Questions tagged [construction]

symbolic units that connect a linguistic form with meaning

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2 answers
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'It's for your good' versus 'It's for your own good'

I'm wondering whether for your good is commonly used in English-speaking countries. For example, Take the medicine. That's for your good. If that is not grammatical or idiomatic for some reason, why ...
24 votes
2 answers
3k views

The unusual phrasing "verb + the + comparative adjective" in the Lord of the Rings novels

I first noticed this phrasing in Sam's famous speech in the The Two Towers movie. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. The highlighted part seems to originate in the second book of ...
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1 answer
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What does this long sentence mean and what kind of structure does it have?

Repetitive, pulse-driven figures have remained a characteristic, but so have the slips and leaps of a lively mind. 'but so have (...)' part of the sentence confuses me a lot. Does the verb 'remain' ...
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0 votes
3 answers
37 views

Inversion with the word 'whatsoever'

Is it possible to make an inversion with the word 'whatsoever'? For example, is this sentence correct? Whatsoever should you keep your mobile phone switched off during the performance.
3 votes
3 answers
55 views

Use of “there were”

I am working on a statistical report and came up with a question. I know that the two sentences below are grammatical but I wonder if there are any subtle differences, in the meaning or focus of a ...
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3 votes
0 answers
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English equivalent of German da- constructions

In German, the prefix da- can precede a number of prepositions, and in each case the compound da preposition is an anaphor, with the meaning of the preposition itself + it. For instance, the ...
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1 answer
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Why is the sentence "Wall-to-wall carpets in every room is their dream" acceptable?

I saw this sentence in the CoGEL(Quirk et al). 15.16 Verbless clause: Wall-to-wall carpets in every room is their dream. Question: Why is this awkward sentence acceptable? It's obvious that it ...
-1 votes
2 answers
55 views

"I mean" in past tense narration is not "I meant" but is it the same for other similar construction? [closed]

My question is quite simple: I have seen a lot of construction that start with "I mean," and here are a few examples: I mean, you don't have to go to the dance. I mean, it wasn't like you ...
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0 answers
25 views

Using "later" as a connector in formulas like "to, later, make a new proposal"

I was wondering if it would be correct to use later in a construction like this: "We will study the domain of interest to, later, propose several improvements" The idea is to write a ...
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4 answers
181 views

Residual soil or surplus soil

What do you call soil from earthwork in construction— soil that may be remaining at some places, and that won't be used even after the construction project is finished? I have two candidates: residual ...
5 votes
6 answers
2k views

What tenses are being used in this sentence construction?

A new book* is being released with the tagline If you knew how your love story ends, would you dare to begin? I'm a native British English speaker, the author is, and I presume whoever wrote that is ...
4 votes
2 answers
588 views

Is it possible for "thus to" to replace "in order to"

I'm struggling to understand if the sentence below is correct: The first time they ventured in this bookshop, thus to find refuge and protection from the rain lashing on cobblestones outside, Paul ...
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Use "which" or "what" in a sentence with a metaphor/analogy [duplicate]

I'm currently trying to translate a text in English, that I wrote in French. It is a bit complicating when it comes to my writing style, as in French we tend (I do) to use a lot of analogies and ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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what's the difference in meaning between an adjective and the structure "noun + of + article + noun"?

Example: Did you hire that clown of a teacher? and Did you hire that clownish teacher? Or My idiotic friend and My idiot of a friend?
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2 answers
63 views

Use of neither in beginning of sentence [duplicate]

I have come across the following sentence in a paper, and I wonder if it is correct or even just passable English: Neither is Islam a constant movement over time." I would use "nor" ...
4 votes
1 answer
105 views

Identify specific usage of "now" as adverb or conjunction

I am trying to figure out the meaning of "now" in some contexts. I've seen its full use in the Cambridge dictionary and in MacMillan Dictionary; however, it isn't clear to me in some ...
0 votes
2 answers
88 views

Is there a grammatical difference between "heart of oak" and "hearts of oak" in the British patriotic song "Heart of Oak?" [closed]

