9
votes
0answers
339 views

Graphotactics of possessive: the true reason for the apostrophe

I have some hypotheses for English graphotactics: 〈w〉 and 〈y〉 are optional positional variants (i.e. allographs) of 〈u〉 and 〈i〉, respectively, in digraphs that correspond with diphthongs or vowels: ...
6
votes
0answers
451 views

Dictionary of English constructions

There is a family of grammars called construction grammar that started perhaps in the 80s with the work of Fillmore & Kay among others. Examples of constructions include: the time + away ...
5
votes
0answers
74 views

“If it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be…” What does this mean?

I'm translating a book, which involves logic and quoted the sentence from Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass: "If it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ...
5
votes
0answers
255 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?
4
votes
0answers
275 views

Syllable — Phonetic Online List/Dictionary with word examples

Is there a homepage or online tool that gives you a list of, let's say, the 2000 most common syllables sorted by their international phonetic alphabet spelling? (e.g. /sɜː(r)/ = the first syllable ...
3
votes
0answers
64 views

Note without text and vice versa

Is there a word for (1) note marks in the text with missing corresponding description in the margin/foot, and (2) descriptions in the margin/foot with missing note mark in the text? I know of words ...
2
votes
0answers
61 views

Term for a word with opposite meaning to its root?

I remember coming across a term for a word which has an opposite (or at least very different) meaning from its etymological root word's meaning, does anyone know what this term is?
2
votes
0answers
62 views

poetic effect of segmentation of a group of words

Some poems break a sentence or a clause into two lines at the middle of one meaning group of words, like - ... a blue sky and ... What effect such an irregular line break has? Mr. Garrison ...
2
votes
0answers
63 views

“must”: obligation x certainty. Which meaning developed first in the English language?

ORIGIN OF MUST - Middle English moste, from Old English mōste, past indicative & subjunctive of mōtan to be allowed to, have to; akin to Old High German muozan to be allowed to, have to First ...
2
votes
0answers
160 views

Does primary, secondary, tertiary, […] continue forever?

What follows next in the sequence "unary, binary, ternary..."? gives a lengthy list up to 12 for the sequence "primary, secondary, tertiary, [...]". Does this naming continue forever? If so, ...
2
votes
0answers
59 views

Is a predicative adjunct part of a noun, or is it part of the sentence?

I just recently learned about predicative adjunct which is present in the following sentence by the "ready to race" adjectival phrase. I wonder whether the phrase that functions as a predicative ...
1
vote
0answers
19 views

Is there a word similar to infallible that means “incapable of being right”?

The word infallible can mean "incapable of being wrong". The word fallible can mean "capable of being wrong". Is there a word that means "incapable of being right"?
1
vote
0answers
18 views

“that which” vs. “what”

What's the difference between "that which" and "what"? Which of the following sentences is correct, and how (if at all) do they differ? We only want to free technology from that which makes it ...
1
vote
0answers
53 views

When did “to forgive” lose its primary meaning for pardoning and become solely about an emotional response?

During a recent debate I was having with a peer, I was shocked to find out that the word "forgive" no longer carries a primary association with the act of pardoning another individual (i.e., ...
1
vote
0answers
25 views

Why was the word “alluring” much more used in the 1920 than in the 1870 or the 1980?

As per title. This is the Ngram Graph for the word alluring: For comparison, this is the same graph for the word remarkable:
1
vote
0answers
37 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
46 views

Spill the metaphorical beans?

I was reading a comic book and ran into this phrase. Is there any difference between 'spill the beans' and 'spill the metaphorical beans'? here is the context. Talk show host: "But seriously, Reed. ...
1
vote
0answers
40 views

conniption origin?

I viewed the thread about conniption dido - which I'd never heard before. But was wondering what true meaning of conniption was? I always figured it was an old medical term for seizure or ...
1
vote
0answers
38 views

Usage of kh in transliteration of Cyrillic, hebrew and others

I'm not a native english speaker and I'm sometimes baffled by the appearance of "kh" in Russian names and other words (for instance the russian lunar rover "Lunokhod"). In this case, the sensible ...
1
vote
0answers
24 views

time spent, places been

Is "time spent, places been," in the following sentence grammartically correct and if so, is that usage common? I take it to mean "time she had spent and places she had been to." Maynard is survived ...
1
vote
0answers
35 views

When did “down” or “down with” in the sense of approval start to be used?

Uses include: "She's down," an absent member of a group is known to think something is a good idea or wants to do it and "I'm down with that," I like that idea, I want to do that, include me in, etc. ...
1
vote
0answers
56 views

Adjective after instead

The study described in the article shows that implementation of dynamic LED boards doesn’t show a clear increase in traffic flow at the bottleneck before congestions, probably because the LED ...
1
vote
0answers
29 views

Is a relative clause always a permission for “the” article to be used before its antecedent?

I have noticed that most often a relative pronoun such as who, which, etc. is used to further inform the reader about its preceding noun or noun phrase, e.g. 1-Do you know the girl who is ...
1
vote
0answers
49 views

both “will” “would” in one sentence

From a BBC article: The rise comes as Russia said it would will resume shipments of natural gas to Ukraine after Kiev makes its first payment for previous supplies next week. Would and will both ...
1
vote
0answers
20 views

How should author-names of work-by-multiple-authors be ordered in APA reference?

In APA reference, how should the names of the authors of a work-by-multiple-authors be listed? Alphabetically, in the order as they appear/are listed chronologically in the article, or what? ...
1
vote
0answers
122 views

“One half” vs “a half”

I'm working on a copy editing project and in the copy they use ...only nine and one-half kilometres long... I have decided the hyphen is wrong. However one half sounds awkward to me. Is that ...
1
vote
0answers
67 views

What type of word is “seen” in the sentence “He is seen to fight crime?”

