Questions regarding the rules for the formation of sentences

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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 ...
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2answers
258 views

Use of “submitting” or “submit” in sentence

Why is submitting used instead of submit in the sentence below from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codebase? They are often used by multi-developer projects to handle various versions and developers ...
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3answers
14k views

The correct syntax for “I/We remain” at the end of the letter

I want to sign off a letter with the following: Letter text. We remain, Sincerely yours, Mr Person Head of Accounting Is this correct usage? Isn’t this like having 2 ...
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2answers
4k views

Is there a term for using a word twice in a row, but in a grammatically-appropriate way?

For example: "I could tell he had had a great time at the circus." If you're not repeating the word for emphasis, is there a term for the sequential usage, other than "coincidence"?
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2answers
715 views

Word-type in this sentence

I'm trying to decode what word-type each word is in the following sentence, please correct me if I'm wrong. The things you own end up owning you. I have it decoded as follows: The (det) things ...
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2answers
257 views

“At least as much as skilled as”

Is this sentence right? Xs need to be at least as much as skilled as Ys. If not what should it be?
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3answers
250 views

Grammar–are there any PoS patterns that are incorrect/to be avoided?

I don't know if there are any patterns/rules for "grammatical don'ts" that pertain to Parts of Speech. For the sake of clarity, I refer to things such as: 1) Noun Noun Noun 2) Verb Noun Adverb 3) ...
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1answer
228 views

Human Face Divine

I recently read that there is a grammatical construct known as a Miltonic Structure, after John Milton. It said that the structure consists of an adjective + noun + adjective, like "human face divine" ...
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1answer
269 views

how to use verbs

Here I don't understand the grammar of this sentence-- I never heard you say that. Why not 'I never heard you saying that' or 'I never heard of you saying that'?
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2answers
348 views

Help me parse this sentence, please?

Observable as a tendency of our culture is a withdrawal of belief in psychoanalysis: we no longer feel that it can solve our emotional problems. This is from GRE verbal tests. From what I guess ...
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2answers
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Distinguish “naming” and “telling” part of simple sentence with compound predicate

Dad caught fish and cooked them for supper. This is a question from a test that my son missed; he is in the second grade. The instructions for the test are as follows: Put one line under the ...
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4answers
435 views

Have I got a little story for you

There is a song called "Alive", by Pearl Jam. The opening line is: Son, she said, have I got a little story for you Despite the subject-auxiliary inversion ("have I"), which would be expected in ...
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2answers
792 views

Is Wayne's World's (NOT) a modern invention?

Older users of this site may recall the 'Bill & Ted' 'Wayne's World' series of movies of the early 1990s. They were mindless but fairly amusing and their eponymous characters spoke in a unique ...
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2answers
1k views

How do noun clauses work when they seem to leave no independent clause?

Another thing that was raised in conversation with my ESL friend is noun clauses. I was aware of Adverbial and Adjectival Clauses and thought that the things he was demonstrating to me were in fact ...
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2answers
6k views

Why is “zero” plural? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Correct plural form of a zero quantified noun I could have: Zero books One book Two books Why is zero in plural form? Edit Per Merriam-Webster: Plural (adj): of, ...
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4answers
24k views

What is the difference between syntax and semantics? [closed]

As a computer scientist and a writing hobbyist, I really ought to know these terms' meanings for memory. Can anyone clarify the difference between syntax and semantics, and provide some examples? For ...
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2answers
2k views

Fish fish fish [closed]

I have seen that buffalo buffalo... has been posted here before. However some sites claim also that the sentence Fish fish fish fish fish fish fish. makes sense. Can someone confirm and ...
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4answers
279 views

Breaking down “Of his honour and his glory, the people would sing” into subject, verb, predicate

I recently listened to the lyrics of Lucky Man by Emerson, Lake and Palmer, and noticed the following line. Of his honour and his glory, the people would sing. It struck me as being non-typical ...
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1answer
429 views

What's the difference between - and — in a phrase? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When should I use an em-dash, an en-dash, and a hyphen? When do I put a - in a sentence? Is it a more powerful comma? With a bigger pause?
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4answers
2k views

What is correct syntax with 'entail'?

My instinct is that when it means "to have as an inescapable consequence", entail must be followed by a noun. In all the grammatical examples I have come across this is how it is used — without ...
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2answers
552 views

Syntax in poetry

Could you please explain why the syntax in the following stanza is wrong? Surrounded by that sturdy assertiveness that walled England the din of traffic in my mind quietens,
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1answer
257 views

this is the first year + clause

In a sentence such as This is the first year I’ve lived in a house with a yard. Is it all right to have a clause other than present perfect? That is, can you say, for instance, sentences like ...
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6answers
1k views

Superlative + noun + “possible”: why does the adjective come after the noun?

Does someone happen to have an explanation or theory for why in phrases like "the best method possible" the word 'possible' comes after the noun?
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6answers
15k 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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10answers
2k views

What rules make “Remember me, who am your friend” grammatical?

