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Questions tagged [modifiers]

Questions about modifiers.

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46
votes
5answers
101k views

Should I use " related" or "-related"

What is the correct use of the term "related?" For example, should I use it like computer related, or is it more proper to use computer-related (where the word "computer" is just part of my example?)...
45
votes
13answers
16k views

Does "so called" have a negative connotation in English?

In some languages the word-by-word translation of "so called" usually has a neutral connotation. E.g. in the Czech language you may very often find a sentence like this (word-by-word translated from a ...
39
votes
6answers
12k views

The intensifier 'pure D': where and when did it originate, and what does the D stand for?

A posting in my Facebook timeline today began "I've been sorting boxes of Pure D-Crap." The poster was writing from Alameda, California (near San Francisco). It struck me that I hadn't heard ...
28
votes
3answers
4k views

Is it correct to hyphenate with compound premodifiers? If so, where is the hyphen placed?

For example, "file system" and "related". Is it "file system-related"? It will appear as if it is a compound of "file" and "system-related", won't it?
17
votes
3answers
15k views

Using "non-" to prefix a two-word phrase

Does "non-" prefixed to a two word phrase permit another hyphen before the second word? If I want to refer to an entity which is defined as the negation of another entity by attaching "non-" it seems ...
16
votes
3answers
3k views

Can the verb 'be' be modified?

Comments on this question considered whether the verb be could be modified by an adverb. This seems a question worth pursuing in its own right, so may I ask what completely modifies in the following ...
15
votes
3answers
123k views

Should “two weeks vacation” be written “two weeks’ vacation” with a possessive apostrophe?

I’ve always understood that the phrase two weeks usually turns into two weeks’ when used as a modifier as in I’m giving my two weeks’ notice. I get two weeks’ vacation. (“two weeks’ holiday” for ...
13
votes
4answers
47k views

Which is correct, "sales price" or "sale price"?

I have a list of items with their details such as item name, quantity, purchase price, sales price/sale price, etc. What is more correct to write in the heading, sales price or sale price?
12
votes
3answers
14k views

How should a multiple-word noun be punctuated within a compound adjective? [duplicate]

I would like to use a noun made of multiple words (like particle board, Mount Everest, or windscreen wiper) in a compound adjective with a hyphen. But I don't know how to hyphenate such a composition....
12
votes
4answers
22k views

Origin of the "-y" or "-ie" diminutive suffix to denote intimacy/tenderness? (E.g. Bob→Bobby, dad→daddy, Doug→Dougie)

Many names seem to get a "-y" or "-ie" at the end when the speaker wishes to denote a hint of familiarity, intimacy, or tenderness. Examples can be seen not just in names, but in terms like puppy, ...
11
votes
3answers
21k views

Hyphen or no hyphen when modifying an adjective with a quantity?

I have a sentence which has an object that is described with an adjective: We need to inform our interested patrons of this change. If I modify "interested" with "more" or "less", do I connect the ...
10
votes
1answer
18k views

Non-existing or nonexisting [closed]

What is correct in English, non-existing or nonexisting? Searching sources on Google doesn't help much as both variants are widely present there. Onelook Dictionary Search doesn't show much about ...
9
votes
3answers
137k views

Are "way better" and "way more" correct?

"Way better" and "way more" are popular expressions, but they both seem incorrect to me. "Far better", "far more", "much better", and "much more" all seem correct. Is this true? If so, why?
9
votes
3answers
960 views

When can auxiliary "have" for a past participle in a modifier be omitted?

In the 1928 novel The Well of Loneliness, Radclyffe Hall writes: Arrived at the church, she and Wanda would stand looking down between the tall, massive columns of the porch, on a Paris of domes ...
8
votes
5answers
463 views

Nationality modifier vs. Language modifier

"Chinese writer Mo Yan wins Nobel literature prize" (USA Today) "Chinese author Mo Yan wins Nobel Prize for Literature" (BBC) Q. Are we to understand that Mo Yan wrote in Chinese, that he was a ...
8
votes
2answers
588 views

Chainsaw-equipped or chainsaw equipped?

