Questions regarding the rules for the formation of sentences

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3
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5answers
446 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".
0
votes
1answer
5k views

Is this sentence right correct “What I want to do is read this book.”?

"What I want to do is read this book." Is it correct? Or, can I say: "What I want to do is to read this book." "What I want to do is reading this book." Are all of the three sentences correct?
4
votes
3answers
8k views

When is “here” an adverb or a noun?

In the sentence "I hope you are all paying attention, here is a sentence I made earlier", is here an adverb or a noun? I think it is a noun, but if I substitute a noun or a pronoun for here, the ...
3
votes
6answers
33k views

Syntactically correct, semantically incorrect sentence

How would I answer the following programming exercise? It's trying to emphasize the difference between semantics and syntax. Write an English sentence that has correct syntax but has semantic ...
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5answers
1k views

How do I say 'people insist on' in the passive voice?

If I have 'read guides where people insist that...' then how do I use that in the passive voice? 'In guides I have read, it is insisted that...'? 'In guides I have read, it is insisted upon that..'? ...
1
vote
1answer
74k views

Is it correct to start a sentence with “with” in English?

Is it correct to use with at the beginning of a sentence? Here's an example sentence: With the development of the economy, living standards improved. To my eyes this looks unnatural; I would ...
1
vote
2answers
3k views

Not so much as [something] as [something else]

Consider the sentence: "She sees him not so much as her uncle as her friend." Is this sentence correct? I feel something is missing, or perhaps I am disturbed by the extra 'as'. Compare with: ...
5
votes
4answers
334 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
797 views

Adverbial phrase

What is an adverbial phrase ? I recently learnt 'to boot' , meaning in addition, as well. And someone was saying it is an adverbial phrase. I think I know what is an adverb, but never learnt of ...
4
votes
4answers
3k views

using “the”+adj without a noun

Is the following sentence good/legal/understood English? Meditation melts the coarse and solidifies the subtle. If it isn't, how can this be otherwise expressed, in a neat and concise way?
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Non verbal predicates in English

Is a non-verbal predicate a synonymous term for "nominal predicate"? And moreover, do non-verbal predicates only appear with linking verbs or can also appear in other types of constructions? I ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Order of preposition in US and UK English

In Britain we'd say He had a black hat on. Speakers of American English are more likely to say* He had on a black hat. The latter just seems wrong to me. Is my intuition correct or are ...
3
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2answers
782 views

“He thought that that might be awkward.”

"He thought that that might be awkward." I know this sentence is a bit awkward, but is it grammatically incorrect?
2
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3answers
486 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
88 views

Changing case within quoted text

I'm familiar with the convention that square brackets may be used within quoted text to indicate word[s] that aren't actually present [in that exact form] in the original. It's often necessary where ...
2
votes
2answers
449 views

Dangling Participial Phrase [closed]

Here’s the original: The veterinarian was caught off guard when, regaining consciousness, we were again attacked by the cat. My rewrite of this sentence is either: The veterinarian was ...
2
votes
3answers
594 views

should one invert syntax for the verb “do” in a comparison?

Which sounds better: When Canadians do initiate conversations, they tend to be more reserved than Americans do. When Canadians do initiate conversations, they tend to be more reserved than do ...
1
vote
2answers
674 views

Isn’t the expression, "I'm not inclined to be a supporter of Newt Gingrich's having served under him for four years” confusing?

I found the following line in today’s (December 4) Time magazine article titled, Coburn Speaks Up: “On "Fox News Sunday," Sooner State Sen. tells Chris Wallace he would have trouble supporting ...
0
votes
0answers
59 views

Reversal of normal word order without change in meaning

"Out the window flew the parakeet." This is a complete reversal of the normal order of the sentence elements, but it doesn't change the meaning (though it does change the emphasis a bit). Are there ...
0
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3answers
644 views

Meaning of “little heart” vs. “less heart”? and why

Little heart/less heart? And why? I have read the following sentence: "he has little conscience and less heart." Can I write that "he has less conscience and little heart"? Could you solve my problem?...
0
votes
0answers
118 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
260 views

Ellipsis in noun phrases with possessive case [closed]

Can you omit the second occurrence of the word "poems" in a sentence like the following? I like Lord Byron's poems, and also enjoy a number of Percy Shelley's [poems].
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4answers
121 views

“something inescapably points if …” or “if something inescapably points to …”?

At the same time, they are reluctant to accept the conclusions toward which such proof inescapably points if they do not "sense" the uniformity themselves. The position of the word if in this ...