Questions relating to the pattern of words in a sentence.

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29
votes
8answers
25k 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 ...
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 ...
75
votes
1answer
3k 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. ...
14
votes
5answers
6k 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?
14
votes
6answers
5k views

Sentence Construction: “Just Because … Does Not Mean”

I've already found an entry on this here. However, it does not solve my problem: I just read an entry on "cross platform" from Wikipedia, in which it wrote: Just because a particular operating ...
11
votes
4answers
425 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?
3
votes
3answers
2k views

When is “will” used in an “if” clause?

Given the following sentences that use will in the if clause (which is seldom with if-clauses and therefore, I'm not sure they all are even grammatical or not). If you will/would kindly lend me ...
2
votes
0answers
973 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

How to avoid that “that that” that is so very awkward

In all seriousness, are there any common patterns or strategies people use to avoid having to write a sentence in which "that that" appears? For example: Evidential decision theory recommends ...
17
votes
2answers
891 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, ...
4
votes
2answers
4k views

The correct usage of “too” and “also”

I always have problems in deciding whether to use "too" or "also". For example, if the previous sentence is: Peter ate the cake. Which of the following should I say?: He ate the pie too. He ...
5
votes
2answers
7k views

The phrase “let alone”

I notice that "let alone" is used in sentences that have a comma. The structure of the sentence is what comes before the comma is some kind of negative statement. Right after the comma is "let alone," ...
4
votes
3answers
708 views

Why is there no form of “do” in questions of the type “who knows?”

I'm wondering whether expressions like the ones below are correct or not. I've seen them several times but they don't seem to follow the typical grammatical structure. Who comes? (instead of ...
4
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
977 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
839 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
457 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 ...
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 ...
8
votes
3answers
652 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

Inversion in “Only when the virus introduces its nucleic acid into a cell does disease occur”

Given this sentence, Disease occurs only when the virus introduces its nucleic acid into a cell. Is the following inversion grammatical? → Only when the virus introduces its nucleic acid ...
8
votes
7answers
5k views

Grammar: “Just because A, doesn't mean B”

I hear this all the time, and often from writers, but it never sounds right. I found myself using it in something I was writing. For example: "Just because I stopped eating doesn't mean I'm full." ...
5
votes
1answer
3k views

Is 'I would rather…' without an infinitive immediately following it correct?

Consider: I would rather the walls remain painted in a neutral tint. Is this proper use of 'I would rather..', without an infinitive immediately following it? EDIT This suggests that 'I would ...
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 ...
2
votes
5answers
1k 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
212 views

Sentences which read the same forwards as they do with their words (not characters!) reversed

Are there sentences which read the same backwards as well as forwards once the order of words is reversed? What is the name of such sentences? Just to clarify, I'm not talking about palindromes, in ...
-2
votes
2answers
441 views

sentence pattern clarification [closed]

I am really confused with indirect and direct object... I am in need to find the sentence pattern for this sentence. He showed kindness to his parents.