Questions about the structure of sentences

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104
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19answers
22k views

Is “women men girls love meet die” a valid sentence?

Is "women men girls love meet die" a valid sentence? If so, what does it mean? The sentence shows up in academic papers about the "Sausage Machine" for natural language processing. (A google will ...
51
votes
10answers
7k views

Grammatically correct sentence where “you're” and “your” can be interchanged? [closed]

Most grammar checkers are capable of detecting the the misuse of "your" and "you're"; providing the necessary correction. I'm curious though, is there any sentence that can be constructed where ...
20
votes
1answer
2k views

He died [as?] a broken man

He died a broken man. One of my students came across this sentence in an article, and a quick search for "he died a * man" yields a plethora of similar ones. I'm fairly certain this sentence is ...
11
votes
3answers
246 views

Is the SE “new privilege” notification message a sentence?

When a Stack Exchange user gets a new privilege, it's accompanied by the following notification: Congrats, you've gained the privilege – talk in chat learn more That phrase "may be oddly worded, ...
8
votes
8answers
1k views

“…and all would have to be accounted for.” Improper sentence ending at 'for'. Please suggest alternative [duplicate]

I have this statement that I do not want to end at 'for' (I read somewhere that it is improper to end at 'for'). The problem is hard as there are many sources of failures, and all would have to ...
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
3answers
335 views

Would I say “I can sometimes…” or “I sometimes can…”

I'm just curious. I like to think that I am decent with grammar, but this has me puzzled. Which is the correct way to arrange my sentence? "I can sometimes..." or "I sometimes can..." Thank you
8
votes
8answers
2k views

Superlative and definite article “the”

I have seen similar questions like this here on ELU. However, I am still confused with my particular question. (a) She gets up latest in her family. (b) She gets up the latest in her family. ...
6
votes
6answers
564 views

Is there bad grammar in Cinemark's “No Texting” warning?

The sentence in question is "Do not be the person we ask to leave the auditorium, because we will." It sounds very wrong to me, but I can't put my finger on the exact problem. Nobody on the Internet ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

Beginning a sentence with a gerund?

My teacher recently marked on my paper not to use a gerund to start a sentence. I have been told by teachers in the past to use that format to vary sentence structure. It seems to make the paper flow ...
6
votes
1answer
92 views

Ungrammatical: “Half the boys jumped, but only a quarter of the girls did.”?

I'm writing a scientific paper and my coauthor claims that ending a sentence with "did" is ungrammatical. The sentence has the following form: Half the boys jumped, but only a quarter of the girls ...
5
votes
2answers
435 views

What exactly constitutes a verb in English, and is it the same thing as a predicate?

In the following sentence: John McAdam and Thomas Teleford made important advances in road construction during the early 1800s. Why is "made advances" not the verb? Are predicate and verb the ...
5
votes
4answers
439 views

What is the right sign to show in a retail shop

Let us see the signs shown in the images below. What is the right one to show in a retail shop, #1 or #2? In case #2 doesn't it seem as if the cashier may or may not give us a receipt?
5
votes
3answers
19k views

Using “though” at the beginning of the following sentence

But during the trip, she hardly spoke with him. In fact, she hardly spoke with anyone in the group. She would just follow us quietly to whereever we went, like a little stray cat. Though she ...
5
votes
2answers
151 views

How is “stripping such words as remained of orthodox meanings” meant to be understood grammatically?

I was wondering if someone could help me out with a certain phrase I want to grasp the meaning of. I have two different meanings in my mind, and I was hoping that someone could point out the right ...
5
votes
1answer
335 views

Stage direction like “Enter Hamlet”

I'm wondering about the grammatical structure of a stage direction "Enter Hamlet". Is "Enter" in the imperative mood or the present subjunctive mood? If it is in the imperative mood, who is the person ...
5
votes
2answers
346 views

English sentence structure

My daughter wrote a short story at school and wrote ''said the woman'' the teacher corrected this and wrote '' the woman said'' Is it not correct either way?
5
votes
1answer
3k views

In English what's the difference between forward and toward [closed]

I would like to know which sentence is correct, regarding the difference between the usage of forward and toward. Should I write: I'm looking forward to September. Or, I'm looking toward September? ...
5
votes
3answers
119 views

“That” between “thought” and “could”

Is It was me that Mr. Jones thought could do it. correct? Is that required between thought and could?
4
votes
4answers
5k views

“Save up to 50% off”

Save up to 50% off! Is this correct? To me, it makes it sound like a double-negative, of sorts; you are saving something that has been reduced, therefore increasing it, if that makes any sense. ...
4
votes
5answers
3k views

Ending sentence with “supposed to”

Is the following sentence acceptable? He arrived ten minutes earlier than he was supposed to. It doesn't sound right, but I can't think of any better way to end the sentence.
4
votes
2answers
912 views

Grammatical structure of a complex sentence

Many things are unclear in the following sentence, and I want your help to understand them: 1. Its grammatical structure is complicated, and I can understand nothing from it. 2. What is the ...
4
votes
3answers
361 views

“In here”, “from here”, and “at here”

I just read the discussed topic "look here vs. look at here": Which one is correct? "Look here" or "Look at here"? It's got me wondering. What is the reason for not using the ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Sentences with no verb

In Spanish we've got something called "Oración unimembre" which refers to a sentence with only one kind of part (the one with the verb or the one with the subject). I don't know the way it is in ...
4
votes
2answers
94k views

When to use “respectively”? [duplicate]

I have been wondering what it means when people use "respectively" in, before, and after sentences. For example: We are looking for a babysitter to pick up and supervise our kids ages 6 and 3, ...
4
votes
2answers
119 views

Unclear verb structure: to have her help with the homework

This is a sentence from Lasher by Anne Rice (USA). I'm not sure about the verb structure. It may be 1 Her friends loved to have Mona help (verb) with their homework. Structure: to have someone do ...
4
votes
1answer
513 views

What's the grammatical structure for “there is nothing a guy can do that even comes close”?

