Questions tagged [syntactic-analysis]

Parsing or syntactic analysis is the process of analysing a string of symbols, conforming to the rules of a formal grammar.

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A blinding light / blinding sunlight / a blinding sunlight

"Mornings came and cast a blinding sunlight over everything, and he felt like nothing worthwhile could be accomplished." For some reason, I feel like "a blinding light" is ok, but if its sunlight, ...
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Is this noun used as an adjective?

I read this recently in The Economist: At the end of the summit, the French and European officials had claimed a points victory over the Germans by getting them to agree more firmly to a target ...
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“Put me in touch with whomever created it”? [duplicate]

He created it. Put me in touch with him. So which is correct and why: Put me in touch with whomever created it. Put me in touch with whoever created it.
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My family *is* or My family *are*? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Are collective nouns always plural, or are certain ones singular? Which is correct: The rest of the staff is or are? The rest of my family is or are? I've done a bit of ...
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Pure verbal nouns/deverbal nouns vs. gerunds

This is a follow-up to a previous question which I am still trying to understand. I think I'm making progress in my understanding, but I would appreciate feedback to help me refine my thinking. Here ...
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Whoever or whomever: 'happy for ___ has the pleasure of working with you next.'

So sad to lose you, yet happy for whomever has the pleasure of working with you next.
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What's the subject of “There is my biscuit!” ? And how about “There is one biscuit left”?

What's the subject, grammatically speaking, of these sentences? There is my biscuit! My biscuit is there! There is one biscuit left. I don't really know how to analyze these. The following ...
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“The more, the merrier!” — Is this a sentence? If not… what?

Is The more, the merrier! a sentence? It doesn't seem to have a main verb, so I'm inclined to say no, but it certainly functions as a sentence in everyday speech. I can think of three ways of ...
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“Even were he not to…”

I am currently reading "Do androids dream of electric sheep?" by P.K. Dick and I have come across a grammatical structure I don't quite understand. The excerpt is the following (no spoilers, don't ...
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Does removing the comma before 'which' etc in a non-restrictive clause change the meaning of the sentence?

There are many 'rules' on the net saying that a comma should be placed before the relative pronoun 'which' in a non-restrictive clause. (http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/words/relative-clauses) But ...
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How many parts of speech can a word be at the same time?

ᴛʟᴅʀ: Is it ever possible for a sentence to have a word in it that is simultaneously more than one single part of speech in that sentence under the same parse and meaning? (For example, a few ...
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Flipping Sentences and Verb Agreement

Is the following sentence grammatically correct in regards subject-verb agreement? One of the main facets of the soul is the feelings humans treasure above all: love and compassion. The sentence ...
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What is the origin of auxiliary verbs?

When and why did we start using auxiliary verbs, particularly "do", to ask questions and make negatives?
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When to use “respectively”? [duplicate]

I have been wondering what it means when people use "respectively" in, before, and after sentences. For example: We are looking for a babysitter to pick up and supervise our kids ages 6 and 3, ...
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Does “I am eating vegan cheese in my underpants” really imply that the vegan cheese is inside my underpants?

I am having a debate with someone about possible interpretations of a sentence and we have come to a stalemate. The sentence is as follows: "I'm at home eating vegan cheese in my underpants and ...
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Should there be a comma after 'and'?

This is a bit of a strange question because I know that there should never ever be a comma after 'and.' But what if there's a parenthetical statement/clause-thing right after it? Let me demonstrate. ...
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Sentences with no verb

In Spanish we've got something called "Oración unimembre" which refers to a sentence with only one kind of part (the one with the verb or the one with the subject). I don't know the way it is in ...
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Is 20 dollars here a direct object or a predicate complement? 'This book cost me 20 dollars.'

In this sentence: This book cost me 20 dollars. Is 20 dollars a direct object or a predicative complement?
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If I can say “not that good a review,” does that mean I can say “not that good reviews”?

I'm new to the template, so please forgive my ignorance of this community's parlance, formalities. I'd imagine that many here have seen the construction: "Adjective + Article + Noun," as in "so fine ...
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Why is “there” a subject while “here” isn't?

The question about "the role of infinitive in this sentence" prompted me to ask the following question. English uses a "dummy" such as it and there to start a sentence when there is nothing else to ...
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How to know when to use “someone” or “anyone”?

I am trying to write a grammar rule that will be able to identify when to use someone or anyone, and I got confused. I couldn't find any clear way to do this. For instance, "anyone can do it" is ...
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What is the grammatical role of *your* in “… by your being …” phrases?

While writing a sentence the other day, it struck me that the following phrase has an odd feel to it that I cannot explain: Everyone will benefit by your being well cared for. I kept wanting to use ...
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What is it called when reversing a phrase doesn't mean the same as the original phrase?

What is the rhetorical device/argument called when one says: All surgeons are doctors, but not all doctors are surgeons.
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'The X-ing of Y' vs just 'X-ing Y' : why are both 'the' and 'of' necessary together?

Take the example of There is very little that a conforming POSIX.1 application can do by catching, ignoring or masking SIGSYS (From the SIGSYS article) This can be rewritten as There is very ...
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May I please help who(m)ever is next [duplicate]

I am bringing up a rather pedantic point here, but, one that has me completely stumped. This is going to require some serious grammar knowledge. I was in a line at a shop today and the teenager at ...
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Which is the correct passive construction of 'she bore him on the Christmas day'?

