Questions about modifiers.

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45
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13answers
6k views

Does “so called” have a negative connotation in English?

In some languages the word-by-word translation of "so called" usually has a neutral connotation. E.g. in the Czech language you may very often find a sentence like this (word-by-word translated from a ...
16
votes
4answers
15k views

Should I use “ related” or “-related”

What is the correct use of the term "related?" For example, should I use it like computer related, or is it more proper to use computer-related (where the word "computer" is just part of my ...
16
votes
2answers
1k views

How to connect a word and a phrase with a hyphen?

For example, "file system" and "related". Is it "file system-related"? It will appear as if it is a compound of "file" and "system-related", won't it?
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Using “non-” to prefix a two-word phrase

Does "non-" prefixed to a two word phrase permit another hyphen before the second word? If I want to refer to an entity which is defined as the negation of another entity by attaching "non-" it seems ...
9
votes
4answers
5k views

Origin of the “-y” or “-ie” diminutive suffix to denote intimacy/tenderness? (E.g. Bob→Bobby, dad→daddy, Doug→Dougie)

Many names seem to get a "-y" or "-ie" at the end when the speaker wishes to denote a hint of familiarity, intimacy, or tenderness. Examples can be seen not just in names, but in terms like puppy, ...
8
votes
5answers
393 views

Nationality modifier vs. Language modifier

"Chinese writer Mo Yan wins Nobel literature prize" (USA Today) "Chinese author Mo Yan wins Nobel Prize for Literature" (BBC) Q. Are we to understand that Mo Yan wrote in Chinese, that he was a ...
8
votes
2answers
396 views

Chainsaw-equipped or chainsaw equipped?

Is it chainsaw-equipped or chainsaw equipped? And with what kind of former words to use "-" properly?
7
votes
3answers
396 views

How to determine if a “[something] fighter” fights for or against [something]?

In freedom fighter the fighter supports freedom. In fire fighter the fighter fights fire. How do you determine when it is the first or the second case? What is the meaning of spam fighter? ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

Is it correct to write “a 5-mm-thick layer”?

Do I need hyphens? Should I use the indefinite article or zero article?
6
votes
4answers
4k views

Which is correct, “sales price” or “sale price”?

I have a list of items with their details such as item name, quantity, purchase price, sales price/sale price, etc. What is more correct to write in the heading, sales price or sale price?
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Could you help me to do a syntax analysis of this sentence?

The more I use Froyo the more new stuff I discover. Does it mean: I more use Froyo, I discover more new stuff.
5
votes
3answers
709 views

Why is it “rough-looking” instead of “roughly looking”?

I’ve noticed recently that certain constructions with present active participles (meaning, -ing forms acting adjectivally) prefer to be modified by adjectives rather than by adverbs. For example, ...
5
votes
2answers
597 views

Indefinite Article Preceding Noun “Wind”

It's common to say "a gentle wind", but is it OK to say "a wind"? I just noticed that there's a novel named "A Wind in the Door", in which case I guess "A" could be used here due to the modifying "in ...
5
votes
3answers
17k views

Should “two weeks vacation” be “two weeks' vacation” (possessive)?

I've always understood that the phrase "two weeks" usually turns to "two weeks'" when used as a modifier -- as in "I'm giving my two weeks' notice" or "I get two weeks' vacation" ("two weeks' holiday" ...
4
votes
5answers
194 views

“Weapon platform” or “weapons platform”?

For a game I need an "orbital weapon platform"/"orbital weapons platform" and wonder which one is correct, or sounds better for an English native speaker.
4
votes
4answers
4k views

What is the role of phrase “as many as” in “… as many as five commands …”?

I have a sentence as follows: You may need as many as five commands to draw a simple triangle when using the basic layer. My question is: Is the phrase "as many as" crucial ? Will the meaning ...
4
votes
1answer
357 views

Distinguish between verb+ing as Noun and as Adjective

Verb-ing words can function as nouns, adjective and verbs. Growing plants is my hobby. Growing plants in your back yard need more care. I am growing aromatic plants in my garden. In ...
4
votes
3answers
5k views

Hyphen or no hyphen when modifying an adjective with a quantity?