I was just wondering whether "seen" is an adjective as in "he is fast" or if it is the past simple of the verb "to see" in the passive? Or anything else?
1
vote
0answers
277 views

-ing words can act as noun, adjective, adverb or verb – which is most common?

I understand that words ending with -ing can act as a noun, adjective, adverb or verb. However which case is most common? And which one least common? Is there even some "frequency list" that tells me ...
1
vote
0answers
38 views

What are the terms for same meaning phrases that only differ in having a preposition?

I don't know sentence structure terminology much, however, provided with these two sample phrases, that mean the same thing. Refrigeration of Food Food Refrigeration My questions are, in the ...
1
vote
0answers
112 views

present simple plus past simple in the if-clause

Please help me understand whether I can use the past simple tense with the present simple tense in one if-clause. My example is the question that I want to ask when speaking with English native ...
1
vote
0answers
53 views

Using the subjunctive without “that”

One purpose of that is to “express a wish or regret.” Even so, can that be removed from the following sentence and still leave it OK? It is crucial that you be there before Tom arrives.
1
vote
0answers
76 views

Past perfect example confusion

My text definition of past perfect tense tells me that it is used to refer to an action that is completed at some point in the past and before the commencement of another past action. I came across ...
1
vote
0answers
56 views

word order of here + adverb + noun, e.g. here used method

I have been encountering several examples (in scientific papers), where people used constructions like "the here used method", "the here investigated case", etc.. I have been thinking that it is ...
1
vote
0answers
141 views

Word describing a person's momentary pleasure, but overall discord

I once read an article that used a single word to describe a frame of mind in which a person experiences momentary pleasure amidst overall discord; or perhaps the word was describing the opposite: A ...
1
vote
0answers
374 views

How many “monophthongs” are there in RP? Do all the varieties of spoken English in the UK have the same number?

A monophthong is a pure vowel sound. The monophthongs can be contrasted with diphthongs, where the vowel quality changes within the same syllable, and hiatus, where two vowels are next to each ...
1
vote
0answers
78 views

What are the grammatical phrases in this sentence?

I'm analyzing this sentence and scanning it for prepositional, appositive and verbal phrases. In the sentence so far as I can tell there is only one prepositional and no appositive and no verbals ...
1
vote
0answers
49 views

Detection of dangling modifier

Sentence that needs correction : "For building vocabulary skills, students should try to speak and write new words in appropriate contexts, rather than merely memorizing definitions". How is ...
1
vote
0answers
64 views

“Somewhere” - is it really a pronoun?

Is it? If it is then why is not listed in the major dictionaries? LDOCE, Dictionary.com, Merriam-Webster: No
1
vote
0answers
90 views

What's the meaning of the word “spitters” in The Chemical Worker's Song?

Amongst the different versions of this song (Known by various names including "The Chemical Worker's Song", "Process Man" and "The ICI Song") that are floating around, there seem to be two variations ...
1
vote
0answers
137 views

The antonym of Schadenfreude is “fribbly” - the joy in other people's joy. What is the origin of this new meaning?

For many years the word fribbly has been used, in various communities as the antonym of Schadenfreude. Rather than harm-joy or "pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others". Fribbly is "Joy-Joy" ...
1
vote
0answers
156 views

Diagramming Sentences with Causative Verbs and Predicate Adjectives

So I was recently relearning how to diagram sentences, but I ran across a sentence that had a causative verb and a predicate adjective and I had no idea how to diagram it. This is my best guess, but ...
1
vote
0answers
239 views

Subject/Complement Agreement. How to describe problem with “The thing is the objects.”

In my ell answer, version 32, I provided the following, problematic, wording (especially bold italic), and I need help to better understand this issue so I can fix my answer:1 The thing is ...
1
vote
0answers
99 views

spread of the quotative “be like” outside North America

I thought that the quotative "be like" was limited to American English, but was surprised to hear a 60-something New Zealand woman using it repeatedly recently. What is the status in world English? ...
1
vote
0answers
120 views

When is it appropriate to use a comma before “which”, “with”, and “who”?

Is it appropriate to use a comma before which in the following sentence? The group has helped me to make new friends and become more independent, which has increased my self-confidence. Is it ...
1
vote
0answers
56 views

Cohesive devices

Hi I'm analysing an old advertisement at the moment. Below's a picture of it, I'm stumped on one thing. Can someone tell me if the pronouns 'you' and 'your' are anaphoric references or exophoric ...
1
vote
0answers
197 views

punctuating So and Then at the beginning of a sentence

I am confused when to put a comma after "so" and after "then" at the start of a sentence. i.e., And then that's when you went to the store? i.e., Then at McDonald's you were only there for a year, ...
1
vote
0answers
118 views

Do I so often encounter simple past for past participle (e.g., “I have went,” “what was did to her”) because of where I am or when?

Since moving to small-town northern Minnesota (USA) two dozen years back to teach English, I have noticed a lot of instances in spoken language where the simple past is used in lieu of the past ...
1
vote
0answers
101 views

Why do the first and last “t” in “taste” sound different?

When I listened to the audio pronunciation of "taste" /teɪst/, I noticed that the first and last "t" sound different: the first "t" sounds like [tʰ] while the second one sounds more like [tsʰ]. Words ...
1
vote
0answers
65 views

Difference between discursive construction and discursive representation

Are there any good definitions of the concepts of "discursive representation" and "discursive construction" which highlights the difference and/or relationship between these? I'm thinking about ...
0
votes
0answers
8 views

TOEFL: Cambridge tests vs Barron's tests (reading section)

Yesterday I took TOEFL trial test in a testing centre and got 18/30 from reading section. It was a "Cambridge preparation for TOEFL test". Before that I had taken several "Barron's TOEFL iBT" tests at ...

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