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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119
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19answers
26k views

Is “women men girls love meet die” a valid sentence?

Is "women men girls love meet die" a valid sentence? If so, what does it mean? The sentence shows up in academic papers about the "Sausage Machine" for natural language processing. (A google will ...
87
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1answer
5k views

Is there a name for this type of sentence structure: “She looks as though she's been poured into her clothes, and forgot to say 'when'”?

Comedians seem to use phrases that employ this type of sentence structure - is there a name for it? Examples of Groucho Marx's one liners seem to fit this pattern — and if memory serves, Emo Philips. ...
78
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3answers
39k views

Donald Trump's run-on sentences

In every Trump speech, almost every sentence is a run-on sentence. Here is a quote from one of his speeches last year Look, having nuclear—my uncle was a great professor and scientist and engineer, ...
68
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7answers
13k views

“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 ...
54
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10answers
23k views

Grammatically correct sentence where “you're” and “your” can be interchanged? [closed]

Most grammar checkers are capable of detecting the the misuse of "your" and "you're"; providing the necessary correction. I'm curious though, is there any sentence that can be constructed where ...
39
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2answers
4k views

Is this sentence from Orwell's Animal Farm grammatically sound?

Should been really have been included in the following passage from George Orwell’s Animal Farm, or was this somehow an erroneous insertion of a spurious word? Illustration from p. 17 of the 1990 ...
30
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6answers
6k views

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 ...
23
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6answers
14k views

“Don't let's fight”

I was watching a movie the other day and one character said to another, "Don't let's fight" instead of "Let's not fight." Is this proper usage, and if so, what is the grammatical rule that applies ...
22
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9answers
9k views

Exact meaning of the Gandalf quote, “He that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom.”?

What is the exact meaning of following quote (it belongs to Gandalf the Grey): He that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom. I have a problem especially with ...
21
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5answers
10k views

Is “I’ve boughten many vinyls” correct in its use of “boughten”?

Per Merriam-Webster (https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/is-boughten-a-word) boughten is an adjective. According to my non-native-English-speaking friend the sentence "I've boughten many ...
20
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1answer
2k views

He died [as?] a broken man

He died a broken man. One of my students came across this sentence in an article, and a quick search for "he died a * man" yields a plethora of similar ones. I'm fairly certain this sentence is ...
19
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14answers
21k views

Is “Am I needing to. . . ?” grammatical?

In the course of answering this question (which is now deleted and may be viewed only by 10K+ community members), we have evoked some dispute over whether the phrase Am I needing to read this book?...
19
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8answers
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Grammar: “Just because A, doesn't mean B”

I hear this all the time, and often from writers, but it never sounds right. I found myself using it in something I was writing. For example: "Just because I stopped eating doesn't mean I'm full." ...
18
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2answers
39k views

Meaning and usage of “be of”

I see such sentences all the time and I'd like to learn more about their grammatical structure (e.g. how they are described in grammatical terms), their meaning and how to use them in different ...
17
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4answers
5k views

Why is “dark” an adverb in “dark blue”?

The sky is dark blue. Source: BBC English Catherine: The sky is dark blue. The sky is dark blue. Finn: So, is blue an adjective or adverb? Catherine: It’s an adjective. Blue is ...
17
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12answers
5k views

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 ...
17
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4answers
2k views

'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 ...
17
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4answers
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How to decide on the type of ellipsis

I'm having some hard time deciding on the types of a few ellipses I've got to analyze. Let's consider an example such as this one: Then Rosemary came out and said that Daddy was going to jail, and ...
16
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5answers
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What is the appropriate phrase to say if two people are on the same track?

I am sharing my understanding regarding a particular matter with a colleague just to make sure that both of we have same understanding. This is just to avoid any conflict or confusion among us. ...
16
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5answers
39k views

Should I refer to “Section 2.3” or “Subsection 2.3”?

When writing a document that is divided into numbered sections and subsections, sometimes I would like to refer a certain subsection that has been numbered 2.3, for example. Here the 2 represents the ...
16
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4answers
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Grammatical role of “the hell”?

I’m wondering exactly which grammatical role the word hell takes on in expressions such as Get the hell out of here the hell in this case seems to modify the phrasal verb to get out (get out of ...
16
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8answers
50k views

Difference between “without” and “with no”

What is the difference between the usage of without and with no? For example, without sound and with no sound.
15
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3answers
5k views

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 "...
13
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6answers
25k views

How many different parts of speech can the f-word be used as?

In an "interesting" thread of comments we began to look at the word fuck in several different uses. Most of them were interjections and verb uses as would be expected. But, perhaps dialectally, the ...
13
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4answers
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New Oxford American Dictionary describes “the” as an adjective

When I look at the definition given from the Mac OS X Dictionary (I have set American English as interface language, and the dictionary used is then the New Oxford American Dictionary), I read: the ...
13
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4answers
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When to use this construction: so Adjective a Noun

In "The Quiet American" by Graham Greene, Mr Fowler says: I watched her closely while she asked how I was and touched my splinted leg and gave me her shoulder to lean on, as though one could lean ...
13
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4answers
2k views

The use of “trespasses”

According to a dictionary search for "trespasses": v. Enter the owner's land or property without permission n. A voluntary wrongful act against the person or property of another, esp. unlawful entry ...
13
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3answers
1k views

Can a sentence have two or more successive separate sentences in its womb?

