish to make them separate, you'll have to explicitly do so: "Marking papers, evaluating them, and writing comments are time-consuming activities."
QUESTION In the following sentence the preposition (?) matches "awareness" and "evaluation" but not "participation." Is this a problem and if so could you give me some suggestions for improving it?
ThanksAutonomy aims to increase students' awareness, participation, and evaluation of the learning process and products.
SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Somewhere, Japan Fri, Nov 24, 2000 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE Yes, that's a problem. In this situation, you've got to give both prepositions a share of the spotlight (or all three, if that's what it comes to): "Autonomy aims to increase students' awareness of, participation in, and evaluation of the learning process." (I'm not sure how "products" fits into this sentence or what it means here.)
QUESTION Is it correct to distinguish between a parenthetical interrupter and an introductory phrase or clause after a coordinating conjunction in a compound sentence, such as in the following:I became sick at that dinner party, and in the future, I will avoid such forays into the social world.Is the following correct in contrast:I became sick at that dinner party, and, therefore, I will avoid such forays into the social world in the future.In other words, do I put the comma after the "and" in the second? SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Lynchburg, Virginia Fri, Nov 24, 2000 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE William Strunk speaks specifically to this issue in Elements of Style. His answer is no: when a parenthetical interrupter follows the coordinating conjunction, it is not necessary to put a comma after the coordinating conjunction. (You don't want a comma after "and." And the first example you give is correct.)
QUESTION Can you please tell me the correct spelling of nontraditional?
It would be used in the title "Nontraditional Doctor of Pharmacy Program". Although sometimes it would be used as just "nontradtional program" or something similar to that.
I don't know if it should be hyphenated or not?? Non-traditional, Non-Traditional, or just how I have it!
Thanks so much for your help!! Great site!
SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE West Lafeyette, Indiana Fri, Nov 24, 2000 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE You can leave out the hyphen in most words beginning with "non" except where it would help to avoid confusion, as in "non-native."
Authority: Chicago Manual of Style 14th ed. U of Chicago P: Chicago. 1993. p. 229.
QUESTION Which is correct?
- What hours are the Courthouse open?
- What hours is the Courthouse open?
SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Bradenton, Florida Fri, Nov 24, 2000 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE The interrogative word what serves to introduce or produce an information-type question. In a question such as "What do you want to do now," the what would serve as a direct object of the subject-verb; "You want to do what. . . " In the question you ask, it serves as a determiner for hours: "The courthouse is open what hours." (I hope this serves to explain why we want is in that sentence.)
Authority: Understanding English Grammar by Martha Kolln. 4rth Edition. MacMillan Publishing Company: New York. 1994. p 341.
QUESTION Is it correct to say "The house is at the intersection of Montgomery and Kenwood Road" or "The house is at the intersection of Montgomery and Kenwood Roads"? Need hard proof, not just opinion. Thanks! SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Cincinnati, Ohio Fri, Nov 24, 2000 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE I'm not sure there is such a thing as "hard proof" in grammar. The singular "Road" will suffice. What you're doing is conjoining the adjectives (in this case, attributive proper nouns), with an ellipsis of complementation. Even if that's not perfectly accurate, it certainly sounds impressive.
Authority: A University Grammar of English by Randolph Quirk and Sidney Greenbaum. Longman Group: Essex, England. 1993. Used with permission. p. 272.
QUESTION Is this sentence correct? I mean the use and position of the adjunct.This train is certainly old. SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Somewhere, Argentina Tue, Nov 28, 2000 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE Certainly is what we call an emphasizer in that sentence, a kind of intensifying adjunct. Generally, such words immediately precede the word they modify. If the word certainly is trying to modify the antiquity of the train, its position in that sentence is appropriate. If it is trying to modify the fact of the train's being old, it would be appropriate to put it before the verb: "This train certainly is old." In a verb string, the word certainly (like other emphasizers) is usually found mid-verb-phrase: "You can certainly shoot better than your brother." "He would literally tear his hair out." If you can get your hands on Quirk and Greenbaum's book, you'll find a whole chapter (Chapter Eight) on the position of different kinds of modifiers. I will leave an e-mail icon here in case someone else chooses to speak to this question.
Authority: A University Grammar of English by Randolph Quirk and Sidney Greenbaum. Longman Group: Essex, England. 1993. Used with permission. p. 215.
QUESTION My AP English teacher gave us the following sentance in a quiz:He is one of the individuals who is arrogant as a result of major inferiority complex problems.She said the proper correction would be to change "is" (after "individuals who" to "are" so the verb is plural to match "individuals", since the use of the relative pronoun makes that neccessary. I thought that "of the individuals" is a prepositional phrase modifying "one," and therefore, since "one" is singular, the verb would stay the same.
Thank you for your help!
SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Anchorage, Alaska Wed, Nov 29, 2000 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE Your teacher should certainly give you credit for a credible argument. But she's right. In a sentence like this one, try inverting the structure to find out what the relative pronoun is referring to. We could write it as "Of the individuals who are arrogant as a result of major inferiority complex problems, he is one." It is clear now that "who" refers to "individuals," so we want a plural verb. I hope that helps.
QUESTION I come across sentences such as the following:"The biggest drawing card at many a university is the resident Nobel Laureate."My problem is with the "many a university?" Why not many universities? Why do I hear people saying "many a man". Why not many men. Isn't the quantier "many" used only with count nouns?
SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Alexandria, Virginia Wed, Nov 29, 2000 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE I don't know where that construction "many a ___" comes from, but it's universally accepted and widely used. The odd thing about it is that it creates a singular: "Many a man has been called. . . ." even though it clearly refers to a plural concept. Yes, the more common construction would be "many universities," "many men," but there's nothing wrong with "many a university." I suppose it draws attention to the specificity of the situation?
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 When writing about the Internet, I have a couple of questions. First is Internet always capitalized? Is it Web site or Website or website? Is there a hypen in on-line? Example: I'm on-line. Go to our on-line registration form. In these examples, I've used on-line as a noun and an adjective. The dictionary and AP Stylebook that I have do not address these issues.
Thank you for your help. Your site is the best Grammar site that I have found!
SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Columbus, Ohio Thu, Nov 30, 2000 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE It's probably too early to find these things in dictionaries. I rely on the Yale Style Manual for help on such issues. I figure they ought to get the spelling right, anyway. They consistently spell Internet with a capital "I," which seems to be what just about everyone else does (although I'm not sure why). The word e-mail seems to be retaining the hyphen (along with all the other "e-" words, like e-commerce, etc.). The word Web gets capitalized and separated by a space (but no hyphen) from the words it modifies, as in Web page, Web site, etc. (I wish I could say that this Guide has been consistent in this usage; it hasn't been.) I write online as a compounded word, no hyphen, which is how the Yale Style Guide writes it. My Merriam-Webster's writes it with a hyphen.
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