I have a sentence which has an object that is described with an adjective: We need to inform our interested patrons of this change. If I modify "interested" with "more" or "less", do I connect ...
4
votes
2answers
515 views

Use of “although” with a modifier

Is it grammatically correct to use "although" in a modifying clause, but without a conjugated verb? Example: Although not regarded as nocturnal, the Black Bear of North America is active at night ...
4
votes
1answer
46 views

Isn't this a dangling something?

As one of the busiest times of year, people will share moments, plan for the festivities and search for the perfect gift, every single day — on Facebook. And this year, it will truly be a mobile ...
4
votes
2answers
47 views

Approximate values of amount modifiers [duplicate]

This is an area of English that I consistently have trouble with. Consider the following sentences. I have a couple of books on my desk. I have a bunch of books on my desk. I have a number of books ...
4
votes
1answer
177 views

Grammar question about modifiers

I'm not sure if this statement is grammatically correct. It sounds fine, but I'm not sure if the 'with the...' part is right. With the end of the Great War came a great revolution in the ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

“One-Day Only Promotion” or “One-Day-Only Promotion”

A copywriter I'm working with wrote "One-Day Only Promotion" but my feeling is that "One-Day-Only Promotion" is correct. The first three words describe 'Promotion'. I know you don't hyphenate adverbs, ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Is this sentence grammatical and punctuated correctly?

Does this sentence need to be broken up by a semi colon, conjuction, or a period? Is there a modifier error here as well? The peasants were the least free of all people, bound by tradition and ...
3
votes
2answers
26k views

Are “way better” and “way more” correct?

"Way better" and "way more" are popular expressions, but they both seem incorrect to me. "Far better", "far more", "much better", and "much more" all seem correct. Is this true? If so, why?
3
votes
1answer
49 views

Is this really a dangling modifier?

In a paper I recently wrote about Dr. Martin Luther King, jr., I used the sentence: As a black man in the '40s, it was almost unheard of to go to college. Someone suggested to me that this ...
3
votes
1answer
155 views

“Perhaps, some bird lives in there” or “perhaps, a bird lives in there?”

Imagine yourself walking in the woods with children. One child is saying, "there is a big hole in that tree's trunk." You answer, "perhaps a/some bird lives in there." Would you use a or some? ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Explanation on when the possessive should be used instead of an attributive noun

How would you explain to a person who is learning English, and whose native language does not have attributive nouns, when the possessive should be used instead of an attributive noun? In particular, ...
3
votes
1answer
237 views

Can one be *highly* ambivalent?

I've always felt that it's something of a contradiction to be very or highly ambivalent. It's grammatically correct, as far as I know, but is it stylistically acceptable, or is my sense of linguistic ...
3
votes
2answers
275 views

The Order of Modification in English Nouns, Preceding or Succeeding? [closed]

As I don't know the exact linguistic terms, what I mean my "preceding" and "succeeding" in modifying nouns is as follows. Preceding : delicious food, long way, kind person, et cetera Succeeding : ...
3
votes
1answer
114 views

Why do people say “Go down this road” or “Go down this corridor” instead of saying “Go straight” [closed]

I was wondering, when giving directions, is it correct to say "go straight" instead of "go down"? Does down and straight in the context of giving directions mean the same thing?
3
votes
1answer
639 views

adverbs modifying noun phrases and licensing their own complements

[i] Harry looked down at his empty gold plate. He had only just realized how hungry he was. The pumpkin pasties seemed ages ago. (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone) [ii] Albus Dumbledore ...
2
votes
3answers
192 views

Confusion on listing in sentences

"I hate hard candy and olives." When someone says that, does it mean they hate candy and olives that are both hard, or hard candy and non-hard olives? If the latter, then wouldn't "I hate olives and ...
2
votes
2answers
147 views

Meaning of “Just So Stories”

What does "Just So" mean as in the "Just So Stories"? Sometimes "Just So" might mean "just right", but that makes no sense here.
2
votes
1answer
498 views

Last I checked, we put commas after appositive phrases

The Official SAT Study Guide, Second Edition's second practice test's writing section contains the following question, with the objective to choose the answer that is most correct. Through his ...
2
votes
3answers
52 views

Is this misplaced adjective ok, even though it is technically incorrect?

