Questions tagged [complements]

For questions about the use of, or meaning of, complements.

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6 votes
2 answers
4k views

"Heard me [infinitive]" vs. "heard me [present participle]"

"Heard me [infinitive]" vs. "heard me [present participle]" At that time, you wouldn't have heard me talk about it. At that time, you wouldn't have heard me talking about it. At ...
6 votes
3 answers
2k views

To infinitive used after adjective

This question is relatively simple. I don't understand why we never use passive form of to infinitive after the adjective unless the subject is "it". For example: He is difficult to please. ...
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2 votes
2 answers
1k views

Can object complements make any difference to sentences?

I'm reading a grammar book, and I have some questions. A. We ate the fish raw. I want Sue drunk. I prefer the music soft. I like coffee black. We drank the beer cold. This type of ...
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12 votes
3 answers
15k views

recommend you + to-infinitive vs recommend that you + infinitive

I'd like to ask about the use of the verb "recommend" in the following sentences: We'd recommend you to book your flight early. The plumber recommended me to buy a new water heater. The ...
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10 votes
1 answer
3k views

How do I determine subject and subject complement in "A side-effect is the spread of commercialese to other domains."?

Consider this example: Commercialese is an instrument of art, designed to enrich and invigorate our language—surely you will all agree with this—, and we should encourage newcomers to learn ...
6 votes
5 answers
2k views

In ‘catch me off guard’, is the ‘off guard’ an objective complement or adjective phrase?

In ‘catch me off guard’, is the ‘off guard’ an objective complement or adjective phrase that modifies ‘me’? My Great Uncle Algie kept trying to catch me off guard and force some magic out of me &...
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4 votes
2 answers
1k views

Can adjectives make adjuncts modifying verbs?

Her teeth gleamed white against the tanned skin of her face. It seems ‘white’ is an adjunct modifying gleamed, while it’s not a complement for it’s not necessary to complete the meaning. But I’m ...
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14 votes
2 answers
27k views

Grammatical complements for "allow"

Are any of these verb phrases grammatical? allows the user of modeling and resolving allows the user to model and resolve Which version of the following sentence is correct/better? ...
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7 votes
2 answers
1k views

Participial clause?

On ELL a user has asked how to parse the emphasized -ing form in this sentence from Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone: Harry swung at it with the bat to stop it from breaking his nose, and ...
6 votes
2 answers
755 views

How is transitivity defined in CGEL?

This ques­tion is specif­i­cally for those who are fa­mil­iar with the 2002 edi­tion of The Cam­bridge Gram­mar of the English Lan­guage by Hud­dle­ston and Pul­lum. The book has this pas­sage at ...
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6 votes
2 answers
5k views

how to understand "as ~ as ever"

Nosey Flynn was sitting up in his usual corner of Davy Byrne's and, when he heard the story, he stood Farrington a half-one, saying it was as (1) smart a thing as (2) ever (3) he heard. (James ...
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5 votes
6 answers
953 views

In structures such as 'football manager', is 'football' a modifier or a complement of the head noun?

I thought I'd post this as it illustrates a problem often encountered on ELU. In structures such as 'football manager', is 'football' a modifier or a complement of the head noun? I've seen both ...
4 votes
2 answers
7k views

What is an adjectival complement in English?

How can one determine what an adjectival complement is in an English sentence? Are there are any subcategories to this classification? I'd love concrete examples, to help me better understand this ...
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3 votes
2 answers
927 views

Why can an adjective be placed after "eat" as in "garlic can be eaten raw"?

Edit note: This question with some good answers does not explain (or ask) why it is an adjective that's used as opposed to an adverb in this type of construction: Is this an objective complement or ...
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-2 votes
3 answers
3k views

sentence pattern clarification [closed]

I am really confused with indirect and direct objects ... I need to understand the sentence pattern for this sentence: He showed kindness to his parents.
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11 votes
4 answers
4k views

Is "I am who(m) God made me" grammatical?

SAH asked an interesting question about case, I am [who/whom] G-d made me, but one issue that came up in the comments repeatedly is that many people said that they find the example sentence ...
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6 votes
5 answers
6k views

"Who(m) will it be?" vs. "Will it be he/him?"

