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.

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Should I use "is" or "are" in the sentence, "The object of our study is the functions..."? [closed]

Should I use "is" or "are" in the sentence, "The object of our study is the functions..."? Since the sentence specifies a singular object ("of our study"), but ...
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0 answers
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A total of numerous objects: singular or plural? [duplicate]

Which of the following sentences is correct? a) A total of 12 carrots were kept on the table. b) A total of 12 carrots was kept on the table. Does this change in any case. Here, it seems that it ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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"..., not less so." [closed]

Here is a sentence I found in the official guide to the TOEFL iBT test. Well, I personally think that the Great Depression of the 1930s actually makes this more understandable, not less so. I found ...
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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 vote
1 answer
63 views

Who, whom, free relative clause, to be

Should we have who or whom here? He's talking about people who run fast. I run fast. I'm who(m) he's talking about. I understand that "who(m) he's talking about" is a free relative clause ...
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2 votes
2 answers
129 views

Non-defining relative clauses: use 'who' or 'which'

We don't use 'that' in non-defining relative clauses, so we need to use 'which' if the pronoun refers to a thing, and 'who' if it refers to a person. Is there any grammatical explanation why not to ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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Is there a linguistic term that describes words that change pronunciation when combined together?

Examples of this include Breakfast which is just 'break,' and 'fast.' Of particular interest to me is helicopter, which is a combination of 'helico,' meaning spiral, and 'pter,' meaning wing. This is ...
1 vote
1 answer
30 views

What is the meaning of "as a touch of elegance"?

A calligrapher is called upon to design and write announcements, place cards, etc, as a touch of elegance. What does "as a touch of elegance" mean? what does it modify? Does it modify the ...
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Is “The X that is the Y” good style?

I'm tempted to write a sentence like this, but I'm not sure whether that is proper English and good style: For that, we have to look into the magic black box that is the fast-Fourier transform. Of ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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What does the "they" represent? [closed]

I'm doing TOEFL speaking and noticed that in many conversations, speakers use "they" to represent the school or other institutions. For example, in TPO12's speaking part, the university is ...
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1 answer
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What is the meaning of "pale and cold"? noun or adjective? [closed]

...Soon the sharpened features, and sunken eye, and fallen jaw, pale and cold, bearing the manifest impress of death's signet, began to glow with returning animation.... The source: Leith in the time ...
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1 answer
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Section Name: "Technical Background" vs. "Technical Backgrounds"? [closed]

In an academic context, how to name a section about multiple background or more basic topics: "Technical Background" vs. "Technical Backgrounds"?
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1 vote
1 answer
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Which one of these two sentences is unnatural, and why? [closed]

A: It gets really hot when I use it for a couple of hours. Is it supposed to do this? (is it supposed to do like that?) B: No, it's not supposed to do that, but it can if you use it in direct sunlight....
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1 answer
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In formal writing such as a reference, can an initial subject defining sentence imply the subject to several sentences thereafter? [closed]

I am writing a personal reference for a family member and trying to list several ways in which they have helped me without the sentence running on. I do not believe a colon would work in this case as ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Why isn't there a comma in "Unloose him Frodo!"?

I was rather shocked by the extremely sparse use of commas by Tolkien, but in most cases, it still falls "within reason". However, there is one place (so far) in The Two Towers which just ...
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2 votes
0 answers
37 views

I am looking for a word that is synonymous with "syntactic expletive" to describe the purpose of the word "there" [duplicate]

It is a word that describes the purpose of the word "there" in a sentence such as, "There is a bird in the tree." Expletive is one word, but there is another, longer word, and I ...
1 vote
0 answers
28 views

Which role does the noun "number" play in the phrase ‘a number of ’?

I am confused with the role of the noun number in the phrase ‘a number of ’. Is the noun number a quantifier here or a collective noun? Some people argue that the number is a quantifier in "A ...
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5 votes
2 answers
99 views

Distinguish between this "and" that or this "or" that

Just wondering about this sentence I came across: It is difficult to distinguish between a misrepresentation or an exaggeration. I feel 'and' should be used in place of 'or'. Can someone confirm ...
0 votes
1 answer
42 views

"Carried" vs "carrying" [closed]

When the tank carried/carrying the toxic gas derailed, the firemen tried to isolate the village from all traffic. Why is "carried" wrong in this sentence? And why should it be "...
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1 answer
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Using nouns to modify names/numbers, e.g. teacher Smith, candidate Smith and room 5

I would like to know the rules of putting a noun in front of a name and number. I am not sure if the sentences below are grammatically correct. He's in the class of teacher Smith. It's announced that ...
1 vote
0 answers
43 views

What is the predicate part of the sentence in an "X is ___ed" pattern?

Basically, this derives from an NLP problem I am facing in software development. NLP stands for "Natural Language Processing", and it is ML dependent. Since it depends on ML, it is ...
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2 votes
0 answers
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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 ...
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3 votes
2 answers
211 views

Is "none" when used alone without antecedent singular or plural (for context, I'm talking about people): "None [are/is] here"?

I know that "none of [...]" can be both singular or plural, but when I use it alone in a sentence, without the "of" and without any other nouns, can it be both singular and plural ...
1 vote
0 answers
24 views

Grammatical correctness of "He hasn't punished one of them— not one of them— since baby is born," [duplicate]

So I was reading a story called 'Desiree's Baby' and I saw this sentence appear, when one character (Desiree) was telling her mother that her husband was so happy upon the birth of her child, that he ...
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0 answers
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Please is it "the language barrier" or "language barriers"? I feel both sentences mean the same thing. Am I right? [migrated]

I feel that learning English is important for everyone since it reduces language barriers/ the language barrier. It is important for everyone to learn English since it reduces language barriers/ the ...
1 vote
3 answers
106 views

"to there" or "to...there"

Is it possible to write "to there" instead of the standard "to...there"? E.g.: "For the walls of the room a blue color was chosen, to there create a cozy atmosphere" To ...
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2 votes
1 answer
71 views

Why isn't it "I will have been running, lest they have been catching me"?

