Questions tagged [syntax]

Questions regarding the rules for the formation of sentences

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2answers
24 views

Usage of “I couldn't agree/disagree more”

Someone said: "couldn't agree any less" Upon me finding this weird and asking, they told me their intent was "I disagree". I believe the idiomatic form is "I couldn't ______ ...
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18 views

Why does a sentence make no sense without a finite verb?

I understand that a finite verb serves as a 'direct link' between a subject and a predicate. I also understand the grammatical aspect of why a finite verb makes a sentence complete. For instance, ...
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1answer
59 views

Sentence with doubtful syntax

A sentence that does not seem right on account of syntax Not only are verbs largely uninflected in English, but also nouns, pronouns and adjectives. This sentence seems very unusual although it is ...
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1answer
22 views

Run-on sentences [closed]

I would like you to advice about the sentence below whether it is well-formulated or grammatical As Reintges (2001) comments, Coptic is a canonical subject-verb-object (SVO) language whose relative ...
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1answer
47 views

Is the word “somewebsite.com's” considered plural? [closed]

I'm not sure if my question is allowed here. I did try to find the answer on the internet but can't quite figure out how to phrase it in search. But I'm going on a limb here just to know if I should ...
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2answers
36 views

How to simplify this complex syntax and ambiguous word usage? [closed]

I couldn't understand a sentence in a literary work which is too complex and containing too much terminology. Can you help me understand the sentence by just simplifying or re-organazing or re-...
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1answer
24 views

Help conjugating

A funny guy on twitter made this post: "waaah society doesnt make sense" As opposed to what? foraging? "euhheuuhuh we are not hard wired for city life" a neighboring chieftain just ...
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2answers
4k views

“Their hunt the roast vegetable sauce”: can you parse this?

An old A 2002 magazine sports the ad pictured below, juxtaposing Their hunt the roast vegetable sauce. with "Our roast vegetable sauce." There's something funny going on in the syntax of ...
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0answers
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How to distinguish complements from other things?

What's a sure fire way or distinguishing complements? Do the phrases 'he spoke to them' and 'cut the slices thin' contain complements?
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38 views

Can “I'm” be used to end a sentence or clause'? [duplicate]

Although I haven't witnessed any instances of this textually or phonetically, can 'I am' be interchanged for 'I'm' when it used in the examples provided below? (1) [Person A]: Are you X? [Person B] :...
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1answer
21 views

need to repeat the subject in a coordinate clause?

I'm editing a text and so far the sentence I'm working on looks like this: They are the ones we wanted to pay tribute to, and remind people what they protested against. The subject of "remind&...
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18 views

Is there a comma between that and a temporal prepositional phrase

I've been struggling with the following sentence: "The Complaint also alleges that between May 2013 and February 2017, ABC transferred approximately $5,823,243.07 in rental payments to Atlantic ...
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What’s the difference between “there’s someone doing something” and “someone is doing something”?

They are lines from Chicago. There’s Bernie lying on the couch. I come back, open the door, and there's Veronica and Charlie doing number 17, the spread-eagle. Do the two constructions have different ...
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31 views

Part of speech 'as good'

'It must not be imagined that a walking tour is merely a better way of seeing the country. There are many ways of seeing landscape quite as good' What part of speech is 'as good'?
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5answers
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“Simply Not” vs. “Not Simply”

One simply does not walk into Mordor. One does not simply walk into Mordor. Intuitively I feel the first statement more strongly suggests walking into Mordor is impossible whereas the second just ...
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1answer
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“…not less controversy in it but more.“ vs ”…not less but more controversy in it." Are both correct?

I can think of two variants of this sentence, which are intended to have the same meaning: There was not less controversy in it but more. There was not less but more controversy in it. In the ...
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0answers
29 views

This might be the worst book of mine that [closed]

Is there anything wrong about the following sentence? This might be the worst document of mine (i.e. written by me) that you have ever read (or "that you are going to read"?). Thanks a lot.
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31 views

Can an adjective be separated from its noun by a comma?

That would of course be denied by ministers, adamant the legislation is necessary. Laura Kuenssberg - BBC News - 15/09/20 In this sentence, I am not quite sure what 'adamant' is doing. I very much ...
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0answers
29 views

Examples of people that have really low name recogniton?

Not exactly sure how to phrase the title, but here's the sentence I'm asking about: Our job? Somehow get XXXXX, (a candidate with less name recognition than _____ ) to the top of the polls. I was ...
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1answer
25 views

Is it correct to omit “be” verbs and conjunctions when reporting a sentence? [duplicate]

Can you say "Actor dead aged 44" instead of elaborately saying "Actor dies at age 44"?
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2answers
57 views

Is “to do something” a preposition phrase?

I just learned about phrase structure, but I can't figure out how to analyse an infinitive sentence. For example, in the sentence "Mary tries to do her homework", I guess "try to do her ...
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59 views

Object vs adverbial

In the sentence: "The teachers in our school are nice." Is "in our school" an adverbial or part of the subject "The teachers in our school"? Wondering because it would ...
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3answers
131 views

Order of Correlative Conjunction + Preposition

Which of the following sentences is correct? Are both grammatical? 1: I hope to see you in either France or Belgium. or 2: I hope to see you either in France or [in (optional)] Belgium. I have ...
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1answer
59 views

receiving varied assessments at the hands of [closed]

Is there anything wrong or just clunky about the following sentence: Consequently, a heated debate ensued on the nature of the monument, receiving varied assessments at the hands of different scholars....
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2answers
37 views

Number vs. no. vs. # in scientific papers?

