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Questions tagged [construction]

symbolic units that connect a linguistic form with meaning

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1answer
32 views

Threat on/to/for

As I was writing a sentence, it struck me that I am not all that quite sure about the noun 'threat', and how a sentence using the words 'threat' and 'cause' can be constructed. For instance: "...
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1answer
51 views

Selective with/in/about [closed]

I need to find out which preposition is more suitable for the sentence below; "Could we not just be selective with/in/about our potential themes." Is what is meant comprehensible, or should the ...
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1answer
43 views

Overthinking “…expect there to be…”

This sentence struck me as odd when I casually said it in conversation: I expect there to be bears. ...meaning I wanted [sarcastically] bears in the cave we were planning on exploring. What ...
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0answers
26 views

Now we live in a well-ordered society

Context from a video: After Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, God decreed the laws and commandments, which guided the Israelites' life on earth and taught people how to worship God. These laws ...
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1answer
709 views

What's the correct response to “would you care to…”?

I was asked, "would you care to grab coffee sometime?" and didn't know how to correctly respond to it. Obviously I could respond with a "yes, sounds great" or a "no, thanks", but what would a parallel ...
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1answer
28 views

a-verb-ing construct (e.g. a-hopping) [closed]

I sometimes here casual phrases in English like a hipping and a hopping (a hippin and a hoppin). How exactly does this fit into English grammar and what is the history of the construct?
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1answer
643 views

Have someone/ something do something (not the usual meaning)

Have someone do something usually means asking a subordinate or a qualified worker etc to do something. But I keep coming across this construction, only with what seems to be a different meaning. I'd ...
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1answer
46 views

Can you help me understand the construction of this sentence? [closed]

Can you help me identify the individual components of this sentence, please? Asking askers asking askers asking. I realise the second occurrence of asking is a verb, however, I am unclear on the ...
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0answers
25 views

Is there a descriptive term for verb constructions that consist of “began to” or plus verb?

My students frequently use constructions such as "he began to walk across the street," when what they really mean is "he walked across the street." Is there a technical way/term of classifying this ...
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0answers
30 views

“Noun, verb” and “noun, adverb” constructions (ex: Girl, Interrupted; or looking glass, darkly)

"Noun, verb" and "noun, adverb" constructions (ex: Girl, Interrupted; or looking glass, darkly). For a long time now, I have been curious about what makes this type of construction work. The ...
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1answer
32 views

Is the construction “as… also” grammatically correct?

I came across the following sentence: "Every element of visual data can be viewed as in 3D also in 2D" Is it correct to use here the construction "as...also..."?
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1answer
57 views

Preposition followed by pronoun and noun phrase

I am reading Scrivener's Plain Introduction to textual analysis, written in 1874, and was surprised by the following construction : It was presented to the University by Theodore Beza, for whom and ...
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0answers
19 views

Run on sentence

The WWF has declared that global warming, a phenomenon that most scientists agree is caused by human beings’ burning of fossil fuels, will create havoc among migratory birds by altering the ...
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1answer
2k views

When do you use “what'd you say” and when do you use “what d'you say”?

In informal writing you can say: "What'd you say" or "what d'you say?" When do you choose the former or the latter? Which one is more common?
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2answers
260 views

Why the construction “They it was who…” is grammatically correct?

I just came across the following sentence on Olaf Stapledon's Star Maker: They it was who controlled our whole adventure... I have the impression this a rather archaic, yet valid, construction. A ...
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0answers
73 views

Can impersonal constructions use linking verbs?

If I want to show the difference between using passive voice and impersonal construction, I might use the following two sentences: Passive: The essay was submitted after the deadline. Impersonal: The ...
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2answers
106 views

What is the difference between “Human brain” and “Human's brain” [duplicate]

Many times i get confused whether i should use 's with a noun or not. For example: Engine parts or Engine's parts Human brain or Human's brain Wordpress plugin or Wordpress' plugin Computer program ...
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1answer
349 views

“How many girls did you ask their name for?”

Is this question grammatically sound? It sounds slightly weird to me, and not sure if it can be paraphrased. Could somebody clarify please?
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2answers
456 views

Negating a clause

This is my first post, I really like this site! Basically I have problems to distinguish the negation of a verb that is applied to a clause, and a verb that is applied to a negation of a clause. The ...
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1answer
93 views

“What has X got to do with Y” - how come this “wordy” construction survived thus far? [closed]

When someone is wondering how two things may be related to each other, they will probably say "what has X got to do with Y?". This utterance uses simple words, with no words specific to the idea of ...
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0answers
42 views

Is ambiguous the new black?

Have sentences constructed along the lines of the following example become standard usage? It seems to take a long time to understand the 'understood' subject. 'Cunning as a fox and high on ...
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1answer
322 views

I'm comparing two sentences. What version of these sentences looks Ok for you? [closed]

Please compare two sentences. Which version is correct? 1)"This place is an opportunity to take a rest in THE uniqueness OF THE local nature where you can feel Russian hospitality." 2)"You will have ...
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0answers
45 views

What kind of construction is this?

I've found a sentence that I thought interesting, but I can't figure out what kind of construction these words make. If anyone can help me out, that'll be greatly appreciated. Even without your ...
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1answer
55 views

what is the structure of this sentence?

I cannot grasp the structure of this sentence. Natural selection will tend to maximize r for the environment in which the species lives, for any mutation or gene combination which increases the ...
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1answer
216 views

Is this construction correct? “Today is [(pro)noun] [gerund]”

"Today is [(pro)noun] [gerund]" Context: Some time ago, my friend and I were messaging each other and then I used this construction. He immediately said that my sentence should've been "Today [(pro)...
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3answers
7k views

Is this proper usage of “through which?” How can I best construct this sentence?

