Questions regarding the rules for the formation of sentences

learn more… | top users | synonyms

2
votes
2answers
227 views

If we can fall in love, why can't we fall in anger?

Although we can look back in anger, we can't fall into it. I might argue that the phrase, to fall in love, has something to do with being helpless, of letting go and losing control. But what ...
19
votes
6answers
989 views

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 ...
0
votes
1answer
50 views

Can “masters” (plural) be used to refer to a single entity?

I was perusing the forums of a video game I play. I began reading a thread about the lore of the game, because a few things lore-wise are left pretty vague. Two individuals got into an argument about ...
0
votes
0answers
17 views

Looking for a couple of comprehensive reference books: adverbs, rudimentary syntax, and English Media Arts focusing on readers theater [closed]

Looking for a few comprehensive reference books: one examining adverbs, rudimentary syntax, and another focusing on readers theater. I have a very comprehensive book on prepositions, "The Ins and Outs ...
0
votes
1answer
33 views

“how much longer do you plan on [X]ing…” [closed]

Is the above structure grammatically correct, or just sort of common, or not correct but common enough to use?
0
votes
1answer
21 views

About the construction “It is … that…”

A reviewer at a journal where I submitted an article writes: There are too many instances of the awkward construction “It is … that….” I'd be very grateful if you could explain to me why this ...
2
votes
3answers
4k views

When is “here” an adverb or a noun?

In the sentence "I hope you are all paying attention, here is a sentence I made earlier", is here an adverb or a noun? I think it is a noun, but if I substitute a noun or a pronoun for here, the ...
0
votes
1answer
154 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
313 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
37 views

Equivalent of using (s) to indicate possible plural for words using “ies” for plural? [duplicate]

If I want to write how many of something I have that uses "s" to indicate plural, I can use (s), as in "Joe had X apple(s)". But say I want to write something like "The report contains 2 entries" or ...
13
votes
4answers
1k views

'Instead of' vs 'In stead of'

Is the following sentence valid? They did this in stead of that. What is the correct usage of the phrase instead of?
2
votes
3answers
59 views

Compounds and Phrases

What is the difference between compounds and phrases? How do I know that "watch-maker" is a compound but "steel bridge" is a phrase? Does the "head" have anything to do with it (complement-head or ...
2
votes
2answers
240 views

A coffee to go…( for syntax experts)

Could the infinitive phrase "to go" be a complement of the noun phrase "a coffee"?
2
votes
4answers
93 views

What type of phrase is “I'm telling you,” when used for emphasis

Consider the following sentence: I'm telling you, I left it right there. In this sentence, the phrase "I'm telling you" is used to emphasise the truth of the clause that follows. What is the ...
-2
votes
1answer
73 views

Is it grammatical to have duplicate 'it'?: __ it it __

Is it grammatically correct to use the word it twice in a row? When doing so, do you have to separate the two using a comma? If there are different situations please use examples. My examples: ...
4
votes
3answers
6k views

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"?
1
vote
2answers
185 views

“had initially” or “initially had”

As in "I initially had planned to cite my sources" vs. "I had initially planned to cite my sources"
7
votes
3answers
915 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
405 views

Transformation? Cleft?

I am wondering if the difference between "It is terrible." and "What it is, is it is terrible." can mostly be described in terms of transformations, grammatically. Is it a kind of cleft sentence?
0
votes
1answer
62 views

What does “spurned” modify in “I am walking out of a room to the jeers of a woman spurned”

I am walking out of a room to the jeers of a woman spurned. Which word does the past participle modify in this context? Does it mean that I was spurned while walking out of the room, or am I out ...
23
votes
4answers
4k views

Why do newspaper headlines use strange syntax rules?

Newspaper/news article headlines usually have different syntax rules, for example No copula. North Korea trip 'successful' Past events written in present. Qantas cancels flight out of frozen ...
0
votes
1answer
47 views

When is it okay not to put a comma, where the rule may normally apply?

In this sentence: I will forward the log, when it is complete. Is it permissible to remove the comma? I will forward the log when it is complete. I thought sentences that are plain and can ...
0
votes
2answers
80 views

Comma required to avoid syntactical (but not semantic) ambiguity?

Consider this sentence: You may worry about the Fed raising interest rates, or a market meltdown, but these risks should not change your investment plans. Could the comma before "or" be omitted? ...
5
votes
3answers
60 views

is it “likely become” or “likely to become”?

I have recently encountered both while reading articles, can anyone clarify which one is correct?
3
votes
2answers
60 views

Short question about syntax

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 ...
2
votes
1answer
64 views

“The boy was very sad when his toy fell on the ground” - is “sad” a subject complement?

