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10
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3answers
3k views

What is a noun modifying clause?

This is actually a question that came up when I was studying Japanese. Unfortunately my grasp of the technical language of syntax is very limited, and I never fully comprehended the idea of a noun ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

How do noun clauses work when they seem to leave no independent clause?

Another thing that was raised in conversation with my ESL friend is noun clauses. I was aware of Adverbial and Adjectival Clauses and thought that the things he was demonstrating to me were in fact ...
9
votes
5answers
820 views

'How to' vs 'How do I'

This question is inspired by comments on a question on stackoverflow. The original poster wrote: How to correct this error? And comments say that it's an incorrect question. Better is How ...
7
votes
2answers
529 views

Is the use of dependent clauses undesirable? (in scientific writing)

I tend to use dependent clauses frequently in scientific writing. This is especially true when discussing a problem-solving process where the result from one step leads into the next. Here's a ...
6
votes
6answers
490 views

Is there bad grammar in Cinemark's “No Texting” warning?

The sentence in question is "Do not be the person we ask to leave the auditorium, because we will." It sounds very wrong to me, but I can't put my finger on the exact problem. Nobody on the Internet ...
6
votes
1answer
55 views

Problem converting 'even though' clause to 'despite' clause: 'Despite losing…'

I stumbled across this question in 'Intermediate Language Practice' by Michael Vince: 'Even though they were losing at half-time, City won in the end. Despite________________________________' The ...
5
votes
4answers
853 views

Where to insert comma(s)?

Compare these: She tried, and, as expected, failed. She tried, and as expected, failed. She tried and, as expected, failed. She tried and as expected, failed. She tried and (as ...
5
votes
5answers
3k views

Singular or plural verb form where subject includes a “parenthetical” element

My question arises from this one, where OP asks whether he should use the singular or plural verb form after "the title, as well as the tone," As luck would have it, when I searched Google Books for ...
4
votes
2answers
310 views

What is the meaning of the subclause of 'goes off the deep end'?

If a real-time program goes off the deep end, the system can become unresponsive.
4
votes
2answers
603 views

“It is only me that is” or “It is only I that am”

It is only me that is confused. or It is only I that am confused. The first one sounds more natural to me while the second one appears to me as grammatically correct. Which one is correct?
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Non-finite clause complementation of complex transitive verbs

This question has been bothering me for a while. It came up when I was reading Chapter 16 of "A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language." How to explain the grammatical structure of the ...
3
votes
3answers
8k views

The difference between a clause and a phrase?

This question What is the difference between a phrase and a clause? has an answer, with no embedded examples. The link it provides is not longer active, giving a 404 page not found error. Please don't ...
3
votes
2answers
287 views

Is it grammatical to introduce a result clause using “then”?

Is it grammatical to introduce a result clause by using then as in these examples: Don’t be lazy – then you will fail. Don’t kill him – then you will regret it. If so, then is the then in these ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

How to punctuate an example indicated by “say”

I'm wondering how commas should be placed around the word "say" and the following clause in a sentence like this: If you have, say, a bucket, that you would like to fill with water, then ... ...
3
votes
5answers
887 views

Can an independent clause have an implied (or null) subject?

I'm trying to determine whether a clause with an implied subject can be considered independent - specifically in the case of compound sentences. For example: "I was tired, but went to the party ...
3
votes
3answers
101 views

Problem in adjective clauses’ grammar

I have read some grammar points about adjective clauses, but I still have problems recognizing the right choice in questions requiring them. For example: All the students ____ do well in writing. ...
3
votes
1answer
240 views

Use semicolon or period when telling a result of an action?

If you look at these sentences, the second one is result of the first: Alex shouts and feels pain in his leg, and he rubs the place with hand and looks at the leg. His leg swelled little bit. So ...
3
votes
1answer
258 views

Why is this that-clause a subordinate?

she was so tired that she couldn’t think. (Oxford) Oxford says that-clause above is a subordinate clause expressing a result. Semantically ‘she was tired’ seems to be the main clause, but there ...
3
votes
1answer
66 views

Using a comma before “and we already have a toaster.” [duplicate]

Which of the following is correct? No gifts please, we don't need any orchids and we already have a toaster. No gifts please, we don't need any orchids , and we already have a toaster.
3
votes
2answers
4k views

Comma after To at the beginning of a sentence

I am just writing my master thesis and I am unsure whether to place a comma in sentences starting with "To". Here are some examples: To be able to improve the performance[,] it is important to ...
3
votes
1answer
361 views

Example for “so” as a subordinating conjunction

On a webpage called Daily Writing Tips there is a list of 25 subordinating conjunctions including so. The example they're giving is this: “So sure were you of your theory about them, you ignored ...
3
votes
2answers
165 views

Is a comma in this sentence required? [closed]

In the sentence below, is the comma optional or should it (not) be there? I can hear it there when this is spoken, but I am not convinced it needs to be there in written form. In order to pass ...
3
votes
1answer
41 views

What's the grammar of “with such transitions governed”?

It's not uncommon to use with to introduce a clause like this: A particle's energy state jumps about randomly, with such transitions governed by the temperature of the system. What's the grammar ...
3
votes
4answers
4k views

“Adverbial phrase” vs “Adverbial clause”

Please tell me what the difference is between an adverbial phrase and an adverbial clause.
3
votes
2answers
113 views

“while I am dancing” vs “while I dance”

Which are more frequently used? 1A - I will be discussing the details while you are researching the data. 1B - I will be discussing the details while you research the data. and 2A - I ...
3
votes
1answer
572 views

Lots of questions for a lot of clauses!

