Questions pertaining to the structure of phrases and sentences.

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0
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1answer
206 views

A list of something [duplicate]

When I write a list of something. What are the following correct in American style. A, B, and C. A, B and C.
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1answer
92 views

Can Whilst only be used in mid-clause?

According to this entry in the Urban Dictionary on "Whilst" (2nd definition on this page: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=whilst), it can only be used in mid-clause. I have skimmed ...
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2answers
176 views

What kind of punctuation should I use to embed a question in another sentence?

How should I punctuate this sentence? It seem that I should somehow distinguish the question part of the sentence from the main part of the sentence. If I didn't know the answer, I would first ...
4
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2answers
277 views

Can I put the job position in front of the name?

In military contexts you often see sentences like this one: "General Montgomery decided to..." I am now writing an evaluation about a sale my company had had, and I want to credit several people ...
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3answers
226 views

Should I add commas anywhere within this sentence? [closed]

Our expert services range from preparing proposals of best practice designs to value added engineering service for post-bid projects to field service start-up.
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1answer
3k views

When and how to use the “be + they + noun” structure [duplicate]

Can you please explain this structure? I can't forget the looks on faces of people who've lost hope. Be they gay, be they seniors, be they blacks looking for an almost-impossible job, be they ...
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1answer
95 views

Term for when you're attributing something to a rule

I'm looking for a word or a phase that describes attributing something not to a person or group, but to an inanimate object like a rule. Ex. A best practice is to run cross browser tests in all ...
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2answers
221 views

Is this question grammatically correct?

Something seems off about this sentence, but I can't put my finger on it. The sentence in question: Which countries is Nicaragua competing with? Alternatives I considered: With which ...
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2answers
91 views

Am I referring to doubt about who I love, or doubt about who the song is for? [closed]

This song's for the one I loved, at least that's what I thought. My intent is to raise doubt about whether I love "the one", but I think "at least that's what I thought" could refer to the whole ...
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2answers
282 views

Is this sentence structure truly awful, or not?

I sometimes hear comments on this sort of sentence: In some cases, we find the solutions are actually. . . . The comments are to the effect that one should not to put In some cases at the ...
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2answers
1k views

Difference between using 'to go' versus 'going' in this sentence [duplicate]

What is the difference between I haven't tried to go there and I haven't tried going there?
-1
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1answer
94 views

german tourist or German tourist? [closed]

I have learned that 'german' as a noun, written with upper case letter whilst 'german' as an adjective should be with lower case letter. Please guide me more by posting the rules if necessary, thank ...
1
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1answer
486 views

“Appear” followed by a verb: Necessarily a copula (linking verb)?

I’m wondering how I can structurally determine when a verb is being used as a copula and when it is not. Specifically, is the verb “appear” followed by a verb NECESSARILY a copula (i.e., linking ...
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1answer
465 views

Is 'that' necessary for this sentence? [duplicate]

My friend and I were playing this game, in which we were complimenting others. For example, she said, "You're so pretty, all the boys want to 'holla' at you." Then I said, "You're so pretty, that all ...
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2answers
2k views

What's the correct usage of this sentence?

Had you been there, you would have understood. or If you had been there, you would have understood. Which of the above sentences is a grammatically correct sentence or usually preferred ...
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7answers
7k 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." ...
4
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1answer
539 views

Building a phrase structure of “On the weekend …”

I'm reading Foundations of Statistical Natural Language Processing, and I'm doing one of the early exercises, trying to work out some of the language infliction about the word 'fun'. On the ...
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2answers
876 views

What is proper sentence structure? [closed]

I've got a problem with this structure: "Under this term are meant all things that belong to (...)" I wish to know if it's correct and what kind of structure actually it is. I believe it's probably ...
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6answers
3k views

How does the parenthetical “that is” function?

It's the last sentence of an article in The Economist. Some of the powerful elders might have faded from the scene. Mr Xi and Li Keqiang might then have a freer hand to promote their own people, ...
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2answers
471 views

Is this the structure of verb + object + adverbial phrase? [closed]

In ‘point new Gryffindors in the right direction ‘, is this the structure of verb + indirect object + direct object, or verb + object + adverbial phrase? As a Korean, I’m easier to accept the former ...
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2answers
290 views

When to prepose an auxiliary in a sentence?

I read this at Time.com, and it's in the second line of the third paragraph. And wouldn’t you know it, their theory proved to be both true and statistically meaningful. I suppose it means "And ...
2
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3answers
290 views

Conflicting views or emotions in the passage

What does the following passage from this NY Times article mean? He [Theodore Roosevelt] transformed the 20th century; no, he overextended the 19th. He was a progressive trust buster; no, an ...
2
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1answer
1k views

What types of antonyms are there?

