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2 votes

What's the grammatical term for a sentence that begins with a descriptive noun phrase, followed by a complete sentence?

I'd say that the initial NPs are predicative adjuncts. Here are some clearer examples: A proud teetotaller, John stuck to water while the others drank champagne. A teacher by profession, Ed was soon ...
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0 votes

Comma before "whether they be"

The "whether" clause is nonrestrictive and should thus be surrounded by paired punctuation. That typically involves dashes, commas, or parentheses: If your school doesn't offer AP courses, ...
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-1 votes

Comma before "whether they be"

Lose the em-dash, use a comma: Short Term Energy Shortages: Hearings, United States Congress House. Committee on Science and Astronautics. Subcommittee on Energy · 1973: There has got to be some ...
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0 votes

grammar of 'sit perched on'

The problem could be the "matrix verb," or maybe just the sentence itself. In any case, stands is better than sits. "Monks from China's Shaolin Temple stand perched on tall wooden boxes....
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3 votes
Accepted

AS vs WHILE are they interchangeable?

Nos. 5 - 8 are wrong, not because of your use of as but because the sunset is the process of the sun setting. You would have to say I watched the sunset or the sun as it was setting.
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1 vote

AS vs WHILE are they interchangeable?

My feeling (based only on native competence) is that as and while are possible in all ten examples. There are nuances of meaning: as refers to either a point in time (example 5) or a period (example 8)...
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2 votes

Is it okay to say "Captains Carter and Marvel"?

I just chose two generic names and searched for Captains Smith and Jones. Plenty of examples. This is a perfectly normal construction, and can be extended to Messrs (pronounced messers, plural of ...
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5 votes

What's the meaning of 'couldn't make your car'?

"Couldn't make your car" = Couldn't decode your car as a police car. "To make" is American police code for making out or spotting that a plain-clothes officer is an undercover cop: ...
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  • 6,351
2 votes

Can confronting be used as an adjective?

In principle, it's "syntactically valid" to use confronting adjectivally, but idiomatically, we just don't do this. It's... ...the change needed ... can also be confrontational ...
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3 votes

Can confronting be used as an adjective?

A good test of whether a word is acceptable to use as an adjective is modification by degree modifiers like pretty, very, rather. There are some relatively recent examples to be found of confronting ...
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2 votes

What's the grammatical logic of emphatic phrases like "I do eat sushi"?

What's the grammatical logic of emphatic phrases like "I do eat sushi"? To understand this, we need to think about constructions. And we also need to think about the fact that languages like ...
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1 vote

Can confronting be used as an adjective?

Yes, it can be used in that way to mean 'challenging', 'difficult', or 'hard'. However, the context of use should help you determine whether to go with 'confronting' or use a more common synonym. In a ...
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1 vote

"The shadows born" is the use of "born" correct in this sentence?

As pointed out above, in order to use 'ellipsis' to reduce relative clauses we use the participle form - both past participle and present participle. e.g. Even Tom, who is considered to be an expert, ...
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4 votes
Accepted

"The shadows born" is the use of "born" correct in this sentence?

The shadows born is a perfectly good noun phrase (a little unusual with the adjective born following rather than preceding, but not unknown, especially in a title). It is not a full sentence, because ...
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0 votes

Are there rules against using a clitic in a sentence thats only followed by a verb?

Thank you for this interesting question. I recognised the word 'clitic' only because, I studied ancient Greek at school, where we had to learn about the fact that some words, especially some ...
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5 votes
Accepted

The reason was that...The reason was because

Merriam-Webster has a comprehensive article on this usage, in a usage note: 'The Reason Is Because': Redundant But Acceptable If 'because' can mean 'that,' why not say "the reason is because&...
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5 votes

What's the grammatical logic of emphatic phrases like "I do eat sushi"?

You can explain it using this theory. In an English sentence, there is always an AUX (auxiliary verb) element: S AUX V. In some common sentences, like "I eat sushi", the AUX is invisible ...
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5 votes

What's the grammatical logic of emphatic phrases like "I do eat sushi"?

This is an idiomatic turn of speech that has probably come about as an evolution from certain related usages. The following explanation is mine and seems quite plausible although details might have ...
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14 votes

What's the grammatical logic of emphatic phrases like "I do eat sushi"?

do has a strengthening, emphasizing function in these constructions. It can be understood as an auxiliary. From that perspective, the emphasis is rooted in the contrast to two constructions which ...
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14 votes

What's the grammatical logic of emphatic phrases like "I do eat sushi"?

Do is functioning as an auxiliary verb, like can or may, and it expresses something more for the clause that follows it, like emphasis (do) or modality (may) ("Auxiliary verb," Wikipedia). ...
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0 votes

Number of times vs total number of times

They very well may. Context is sort of key here. If I asked you, "What's the number of times you used the restroom?" there is a nuanced but appreciable difference than, "what's the ...
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0 votes

Is the definite article "the" needed in "from illness"?

