Questions regarding the rules for the formation of sentences

learn more… | top users | synonyms

0
votes
1answer
145 views

Using the word “Default”

I am a computer programmer and I come across the word "default" a lot, usually a statement would say: Default A to B, and I understand it as follows: A has the value B by default is this a correct ...
0
votes
1answer
1k 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?
1
vote
1answer
22k 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
1answer
253 views

Syntax tree of a sentence

How would you draw the syntax tree of the sentence below? She arrived at quarter past two My doubts are especially about at quarter past two.
2
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
227 views

Can a dependent clause undergo inversion in English?

The grammars I've seen state that dependent clauses never undergo inversion. This agrees with sentences like Tell me where he is. But how sentences like Tell me, where is he? should be ...
7
votes
3answers
356 views

Whoever had the lice, they're dead now

This sentence is from South Park. There was a lice problem in the school and the children demand that their teacher Mrs. Garrison tell them who exactly had the lice. She says that it's not important ...
0
votes
1answer
87 views

Who would say “letters of love” as opposed to “love letters”?

From what part of the world would a person refer to love letters as letters of love?
-1
votes
1answer
421 views

Need we use “sums” in sentences whenever they describe the sum of plural objects? [duplicate]

Need we use sums in the case that the sentence describes the sum of plural objects? For example, “100 centimeters sums to one meter” versus “100 centimeters sum to one meter”. They both seem make ...
2
votes
1answer
938 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
2answers
1k views

“to further assist [you]” — Split infinitive or fixed VP?

From a descriptive standpoint (and the problem that English has at least two words in an infinitive), I understand why the split infinitive is becoming more acceptable, but is there any other excuse ...
2
votes
3answers
318 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
196 views

“Recommend considering upgrading” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “I have been keeping ignoring you.” The following sentence sounds odd to me, however I cannot think of any rules that would make its syntax incorrect: "I would ...
7
votes
2answers
598 views

Longer than a word — smaller than a sentence

What would you call a linguistic construct that is just big enough to convey a meaning within a context, longer than a word but not having the length and proper form of a complete sentence? Like, for ...
3
votes
4answers
488 views

Analysing clause elements and their function

I have a problem analysing this sentence from the point of finite/nonfinite clauses, clause elements and their functions: He does not want to destroy his parents' dream of him achieving a ...
1
vote
1answer
135 views

Is this 'as' a conjunction?

I guess ‘as’ is a conjunction. If then, is as-clause an adjective clause that modifies ‘Muggle money’? There was a train to London in five minutes' time. Hagrid, who didn't understand 'Muggle ...
1
vote
2answers
347 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
342 views

Sentence with two not-so-related parts

Quite a lot of articles in Wikipedia, especially about people, have sentences like this one: Author of Gitanjali and its "profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse", he became the first ...
1
vote
3answers
692 views

Use of prepositions in strings of conjunctions

When one wants to list various cases/classes/categories/types of objects in a string of conjunctions, is it preferable (or even mandatory) to keep on using (the same) preposition in front of each one ...
0
votes
1answer
129 views

Is this an absolute phrase?

In the following example, is more full picture a kind of absolute phrase? He has given us a lot, more full picture of dinosaurs of the East Coast.
5
votes
1answer
161 views

When to put a verb ahead of its doer?

I have read this at the Science.com, and it's in the second line of the last paragraph. A bow and arrow or an atlatl allows users to attack prey—and enemies—from a safer distance than does an ...
-1
votes
1answer
392 views

Is 'their way' having the function of adverbial phrase?

It was a nice feeling, sitting there with Ron, eating their way through all Harry’s pasties, cakes, and candies (the sandwiches lay forgotten). In this sentence, what's the meaning of 'their ...
11
votes
4answers
646 views

How much not better than average is enough?

This is adapted from a silly conversation I had about a baseball player. It set me wondering how to describe this sort of wordplay linguistically. HIM: Do we leave Jay in center? HER: He's ...
5
votes
1answer
5k views

Symbol, punctuation, or abbreviation that indicates a “paraphrase”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the proper use of [square brackets] in quotes? This question is born of practical necessity - one that I encountered while quoting a reference in "another" Stack ...
0
votes
1answer
3k views

Why is “being ” used in this sentence “it being a rainy day” as a present participle?

The following sentence is somewhat confusing. It being a rainy day, we had to abandon (or simply say cancel) the match. or Being a rainy day, we had to abandon the match. I think one of ...
5
votes
5answers
841 views

What is going on in this sentence?

