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seen Nov 25 '12 at 3:48

Oct
21
comment “Had better” — what is the meaning of this grammatically?
...other than that original questioner, or someone trusted, (watch this)...had best...go back and remove the initial tags and, then, supersede them with the tag, idiom.
Oct
21
comment “Had better” — what is the meaning of this grammatically?
The question is a good one to demostrate what an idiomatic expresssion is (a concept that sometimes seems to run far afield on this site and elsewere). "Had better"...[something] is an idiom (essentally, short-hand, mostly oral or written-dialog means of expressing (in this case) a necessary propostion (in imperative mood); one of those ways of speaking that must be inculcated by rote; and which has no formal grammatical context or precedent...hence, is idomatic (remember that definition)...hence also, nothing more need be said...other than... [next comment]
Oct
21
comment “Were gone” vs. “had gone”
A verb, loosely speaking, in the sense that is stands in lieu of a dropped, definite or indefinite article or adjective. See comment in answer below. As intimated there, no harms comes from thinking of it as a verb so long as that is not generalized to "any ol" preposition object; or for the purpose of sentence parsing (diagramming)
Oct
20
revised “Were gone” vs. “had gone”
insert descriptor for clarity
Oct
20
comment “Were gone” vs. “had gone”
Not that it makes a difference, but may I suggest that to party remains a preposition-object combination with implicit the! The fact of party, per se, and partying, per se, both imply a gathering (as opposed to the mere travel thereto) without which party celebrations cannot occur. (She could be (gathered with others enjoying a party) in the street. Or, she did not take her meds and that explains her "partying" (alone) in the street.
Oct
20
comment “Were gone” vs. “had gone”
Another post revealed what I overlooked: gone to party ...not gone to the party. But, in actuality, the verb-like expresssion is a manner of saying, "...gone to (the) party." The is implied. (Else, gone to party would predicate an expression of ambiguous, or absent any clear, meaning. Therefore the post and attribution to mood conflict remains appropos, and valid.
Oct
20
revised “Were gone” vs. “had gone”
typo, omission inserted
Oct
20
revised “Were gone” vs. “had gone”
omitted sententce reinserted
Oct
20
answered “Were gone” vs. “had gone”
Oct
20
comment What does “had had” mean? How does this differ from “had”?
Good editors are not allowed to suggest edits offically. So here is what you meant to ask in lieu of "For example, what is the difference between the following two sentences" Those are not sentences which makes any answer ambigous. You meant to ask in regard of the "difference between the two clauses". As it was stated, only once could be a sentence: the one without had had. Better to have offered two, hypothetic, complete sentences rather than fragments...although you short hand approach was appreciated.
Oct
20
comment “We had entered” vs “we entered”
Is that a sign of the degeneration of proficiency in language arts teaching at the elementary and secondary levels...and its reinforcement even at pre and post graduate levels. It once was often said that speaking well and a vocabulary will carry you far. Today's counterpart would hold that speaking well and a vocabulary will carry you only so far.
Oct
20
comment “We had entered” vs “we entered”
Better yet: We arrived late so did not see the ringmaster until after a half hour in our seats. Since the show had already begun, we missed his introduction of the performers. From long experience and consultancy...non-English professors in technical discipline best be wary about standard English usages. Only good will intended.
Oct
20
comment “We had entered” vs “we entered”
Because we arrived late, we did not see the ring master until a half hour after we took our seats. Because the show had aready begun, we missed the introduction of the performers.
Oct
20
comment “We had entered” vs “we entered”
Formulas notwithstanding, actually the Q itself arises due to the virtual loss in recent years/decades, of distinction in use, first and foremost British use (and unfortunately spreading), of conjunctions: in your example, the catch-all substitution of when for after. The marked down answer gives the effective guideline...for removing the ambiguity that you already sense (which impelled you to ask the question.)
Oct
20
revised “We had entered” vs “we entered”
improved
Oct
20
answered “We had entered” vs “we entered”
Oct
19
comment Why “off his rocker”?
Don't misapprehend. The rythm of metrical rocking (lulling) is universally a symbol, as well as reality per se, of peace of mind--agitating of a sort within limits, in a confined (seemingly secured) environment. Rocking, or absence thereof, extends from the maternal bosom whether near birth or (figuratively) near the mental/emotional collapse in death.
Oct
19
answered Why “off his rocker”?
Oct
19
comment Why “off his rocker”?
A search for origin of rocking chair stumped the gooogle engine since the prior comment. Many with experience, even as much as 60 or more involving mental instablity, will have witnessed activity so uncharacterisic of the elderly is often the first alert that things are seriously wrong. Now I will see what google can provide as to the first incidence of frenzied rocking as prelude to separation from the rocker. Or the first documentation of its association with emotional disturbance in children. BTW illusion for allusion, above, is a type.
Oct
19
comment Why “off his rocker”?
I don't get it very well:except what I wrote. The metaphor is quite well known even if the illusion is not, beyond the life of any "here" and most if not all English speakers in existence. Had the Q asked since when I would not have posted. But is asked why rocking chair (as the metaphoric likeness). Perhaps the Q should be expanded (or reduced) to ask; how long have rockers (another "concept" also known to be a rockable seating facility) have been around...because before then people could not have spoken of on or off, in literal or metaphoric sense. Let me check into that...but I am doubtful.