I am writing a technical how-to manual on a hardware/software system, and I've written the following phrase: "To avoid taking up unnecessary storage space on your computer, ..." Looking back at ...
2
votes
2answers
204 views

What's the difference between a dangling modifier and a gerund phrase?

This was the first sentence of a New York Times article: Petro O. Poroshenko, a pro-European billionaire confectioner, was sworn in on Saturday as the fifth president of Ukraine, promising to put an ...
2
votes
1answer
95 views

judging the intended meaning of the two sentences below

james is max's supposedly Irish ancestor. james is max's supposed Irish ancestor. what can we interpret from these? which is the correct one? I understand that "supposedly" modifies the adjective ...
2
votes
2answers
650 views

Differences between “very” and “very much” as adjective modifiers

The following examples are clearly wrong: × I am very much tired × She is very much clever But the following sounds fine (at least according to OALD): I am very much afraid that ... I am ...
2
votes
2answers
93 views

Article word referencing problem

I often have problem with hanging modifiers. In the sentence: This project's vision follows from its predecessor's. Is the reference "its" referring to the project or the vision? My intention is ...
2
votes
1answer
308 views

Where is the modifier in “the majority of senators”, “a number of students”, “the range of documents”?

Where is the modifier in "the majority of senators", "a number of students" and in "a range of documents" in these sentences: The majority of senators will be fired tomorrow. A number of students ...
2
votes
4answers
243 views

How can this sentence be reworded?

I just got back a paper my teacher had corrected, and she labeled the word 'be' in the following sentence as a 'dangling modifier': How one learns from these experiences will ultimately determine ...
2
votes
2answers
241 views

Can you use “Goldilocks” as an adjective?

Space professionals have popularized the terms Goldilocks planet & Goldilocks zone to describe planets and regions of space around a star that, like earth, are "just right" to conceivably harbor ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

“Of which many” vs “many of which” as parenthetical modifiers

The houses on Canal street, of which many had been damaged in the storm, looked abandoned. Is the modifier "of which many... storm" correct? I know that "on canal street" is a prepositional ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

“On or off campus” vs. “On- or off-campus” vs. “On-campus or off-campus”

It does not matter if a student lives __ as ... I'm writing a formal report. Which of the following should I use to fill in the blank? Which one is correct and more formal and looks/sounds ...
2
votes
1answer
135 views

Use of “as” in adverbial introductory phrase [closed]

Isn't this incorrect: As a young boy his family moved … Isn't this saying the the family moved as (when) it was young. A comma after boy fixes it, I believe, but it still seems a misplaced or ...
2
votes
2answers
524 views

Plural noun with singular modifiers [duplicate]

I am writing up a document for an art exhibit and have found myself a bit confused. The piece in question is a lidded jar with a stand and handle. The sentence in question is as follows: Worthy ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

Noun-adjective-noun: Can a noun phrase have an adjective in the middle?

Can a noun phrase have an adjective in the middle as in the following examples? car new tires salad high-calorie dressing house external wall nitrogen fine droplets These examples ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

Correct use of hyphens in “we offer same day, on site service calls”

What would be the correct hyphenation (if any) for the following sentence? We offer same day, on site service calls. I was thinking of hyphenating "on-site", but I cannot think why "same day" ...
1
vote
4answers
140 views

Should there be a comma in 'a 30-day, money-back guarantee'?

Is a comma needed in the following phrases? 30-day, money-back guarantee 90-day, no-risk trial If so, why? If not, why not? I've seen them written both ways — with and without the comma ...