I'm looking to describe this image, which is attached to a post I'm writing about. http://imgur.com/a/Fu4yy The following sentence is my attempt. "Attached is an image of a Bluepoint Brewery Rastafa ...
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1answer
111 views

Different verbs in comparing dergee of intent/feeling/etc

Sometimes people compare degree of something (an intent/feeling/etc) by giving completely unrelated example (by using "same way as" or "like"). Is something like "The boy wants that bicycle like a ...
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0answers
177 views

Is a comma ever required before a “that” clause?

WARNING: I saw a previous closed session (“it is only when … that …” usage) on this topic that didn't answer the grammatical question. Example: "And it is only after confessing his sin with the ...
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3answers
726 views

“After work at X” or “after finishing work at X” or “after finishing working at X”

After work at the store that day, I took a detour. After finishing work at the store that day, I took a detour. After finishing working at the store that day, I took a detour. Are the ...
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2answers
417 views

Word for the adjective of 'social science'

I'm having trouble wording this sentence: Several groundbreaking clinical and social science breakthroughs were made with the help of ... Social science as a noun can't modify breakthroughs. Is ...
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1answer
307 views

what does “The foregoing limitations …” mean [closed]

Most of the text below is the same as what I already posted in SE law; but I'm looking for what the language might mean, regardless of the various legal aspects (i.e., the Michigan Supreme Court has ...
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0answers
54 views

How can I syntactically break down the sentence: “This technique is important to the experiment being considered.”? [closed]

I am particularly interested in how "to the experiment being considered" can be classified grammatically.
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1answer
3k views

Confusion with the phrase 'Under what circumstances'

Below is what is causing me a lot of confusion. Say, I did a test, and will have to redo it if I get below a certain mark, and I want to pose a question asking what mark it is (Or there might be ...
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1answer
86 views

Is there a name for the type of shorthand sentence that excludes yourself as the subject? e.g., “Going to the park.”

See this all the time. Doing it right now. Leaving out the "I am" piece of the sentence. Does this have a name?
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2answers
691 views

Adverbs in noun phrase coordination

Consider the following example sentence: The ball often hit the tree and never the man. I am trying to represent this sentence as a constituency-based parse tree, but I am having a hard time ...
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2answers
3k views

“Was to ” vs “was to have ”

What is the difference in the meaning between following sentences: John was to have picked strawberries yesterday but the downpour made the field too muddy. John was to pick strawberries yesterday ...
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5answers
1k views

What's the reason for using the ‘passive voice’? [closed]

I would like to know the why and when the 'passive voice' is used instead of the 'active voice' in English. The following definition did not help me very much. passive voice the voice used ...
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1answer
202 views

It saves you endless agony - Correct?

My sentence reads: It may not save you bucks, but, it surely saves you endless agony. Is this correct? Or, do you suggest any alterations?
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2answers
89 views

Is there a term for constructions like “he/she”, “his/her”, “yes/no”, etc

I'm referring to a construction in a text where two options are provided, of which only one will be valid in practice. For example: The user has the option to choose his/her own avatar.
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3answers
285 views

One of the best universities in the world to _______?

In the construct one of the best places + to + infinitive, the infinitive refers to an activity that a person can do. Example Cape Breton Island is also one of the best places in the world to ...
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1answer
90 views

Is this sentence constructed correctly? [closed]

Is the second sentence constructed correctly? I read it several times and it seems that there's a comma missing or some discrepancy. Anyway I can't get the exact meaning of the part "has been sold to ...
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1answer
68 views

Is there a name for this type of sentence construction?

"He was a thin leathery man with colorless eyes, so colorless that light did not reflect his eyes". What kind of construction is that? I usually see similar sentences being split into two sentences.
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1answer
589 views

Is it a correct sentence when you say “Orange is not a vegetable, and neither is Apple”? [closed]

Is it a correct sentence when you say “Orange is not a vegetable, and neither is Apple”? I would like to do the below.. 1. I wish to point out the similarity of 2 different subjects (Orange and Apple ...
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1answer
734 views

“Like … also”

First off, I would like to apologise if this has been asked before - I did do a search on here, but there were far too many results to go through! Take for example this sentence: Like you, I also ...
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1answer
407 views

“Will” vs “Would” in the sentence [closed]

On the Day of Judgement when nothing but God's justice WILL reign supreme. or On the Day of Judgement when nothing but God's justice WOULD reign supreme. Which of the two is correct? Also ...
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4answers
7k views

A is as good as if not better than B

A is as good as if not better than B Explanations for this phrase I got are a bit controversial. Some say A≤B, some, A≥B, but others say it could be A≤B or A≥B depending on the situation. The phrase ...
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0answers
73 views

Can I use “at all” instead of “either” in a sentence?

If you want a really simple and easy way to get rid of the “Get Windows 10” icon and stop your PC from downloading Windows 10, you can download a little piece of freeware called GWX Control Panel from ...
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0answers
84 views

List construction: a, one, another

There are many types of list constructions: first, next, then First I grabbed the rope, next I attached my harness to it, then I descended the cliff. some, others, a few: Some boats were ...
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1answer
54 views

His objection only takes (SOMETHING) with one aspect of the theory

I am talking about how an author notes the problem in only one aspect of a theory. I know there exists a construction on the lines of "takes notice", but is more apt here. What is that construction?
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2answers
153 views

A long sentence about a car [closed]

I realize this is OK grammatically, and it even makes sense eventually, but what would you call this style/construction, and how could it be fixed to be more digestible? Is it a run-on sentence, or is ...