I think I understand the difference of meaning between 'born' and 'borne', plus I have also checked out a few questions that were asked about the two terms on this forum. So, I hope I am not posting a ...
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Why Do English Speakers Use “Preposition + Relative Pronoun” Form?

As I'm not an English speaker, whenever I encounter "Preposition + Relative Pronoun" forms in the books, newspaper, etc., it is not that easy for me to understand right away. ... it will gain ...
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Is it correct to use two present participles sequentially?

We are currently in the process of finishing planning for the outage. It the preceding sentence grammatically correct? Is the preceding sentence ideally structured? If not, what would be a ...
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What’s the ‘accusative absolute’?

I read the following definition for accusative absolute, but the many syntactical terms (based on Latin) confound me: accusative and nominative absolute. a construction in English, especially ...
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“I hate Jill singing those songs.” = “I hate Jill when she is singing those songs.”?

Can the sentence I hate Jill singing those songs. mean I hate Jill when she is singing those songs. Or does it mean something else?
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Position of a relative clause before/after a verb

I'm not sure about the sentence structure below: All kinds of problems arise that smaller animals or plants do not have to cope with. It looks like that works as a relative pronoun for all kinds ...
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What part of speech is ‘mountains’ in the sentence “I like climbing mountains”?

I'm trying to understand the grammar of this sentence: I like climbing mountains. Here's what I've got so far: "I" is the subject "like" is the verb I believe "climbing" is a participle Maybe "...
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To whoever it may concern

I received a letter of confirmation for funding from an English native speaker. She started the letter with: To whoever it may concern, I am not a native speaker, but that sounds quite odd to me ...
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Adjectives versus Noun Adjuncts [duplicate]

What determines whether something is a "noun adjunct" or just a garden-variety adjective? Does it matter in any meaningful way? Here is my hypothesis, but I can't find any authoritative source to ...
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Subject, Verb Object (and so forth) sentence analysis. In particular: What's the Verb here?

I need help! Could you please look at this sentence: When I obtained a credit card, I began spending money recklessly. I'm doing basic sentence patterns, and I don't know how to analyse this part:...
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Beginning a sentence with a gerund?

My teacher recently marked on my paper not to use a gerund to start a sentence. I have been told by teachers in the past to use that format to vary sentence structure. It seems to make the paper flow ...
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What is the difference between a part of speech and a syntactic function / grammatical relation?

What is the difference between a part-of-speech and a function? In other words: What is a part of speech. (e.g. noun) What is a grammatical function. (e.g. head, subject) [read "grammatical ...
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“Subject, verb, direct object, object complement” versus “subject, verb, indirect object, direct object”

Reading English Grammar (HarperCollins College Outline, published by HarperResource, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers) I found a chapter (Sentence Basics) that explains that in English there are ...
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Is it grammatically correct to shift an appositive away from the noun it renames or describes?

I'm taking a semester in London. Here's a sample of something I keep hearing: John: My mum will be here later? Susan: Is she staying for supper, your mum? If Susan wishes to say, "your mum," ...
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Should I use 'whoever' or 'whomever': “I will kill ___ despises me.” ?

I know this sentence is a little awkward. Bear with me. "I will kill whomever I despise." -- This one feels correct. However... "I will kill whoever despises me." -- Is this right? Would this one ...
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“Exchange emails with whomever you want to put me in contact [with]”

I realize the "never end a sentence with a preposition" rule is controversial these days, but let's assume for the sake of argument that it should be followed. What is the proper construction of a ...
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Is 'so I did', and other like expressions, at the end of a sentence good English?

In Northern Ireland people will say 'He went to Bohemia on holiday, so he did', or 'I need to do some shopping, so I do'. Is this correct English?
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The use of “whoever” or “whomever” in complex sentence

Should the following say whoever or whomever. And why? Each of us is free to pretend to be whoever/whomever we wish to be. This sentence needs an object, right?
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Difference between gerund and present participle [duplicate]

What is the difference between a gerund and present participle? When should we use a gerund and when should we use a present participle ?
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What is the grammatical construction in “Be but sworn”?

I have found several questions asking for the meaning, but the thing that troubles me here is the grammar actually and i haven't found anything on that. In Shakespeare's sentence "Deny thy father ...
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Polite or unrectified placement of the word please

I would please prefer to take both parts of the test on Monday. Is the placement of the word please in this sentence grammatically correct?
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Explanation of Grammatical structure is needed

The crowd saw him clap his hand to his mouth. This is a sentence from Harry Potter I. I don't understand how "clap" is used right after "saw". Shouldn't there be a "to" in between? i.e. "saw ...
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list separated by commas with no “and” at the end

Is it possible to have a list of items separated by commas where the last item in the list is not preceded by 'and'? For example, "the river runs through dense bush, towns, cities, farms, dams, ...
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Is asking question with intonation grammatically correct?

Is asking question with intonation grammatically correct? the context: had a discussion with colleague about the correct formal way to ask a question in English language. From all what i recall about ...
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“It really doesn't matter” v “It doesn't really matter”

I can't distinguish the difference in meaning between these two sentences. It really doesn't matter. It doesn't really matter. It seems that there is a nuanced difference, but I ...