Questions tagged [syntax]

Questions regarding the rules for the formation of sentences

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1answer
30 views

Use of the ''it'' pronoun in a sentence

Which one of the two following sentences is more appropriate? Each state stands for a possible configuration of the system, and it is represented in the state space by a point. Each state stands for ...
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0answers
20 views

Difference of the usage of “item” and “article”

Are there sentences or specific syntaxes where i should use "item" instead of "article", or Vice versa? Where i want to use these terms, i'm talking about objects such as: mobile phones, toys, ...
5
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1answer
88 views

Why is the passive voice more prevalent in English than in other European languages? [on hold]

Although the active voice is predominant in the English language the ‘ideal’ proportion of recommended passive sentences is still regarded as between 5% and 10%(source1) ( source2). Which is ...
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0answers
22 views

Romantic syntactically ambiguous sentence

I'm trying to write a speech for a linguist's wedding, and I think I've written something nice and meaningful about syntactic ambiguity - but I need one or two examples of romantic syntactically ...
0
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1answer
29 views

I'm trying to enumerate some things in the middle of a sentence

I'm currently writing my thesis paper and i'm trying to enumerate some stuff in the middle of the sentence. It goes like this. "The results of the study will be able to describe and give useful ...
2
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0answers
43 views

An English Descriptive Word for Two Words

I'm currently after a synonym for "middle-aged". However, I'm needing the word to be appropriate to describe a non-living thing. Middle-aged is more or less associated with animals and humans, not ...
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0answers
21 views

the correct syntax around “as he said was” the missing which?

I got one English syntax question: He also complained that Jackie had not started to buy the tools as he said was promised after he went to Jackie's party last month. Is this correct syntax? I ...
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0answers
30 views

Variable placement of the word “still” [closed]

Is there a consensus on the placement of the word still? Still, he should have checked for issues. He still should have checked for issues. He should still have checked for issues. He should have ...
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0answers
25 views

In syntax, why cannot we say things like “he took walked at the park”? but can say “he took a walk at the park”? [migrated]

In syntax, why cannot we say things like "he took walked at the park"? but can say things like "he took a walk at the park"?
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0answers
23 views

Meaning shift with the change of a conjunction location

I am in a pickle... Is there any difference in the meanings of these two sentences? To me, the first sentence feels a bit ambiguous. Defining search terms can be misleading until a critical ...
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2answers
45 views

Articles with Spatial Prepositions

Are both sentences correct? with and without the indefinite article (a): She lives two minutes' walk from the station She lives a two minutes' walk from the station
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0answers
17 views

Constituent Structure

David is the best player [in the world]. is PP in the world an immediate constituent of the NP the best player in the world [is [the best player [in the world]]] or is it an immediate constituent ...
3
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4answers
82 views

List with different last item with just one “and”

I have no idea how to describe this. I run into this usage all the time in English, and to me it seems wrong, but considering how common it is, I'm wondering if it's actually accepted. Consider the ...
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1answer
21 views

Shouldn't You? or Shouldn't you be?

I am trying to decide whether the appropriate wording is: ... "Your clients are evolving. Shouldn't you?" or "Your clients are evolving. Shouldn't you be?" ... For some reason, "be" feels both ...
2
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0answers
58 views

English comparative words (than, so, as, and maybe like): why are they so weird?

I promise this is an actual, answerable question. But I want to explain myself when I call these specific words "weird"; English is so often "exceptional" that referring to any particular part of it ...
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1answer
50 views

Is it permitted to put the subject after a copula instead of before it?

For instance, can one say “Smart is the Eastern system”?
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0answers
54 views

What do you make of sentences such as: “He completely missed his shot, did Mark!”

I sometimes hear people, Brits in my experience, say things like : He completely missed his shot, did Mark! He's out of his mind, is Ronnie! The sense is clear but I haven't seen this described ...
6
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1answer
160 views

Why does “that” sound odd to me after “said” in these sentences with “as” and “like”?

You said that he would come to the party. He came to the party, as you said that he would. He came to the party, just as you said that he would. He came to the party, just like you said that he would. ...
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2answers
69 views

Can someone PLEASE tell me what the gerunds and participles are in these sentences? PLEASE [duplicate]

Dozing in the sun at the beach after swimming, limbs exhausted, salt dring stiff in my hair. Cutting up vegetables into neat pieces. Flying into a city and at night seeing the lit gauze of its ...
1
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1answer
49 views

Help with ambiguous syntax tree [closed]

I have to do syntax trees for the two interpretations of this ambiguous sentence: "The poor child's story is sad" According to what I was told, one interpretation refers to the child and the other ...
11
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2answers
1k views

How does the “reverse syntax” in Middle English work?

I was reading the Romance of Tristan and I came across the passage: "Therefore did Tristan claim justice and the right of battle and therefore was he careful to fail in nothing of the homage he owed ...
1
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1answer
24 views

Connecting verbs without the preposition “to”

I came across this sentence: "Immersion programs provide precisely the type of environment that Krashen claims fosters acquisition" in "The Teacher`s Grammar of English"- Ron Cowan, page 31. ...
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1answer
70 views

Is this question ambiguous?

The following multiple-choice question was asked in an exam: Which one is the internal storage device that performs better than its predecessor with spinning disks inside? HDD SSD USB ...
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1answer
43 views

Similarity finding best grammar [closed]

If you had the text abcxxcde, how would you go about counting the number of similarities? Would there be be 1 because one type of letter (x) is the same or 2 because there are two letters that match?
2
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1answer
41 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 ...
0
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1answer
16 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
26 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
76 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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0answers
48 views

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

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 ...
2
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1answer
35 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
68 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. ...
1
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2answers
280 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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1answer
101 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
45 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
82 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."?
2
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3answers
101 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-...
0
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1answer
596 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 ...
1
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0answers
65 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 ...
0
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1answer
56 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 ...
5
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2answers
136 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 ...
0
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1answer
400 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 ...
1
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2answers
51 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
42 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, ...
1
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0answers
28 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
128 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 ...
4
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5answers
184 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
22 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
3
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3answers
310 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:         ...
2
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1answer
151 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 ...