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I'm not clear why this question has been migrated

Is the sentence "Thora went to the shop for how long?" grammatically correct? I'm concerned that it sounds too awkward, too expressive of dismay to make grammatical sense and be parsed.

Apologies for not attempting an answer, I don't know enough about grammar. In context, it is obvious that I don't know how long Thora went to the shop for (it's not an exclamation).

as I am a native English speaker, with excellent reading comprehension, even if I struggle to ask clear questions.

One comment answered the question I was asking

It is grammatically correct. Whether it means what you want it to mean is unclear. If you are expressing incredulity at the length of time then it's perfect. If, instead, you are just asking a question, the idiomatic wording would be along the lines of: "How long did Thora go to the shop for?" Or "How long was Thora at the shop?" Or "How long was Thora gone" -depending on which timespan you're interested in

But, as I was pointed out for my comment in reply, it's not clear if that "incredulity", making the sentence grammatically correct, applies if the sentence I'm asking about is a rhetorical question, one that I still need an answer to (for two hours). So:

  • I think Thora's been gone ages!
  • She's back now.
  • Thora went to the shop for how long?
  • 2 hours.

I would have preferred it if someone had told me that they were moving the question to English learners. I am not trying to undermine anyone's authority, if that's what this is about?


I deleted the question after it was moved to english learners, as it wasn't that sort of question (what I was actually asking seemed even less apt to be understood there), and partly because I felt it may offend some people there.

It has since been deleted (by me) and then locked (by admin)

https://ell.stackexchange.com/questions/206635/is-the-sentence-thora-went-to-the-shop-for-how-long-grammatically-correct

  • I didn't find any question migrated (moved) to a different site. You are talking about this post, aren't you? – Mari-Lou A Apr 23 at 6:06
  • i deleted the question after it was moved to english learners, as it wasn't that sort of question, and partly because i felt it may offend some people there @Mari-LouA – user3293056 Apr 23 at 6:10
  • Then you should edit, and add that information in your question. You should also provide the link to the deleted post, users with 10K have the earned privilege of "seeing" deleted posts. – Mari-Lou A Apr 23 at 6:20
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    I've just double checked. The post on the main site is identical and has the same identical comment that you mentioned here. It's not been deleted but put on hold. – Mari-Lou A Apr 23 at 6:37
  • ahh confusing @Mari-LouA – user3293056 Apr 23 at 6:54
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    I think I know what happened, deleting your post on ELL has made it reappear on the main site where it was originally posted. meta.stackexchange.com/questions/247536/… and meta.stackexchange.com/questions/269867/… – Mari-Lou A Apr 23 at 7:32
  • Why would anyone at ELL be "offended" by your question? See also: Is it okay to ask a question on ELL even if you're not learning English as a second language? on ELL meta. – J.R. May 5 at 8:54
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Pretty much any question that says 'Is this correct?' is much more appropriate for ELL.

Whether you're a native speaker or not, if you're unsure about a language thing and your concern is correctness, then ELL is the place for it. They are much more likely to give answers there that address correctness appropriately.

  • yes, but no-one is going to address my reasoning that it is grammatically correct there. it will only lead to confusion – user3293056 Apr 23 at 13:21
  • @user3293056 How do you know no one is going to address that? – Mitch Apr 23 at 14:19
  • for a few reasons. e.g. i assumed that you are more used to (can think through) whether unusual sentences are grammatical, be able to see that answer from various perspectives, rather than say no it's incorrect without providing any reasons or see why it might be and offer more idiomatic phrase. perhaps i have misunderstood this site. hmm – user3293056 Apr 23 at 14:23
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    It's poor form anywhere on SE to just give a 'yes' or 'no' answer. On ELL or ELU an explanation makes an answer much much better. If you're asking "Is 'I not am' correct English?', ELL is good for that ('no it's not...and this is how you convert a sentence to negative'). "Is 'I ain't' allowed in formal English?" ELU is good for that, with an answer like 'It is a sign of very informal English to use it, but is common in almost all informal varieties of English (not just the stereotypical Southern, but AAE, Cockney, AusE, etc etc...") – Mitch Apr 23 at 14:41
  • ok i'll try it on ell, wish me luck – user3293056 Apr 23 at 14:42
  • Just to compound second doubts, there are no authorities, words aren't magically the truth, and everything you know is, well, not wrong, but not necessarily exactly right. A person (with lots of experience) migrated the question to ELL. They may have had many very justifiable reasons, which may or may not have anything to do with any explantion I have given. Maybe their mouse slipped. – Mitch Apr 23 at 14:53

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