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17

The term you probably want in this case is Relative Clause. There are other kinds of adjective clauses (i.e, noun-modifying clauses), but relatives are by far the most common and the most complex. In particular, relative clauses, like many subordinate clauses, are subject to a variety of deletion rules that make them shorter, or even shorter still. Probably ...


14

The sentence you gave does not consist of two subordinate clauses. It contains one independent clause, and one subordinate clause. The internal structure of the sentence goes like this: [He only gave me [what he owed me.]] The outer pair of brackets encloses the entire sentence, which is the independent clause. The inner pair of brackets indicates the ...


10

Quirk et al is a good grammar but weak, I think, on complex sentences. What we're looking at in all of these examples is the remains of deceased clauses. Of the four sentences, two: I saw her leave the room I heard someone shouting are examples of special constructions that are limited to sense verbs, one with an infinitive and the other with a ...


9

Apply Equation 1, use Lemma 2, and exploit Theorem 3, to prove the finiteness of the result. In this case the whole list seems to "prove the finiteness of the result". Apply Equation 1, use Lemma 2, and exploit Theorem 3 to prove the finiteness of the result. In this case I'd say that it is ambiguous, but can you expect your reader to understand ...


9

This is one of several idioms related to the dangers of deep water. These include: go off the deep end - lose one's temper, act rashly or get carried away with something throw someone in at the deep end - put someone in a challenging position without preparation in deep water - in trouble, in a difficult situation Your example doesn't quite fit ...


7

In the original context, how to correct this error was intended as a question, but this is not a standard way to ask a question. It isn't a sentence, nor is it an interrogative, and it shouldn't have a question mark at the end of it. It's a content clause, or what is misleadingly called a "noun clause." Content clauses of this type would typically be used in ...


7

This is known as a garden path sentence, because it is written (perhaps deliberately) to mislead you about its clause structure. The actual structure of the sentence is: [While Nancy was dressing] [the baby played in the garden.] The problem is that it's very easy to parse the sentence this way, especially on first read: [While Nancy was dressing ...


6

I usually follow Strunk & White and only deviate from their rules if strict adherence would result in something that breaks the flow of reading/thought. Enclose parenthetic expressions between commas. Place a comma before and or but introducing an independent clause. Do not join independent clauses by a comma. This points to number 3 ...


6

I agree with Mr. Shiny and New 安宇, but I would add the caveat that even though his reading of the version with comma is formally correct, it does not escape the Fundamental Law that "Anything which can be misunderstood will be". I would suggest moving the final clause to make your meaning unambiguous. If all three operations are required for the proof, ...


6

First, this is a metaphor. Like all metaphors it has a number of possible interpretations. It's not literal, and people do not in fact put a physical chip on their physical shoulder. I'm 70 years old, and I've never seen any actual human being who literally had a chip on their shoulder. Second, this metaphor refers to any person who seems to take offense ...


6

Yes, the second half of the phrase is missing, but that doesn't inherently make it bad grammar - that just makes it an ellipsis. Do not be the person we ask to leave the auditorium, because we will (ask you to leave if we have to)! I think 'because' is a slightly awkward conjunction in that sentence, which is probably why it sounds a little off. But I ...


6

A comma is required after model because, although the phrase comes at the beginning of the sentence, it is a weak interruption. That is to say, you would still have a viable sentence if you removed it. You need the second comma, because what follows is a supplementary, not an integrated, relative clause.


5

"How to correct this error?" is missing a subject and a (finite) verb. So any of the following, or many variants, would look more complete as questions: How do I correct this error? How would you correct this error? How might one correct this error?


5

It should be punctuated as in your example, with commas around the 'say'. They are parenthetical commas, because they perform the same function as putting brackets around 'say' - "If you have (say) a bucket..." They are there to prevent the problem you correctly identified, by indicating that 'bucket' is not the object of 'say'.


