Questions regarding the rules for the formation of sentences

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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 ...
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2answers
467 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 ...
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5answers
273 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 ...
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3answers
1k 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 ...
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2answers
86 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 ...
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2answers
440 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 ...
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3answers
4k 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 ...
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1answer
162 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 ...
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1answer
329 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 ...
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3answers
8k 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 ...
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2answers
1k 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 ...
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1answer
1k 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 ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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2answers
138 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 ...
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2answers
386 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 ...
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1answer
93 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 ...
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4answers
113 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 ...
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3answers
510 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 ...
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3answers
511 views

Position of adverb “implicitly”

In the following sentence I'm not sure where to put implicitly: The language doesn't support Int and (implicitly) converts (implicitly) Int to Double (implicitly). First I put it at the end, ...
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1answer
764 views

Word order for “What is… that … called?”

I am having difficulty with finding the natural word order in the following passive construction: What are people called who do a lot of unnecessary work? What are called people who do a lot ...
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5answers
2k views

The Guardian: “It does indeed […] misleading them […]”

Reading an article by The Guardian, I stumbled upon a sentence which I cannot make sense of: Yes, the worst things you may have heard about the National Defense Authorization Act, which has ...
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4answers
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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?
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1answer
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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 ...
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2answers
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I was confused about “to be + past participle"

Why does the following sentence use "to be reinforced" rather than "was reinforced" The fact that organisms evidently inherit the capacity to be reinforced by certain kinds of event does not ...
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4answers
490 views

“The punch card was data processing back then”

I find it difficult to understand the sentence as shown in the title. Is the card data? Is the card processing? Is the card a method (or style) to process data? I'm Chinese. If I express the ...
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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: ...
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5answers
944 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..'? ...
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2answers
717 views

“It is having time to think that makes me depressed” — grammatical function of “that”?

It is having time to think that makes me depressed. In this sentence, what is the grammatical function of the word that?
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1answer
3k views

Proper usage/origin of the generic phrase “[action phrase] does not a [noun] make” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why is “xxxx doth not a yyyy make” considered valid English? I occasionally come across a sentence formulated in a manner similar to the following: ...
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4answers
471 views

There is no headache strong enough, that a good coffee won't relieve

I heard this phrase today and I'm pretty sure that there is something wrong with it. I do not know if it is the grammar or the syntax or the meaning of the words. Can you please tell me what the ...
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2answers
593 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 ...
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2answers
428 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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4answers
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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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3answers
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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
916 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
333 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
305 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
268 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
296 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
418 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
18k views

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
521 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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3answers
1k 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
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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
11k 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
42k 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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1answer
3k views

“Fish fish fish fish fish fish fish”: valid sentence? [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
324 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
861 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
3k 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 ...