9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[ri-meyn] /rɪˈmeɪn/
verb (used without object)
to continue in the same state; continue to be as specified:
to remain at peace.
to stay behind or in the same place:
to remain at home; I'll remain here when you go to the airport.
to be left after the removal, loss, destruction, etc., of all else:
The front wall is all that remains of the fort.
to be left to be done, told, shown, etc.:
Only the dishwashing remains.
to be reserved or in store.
Usually, remains. something that remains or is left.
  1. miscellaneous, fragmentary, or other writings still unpublished at the time of an author's death.
  2. traces of some quality, condition, etc.
  3. a dead body; corpse.
  4. parts or substances remaining from animal or plant life that occur in the earth's crust or strata:
    fossil remains; organic remains.
Origin of remain
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English remainen < Anglo-French remain-, stressed stem of Middle French remanoir < Latin remanēre, equivalent to re- re- + manēre to stay; see manor
Related forms
unremaining, adjective
1. abide, stay. See continue. 2. wait, tarry, rest. 3. endure, abide.
2. depart. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for remains
  • Last year a trench was dug through part of the site that was not expected to contain many remains.
  • Despite being misnamed, it remains a precious holiday ingredient.
  • Tape together the box-top flaps, then cut along three sides of the top so that a hinged lid remains.
  • Then you can kick the remains into the compost pile or use them as mulch.
  • Glazed ham remains a stalwart favorite, paired here with a sauté of asparagus and morels.
  • But even now their story remains uniquely compelling, unduplicated for heroism and adventure.
  • The next morning, he tossed the smoker's mangled remains into the station's dumpster and nearly set it on fire.
  • At the end of the day, the avocado foliage was singed and wilted, but life remains in the trees.
  • Whether it tastes any good remains to be seen, of course.
  • Check out these photos or this video to see how easy it is to pull out even the remains of a split cork.
British Dictionary definitions for remains


plural noun
any pieces, scraps, fragments, etc, that are left unused or still extant, as after use, consumption, the passage of time, etc: the remains of a meal, archaeological remains
the body of a dead person; corpse
Also called literary remains. the unpublished writings of an author at the time of his or her death


verb (mainly intransitive)
to stay behind or in the same place: to remain at home, only Tom remained
(copula) to continue to be: to remain cheerful
to be left, as after use, consumption, the passage of time, etc: a little wine still remained in the bottle
to be left to be done, said, etc: it remains to be pointed out
See also remains
Word Origin
C14: from Old French remanoir, from Latin remanēre to be left, from re- + manēre to stay
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for remains



early 15c., from Anglo-French remayn-, Old French remain-, stressed stem of remanoir "stay, dwell, remain; be left; hold out," from Latin remanere "to remain, to stay behind; be left behind; endure, abide, last" (cf. Spanish remaner, Italian rimanere), from re- "back" (see re-) + manere "to stay, remain" (see mansion). Related: Remained; remaining.


"those left over or surviving," mid-15c., from Middle French remain, back-formation from Old French remanoir, remaindre, or else formed in Middle English from remain (v.). But the more usual noun in English has been remainder except in remains, euphemism for "corpse," attested from c.1700, from mortal remains.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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