This website, upon crossing the milestone of 250 reviews, has sent me a message (in the field entitled "Achievements", being one of three fields that are there on the left side of the black band ...
13
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5answers
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I have no money to buy a bed [with]

BACKGROUND In this question, it was asked why it sounds better to omit 'with' in I have no money to buy a bed (with). whereas 'with' sounds right in I have no ball to play soccer with. ...
12
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6answers
64k views

What's wrong with “We hope you will find our Qualifications to be well-organized, concise, and most of all, to exceed your expectations.”

Why is the following sentence grammatically incorrect? We hope you will find our Qualifications to be well-organized, concise, and most of all, to exceed your expectations. I've asked three ...
12
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4answers
2k views

What part of speech is 'say' ? If I were, say, to use it?

I can use 'say' as a noun : (Chicago Tribune 2007) Aflac Insurance - the first U.S. company to voluntarily offer its shareholders a say on pay. OED (Presumably it is an uncountable noun and the ...
12
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3answers
2k views

No man (or woman) is an island

I was reading a satirical article in the New Yorker, "College Essay" by Christopher Buckley, and came across the following statement: It was a seventeenth-century English-person John Donne who ...
12
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4answers
2k views

What do you mean that it's wrong?

What do you mean that it's wrong? In the above sentence, is the that-clause an adverbial clause? Or a complement? What is the syntactic function of the string "(that) it's wrong"? In other words, ...
12
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3answers
512 views

One of the best universities in the world to _______?

In the construct one of the best places + to + infinitive, the infinitive refers to an activity that a person can do. Example Cape Breton Island is also one of the best places in the world to ...
11
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3answers
2k views

What is the technical term for an infinite sentence?

Is there a name for the infinite (repeating, unending) sentence or paragraph? Here is an example of what I mean: Joe Blow is a chef, painter, author and vocalist from San Francisco who enjoys vinyl ...
11
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2answers
2k views

“Member FDIC” instead of “Member of FDIC”?

For several years now (as long as I've paid attention) almost every ad or commercial for a bank or credit union says they are Member FDIC or Member NCUA. Where is the of? Why are these not Member of ...
11
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2answers
343k views

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, ...
11
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4answers
6k views

What is the origin of auxiliary verbs?

When and why did we start using auxiliary verbs, particularly "do", to ask questions and make negatives?
11
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3answers
316 views

Is the SE “new privilege” notification message a sentence?

When a Stack Exchange user gets a new privilege, it's accompanied by the following notification: Congrats, you've gained the privilege – talk in chat learn more That phrase "may be oddly worded, ...
11
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6answers
14k views

Conflicting Advice: “Not Only,” “But Also” Constructions — Comma, No Comma, Parallel Structure?

I've searched for the answer on this site and other websites, and found conflicting advice and sample sentences that look wrong to me. I'm posting this question hoping for clarification. My ...
10
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6answers
20k views

What is the structure in “as best you can”?

I instinctively translate it "as best as you can", however this makes no sense. What is the real structure behind this phrase? I'll include an Ngram to illustrate the historical presence of this ...
10
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4answers
2k views

How to prevent a sentence beginning with the word “The”? [closed]

I am writing a technical thesis and find myself using the word the an awful lot. Here are some examples (I spare the technical gibberish): The main purpose of the presented applications is to ...
10
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7answers
2k views

Difference between 'eat soup hot' and 'eat hot soup'

Can anyone explain the difference between the following sentences? I eat most kinds of soup hot. I eat most kinds of hot soup. Earlier today, one of my non-English speaking friends asked me the ...
10
votes
4answers
3k views

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 ...
10
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6answers
13k views

How does the parenthetical “that is” function?

It's the last sentence of an article in The Economist. Some of the powerful elders might have faded from the scene. Mr Xi and Li Keqiang might then have a freer hand to promote their own people, ...
10
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3answers
60k views

Is it two-third or two-thirds?

Is it two-third or two-thirds? If both are correct, how does their usage differ?
10
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2answers
21k views

“Let's get it over (with)” — do I need the “with”?

I'm trying to understand why there is this "with". I can say "Let's get this done". So, why "Let's get this over with?" I would really appreciate if someone could explain that a bit.
10
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2answers
390 views

What's the most pedantically correct way to reference sectioned and numbered rules aloud?

I am a roller derby announcer. An important part of my job is to explain the rules of roller derby to the fans. The rules of modern roller derby are promulgated by the Women's Flat Track Derby ...
10
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3answers
1k views

What is the equivalent in English of the French sentence part “complément de phrase”?

In French, a sentence has two essential syntactic parts (the subject and the predicate) and may have one or more "complément de phrase", which are optional parts. "complément de phrase" = "sentence ...
9
votes
9answers
422 views

Does calling a road 'wavy' convey its shape clearly?

There is a scene in which the road the car is on is straight at first, but later starts to wave about. By 'wave', I mean its shaped like this: Now my question is, if I write, "the road ahead started ...