The is anaphoric. Without the the noun becomes generic.
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1 vote

comma usage question: a New Yorker example

Yes, there is a rule. When a conjunction coordinates two conjuncts, then the author may make the second nonrestrictive by surrounding it (along with the preceding conjunction) with paired punctuation (...
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0 votes

Is the definite article "the" needed in "from illness"?

So according to Mr. Andrew Leach and Mr. Peter Shor in the comments, both sentences are grammatically correct. However, the word illness's meaning will slightly change depending on whether the article ...
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-1 votes

Can a prepositional phrase act as an indirect object?

This issue has been bothering me lately... sometimes teaching ESL really sucks... She gave the chemicals to the lab. She submitted the chemicals to the lab. She gave the lab the chemicals. She ...
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3 votes

Can I use the preposition "for" with the meaning of support or agreement in this sentence?

The sentence means The discovery is being resisted by many people because it involves exploiting fetal tissue. It's true that for can mean in favour of, but the interpretation 'resisted by people who ...
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4 votes

Why does "the blockchain" have a definite article?

Why does "the blockchain" have a definite article? Because the blockchain refers to the blockchain technology underpinning Bitcoin. Or simply, it specifically refers to the Bitcoin ...
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2 votes

If you know that all of something is true, is saying some of them is true, incorrect?

Statement 1: All dogs are animals / Statement 2: Some dogs are animals. We know that statement 1 is correct. But is statement 2 correct? No, it is not. You are trying to make "some" = "...
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0 votes

If you know that all of something is true, is saying some of them is true, incorrect?

This seems at first more a question of logic than English. If all your pens are blue, any subgroup of them is a group of blue pens. So both statements are true. However, logic is not enough. Your ...
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1 vote

Is the phrase "in despite of" instead of "in spite of" incorrect?

in despite of occurs more often in old texts, including Shakespeare. Here is an ngram graph comparing it to simple despite: Google Ngram in despite of, despite Here is another, comparing it to in ...
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-1 votes
Accepted

How/what others think of you

"How" is associated with manner, means, circumstances. How can he think if he has a headache? How can he think this is right if he knows there is an error in the reasoning? "What"...
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-1 votes

How do we ask about two couples?

"Are you guys a couple" ( When addressing only two people) "Are you guys couples" (when asking more than two people) I wouldn't go ahead with this, as it may confuse people. How ...
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-3 votes

How do we ask about two couples?

"Are you guys' couples" works. It implies that there are two couples no matter who is with whom.
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1 vote

Can "recall" be used in an imperative sense?

A different sense of 'recall" is often used in the imperative , the sense meaning "to call back". For example: Sergent, recall the patrol. That is clearly an imperative sentence, but ...
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0 votes

Is there an emerging construction "Have you do something?"

Your construction is correct. The tense which represents the case which you are looking for is present perfect. The reason it's not confused with the question of whether someone had completed their ...
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  • 171
0 votes

Does William Shakespeare use the double negative in the speech below to yield a different meaning, or is it just for emphasis? (Merchant of Venice)

I believe that the use was emphatic. Until the 1700s, the double negative was commonly used in English. In "As You Like It," for example, Celia complains, "I cannot go no further.&...
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1 vote

Until it stops or stopped? Reported speech question

If you are describing what happened in the past it would normally be better to say I told him to wait until the rain stopped. Hopefully "he" waited until the rain stopped and then did ...
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0 votes

Is there a grammatical term for 'extra information' in a sentence?

There is a term for this in law - "surplusage" = language contained in a pleading that is unnecessary or irrelevant. https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/surplusage
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1 vote
Accepted

Should "each" always be paired with a singular verb, even when a 'singular noun' and [each + partitive] are paired?

Both Tinkerbella and each member of the McGorkle family has chosen to spend their life eating chocolate, This is incorrect. Both, as a subject, governs a plural verb. "Tinkerbella and each ...
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0 votes

to have been vs. to be following past tense

Their meaning is essentially the same but I would use them in slightly different circumstances - which perhaps only an experienced native speaker might appreciate. Essentially, if it was the first ...
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6 votes
Accepted

Confused in the usage of "where" in a non-interrogative sentence

Your sentence is irreproachable. It would mean exactly the same if the relative where clause were at the end: Justice prevails where peace prevails. except for a difference in emphasis. It's like ...
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1 vote

Should "each" always be paired with a singular verb, even when a 'singular noun' and [each + partitive] are paired?

You have a compound subject consisting of two components: "Tinkerbella" and "each member of the McGorkle family". Because the components are connected by "and", the ...
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1 vote

Should "each" always be paired with a singular verb, even when a 'singular noun' and [each + partitive] are paired?

When you use "and" you made it a plural subject regardless of other considerations. Plural subjects take plural verbs. For instance, here, the first example is The critic and the author ...
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0 votes

Why is "strategies to cutting" correct in this sentence?

To/for cutting [the time short] is a dative complement of strategy. It acts adjectivally. The to/for in this context are more grammatical case markers than prepositions, thus they result in the same ...
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