I was helping my brother study for the SAT, and we came across this sentence: While it was different from all the other classes he had taken, Eric was unhappy with his psychology class. The ...
2
votes
2answers
592 views

Reason for Subject-Verb Inversion: Only in cases where A is B, shall the Company do X [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Sentences using: [something] + have + they subject-auxiliary inversions not associated with questions In the following, why does subject-verb inversion occur? Is it ...
2
votes
0answers
404 views

Syntax, contrastive analysis [closed]

Could anyone help me with this question? What are the main types of contrast involved in contrastive analysis of syntax? Give examples. I tried to find answer, but unfortunately I find nothing.
2
votes
0answers
796 views

Why do BBC News use so many 'quotes' in headlines [closed]

I have noticed a that the BBC News website seems to use quotes in their headlines in places where I can see no reason to do so. Take the following story: Julius Malema: South Africa issues 'arrest ...
6
votes
6answers
6k views

Russian speakers and “I feel myself to be …”

I was told that it is a typical mistake for Russian speakers to say I feel myself badly instead of I feel ill. I wonder to what extent such constructs sound wrong to native speakers? I feel ...
-1
votes
2answers
852 views

“What is that?” vs “What is it?” [closed]

When describing my product (actually a computer system) in a presentation, what way is best (most understandable or natural) for writing the heading of the introductory slide, where “XYZ” stands for ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

Adverb position in perfect tenses [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Are there any rules on the positioning adverbs should take in a sentence? My question concerns the adverb position in perfect tenses. For example look at these ...
0
votes
3answers
449 views

What type of clause is this?

Can anyone say what type of clause this is — noun, adjective or adverbial? I am glad that you have passed the test. Some people say that it is a noun clause. But I am not sure. What is the ...
3
votes
2answers
340 views

Wrong usage of “myself ”, or just putting emphasis on “me”?

I was writing the following sentence, and I realized it somehow sounds odd: I am constantly trying to remind myself to think carefully before speaking, but those moments I forget to do so end up ...
-1
votes
5answers
236 views

Still More Syntactic Confusion [closed]

I sometimes encounter sentences like this Mussolini ordered the Italy invaded Albania. It seems incorrect to me but I want native speakers to prove. UPDATE. The sentence above is taken from ...
2
votes
3answers
727 views

At/For a Distance Of

Somebody asked me about the usage of the word distance in a sentence. I have my own ideas about it, particularly the difference between at a distance of and for a distance of. Unfortunately, I’m ...
4
votes
2answers
82 views

“Foos are menace” vs. “Foos are a menace”

One of my friends has this in one of his E-mail signatures: «"Kosher" Cellphones (cellphones with blocked SMS, video and Internet) are menace to the deaf. They must be outlawed!». Is this sentence ...
2
votes
2answers
419 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
3k views

How to Identify a Rhetorical Question?

I am familiar with the idea of a rhetorical question, but are there any criteria to mark or identify one? Can a rhetorical question be recognized alone or does it need surrounding context? It ...
5
votes
1answer
136 views

Name and rules of this construction: “A somber man privately, Johnson had an acid humor.”

I'm reading a book right now that in my opinion overuses a certain construct. It's used so much that it distracts from the content. Some examples: Eccentric and egotistical, Berkeley was not so ...
1
vote
1answer
254 views

Three part or Three-part [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is there a grammar rule behind the hyphen in the phrase 'one-act play'? Okay, so it might sound like a primitive question. However, I can find out a reasoning or ...
0
votes
3answers
415 views

Does “What did you get up to?” make sense?

Someone texted me the following What did you get up to? And when I asked what that meant, told me it meant What are you doing tonight?. Now to me that doesn't make any sense, but I'm not a ...
4
votes
2answers
798 views

Is it correct? I “am trying fixing this”?

Actually, I'd like to know if is correct to say: "I am trying fixing this", or should use the more obvious "I am trying to fix this"? If the first one is correct, is there a name for this kind of ...
2
votes
1answer
885 views

“You have until X to do Y” — is this grammatically correct?

I have a question regarding the following sentence: You have until June 6th to go there. Is it grammatically incorrect? Consider the following: You is the subject, have is the verb, until June ...
1
vote
1answer
4k views

If “latter” comes first, and “former” comes second, what comes third? Or fourth? [closed]

If we had an hour long discussion, and discussed 5 topics: A, B, C, D and E in order, to the extent that we are talking about "E" right now, if "D" is the latter, and "C" is the former, what is "B" to ...
1
vote
2answers
122 views

“Come + X” construct

I've come across the "come + X" construct in a passage of a New York Times article. Here it is (emphasis added): Politicians like to keep the fiscal levers in their hands come election time ...
0
votes
2answers
318 views

Omission of “to” with deontic “have to” [closed]

In the following sentence from The New Yorker (emphasis added) Sarkozy [...] has spent much of his campaign trying to woo voters away from Le Pen [...] and he is only going to have grovel for them ...
0
votes
1answer
84 views

“Is/are X + adjective”

I provide the sentence in context: [A couple kisses. A friend of them sees the scene and says:] Oh, are you cute! This clearly means "you're so cute, sweet" and the like. So, is this ...
0
votes
4answers
95 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
397 views

How to use “ as … as ” to mean something is beyond someones experience

I found the following means something AT the limit of someones experience "The wooden stair descending to the Capitol's subbasement were as steep and shallow as any stairs Langdon had ever ...