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29

A pawn can be somebody who's being pushed around, or used for somebody else's benefit, often without being aware of it: a person, group, etc, manipulated by another


18

Patsy. Although this is specific to accountability being transferred unfairly, as in someone taking the blame for someone else's crime. Sucker. This is pretty good for many cases. Neither apply to a romantic relationship, though. If that's what you're looking for.


14

Perhaps doormat, as in "(s)he's walking all over you".


10

Out of context the sentence StackExchange is the website I wanted to win is inherently ambiguous because of the nature of the verb to win, which is ambitransitive. In other words, win can be both transitive and intransitive: She won the award. (transitive) She won. (intransitive) So if Polly is a cat and I read the decontextualised sentence Polly ...


8

That depends on what you want to say. If you are talking about politics in general, use the singular: Politics both fascinates and repulses him. If, however, you are referring to specific politics, for example those of a person, use the plural: John's politics both fascinate and repulse him. This is because politics can mean different things. The ...


7

A tool--one that is used or manipulated by another. e.g. 'Anastasius was a willing tool of the Roman Empire.


6

Consider 'Lots of cheese is good for you' vs. 'Lots of cheeses are good for you.' The 'is' and 'are' cannot be interchanged. Evidently the plurality of 'lots of X' is determined by X, not by 'lots.' Whether this rule 'makes sense' is another question, but so long as it holds, there is no contradiction with the other rule you described as applied to your ...


6

There is cat's-paw as a noun. It has the sense of being exploited. A person used by another as a dupe or tool. The etymology of this term suggests an interesting story about how a monkey tricks a cat by using the cat: Cat's paw (1769, but cat's foot in the same sense, 1590s) refers to old folk tale in which the monkey tricks the cat into pawing ...


6

They also have an article entitled "California Chrome permitted to use nasal strip in Belmont Stakes", suggesting that it's the horse that will not be prevented, and as such has an even greater implication of volition. There are some uses of use that are clearly not implying volition on the part of the subject. Plants use photosynthesis. Webservers ...


5

Dog, tower, t-shirt, and kingdom are the grammatical subjects of the main verbs of these four sentences—what is, stands, was, and lies—and thus of the sentences themselves.


5

It is commonly asserted that the subject of a sentence is the noun or pronoun that does something or exists in a particular state of being. First, this is not true. Oh, it's commonly asserted, certainly; but that's not what Subject means. Therefore, in the sentence All but Jones are here ... Sorry, there's simply no therefore about it. You're ...


5

There is my biscuit. My biscuit is there. There is one biscuit left. (1) and (2) are locatives, and there is a locative adverb indicating the location of the biscuit. The structure is identical, but (1) is transformed from (2). Locative sentences can do that: My sister is over there, by the weeping willow. Over there, by the weeping ...


5

In this sentence the subject appears after the verb. If you rewrite the sentence with normal subject-verb word order--My resume and cover letter are attached--you can plainly see that the subject of the verb is plural, therefore the verb must be plural. The word "attached" is a subject complement or predicate adjective (terminology varies), not an object. ...


4

This is really not about Raising or Equi; let's look at at the sentences: She was last to arrive. They were the last to arrive. There are a couple of irrelevant differences between them. - Sentence (2) uses the last, while (1) uses no article (both versions are grammatical here) - Sentence (1) has a singular subject and verb, while (2) has plurals. ...


4

Subjects are inferred in practically every untensed subordinate clause (i.e, gerunds and infinitives). In the following sentences, what is the subject of the infinitive to take out? How can you tell? Bill told me to take out the garbage. Bill promised me to take out the garbage. I was told by Bill to take out the garbage. I don't want to take out the ...


4

This is an interesting question. In the Original Poster's sentence she is indeed the nominative case pronoun. It is also true that we associate this case marking with the subjects of finite verbs - such as the verb is in the original example. However, occasionally we find nominative case pronouns in non-subject positions. Here she is in fact not the subject ...


4

Sentence 3: Existential Subjects: Words, Phrases and Functions [A Comparison of Sentences and analysis of Sentences 1 & 2 forthcoming] There's one biscuit left. So now the burning question is: What is the subject of this existential sentence? This isn't as easy as it looks. If we want to answer this question we need to really understand what a ...


4

Not all verbs need an object. Change can take an object, but it does not need one. Compare the transitive: John has changed his house. He redecorated it. with the intransitive: John has changed. Becoming a father made him mature. So you do not need a object with change. Something or someone can change, meaning that they become (something) ...


3

No, it's not grammatically correct, which is how it's different from I am to be blamed., which is. You might use it if you heard that the news media were going to publish a story blaming you. But it you wanted to state something was your fault, you wouldn't say that, you'd say blame me or it's my fault. I myself am to be blamed is grammatically correct ...


3

Indeed the entire clause 'All but Jones' is the subject. I think this contains a good explanation as to why. (What he had already forgotten about computer repair could fill whole volumes. —the simple subject is not "computer repair," nor is it "what he had forgotten," nor is it "he." Ask what it is that "could fill whole volumes." Your answer should be ...


3

Wolves, hunted to extinction in Wyoming and Montana in the twentieth century, occupy a vital place in the natural cycle of the area. A straightforward test for subject-hood is to make a yes/no question and see what inverts with the auxiliary verb: Do [Wolves, hunted to extinction in Wyoming and Montana in the twentieth century] occupy a vital place in ...


3

Although there is technically ambiguity in your original phrase, the context makes it very obvious which meaning you meant. However, if you are really desperate for a phrase with no ambiguity I would go for: I wanted Stack Exchange to win


2

There are actually two clauses conjoined in v.5; the second is reduced by ellipsis and supplemented by an appositive NP bound to mediator; v.6 begins with a further supplementation, a relative clause modifying the appositive. The second half of v.6 is an infinitive adjunct, but it is not clear what precisely it modifies; my reading would be that it modifies ...


2

I haven't seen fall-guy or victim among the answers yet. I agree with several others here that it totally depends on context what the best word would be.


2

Guinea pig- It is person or thing used as a subject for experiment or it can be someone subject of research, experimentation, or testing. Colloquially, we use guinea pig as someone we used to test or try something, or to get through a circumstance using them as expedient.


2

According to context, also a scapegoat may fit your description: a person or group made to bear the blame for others or to suffer in their place. Origin: (Bible) Old Testament a goat used in the ritual of Yom Kippur (Leviticus 16); it was symbolically laden with the sins of the Israelites and sent into the wilderness to be destroyed. ...


2

Cast all ambiguity into the abyss! Reply with, 'back at you [pet epithet].' More seriously I too would code "Me too" as "I love me too", whereas "You too" is unambiguous in that it is second person, so you can't be referring to yourself.


2

These are all examples of locative inversion, where the subject and the prepositional phrase shift their normal positions. Usually the subject is at the beginning of the sentence, but not in these examples. if you want to look into the topic of sentences without subjects, see the classic paper Quang (1971) on English imperatives.


2

If you start with "How to cook an omelet", with or without a question mark, I expect you to continue to give me a recipe. The sentence sounds like a headline. That is, there is a subject, but it has been left out (how does one cook an omelette?). If you really just want someone to tell you how to do the job, your first sentence is much better. You could ...


2

The problem here—if there is one—is comparable to that of a sentence that runs as follows: The compression of images and arranging words most effectively are of the essence of poetry. In both instance, the reader understands what is being said but wonders why the author didn't take the opportunity (or make the effort) to bring the dual subject into ...



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