Questions regarding the rules for the formation of sentences

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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." ...
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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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4answers
744 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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0answers
29 views

Usage of “able to” at the end of phrases [on hold]

Is the phrase "Can you help me with that or point me to someone able to?" correct?
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1answer
45 views

Will this question be rated relatively high? Or relatively highly?

I was copy-editing a report at work and came across the following sentence: While sustainability in the transport sector was rated relatively high, the sustainability of the power sector was found ...
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2answers
56 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 ...
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1answer
94 views

What is the origin and extent of the Indian English usage of “only” to emphasize something?

I live in southern India, and for a long time I've been curious about this phenomena that I've observed. Indian English uses the word "only" in a special way. They use it to emphasize things. Sort ...
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1answer
77 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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0answers
34 views

what is the difference between head movement constraint and relativized minimality? [migrated]

what is the difference between head movement constraint of Travis (1984), and relativized minimality of Rizzi (1990)?
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1answer
45 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
69 views

What does it mean to say that a lexical item is specified for semantic negation? [closed]

What does it mean to say that a negative morpheme is specified for semantic negation while another negative morpheme is not?
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1answer
59 views

Which is more suitable/correct usage: “forget your password?” or “forgot your password?” [duplicate]

As a web developer, this is a question that has bugged me for some time: when providing a way for users to reset their password, which link wording is more suitable or is the "proper" use? "Forget ...
3
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1answer
76 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 ...
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3answers
98 views

“If” and “Whether” - Is interrogative IF always replacable by WHETHER?

I am asking here specifically about if and whether when they introduce embedded questions (or to be more tachnically accurate, subordinate interrogative clauses): I don't know if Bob's here. I don'...
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2answers
29 views

Mac OS X “Revert Changes” usage/syntax in dialog?

The use of "Revert Changes" always throws me off and I was wondering if this usage/syntax is actually correct. It seems to me that technically speaking, when you select that you're not actually ...
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0answers
54 views

Reversal of normal word order without change in meaning

"Out the window flew the parakeet." This is a complete reversal of the normal order of the sentence elements, but it doesn't change the meaning (though it does change the emphasis a bit). Are there ...
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1answer
37 views

Interesting/weird syntax

In an episode of How I Met Your Mother, Marshall addresses the following sentence to Kim Kardashian: "You're right, super hot lady who my wife keeps telling me why you're famous but I keep forgetting."...
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5answers
10k views

Is it incorrect to say, 'Give me it'?

Is it incorrect to say, 'Give me it' ? I am told that it is and one should always say, 'Give it me'?
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2answers
82 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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5answers
305 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 you" ...
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1answer
300 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 ...
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0answers
25 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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
93 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? ...
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1answer
51 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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0answers
59 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 ...
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0answers
35 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"?
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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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
64 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 ...
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1answer
40 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 ...
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2answers
136 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
9k 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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1answer
22 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 ...
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3answers
73 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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12answers
628 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
24 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
69 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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2answers
71 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
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. ...
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1answer
73 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
84 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
43 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
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 ...
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0answers
30 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
220 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
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3answers
513 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
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1answer
62 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, ...