Questions regarding the rules for the formation of sentences

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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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2answers
103 views

Does the “she was found in violation of…” <-> “she was violated” equivalence have a name?

This is a follow-up to this question: Why is "violated" being used as future perfect with a person as the object? At that question, it was established that there is a jargon/slang usage of ...
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4answers
8k views

Which is preferable: “We are all” or “we all are”

"We are all mad." "We all are mad." I think each of these conveys the same idea. Besides this, we can use "we are all" alone. I hear the first one more frequently. Does the second one sound worse ...
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4answers
730 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 ...
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1answer
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“A for B and C showcases D like E”

Consider this sentence: “His work for Blair and Claire showcases traditional arts like weaving.” Does this imply that both his work for Blair showcases traditional arts and his work for Claire ...
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1answer
2k 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
68 views

Is it appropriate not to capitalize “I” if i personally view it as vanity on cultural grounds? [closed]

My native language is Russian, and the first person singular pronoun in Russian is "я". No capitalization. We also have a proverb in our language (and culture), which is literally translated as: "'я' ...
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1answer
27 views

How Long can a Sentence be Without being Overly Repetitive? [closed]

Roughly how long could a sentence become without undue repetition (as seen in This is the House that Jack Built) or adding irrelevant information? Adding onto this, is there a maximum amount of ...
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12answers
608 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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1answer
17 views

Some clause structure about “SOURCE said that CLAUSE”?

Suppose we have the following sentences: John believes that people are good. Steve knows that France is in Europe. Now, in these sentences we have some clause (e.g. People are good, France ...
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4answers
64 views

Grammar rules governing a phrase from the US Constitution:

The U.S. Constitution, Article II, Section 1, Paragraph 5 reads No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall ...
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0answers
24 views

Do neither and nor ever switch places for literary effect? [duplicate]

I came across this picture: Is the swapping of nor and neither is a gross grammatical error (benign typo, if you will) or is it sometimes employed for some literary effect?
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1answer
69 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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1answer
43 views

De-garden path this: “This time I did spend thinking”

Consider the following excerpt from an imaginary letter: Dear Margaret, I apologize for not having replied to your letter sooner. I have been traveling for the past month and circumstances ...
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2answers
68 views

Revising a Sentence for Brevity while Maintaining Eloquence

I am working on an article / story about legal cannabis in Colorado, and I have written this sentence regarding the smell upon entering a large, industrial grow room: The only way I know how to ...
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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?
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0answers
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Can I say “yesterday's mathematics' teacher” [migrated]

...or should I say "yesterday mathematics teacher"? EDIT Usage in a full sentence: 'I'm waiting for yesterday's Mathematics' teacher to come online'
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0answers
34 views

Can all dynamic (action) verbs be paired up with all existing prepositions to form compound verbs?, ie. “Throw- out,off,in, up, etc.”

I know that not all verbs can be compounded with all prepositions such as, "Believe-out, of, from, up, down." being a stative verb; and that action verbs can be paired up with lamost all prepositions. ...
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1answer
39 views

What is and isn't a constituent, and how (whether?) can one argue that something is or isn't grammatical

Background In CGEL on p. 1317, we find the following analysis of the sentence [1] [Beauty] [as well as love] is redemptive. They note that the singular is signifies that as well as is here not a ...
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1answer
31 views

“Can you tell me what this is?” or “[…] what is this?” [duplicate]

As written in the title, my question is, which version of the sentence is grammatically correct, if not both. I've been arguing with some guy on 9gag for roughly 10-15 minutes already, and I'm not ...
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2answers
69 views

Describing the syntax in a sentence from Jane Austen's Emma

I'm writing an essay on a passage from Jane Austen's Emma and am trying to comment upon the structure of a certain sentence. I know what I want to say (in terms of the effects of the syntax), but I ...
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1answer
40 views

Correct morphological parse of a word “indecipherable”

What will be the correct morphological parse of word indecipherable in-prefix>decipher-stem>able-suffix or indecipherable in-prefix>de- prefix >cipher-stem>able-suffix ...
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2answers
67 views

Analysing “Ain't got no use for no coal company”

I'm writing my thesis and I have a problem analysing this sentence: "Ain't got no use for no coal company" (Grisham, 2014: 157). I know there's no subject - is it therefore an ellipsis? I don't ...
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0answers
28 views

using “get + verb(pp)” to replace become, is this slang?