Is "sad" a subject complement and "when his toy fell on the ground" - an adverbial? Do I understand it right that semantically "the boy" is Agent?
0
votes
0answers
67 views

Semantic roles in the sentence “This book cost me 20 dollars”

Thank you very much for your answers to my previous question, now I'm struggling to define what semantic roles noun phrases "This book', "me" and "20 dollars" play in this sentence. Any ideas? If ...
21
votes
4answers
3k views

What rules make “Remember me, who am your friend” grammatical?

An acquaintance recalled this specific example from an English textbook, but it is jarring to my native ear. Is this an example of prescriptive grammarians gone wild?
52
votes
15answers
2k views

Central Pennsylvanian English speakers: what are the limitations on the “needs washed” construction?

In the Central Pennsylvania dialect of English (and possibly elsewhere), the following construction is possible: This car needs washed. (=needs to be washed) The room needs cleaned. (=needs ...
1
vote
2answers
2k 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: ...
11
votes
5answers
1k views

Till death do WE part [closed]

I understand the meaning of "till death do us part". I even understood why do is not does. However, in the song Love Spent by Madonna, the following lyrics occur: You played with my heart Till ...
2
votes
2answers
69 views

Yes, this is she. Who's calling? [duplicate]

I've read in a book that I should "use the subjective case if the pronoun is the complement of the linking verb to be". That is the following sentences are correct: They believed that the thief was ...
-2
votes
1answer
104 views

“Let it will be” [closed]

"Let it be" is an easy phrase to understand and to use. It's widely used and it's a set phrase, so it's hard to make mistake here. Why would a native speaker say "Let it will be"? Is it the same ...
7
votes
4answers
671 views

Is “to” missing in the following phrase: “civil liberties be damned”?

I am currently reading a column by Thomas L. Friedman titled "We're always still Americans," published on December 11, 2014 in International New York Times. If there had been another 9/11 after ...
7
votes
3answers
396 views

“Be like” usage

Of late, I have been noticing a lot of casual memes floating around, particularly on Facebook, that involve this phrase. Typical constructs could be like the following examples: B*&^%$# be ...
1
vote
1answer
47 views

Time and “look back on” as a phrasal verb

When using this tri-part phrasal verb, i.e., "look back on," what is the length of time it refers to or can refer to? For example, it's common to say: "When John looks back on his childhood, he can ...
7
votes
6answers
7k views

Russian speakers and “I feel myself to be …”

I was told that it is a typical mistake for Russian speakers to say I feel myself badly instead of I feel ill. I wonder to what extent such constructs sound wrong to native speakers? I feel ...
0
votes
1answer
37 views

Use of the 'being' formulation [closed]

Is this sentence correct ? If not, what would be the correct formulation ? Being designed for « Best-effort » encoding (low slack time), DVFS is therefore hard to apply on this type of components ...
0
votes
1answer
25 views

auxiliaries before homogeneous members of the sentence

Is it possible to omit the second auxiliary in this sentence: "She has followed our advice and (has) started..." P.S. I have always thought it is as the verbs to follow and to start refer to one and ...
2
votes
2answers
69 views

Treat similarly named patches equally: is this correct English?

I'm a software engineer wanting to use a short but clear text like the following as a selectable option. Treat similarly named patches equally Should I should use -ly with both of similarly and ...
0
votes
1answer
792 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? ...
1
vote
0answers
83 views

Definite article before an abstract noun

When is the definite article the appropriate before an abstract noun? In particular, I have the following examples. Which are correct? Case I In the Theorem 4.4, we prove property A for all ...
0
votes
3answers
65 views

The structure of the following sentence: “Why may standing up for a long time cause hypotension?” [closed]

Is the structure of this sentence "Why may standing up for a long time cause hypotension?" correct?
10
votes
2answers
6k views

Is “Me neither” incorrect?

I've heard that "me neither" is incorrect. Instead one should say "neither do I." People definitely say "me neither" conversationally, but is it technically incorrect?
3
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
52 views

Dusty new or not

Here's a passage from Cormac McCarthy's "Blood Meridian", where I'm not sure about the meaning of the part "..dusty new or not" : “They traded the mule accoutred as it was for a Texas stock ...
1
vote
2answers
116 views

What's the correct preposition to use when describing the aspect ratio of a screen?

I'm referring specifically to aspect ratios of TV screens. A common aspect ratio of a TV screen is 16:9. Would this be pronounced "sixteen to nine" or "sixteen by nine"?
1
vote
2answers
144 views

Asking whether one has been in this company for a very long time?

Is it right to say: 1) Have you been working with this company for a very long time? 2) Have you been with this company for a very long time? Or are there better ways of asking? Extra: How about ...
1
vote
4answers
115 views

Difference between “Talk to me” and “Tell me”

Is there any difference between the usage of those two expressions in a conversation? Thanks in advance.
2
votes
4answers
20k views

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 ...