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Questions tagged [syntax]

Questions regarding the rules for the formation of sentences

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10 views

Attachment of “with […]” prepositional/adjective phrase coming after a relative clause that comes after a noun

I have asked a question in an exam, which I wish I had asked in a clearer way. I would like to know how reasonable it is to understand this sentence different from the way I originally intended: ...
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1answer
33 views

Avoiding use of “who” while maintaining proper syntax

How do I say the following phrases - typeset in bold - without using "who"? The situation is children on a playground, and attention is given to those on the swings. If I wanted to say something ...
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1answer
7 views

Changing the focus of this sentence?

I'm trying to write a caption for my work Instagram account. I work for a ski holiday company and it's a photo of one of our guest's children. Wonderful photos from Chalet Augustine guests, Mike ...
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1answer
22 views

Is my comma usage correct in this sentence?

"When there is too much carbon in the atmosphere, too much heat is trapped from the Sun’s light rays, dramatically increasing the global temperature."
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3answers
62 views

In the sentence “Go help yourself”, is 'yourself' both the direct object and the subject?

In the sentence "Go help yourself", is 'yourself' both the direct object and the subject? Can a subject and direct object be the exact same word in a sentence? If not, what is 'yourself' here?
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32 views

Is there any difference in using etc or ellipsis when listing examples? [on hold]

When listing a couple of examples in parentheses, is there any difference between using etc and using three dots to indicate "more like this" at the end? What I mean, is there any difference between ...
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7 views

Principle C of Binding Theory and Cataphoric Reference, why these notions are against each other? [migrated]

Principle C of Binding Theory stated that 'referential expression' can not be c-commanded, even across clause boundaries. While cataphoric reference refers to a reference which occurs before its ...
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1answer
33 views

Usage of 'at' in context

I'm using an application to improve my English. The app had the word 'fabric' and one of its meanings was: The walls, floor, and the roof of a building. The example used to explain the meaning ...
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1answer
53 views

A formal way to place the emphasis on myself

I want the person to feel they can contact me directly but also give them the option to get in touch with other colleagues. It is a big benefit to them to have the capacity to contact me directly. ...
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1answer
19 views

Is my sentence correct? [closed]

He told me nothing. Is the above sentence syntactically correct?
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0answers
24 views

Style guides on dative alternation

Is there any style guide on how to use dative alternation in writing? It looks to me that dative construction is rarely mentioned (if ever).
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2answers
80 views

Use “circa” at the end of a sentence

Can I write "I will be able to finish my work by the beginning of August circa."? I know that I could write "I will be able to finish my work circa by the beginning of August.", I just prefer the ...
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0answers
25 views

Looking for answers + advice on a certain Indian English habit

I've noticed that some Indian English speakers use this structure in speech: For developers who do not work with tables often, finding out what →are←the pages that the user prefers isn't too ...
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0answers
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Does this sentence say what I want it to?

Can you say : if they were[something], I'd use them best? And would this mean I'd used these things to their fullest
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1answer
33 views

What is the correct punctuation usage for 'thus' in this sentence?

"They believe technology serves humankind by empowering us with access to information and the ability to spread that useful information; thus, enriching our lives."
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1answer
39 views

How much shorter are your hands than mine?

or How much more expensive is your phone than mine? Are those questions well-formed? Do i have to use much here?
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1answer
51 views

Is it syntactically correct to write “This and the following pages”?

... or is there a better alternative to writing something like "This and the following pages constitute a summary of topic X."?
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3answers
95 views

Is “urban-rural gap” a proper English term for a disparity between urban and rural areas or just a word-for-word translation from Chinese?

I came across this phrase when I was reading a research paper. Here's a quote from the abstract: I find that the urban-rural gap accounts for 40% of mean country inequality and much of its cross-...
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1answer
65 views

I am 5-minute late? [closed]

Which of the options are acceptable and which are not? Any other suggestions/corrections? I'm 5 minutes late I'm 5-minute late I'm running 5 minutes late I'm sorry for being five minutes late. I'm ...
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54 views

As an English native speaker, why can't I properly explain the rules of English? Am I expected to know them by heart? [closed]

Okay, a little background information to start: I'm an English-speaker who has been born and raised in the southern United States and has picked up the western accent of my father. It is the only ...
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1answer
52 views

What is the scope of the quantifier “some”?

I am writing a term paper in English and am not sure which of the two sentences below is correct: some apples and pears some apples and some pears What I mean to say is that there are some apples ...
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2answers
116 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 ...
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1answer
78 views

Is “we will connect to you” grammatically correct?

Am I right in thinking it does not make sense to say someone will connect to another one. Would the correct sentence be someone will connect someone/something to another or someone will be ...
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2answers
48 views

'Will' or simple present: Why there is a difference in these two sentences?

Consider these two sentences from the book Grammar in Use: Alex will look after our cats while we're away next week. The new drug goes on sale in the USA next year. As you see, the authors ...
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2answers
37 views

How to reword this without using additional nouns?

This sentence doesn't feel correct. There were a lot of photos that I didn't know who they were. But I'm not sure how to reword it without changing its structure. I could use additional nouns, ...
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0answers
25 views

Which article is correct when referring to a disease? (e.g. the flu, a cold) [duplicate]

I just had my first Composition 102 lecture and the professor said that when you refer to a disease you use "the" as in "the flu." I don't argue with that example because you say "I have the flu," ...
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2answers
60 views

“You are all {so/such} wonderful friends.” Which is more correct?