I am confused over the use of lots of vs lot of. I am phrasing a sentence having the following clause : [Article] [lot-of/lots-of] [noun singular/plural] [verb] ... As an example : A lot of ...
3
votes
3answers
91 views

When independent clauses are not truly independent

If I write My car can go pretty far and it gets good mileage I have combined two independent clauses to create a compound sentence. I might just as easily write My car can go pretty far. And it ...
3
votes
5answers
2k views

Is a subordinate clause part of the dependent clause's predicate?

Could you please help me determine what the complete predicate is in the following sentence? I get the willies when I see closed doors. — Joseph Heller, Something Happened. At first I thought ...
3
votes
1answer
68 views

“Money is all what/that I need.” [duplicate]

1.) Money is all that I need. 2.) Money is all what I need. Which one is right? or which one have you not ever seen? and is there any difference between them? But, what about the following? If ...
2
votes
3answers
437 views

Separating Clauses in Garden-path Sentences

While Nancy was dressing the baby played in the garden. I'm not sure where the first clause ends! After baby or after dressing? Please, suggest some way I can improve that sentence.
2
votes
2answers
658 views

Position of verb for object clause

Is the general word order of this sentence correct? We investigate how strong the effect of X on Y is. Or, as an alternative, We investigate how strong the effect of X is on Y. In a ...
2
votes
4answers
337 views

Ambiguity of “We discourage X from doing Y by using Z” [closed]

Given the sentence, We discourage people from committing crimes by using law enforcement, religion and education. I see two possible interpretations: [We discourage people by using law ...
2
votes
1answer
105 views

Can em dashes be used to isolate clauses starting with an “or”?

Here’s a simplified version of the sentence I'm working on. Despite what he believed — or thought he believed — he still had to contend with the truth. Or should I use commas?
2
votes
2answers
457 views

Can all transitive verbs take to-infinitive clauses?

Yet it would be your duty to bear it, if you could not avoid it: it is weak and silly to say you cannot bear what it is your fate to be required to bear. — Jane Eyre It seems ‘your fate to be ...
2
votes
2answers
367 views

What kind of phrase/clause is “as far as I know”? [closed]

I would like to know what kind of phrase/clause "as far as I know" is, and why.
2
votes
1answer
551 views

Is a single-word sentence like “No” an independent clause? And semicolons [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Comma or semicolon after “No” when responding to a question It started because of this: "No; I found the behavior off-putting." I believe "no", as an ...
2
votes
3answers
403 views

Multiple 'as' (subordinate conjunction) in the same sentence [closed]

Performance is poor as losses have increased and are projected to remain negative going forward as the company works through problem assets and realizes related expense. Is this sentence correct? ...
2
votes
1answer
30 views

Clause explaining “the requirement that…”

What should the verb form in that clause be? Example: which of the following is correct? They need to obey the requirement that their pockets are empty. or They need to obey the requirement that ...
2
votes
2answers
133 views

Do subordinating conjunctions subordinate clauses with verbs only?

While in Rome, John took a lot of pictures. While he was in Rome, John took a lot of pictures. Although on vacation, John calls the office often. Although he is on vacation, John calls the ...
2
votes
1answer
261 views

“Seeing the rain come on, we took shelter” — complex or simple sentence?

Seeing the rain come on, we took shelter. This sentence looks like a complex sentence with a main and an independent clause. But the book says it is a simple sentence. Which is correct?
2
votes
3answers
568 views

Noun or non-finite subordinate clause?

Consider the following sentence: The government wants to encourage understanding of science. Now, "to encourage understanding of science" is a non-finite subordinate clause functioning as an ...
2
votes
1answer
436 views

A trail of colons

I find I often, when writing, want to string colons together. Here is a recent example: These two moments would be likely candidates for retelling: they both connect the people of San Andrés ...
2
votes
3answers
5k views

Clauses, and comma before “nor”

Does this sentence have two independent clauses? I do not like biology nor do I like chemistry. To me the last clause seems dependent, but I find sources that tell me to place a comma before ...
2
votes
5answers
270 views

Parsing possibility

What is the correct way to parse the following sentence: It is possible that one can be happy only if one can be free. Does the sentence say: It is possible that [one can be happy only if one can ...
2
votes
2answers
47 views

'use A as B' equals 'use as B A' ?

I am reading "The Elements of Style"; the sentence below confuse me much: A common fault is to use as the subject of a passive construction a noun which expresses the entire action, leaving to ...
2
votes
4answers
39 views

Is the clause after 'and' in the sentence “His voice was serious and his manner solemn.” valid?

Is the sentence "His voice was serious and his manner solemn." grammatically correct? I've seen 'be' dropped in some sentences like this one.
2
votes
1answer
91 views

Is this a sentence fragment…?

Ok, so here is an example sentence. "I hoped to lose the race so I wouldn't have to run against him." Here's my dilemma. I was questioning whether a comma was necessary after "race" to separate ...
2
votes
2answers
234 views

double negation: unless followed by a negative verb form

"We will not cancel the game if the weather gets better." Replacing "if" with "unless", you end up with either: "We will cancel the game unless the weather gets better." or "We will not cancel the ...
2
votes
1answer
837 views

Mixed tense sentence + When clause

Is it legal to write something like this: When I'm trying to post a form system alerts me with a warning message. I've seen people use this kind of writing. EDIT I don't know why (perhaps ...
2
votes
2answers
185 views

attributive clauses puzzle me a lot sometimes

Are the following two sentences interchangeable? "I keep her photo on my desk, which means I do not forget her. versus "I keep her photo on my desk, meaning I do not forget her. If ...