Questions pertaining to the structure of phrases and sentences.

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8
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7answers
3k 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." ...
2
votes
1answer
49 views

“Art was theatre was sport”

I seem to have come across this sentence structure before but I can't quite remember where. Which number would be the best follow up to the phrase "To the ancient Romans"? To the ancient Romans ...
2
votes
3answers
64 views

Is this sentence structure backwards?

I edit reports at work and often feel that sentences end up structured backwards, for lack of a better term. For example, this sentence: We designed a water diversion that also acts as a fish ...
0
votes
2answers
86 views

“The supervisors can better monitor employees” vs. “supervisors can improve the monitoring of employees”

Can we say "the supervisors can better monitor employees" rather than the mouthful that is "supervisors can improve the monitoring of employees"?
8
votes
7answers
3k views

What's wrong with “We hope you will find our Qualifications to be well-organized, concise, and most of all, to exceed your expectations.”

Why is the following sentence grammatically incorrect? We hope you will find our Qualifications to be well-organized, concise, and most of all, to exceed your expectations. I've asked three ...
2
votes
3answers
92 views

“social media post” or “social-media post”?

Should 'social media' be treated as a compound adjective in the phrase 'social media post'? To me, the hyphen looks wrong, but I would like to be able to provide some grammatical rationale to ...
1
vote
1answer
151 views

uncommon use of “as well as” compounding two verbs onto one subject

I've got a pretty strong intuition for what's grammatically correct and what's not. My hunch here is that the following sentence is wrong. Can someone verify this for me, using a syntactical rule to ...
0
votes
2answers
89 views

What is the meaning of this expression?

Does "next player's turn" mean "next turn of the player" or "turn of the next player"? Or can it mean either depending on the context? In this particular case the context is a two player board game ...
0
votes
0answers
30 views

“an html link” vs “a html link”, which is correct? [duplicate]

In colloquial speech, when discussing the web, people almost always say "an html link" as opposed to "a html link" and for some reason, using "an" just seems to flows off the tongue better. ...
3
votes
2answers
157 views

English Syntax Rules Based on Word Choice

I was reading the Wikipedia article on Animacy and came across something I found to be very interesting: The higher animacy a referent has, the less preferable it is to use the preposition of for ...
1
vote
2answers
52 views

One argument, multiple paragraphs?

How do I structurally split up an argument into multiple paragraphs? Let's say I'm using two texts as evidence for one argument, and I want to devote one paragraph to each text. What would the ...
0
votes
3answers
148 views

“only then can you do” vs “only then you can do” [duplicate]

What is correct in a sentence: "Only then can you do" or "only then you can do" ?
1
vote
3answers
1k views

What does the phrase 'Quote-O-Matic' mean?

A sample application in the book 'Test Drive ASP.NET MVC' used this as its title.
-1
votes
2answers
88 views

Is correct this expression “ The exercise consist of making something”? [closed]

I posted the following sentence in a blog and the majority of people could not understand it. The exercise consist of making the buffer A dynamic so that the application is able to read and ...
73
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. ...
-1
votes
3answers
110 views

sentence structure: S + 'was that' + independent clause

Is the structure 'was that' + independent clause correct? Example sentence: The major difference about these two groups was that they were composed entirely of young children
0
votes
2answers
287 views

“which” as the subject - composing a complex sentence

How is the best way to compose a complex sentence with the word "which" as the subject of main and dependent clause? How about this sentence? Which road to take is very crucial, because that will ...
0
votes
2answers
42 views

“Class X” OR “X Class”

A. I will sit in class X. B. I will sit in X class. Question: Any specific reason for using "B" format?
0
votes
1answer
84 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.
0
votes
1answer
57 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 ...
-1
votes
2answers
2k views

Helping improve or help To improve [duplicate]

Is "Helping Improve Lives"ok or should it be "Helping TO improve lives?"
0
votes
2answers
103 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
votes
2answers
348 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
143 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
135 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.
0
votes
1answer
395 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 ...
-2
votes
1answer
76 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
84 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
112 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
200 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
663 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?
2
votes
1answer
687 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
474 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?
2
votes
2answers
105 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
80 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
vote
1answer
218 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
313 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
937 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
262 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 ...
-2
votes
2answers
497 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 ...
10
votes
6answers
647 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, ...
1
vote
2answers
267 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
217 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
775 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, ...
2
votes
3answers
195 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
269 views

Should I reformat this sentence? [closed]

I kind of feel like the first comma in the sentence below should be a semi-colon. Does anything else in there read funny? As you’ll see in my enclosed resume, I have the educational background, ...
0
votes
2answers
69 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
288 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 ...