The phrase in the title is obviously incorrect; however, I'm having difficulties figuring out how it could actually be grammatically constructed. To be clear, I'm aware this is a ridiculous ...
6 votes
2 answers
189 views

Can an adverb be the subject in a sentence?

Does 'carefully' function as the subject in the below sentence? Carefully does it.
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2 votes
1 answer
42 views

Is "that of" used here correctly?

I wonder if "that of" used in the following question doesn't create grammatical error. If it does, then I also wonder the corrected form or alternatives. The statement: The running time ...
0 votes
0 answers
75 views

Grammatical redundancy in an English sentence

Please, help me with my course work. I'm writing about grammar redundancy (It's when some grammatical meaning in the sentence is repeated twice or even more). BUT I didn't find any examples of it on ...
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2 votes
0 answers
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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 ...
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What pronouns should I use to refer to humanity?

I am writing an essay on existential risks and I want to refer to humanity but also need to say "we" and "our" in order to make the delivery of the message practical to each of us ...
3 votes
1 answer
227 views

Using two if-part in a sentence

I've found a sentence and don't understand the grammar here. It's the first time I've seen two if conditions in one sentence. Can anybody explain what it was and what grammar was used in the sentence? ...
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1 answer
51 views

Can "is" in "is a" be omitted?

Can the "is" in the following sentence be omitted? "Those who think a cure for Alzheimer's Disease is a possibility must act now."
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1 vote
0 answers
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Is it correct to use "its" with a plural form [duplicate]

Is it correct to say : X company was founded in 2017. Its solutions aims to do stuff. Intuitively I would have go for theirs solutions aim but the first one doesn't sound that bad to my hear while I ...
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0 votes
0 answers
51 views

Demonstrative pronoun neither [duplicate]

Question regarding the demonstrative pronoun “neither” “Neither of his parents work there.” Why is this the incorrect usage? Neither functions as a singular demonstrative pronoun.
-1 votes
2 answers
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What is the word to express 'remove the need for'?

Creating a spare disk will remove the need for more disk space. What is the replacement for 'remove the need for'?
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0 answers
25 views

Using semicolons in lists

I am trying to write a business article where I need to use a signal phrase/cite/mention the credibility of the authors. I'm having trouble with a certain sentence, and was hoping to get some feedback ...
0 votes
1 answer
44 views

How to properly use gerunds, past participles, predicate nominatives, and appositive phrases in a single sentence? [closed]

I am trying to construct a sentence that has a past participle modifying a predicate nominative, a gerund as the subject, and an appositive phrase renaming an object of the preposition. I’ve been ...
1 vote
0 answers
31 views

What is the proper verb form to use after "a breadth of [plural]" [duplicate]

Which of the following sentences is the correct conjugation: A breadth of organisms depends on water. A breadth of organisms depend on water. I believe the subject of the sentence is singular, "...
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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
1 answer
27 views

Is "as ... go[es]" correct, and what is this form called? [closed]

I'm a German native speaker. Think I remember hearing an expression of the form "as ... go[es]" somewhere. Do I remember it correctly? Is the meaning I deduced correct? Example: As mirrors ...
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0 votes
0 answers
28 views

Single of plural nouns following the word "whose" [duplicate]

I am using "whose" to refer to the characteristics of a collection of things. Should the noun that follows the word "whose" be in plural or singular form? These are my options: ...
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0 answers
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[noun]+of+[noun] vs. [noun]+[noun] [duplicate]

What's the difference between these two structures? For example, take a look at this sentence: "The flow of fuel in an old machine like mine is regulated by a carburetor, which draws fuel into ...
0 votes
1 answer
77 views

What is the grammar term for "John" in "I John want to eat." [duplicate]

Take this sentence, where John is clarifying himself. I John do hereby declare that I am hungry. I is the subject. What is John? John takes the place of an intensive reflexive pronoun, if the ...
1 vote
0 answers
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tell me the meaning of this line "you might as well choke getting yourself born"

I have a question from "A Day No Pigs Would Die." I can't get the grammatical usage and exact meaning of the following lines “Calf,” I said to him, “you stay up your ma’s hind-side and you’...
0 votes
0 answers
29 views

Why there is a comma before “and” in a simple sentence of two clauses? [duplicate]

Loretta studied very hard for the test, and she felt confident that she would pass. This is a simple sentence connected with a coordinating conjunction. There should not be a comma because we add a ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Does the sentence "I won't excuse you" make sense? [closed]

Example. I won't forgive you. I know this sentence makes sense. Then, do you say, "I won't excuse you"? Semantically, these are almost the same, maybe. But, how about the usage? Do you use ...
0 votes
0 answers
36 views

Commas in either/or sentences in the imperative mood

I'm working on a card game. I often come across the need to join two imperative statements with the correlative conjunction "either / or", like so: Either discard a card, or draw a card ...
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0 answers
35 views

Is a 'to' needed here between the auxiliary verb and the main verb? [duplicate]

So this post just popped on a meme site. In the comments a discussion arose is the second meaning grammatically correct. If not, what is the closest correct formulation? Perhaps including some of the ...
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