Questions about the structure of grammar

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2
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3answers
90k views

My family *is* or My family *are*? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Are collective nouns always plural, or are certain ones singular? Which is correct: The rest of the staff is or are? The rest of my family is or are? I've done a bit ...
5
votes
3answers
759 views

“Even were he not to…”

I am currently reading "Do androids dream of electric sheep?" by P.K. Dick and I have come across a grammatical structure I don't quite understand. The excerpt is the following (no spoilers, don't ...
17
votes
4answers
1k views

'The X-ing of Y' vs just 'X-ing Y' : why are both 'the' and 'of' necessary together?

Take the example of There is very little that a conforming POSIX.1 application can do by catching, ignoring or masking SIGSYS (From the SIGSYS article) This can be rewritten as There is ...
4
votes
7answers
1k views

What is the difference between a part of speech and a syntactic function / grammatical relation?

What is the difference between a part-of-speech and a function? In other words: What is a part of speech. (e.g. noun) What is a grammatical function. (e.g. head, subject) [read "grammatical ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

Which is the correct passive construction of 'she bore him on the Christmas day'?

I think I understand the difference of meaning between 'born' and 'borne', plus I have also checked out a few questions that were asked about the two terms on this forum. So, I hope I am not posting a ...
1
vote
3answers
153 views

A blinding light / blinding sunlight / a blinding sunlight

"Mornings came and cast a blinding sunlight over everything, and he felt like nothing worthwhile could be accomplished." For some reason, I feel like "a blinding light" is ok, but if its sunlight, ...
0
votes
3answers
22k views

How to know when to use “someone” or “anyone”?

I am trying to write a grammar rule that will be able to identify when to use someone or anyone, and I got confused. I couldn't find any clear way to do this. For instance, "anyone can do it" is ...
4
votes
6answers
292 views

Is there a functional difference between “not believing” and “believing not”?

If you tell your friend some incredible story and they say, "I don't believe you!" It seems like they are pretty obviously trying to say that they believe that your story isn't true. I have someone ...
6
votes
3answers
20k views

How do I properly use [sic] for a phrase? Or do I use it at all?

The actual sentence I am quoting is: Company A will provide regular communications to Company B on the status of level of effort in comparison the projected monthly amounts contained in our ...
4
votes
2answers
18k views

Verbing, or turning nouns into verbs [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is it called when a non-verb is used as a verb? The phenomenon of turning a noun into a verb is very common. Some are more well known, like "shouldering the blame" ...
-1
votes
1answer
185 views

Why are these words ungrammatical

I can't find the reason why : riceful and antful are ungrammatical. Can someone help me? Thanks
7
votes
6answers
526 views

I have no money to buy a bed [with]

BACKGROUND In this question, it was asked why it sounds better to omit 'with' in I have no money to buy a bed (with). whereas 'with' sounds right in I have no ball to play soccer with. ...
12
votes
5answers
7k views

Is “criterions” a valid plural for “criterion”?

Is criterions a valid plural for criterion? Dictionary.com says it is, but Oxford does not confirm or reject it.
11
votes
3answers
9k views

Meaning and usage of “be of”

I see such sentences all the time and I'd like to learn more about their grammatical structure (e.g. how they are described in grammatical terms), their meaning and how to use them in different ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

When to use this construction: so Adjective a Noun

In "The Quiet American" by Graham Greene, Mr Fowler says: I watched her closely while she asked how I was and touched my splinted leg and gave me her shoulder to lean on, as though one could lean ...
5
votes
6answers
894 views

“I had John return the video”: why do we use “return” instead of “returns” or “returned”?

I had John return the video for me. In this sentence, why do we use return and not returns or returned?
0
votes
4answers
22k views

“could have” vs. “could have been”

Can somebody explain when to use could have and could have been and under what circumstances? Please explain with an example. Is it something to do with the active (could have) and the passive ...
6
votes
4answers
774 views

What is the grammar behind “Thanks be to God”?

What is the grammatical interpretation of the phrase? I don't understand what verb tense or voice is used.
6
votes
3answers
248 views

“To buy a bed with” vs “to play a ball with”

I got into a discussion with a friend and we're trying to figure out why we omit with when we say I have no money to buy a bed [with] when, grammatically, it's the same as I have no ball to ...
5
votes
2answers
6k views

Noun + participle as adjective phrase

There's a construction in English that allows us to form a compound adjective from a noun and a past participle. Examples: This is a volunteer-built home. Our newspaper is student-run. ...
5
votes
4answers
4k views

“After reviewing …, it …”: is it grammatical?

I was interested in the sentence “After reviewing the special commissioner's report, it is obvious to me that Mr. Namnum abused his responsibility and privileges to secure a job for his wife, who was ...
5
votes
11answers
9k views

Is “Am I needing to. . . ?” grammatical?

In the course of answering this question, we have evoked some dispute over whether the phrase Am I needing to read this book? is grammatical. I think it is correct, although not common, but ...
2
votes
2answers
69 views

In place names, do the words qualifying the place act as an adjective?

If you have a place name such as “The Sierra Nevada Mountains”, does Sierra Nevada act as an adjective? My guess is yes, since they qualify the noun mountains, e.g.: “Which mountains? The Sierra ...
2
votes
3answers
11k views

What's wrong with these sentences? [duplicate]

My workplace has presented me with the opportunity this month to attend a "grammar" webinar that is suppose to help me enhance my grammar skills. I thought they were good already... I don't have time ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Suggestion phrased as a question

I recently received a mark-down for the following phrase: With this regard, will you please accept the Takeover agreement on this quote so that we can proceed with the validation process? The ...
1
vote
1answer
642 views

Word-order and meaning - which is correct for this notice? [closed]

I'm creating some signs for the office car park, and one of these signs is to control access. What I'm trying to get it to indicate is that cars aren't permitted between 10 am and 4pm except for ...
0
votes
1answer
1k views

You are in Jonathan’s circles: “too” or “as well” or “also”?

I just read on Google+ that: You are in Jonathan’s circles too But I always thought that you couldn't use too there. Am I wrong? (because Google can't be wrong, right?)