An acquaintance recalled this specific example from an English textbook, but it is jarring to my native ear. Is this an example of prescriptive grammarians gone wild?
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4answers
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How do the rules of English inform understanding of one of our language's most disputed sentences?

Yes, historical context is important, but forget it for a moment. Taken at face value, what does the text mean? A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right ...
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2answers
441 views

Irregular plurals. Leathermans or Leathermen?

Which plural do you use for a word that should have a regular plural but ends with a word that has its own irregular one? The example that made me ask was "leatherman" (the multitool) but there are ...
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3answers
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“Denoted by” or just “denoted”?

In a mathematical context (explaining a formula just written) the following seems unobjectionable: "The set of unitary polynomials has been denoted by P". My question is whether it sounds right to ...
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3answers
23k views

“Thank both of you”

Is there a trace first person pronoun before the utterance "thank you", making it shorthand for "I/we thank you"? A ramification of this question is an expression of gratitude I just heard that ...
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2answers
916 views

Use of “do” in affirmative statements [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When do you use “Did + 1st form” instead of “2nd form” When is do used in affirmative sentences? For example: I do think that this is going to be... Is it only ...
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7answers
2k views

Using -ed vs. -ing in the “needs washed” construction

I'm from Central Pennsylvania, and apparently, we have a strange language construct in this area. I was recently talking about how "my car needs washed" to a friend from NJ, and she told me that my ...
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3answers
21k views

Is “believe you me” proper English?

I understand the phrase "believe you me" to be an emphatic version of "believe me" but how did it come to be? Is it a poor translation into English?
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2answers
690 views

Syntax for marking incorrect examples of language

I have noticed various marks in example sentences to denote incorrect examples of English: This is correct. *This incorrectly. The former is left alone; the latter has an asterisk marking ...
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2answers
1k views

Are the tense and syntax in this sentence correct? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Future tense usage: “When you see it …” When he will arrive, he will call you. Please let me know if the tense and syntax in this sentence are ...
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4answers
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“He does more than (is) necessary.”

Can someone diagram the sentences He does more than necessary. He does more than is necessary. please? (Say, using an X-bar tree.) Also, there seems to be a secondary clause in the sentences (or ...
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3answers
966 views

Ending sentence with two nouns?

This is from NYTimes: And again and again, and closer and closer, it returns to a speeding commuter train, a recurrence that artfully foreshadows the story’s nifty repetition compulsion. How can ...
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1answer
345 views

How do I handle articles with parenthetical statements? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “a/an” preceding a parenthetical statement If I were to use a (normal) parenthetical statement, the article would not cause problems. If I were to use a ...
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5answers
912 views

“It would not do to confuse the nurses with the patients”

From http://www.debate.org/debates/School-uniforms-ought-to-be-worn-in-primary-and-secondary-schools./1/: For many of these, the reason for wearing a uniform is clear: so that they are easily ...
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5answers
1k views

“Wake up Joe” or “Wake Joe up”?

Are they synonymous, or not? Looking at wake up as a phrasal verb it seems that the more correct way is "I will wake up Joe" rather than "I will wake Joe up", but the second rolls better off my ...
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2answers
392 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 ...
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1answer
232 views

Where did ::action:: come from?

Sometimes during instant messaging, people will want to express an action, possibly something where an acronym doesn't exist for, yet. The formula is generally opened by two colons, an ...
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4answers
10k views

“The world forgetting, by the world forgot.”

This is from Alexander Pope's Eloisa to Abelard, also appeared in the movie Eternal Sunshine of Spotless Mind(2004). Could anyone parse this sentence for me? Where's the predicate? What does "the ...
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1answer
290 views

“It is black's turn” or “it is blacks turn”?

Is it black's turn to move in chess, or is it blacks turn?
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3answers
412 views

What is the difference between these “clause separators”?

Here is an example sentence: At the start of the day you may (if you like) make yourself a slice of toast. Are the brackets appropriate to separate the clause "if you like" from the main ...
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3answers
384 views

Meaning of the adverb 'differently' and its position

Perceptual constancy refers to our ability to see things differently without having to reinterpret the object's properties. Is differently referring to we see or things?
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7answers
1k views

What is the difference between “I earn $500 each month” and “I earn $500 per month”?

What is the difference between these two sentences? I earn $500 each month I earn $500 per month
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1answer
190 views

“predictions of” or “predictions for”?

As far as I know, both are grammatically correct, so which one is best to use? My predictions of the future Or: My predictions for the future
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3answers
3k views

The Coordination/Conjunction Constituency Test

We've been covering constituency tests in my syntax class and whenever it comes to doing the Coordination (also know as conjunction) test, it isn't making sense to me. I'm just not sure how it proves ...
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1answer
124 views

“used word” or “word used”?

The word used in that context should be gusto. The used word is wrong. Is it correct to place used after word? When should I use word used, and when used word?
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5answers
38k views

Should an adverb go before or after a verb?

For example: The word rarely turns up outside of those contexts. The word turns up rarely outside of those contexts. Which one is correct and why?