Hot answers tagged

9

These types of sentences are referred to as presentational constructions. They consist exclusively of intransitive verbs: *There ate John a lion. (ungrammatical, transitive verb) The verbs that allow this kind of usage quite often take no Complement at all. If we have a very big, often indefinite, Subject and there is no Complement of the verb, such ...


7

It is of no use at all to users of a language as users. You can use a language your entire life without knowing what a Subject is, just like you can live your entire life without knowing anything about metabolism. But teachers trying to explain to a learner why a particular expression is wrong or why a particular expression requires a different form, or ...


5

According to the Oxford Online English Dictionary, definition 2.1: Attain or extend to (a specified point, level, or condition): unemployment reached a peak in 1933 [NO OBJECT]: in its native habitat it will reach to about 6 m in height Attain certainly can mean both directions, so I think it can technically be used in that fashion. As far ...


5

The 'sentence' you asked about has no overall subject. It’s an example of artistic license where the rules of grammar get broken, not due to grammatical incompetence, but for some literary reason, typically resulting in fragments of a sentence being used, as your quote demonstrates. The result here is that the sequence you asked about is not actually a ...


4

Note that I've expanded the quote to include some more context to make it clear that Faulkner is quoting someone relating an incident. Faulkner is reproducing the patterns of somewhat-convoluted speech. The main clause of the direct speech is That was it which is followed by two fragments punctuated like sentences that form an appositive to "it," ...


4

For migrant birds, which habitats are suitable during the non-breeding season influences habitat availability, population resilience to habitat loss, and ultimately survival. This is a sentence from a piece of technical academic writing from the Journal of Avian Biology. The sentence is perfectly grammatical and also makes sense. The structure of the ...


4

I think that with BE we're probably better off subordinating the syntactics to the pragmatics and thinking of the two arguments on either side of the verb as something more like Topic and Comment, which are structurally assigned the syntactic roles Subject and Complement. In that sort of context there's no problem with seeing a locative as de facto Subject: ...


4

First, is it a grammatically correct sentence?  Yes.  This type of sentence is very common.  As Greg Lee mentions, there are several different theories of English grammar, and different theories may label the parts of this sentence in different ways.  In the framework that I use, "to call" is an infinitive and infinitives do not ...


4

This is one of the big differences between tensed and untensed subordinate clauses. There are two untensed types -- infinitive clauses and gerund clauses -- and both can often appear without subjects, but only by one of the various rules that achieve that effect. The subjects, even if they aren't present, are still understood, and they aren't always the ...


4

Subject: the person or thing that performs the action or incorporates the action expressed by the verb, or is in the condition indicated by the verb. While it seems the subject initiates the action (especially with transitive verbs) the verb requires a "subject" to carry out or perform the action, hence the "subject" is submitting to the "verb" or let's say, ...


3

The idea of the term subject in grammar is that which is placed under something. Object means that which is placed on top of something. If you see the verb of a sentence as the central word the subject is placed under the verb and the object is placed on top of the verb. So you get a model of the sentence structure where the sentence parts are arranged ...


3

Subjects are noun phrases, and usually have more than one word in them, but they can be just one word, if there are no modifiers. Subject is a grammatical concept restricted to languages with nominative-accusative systems, like most Indo-European languages. Languages like Basque, Georgian, Quiché, or Pitjantjatjara, which have absolutive-ergative systems, ...


3

If you mean: can a person that is referred to by a direct object noun phrase of some verb also be referred to by a subject noun phrase of another verb, then sure. Why not? But if you mean: can a noun phrase simultaneously be the direct object of one verb and the subject of another verb, the answer is unclear. This is possible in Relational Grammar (and ...


3

Though the underlying word picture of reach is extending or stretching out, it has embraced metaphoric applications for a long time: Old English ræcan, reccan "reach out, stretch out, extend, hold forth," also "succeed in touching, succeed in striking; address, speak to," also "offer, present, give, grant," from West Germanic *raikjan ...


