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
68 views

Can parallelism be defined as a syntactic structure?

Can parallelism be defined as a syntactic structure? In my course, we study parallelism as an example of syntactic patterning. However, would it be ok to call it a syntactic structure?
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1answer
53 views

Flipping Sentences and Verb Agreement

Is the following sentence grammatically correct in regards subject-verb agreement? One of the main facets of the soul is the feelings humans treasure above all: love and compassion. The ...
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2answers
46 views

Restrictions on including TO BE in “the only one [to be] X”

This English Language Learners question prompted me to wonder about... Q1: Why was John annoyed? A1: Because he was the only one [to be] refused entry to the pub. Q2: Why was only John ...
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40 views

Use of “as” with verbs? [closed]

Would you say: I don't know anybody who has as much energy as John. or I don't know anybody who has as much energy as John does.
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1answer
902 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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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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1answer
50 views

Simple Syntax Query: categories for parenthetical asides

What are the different categories for parenthetical asides that are set aside by commas, dashes or parentheses? You have nonrestrictive descriptors which function syntactically as modifiers, ...
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1answer
131 views

Syntax of “It seemed to be a person”

How do you you parse this sentence? Here's my attempt: subj: It verb: seemed comp: to be a man (infinitive) is the whole infinitive phrase the complement or is "a man" the complement, and "to be" ...
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1answer
58 views

Single Comma—how's it being used?

How is the comma being used in this sentence: "But we are not principally concerned here with sentence construction, rather with finding out what makes a proper sentence so that we know where ...
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36 views

Syntax of the title 'king'?

Sorry for the strange title, this is my first question in this site; English is not my mother language so this may sound like a really weird question but I want an answer to my doubt: Why is 'king ...
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19 views

Is the phrase “who/what even is [blank]” correct?

I've been hearing a lot of people recently say something like: What even is a baseball? however when I hear people say that I get the gut feeling that it should be What is a baseball even? ...
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48 views

Placing of adverb in a sentence

"This should perfectly be done". "This should be perfectly done". Of the two sentences, which one is correct? I am confused about placing of adverb "perfectly". Should the adverb be placed before ...
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2answers
617 views

Syntax of “not only” + “furthermore”

Can I use not only with furthermore instead of also? Not only is he tall, he is also heavy. Can I say or write: Not only is he tall, he is furthermore heavy. or (and please tell me if this ...
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1answer
56 views

What is the grammatical basis for using “a” before a present participle (-ing)?

Example: When I called, he came a running. My first inclination was that it's an article and the participle is being used as a gerund, but that doesn't make sense structurally. My second is I ...
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2answers
225 views

What exactly does it mean to say something is “grammatical?”

I often see the expression "That's ungrammatical" used to explain why something is not OK. For example, a user might post a question: "Is it OK to say, I are go to New York?" Most people would ...
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2answers
28 views

Properly Punctuating a Parenthetical

I have a line in a document "Create New Path" which I would like to change to "Create New Path or Update Old Path?" including the "?" In my correspondence with others they may think I'm asking a ...
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2answers
33 views

When it is appropriate to use “-ing” in a dependent clause?

I tend to use sentences like these ones in my writings: "Bob kicked the boy, injuring his left knee." "Congress passed the brand new tariff act, increasing the prices of imported goods." ...
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1answer
80 views

To Infinitive or Not Infinitive

I am wondering if the lack of infinitive "to+have" in the section highlighted below raises any flags for anyone. People have been taught have faith and to trust — or not have faith and not to ...
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2answers
43 views

Proper syntax of gender-neutral statements, order of his/her

I know that in certain cases, you can form a gender-neutral sentence with a form of "they", e.g.: If a person goes out to their car... You could also use "his or her" or some variation: If a ...
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2answers
112 views

What is the grammatical designation of “that” in “…that she may have…”?

The following sentence is the Modern English translation of a line from the Old English poem Judith: He (God) advanced a gracious favour to her, that she may have a steadfast faith. My question ...
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4answers
70 views

“you have sooner or later to” - why is “have to” split into two parts?

Playing a sport, any kind of sport, coming from a sports oriented family and not trying hard, you have sooner or later to face some awkward questions at dinner, such as... Source: Tennis ...
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6answers
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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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1answer
45 views

Which is better: “related more” or “was more related”

It actually related more to his genetics than his behavior. or It actually was more related to his genetics than his behavior.
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95 views

“Each” in potential subject position in compound sentence always pronoun?

This question is related to: "Each" — pronoun or adverb The sentence in that question is: M and W are letters and each has 4 strokes In that sentence, how do we know that “each” is a ...
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2answers
163 views

The correct syntactic usage of “Only”

Question #1: Which of the following sentences has the correct syntactic usage of the word "only"? Question #2: What do the remaining sentences mean? Examples: Only I gave him $1. I only ...
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48 views

Is the second “as if” correct?

