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General Writing and Grammar Help/Is the word "nitpick" a verb

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Question
Dear Ted,
Is the word "nitpick" a verb in the following sentences and are all of the sentences grammatically correct?
1. Don't nitpick.
2. Don't nitpick me.
3. Stop nitpicking.
4. Stop nitpicking me.
5. My grandmother loves to nitpick.
6. My wife nitpicks me to death.
7. My manager loves nitpicking.

Answer
Dear Glen:

Is the word "nitpick" a verb in the following sentences and are all of the sentences grammatically correct?

1. Don't nitpick.

*** CORRECT

2. Don't nitpick me.


*** CORRECT -- I've never heard this expression before, but it is certainly grammatically correct.  Don't nitpick me = Don't find fault with me.


3. Stop nitpicking.


*** CORRECT -- When you add the "-ing," you are no longer using a verb.  "Nitpicking" is the gerund form, which is a noun.

4. Stop nitpicking me.


*** CORRECT -- Also a gerund.

5. My grandmother loves to nitpick.


*** CORRECT -- "To nitpick" is not a verb; it is the infinitive form, in this case used as a noun -- the direct object of "loves."


6. My wife nitpicks me to death.


*** CORRECT

7. My manager loves nitpicking.


*** CORRECT  -- "Nitpicking" is the gerund form, a noun.

Ted

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Ted Nesbitt

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I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

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B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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