Grammatically correct? (It is the only reason I stay on here.)


Is this sentence grammatically correct in formal English:

It is the only reason I stay on here (without “why” or “for which”)

I believe the sentence itself is correct even though it doesn’t tell the whole story.

The sentence is fine in formal English.

But according to what I study here, there must be “why” after “the reason” (from books and from what my non-native teachers teach me) (+_+)

So is it correct in both British English and American English?

Many thanks

I believe it’s correct in both varieties of English.

English isn’t one of those languages that requires more words in order to be more formal.

To my ears, the version with “why” sounds slightly less formal or more “uneducated” than the version without “why”. Others may disagree with me on that feeling.

Thanks a lot, Jamie.
I also want to know some other teachers’ ideas :slight_smile:

Hi Nessie,

Why, when you have been given an authoritative answer, do you always want a dozen more? And for goodness sake stop being constantly hooked up on this American/British English paranoia!


Alan, I think Nessie’s problem is that when you’re dealing with non-native-speaking English teachers who have had minimal contact with the anglophone world, you never know what that teacher is going to claim is “British English”. Nessie is probably tormented by teachers who teach him Vietnamese English, tell him it’s British English, and condemn everything that deviates from their Vietnamese standard as being “American”. You just never know what these teachers are going to penalize someone for.

Also, in countries whose language is limited to just one territory, there is usually one dialect based in one place that’s considered “correct”, and all the rest of the varieties are considered “wrong”. People in countries like this don’t have any real concept of a multi-standard language, which English is, and they unsuitably apply their own language’s concept of “standard” to English.

So Nessie comes by this honestly, and if he’s still in school, he has reason to be paranoid.

Nessie, if you learn really good Australian English and go to the UK or the US with it, the British and the Americans won’t be thinking, “That guy speaks Australian English!” but will be thinking, “Wow! He speaks impressive English!” It doesn’t matter which variety you emulate, and all the nations’ varieties are mixed up with all the other nations’ words and expressions.

What makes it “not suitable” for informal English use?

Informal language is not always uneducated use, is it? Just checking.

Sounds like Britain. :lol:

Let’s hope Nessie doesn’t use “shan’t” in the USA. :wink:

Yeah, c’mon! You can all emulate Nigerian English. We welcome you. :wink:


You seem to be extremely confused about even simple things in English, Molly.

I suggest you start your own separate threads. Your special problems and difficulties can be dealt with more effectively that way.

Hi Alan, Jamie and Molly,
First of all, I’d like to thank you all for your comments :slight_smile:

The reason why I always want to see about many teachers’ ideas, especially British and American ones, is that I love English and all her varieties. I love to study them all and I also love to know which is of British use, which is of American one, and which is others’. It’s cool to be able to know them, you know. It’s very useful, I believe. For example when I speak to a new friend, I can regconize where he is from through his English style :slight_smile: And even if it’s not very useful, it’s still interesting to know about them. I know I’m not a linguist, but I love to know them because I love English :slight_smile:

Hi Jamie,
Many thanks for your comments indeed. It’s really very kind of you to “see through” my mind. Truly speaking, sometimes I have a lot of problems with my non-native teachers. Of course, I am always very much grateful to them all, but no one is perfect, especially when they are not native speakers, so I love to learn more than just what I’m taught in school.
(For your information, here in my country, English is a compulsory subject at school, but we students can just study grammar and vocabulary => no reading and no speaking. From that fact, I assume you know how our English is getting along :))

And, dear Alan, I’m so sorry to disturb you. I will try not to be so paranoid :frowning:

P.S: Hi Jamie, may I ask you this question: why do you think I’m a boy and not a girl? :stuck_out_tongue:

But this is entirely on topic, isn’t it? Are you saying that we cannot challenge you on your comments about usage?

Do you know how to quote properly? Do you know how to read?

Isn’t challenging a comment that wasn’t made the same as arguing with yourself?
You only seem to argue with yourself, Molly.

I see. So the sentence is fine in informal English also, right?

I’d suggest starting your own thread.

I never thought about it. The real Nessie is usually thought of as male and called “he”, so I just assumed you were a guy.

Hello Nessie,

  1. It is the only reason I stay on here.

It’s fine in BrE too.

(I think of it as “…reason [that] I…”, rather than “…reason [why] I…”.)

Best wishes,


Thanks a lot, MrP. Just one more question:
If both are ok in formal English, then which is more commonly used in formal English?
(Please accept my sincere apology if you are vexed by this question)

Many many thanks

I don’t know that, Jamie. But to my intuition the name seems somehow… feminine :stuck_out_tongue: Besides, I remember reading some materials in which “Nessie” is referred to as “her” rather than “him” :stuck_out_tongue: This site is one of them:

Anyway, I am really a girl :P:P:P
(Amy could recognize this, may be because of my fussy style :P:P)

I always felt the “-ie” suffix/diminutive was a bit feminine. :wink:

The girl’s name Nessie n(es)-sie. Diminutive of Agnes (Greek) “lamb”. Also the name of the Loch Ness monster.

Nessa female Old Norse headland Nesa, Nissa, Nessie

And it’s not clear that Nessie of Loch Ness is male, in the minds of those who believe in it.