As we know, Schadenfreude is defined as "the feeling of joy derived from witnessing the misfortunes of others". This question defines the antonym of Schadenfreude as "the feeling of discomfort derived ...
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2answers
79 views

Structure of “the talk was of 'smart' sanctions” [closed]

From an article named "Iran’s nuclear programme: A red line and a reeling rial": SIX YEARS ago, when America and Europe were putting in place the first raft of measures to press Iran to come clean ...
2
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2answers
117 views

On the structure of “search for weapons and bands of pro-Hussein fighters still holding out”

I came across the following expression: The primary task of many American troops in Baghdad has been to search for weapons and bands of pro-Hussein fighters still holding out. This is from a ...
0
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1answer
283 views

Curious about the type of humour employed by Twitter's @AntiJokeCat? [closed]

Despite my general disregard for Twitter and its adherents, I very much enjoy AntiJokeCat's brand of humour. His/her gags are funny because they seem to subvert the notion of what a joke is and ...
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4answers
5k views

Punctuation of sentence ending with the word “period” for emphasis

I really enjoyed The Dark Knight Rises and want to send a grammatically correct tweet about it. Unfortunately correct punctuation of the following eludes me: In other news The Dark Knight Rises ...
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3answers
714 views

Where I can find many good sentences? [closed]

First of all, I am really sorry if this topic does not fit here. I need to do an English sentences analysis, so I need to create a database. I need to find and input many English sentences into a ...
5
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1answer
901 views

Frequency of word use vs number of words

Let's consider a partition of the words in the english language according to respective use frequency. Looking at the frequency graph it should be easy to find classes of words with approximately the ...
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2answers
1k views

Is “want” a causative verb?

I've always held on to the definition that Causative Verbs express how the Noun before the Verb influences the execution of an action. Similarly, the Longman Student Grammar of Spoken and Written ...
1
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1answer
178 views

Forum/s, Topics, Discussions and Posts [closed]

There are many internet forums out there and I am wondering which would be the most correct way to structure one's own forum. For example, many forums are stated as "Forums" (even more use the ...
1
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1answer
312 views

Is it “me” or “I” and why? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When do I use “I” instead of “me?”   John, Valencia, and I (or me)? I found a photo of Sarah, Thomas, James and I? OR I found a photo of ...
2
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3answers
355 views

Correct use of IN compared to FOR when describing an action

I find it rather odd when someone writes that an item was used "in prediction" of 'X', however I don't know whether that is my own preference or it's actually incorrect. Personally, I think that ...
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2answers
315 views

What's the most pedantically correct way to reference sectioned and numbered rules aloud?

I am a roller derby announcer. An important part of my job is to explain the rules of roller derby to the fans. The rules of modern roller derby are promulgated by the Women's Flat Track Derby ...
3
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4answers
317 views

It is an existential question

A question on another site asks, I have a laptop ... Now I am trying to install Windows 7 and it shows a message saying "Driver not found". Whereupon a commenter asks, What is the "it" that shows ...
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3answers
1k views

English generator algorithms

This may be an odd question for this site, but tonight I've been enjoying myself by creating a small script that produces (is supposed to produce) sample sentences that resemble English, while being ...
5
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3answers
548 views

sylleptic parentheses

Here's a quote from Wikipedia: the triple point of Vienna Standard Mean Ocean Water (VSMOW, 273.16 K and 0.01 °C) Now, "VSMOW" refers to "Vienna Standard Mean Ocean Water", while "273.16 K and ...
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6answers
6k views

What is the structure in “as best you can”?

I instinctively translate it "as best as you can", however this makes no sense. What is the real structure behind this phrase? I'll include an Ngram to illustrate the historical presence of this ...
0
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1answer
146 views

Is there a reversal in the following sentence?

This mapping also helps better support page parameters. Is the above sentence the same as this one? This mapping also helps support page parameters better. The original sentence is ...
0
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3answers
343 views

Structure and meaning of 'having a just a few' in the following paragraph?

What is the structure and meaning of 'having a just a few' in this paragraph? The major shift here is that we treat both entities and users groups as very cheap resources. Instead of having a just ...
1
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1answer
726 views

What is the meaning and structure of the following sentence?

RLIMIT_NOFILE Specifies one greater than the maximum number of file descriptors that a process may hold open.
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3answers
1k views

What phrase is “you betcha” a descendant of?

"You bet you"? That's the closest I could think of. Or is it "you bet yourself", with the "self" omitted so it's quicker to say? Or is it something else altogether?
5
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1answer
3k views

What is a carpenter if he doesn't carpent?

Why does "carpenter" end in "er" if "carpent" isn't a word? Same with "butcher". (As in: "I butch for a living.")
3
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1answer
17k views

Yoda's sentence structure [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What term can be used to describe Yoda's speech? What is the structure of Yoda's sentences? Are they grammatically correct (US english)? "Size matters not, ... ...
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 ...
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3answers
8k views

“I'm not understand” — help regarding sentence structure

I am trying to learn/improve my English by remembering grammar rules. Every day, I read a lot of technical documentation and have many conversations with my colleagues from US. I already have many ...
3
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3answers
1k views

What does “this” refer to?

What does "this" refer to in the following quote from the Wikipedia article on Learning Curve? The learning curve can also represent at a glance the initial difficulty of learning something and, ...
80
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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. ...
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2answers
504 views

What defines a correlative?

I have come across a number of expressions (both...and..., if...then...) which are named as "correlative" in different grammars (namely Quirk et al.). The question: What makes an expression a ...
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3answers
296 views

Validity in the brevity of this prose?

What I intended to write full out was: We have moved away from obsoleted technologies and technologies being deprecated. What I actually wrote feels slightly awkward but I justified leaving ...