Questions tagged [grammar]

This tag is for questions about morphology and syntax, the two elements of grammar. DO NOT USE THIS TAG IF YOUR QUESTION IS ABOUT WHETHER SOMETHING SPECIFIC IS GRAMMATICAL. For such cases use the 'grammaticality' tag. Also do not use this for punctuation or spelling (orthography); those are not about grammar, and they have their own tags.

1,623 questions with no upvoted or accepted answers
Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
8 votes
1 answer
437 views

The traditional grammar term for 'nominals'

The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language (Page 329) has a section titled 'Nominals': Intermediate between the noun and the NP we recognise a category of nominals: [3] a. the old man b. that book ...
  • 4,834
5 votes
0 answers
13k views

Opt into vs opt in to

On the site 'Writing Explained' it is recommended to use "in to" instead of "into" when "in" is part of a verb phrase. As such, I would conclude that the phrase "opt in to" would be preferred over "...
  • 151
4 votes
0 answers
87 views

How can I distinguish between supplements and modifiers as proposed in The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language (CGEL)?

In CGEL, the authors use the term 'adjunct' as an umbrella term to cover an element that is either modifier or supplement. On page 1350, the authors explain the properties of supplements to ...
4 votes
1 answer
96 views

Is the verb "to see" a metaphor?

For example, when one thinks an argument is invalid, one can say "I see this argument as invalid". Nevertheless, I always thought a metaphor requires, at minimum, requires two object/ideas; ...
  • 43
4 votes
1 answer
214 views

Using ‘first’ pre-verbally: ‘When I first wake up, I...’, ‘When we first saw them, we...’

Sorry, I don't have a clear question so much as I'm just looking for info on this construction. I just realised how odd this construction is to think about, even though it feels perfectly idiomatic. ...
3 votes
0 answers
82 views

Can "why" ever be used as a subordinating conjunction?

I posted an image of a list of subordinating conjunctions for my students today, and one of them asked about "why" on the list. I couldn't think of any example where "why" would be ...
3 votes
0 answers
144 views

Structure and usage of the construction - BE of

I have seen various sentences like this: The availability of two reasonably complete mammalian genomes is of great help to gene finders. - The New York Times I do my utmost to dress the actors very ...
3 votes
0 answers
436 views

Usage and origin of the expression “nice and”

According to the following dictionaries the expression nice and is an adverbial locution which is used to give more emphasis to the adjective that follows: According to M-W nice and is synonym of very ...
3 votes
1 answer
568 views

"With probability", "with a probability", "with the probability"?

As a mathematician, I often write and read about probabilities. In the literature, I've seen versions of all the sentences below. Which one is correct? This happens with probability (of) 30%. This ...
  • 131
3 votes
1 answer
48 views

Function of Else

In the sentence, "Do you study anything else besides English?", what is the function of else? Is it an adjective? An adverb? And if it is an adverb, what does it modify? Thank you!
3 votes
1 answer
327 views

Words/phrases like "kindred spirit" that refer to both the speaker and the subject of the sentence

The google definition of kindred spirit is "a person whose interests or attitudes are similar to one's own." That means that if I were to say to someone "You are a kindred spirit", I am describing ...
3 votes
1 answer
661 views

In which context should I use reduced relative clauses?

As I should write essays and other kinds of writings in an academic style, I was wondering whether reduced relative clauses are formal or I had better opt for a non-reduced relative clause so that I ...
3 votes
1 answer
2k views

Are “Get” or “Grasp” stative or dynamic verbs?

In Merriam–Webster, the definition of understand is as follows: to get the meaning of something / to grasp the meaning of something. Now my questions are regarding a sentence like: I don’t ...
3 votes
1 answer
502 views

When do present participles shift from being "gerunds" or "verbal nouns" to become non-finite clauses?

Note: This is not a question about what is the difference between a gerund, verb and participle, interesting as that polemic may be. It is about non-finite clauses, which does bear upon these ...
3 votes
1 answer
157 views

Does “The father regretted to tell his children something embarrassing” make sense?