5

Idiomatically, the better word or phrase for those examples is "or" or "or else". I am not sure about the technical grammar of them. "Don't be lazy or you will fail." "Don't kill him or else you will regret it."


5

A request was seconded for an explanation of garden-path sentences that was better than Wikipedia's. Since I am here, I'll give it a go. It looks like Wikipedia's explanation might assume too much background, so I'll take it more slowly. Garden path sentences are interesting because they usually trick people on the first reading, which gives you (if you're ...


5

1) Yes, it's fine. Semicolons are OK wherever there is a full stop intonation; they indicate that "there is still some question about the preceding full sentence; something needs to be added", as Lewis Thomas puts it. 2) "No;" is called an Utterance. As you point out, it's not a clause -- no subject, no verb, etc. -- much less a sentence. But it does ...


5

No, it is not an independent clause. In fact, it isn't even a full clause: Or our ability to differentiate the useful information from the mistruths. There is no main verb in this phrase. It's just our ability to do something. This is a nominal phrase, not a clause or a sentence. There is another issue: the use of or there makes the sentence more ...


5

This question is as much about what form of the first person singular personal pronoun should follow ‘It is . . .’ as it is about the form of the subsequent verb be. The normal response to a question such as ‘Who’s there?’ is ‘It’s me.’ However, when, as here, the clause is modified by a relative clause, I loses the formality it has in the response ‘It is ...


5

I'll go into the semantics here since I have a wee bit of a knowledge of what is being talked about here. If you're from India, you have the perception, thanks to media, that the students who take classes for engineering entrance to make it to IITs are perceived as the so-called 'inferiors'. It is this that is being referred to here. These students are yet ...


5

There's definitely room for criticism, though also for justification. The sentence has two clauses. The first is straight forward, and could stand as an independent clause. Indeed, as an independent statement: Do not be the person we ask to leave the auditorium The second only makes sense in the context of that previous clause: we will. On it's ...


5

There is no rule that prohibits the use of or to isolate clauses in your interrupting phrase: A word group (a statement, question, or exclamation) that interrupts the flow of a sentence and is usually set off by commas, dashes, or parentheses. Note: there are rules for using dashes, parentheses, and commas. See parentheses vs. double commas vs. ...


4

I think it's formally correct, but not very helpful. To my mind, analysing clauses/phrases of this sort as 'adjuncts' is more a method of shoehorning them into accepted categories of sentence structure than it is a real description of how the sentences work. In Prof. Aarts' example, for instance, I don't think that her mind free of hate is really a ...


4

As Phoog says, your terminology is a bit off, but your style looks absolutely fine to me, though it is hard to tell without proper content (or content that I can understand). While very complex sentences may be be easier to follow if the main clause comes first, your sentences are readable enough. Your clauses and phrases that precede the main clause are not ...


4

This is an adverbial clause, which is also a dependent or subordinate clause.


4

How to...? is not a grammatical sentence, but is well-understood in Q&A contexts. How do I...? is a grammatical sentence. While both contain what look like verbs, the first construction is using an infinitive form ("to correct", in your example), which can't stand as the main verb in a sentence. (For one thing, it has no subject.)


4

It would not change the meaning at all in this case. Removing the comma could conceivably shift the referent of "in a pact" from "agreed" to "lawsuit", except that it makes no sense to consider a lawsuit as part of a pact, at least in this context. Edit to answer OP's comment question: Example where the meaning could arguably change: The kids agreed to ...


4

The Object clause how strong ..., since it starts with a Wh-word, is an Embedded Question Object Complement clause. Embedded Wh-Questions differ from real Wh-Questions in that they don't undergo Subject-Auxiliary Inversion. So that's what lets out the third example, which has undergone Subject-Auxiliary Inversion. Both of the first two examples are fine, ...


4

The word absent here functions as a preposition. This is not very common in British English but it appears to be a lot more common in American English. absent | formal, North American without: employees could not be fired absent other evidence.



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