The accepted (and highly upvoted) answer to the question in the question What’s the rule for using “who” and “whom” correctly? states that the easiest way to find out whether to use who or whom is to ...
5 votes
1 answer
162 views

Determining licensing in CaGel by means of substitution test

I read a comment on licensing in another post, which made me revisit this concept. Unfortunately I haven't got access to CaGEL – only to its "little brother", Huddleston and Pullum's A Student's ...
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5 votes
2 answers
2k views

How to tell if something is a core complement or a non-core complement?

CaGEL on page 216 cite the following: "Kim gave the key to Pat" An NP indirectly related to the verb through the preposition is referred as an oblique. The phrase "to Pat" is a non-core ...
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5 votes
2 answers
2k views

Why do these verbs take bare infinitives?

[a] It makes the tree grow. [b] I never heard him speak. I’m wondering why causative and sense verbs (make, hear) license bare infinitives for their complement, instead of taking to infinitives? What ...
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4 votes
2 answers
356 views

What is the nature of, and syntactic distinction between, modifier and complement?

I am struggling to understand the syntactic relevance of the distinction between complement and modifier in theories such as the one presented in the Cambridge Grammar of the English Language by ...
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3 votes
3 answers
1k views

Does "Predicate" includes object, complement and modifiers?

I'm currently studying the "Sentence Structure" for the English language. I've found varied information in this regard. Some sources says that the sentence consist of five components: Subject + ...
3 votes
3 answers
904 views

What is the usage of "in it fat" in this sentence?

I found this sentence: It has in it fat, which gives energy. I can't figure out the usage of the part "in it fat". Can anyone kindly explain it or maybe give some examples please?
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3 votes
5 answers
595 views

"There was a man known as the 'Toe Suck Fairy'" — is "there" a complement?

To me, man is the subject and it has two verbs — was and known —, making there a complement. My teacher argued that the verb is "was known".
3 votes
5 answers
2k views

A coffee to go....( for syntax experts)

Could the infinitive phrase "to go" be a complement of the noun phrase "a coffee"?
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2 votes
2 answers
1k views

Participial Phrases As Objective Complement

Can a participial phrase be used as an objective complement? If so, is there a way to tell when the participial phrase is or is not used as an objective complement? How would this sentence be ...
2 votes
1 answer
765 views

Is this mixture of plural and singular legitimate?

But what is most important for our purposes is that these changes were the signal for the resumption of historical debate on a grand scale, of the kind that had been suspended or driven ...
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2 votes
2 answers
695 views

"end up" peculiar properties

Just putting together a lexical lesson on making life changes and thought I'd use a sentence with 'end up'. However, when I ran through various sample sentences I noticed that it is quite an unusual ...
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2 votes
1 answer
424 views

Important to learn is this stuff

This song is fun to sing. This pizza is too hot to eat. Is the infinitive there considered a complement of the predicate adjective?
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1 vote
1 answer
583 views

"Far from happy" Preposition followed by an adjective?

It occurs me that in such sentences as He is far from happy. However, just as the critics are not of one mind in their criticism, so they are far from united on what to do. the preposition from is ...
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1 vote
0 answers
60 views

How can I tell if a prepositional phrase is a complement to a noun or a modifier? And how are these two different?

In the NP "mines in wartime", "in wartime" modifies the head "mines". that nice tall man from Canada whom you met "from Canada" modifies "man". But ...
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0 votes
3 answers
345 views

What exactly falls under the label of "complement"?

There seems to be a lot of contradicting beliefs out there regarding complements and what they cover -- or maybe I am just confusing myself. However, I cannot seem to find an answer that I understand. ...
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0 votes
1 answer
240 views

notion of complement

Liam is very ill. (English Syntax and Argumentation, Bas Aarts) Traditional Grammar says ‘very ill’ as a subject complement. And the book says ‘very ill’ as a complement for verb be. Do I have to ...
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0 votes
2 answers
2k views

In the sentence 'She seems nice', is 'nice' a subject complement, verb complement, or both?

In the sentence below, is nice a subject complement, verb complement, or both? She seems nice. According to this page, it’s a type of verb complement; but it also seems to me to fit with the ...
-1 votes
1 answer
708 views

What is the difference complementing with prepositional phrase and with to-infinitive? [closed]

To-infinitive complements must be distinguished from PP complement with the preposition to. The following quotation illustrates the difference. The global threat to our security was clear. So ...
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