The effect of the sensory images is that it renders the pizza in a way that makes it sound like it bends the laws of nature, as if it is something so revolutionary that one needs to experience ...
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5answers
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A coffee to go…( for syntax experts)

Could the infinitive phrase "to go" be a complement of the noun phrase "a coffee"?
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48 views

What's the exact meaning of this sentence?

I came by a certain sentence which is quite difficult for me to comprehend. It goes: "To the extent that being caliph had any more purchase than being Caesar for the Ottomans in the late nineteenth ...
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Strong /strɔːŋ/ → stronger /strɔːŋɡər/ - Why do we have to put an extra /g/ in front of /ər/? Is it a rule?

Ok, see this in the dictionary: Strong /strɔːŋ/ --> Stronger /strɔːŋɡər/ Why do we have to put an extra /g/ in front of /ər/? But "/sing" /sɪŋ/ & "/singer" /ˈsɪŋər/ do not adhere to that rule. ...
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2answers
47 views

Can we parse this sentence in two ways?

Being a Maia didn't stop Elendil and Gil-Galad from kicking his butt. As of now, this is an apt comment on this question at SFF (Why does Sauron fear Aragorn if he is a Maia?). I wonder ...
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0answers
30 views

When contractions shouldn't be contractions [duplicate]

I was reading a comment that was made on SO that sounded strange to me [That feature] should've better support in [the] next version My first reaction to this was that it needs to be "should ...
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0answers
28 views

How to study for a dlab exam?

My question is about the Dlab exam I will provide a bit of background first, my own research and then ask my question at the end. Background I am aiming to enlist in the US Navy and my college ...
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1answer
96 views

Roger Ascham his language

As I was finishing Ascham's "Toxophilus" I've stumbled over this phrase, the meaning of which remained unclear to me: "An other wil stand poyntinge his shafte at the marke a good whyle and by and by ...
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1answer
99 views

What type of sentence is a list of dependent clauses

I'm trying to classify the following sentence as compound, complex or compound-complex: These are: a book with drawings, a man holding a picture and a statue. I think it's a complex sentence, ...
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11answers
545 views

Subject, Verb Object (and so forth) sentence analysis. In particular: What's the Verb here?

I need help! Could you please look at this sentence: When I obtained a credit card, I began spending money recklessly. I'm doing basic sentence patterns, and I don't know how to analyse this ...
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3answers
638 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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1answer
59 views

John ate vs John is too stubborn to talk to

I was intrigued by an observation made by Noam Chomsky in this video, namely that if we take the sentence John ate an apple and drop an apple to get John ate John ate an apple. John ate. we ...
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3answers
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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 correct in formal English. Here is the particular sentence I am writing: I got ample opportunities to communicate with a ...
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3answers
249 views

What is the equivalent in English of the French sentence part “complément de phrase”?

In French, a sentence has two essential syntactic parts (the subject and the predicate) and may have one or more "complément de phrase", which are optional parts. "complément de phrase" = "sentence ...
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2answers
47 views

Does including an indirect object in a question change the answer or just help specify it?

For example, I'm trying to figure out what the proper answer to a question like, "Why did the car blow up two weeks ago?" Would the answer to the question be simply the reason why the car blew up, ...
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2answers
13k views

Why is “zero” plural?

I could have: Zero books One book Two books Why is zero in plural form? Edit Per Merriam-Webster: Plural (adj): of, relating to, or constituting a class of grammatical forms usually used to ...
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Another flippin Comma Question!

This sentence is from the dictionary: "Congenial means sharing the same temperament, or agreeing with your temperament." How's the comma functioning in the aforementioned sentence? What rule is ...
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76 views

“need to get something verbed by somebody” Is this usage correct?

Is this usage correct according to these examples? I need to get this room left by students. Is the above correct, and if so, does it mean the same as "I need to cause this room to be left by ...
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80 views
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What is the correct adjective suffix form for tropism?

A tropism is a type of biological response where an organism reacts to a particular environmental stimulus. For instance, try searching for gravitropism or phototropism and you'll see what I mean. ...
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3answers
1k views

How to decide on the type of ellipsis

I'm having some hard time deciding on the types of a few ellipses I've got to analyze. Let's consider an example such as this one: Then Rosemary came out and said that Daddy was going to jail, ...
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815 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
59 views

What is the effect/purpose of moving adverbs to the beginning of a sentence?

It's often said that changing word order serves to add emphasis to the element moved out of its normal place, but I have doubts. Take for example the sentence: I spoke to Jim about the party on ...
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2answers
187 views

Syntax of “What proof have we?”

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 ...