Questions tagged [construction]

symbolic units that connect a linguistic form with meaning

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13
votes
4answers
1k views

The use of “trespasses”

According to a dictionary search for "trespasses": v. Enter the owner's land or property without permission n. A voluntary wrongful act against the person or property of another, esp. unlawful entry ...
3
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2answers
281 views

Who is Greek president vs Who is THE Greek President

I saw this in a quiz on Stuff: Who is Greek president? Surely the word "the" should be in there somewhere? But I get the feeling I've heard things like "US President Barack Obama" instead of "The ...
2
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3answers
18k views

Use of “make someone able to XXX”

I have some doubts about the construction of this sentence: I want to make you able to play. In my language this is a common construction. Is it a valid sentence in English too? This is the form:...
7
votes
4answers
3k views

Attributive and predicative position of an adjective

I have some difficulty understanding the position of adjectives. In English I have to put the adjective before the referred name (e.g., I'm an Italian man). In some languages (as Italian or Ancient ...
2
votes
5answers
26k views

A word or phrase to say something reminds or hints or brings up another idea

I want to tell that something reminds/hint us of another thing. For example, in an application, a sorting method used in it has similarities to bubble sort but not completely the same. In this case, ...
2
votes
2answers
5k views

Is “Just because X doesn't mean Y” a grammatical sentence? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Sentence Construction: “Just Because … Does Not Mean” “just because… doesn't mean…” I'm wondering if "Just because X doesn't mean Y" is a grammatical ...
3
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3answers
2k views

Englishman and British man

Why is it Englishman, Frenchman, etc. (one word) but British man (two words)?
1
vote
2answers
541 views

What is the proper grammatical terminology to describe this parenthetical remark?

The following sentence appears in this book review: But this idea has been a driving force in mathematical logic and computer science since Alan Turing, A. N. Kolmogorov and Emil Post (he of the "...
4
votes
3answers
80k views

Is “Please be reminded to …” a valid construction?

I received an email today with the following sentence: Please be reminded to bring your basketball gear in. He was subsequently made fun of by a co-worker: 'Please be reminded' - Will you be ...
0
votes
2answers
191 views

The use of “have”: “have a map on it” and “have a colony in the country”

I would like to know about the use of "have" combined with prepositional phrases. (ex.1) The table has a map on it. Example 1 can be paraphrased as "there is a map on the table". In this case, "...
11
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2answers
25k views

Difference between “subsequently” and “consequently”?

When studying and reading course material in "softer" sciences that are descriptive the word "subsequently" appears in a way like "and subsequently" ...what does it mean, disctinct from "consequently" ...
10
votes
1answer
13k views

Root + “-ophone” construction to describe speakers of a language

I've long used the terms anglophone and francophone to describe English and French speakers respectively, but I recently found myself about halfway through a sentence where I needed a similar term for ...
106
votes
9answers
10k views

Is there a word for a person with only one head?

Reading this article by the fantastic Douglas Adams I came across this interesting quote: ‘[I]nteractivity’ is one of those neologisms that Mr Humphrys likes to dangle between a pair of verbal ...
0
votes
2answers
580 views

Using “do” to create a question [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: English questions and negation with do in syntax What is the origin of the 'do' construction? I vaguely remember hearing that using "do" to create a question is ...
6
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3answers
1k views

Making a question with the verb “to go”

I remember reading or hearing that English is a very unusual language, almost unique, in using the verb "to go" to create a question. (Are you going to see the play? Are you going to drink that coffee?...
7
votes
3answers
313 views

Humour through repeated use of a construct, with a final variation?

I am wondering if there is any name, or well-known example, for a humoristic construct that I particularly enjoy. It is exemplified in this monolog from Pierre Desproges, directed at a woman he was ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Zero conditional form

Chatting with a colleague we came a cross a dilemma (as we are not English native), which of the following sentences are wrong? Why? If I knew everything, I'd be a genius. If I know everything, I'd ...
9
votes
2answers
235 views

Get a high speed connection without roaming charges instantly

I saw this message on an advert: Get a high speed connection without roaming charges instantly. I am pretty sure that a better way to say it is: Instantly get a high speed connection ...
3
votes
3answers
560 views

What's different between the two sentences?

Hey, I'm watching a TV show, and there's a sentence: I knew giving you that book was gonna come back and bite me in the ass. Can I change it to: I know gave you that book was gonna come back ...
6
votes
2answers
5k views

Question regarding the usage of “Bang”

Can anyone shed some light on the origin of the use of the word "Bang" to imply a positive adjective? For example, here are three colloquial phrases which use the word bang to lend strength to the ...
14
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2answers
9k views

What is the difference between a phrase and a clause?

What is the difference between a phrase and a clause? I tried looking this in dictionary but can not identify the difference. It would be great if I could get an example and formula of what makes a ...
9
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3answers
2k views

“just because… doesn't mean…”

It appears to me that the construction "just because… doesn't mean…" isn't used in literature at all. Is its use limited to colloquial speech and informal writing? Note that while some people seem to ...