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94
votes
10answers
7k views

Is there a word for a person with only one head?

Reading this article by the fantastic Douglas Adams I came across this interesting quote: ‘[I]nteractivity’ is one of those neologisms that Mr Humphrys likes to dangle between a pair of verbal ...
13
votes
4answers
620 views

The use of “trespasses”

According to a dictionary search for "trespasses": v. Enter the owner's land or property without permission n. A voluntary wrongful act against the person or property of another, esp. unlawful entry ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the difference between a phrase and a clause?

What is the difference between a phrase and a clause? I tried looking this in dictionary but can not identify the difference. It would be great if I could get an example and formula of what makes a ...
8
votes
2answers
186 views

Get a high speed connection without roaming charges instantly

I saw this message on an advert: Get a high speed connection without roaming charges instantly. I am pretty sure that a better way to say it is: Instantly get a high speed connection ...
7
votes
1answer
3k views

Difference between “subsequently” and “consequently”?

When studying and reading course material in "softer" sciences that are descriptive the word "subsequently" appears in a way like "and subsequently" ...what does it mean, disctinct from "consequently" ...
7
votes
3answers
246 views

Humour through repeated use of a construct, with a final variation?

I am wondering if there is any name, or well-known example, for a humoristic construct that I particularly enjoy. It is exemplified in this monolog from Pierre Desproges, directed at a woman he was ...
7
votes
3answers
807 views

“just because… doesn't mean…”

It appears to me that the construction "just because… doesn't mean…" isn't used in literature at all. Is its use limited to colloquial speech and informal writing? Note that while some people seem to ...
7
votes
1answer
205 views

What colour eyes

I've just stumbled on this sentence What colour eyes does she have? in my grammar book. What got me interested in this is the combination of the words colour, eyes with what and without any ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

Attributive and predicative position of an adjective

I have some difficulty understanding the position of adjectives. In English I have to put the adjective before the referred name (e.g., I'm an Italian man). In some languages (as Italian or Ancient ...
6
votes
1answer
980 views

Zero conditional form

Chatting with a colleague we came a cross a dilemma (as we are not English native), which of the following sentences are wrong? Why? If I knew everything, I'd be a genius. If I know everything, I'd ...
6
votes
3answers
708 views

Making a question with the verb “to go”

I remember reading or hearing that English is a very unusual language, almost unique, in using the verb "to go" to create a question. (Are you going to see the play? Are you going to drink that ...
6
votes
3answers
229 views

“That… be” construction

We will make the convention that exact categories be skeletally small. Is this construction (used in a mathematical context) correct? There is something that strikes me as odd in that "be". ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Question regarding the usage of “Bang”

Can anyone shed some light on the origin of the use of the word "Bang" to imply a positive adjective? For example, here are three colloquial phrases which use the word bang to lend strength to the ...
4
votes
6answers
648 views

Can an adverb be a noun?

I have seen this post for the answer to my question, but this is not much help in case of the question I am going to ask. Here is an example sentence - The new design of Twitter profile is more ...
4
votes
3answers
27k views

Is “Please be reminded to …” a valid construction?

I received an email today with the following sentence: Please be reminded to bring your basketball gear in. He was subsequently made fun of by a co-worker: 'Please be reminded' - Will you be ...
4
votes
4answers
273 views

verb or adjective in “The blue page is *stapled* to the red page”?

Consider the following sentence. The blue page is stapled to the red page. Although "stapled" is (apparently) past-tense, nonetheless the above sentence is clearly expressing something about the ...
4
votes
3answers
564 views

Englishman and British man

Why is it Englishman, Frenchman, etc. (one word) but British man (two words)?
4
votes
3answers
217 views

What grammar is used in “are there” for not a question & “is a compromise view” without a subject?

I have found 2 sentences in a law book, but I cannot figure out what grammar rules are used in them. Please advise. 1.) In no state, however, are there [what rule, why such order of the words?] ...
4
votes
1answer
3k views

Root + “-ophone” construction to describe speakers of a language

I've long used the terms anglophone and francophone to describe English and French speakers respectively, but I recently found myself about halfway through a sentence where I needed a similar term for ...
3
votes
2answers
133 views

Who is Greek president vs Who is THE Greek President

Saw this in a quiz on Stuff. Surely the word "the" should be in there somewhere? But I get the feeling I've heard things like "US President Barack Obama" instead of "The US President Barack ...
3
votes
3answers
368 views

What's different between the two sentences?

Hey, I'm watching a TV show, and there's a sentence: I knew giving you that book was gonna come back and bite me in the ass. Can I change it to: I know gave you that book was gonna come back ...
3
votes
1answer
53 views

“Choose a username that is …and must contain”: phrased incorrectly or just awkwardly?

The following parameters are given regarding creating acceptable usernames for a particular website: The username is case sensitive. Choose a username that is 6-74 characters long and must contain ...
3
votes
3answers
179 views

“there were enough room” or “there was enough room”

Which is the correct verb, should it be singular or plural? 1.) "There were enough room." or 2.) "There was enough room."
3
votes
2answers
146 views

Pesky 'that' removal - what is this construction generally known as?

