QUESTION How would you say the following phrase and why?
- It's up to you and I to make a difference.
- It's up to you and me to make a difference.
SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Unknown Mon, Sep 3, 2001 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE You need "me" in that sentence, as the object of the preposition "to." The infinitive phrase "to make a difference" modifies the "you and me," but it is not the verb of the sentence.
- Curling up with a good book and A never ending cup of tea
- Curling up with a good book and AN never ending cup of tea?
SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Montreal, Quebec, Canada Mon, Sep 3, 2001 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE It's a never ending cup of tea, but because the word that follows it begins with an "n," it's going to sound virtually identical to "an never ending cup of tea."
QUESTION Is a sentence "I believe Mary is." complete? I understand a sentence "I believe God is." is complete. But the former sentence should need some such a complement as an adverb phrase in the following: Mary is in her study. SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Yokohama-shi, Kohoku-ku, Shinyoshida-cho, Japan Tue, Sep 4, 2001 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE It is possible that you can use "I believe Mary is" in a context other than an existential declaration (as when you declare that "I believe God is," when you mean that God exists). If, for instance, I ask you who is running for student government president, one possible response would be "I believe Mary is." You are omitting "running for president" at the end of that sentence, but it's still a good sentence in context. Otherwise, no, it would be quite peculiar.
QUESTION What is a non-restricted (free) modifier?
Thanks a lot,
SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Maastricht - Limburg - The Netherlands Tue, Sep 4, 2001 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE Martha Kolln gives this excellent example (and good for this time of year):
In the first example, the participial phrase, "wearing shiny orange helmets," is necessary to the meaning of the sentence. It tells us that there might have been other football players, helmetless or wearing darker helmets, and that these particular players, with those helmets, were quite noticeable. The phrase thus "restricts" the word, "players," that it modifies, and there are no commas. It is a restrictive modifier. In the second sentence, the same phrase is added information: the players all stand out and the fact that they're wearing shiny orange helmets is "added information," not necessary to the essential meaning of the sentence and is thus set off with a pair of commas. The modifying phrase has become nonrestrictive. I hope this helps.
- The football players wearing shiny orange helmets stood out in the crowd.
- The football players, wearing shiny orange helmets, stood out in the crowd.
Authority: Understanding English Grammar by Martha Kolln. 4rth Edition. MacMillan Publishing Company: New York. 1994. p. 205.
Do I have these split up correctly? Copy editors do copyediting. Copywriters do copy writing. This is how it appears to be . . . Is this right and are we being intentionally obtuse?
- copy writing
- Copy Editor
SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Des Moines, Iowa Tue, Sep 4, 2001 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE I won't comment on your obtuseness (or lack of it), but you're right about the "copy editor" and the "copywriter." For some reason, one is an open compound and the other is closed. Bill Walsh, a copy editor for the Washington Post and someone, therefore, who should know, uses the open compound "copy editing" except when it's a modifier as in "copy-editing policy." I don't know if I would ever say that copy writers "do copy writing." I think I'd say that copy writers write copy.
Bill Walsh's Website is called Theslot.com.
which one of these are correct, and why? A person I know is saying that B is correct, however, I feel it must be A. Could you please tell me officially what one is correct.
- The most important question is, what should I wear to the dance?
- The most important question is, What should I wear to the dance?
- The most important question is: what should I wear to the dance?
- The most important question is: What should I wear to the dance?
SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Ladson, South Carolina Wed, Sep 5, 2001 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE Gregg Reference Manual would recommend "B," although I don't think your first choice would be incorrect. Setting the indirect question apart with a capital letter is, indeed, appropriate. You would use a colon only if the first clause came to an end as an independent clause, as in "The most important question is this: What should I wear to the dance."
Authority: The Gregg Reference Manual by William A. Sabin. 9th Edition. McGraw-Hill: New York. 2001. Used with the consent of Glencoe/McGraw-Hill.
QUESTION When should I use real and when should I use really? I was brought up to say "I feel really good" but all I ever hear is "I feel real good". To me this sounds jarring, but maybe I am the one that is wrong? SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Portland, Maine Wed, Sep 5, 2001 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE In the U.S. and Scotland (according to Burchfield), the use of the word "real" as an intensifying adverb is being used more and more in informal speech and writing. In England and in language that is the least bit formal elsewhere, use "really," as in "That is really interesting," "She is really nice," "This is a really old book."
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'd like to know whether "way" has to be followed by "in which." Some writers seem to think so; they write that way all the time.example: The passing of women's-rights laws has affected the way in which we regard the issue today.'I find that 'in which' a bit cumbersome, but I'd like to know all the same whether correct grammar requires it. SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Brooklyn, New York Wed, Sep 5, 2001 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE I have never noticed that before, but I'm sure you're right: the "in which" can be omitted to good effect. There are probably situations where sentence complexity demands the "in which," but it seems doubtful. We can probably say the same thing about "the manner in which." (I don't find anything in my reference books about this phrase.)
QUESTION What is a SUBJECTIVE CLAUSE? Is it another name for an independent clause?
SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Omaha, Nebraska Thu, Sep 6, 2001 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE No, I don't think so. I'm not familiar with that exact terminology, but I would guess that it refers to a nominative clause that serves as the subject complement of a sentence, as in
- A major cause of the Civil War was that the South refused to yield on issues of slavery.
- Harry's procrastination in the basement was what delayed our departure.
QUESTION Which is correct: "from the 17th to the 19th century" or "from the 17th to the 19th centuries"? SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Santa Barbara, California Thu, Sep 6, 2001 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE The process of modification can be delayed. Instead of saying "from the 17th century to the 19th century," we can omit the first instance of "century" and the second instance of the singular word will suffice. Be careful of this, though. If someone bought a red car and a blue car, you don't want to say that he bought a red and blue car.
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