I got a sentence when watching a dialogue: There is nothing a guy can do that even comes close. In my opinion, "nothing" has an attributive clause: "a guy can do"; and in this atributive clause, ...
4
votes
4answers
124 views

Possessives & Compound Construction [duplicate]

I came across the following sentence while reading "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee. Is it correct Everybody in town’s father was playing, it seemed, except Atticus. Or it should be rephrased ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Difference between “Does she have the book?” and “Has she the book?”

What is the difference between "Does she have the book?" and "Has she the book?"
4
votes
4answers
1k views

“Using” vs “by using”

You can do whatever you are thinking of using a nested table for using CSS and clean markup. — From "Programming the Mobile Web" by Maximiliano Firtman. I do understand the general sense of ...
4
votes
6answers
196 views

Even though + Adverb usage

I'm not sure if these sample sentences below are grammatically incorrect, but they sound very odd to me. I couldn't see the man even though actually he was there. He still got hit even though ...
4
votes
2answers
434 views

How the understand the “too … to” structure?

It is easy to understand when someone says: The box is too heavy to carry. But the usage of "too … to" structure in "You cannot be too careful to go across the road" is weird for me, ...
3
votes
10answers
1k views

Is “if you're not familiar with X, it is…” or “if you're not aware, X is…” correct English?

More and more often I read sentences such as the following: If you're not familiar with Miami's “Golden Era”, this film captures it brilliantly. If you're not aware of the basics, two teams of five ...
3
votes
8answers
421 views

Nested parentheticals — restructuring for clarity

It's widely known that the name "JavaScript" is trademarked by Oracle (formerly a trademark of Sun, formerly a trademark of Netscape). What was formerly a trademark of Netscape? Sun? Oracle? ...
3
votes
4answers
799 views

How to ask for the title on cheque?

If I need to know whose name should I put in title of a cheque, what would be the most precise and educated sentence? I have to pay someone some money via cheque but I want to ask them whose name ...
3
votes
5answers
345 views

“There was a man known as the 'Toe Suck Fairy'” — is “there” a complement?

To me, man is the subject and it has two verbs — was and known —, making there a complement. My teacher argued that the verb is "was known".
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Is “He is too weak that he cannot walk” a correct sentence?

Consider the following: He is too weak that he cannot walk. He is so weak that he cannot walk. He is too weak to walk. I feel all the above sentences are correct. But my grammar book ...
3
votes
4answers
172 views

This book reads easily vs this book is reading easily

We heard our English professor, who is from the UK, say the following: I have read this book. This book reads easily. I have seen a few fellow-students replicating the above-mentioned ...
3
votes
1answer
10k views

Difference between 'taken back' and 'taken aback' [closed]

A sentence is written like this, In this work of Pankaj Mishra, we are taken back to 18th century Europe where ... In this work of Pankaj Mishra, we are taken aback to the 18th century Europe ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Use of “then'” in the sentence

I came across the below sentence in this article. "The emasculated society of Europe serves, then, as a warning to conservatives, and reinforces their belief that America must reverse the trend of ...
3
votes
3answers
5k views

Advanced rules for shortening relative clauses with a participle?

Once again, a problem encountered while marking German pupils' exams. We teach them the following rules: A present participle can be used to shorten an active relative clause: The boy who ...
3
votes
3answers
317 views

Sentence analysis for “Who would it benefit you to know, or what type of person would it benefit you to know to grow your business”

On a rather big (and I guess copy-edited) blog by Chris Brogan, I read this: Who would it benefit you to know, or what type of person would it benefit you to know to grow your business. And I ...
3
votes
1answer
225 views

what's the structure of a sentence

The issue was, and still is, hotly debated at the grass roots level, with children coming to our schools speaking more than 200 languages. In the above sentence, I guess the subject is "issue" ...
3
votes
4answers
97 views

Is there an object in this sentence?

You need to practise your proofreading. In this sentence, "you" is the subject and "need" is the verb. But is there an object? At the moment I am guessing that there isn't and that to practise ...
3
votes
2answers
94 views

Formality of 'but' at the end of the sentence?

I quite often use 'but' at the end of sentence, and I've seen it elsewhere. for example: Yeah, it sounds like you guys had an awesome last night! I did get a lot of work done but. Is this ...
3
votes
1answer
198 views

Cleft sentences

Let's assume that John gave me a cat. I can rephrase the fact with: What John did was to give me a cat What John did was give me a cat What John did was, he gave me a cat But can I say the ...
3
votes
1answer
90 views

Sentence Order - April 3 1812 Letter by James Monroe

From France we hear nothing. The delay of the Hornet is inexplicable, but on the reproachful supposition, that the F. Govt is waiting for the final turn of things at London, before it takes its ...
3
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4answers
153 views

Polite or unrectified placement of the word please

I would please prefer to take both parts of the test on Monday. Is the placement of the word please in this sentence grammatically correct?
3
votes
1answer
291 views

“New York is a great place to live.” (no preposition?)

New York is a great place to live. New York is a great place to live in. I've seen the former usage a lot and I've started wondering what the grammar aspects of it are. The main question ...
3
votes
3answers
628 views

Me or Myself? Reflexive pronoun?

This is to confirm the number of people for an event I am hosting with someone else; which of the following is correct: A. Until then, if you all could confirm your attendance [either] with John ...