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11

To get all linguisticsy about it, we can talk about the generalization of how verbs work. In traditional grammar, we talk about verbs having subjects and objects and whether they are transitive or intransitive. If we generalize this, we can talk about verbs being a kind of function that takes arguments, where subjects and objects are examples of kinds of ...


10

Of is the correct preposition to use in your second example: The body consists of cells. In is the correct preposition to use in your first example: Meditation consists in attentive watchfulness. Consist of means to be composed or made up of, while consist in means: To have the thing mentioned as the only or most important part. Tolerance ...


7

A prepositional phrase is a grammatical structure consisting of a preposition followed by a noun phrase. An adverbial complement is a grammatical function. Adverbial complements may be realized through prepositional phrases or other adverbials. Consider: I put the book down. I put the book on the table. I put the book down on the table. There are verbs ...


7

The question you ask, “Can the antecedent ever be used in a prepositional phrase?” is of course, certainly it can. Proof: After the meteorite fell on Jack, he was never again the same. Jack likes running with Jill. She is a good person. Jack likes running with Jill. He is a good person. As you see, I have constructed three such examples. ...


7

OP is right to suspect active/passive has a bearing on preferred usage. From Google Books... 1: Active voice favours with... The company replaced workers by machines - 3 results The company replaced workers with machines - 405 results 2: Passive voice favours by... Workers were replaced by machines - 280 results Workers were replaced ...


7

Is nothing singular or plural? All by itself, nothing is clearer than the fact that nothing is singular. However, the original question did not use nothing “all by itself”, and that is where things get sticky. The question asks which of these two versions should be used: Nothing but birds and a few insects was to be seen. Nothing but birds ...


6

Your first two examples are a special use of of that's not readily explained by reference to its other uses. In each of them, the of is optional ("more of a sanity check" = "more a sanity check"; "more of a hack" = "more a hack"), and serves to introduce a singular countable predicate noun that's modified by more. The same happens with much ("it's not much ...


6

Larry Trask’s advice in cases like this is to see what happens if you remove from the sentence the words marked off by the comma. If you are left with a meaningful sentence, then the comma is appropriate. If no meaningful sentence remains, you don’t need the comma.


6

There is no problem with this phrase - it is idiomatic English. With is part of the compound adjective over with. To be over with means to be finished. As far as I know, it's only ever used with the verb be. It's fine as it is. You could say "Can we get this finished?".


6

tl;dr: Certain kinds of words and phrases can in English function equally well as nouns as they can adverbs. Whether you prefer to call them nouns acting like adverbs or adverbs acting like nouns is a matter of religion only, since they are still doing the same job no matter what you call them. The job they are doing is a deictic one, described at the ...


5

I think from the beginning puts a little more emphasis and focus on the significance of the beginning. If you were talking about a business, perhaps "he" was there in the planning process and integral to starting the business. Since the beginning places more emphasis on the intervening time period. Again, if a business, perhaps "he" is the most loyal ...


5

'The novel, which was about whaling . . .'


5

“Very out of the way” It is a bit tough to find cases of very modifying individual prepositions, but it is easy to find cases of very modifying entire prepositional phrases as a unit, just as it does other adjectives and adverbs. I think it’s very out of character for him. Things can be very out of place. Or very out of date. And very out of the way. They ...


5

Like a lot of, something like 90% of functions not so much as a preposition as it does a premodifier. And premodifiers work like adjectives. They do not change the head noun, which remains the grammatical subject and still must be agree with the verb in number. People are coming. Trouble is avoided. A lot of people are coming. A lot of trouble is ...


5

Fixed in revision n says that the change occurred in that revision. That bug was fixed in revision 23. Fixed at revision n doesn't say when it was fixed, just that we know that revision n contains the fix. It could have been fixed earlier. Some people would use the two interchangeably.


4

It might be totally wrong, but I'd like to share my understanding of the two: Movement: moving from one place to another Motion: not standing still In that sense, in motion might be regarded as opposite of stationary while in movement could indicate something or somebody is in the process of moving from place A to place B. Intuitively, in motion brings ...


4

It seems more or less OK to me, unless you prefer to expand the phrase to: In the Winter of 2010, two penguins named Jony and Rony were born. In the Winter of 2010, five ice skaters, each in the 130 lb category, won a gold medal for their country. There are some subtle changes in the sentences. The obvious one is the use of 'In the Winter of 2010', ...


4

It's the same kind of usage as saying "I'm going up/down the street". I don't know if up/down ever had specific usage - but these days, they're fairly interchangeable, and you'll get any number of different phrases like: I'm going down the street to see if Mrs Higgins is okay I'm going up to the pub for a pint There may be some sub-conscious ...


4

I have heard this exact sentence used and my hunch (sorry, no source) is that it is derived from the general store days in which the warehouse or storage area of the retail shop was located above it. In that case, I will go up to the stores. would have been something said by the proprietor if he intended to check the warehouse area of his shop for ...


4

You have an (or a) average, maximum, minimum, or other group-based calculation of something, while you take (or calculate) the average, maximum, or minimum. Thus your samples 1, 3, and 5 are correct, but not 2, 4, or 6. (To clarify, as per the comments: In the example sentences, the average is a property that is already known, and it is being treated ...


4

"Over" in that context is just a mild intensifier expressing that the location mentioned is some physical distance away. Cf. "Over There" — the song sung by American troops in the 1st World War in which Europe, way across the Atlantic Ocean, was referred to as "Over There."


4

In/At the station is perfectly correct. On the station is unusual but acceptable, because you would be on a platform in the same way that you would be a on a dock or on a quay.


4

Here's part of an explanation found here: TO ... is used in cases where a "transfer" happens. E.g. I will give this book to you. (from me to you) I will go to work. (from home to work) I will talk to her. (information goes from me to her) FOR is used in the following situations: for the benefit of e.g. I will do that for you. purpose e.g. This ...


4

"To" specifies a direction, an intention, it implies some action, while "for" is more associated with someone/something who is intended to own or use the noun preceding "for". key to exercise - I cannot find a key to this exercise. key for exercise - The keys for the exercises are on the last page. bullet to a gun - The police could not find any bullet to ...


4

In general, it's not advisable to rely too heavily on rules like this that refer to the linear word order of items in the sentence. In English (and in languages in general) there are always cases where, e.g. for rhythmic reasons, elements can move outside their "canonical" position. (This process is sometimes referred to as "move alpha" in more technical ...


4

Prepositions are often interchangeable in English, even when they seem to mean exactly the opposite thing in their literal sense. It is possible, for example, to say You'll find a Chevron station down the road about five miles. or You'll find a Chevron station up the road about five miles. or even You'll find a Chevron station along the road ...


4

Neither of your examples is most correct; programs are compiled by compilers. GCC is doing the work to compile C code to machine code or whatever. As for the subtle differences between your examples: Compiled with is more correct than compiled in but both are awkward compared to the above. Using "with" to say "compiled using" is more appropriate if you are ...


4

Your second sentence I'm off to my place in my car would be perfectly recognisable in Australian English. The alternative with my car suggests that the car is accompanying you rather than being driven by you. As an aside, vernacular Australian would avoid identifying the ownership of the car, so the response to Where's John? is He's off to the library in ...



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