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What is the difference between these sentences?

Have you heard of the man in the moon?

How could a man be in the moon?


Their house was on an island.

Their house on an island was washed away.

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closed as not a real question by Jasper Loy, chaos, Barrie England, Armen Ծիրունյան, Kit Z. Fox Jun 20 '12 at 17:16

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Since it is unclear in what respect you are looking for differences here are a few suggestions:
Type: The first two sentences are questions, the last two statements.
Correspondence: The first two sentences may come up this way in a monologue or dialogue while the last two are more like alternatives, the fourth maybe a clarification of the third.
Build: The first sentence has subject, verb and object. The others have subject, verb and complement.

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In the following sentences the prepositional phrases in the moon and on the island are post-modifiers of the nouns man and house:

  • Have you heard of the man in the moon?
  • Their house on an island was washed away.

And in the following the prepositional phrases combine with the linking verbs to form the predicate:

  • How could a man be in the moon?
  • Their house was on an island.
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