3

The correct formulation would be "people who have other opinions." "Who" because it is the subject performing the action ("whom" is only used as an object, e.g., "those about whom we have opinions"), and "have" because it's the proper conjugation for a plural subject like "people," the antecedent that "who" refers to.


3

Consider what happens when the herd is sleeping. This doesn't mean that every cow is asleep, merely that sleep is the herd's current activity. Doing the same thing at the same time is the whole point of a herd. If a cow decides to travel while others are eating, it stops being a part of the herd--the herd is still eating.


3

Short answer If the phrase that is being fronted is a Complement of the verb, then it is often best to use Subject-dependent inversion, and if you don't your sentence may sound ungrammatical. If the fronted element is an Adjunct instead of a Complement, the inversion is not necessary. It will generally not give good results if the phrase that has been ...


2

No, there is not a different word. Historical explanation: Who vs whom is one of the few relics in English of the Indo-European case system: others are he/him, I/me etc. Most nouns and pronouns in most Indo-European languages distinguish between the subject (or nominative) and object (or accusative) case - except for neuter nouns and pronouns. I cannot ...


2

There isn't a different word, per se. You could use "which" if the context indicates that there is a clear choice between a small number of things to look at. That's an entirely different word, though, and it changes the meaning slightly. I am guessing that that's not what you are looking for. Neuter nouns and pronouns in Indo-European languages never ...


2

The verb "is" establishes an "equality" of sorts between its subject and object. In both cases the subject comes first, it's just that there are different subjects in the two cases. Which version is "best" depends on what you want to emphasize. If it's most important to simply note that there is a critical project, the first is best. If you want to ...


2

Verb agreement would point to "me" being the subject: “And up here in the corner is me” vs “And up there in the corner are us". Accusative "me and "us" are the 'normal' forms here, the absurdly formal nominative "I" and "we" also being possible. But only the nominative "I" would be possible in the non-inverted equivalent: "I am up here in the corner". ...


2

I'd go along with Joe's suggestion and use "sometimes shrinking to...". It follows naturally from "highly compressed", I'd say.


2

I want him [to call me tomorrow]. Yes, him belongs syntactically in the matrix clause as object of want. But semantically, it belongs solely in the embedded clause as subject. Him is not an argument of want. What I want is not him, but him to call me tomorrow. Syntactically, him is object of want, but semantically it relates only to the subordinate call ...


2

The answer to your general question differs from theory to theory. In context free grammar, ordinary transformational grammar, and probably in traditional grammar, it's no. A single sentence structure may not have a nominal which is simultaneously subject and object. In Relational Grammar, however, this is possible, and it might also be possible in ...


2

The it in "What is it that makes us happy?" is called syntactic expletive which is also known as dummy pronoun (or dummy it): It is a word that performs a syntactic role but contributes nothing to meaning. It is also called cleft sentence and you can visit the link for further study. As the below quote indicates, the role of "it" is controversial ...


2

One and the same person is serving both as object of the preposition to and as subject of the verb gave. Thus both subjective and objective pronoun forms come into play. It is part of the virtue or function of the relative pronoun, in this case who, to mediate such a shift in case. That frees the third-person masculine singular personal pronoun to assume the ...


2

After the conjunction "and" you can change the tense.


2

It is not such a simple question. "There" is the subject, and "is" is the verb. I believe those are correct answers, but some will disagree, because there are problems. The "is" is a form of "be" that agrees with a singular subject, and to get "are" here, we'd have to change "a house" to a plural form: There is a house in New Orleans whose veranda is ...


2

Taken literally, the second sentence is nonsense, but there's no ambiguity and anyone knows what the sentence means. Constructions like this are best avoided in formal writing, but in informal use, the meaning is perfectly clear, precisely because the literal meaning is nonsense. The only thing that the modifier can sensibly refer to is the object "me." ...



Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible