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Questions tagged [verb-phrases]

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Is a possessive apostrophe appropriate in the verb phrase 'to save someone something'? [migrated]

I've drafted the following sentence: There is also a lot of work going into creating useful, effective and ethical AI tools to save teachers time. A grammar checker has recommended a possessive ...
ahjs2931's user avatar
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0 answers

Which is preferable: Suffice to say, or Suffice it to say?

The Australian Concise Oxford Dictionary, ed 7 (1987) [which I find to be still a useful resource], says "suffice" is an intransitive verb, giving the example "suffice to do." But ...
Richard Lugg's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer

Is "went off in search of her hedgehog" a VP, and can it be broken down further?

I am new to linguistics and am currently learning how to figure out phrase markers for sentences. I am unsure about this sentence: She went off in search for her hedgehog. I know that "she" ...
lingheng's user avatar
2 votes
5 answers

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 ...
Eric's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer

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. ...
Jivan Pal's user avatar
  • 374
2 votes
2 answers

"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 ...
Mr. X's user avatar
  • 661
0 votes
0 answers

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 ...
Damien's user avatar
  • 1
1 vote
1 answer

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 ...
flawr's user avatar
  • 123
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0 answers

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 ...
kepe's user avatar
  • 196
1 vote
2 answers

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: ...
user avatar
0 votes
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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 ...
Peter Johnmeyer's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers

Opt into vs opt in to

On the site 'Writing Explained' it is recommended to use "in to" instead of "into" when "in" is part of a verb phrase. As such, I would conclude that the phrase "opt in to" would be preferred over "...
Paul I's user avatar
  • 171
2 votes
1 answer

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 ...
Araucaria - Him's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer

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 ...
Tian Jin's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers

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 ...
JonathanG's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers

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.
javed iqbal's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer

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 ...
A. Brown's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer

Gerund 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 ...
sooeithdk's user avatar
  • 513
4 votes
4 answers

"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 ...
MT_Head's user avatar
  • 15.3k
46 votes
13 answers

Difference between "try to do" and "try and do" [duplicate]

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: ...
serg's user avatar
  • 5,101