In a kangarou English exam, one of the questions asked you to fill in a blank space in a sentence: You are all ......... wonderful friends What is more correct to use to fill in the blank space, "...
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0answers
12 views

Pretended not to hear or pretended to not hear? [duplicate]

I'm trying to understand whether the two sentences are the same or are they different? 1. She pretended not to hear... 2. She pretended to not hear... Personally, I prefer the second choice but I ...
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5answers
160 views

Jane Austen “Persuasion” Syntax Analysis

This is from Chapter four of "Persuasion" by Jane Austen: She was persuaded that under every disadvantage of disapprobation at home, and every anxiety attending his profession, all their probable ...
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1answer
21 views

What is the right word order? [closed]

Is it correct to say: The party is at my house in the garden. OR The party is in the garden at my house. Thank you in advance
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3answers
107 views

Why can 'X as well as Y' be written as 'as well X as Y'?

Prof. Brooks Landon, U. Iowa, Ph.D., U. Texas at Austin, Building Great Sentences: How to Write the Kinds of Sentences You Love to Read (Great Courses), 2013, p 193:         ...
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1answer
79 views

What's the FUNCTIONAL difference between a supplement and an adjunct/modifier?

I'm trying to understand the difference between supplements and adjuncts/modifiers. In my search for enlightenment, I've come across a number of entries and posts, of which I think this one summarises ...
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1answer
72 views

Constituent structure of 'He arranged for me to go there'

This question was inspired by the discussions in this post. Consider the sentence [1] He arranged for me to go there. What is required is to determine its constituent structure (in the sense of ...
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1answer
27 views

Difference between the two sentences and why are they used in that particular way [closed]

Is there any difference between these two sentences? I bought my friends some chocolates. I bought some chocolates for my friends.
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Is English in the process of creating a nominative absolute in compound objects?

I have been observing the increasing frequency of the use of the nominative in cases such as: Mary always has a huge disagreement with you and I. If you have a problem at school, you can let your ...
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2answers
65 views

What's that you say? [Syntactic role of 'you say']

An opinion article titled "Mattel and Margot Robbie's Barbie movie is not the film 2019 needs" has this passage: Yet I don't think Mattel gives a tinker's cuss whether we're hating on Barbie or ...
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1answer
123 views

How to use passive voice in a sentence? [duplicate]

And as he ate it, she looked at him steadily. In this sort of grammatical constructions, "she" works as a subject of the sentence with active voice. Now, consider a sentence which I read in The ...
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1answer
121 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 ...
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Difference between supplemental NP and absolute clause?

What is the difference between a supplemental noun phrase and a absolute clause? In these examples and in general. Is it just the non-finite nature of the second example? Are they not serving a ...
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1answer
55 views

Stranding “of” in subjects - Possible or impossible?

Observation Take a subject that contains an of-phrase (friend of X, president of X, writer of X etc.). Now try to question the element X after of by fronting the corresponding wh-phrase. Often this ...
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2answers
79 views

Where is the subject in a sentence that starts with a prepositional phrase

Where is the subject in a sentence that starts with a prepositional phrase. For example the preposition phrase beginning with after below: After breakfast the boys wandered out to the garden. Is ...
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1answer
64 views

Prepositional verb structure - “[rely] [on John]” or “[rely on] [John]”

It is difficult to determine the correct consituent structure of prepositional verbs, such as rely on someone. Either on someone forms a constituent to the exclusion of rely, as in (1), or rely on ...
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3answers
135 views

Combining demonstrative and possessive pronoun

I know of at least one language (German, although it’s considered old-fashioned nowadays) where it’s possible to combine demonstrative and possessive pronoun: Diese deine Worte sind wahr. ...
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1answer
49 views

“a food-hygienically acceptable substance”: Grammatical syntax?

In a document (written by a native Japanese speaker), I see the following phrase that sets off my acceptability and grammaticality alarms: a food-hygienically acceptable substance Google shows ...
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1answer
56 views

Is my syntax correct and is there a better version?

Here is the sentence: "Why is a conjugated system bigger, the smaller the atomic electron transitions?" I mean that when a conjugated system gets bigger, the atomic electron transitions get smaller, ...
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1answer
151 views

Changing the passive infinitive into the active voice

This problem has been bothering me for almost a week. I was hoping for that lightbulb moment but it's still dark in the attic, so here I am. In the English coursebook, MyGrammarLab Advanced C1/C2, ...
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1answer
90 views

is/are + past participle vs. have been + past particple

So I am really confused when to use past participle and have been + p.p For example In situations like the ones below Are these dishes washed? Have these dishes been washed? (Washed and ...
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2answers
75 views

Is this “as~as” comparison construction acceptable?

From my understanding, the main formula for an "as~as" comparison is: (subject + verb)(object) [as {adjective/adverb/noun} as] (complements: clause/noun phrase/adjective/adverb) For example: He is as ...
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3answers
176 views

“should always have been done”/“should have made”/ should have been always done” [closed]

So I'm doing a coffeemaker advert in English and it is not my native language. I think you have to know the idea behind this sentence so you can help me to get this grammatically and ideally right. ...
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1answer
46 views

Adjective order with dead & pregnant

I have just listened to a presentation to adjective order in my linguistics class, however, it failed to answer my question. Would an English speaker say "this is a dead pregnant cat" or "this is a ...