Questions regarding the rules for the formation of sentences

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7
votes
8answers
670 views

“I wish for a rest now”: what does “now” modify?

Consider this sentence: I am truly amazed by my success at this diagramming business, but I wish for a rest now. I think that the adverb "now" modifies "rest". But according to the answer page, ...
4
votes
1answer
42 views

The correct syntactic usage of “Only”

Question #1: Which of the following sentences has the correct syntactic usage of the word "only"? Question #2: What do the remaining sentences mean? Examples: Only I gave him $1. I only ...
0
votes
2answers
28 views

I walked over to the payphone to try to call you [closed]

Does this sentence make sense? I'm just confused with all the 'to's
2
votes
3answers
53 views

Unsplitting infinitives and change of meaning

I've been watching Generative Syntax from the University of Edinburgh on youtube and in chapter 1.1 while describing prescriptivism Prof. Caroline Heycock talks about Splitting infinitives (and the ...
0
votes
1answer
29 views

Difference between the two sentences and their usage

Why don't you join a monastery? Why do you not join a monastery? What's the difference between the two sentences and when do I use each of them?
0
votes
0answers
15 views

Looking For an Excellent Resource for People Learning Linguistics [migrated]

Was wondering if anyone knows of a solid resource (site) on the web or even an app in the play store that would be a good place to go to supplement my learning in school...i.e. someplace that has a ...
0
votes
1answer
49 views

Correct usage of 'one' [closed]

Consider the statements: 'There was one girl, XYZ, ..' 'There was one mountain, XYZ, ..' Are the sentences correct?
1
vote
1answer
25 views

Can parallelism be defined as a syntactic structure?

Can parallelism be defined as a syntactic structure? In my course, we study parallelism as an example of syntactic patterning. However, would it be ok to call it a syntactic structure?
0
votes
0answers
25 views

“These nouns provide a different perspective on how attitudes about gender can and have played out in English.”

The cited sentence is syntactically deficient as the modal verb "can" requires the main verb construction "have played out" in addition to the one of the same form given. Thus, it should rather go: ...
1
vote
0answers
43 views

Why did English writers formerly capitalize so many words? [duplicate]

Or, I guess it could be worded, since when and why was it counted as part of a formal writing style to capitalize many general nouns? (After all, it's not German ...) This is also a trend in legal ...
3
votes
1answer
99 views

Bill reading Shakespeare and Maureen singing Schubert satisfy/satisfies me [duplicate]

Which verb form is grammatically correct here? My intuition says 'satisfy' but a textbook I'm reading says otherwise (Core Syntax: A Minimalist Approach. If interested, a legal copy is available ...
1
vote
1answer
62 views

As will be discussed later in this comment

As will be discussed in more detail in the next section, all exchange rate regimes offer benefits as well as costs. As common as this structure is, I am having some trouble to figure out its syntax. ...
4
votes
4answers
121 views

Meaning of “And the day came when … ”

I saw some sentences that start with this phrase: "And the day came when ... " For example, the following sentence form The Garden Party and Other Stories by Katherine Mansfield At last the day ...
10
votes
2answers
455 views

How to decide on the type of ellipsis

I'm having some hard time deciding on the types of a few ellipses I've got to analyze. Let's consider an example such as this one: Then Rosemary came out and said that Daddy was going to jail, ...
-1
votes
3answers
33 views

Has your turn approached vs. Is it your turn [closed]

Which one of the following is the right way to ask someone about his turn or number for an interview etc: Has your turn approached/reached? Is it your turn yet? Thanks
9
votes
1answer
115 views

Why can't you place pronouns after a phrasal verb?

Many phrasal verbs such as look up or knock out typically allow the object to be placed between the verb and proposition or to be placed afterward. For example, You can look my brother up on ...
0
votes
1answer
193 views

'weighed in' vs 'wade in'

When someone to gives their opinion on a complex topic, is the phrase used "weighed in" or "wade in"? I thought it was the former, but I've been seeing the latter crop up more and more often. ...
0
votes
1answer
57 views

Does a word being a noun change on context?