This is kinda an extension to: this question. I am writing a scientific paper and have a numbered list. Now, when I want to refer to that list I want to say something like: "This issue is closely ...
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What is the role of “that” leading the sentence?

This is a sentence in the Queen's speech regarding the fight against Covid-19. It starts with a "that" which I think is not necessary. As "the attributes" already serve as the ...
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1answer
87 views

What do you understand by this sentence [closed]

Someone posted the below sentence on Facebook: “ Nursing “ is a step up game for a female pedophile. Comments erupted about breastfeeding, while the poster claimed his sentence was about "nursing&...
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1answer
44 views

Parallelism in clauses?

Is it possible to have different tenses in the contrasting/comparative adverbial clauses and the main clause of the sentence OR do the verbs always have to be parallel according to parallelism? ex: ...
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2answers
60 views

You can have 'it is important to do X'; can you have 'it is urgent to do X'?

I'm proofreading an academic text, and I came across 'It is urgent to develop new theories for...' Intuitively this use of 'urgent' seems non-standard to me, and while I've resolved (or I suppose ...
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0answers
36 views

Is the placement of “again” in the following sentence incorrect?

Were the money to be again offered this year, I would accept it.
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36 views

Syntax for placeholder text

Sometimes we need to write a sentence with a placeholder for a missing bit of information, which the reader needs to fill out when reading the text. This may be a number, or a word, or a sequence of ...
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2answers
105 views

Who or whom in a sentence with multiple verbs

Would it be correct to use "who" or "whom" in the following sentence? Industrialization in the USSR did not provide a better life for many soviets, especially the peasants, who(m) ...
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1answer
25 views

Maybe because the salt content in Yippee is a little less

Maybe because the salt content in Yippee is a little less. Maybe because the salt content is a little less in Yippee. Which one of these two is grammatically correct? Can you throw some light on this ...
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1answer
47 views

Finding a verb analogous to 'analyse' (US 'analyze') requiring complementiser

I'm proofreading an academic paper and have come across the following: "This process, as Smith analyses, is a way to reflect on..." Intuitively I'd prefer "This process, as Smith ...
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1answer
43 views

Only one vs. One and only one

Suppose that someone proposes "only Jenny can eat this cookie". Is this proposition saying that Jenny can indeed eat this cookie and no one else can? (1) Or is this proposition actually ...
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1answer
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Six foot tall, a herd of elephant: special use of the singular in certain syntactic contexts

CambridgeGEL, page 1588 reads Examples like She’s six foot tall involve a special use of the singular form rather than a base plural: the difference between this and How many feet are there in a mile?...
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Action of comparatives on connected clauses

Consider the sentence Though somewhat less (i) _____than previous chapters and suffering from a minor rash of academic jargon, the final chapter of the book is nonetheless (ii) ______laypeople. How ...
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1answer
31 views

Origin of idiom “Not but (what/that)” [duplicate]

Although the meaning of the phrase was provided in this post, in addition to having an entry on wiktionary, how exactly did the idiom originate? From my interpretations, "not but" combined ...
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61 views

Interjecting adverbs between indirect and direct objects in ditransitive verb phrases?

I'm currently writing a paper about a syntactic issue in English and I was curious how these sounded to everyone. Sam put carefully the coffee on the desk. Sam put the coffee carefully on the desk. ...
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23 views

Is this sentence correct? ( adj+noun order)

"...possibly generated by the damages intensification of the hexagonal lattice caused by the repeated impact of the steel balls during the milling process." First of all, from my point of view, damage ...
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1answer
34 views

Function of the ing-forms in this sentence?

I'm having a hard time figuring out what the exact function of "fascinating" and "working" is in the following sentence: "This song deals with the most important concerns fascinating people working ...
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34 views

Is conjunction reduction possible within an if's compound apodosis?

I have the following sentence: If the researcher knew the mechanism, any feature of the population would be known, any (causal) relationships in the population would be completely traceable, and ...
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0answers
27 views

“Ever” placement in between a particle and a preposition

A line in At Middleton goes: Did you read up ever on this bell tower? This sentence has "ever" inserted inside a particle-prepositional verb, before the preposition and after the particle. ...
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0answers
36 views

Syntax analyis of this sentence

I'm trying to analyze the following sentence: Shelby’s driving compulsion was to avenge her dead parents, whose catamaran was torpedoed by a Russian submarine while they were on vacation. I'm ...
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Which one is correct? Australia 'has' defeated India in world cup. or Australia 'have' defeated India in world cup

Here Australia means the Australian team and not just the country. I have read in a book that, 'have' to be used in case of team name of some country. But it doesn't seem promising to me. Please help.
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2answers
81 views

Any difference between “give five dollars to him” and “give him five dollars”?

This might be a most frequently asked question, but I am quite confused about the difference between the transitive and the ditransitive usage of verbs such as give, write, and buy which can take an ...
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2answers
63 views

Constraints for the: X of Y vs. Y X constructions [duplicate]

While translating a text I came across this doubt that has been pestering me for too long, why is it possible to have these two constructions: A) scene of crime. B) crime scene. (although this one is ...
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32 views

I have a question about the X-bar tree of a VP “ask Mary if she can come”

I know the structure for "ask if she can come" is "V': V CP", but how about "ask Mary if she can come"?
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“I'm Marsh Turner called.”

From the movie Cross Creek, set in 1920s' Florida. Marsh: I'm Marsh Turner called. This is my daughter Ellie. The syntax of this line (as opposed to the standard "I am called Marsh Turner") ...

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