Is it chainsaw-equipped or chainsaw equipped? And with what kind of former words to use "-" properly?
8
votes
3answers
220 views

Is a dark polka dot necktie dark?

In The Syntactic Phenomena of English, McCawley considers the phrase "a dark blue necktie", and concludes that "blue" in that phrase is simultaneously a noun and an adjective. It modifies the noun ...
8
votes
3answers
227 views

What's large about the Large Hadron Collider?

In Connolly's "The Gates", the narrator says, rather superciliously, "The Large Hadron Collider is, as the name suggests, large." I realised that I had always thought of it as the (Large Hadron) ...
7
votes
4answers
14k views

Is it correct to write "a 5-mm-thick layer"?

Do I need hyphens? Should I use the indefinite article or zero article?
7
votes
7answers
2k views

"I wish for a rest now": what does "now" modify?

Consider this sentence: I am truly amazed by my success at this diagramming business, but I wish for a rest now. I think that the adverb "now" modifies "rest". But according to the answer page, I'...
7
votes
3answers
578 views

How to determine if a "[something] fighter" fights for or against [something]?

In freedom fighter the fighter supports freedom. In fire fighter the fighter fights fire. How do you determine when it is the first or the second case? What is the meaning of spam fighter? @...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Could you help me to do a syntax analysis of this sentence?

The more I use Froyo the more new stuff I discover. Does it mean: I more use Froyo, I discover more new stuff.
7
votes
1answer
139 views

Term for words that are modified by prefixing the word with "a" (e.g. anew, aplenty)

It occurred to me that there are quite a large number of words - many of them archaic - that are existing words prefixed with the letter 'a' to create a new word. For example: anew, aplenty, atwitter, ...
6
votes
4answers
3k views

What is the difference between an adjective and a noun modifier?

"My tire was damaged. I took the damaged tire to the garage." In the above example, the book (summit) refers to the past participles of the transitive verbs as "noun modifiers" and not "adjectives". ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

Why is it "rough-looking" instead of "roughly looking"?

I’ve noticed recently that certain constructions with present active participles (meaning, -ing forms acting adjectivally) prefer to be modified by adjectives rather than by adverbs. For example, ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Indefinite Article Preceding Noun "Wind"

It's common to say "a gentle wind", but is it OK to say "a wind"? I just noticed that there's a novel named "A Wind in the Door", in which case I guess "A" could be used here due to the modifying "in ...
5
votes
2answers
442 views

Can I use an adjective as a modifier at the beginning of a sentence?

For instance, Angry, I smashed his head into the wall Or should it be Angrily, I smashed his head into the wall
5
votes
2answers
924 views

Should "gerund + objective" be modified by adjectives or adverbs?

I read from TheFreeDictionary http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Gerunds.htm the examples "Studying too hastily will result in a poor grade." and "Working from home allows me to spend more time with my ...
5
votes
6answers
893 views

In structures such as 'football manager', is 'football' a modifier or a complement of the head noun?

I thought I'd post this as it illustrates a problem often encountered on ELU. In structures such as 'football manager', is 'football' a modifier or a complement of the head noun? I've seen both ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

Can "Christ­mas" be used as an ad­jec­tive in "Christ­mas-col­ored"?

I was just won­der­ing whether I can write: Christ­mas-col­ored stock­ings I know that Christ­mas can be a mod­i­fier as in Christ­mas gift, but can it be used as an ad­jec­tive in Christ­mas-col­...
5
votes
2answers
309 views

What is the nature of, and syntactic distinction between, modifier and complement?

I am struggling to understand the syntactic relevance of the distinction between complement and modifier in theories such as the one presented in the Cambridge Grammar of the English Language by ...
5
votes
5answers
621 views

Dangling or Misplaced Modifiers: the use of adverbs

When you say: I earn fifty dollars a week scarcely. I know this is not correct. It doesn't sound right and you can't apply an adverb to "a week" because it doesn't make sense and that's not the ...
5
votes
2answers
232 views

What the heck is "not", anyway?