I came across this question in a test: The father regretted _____ his children how he regretted _____ hard when he was young. A. to tell; not to study B. telling; not studying C. to tell; not ...
3 votes
1 answer
170 views

Grammatical form of "except in"

The sentence is this, "English is not spoken anywhere except in the highest echelons of local government." Does "except" function as the preposition and head of the prepositional phrase, with "in ...
3 votes
1 answer
60 views

use of the conjunction "nor"

"She didn't get married nor had children". Is the use of "nor" correct? I know we can use "nor" without "neither" but I'm doubting in this case.
3 votes
1 answer
219 views

Past Perfect Tense Used Instead of Past Simple in 'The Kite Runner'

I'm currently reading 'The Kite Runner' by Khaled Hosseini, and notice that in some place in the book, i can't really comprehend the use of past perfect tense instead of simple past tense. Consider ...
3 votes
3 answers
460 views

Proper ellipsis [linguistic] for "Yes/No" questions/answers containing "do + like"

Is it grammatically correct to say/write the following Q: Do you like to eat ice cream/apples...? A: No, I don't like [to eat apples]./ Yes, I like [to eat apples]. Is it necessary to include the ...
2 votes
0 answers
34 views

Identify the position of the noun that the adjective modifies

I found this sentence in a thesis that you can find here: How do people learn abstract concepts unsupervised? I sounds strange to me since unsupervised is an adjective (and from popular dictionaries,...
2 votes
0 answers
30 views

Is it incorrect to turn "into" a driveway?

I'm reading a great book by a copy editor on grammar and style, but one of his tips has confused me. I have tried doing some research, but I've only become more puzzled. He says that turning in to a ...
2 votes
0 answers
65 views

At he and or at his and?

The headline reads: A family affair for Boris as sister Rachel arrives at he and Carrie's wedding celebration party. Is the subjective 'he' after the proposition 'at' incorrect?
  • 35
2 votes
0 answers
42 views

Is "vary" a stative verb? Can it be used in Continuous?

Is "vary" a stative verb? According to Merriam-Webster it has both intransitive vary [intransitive] 1: to exhibit or undergo change the sky was constantly varying and transitive usages ...
  • 31
2 votes
0 answers
30 views

What part of a sentence is "regarding X" classified as?

In the process of learning Japanese, I've been doing some grammar analysis on sentence structure (across languages), Eg. subject, object, etc. I've come across something I haven't heard of before: the ...
  • 21
2 votes
1 answer
115 views

How can you 'test' for grammatical properties in A Student's Introduction to English Grammar?

According to the book, grammatical terms, e.g., subject, object, noun, verb, adjective, etc. should not be defined by meaning, but by grammatical properties. For example, an adjective has combinations ...
2 votes
0 answers
39 views

A Specific Instance of Me (object) vs. I (subject)

I was just crafting an email. The sentence was similar to this: You are hereby invited to the Pristine Medal Ceremony, an event which will result in Anthony and me becoming knighted, and receiving ...
2 votes
0 answers
38 views

What is the difference between these constructions?

I just came across these four sentences on a worksheet my son is doing. We are in Japan - so this is from English class at his Japanese school. It’s surprising that he should be an actor. It’s ...
2 votes
1 answer
140 views

What verbs can stand alone in "We _____ your time is valuable"?

While on hold today by phone, a recording regularly told me, "We appreciate your time is valuable". Is this correct English? I know that there are special verbs, like "know" or &...
  • 127
2 votes
0 answers
54 views

What is the term for repeating non-restrictive clauses?

I came across the following quote: Scientists would soon find themselves adrift in a bewildering realm of particles and antiparticles, where things pop in and out of existence in spans of time that ...
2 votes
0 answers
50 views

Is the useage of "that" in this clause correct?

I miss the days that I was trouble-free. I know it would be correct if "that" is replaced by "when," but can "that" also be correct? Also, I have this faint feeling that ...
  • 23
2 votes
0 answers
141 views

Can I really follow the theoretical framework proposed in the Cambridge Grammar of the English Language?

In the book 'the Cambridge Grammar of the English Language (CGEL)', the authors propose the theoretical framework used to describe the English sentences as shown below: CGEL, page 26 To get the tree ...
  • 21
2 votes
0 answers
38 views

Is a report used to report, or does a report report? Active vs passive

PASSIVE VOICE - The Random Name Report (RANAR) is used to report the randomness and effectiveness of names. vs. ACTIVE VOICE - The Random Name Report (RANAR) reports the randomness and effectiveness ...
  • 121
2 votes
0 answers
74 views

if only usage: leave out the 'was'

When 'it' refers to a letter or a complex situation projected to be caused by a letter, is it okay to use 'if only' in the following way? Why or why not? "It'd all be appropriate if only written ...
2 votes
0 answers
35 views

Is the distinction between noun and adjective inapplicable to English?

