Questions regarding the rules for the formation of sentences

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7
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5answers
263 views

How does the to infinitive work with adjectives like “wrong” and “wise”?

You were wrong to pick that car I was wise to go home that day. I can't quite explain how the to-infinitive modifies the adjectives here. It's similar to sentences like "It's nice to see ...
9
votes
2answers
281 views

Why can't you place pronouns after a phrasal verb?

Many phrasal verbs such as look up or knock out typically allow the object to be placed between the verb and proposition or to be placed afterward. For example, You can look my brother up on ...
1
vote
2answers
30 views

Where do I put this phrase in a phrase structure tree?

I am not sure where to put the AdvP in this sentence when drawing a phrase structure tree. This is the sentence I would like to create the tree for: "The car Sam bought last week won the big race." ...
1
vote
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 ...
0
votes
0answers
22 views

If we need to change word order in embedded (indirect) questions, why don't these change word order?

If we need to use different word order in direct and indirect questions (example: Are they planning to marry? / Do you know if they are planning to get married?), why do these embedded questions use ...
0
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0answers
26 views

Sentence structure explanation [on hold]

How would I describe the difference between these two sentences? The man gave the child money. The man gave money to the child.
0
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2answers
1k views

“most” vs “the most”, specifically as an adverb at the end of sentence

Which one of the following sentences is the most canonical? I know most vs. the most has been explained a lot, but my doubts pertain specifically which one to use at the end of a sentence. Do you ...
-1
votes
0answers
26 views

Which version of the sentence sounds more natural? [closed]

As a non-native speaker I would like to get your opinion about a sentence translated into English. It's an excerpt from a magazine column. Which version sounds more natural?? 1. "At the very moment ...
2
votes
2answers
89 views

Why exactly is this sentence the way it is?

I couldn't explain it in the title, my apologies. Now the sentence, in indirect-speech: Anne asked me who my favourite actor was I know this sentence is correct, but WHY isn't it the following? ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

Ambiguity in prepositional phrases

"Nellie washed the dishes in the sink." This sentence is ambiguous, and the prepositional phrase can be read two ways--either as 'Nellie washed (in the sink) the dishes', in which case it is an ...
1
vote
1answer
73 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
50 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
57 views

Diagramming simple wh- “to be” sentences

I have read a syntax book cover to cover and it seems to stubbornly avoid diagramming sentences with "to be" (or other auxilliary verbs) functioning as the principal verb. For example: That dog is ...
0
votes
0answers
25 views

What is the meaning of “modulo”? [duplicate]

What is the meaning of “modulo” in this context sent by my supervisor. "The section (of a research paper in linguistics) is Okay, modulo few mistakes"?
0
votes
1answer
20 views

Descriptions of frequency versus present tense

Is there ever a difference between descriptions of frequency and the present tense? For example, is there a difference between "I speak English." (referring to frequent speaking of English) and "I ...
1
vote
1answer
42 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
18k views

Is there a comparative form of “well”?

Is there a word that means "more well", in the same way that "better" means "more good"? In common parlance most people just use "better" for this purpose, but this sounds wrong and is a nagging ...
1
vote
1answer
51 views

Can colours be used as an adverb?

I am trying to understand which syntactic role the word red has in this sentence: We could colour the walls red. My first thought was it being an adverb, but I have never heard someone saying ...
4
votes
2answers
62 views

Confused by the syntax or grammaticality used in this quote by Karl Marx. Please help?

The quote is from the Manifesto of the Communist Party: No sooner is the exploitation of the labourer by the manufacturer, so far, at an end, that he receives his wages in cash, than he is set ...
2
votes
1answer
36 views

how to continue a sentence after a line breaking example

I am writing a technical document in which I need to intersperse examples into paragraphs. For example I have a sentence like below: For example, rather than the following code example: //This ...
4
votes
2answers
131 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
76 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?
5
votes
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 ...
3
votes
4answers
738 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
21 views

“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 ...
-5
votes
3answers
70 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' ...
6
votes
12answers
617 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
23 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 ...
1
vote
4answers
67 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 ...
0
votes
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?
1
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2answers
70 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 ...
0
votes
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?
0
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0answers
35 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. ...
1
vote
1answer
50 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
75 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
42 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
69 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 ...
0
votes
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 ...
0
votes
1answer
149 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
506 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
60 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, ...
0
votes
1answer
72 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).
1
vote
1answer
11k 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? ...
2
votes
1answer
56 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?
0
votes
2answers
846 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
65 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
53 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
49 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, ...
0
votes
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 ...
1
vote
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. ...