Recently seen: There is an expression I think comes from ... Others have told me (that) such a construction is wrong, but I am sure (that) it is OK. An editor decided it was grammatically ...
3
votes
1answer
106 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
4k views

Use of “make someone able to XXX”

I have some doubts about the construction of this sentence: I want to make you able to play. In my language this is a common construction. Is it a valid sentence in English too? This is the ...
2
votes
1answer
192 views

Job title + possessive case [duplicate]

Is the following construct (grammatically) correct? Swiss mathematician and physicist Leonhard Euler's contribution to number theory was [...] It sounds clumsy to me; however, this rewrite sounds ...
2
votes
4answers
199 views

What type of grammar construction is this

She thinks herself able to best him in this argument. She thinks that she is able to best him in this argument. She thinks herself to be able to best him in this argument. Are the first and the ...
2
votes
1answer
184 views

Use of “still” in a reply in informal conversation

In informal conversation, in answer to the question, "What happened?" would it be correct to reply, "Nothing still important"? (Meaning nothing that is still important to discuss now; the topic lost ...
2
votes
2answers
265 views

“would rather” + subject + past subjunctive

What is the difference between: The company would rather each employee be provided with ID card. The company would rather each employee were provided with ID card.
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Is this a positive or negative sentence?

I heard a sentence like this: How will Bill ever know that? Can someone tell me if this is a positive or negative sentence and what are the guidelines to decide which it is?
2
votes
1answer
149 views

Usage of a participial construction in a specific interrogative sentence

I cannot grasp the construction and meaning of the following sentence. "What do Company A and Company B intend to achieve, anticipating that their intentions may be somewhat different?" Could you ...
2
votes
1answer
515 views

I'm having so much fun watching

I'm trying to analyze the construction of this sentence: I'm having so much fun watching. so much fun = NP, Direct Object of the verb am having watching = My question is, is #2 an NP (and ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Is “Just because X doesn't mean Y” a grammatical sentence? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Sentence Construction: “Just Because … Does Not Mean” “just because… doesn't mean…” I'm wondering if "Just because X doesn't mean Y" is a grammatical ...
2
votes
1answer
42 views

Can “which” and its antecedent be used together in a sentence for reading clarity?

Unfortunately I could not find an authentic example of the rare construct I have in mind, but I am just as sure as I am typing this question that I have read so many sentences from older prose where ...
1
vote
5answers
4k views

A word or phrase to say something reminds or hints or brings up another idea

I want to tell that something reminds/hint us of another thing. For example, in an application, a sorting method used in it has similarities to bubble sort but not completely the same. In this case, ...
1
vote
3answers
705 views

use of “is” or “are”

Which is correct? 1.) Attached are our compensation plan, an independent contract agreement, and a W9. or 2.) Attached is our compensation plan, an independent contract agreement, and a W9. I ...
1
vote
3answers
220 views

Criteria used to determine if a “Chinese inch” is an “inch”?

This is a follow-on question to "Term for construct in which adjective completely changes the meaning of its following noun?" Is a "Chinese inch" an "inch" or something entirely different in which ...
1
vote
1answer
77 views

Term for construct in which adjective completely changes the meaning of its following noun?

I would like the terminology for, and information regarding, a specific type of adjective-noun construct. It consists of noun preceded by an adjective that completely/radically changes the meaning ...
1
vote
1answer
40 views

Boxer-turned-politician Vitaly Klitschko pulled out of the race for Ukrainian

The sentence underlines that Vitaly Klitschko is a former boxer who has now given to politics. Is "boxer-turned-politician" a common construction to refer to people who change activities, or is it ...
1
vote
2answers
315 views

What is the proper grammatical terminology to describe this parenthetical remark?

The following sentence appears in this book review: But this idea has been a driving force in mathematical logic and computer science since Alan Turing, A. N. Kolmogorov and Emil Post (he of the ...
1
vote
1answer
41 views

Economic Fact or Fact of Economics?

Demand will rise when prices fall is a basic economic fact/basic fact of economics? Which of these two is most appropriate and why?
1
vote
4answers
244 views

Is there a grammatical name for this type of sentence construction?

Zookeepers encouraged him to spend more time in the Monkey House…until one day they locked him inside. This quote was taken from an article about an African man who, in 1906, was locked in a zoo ...
1
vote
3answers
68 views

What is awkward about this construction?

From a Murakami novel: Just as he appreciated Sara’s appearance, he also enjoyed the way she dressed. I am reading an article that criticizes Murakami's style and writing. I am curious, what ...
1
vote
1answer
119 views

The relative pronoun “which” and the omission in this sentence

The complete sentence: Yet I should point out before I proceed with this line that when I use ‘ideology,’ I do not mean to imply the now-familiar sinister connotations of mischief or falsehood ...
1
vote
1answer
90 views

“There was some [fine skiing there / shooting in the streets]”

I would like to ask if the following sentences are grammatically correct and whether the constructions are similar: There was some fine skiing there. There was some shooting in the ...
1
vote
1answer
140 views

“that one consider” or “that one considers”? [duplicate]

I have a question to ask regarding this quote. In the formation of a marketing strategy, it is imperative that one considers the marketing mix, also known as the 4Ps – product, price, place, and ...
0
votes
2answers
98 views

Is there a name for this ambiguity problem or for the construction that solves it?

I read a sentence, John has published research in academic journals of philosophy and law. The author meant John has published research in academic journals of philosophy and in academic ...
0
votes
1answer
95 views

Is there a name for configurations such as “I will have had…”?

Consider these two examples, I will have had eaten by that time. I will have had been working there for five years. To me, the first sentence seems to express the proposition that, it is the ...
0
votes
2answers
40 views

Can I say “to be a person (man) of something”?

In Russian, we have a popular poetic construction that can be literally translated as to be a person (man) of something. For example, if some person is very active, we can say that he is a man of ...