Questions relating to the pattern of words in a sentence.

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2
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5answers
2k views

Structuring sentences without using the word “but”

I seem to have a habit of using a lot of sentences that involve the word "but": "I haven't tried it yet, but I think it should work"; "I could easily resort to chicken, but I want to see how far I can ...
4
votes
11answers
4k views

What's a good comeback to “obviously”?

If someone tries to sound smart in repartee by saying, Well obviously blah blah blah but what they said is actually wrong, then what's a good comeback to that, or what's a good way to phrase ...
17
votes
2answers
941 views

“Some champagne for my real friends, some real pain for my sham friends.”

Some champagne for my real friend, some real pain for my sham friends." Is there a name for this kind of sentence? Note: I'm not sure the origin of this, but it is a line in Spike Lee's movie, ...
1
vote
2answers
408 views

Does this sentence remain grammatically correct?

If I change this sentence We could not communicate through the phone. to Through the phone, we could not communicate. Does it still remain grammatically correct? Is it OK like that? ...
0
votes
1answer
1k views

Better use of “that that” — or not [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How do you handle “that that”? The double “that” problem I sometimes seem to write myself into using 2 thats in succession, as in: "Now that ...
0
votes
3answers
355 views

Can this sentence be switched around like this?

I kept studying to the point that I became dizzy. Can that be switched around to become this and still be grammatically correct? To the point that I became dizzy I kept studying. Is ...
3
votes
3answers
3k views

Meaning of “it's long past time to …”

Saw a lot of such sentences (examples below). What does the "it's long past time to..." mean? Example: It's long past time to ditch the use of the ubiquitous bulleted-list templates found in both ...
2
votes
4answers
800 views

Asking somebody to select between two or more options

Assume we want to ask somebody to choose between two options. Each option is a phrase like "stay home" or "come with me". What is the correct form of asking such questions? Do you want to stay ...
2
votes
0answers
977 views

Are there other repeated single word sentences like the Buffalo sentence? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Awkward sounding but grammatically correct sentences? My friend told me about the Buffalo sentence: Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo ...
3
votes
3answers
198 views

“Called himself doing”

A friend of mine was telling me a story about one of their colleagues and they said the following sentence: "Mike called himself cleaning up the lunch table, but he left spaghetti sauce streaked all ...
5
votes
3answers
6k views

An error message should display or should 'be' displayed?

If the writer means to say that an error message should 'appear' can he phrase the sentence as 'When user clicks the button, an error message should display' or is it more correct to say 'When user ...
4
votes
2answers
725 views

What are the meanings of the sentences where “Not that” is followed by an object-missing expression?

According to my observation, there are at least two types of using "Not that....". And my question is: what does "not that" mean in its second type of usage? In the first usage, "not that" is ...
11
votes
4answers
441 views

What is the word that denotes the words preceding these nouns?

What word describes/denotes the words that precede vision in the following two words: computer vision and machine vision?
2
votes
2answers
219 views

Where does the name of the subject go when joining sentences with a conjunction?

Take for example the two sentences "Ria was blind" and "Yet she became a lawyer." When we join these 2 sentences using a subordinating conjunction, which is correct and why? "In spite of Ria being ...
80
votes
1answer
4k views

Is there a name for this type of sentence structure: “She looks as though she's been poured into her clothes, and forgot to say 'when'”?

Comedians seem to use phrases that employ this type of sentence structure - is there a name for it? Examples of Groucho Marx's one liners seem to fit this pattern — and if memory serves, Emo Philips. ...
10
votes
2answers
26k views

Can a sentence starting with “While, …” be grammatically correct?

I have a colleague who often writes sentences in the form "While, [these circumstances would make X seem unlikely to be the case], [these other circumstances show that X is in fact the case]. For ...
9
votes
4answers
3k views

Framing a question whose answer is an ordinal number [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How should I phrase a question that must be answered with an ordinal number (e.g., the third prime)? I am the third daughter of my parents. How should a question ...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

“She left me for another woman” or “She left me for a woman”?

Assuming a male speaker is referring to an ex-partner, which of the following is more correct? She left me for another woman She left me for a woman The phrase She left me for another ...
9
votes
3answers
7k views

Why is it “I better not (+verb)” instead of “I better don’t (+verb)”?

This question will seem weird to a native speaker because “I better don’t” sounds inherently wrong and unusual. But if you think about it, it’s an irregularity; normally when a verb is negated and ...
3
votes
3answers
642 views

Enjoys his fair share to work hard and smart to meet commitments

Received a resume lately. One of the sentence, in summary section, doesn't look right to me. It may be not a very obvious mistake, or may not be a mistake at all. But I can't say anything for sure, as ...
2
votes
4answers
397 views

How should this sentence structure be interpreted?

I'm playing an online game in which I came across a message in the form of a sentence of which the structure is new to me. It read: You do not have a hatchet which you have the level to use. ...
9
votes
2answers
475 views

avoid the slash?

Should the slash be avoided? For example every week/day in my head is translated to every week or day. I think I started using slashes because I saw them used in forums and in articles. Is using ...
3
votes
2answers
861 views

Where to get a set of common English phrase patterns?

I hope that this computational linguistics question is not an off-topic here. For my little just-for-fun programming project I'm looking for common English phrase part-of-speech patterns to use to ...
10
votes
4answers
211 views

“The program is functional, fast, and finds a solution…”

This triple appears wrong to me: The demonstrations show that program A is functional, fast, and finds a solution that program B misses. Because functional and fast are adjectives and both ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Double meaning?

Taken from "A Quiver Full of Arrows": "The flowers have lasted well," she teased, and left him to make the coffee. Does the sentence clearly imply that she left to make the coffee? Or could ...
11
votes
1answer
934 views

Through a Glass, Clearly / A Scanner Darkly / In a Mirror, Darkly / etc

I've seen a pattern in a couple of titles. Asimov has a book called "Through a Glass, Clearly". Philip Dick wrote "A Scanner Darkly". Star Trek has the episode "In a Mirror, Darkly" Agatha Christy ...
3
votes
1answer
603 views

How to determine the English structural validity of a domain name

I'm in the process of creating a parser which, using a few dictionaries (English language words, places and acronyms), splits the domain name into a set of potential phrases and attempts to decide ...
16
votes
5answers
7k views

Is there an online sample sentence database or search engine?

Sometime, I am not sure if I use a specific word correctly. I would like to get some sample sentences to learn from. So, is there a online sample sentence database/search engine?
8
votes
3answers
718 views

A phrase as an interjection

Often in spoken English, I see one sentence or phrase "set up" another much like an interjection. For example: I forgot to ask. Did you find that book I told you about? How do you generally ...
31
votes
9answers
33k views

How do you handle “that that”? The double “that” problem

Have you ever had a case where you felt compelled to include strange things like a double that in a sentence? If so, then what did you do to resolve this? For me, I never knew whether it was ...
4
votes
2answers
5k views

“Subject, verb, direct object, object complement” versus “subject, verb, indirect object, direct object”

Reading English Grammar (HarperCollins College Outline, published by HarperResource, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers) I found a chapter (Sentence Basics) that explains that in English there are ...