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The grammatical principle here is called parallelism (balance within one or more sentences of similar phrases or clauses that have the same grammatical structure). Thus... I would rather eat it than [I would] look at it ...where the contrast is between two actions represented by infinitive verb forms (eat, look at) either side of than (being half of ...


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[Basically a copy of my answer at “In” vs. “among”:] True, in is more appropriate in nonmedical writing but among is the standard term for a medical study with multiple subjects. Episiotomy and the risk of severe perineal injury among Korean women This would also apply to an overview of studies with multiple subjects, if that is what you happen to ...


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I suppose that it is a case of leaving out part of a sentence or clause, as in certain relative clauses: Albert Einstein, who is the most famous physicist of the XXth century, was born in Ulm. can be reduced to Albert Einstein, the most famous physicist of the XXth century, was born in Ulm. leaving out 'who was'. Similarly, Toenail growth, ...


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Another preposition that might sound correct would be at which would be implicitly invoking the verb hearing: I was not prepared for his calm enthusiasm at my question. I was not prepared for his calm enthusiasm at [hearing] my question.


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Words that can be used as prepositions take part in many idiomatic usages in English. That means that rational analysis won't tell you why they're used as they are; you just have to memorize these usages. First of all, as you noted, sometimes prepositions double up. For instance you can say I went to the store with her where with means accompanying, ...


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'Despite' as a preposition, a noun, and a verb The three answers from 2010 pay little or no attention to the fact that despite can function as either a preposition or a noun—although RegDwigнt does cite Etymonline as observing that "The preposition [despite] (early 15c.) is short for in despite of (late 13c.)" In the phrase "in despite of," despite is a ...


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Yes, "on" is within the verb phrase. "Put" takes two complements, a direct object and a directional locative. In "put item on hold", "item" is the direct object and "on hold" is the locative. "On hold" is not an adverbial, but rather a verb complement. It is not clear that it has the sense of a locative here, since it is part of an idiom. "Item on ...


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I've seen "at" used in older writings. For example, I've seen in old newspapers, "Mr. Smith is superintendent of the public schools at Springfield" or "Mr. Smith owns the large factory at Springfield." I think it's just an evolution of language thing.


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We use AT when we speak about sports, activities: excel at football. And we use IN when we speak about academic subjects: excel in maths.



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