Questions regarding the rules for the formation of sentences

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1answer
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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 ...
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0answers
40 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 ...
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0answers
40 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 ...
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3answers
102 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 ...
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1answer
38 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" ...
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2answers
65 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 ...
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1answer
36 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?
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1answer
25 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 ...
2
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1answer
45 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 ...
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6answers
1k 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 ...
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4answers
1k 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?
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3answers
66 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 ...
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2answers
206 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 ...
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1answer
69 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
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1answer
58 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 ...
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2answers
86 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? ...
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2answers
291 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 right in formal English. The particaular sentence I am writing is: "I got ample opportunities to communicate with a large ...
3
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2answers
64 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 ...
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3answers
62 views

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

I have recently encountered both while reading articles, can anyone clarify which one is correct?
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1answer
67 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?
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0answers
77 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
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2answers
73 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
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1answer
107 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 ...
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5answers
1k 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
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4answers
679 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 ...
7
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3answers
414 views

“Be like” usage

Of late, I have been noticing a lot of casual memes floating around, particularly on Facebook, that involve this phrase. Typical constructs could be like the following examples: B*&^%$# be ...
0
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1answer
45 views

Use of the 'being' formulation [closed]

Is this sentence correct ? If not, what would be the correct formulation ? Being designed for « Best-effort » encoding (low slack time), DVFS is therefore hard to apply on this type of components ...
0
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1answer
26 views

auxiliaries before homogeneous members of the sentence

Is it possible to omit the second auxiliary in this sentence: "She has followed our advice and (has) started..." P.S. I have always thought it is as the verbs to follow and to start refer to one and ...
1
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1answer
56 views

Time and “look back on” as a phrasal verb

When using this tri-part phrasal verb, i.e., "look back on," what is the length of time it refers to or can refer to? For example, it's common to say: "When John looks back on his childhood, he can ...
2
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2answers
77 views

Treat similarly named patches equally: is this correct English?

I'm a software engineer wanting to use a short but clear text like the following as a selectable option. Treat similarly named patches equally Should I should use -ly with both of similarly and ...
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1answer
1k views

“Pending approval” or “Approval pending”

I'm not a native english speaker so there are still some things that I don't fully understand. What is the best way to say, in a software, that an item is waiting for the approval of someone? ...
1
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0answers
89 views

Definite article before an abstract noun

When is the definite article the appropriate before an abstract noun? In particular, I have the following examples. Which are correct? Case I In the Theorem 4.4, we prove property A for all ...
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3answers
69 views

The structure of the following sentence: “Why may standing up for a long time cause hypotension?” [closed]

Is the structure of this sentence "Why may standing up for a long time cause hypotension?" correct?
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3answers
265 views

If we can fall in love, why can't we fall in anger?

Although we can look back in anger, we can't fall into it. I might argue that the phrase, to fall in love, has something to do with being helpless, of letting go and losing control. But what ...
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0answers
55 views

Dusty new or not

Here's a passage from Cormac McCarthy's "Blood Meridian", where I'm not sure about the meaning of the part "..dusty new or not" : “They traded the mule accoutred as it was for a Texas stock ...
1
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2answers
133 views

What's the correct preposition to use when describing the aspect ratio of a screen?

I'm referring specifically to aspect ratios of TV screens. A common aspect ratio of a TV screen is 16:9. Would this be pronounced "sixteen to nine" or "sixteen by nine"?
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4answers
132 views

Difference between “Talk to me” and “Tell me”

Is there any difference between the usage of those two expressions in a conversation? Thanks in advance.
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2answers
162 views

Asking whether one has been in this company for a very long time?

Is it right to say: 1) Have you been working with this company for a very long time? 2) Have you been with this company for a very long time? Or are there better ways of asking? Extra: How about ...
0
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1answer
37 views

Full stop or colon to describe a number of choices? [closed]

Which example is better? There are three reasons for this: One, two, finally. There are three reasons for this. One, two, finally.
2
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5answers
511 views

What is the best Bible translation by which I can speak proper English if I read it enough times? [closed]

Since over one month I'm reading in over eight different Bible translations in order to find out whose English language is most adapted for today's English language, including grammar, idioms and ...
-1
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1answer
66 views

Should I use “a” or “an” prior to an abbreviation? [duplicate]

For example, non-conformance is abbreviated as NC. If I am referring to a non-conformance, I may pronounce the whole word or I may literally say the letters "NC"; in my industry, they are used ...
2
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4answers
101 views

What type of phrase is “I'm telling you,” when used for emphasis

Consider the following sentence: I'm telling you, I left it right there. In this sentence, the phrase "I'm telling you" is used to emphasise the truth of the clause that follows. What is the ...
3
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5answers
336 views

“There was a man known as the 'Toe Suck Fairy'” — is “there” a complement?

To me, man is the subject and it has two verbs — was and known —, making there a complement. My teacher argued that the verb is "was known".
1
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1answer
91 views

Obligatory punctuation for independent clauses as parts of a noun phrase?

Consider the following sentence: I remember the time I pushed John and he fell over. Is that sentence correctly punctuated as written? I ask because it has no commas. As I understand it, the ...
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0answers
32 views

parts of the sentence(syntax) [duplicate]

could you be so kind and tell me which and where parts of sentence are in sentences like this? (by parts of sentence i mean attribute, subject, predicate, object, etc) It was a bright room and I ...
0
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2answers
1k views

“In the next years to come” or “In the years to come”

I want to write a sentence saying that I hope that something will still happen in the following years. Which is the best way to write it ? I would like to keep doing that in the years to come. OR ...
3
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2answers
138 views

English words that are both nouns and “connectors”?

I am trying to solve a word puzzle that contains several sentences, two of which are presented below, and I have to figure out the missing words represented by the variables W1–W3: There is a W1 ...
5
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3answers
417 views

Transformation? Cleft?

I am wondering if the difference between "It is terrible." and "What it is, is it is terrible." can mostly be described in terms of transformations, grammatically. Is it a kind of cleft sentence?
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2answers
191 views

Can I start a sentence with “Established in”? [closed]

So, I am proofreading a text which starts as follows: This is a bank established since 1900 with majority shareholding held by... and I feel like it can be improved. Can I change it to: ...
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2answers
1k views

Do I need to use a comma before “everyone” to set off the vocative? [duplicate]

While I was writing a status update today on social media I decided to do some grammar-learning. The status update was "Happy Labor Day everyone!" and I am now wondering if I should place a comma ...