Consider the following sentences: Enough are present to form a quorum. Not enough are present to form a quorum. M-W and Wiktionary both label enough as a pronoun in this usage, but they also ...
5
votes
1answer
154 views

Determining licensing in CaGel by means of substitution test

I read a comment on licensing in another post, which made me revisit this concept. Unfortunately I haven't got access to CaGEL – only to its "little brother", Huddleston and Pullum's A Student's ...
4
votes
5answers
267 views

"Weapon platform" or "weapons platform"?

For a game I need an "orbital weapon platform"/"orbital weapons platform" and wonder which one is correct, or sounds better for an English native speaker.
4
votes
4answers
6k views

What is the role of phrase "as many as" in "... as many as five commands ..."?

I have a sentence as follows: You may need as many as five commands to draw a simple triangle when using the basic layer. My question is: Is the phrase "as many as" crucial ? Will the meaning ...
4
votes
1answer
234 views

What does "among whom" refer to?

From "Be Nice — You Won’t Finish Last" — By Sarah Maslin Nir During the rosy years of elementary school, my inclination to share my dolls and my knack with knock-knock jokes (“Who’s there?” “Tank....
4
votes
3answers
236 views

Confusion about the implied repetition (or not) of an adjective in a parallel construction

"I hate hard candy and olives." When someone says that, does it mean they hate candy and olives that are both hard, or hard candy and non-hard olives? If the latter, then wouldn't "I hate olives and ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Distinguish between verb+ing as Noun and as Adjective

Verb-ing words can function as nouns, adjective and verbs. Growing plants is my hobby. Growing plants in your back yard need more care. I am growing aromatic plants in my garden. In the first ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

Explanation on when the possessive should be used instead of an attributive noun

How would you explain to a person who is learning English, and whose native language does not have attributive nouns, when the possessive should be used instead of an attributive noun? In particular, ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Use of "although" with a modifier

Is it grammatically correct to use "although" in a modifying clause, but without a conjugated verb? Example: Although not regarded as nocturnal, the Black Bear of North America is active at night ...
4
votes
1answer
62 views

Isn't this a dangling something?

As one of the busiest times of year, people will share moments, plan for the festivities and search for the perfect gift, every single day — on Facebook. And this year, it will truly be a mobile ...
4
votes
1answer
3k views

Plural modifying noun [duplicate]

Where can I learn about the English rules for noun phrases in which a modifying noun is semantically plural? We say "Horse trainer," not "horses trainer", even though there is usually more than one ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

Why do people say "Go down this road" or "Go down this corridor" instead of saying "Go straight" [closed]

I was wondering, when giving directions, is it correct to say "go straight" instead of "go down"? Does down and straight in the context of giving directions mean the same thing?
4
votes
2answers
108 views

Approximate values of amount modifiers [duplicate]

This is an area of English that I consistently have trouble with. Consider the following sentences. I have a couple of books on my desk. I have a bunch of books on my desk. I have a number of books ...
4
votes
1answer
487 views

Grammar question about modifiers

I'm not sure if this statement is grammatically correct. It sounds fine, but I'm not sure if the 'with the...' part is right. With the end of the Great War came a great revolution in the ...
4
votes
4answers
5k views

Is "crucially important" redundant?

I've come across the phrase crucially important many times. More than 100,000 hits on Google Scholar, and it even appears in some of the answers on this site. However, crucial already means "...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

"The peasants were the least free of all people, bound by tradition and fettered by superstitions."

Does this sentence need to be broken up by a semi colon, conjuction, or a period? Is there a modifier error here as well? The peasants were the least free of all people, bound by tradition and ...
3
votes
2answers
5k views

"One-Day Only Promotion" or "One-Day-Only Promotion"

A copywriter I'm working with wrote "One-Day Only Promotion" but my feeling is that "One-Day-Only Promotion" is correct. The first three words describe 'Promotion'. I know you don't hyphenate adverbs, ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

What's the difference between adjuncts and modifiers?

All types of adjuncts (my conclusion from wikipedia.org): An adnominal adjunct is an adjunct modifying noun, i.e. it's dependent words in noun phrases (a good boy, the discussion before the game). ...

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