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19
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
211 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
5answers
374 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 ...
6
votes
6answers
476 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
8answers
986 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. ...
5
votes
4answers
336 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
4answers
3k 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. ...
5
votes
2answers
137 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
2answers
280 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
2k 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
110 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
2answers
327 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 ...
4
votes
5answers
2k 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
3answers
9k 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
272 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
1answer
310 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
3answers
857 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
988 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
2answers
231 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
578 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
410 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
2answers
1k 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
1answer
8k 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
3answers
3k 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
1answer
189 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
166 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
159 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
1answer
62 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
votes
1answer
96 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
3answers
274 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
147 views

Past Perfect - Right or Wrong?

I am in an English course, in Cambridge School, in Lisbon, Portugal, and I am learning Past Perfect. I am also in a Pastry course, and today we had our first English lesson. The teacher wrote some ...
3
votes
1answer
77 views

Is there a specific name for these sentence parts?

Is there any specific name for the bold portions of the following sentences, or for their structure? It has been suggested that drinking water is good for your health. It is unknown how long ...
3
votes
2answers
163 views

Is a comma in this sentence required? [closed]

In the sentence below, is the comma optional or should it (not) be there? I can hear it there when this is spoken, but I am not convinced it needs to be there in written form. In order to pass ...
2
votes
10answers
495 views

Is there an adverb for “simplified”?

This is what I'm trying to express [Foo] can be simplifiedly characterised as [bar]. However I am unable to find references for such as word as simplifiedly. What I want to say is that the ...
2
votes
1answer
231 views

What's the difference between these negative sentences?

What's the difference between these two? "He is not obviously guilty." "He is obviously not guilty."
2
votes
4answers
328 views

Should I use a pronoun in the second sentence? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is it acceptable to omit “I” when it’s the subject? I'm chatting with my friend, and I want to say to him that I want to go to shower and I'll be back soon. What is ...
2
votes
2answers
611 views

How to use three adjectives in a sentence

I have a sentence where I would like to use three adjectives. Is this the correct way to do it? "Moments such as this have allowed me to understand the privilege I have been given to be a ...
2
votes
2answers
295 views

Omission of verbs

This following sentence is puzzling me. Neither can I understand the meaning, nor can I reason the grammatical soundness of the sentence. Some symbols acquire a multitude of meanings, some widely ...
2
votes
4answers
880 views

Is “Happy Birthday!” a complete sentence?

Is "Happy Birthday!" a complete sentence? And if it is, what role are the words happy and birthday playing? Where is the verb? Can "happy" be a verb? I know in a sentence like "Go get the milk" there ...
2
votes
4answers
1k views

Can someone please tell me which of the two sentences is correct?

Here are the two sentences. This was the fastest I heard someone responded. This was the fastest I heard someone respond. Can someone help me understand: A) Which one is correct, and what is ...
2
votes
3answers
402 views

Is it acceptable to add extra words at the end of a sentence, to clarify its meaning?

It's certainly done a lot in every-day speech. But is it acceptable to say: I'm happy today, me. or, to take it to another level: He was well behaved, my son, this morning. And, if so, is ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

about “please be advised” [closed]

Please be advised you have until Friday of this week to be finished. I understood what this sentence means. But can you separate the sentence into phrases or clauses? If I separate it, one is ...
2
votes
2answers
157 views

How to determine if an attribute applies to a group or a specific individual

I am in the middle of an argument, and therefore trying to figure out the breakdown of the definition: a member of a military group devoted to engineering work which appears in Merriam-Webster's ...
2
votes
4answers
333 views

Ambiguity of “We discourage X from doing Y by using Z” [closed]

Given the sentence, We discourage people from committing crimes by using law enforcement, religion and education. I see two possible interpretations: [We discourage people by using law ...
2
votes
1answer
89 views

“Not only one of the most talented actors of our age but kind.” — what does 'kind' mean here?

I was searching for information about the original novel "House of Cards" and from following site, in the middile of the page, there's sentence which compliment Kevin Spicey as shown ...
2
votes
4answers
2k views

Is there supposed to be a comma when the word “had” is used 4 times in a row?

There's a particular sentence which I've been pondering over: All the faith he had had had had no effect on the outcome of his life. Some people seem to think there's supposed to be a comma ...
2
votes
2answers
105 views

Is this a complete sentence or two? [closed]

Given the example (from a British novel, The Secret Intensity of Everyday Life) Well what did I expect who said it would be easy? I will not let this defeat me. I will persist. Is the first ...
2
votes
1answer
52 views

Is a comma necessary before “for which”?

Is a comma needed in this sentence? Is for which used correctly in this sentence? We define message codes for which security is well defined.
2
votes
1answer
126 views

How to say “A has X, and B has X” in a single clause

How can we say Mike has an apple, and Jane has an apple in a single clause? Can I say Both Mike and Jane have an apple or Mike and Jane each have an apple? They sound fine to me but ...
2
votes
1answer
49 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 ...