My question is about the use of (get + pp) to mean "become ______." I got laid. I got #%$&ed. I'm going to get hammered. She got schlonged.(Trumpism) Is this slang or syntactically correct? If ...
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1answer
105 views

“Should never have been” or “should have never been”? [duplicate]

Example: Methamphetamine should have never been created. or Methamphetamine should never have been created. Which one is correct? This seems like it should have a simple answer, but ...
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3answers
494 views

Is there an exception to the prohibition against ending a sentence with “ ’s ” at work here?

The ’s can be used as a contraction representing a weak, unstressed word that is not pronounced. It allegedly cannot occur in sentence final position. She is not ready, but he is. She’s not ...
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1answer
57 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
69 views

Did English ever admit the 'to have X years' verbal phrase? [closed]

This verbal phrase remains grammatical in Romance languages (eg: 'avoir X ans' in French).
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1answer
10k views

“Pending approval” or “Approval pending”

I'm not a native english speaker so there are still some things that I don't fully understand. What is the best way to say, in a software, that an item is waiting for the approval of someone? ...
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1answer
54 views

Is “War needs heroes” grammatically correct? [closed]

It's intended to be used as a slogan of a war-type game. Should the subject be "war" or "a war" or "wars"? And what the verb form should be accordingly?
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2answers
806 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
60 views

What is the term for a phrase like “school it is”?

I heard this kind of expression in conversation: 1) A.- You should go to school and learn. B.- All right, school it is. 2) A.- Open the window unless there is better idea. B.- (no ...
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2answers
48 views

An alternate sentence to ask somebody to complete their task [closed]

At work, When expecting a document from someone, I email with sentence like these: Please provide the document or Can you provide the document? I think this sentence should not be a ...
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1answer
44 views

Is there any dialect of English that uses “positive ever” to mean “once”?

One of the most interesting things for me is to learn that some construction that seems completely ungrammatical to me is completely okay for speakers of some other dialect of English. For example, ...
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0answers
14 views

What order should one describe something with size, age, shape and colour? [duplicate]

Consider a little dog, which is brown in colour, and old. Is there a correct order in which these three descriptive words should be placed when describing this man? Is there even a correct way? Is ...
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2answers
1k views

'weighed in' vs 'wade in'

When someone to gives their opinion on a complex topic, is the phrase used "weighed in" or "wade in"? I thought it was the former, but I've been seeing the latter crop up more and more often. ...
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2answers
70 views

I want to know how to correctly use me and I or you and I in a sentence [duplicate]

I would like to understand how to you the word me and I in a sentence using correct grammar. The difference between you and me : The difference between me and you The difference between you and I : ...
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2answers
52 views

Different writing styles - Using the word 'as' too much [closed]

I am using the word 'as' too much. The gate swung open as it was moved by the wind. He said as he looked away She put her hand on his leg as she peered deep into his eyes. I also use this ...
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1answer
52 views

Correct syntax using 'as well as' [closed]

I have the feeling that this sentence is not correct and that it would be better to split it in two, but I can't seem to get my head around it. I would appreciate any hints as to whether it is a ...
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3answers
183 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
38 views

Proper nouns and a and an [closed]

I seem to recall a syntactical rule about proper nouns not taking the an form. Example: a android phone. Or a iPhone. Or is this just my memory failing me?
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2answers
161 views

Why is “is” not the error in this SAT sentence?

In this practice SAT question, the test-taker is required to identify the existence and location of an error in a sentence: True chalcedony is different from blue agate [in] the purity of its ...
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1answer
521 views

Syntax of have - already - yet

I am not sure about the last bit of the following sentence whether it is grammatically correct or not. Isn't the usage of the two words "already" and "yet" tautologous? I think one of each is actually ...
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3answers
165 views

a [box [of apples] ] vs [a box] [of apples]

The standard linguistic analysis of the NP a box of apples is that we have a determiner (a) which acts on (modifies?) box of apples. (For an example of standard analysis, see e.g. Fig. 6 here). ...
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2answers
56 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
60 views

Is there a typo in this sentence? If not, help me understand it [closed]

I'm having trouble parsing this sentence: (I hope I used "parsing" correctly.) Now, the history of Eliza Doolittle, though called a romance because of the transfiguration it records seems ...
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0answers
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How do I ask two questions back to back? [duplicate]

Example: What is that? A bird or an eagle? Is this the correct way to punctuate this sort of question?
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1answer
77 views

How common is the use of 'although' as a preposition rather than a conjunction?

Conceding a point can be expressed by means of – an adverb (however, nevertheless, etc); – a preposition + the point in noun form (despite this, in spite of this, despite the fact that, etc); ...
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2answers
664 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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1answer
75 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 ...