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174

I am re­mind­ed of how J.R.R. Tol­kien’s moth­er once fa­mous­ly cor­rect­ed him at a very ear­ly age when he said ‘a green great drag­on’. She told him that it had to be ‘a great green drag­on’, but when he asked her why, she couldn’t an­swer, there­by start­ing him down the road of puz­zling over mat­ters lin­guis­tic and philo­log­ic his whole life long. ...


118

Short answer Yes, this argument does have a basis in linguistic fact, which is why some people do it in the first place, but that doesn't mean it must be correct in Standard English (and it isn't). Longer Answer This argument does hold water in the linguistic sense. "My wife and I" is, in fact, a phrase — a syntactic constituent. The fact that this ...


71

This isn't specific to colour. In English the vast majority of attributive adjectives precede the nouns they modify. In French the great majority come after the nouns, although there are quite a few common exceptions. English is a Germanic language, like German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, and Icelandic. French is a Romance language, like Spanish, ...


22

The order in which native English speakers generally use adjectives is called the Royal Order of Adjectives. The Royal Order of Adjectives is as follows. Determiners (e.g. the, this) Observations Size Shape Age Color Nationality Material Type For example, we could say Joyce Carol Oates is the [determiner] premier [observation] ...


20

Most native English speakers would find nothing strange about an “empty box of matches” or an “empty bottle of beer.” They would readily interpret these phrases as a “box [for] matches” or perhaps a “bottle [previously full] of beer.” If you pointed out that “empty matchbox” or “empty beer bottle” is preferable, a fluent English speaker might agree, or ...


15

It is grammatically correct. Some may feel it is logically incorrect, but this is mere sophistry. If a box was manufactured to hold matches, it is a matchbox, or box of matches, regardless of whether it holds 100, one, or none.


13

The European Union distinguishes between "Scottish Smoked Salmon" and "Smoked Scottish Salmon", the former indicating where the fish was smoked, and the latter indicating where the fish was caught/bred. The rule seems to be that the locative adjective directly precedes the noun or verb it refers to.


11

It has to do with the order of the adjectives. For example, consider this sentence: Happy nine men walk into a bar. Both nine and happy are adjectives, but we are really intending nine to describe the happy men, not happy describing the nine men. I don't know if there's a specific term for this, but certain adjectives, like numbers, get special ...


11

The question seems to be, how does a non-native speaker determine whether a given noun is a "role" or if it has some titular sense (so that it can be used "bare")? She became treasurer. [OK] She became student. [not OK] She became student of the month. [OK] She became doctor. [not OK] She became doctor to the king. [OK] It was gateway to the rose ...


9

One generally assumes that only constituents can be replaced by an indefinite pro-form and that only a constituent can be the antecedent for such a replacement. So since we can go from I want a big box of apples, but my sister wants only a small box of apples. to I want a big box of apples, but my sister wants only a small one. then "box of ...


8

I am married, I share things with my spouse for instance, a house. But there are some things we don't share. For example I have a small blue Fiat car while my spouse has a green Jaguar sports car. If I were to express this idea using the same construction as in the OP's question, I would obtain the following: My wife and I's car. My wife and I's ...


8

The technical term is a tubercle, though given the other meanings of that word it's not very poetic. A more aesthetically pleasing term is Cupid's Bow.


8

Short answer You could say either. However, it would perhaps be more natural to say a friend of John's, as the Original Poster suggests. The reason for this is that the speaker will probably want to mark the noun phrase as indefinite. Full answer Noun phrases in English come in two parts. For example, in the noun phrase a huge elephant, the first part is ...


7

Some of us is an indexical expression, which means that it picks out different people in different contexts. Sometimes it includes the speaker, sometimes it does not. Suppose the speaker is a member of a book club that is debating its next book. Suppose the speaker and two others want to read Moby Dick, but another three members don't. If the speaker utters:...


7

The phrase the literate is what is known as a fused Modifier-head noun phrase (fused Modifier-head NP, for short). This noun phrase has an elipted noun which, although missing, is understandable from the context. The head word in this noun phrase is the word literate. Althought is the Head of the noun phrase, it is also understood as a Modifier of the ...


