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32

You were right and your editor was wrong. Your question was Can anyone tell me X? and you properly expressed X as a free relative clause, which always acts as a nominal constituent. You asked, in effect, if anyone could tell you an answer. Your editor inverted the auxiliary verb and the subject of the free relative clause, transforming it into a ...


14

They do start with an auxiliary verb, but since it's predictable, it's often omitted. These are examples of what's called Conversational Deletion in the literature. The link has references and further examples.


13

With respect to information structure, this word order pattern seems to be equal to fronted adverbials, as in: Into the room walked a man The new information / focus follows the finite verb. Similarly, in "So do I", "so" refers to the proposition in the previous utterance, "do" is a dummy verb, and "I", the new information, comes last.


12

Embedded questions normally don't allow Subject-Auxiliary inversion, though it's required for normal questions: How can we do this? (Aux can and Su we are inverted) *How we can do this? (No inversion; ungrammatical) However, in spoken English (which is similar to the chatty, informal style used in many computer books), an embedded question complement ...


12

I posted a question somewhere that said: 1.) Can anyone tell me how I can solve this? but someone edited it to: 2.) Can anyone tell me how can I solve this? and it was accepted. That's wrong isn't it? Can someone explain how that's wrong? The difference between the two versions is that the subordinate interrogative ...


12

I can think of several valid examples of questions that neither start with an auxiliary verb, nor have been pruned through conversational deletion: Come again? [Idiomatic question construction meaning "Please repeat whatever it was you just said", or sometimes merely expressing disbelief] In what way? [Seeking some kind of clarification] By ...


11

You are right. The correct sentence would be Now let's see how we can do this. The incorrect form you've read demonstrates a fairly common English mistake among non-native speakers, especially those whose native language allows for omission of the subject pronoun (such as the Romance languages). The confusion arises from three points: In a question, ...


10

It's grammatical. Subject-verb inversion is required when preposing a negative adverbial of time, place, or circumstance. At no time did he say that. ~ *At no time he said that. Under no circumstances may she enter. ~ *Under no circumstances she may enter. It is not allowed, however, when preposing other adverbials. *With no hesitation did he speak ...


9

Switching around the normal word order is called inversion, and this specific type is called subject-auxiliary inversion. Wikipedia has a list of usages of subject-auxiliary inversion, including interrogative constructions (e.g. Did you eat?), but the following is the declarative section: Declarative sentences with negative elements (i.e. never or not) ...


9

Neither of your two questions makes sense as written, and I do not know what the intent is. For one thing, I don’t understand why they are questions; they do not look like such to me. For another, the formulaic “be they X or Y ”, using present subjunctive and inversion as it does, is of a somewhat elevated register which may not be appropriate for all ...


8

To agree with a positive statement: We use so + auxiliary/modal verb + pronoun: "I like tea without sugar.' 'So do I.' To agree with a negative statement: We use nor/neither + auxiliary/modal verb + pronoun: "I don't like tea with sugar.' 'Nor do I.' or 'Neither do I.' To disagree with a positive statement: We use pronoun + auxiliary/modal verb + not ...


7

First, note that "x is y" is not always logically equivalent to "y is x". For example, "Fools are my friends" is different from "My friends are fools" (because the first allows wise men to be my friends too, whereas the second does not); "All men are mortals" is very different from "Mortals are all men" :-) That said, sometimes there is an equivalence, and ...


7

The general answer is that you only move the verb ahead of the subject within a main clause. All of your examples have WH-movement within an embedded clause. What have you been doing today? (main clause) I asked [what you have been doing today]. (embedded clause) I am annoyed because of [what you have been doing today]. (embedded clause) Can ...


7

All three versions occur, though they don't falute the same. (c) is the canonic source, with simple Wh-fronting, leaving is at the end of the sentence: does anyone know [the task for the afternoon is what]? ==> does anyone know [what the task for the afternoon is]? (b) is a further variation on (c), with the prepositional phrase for the ...


7

Because real English speakers speak real English, and didn't learn it from your teachers. Forms like You hungry? and She coming? are common in speech, but are very informal, and would not be found in most written contexts.


6

Should something happen is equivalent to if the thing in question happens. Therefore the sentence from your paragraph could be rewritten as: Backup and recovery procedures protect your database against data loss and reconstruct the data, if loss occurs. A simpler example to help you understand this easier: Should I arrive late tomorrow, we will ...


6

"Do I love you?" is the proper form. In spoken English, though, you can, and in suitable situations you would, use the form "I love you?" To put this into an example (spoken): Situation A: Person A: "This guy came in and asked whether he can borrow my cell phone. Do I know him?" Person B: "Yes, he's one of our former employees, we've worked together ...


6

The verb be does not take an object. It has a subject and a complement, not an object. Consequently *be them cannot be correct.


6

You're right about the first sentence. Your cousin could be right, too, but he should write the sentence this way: Tell me: why should I marry you?


5

Not sure if this helps, but original has the following senses. Preceding all others in time; first. Being the source from which a copy, reproduction, or translation is made. You say original comes with the notion of "designed similarity", but perhaps we can call a post "original" if it simply precedes the newer one in time.


5

I'd say it was purely a matter of style. The writer may have felt that to put 'would' at the end of the sentence would have meant asking the reader to wait too long for it.


5

Actually, whether the "not once" construct means "never" or "several times" might depend on the rest of the sentence – not just the order of "he would" or "would he". For example, there's nothing wrong with: Not once would he strike out, but three times that game.


5

If you start with a certain kind of negative, you have to invert the auxiliary: Not often does he come this way. Never would we call them after eight o’clock. Seldom do the bells ring so long as they did that day. Hardly had he put on his boots when his seat gave way. Never shall I pass this way again. Rarely do we see the likes of them in these parts. ...


5

At the bottom of the device is a microphone and a microUSB port for data. The way the information is organised in this sentence is very interesting. If you look at it quickly, you may think that at the bottom of the microphone is the subject of the verb be - but it isn't! When we use constructions like this, we rearrange the parts of the sentence for a ...


5

It's dangerous to generalize that supply is the inverse (or opposite) of apply. It might sound that way when speaking of functions, or possibly other things, but there are many nuances to the usage of supply and apply that would make most reversals sound strange or contrived. In fact, there would be many cases where they are used nearly as synonyms not ...


4

The non-inverted question is used in one specific case: when the first speaker has expressed as fact something the second speaker doubts. @RiMMER's example demonstrates that. Or, to use your sentence: Person A: Since you love me and I love you, we should get married. Person B: I love you? If B had said "Do I love you?", it would be an expression of ...


4

Your intuition is correct; the sentence should be: Now, let's see how we can do this. I share your suspicion that the page in question was written by a non-native speaker. In my experience, non-natives have a very hard time distinguishing between the grammar of questions, which trigger inversion, and relative clauses, which do not trigger inversion. ...


4

No, they aren't interchangeable. A tag question is a device used to turn a statement into a question. It nearly always consists of a pronoun, a helping verb, and sometimes the word not. Although it begins as a statement, the tag question prevails when it comes to the end-mark: use a question mark. Notice that when the statement is positive, the tag question ...


4

No, you can't transfer the flexibilty of German word order to English. It has to be No, I'm not sure.



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