Questions about the structure of sentences

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110
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19answers
23k 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 ...
65
votes
3answers
25k views

Donald Trump's run-on sentences

In every Trump speech, almost every sentence is a run-on sentence. Here is a quote from one of his speeches last year Look, having nuclear—my uncle was a great professor and scientist and ...
54
votes
10answers
11k 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
271 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, ...
9
votes
5answers
6k 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 ...
8
votes
8answers
2k 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
407 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
8answers
3k 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. ...
8
votes
1answer
168 views

“It would be a better idea to” VS “A better idea would be to”

I'm contemplating these two sentences: I think it would be a better idea to show you my works. I think a better idea would be to show you my works. as answers to a question "Can you tell me ...
7
votes
2answers
433 views

What sentence part is “visitors” in “I'm not allowed visitors”?

At the moment I'm a bit baffled. What sentence part is "visitors" in "I'm not allowed visitors"? I would not call it an object or a subject complement as "to be allowed" is no linking verb. The only ...
7
votes
3answers
253 views

Is it possible for a word in a sentence to have two grammatical functions at once?

I just saw this question, which is about the whoever/whomever choice in these sentences: I will kill whomever I despise. I will kill whoever despises me. It made me think; what is the object ...
6
votes
8answers
1k views

“She ran… , her nose pressed against the glass” Are the actions simultaneous or consecutive?

She ran towards the display, her nose pressed against the glass. My friend and I don't understand the same thing when reading this sentence, and neither of us can explain why. To me, it doesn't ...
6
votes
6answers
604 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
2answers
209 views

Is there a name for this type of sentence: “The higher the temperature, the higher the pressure”? [duplicate]

Is there a name for this type of sentence: "The higher the temperature, the higher the pressure"? Such a word grouping is generally accepted as a sentence in science.
6
votes
1answer
114 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
139 views

“I am extremely smarter than you.”

Is "I am extremely smarter than you." a grammatically OK sentence? It sounds awkward, but is there a grammatical issue? Please note that I am not asking if it could sound better, nor am I asking for ...
6
votes
1answer
680 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
185 views

How does Yoda's speech sound to native English speakers?

There have been a few questions about the sentence structure used by the Star Wars character named Yoda: Yoda's sentence structure What term can be used to describe Yoda's speech? When nine ...
6
votes
1answer
160 views

Comparative adjectives

I have a question concerning use of more in comparative sentences when used with adjectives. I was more furious about my cat's death than you thought I would be. Usually, or always, when more ...
6
votes
1answer
75 views

When constructing a hypothetical sentence, do I have to keep all the tenses in the past?

If I bought that book, it would be so I had something to give to you on your birthday. Now, as far as i know, in hypothetical sentences, you have to backshift all tenses one step to the past. So: ...
5
votes
4answers
532 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
32k 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
294 views

“X … one …” vs “the X … one …”

What's the right construction? Example: I spent the whole night listening to silence, one as deep as the bottom of the sea. I spent the whole night listening to the silence, one as deep as ...
5
votes
3answers
6k 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
163 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
176k 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, ...
5
votes
1answer
90 views

Does “but I digress” normally get used before or after going off-topic?

So i have the following "you've never pissed off a Miko before have you? they can forcefully bind a Geis to you if you do not comply to the laws they set for their shrine and that Miko really ...
5
votes
2answers
415 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
6k 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
1answer
340 views

present simple plus past simple in the if-clause

Please help me understand whether I can use the past simple tense with the present simple tense in one if-clause. My example is the question that I want to ask when speaking with English native ...
5
votes
3answers
125 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?
5
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5answers
191 views

“Forbidden” / “permitted” directly followed by object

Is it correct to say "He is forbidden wine" or "Wine is forbidden him"? Most often these would be expressed as "He is forbidden to drink wine" or "Wine is forbidden to him," but I occasionally see the ...
5
votes
4answers
331 views

‘Who/whom’ vs. ‘he/him’: how to figure out which to use

The accepted (and highly upvoted) answer to the question in the question What’s the rule for using “who” and “whom” correctly? states that the easiest way to find out whether to use who or whom is to ...
4
votes
2answers
541 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
4answers
9k 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
4k 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
267 views

Meaning of “all shelves about me towards the worse”?

"Here am I now upon my high place," he said to himself. "Life may be no better; this is the mountain top; and all shelves about me towards the worse. For the first time I will light up the ...
4
votes
3answers
4k 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
4
votes
2answers
1k 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
209 views

Is the plural of 'a friend's book' 'a friend's books' or 'friend's books'? [duplicate]

this question concerns only the INDEFINITE article, I don't care for the definite article or 'of' forms here. In the following construction a friend's book a boy's toy a guy's car Question: do you ...
4
votes
2answers
199 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
3k views

Use of “then'” in the sentence

I came across the following 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
786 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
6answers
354 views

Why can't “being” come after the verb “feel”?

The question is completely edited. *I felt being dragged by a beast. The word being cannot be used here, and that's for sure. It sounds wrong. What I am trying to find here is why it is wrong. ...
4
votes
3answers
145 views

'I watch less TV than you' or 'I watch TV less than you' [closed]

Which one is grammatically correct or idiomatic? I watch less/more TV than you. I watch TV less/more than you. I have less/more money than you. I have money less/more than ...
4
votes
4answers
212 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
1answer
578 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
4k 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
2k 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 ...