6

'In person' refers to the entity experiencing the observed item, not the item itself. So 'in person' doesn't matter whether that item is a person, inanimate, or whatever. Use 'in person' since you expect (probably) that it is a person doing the experiencing.


6

Yes, the many faces is fine; so are the various faces, the few faces, the several faces, both the faces, etc. Your Freenode people are on the edge of wrong. See this Google Books search on “the many”, to discover the many sorts of the-many examples that exist out there. The many costs of racism The many faces of shame The many voices of The many ...


6

You cannot interpose an adjective between the nouns of a noun phrase. As the Collins Cobuild English Grammar states: When a noun group contains both an adjective and a noun modifier the adjective is placed in front of the noun modifier. In most cases the noun phrase will be correctly interpreted, but it is legitimate to be concerned about potential ...


6

I think the main problem with Additional nine features were added has to do with adjective order. As you pointed out, you can say nine additional features (because that's in the right order). *Additional nine features is in the wrong order and is therefore incorrect. Ordinarily, your friend would have a point: You generally can't use the indefinite article ...


6

Neither noun is the head. "A different [style and attitude]" contains the bracketed coordination of two nouns. Each element in a coordination is of equal status and hence coordination is said to be a non-headed construction. It contrasts with the non-coordinated "Each has a [different style]", where the noun "style" is head of the bracketed nominal and the ...


6

Worth is a member of a class of adjectives known as transitive adjectives: those that require or permit a complement. Such complements are often prepositional phrases (proud of, delighted with, successful at) or infinitives (eager/reluctant/important to do something). A very limited number of adjectives in this class take a noun phrase as a complement: ...


5

"All this 'You-Know-Who' nonsense" is a noun phrase and a type of parenthetical phrase called an interjection.


5

NOTE: Ignore this first bit and skip down to the EDIT section for the right answer. I misread the sentence on first (and second, and third) reading. The closest sentence with correct grammar (but not sense) that matches your own is: The program runs on whoever runs its computer. Because the object of the preposition on is not **whomever*, which is ...


5

The correct form is 'the whole of France'. But it is not the only correction one could make to the sentence. It should read: Sam applied these methods successfully at some sites in France and then they were extended to the whole of France by Nino.


5

The phrase "I wish for a rest now" could be interpreted to mean that at the present time (ie, "now") you are wishing for a rest (presumably beginning immediately, if not sooner), or it could be interpreted to mean that you have a wish that at the present time ("now") you were resting. The difference in the two meanings is certainly subtle, and, some would ...


5

Bare Coordination This phenomenon is one that is not at all well understood, and also one which is currently the subject of much academic research. It is an example of Bare Coordination. This is when coordinated noun phrases (NPs) which we would otherwise expect to take a determiner of some description appear "bare" with no determiner or article at all. By ...


5

The term three-in-one is a bit of a red herring. You’d need celebration to agree with the specified number of such celebrations. The tarpaulin was made for a 3-in-1 celebration (singular agreement). The tarpaulin was made for a 3-in-2 celebration (singular agreement). The tarpaulin was made for five 3-in-1 celebrations (plural agreement).


5

Interesting question :) I'd say this is an example of a fused relative (see e.g. CaGEL* p 1073); that is, what scares me is not a clause at all, but a noun phrase, where what is a fusion between the head function and the relativised element of a postmodifying relative clause. In this case it could be paraphrased either as that which scares me where that is ...


4

The reason compound words (i.e. two or more words that act as one word part of speech) are hyphenated is for this specific reason, which is to avoid confusing the reader. If it were written threat-analysis model There is no question that threat-analysis modifies model. If it were written threat analysis-model There would be no question that you are ...


4

I don't think fashionable photographer necessarily means fashion photographer. Fashionable photographer meant one that was popular and famous in-society and mostly took portrait photographs of people in-society. It was fashionable to have your photograph taken by people such as Cecil Beaton so they were themselves fashionable. In the same way you would have ...


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