Questions tagged [verb-phrases]

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Word or phrase to describe bashing one's opponents to make oneself look good

Is there a word, phrase or expression that would describe the action of defaming or speaking ill of someone just to raise your own standing or reputation? I'm looking for something like what you ...
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1 answer
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Like BrE's apparently idiosyncratic "drink-driving", does English have any other hyphenated constructions of the form "noun-verb"? [closed]

As in title. I can think of many hyphenated constructions of other forms, such as noun-adjective (e.g. nut-safe, child-friendly, community-driven) adjective-verb (e.g. low-flying), adverb-verb (e.g. ...
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1 vote
2 answers
258 views

"as befits" or "as befit"

Consider these sentences, please: He writes beautifully, as befits a poet. She was buried in the cathedral, as befits someone of her position. As befits a Quaker, he was a humane man. These are ...
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0 answers
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Passive use of "mete" without the accompanying "out" [duplicate]

Given the sentence: It is no surprise that his loyal lapdog will be meted a similar fate. Can the above be considered correct use of the word "mete", and is the overall grammar of the ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Name for "you're being X" vs "you're x"

Is there a name for distinguishing the expression "you're being X" as opposed to saying "you're X"? Some examples: you're being mean / you're mean I'm being honest / I'm honest ...
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  • 123
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0 answers
43 views

Can an auxiliary verb (i.e. "has") be used outside a verb phrase, with the same meaning?

Lets use the word "has" as an example. We can say "he has done his work", where "has" is an auxililary verb for the main verb "done". There is also another way ...
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2 answers
2k views

When should "only" come before a verb phrase? [duplicate]

I’m really struggling to understand when and how to use “only” as an adverb — and how its use is impacted by verb phrases. The following post on English StackExchange doesn’t really clarify it for me: ...
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1 answer
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The ship "set sail" or the ship "sets sail"?

In this sentence: The ship (set/sets) sail for the city of New York on the fifth of April. Should we use "set" or "sets"? Note that it is not known if the "fifth of April" is in the past or the ...
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2 votes
1 answer
2k views

I don't care what they say

I don't care about what they say. In the sentence above, they phrase what they say, is presumably the complement of the preposition about, and the preposition phrase about what they say is ...
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2 votes
1 answer
101 views

How do I interpret "take the sting out of many an indiscretion by omitting or substituting certain material"?

So I read the following sentence from The Interpretation of Dreams and I cannot understand the grammatical structure of the following sentence: But of course I have been unable to resist the ...
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2 votes
3 answers
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Odd sentence structure used throughout Dune

I'm reading Frank Herbert's Dune and I've noticed a certain type of sentence structure he uses quite often. It seems to me to be wrong, or at least non-standard, but I cannot find an explanation of ...
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2 answers
2k views

I dislike his/him being blunt [duplicate]

What is the difference between the two sentences below? Are they both grammatically correct? I dislike his being blunt. I dislike him being blunt.
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1 vote
1 answer
3k views

How to identify a complex verbal group?

In this instance, does 'as' function as a conjunction or as an adverb? (1) 'Their circumstances are not nearly the same as those of the people feeling their homelands.' Would you classify 'fulfill ...
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1 vote
1 answer
541 views

Gerund phrase....is it really?

Object of Preposition Some people consider my interest in gardening an obsession. (The gerund phrase is “gardening an obsession.”) As I was searching around for the correct use of gerund ...
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4 votes
4 answers
2k views

"Who him?" as a stand-in for "Who is he?"

I'm curious: is this valid under some rule of grammar I don't know? Was it ever valid, or was it slang or a personal idiosyncrasy? Or (I shudder to think) was it invented by later authors, as a ...
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46 votes
13 answers
37k views

Difference between "try to do" and "try and do"

What is the difference between try to do and try and do? To me (non-native speaker), asking someone try and do this seems a bit rude. It's like saying you can try all you want but this must be done: ...
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