In Dulce Et Decorum Est by Wilfred Owen, there are double-noun pairs which I believe are syntactically wrong: Bent double, like old beggars under sacks, Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we ...
6
votes
5answers
447 views

Can someone please explain the syntactic rules at work here?

I'll use an example statement that's currently being used in a radio commercial for American Family Insurance (paraphrased.) They all told me that I couldn't build my dream home by myself; but, I ...
2
votes
2answers
110 views

“She left small pins in the shoes he wore to injure his feet” – is this ambiguous?

She left small pins in all the shoes he wore to injure his feet. I wrote this sentence and I thought it was fine. When I re-read it, the meaning became unclear to me. I want it to mean that she ...
-1
votes
1answer
78 views

Grammaticality of “if X then A. Otherwise if Y B”

I am explaining something that has the following structure if written in computer language: if X A else B However the condition X is quite subtle, and because of this I want to recall it when ...
2
votes
1answer
55 views

Necessary relative followed by to-infinitive … conflict of level

Recently I wanted to bitch at my staff and I wrote the following sentence: Do you want someone who has taken off their shoes to prepare your drink without washing their hands? And then it ...
1
vote
2answers
65 views

What is the grammatical designation of “that” in “…that she may have…”?

The following sentence is the Modern English translation of a line from the Old English poem Judith: He (God) advanced a gracious favour to her, that she may have a steadfast faith. My question ...
0
votes
2answers
209 views

“most” vs “the most”, specifically as an adverb at the end of sentence

Which one of the following sentences is the most canonical? I know most vs the most have been explained a lot but my doubts pertain specifically which one to use at the end of a sentence. Do you ...
0
votes
1answer
100 views

Multiple things belonging to a group of people? [closed]

This phrase is coming up over and over in the paper I'm editing... basically the author is talking about the many different things all belonging to a group of people. For example (these are not the ...
0
votes
1answer
102 views

Syntax: “But what it was I had forgotten”?

I had heard some story of her too, a critical, unpleasant story, but what it was I had forgotten long ago. This is a sentence from The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald. The clause after the but ...
0
votes
1answer
157 views

Would it be 'meet' or 'have met' in this structure?

If I bumped into someone, who happened to be called John, yesterday, and I am telling someone else of the encounter, would I say: I happened to meet John yesterday. or I happened to have ...
0
votes
0answers
61 views

Number text followed by numeral in parentheses

Where I work, we commonly write out the text for numbers (specifically, numbers less than 10) followed by the numeral in parentheses. For example, Quarterly increase of four (4) thousand ...
2
votes
3answers
518 views

Do I have to repeat the same subject after “and” when introducing a new verb?

I’ve got a question about how to write this sentence with and: You don’t need and you mustn’t forget Versus: You don’t need and mustn’t forget. Which of those is well written? Is it ...
0
votes
1answer
75 views

Syntax of They're memories made

Nothing comparesNo worries or cares Regrets and mistakes They are memories made. Who would have known how bittersweet this would taste? These are some lines from the lyrics of "Someone Like You" ...
1
vote
2answers
104 views

Can “masters” (plural) be used to refer to a single entity?

I was perusing the forums of a video game I play. I began reading a thread about the lore of the game, because a few things lore-wise are left pretty vague. Two individuals got into an argument about ...
0
votes
1answer
52 views

“how much longer do you plan on [X]ing…” [closed]

Is the above structure grammatically correct, or just sort of common, or not correct but common enough to use?
0
votes
1answer
54 views

About the construction “It is … that…”

A reviewer at a journal where I submitted an article writes: There are too many instances of the awkward construction “It is … that….” I'd be very grateful if you could explain to me why this ...
3
votes
1answer
126 views

Equivalent of using (s) to indicate possible plural for words using “ies” for plural? [duplicate]

If I want to write how many of something I have that uses "s" to indicate plural, I can use (s), as in "Joe had X apple(s)". But say I want to write something like "The report contains 2 entries" or ...
19
votes
6answers
2k views

How can I prove a word is a noun?

