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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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 ...
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2answers
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Counting state of an object or person

Is it natural to use an article to specify the state of an object or person? Or alternatively, is this structure not suitable? For example, see the following sentence. An unconscious Michael Jackson ...
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Negotiable [for|at|to] a reasonable rate

I was writing an email earlier and got totally stuck on the correct adverb. What I'm trying to say is "this guy is usually expensive, might he be negotiable / cheaper" "I realise he’s a ...
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Lexical item-grammatical association database [closed]

Is there an online database/dictionary that allows to search for a lexical item and get a list of linguistic/grammatical associations?
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32 views

What's the longest radiation-hardened word? [closed]

Let's define a radiation-hardened word (a homage to radiation-hardened quines in programming) to be a word that, with any one letter removed, is still a valid English word. For example, "seat&...
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38 views

Syntactic Tests for Reduced Relative Clauses

In a sentence such as Lionel Messi, 34, now plays for PSG a reduced relative clause can be readily seen, and I can put back what has been omitted: Lionel Messi, who is 34, plays for PSG But in ...
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3answers
611 views

'She' as sentence object [duplicate]

In the following sentence from Lolita, Humbert Humbert, in describing with maximum condescension the character of his new wife, states: 'I had always been aware of the possessive streak in her, but I ...
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14 views

Depending on vs. depends on [closed]

In the sentence below, I think the expression that should be used is "depending on" rather than "depends on". Is this because an adjective is required in that part of the sentence?...
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Is this sentence below grammatical?

Emotions like Governor Malloy’s and mine seem primal—hardwired into us, reflexively deployed, shared with all our fellow humans. When triggered, they seem to unleash themselves in each of us in ...
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2answers
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Do we ever use "suppose" (active) with infinitive?

I saw this structure that I've never met before: "Some people suppose to lessen the possibiity ..." etc. I can't find any relevant information. Is this normal practice, or simply a mistake ...
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the formalest or the most formal english [migrated]

Is 'the formalest' a valid alternative for 'the most formal'? the searchs i'm making return articles about the formality of the language rather than answering my guestion
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4answers
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Confused on my interpretation when negative 'not' + but

I am confused with usage of but when a negative is preceding it. For example The importance of this bill is not in its specific provisions, but in its broader impact. Here is the word but doing a ...
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2answers
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Informal English sentence correction [duplicate]

What you gotta hose for? Is is correct, can I use this sentence in informal english? How can I say this sentence formally?
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1answer
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Frequent Comparisons

I'm working on a paper and have to compare two groups (in percentage) who either do or do not do particular activities. I don't want to use the same structure again and again throughout the text. Are ...
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1answer
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How to parse/interpret the unusual wording on a diploma?

My SO just earned a PhD and received their diploma, and we were both puzzled by the wording. I'm copying it line by line, including punctuation (but omitting the school/personal specifics in brackets)....
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1answer
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Am I correct with this line of reasoning? (would/would have) [closed]

I thought you would come. Here, I was thinking that you would come in the future, this sentence shows futurity in the past. I thought you would have come. But here, I thought that you already came ...
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Please grammatically analyze the structure of this sentence

I quote this from MakeUseOf site. So, really, you'd be paying way, way upwards of the $70 price-tag games are going to be sold for. I can't find out the structure of this sentence, and further more, ...
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1answer
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Sentence structure with an embedded question in a sentence

There are several instances where we embed questions in a sentence, but what is the conventional structure of those embedded question? For example, She asked if we still need a pen. She asked do we ...
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How do you analyse the structure of the phrase "by then"?

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, then is an adverb or adjective, not a noun. If it can't be a noun, how can it follow a preposition in this sentence? They will be gone by then.
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2answers
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Things he knew were not true, he knew could not be true [closed]

Things he knew were not true, he knew could not be true. Is this a grammatical sentence? I don't really know what material has been ellipted, so a bracket analysis would help.
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What's the grammatical function of "to luxuriate in their style and emotions" in this sentence?

These are films to live in, to luxuriate in their style and emotions. (source: LA Times) This sentence grates on my ear, and I am not sure it can be parsed as a grammatical sentence. The infinitive &...
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1answer
45 views

It was a terribly difficult time for all of us. - adjectival preposition

It was a terribly difficult time for all of us. In this sentence, what is the role of the prepositional phrase "for all of us"? I think it's adjectival and it modifies the noun "time.&...
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2answers
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What is the term for a noun or phrase that is used in place of a longer list of nouns?

For example, I could refer to 'the big five', instead of listing the five animals considered dangerous to hunt. I've replaced the list of animals with the noun phrase 'the big five'. I know this could ...
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1answer
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‘to start’ and ‘to starting’, prefaced by ‘key’

I have the following two example sentences: X is the key to starting their communication. X is the key to start their communication. E.g. Patience is the key to starting their communication. Which is ...
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2answers
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What's the passive form of "I have been learning English for 5 years"? [closed]

Is it "English has been being learned for 5 years" Or "English has been learned for 5 years" The first one sounds awkward and the second one implies (to me at least) that the ...
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1answer
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What does "hold my sake" mean?

What does "hold my sake" mean? I see it sometimes in internet memes but I don't know what it means.
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Why do we sometimes omit and sometimes retain the conjunctions "because/while/when etc" when reducing adverb clauses?