A British patriotic song titled "Heart of Oak" has two versions that are widely sung. The chorus in the first version goes like this: Heart of oak are our ships, Heart of oak are our men, We ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Is "stranded" a past participle or an adjective? [duplicate]

Definition of the " leave" :to make or allow sb/sth to remain in a particular condition, place, etc. Leave the window open. (verb + object+ adjective) I Left the headlights on. ( verb + ...
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1 answer
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About Lovecraft's style to start a sentence with 'For' [duplicate]

I'm reading my first ever novel in English (French is my mother tongue): Tales of Horror by H.P Lovecraft. Surprisingly, reading this book is fine for me, however there's a sentence construction I don'...
4 votes
2 answers
429 views

What's the syntactic explanation in "Mistakes are likely to happen":

I'm con­fused about this sen­tence con­struc­tion: Mis­takes are likely to hap­pen. I’ve thought of three pos­si­ble ex­pla­na­tions; are any of them cor­rect? Where likely is an ad­jec­tive act­...
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0 answers
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Is it "Hover over the icon to learn more about A book's content" OR "Hover over the icon to learn more about THE book's content"?

I'm writing some 'help' content for a website, and I've been stumped by an article. There are several books, so there are several icons onscreen at any one time. When you hover over a book's icon, you ...
2 votes
1 answer
35 views

Is there a name for this format - '5:number :: k: ? '?

Is there a name for this format - 5:number :: k: ? ? The question mark in the above poses a question. The answer is supposed to be found out by looking the relation of previous pair. In this case ...
0 votes
2 answers
563 views

Which one is correct: built or to be built

Which of these is correct? 1.How do you want your house to be built? 2.How do you want your house built? I think 1 is correct because it is the house that will be built(someone will build it). But I ...
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1 vote
2 answers
484 views

What are the differences between the following? [duplicate]

What are the differences between: I did this for the first time in Tibet. I did this in Tibet for the first time. Which one should I use if I have done 'this' before, but it is my first time doing '...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Why can you use relative clauses with implicit complementisers or relative pronouns?

Why are these correct? The work I am doing is easy. The house he lives at. The book I am writing is about different realms. The man I was helping thanked me. The ant I was blocking the road of. ...
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0 answers
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What kind of elliptical construction would the following interpretation fall into and what are some similar examples?

Here is the sentence construction: As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up. I want to ...
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0 answers
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Grammatical Rules of Construction. Conjunction-reduction

I'm struggling to understand the meaning of certain phrases that follow a particular pattern. Since I lack the vocabulary to define that pattern, I'll give some examples instead: The pet-friendly ...
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0 answers
54 views

What is this construction? (Sentence Structure) - 4

The most handsome boy in the class, Sam. I remember seeing a sentence of this type in a book. I don't remember which. Can such a sentence be called a Sentence? It contains only a Noun and an ...
0 votes
1 answer
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Is it correct this construction with the expression "have something in mind"?

I have a doubt related to the expression "to have something in mind". Is it correct to add information between the beginning and the end of it? For example, like this: "I have so many ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
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The meaning of the structure *to be + said + verb (infinitive)* [duplicate]

What are the uses of this structure? I looked for about it, but I couldn't find something useful. Can you give me a definition and some examples?
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How can I construct phrases only to work with one of Given, When, or Then?

I think the following is a problem which falls firmly between two stools, so please forgive me if this is the wrong place, but I think it's more of a linguistic question than a computer question. ...
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0 answers
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Is there a name for this type of construction? E.g. a scorcher of a day; a geyser of a character, etc

I've seem a lot of such constructions, e.g. a spasm of a rant. What do grammarians call such constructions, and is there anything in particular that an EFL teacher needs to know about them, to teach ...
0 votes
1 answer
455 views

What is right sentence construction of "same as"?

This is the same car that you bought me. (Does it mean only one car exists?) This is the same car as the one you bought me. (Does it indicate to two cars? One is the current one we are looking at, and ...
1 vote
1 answer
31 views

Use of conditional sentence?

