I have come again to ask for your help! I have doubts about specific sentences and their grammatical structure. I tried to figure out by myself, but I couldn't, so I am asking you guys for your wisdom.

  1. "Notice that machine learning isn't going to give us solutions all by itself"

In this first sentence, I don't understand where are the subject and the predicate. For instance, "that machine learning isn't going to give us solutions all by itself." is a noun clause, which can act as a subject and as an object, and then we have "Notice", which is a verb. Is very confusing. I thought that "Notice" might be a reduced form of a grammatical element and the sentence could be rephrased like this: "You can notice + NP".

2."At each step in the search, it tries the candidate drugs on the model."

Is the first part of the sentence, "At each step in the search", a Prepositional Phrase?

3."In the game of chess between humanity and cancer, Cancer Sol is checkmate." I have exactly the same doubt than in the second sentence.

4." Even before the cancer mutates, the model predicts likely mutations, and Cancer Sol prescribes drugs that will stop them dead in their tracks."

In the first part of this sentence, are the words "even" and "before" being used as a joint Adverb to create and Adverb Clause? I ask this because I know that each one of them by itself is an Adverb, but it seems weird to me that they appear together.

I will appreciate all the help I can get!

  • Your analysis is good on 1-3. The last looks like another prepositional phrase, with 'even' intensifying 'before'. 'Notice' has the implied You as all imperatives do: Let my people go, Say no to drugs, Stop. Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 15:28
  • Please only ask one question at once. You might also benefit from membership of our sister site, English Language Learners -- that is, as well as here.
    – Andrew Leach
    Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 15:34
  • 1
    1. is an imperative clause where, as usual, the subject “you” is omitted. The predicate is thus the entire sentence. The content clause beginning with “that” is complement of the verb “notice”. In 2. “at each step in the search” is a PP functioning as a temporal adjunct in clause structure. In 3 it's also a PP, but this time functioning as a domain adjunct. In 4. “even” is a focusing adverb modifying the PP “before the cancer mutates”, which is functioning as a temporal adjunct.
    – BillJ
    Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 16:12
  • @YosefBaskin,@Billj Thanks! However, how come "before the cancer mutates" is a PP? Shouldn't be an adverb clause? It has a subject and verb, and "before" is acting as a subordinating conjunction.
    – Milenko
    Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 16:31
  • 2
    Trad grammar analyses it like that, but in modern grammar it's a PP headed by the prep "before", with the embedded content clause "the cancer mutates" as complement. Whichever analysis is preferred, the expression is still a temporal adjunct.
    – BillJ
    Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 16:34

1 Answer 1

  1. The sentence as written is an imperative sentence, a command, so the subject (you) is implied.

  2. Yes

  3. Yes

  4. before is a preposition but before the cancer mutates is an adverbial propositional phrase so I would call even an adverb.

  • Thanks for your response! In the fourth sentence, in my understanding,( I could be wrong), "before" can act both as subordinating conjunction that introduces an adverb clause and as a preposition. In this case in particular, since there are a subject and a verb, I have to assume that its function is a subordinating conjunction. However, since the word "even" is also included, ( even is a subordinating conjunction), it is still unclear to me that it functions as an adverb. My understanding of adverbs is that they modify verbs, adjectives, and adverbs.
    – Milenko
    Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 16:27
  • Actually,I think you are right about before used here as a subordinating conjunction for a clause. Since the clause acts as an adverb, I think that would still make even be an adverb as well.
    – AAllen
    Commented Jul 19, 2017 at 16:33

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