The distinction between noun and adjective is inapplicable to English grammar, and should be replaced by a distinction between objective and attributive words. — Encyclopaedia Britannica (1911) How ...
  • 21
2 votes
0 answers
34 views

Why use "Team" while voting?

While I'm surfing the online forum and social media about Godzilla VS Kong movie, I found lots of people said Team Godzilla & Team Kong to mean Support Godzilla & Support Kong. I want to know ...
  • 21
2 votes
0 answers
48 views

What does "one more step from the future" mean?

I'm not sure it's a correct English sentence. Can it be interpreted as "bringing something back from the future and advancing the present"? Maybe it would be better to use "one more ...
  • 21
2 votes
0 answers
62 views

Town vs City, why they can be used interchangeably in novel?

I know that this is a simple question, but it does made me wonder. This is what I found after reading quite a lot of novels and often happened: Why does City of something was sometimes called town ...
2 votes
0 answers
64 views

Prepositional verb and non-prepositional one of a same object

If a prepositional verb and a non-prepositional one have the same object, should I put first the non-prepositional one, or it's not necessary ? The sentence is "You should reflect on and examine ...
2 votes
0 answers
43 views

"BE GOING TO" What verb tense is it? Why?

In wikipedia, it is stated that basic form of going-to construction is present tense, however it gives the impresssion to me like of a present continuous. Furthermore, whatever book I read it is ...
2 votes
0 answers
2k views

Focus on + (verb+ing) or (to+verb)

Is this sentence grammatically correct? "In spite of the toughness, what I focus on is 'to carry' on and 'fight' until I win." Which one is correct : What I focus on is to carry on ... My ...
  • 21
2 votes
0 answers
297 views

Difference between "prior to" and "before"

I have read on the internet that prior to is a formal term for before and "prior to" is used when a past moment is relevant to the present one. However, I didn't understand the meaning of ...
2 votes
0 answers
88 views

“Fools that they are”

I have a question about the interposition “fools that they are” in the following: “Fools that they are, they never knew thy guiltless pride, thy true spirit.” Using Google’s Ngram Viewer, I found ...
2 votes
0 answers
36 views

Is this an Auxiliary verb or a Lexical one?

I am studying auxiliary verbs, and I saw that "to dare" is a modal auxiliary. However, this sentence is somehow confusing, "He does not dare to interrupt." My question is: Is "to dare" a modal ...
2 votes
0 answers
71 views

when can i omit the subject in comparative sentences

I recently encountered two sentences - Cars made in Japan are better than those made in Korea. here, "those" cannot be omitted Prices of mangos in Thailand are much lower than (those) in England. ...
  • 21
2 votes
0 answers
33 views

Should direct speech be used in synopses?

When you're writing a synopsis for a book, a movie, or a show, is it acceptable to use direct speech? Does it look professional? Or is it better to use indirect speech when it can convey the meaning ...
  • 31
2 votes
2 answers
80 views

Why is "strategies to cutting" correct in this sentence?

I'm reading When Breath Becomes Air by the late Paul Kalanithi, and I came across the sentence: I could see that there were two strategies to cutting the time short... My question is why to cutting ...
2 votes
0 answers
69 views

Why do I have to use "what" in this sentence? What role does "what" play here?

I know this sentence is correct: In the 1980's the rate of increase of the minority population of the United States was nearly twice what it was in the 1970's. So the part of the sentence I'm ...
  • 21
2 votes
0 answers
115 views

Why is this habitual sentence wrong?

Why is the following sentence wrong? Usually we grow vegetables in our garden but this year we don't? Since the simple present shows habitual behavior, can we show an exception to the habit also ...
2 votes
0 answers
79 views

Lists. To colon or not to colon?

As a Spanish translator, I struggle with MANY Spanish sentences that include a preposition followed by a list of numbered (e.g.) activities. The lists can be long or short. An example would be: The ...
  • 21
2 votes
0 answers
202 views

When is it not possible to reduce relative clauses to participle phrases?

While "The woman who lived next door was a doctor" can be reduced to "The woman living next door was a doctor", the sentence "The woman who called me was a doctor" cannot be reduced to "The ...
user avatar

1
2 3 4 5
33