We can reduce this sentence "Because she has a test next week, she is studying very hard." (1-1) -> "Having a test next week, she is studying very hard." (1-2) "Before he ...
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-ing nominals versus derived nominals

Can we form -ing Argument Structure nominals that are derived from the following sentences? If so, what is the semantic difference between derived nominals and -ing nominals based on the given ...
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1answer
36 views

Use of "put something in" vs "in which to put something"

What is the rule or the error involving, for example; I need a box to put my groceries in. vs I need a box in which to put my groceries.
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1answer
196 views

what's the difference in meaning between an adjective and the structure "noun + of + article + noun"?

Example: Did you hire that clown of a teacher? and Did you hire that clownish teacher? Or My idiotic friend and My idiot of a friend?
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1answer
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Why are these titles grammatically correct? [duplicate]

I frequently come across titles that are hard for me to make sense of in grammatical terms. These titles sound like questions or incomplete sentences to me. For example: "How Social Media Affects ...
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35 views

How does structuralism linguistics play an important role in defining word categories in the book CGEL?

I read the older work of Rodney Huddleston (co-writer of CGEL) in which he implemented structural linguistics in defining the word categories in a language: he said "The fundamental principle of ...
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2answers
116 views

Which part of speech do compass directions (north, south, etc.) belong to?

Which part of speech do compass directions (north, south, etc.) belong to (in the sense below)? The town is north of New York. Is 'north' a preposition here?
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On the arguments of 'put'

I have noticed that the verb 'put' usually takes a direct object and a (typically) prepositional, non-core complement, as in: He put the book on the shelf Sometimes, the prepositional complement is ...
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1answer
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Adverb vs. Adjective use [closed]

We typically use adverbs to describe verbs, but there are exceptions. Would you rather say 'You glow different' or 'You glow differently'? Are both acceptable?
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How to use the word alias

How do I convey that the "Object" can be used instead of "ObjectInGroup"? My current guess is: "Use the alias Object instead of ObjectInGroup". Is there any mistake in ...
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2answers
82 views

Function of genitive

What is the function of the genitive case in the sentence below? More precisely, what type of relationship between the two nouns does it imply? The man’s tale was interesting.
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1answer
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What kind of sentence structure is this? "The true measure of our character is ..."

The true measure of our character is how we treat the poor, the disfavored, the accused, and the incarcerated. I don't know what type of sentence this is. If any of you know please answer! Complex? ...
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1answer
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Does, "... gas, electricity, and any other costs associated with the internet," mistakenly imply gas and electricity as a cost for internet?

In the utilities section of a rental agreement, a paragraph ends with the sentence, "Tenants shall be responsible for gas, electricity, and any other costs associated with the internet." In ...
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0answers
29 views

Can you use single quotation marks / apostrophes to emphasise words? [closed]

I often see people emphasising words. For example: This smartphone is very 'smart'. I was taught in a highschool education website called Education Perfect that apostrophes are only used for ...
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1answer
30 views

Is it grammatically correct to except something without it being part of the original group? [closed]

In Arabic, it is allowed to say for instance: All the students left the room except the teacher. So, the teacher is put after an "except" even though he is not one of the students. It's ...
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What is this grammatical structure? [duplicate]

In the sentence "A longer force arm means less effort need be applied", why is it "need be" and not "needs to be"? Both structures feel natural to me, but why is the ...
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1answer
114 views

When to use "whom" and "who" when the direct object is also doing an action

"I just saw that guy throw a ball." "[T]hat guy," the direct object, is now doing the action of "throw[ing]." So, could one ask, "Whom did you see throw the ball?&...
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1answer
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On Liberty by John Stuart Mill- please explain the meaning of following sentence [closed]

If all mankind minus one were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be ...
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What is the grammatical function of the infinitive 'to aid them' in the following sentence? 'He could do nothing to aid them.'

I am aware that infinitives can serve as the subject of a sentence (as in 'To underestimate her would be foolish'), as the object of a sentence ('He likes to play basketball'), and as the predicative ...
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1answer
65 views

What parts of speech are "like" and "to" in the sentence "Bobby does not like to walk"? [closed]

I realized that I want to be able to look at any sentence and understand what each word in that sentence is in terms of its part of speech, since I never really cared in school to learn the parts of ...
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What is the reason for skipping the preposition "on"? [duplicate]

In Goggle Ngram Viewer I found these sentences: How are you enabled to say it was Monday that you saw him? It was Monday that I was sworn as a witness. It was on Monday that he called at my house. ...
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1answer
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Is speed a variable? [closed]

This is a legal sentence: London traffic moves at a speed of 11 mph. Why can't we remove "a" and "of"? London traffic moves at speed 11 mph. We may say that "speed" ...
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2answers
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HYPALLAGE: He nodded his agreeing head

HYPALLAGE: a figure of speech in which the usual relations of words/phrases are interchanged, e.g. "He nodded his agreeing head." Microsoft® Encarta® 2009. © 1993-2008 Microsoft Corporation ...
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1answer
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Please help me to read a long sentence

In other words consciousness is an illimitable power, and though at times it may seem to be all consciousness of misery, yet in the way it propagates itself from wave to wave, so that we never cease ...

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