When I read a sentence, I can identify nouns. But now I need to give proof that they are indeed nouns, and that is where it goes wrong. I can think of one or two things sometimes (like combining it ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

'Instead of' vs 'In stead of'

Is the following sentence valid? They did this in stead of that. What is the correct usage of the phrase instead of?
2
votes
3answers
110 views

Compounds and Phrases

What is the difference between compounds and phrases? How do I know that "watch-maker" is a compound but "steel bridge" is a phrase? Does the "head" have anything to do with it (complement-head or ...
1
vote
2answers
590 views

Usage of 'out of' at the beginning of a sentence

Is it possible to use 'out of' in the sense of 'from among' at the beginning of a sentence? Would the examples below sound grammatical and natural with use of 'out of'in this sense? This story ...
0
votes
1answer
86 views

What does “spurned” modify in “I am walking out of a room to the jeers of a woman spurned”

I am walking out of a room to the jeers of a woman spurned. Which word does the past participle modify in this context? Does it mean that I was spurned while walking out of the room, or am I out ...
0
votes
1answer
129 views

When is it okay not to put a comma, where the rule may normally apply?

In this sentence: I will forward the log, when it is complete. Is it permissible to remove the comma? I will forward the log when it is complete. I thought sentences that are plain and can ...
0
votes
2answers
135 views

Comma required to avoid syntactical (but not semantic) ambiguity?

Consider this sentence: You may worry about the Fed raising interest rates, or a market meltdown, but these risks should not change your investment plans. Could the comma before "or" be omitted? ...
1
vote
2answers
849 views

Use of “as well” in the middle of the sentence

I was wondering if the use of "as well" in the middle of the sentence is correct in formal English. Here is the particular sentence I am writing: I got ample opportunities to communicate with a ...
4
votes
2answers
112 views

Short question about syntax

I'm a German and our English teacher always told us not to use the German syntax in English. So here are a few examples to illustrate : "What means this word?" -> correct : "What does that word ...
5
votes
3answers
102 views

is it “likely become” or “likely to become”?

I have recently encountered both while reading articles, can anyone clarify which one is correct?
2
votes
1answer
86 views

“The boy was very sad when his toy fell on the ground” - is “sad” a subject complement?

Is "sad" a subject complement and "when his toy fell on the ground" - an adverbial? Do I understand it right that semantically "the boy" is Agent?
0
votes
0answers
110 views

Semantic roles in the sentence “This book cost me 20 dollars”

Thank you very much for your answers to my previous question, now I'm struggling to define what semantic roles noun phrases "This book', "me" and "20 dollars" play in this sentence. Any ideas? If ...
2
votes
2answers
118 views

Yes, this is she. Who's calling? [duplicate]

I've read in a book that I should "use the subjective case if the pronoun is the complement of the linking verb to be". That is the following sentences are correct: They believed that the thief was ...
-2
votes
1answer
169 views

“Let it will be” [closed]

"Let it be" is an easy phrase to understand and to use. It's widely used and it's a set phrase, so it's hard to make mistake here. Why would a native speaker say "Let it will be"? Is it the same ...
11
votes
5answers
2k views

Till death do WE part [closed]

I understand the meaning of "till death do us part". I even understood why do is not does. However, in the song Love Spent by Madonna, the following lyrics occur: You played with my heart Till ...
7
votes
4answers
704 views

Is “to” missing in the following phrase: “civil liberties be damned”?

I am currently reading a column by Thomas L. Friedman titled "We're always still Americans," published on December 11, 2014 in International New York Times. If there had been another 9/11 after ...