Oh, I'm not sad. I made sure I've got a lotta dreams, so if one breaks, I can/could pursue another. Should I follow up with can or could after the "if" clause?
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3 votes
1 answer
71 views

What does the construction "indefinite article + adjective" mean?

I came accross sentences like these: "blablabla" says a breathless Mrs Johnson. "Dinosaur Jr. set to release new album mid-2016, says a nervous Lou Barlow" Are breathless and ...
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1 answer
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How to compose a single phrase/write a sentence for this? [closed]

This is related to covid19 issue. I'm not native so can't find words to describe it in a sentence. But here's what I want to write: Since covid19 issue hasn't stopped yet, and we can't stop our ...
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0 votes
0 answers
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Grammatical Rules of Construction or Logic to Resolve Some Seemingly Contradictory Legislation

One of the things attorneys, such as myself, do often is argue over the meaning of a statute. Often this comes down to grammatical arguments about the location of commas, the use of conjunctions, etc. ...
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0 answers
38 views

Leave+be+(past participle) or (past participle) without be

I am a bit confused with the construction. If we would like to say that we leave the object in that state (using a past participle), would we need be before the past participle? For instance: I left ...
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0 answers
35 views

Which sentence structure is correct and why?

I have typed nearly all the sentences. I nearly have typed all the sentences. Also, do I need to add the preposition 'of' to the sentence? E.g. "I have nearly typed all of the sentences."
0 votes
1 answer
874 views

cannot in 'not only...but also' [duplicate]

I know from verious other discussions that 'can not' and 'cannot' are basically both correct but 'cannot' is being used more often. Nonetheless what happens if I have a 'not only...but also' ...
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0 votes
3 answers
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Identify the subject and verb in the sentence

Please where is the subject and the verb in the following sentence: Slavery and the slave trade bulk large in this work. Is it grammatically correct? And what kind of the word is 'large' in this ...
1 vote
1 answer
147 views

Comma before a subordinate clause

I was reading a book and stumbled on this sentence: It was closed, but the salesman said he would wait, if we hurried. I'm confused about the use of the comma preceding if we hurried. Why not ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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Increasing clarity by breaking verbal stumbling blocks

I am marking students' essays and frequently coming across stumbling blocks of words. Although grammatically speaking these blocks are mostly correct, I find that clarity is being impaired (e.g too ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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"I was going to do,but something happened", "I was to do,but something happened" and "I was about to do,but something happened"have the same meaning?

Do "I was going to do,but something happened", "I was to do,but something happened" and "I was about to do,but something happened"have the same meaning?.I'm so confused right now. Please give me some ...
0 votes
1 answer
835 views

Alternatives to the Colon

I find that I use the colon far too often in my writing. Specifically, I use the following construction too often: statement: explanation or example Here are some concrete versions of this: ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Sentence construction, adjective position [duplicate]

I need to phrase a title, and I am not sure what the best option is: Detect visited page without analyzing its features or Detect page visited without analyzing its features
1 vote
0 answers
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When do we use this construction? Auxiliary verb + subject + verb

I was trying to find some info about this construction but couldn't succeed, although I happen to encounter it here and there almost every day. So the construction is: auxiliary verb + subject + verb. ...
3 votes
2 answers
176 views

Is there any standard syntax for the colloquialism “it’s ___ is what it is!”? [closed]

I really struggled to find any instance of this phrase online; it’s difficult to search. Does it have a comma (i.e. “it’s ___, is what it is!”)? How would you write this verbal colloquialism down? (...
0 votes
0 answers
29 views

And vs or for a plural noun

Situation: there are ten students in my room. Some of them have blue books. Some others have red ones. Now, I am telling my subordinate to instruct them all to study the notes in the corresponding ...
0 votes
1 answer
124 views

It is not + noun + to infinitive

I do know an adjective (without a noun) in this construction can be followed by a to-infinitive, as in: It is not acceptable to kill a goat in that way. It is not good to kill him here. But, is it ...