171

When the adverb really comes before a negated auxiliary, the effect is of emphasising the truth of the sentence: I really cannot tell the difference. Here the speaker is emphasising that they honestly are unable to detect any difference. However, when really comes after the negated auxiliary, the effect is usually quite different. Instead of making the ...


166

It’s something else. I might not agree with Trump, but he is not incoherent or committing grammatical errors. When a person speaks extemporaneously or “off the cuff”, unless they are well trained in the art of public speaking, this example is a typical result. What you are seeing is mostly the three common forms of self-interruption: parenthesis, ...


92

There's a nursery rhyme that starts like this: This is the house that Jack built. This is the cheese that lay in the house that Jack built. This is the rat that ate the cheese That lay in the house that Jack built. This is the cat that chased the rat That ate the cheese that lay in the house that Jack built. This is the dog that worried the cat That ...


87

The sentence is clearly concocted to show the practical limits in the depth to which our natural ability to parse sentences applies recursively. (That one was not quite as bad.) Language allows sentences to be modified by adding some auxiliary phrases, or replacing some part by a more elaborate construct playing the same role in the context, and it would be ...


86

a. I love you and your bananas. b. I love you and you're bananas. This particular case depends on the your/you're coming after an independent clause followed by "and," since its feasibility depends on functioning either as a second direct object or as another independent clause. It also depends on the noun serving either as a thing that someone ...


75

I would have no theoretical (as opposed to practical) problem with this sentence: The woman [that] the man [that] the girl loved had met [last week] died [earlier today]. But to me a crucial break in coherence occurs in the sentence The woman the man the girl loved met died. because here the author tries to make met stand in for had met, forcing ...


73

Of boughten the OED writes: boughten, ppl. a. [irreg. f. bought ppl. a. by assimilation to foughten] = bought ppl. a. used poet. for the sake of metre, otherwise only dial. and in U.S. in application to purchased as opposed to home-made articles. Under the OED’s entry for buy, in the section on that verb’s inflections and their historical spellings, at ...


64

The particular sentence is a poor attempt at making an example of a sentence that is both grammatical but very difficult to process because of the multiple center embedding. Spelled out the sentence is supposed to mean: Women (that men (that girls love) meet) die" or "Some girls love some men. Those men met some women. Those women died". To make ...


59

Your friend is wrong: the sentence is grammatically completely correct with the meaning you intended. There is no rule that requires the prepositional phrase "in my underpants" to modify the immediately preceding noun phrase "vegan cheese." Not even a "technical" one. It sounds like the kind of pseudo-rule that would be invented by someone under the ...


57

Sounds like you are not seeing the way the sentence breaks into phrases. Think about it like this: He that breaks a thing / to find out what it is / has left the path of wisdom. Loosely, it means: "If you break something in order to fully understand it, you are a fool."


49

tl;dr: The part of speech of mountains is here a noun. It’s the direct object of the verb climbing. How we know that climbing is a verb, though, is more work. That’s because it might instead be a noun or an adjective. It’s a verb as just mentioned, but let’s look at all three cases just to make sure. We’ll assume that for parts of speech, your possible ...


42

Verbal diarrhea ought to be the technical term. I don't like using the Urban Dictionary as a reference, but in this case, I think it is right. A condition suffered by an individual who has the inablility to shut the f--k up, i.e the words keep flowing


41

That's exactly what it means. The desires and plans of evil people ("evil will;" "will" in this case being the noun relating to intent and desire) often ("oft") ruin ("mar") the cause of evil. That is, the phrase says that evil people are selfish, petty, and short-sighted, and that this quality in evil individuals often impairs the grander world-embracing ...


41

Forgive me if there's some subtlety of grammar that I've missed, but I believe the following sentence works: I know your fine. I am aware of the amount of money that you have been fined. Alternatively: I know you're fine. I am aware that you are doing alright. In my opinion, both sentences would work better with a "that" inserted before your/you're, ...


41

I think the meaning of 'use' had set you on the wrong track, plus an assumption that English always was as it is now. The meaning of 'use' here (all definitions from OED) is not the sense of 'To put to practical or effective use; to make use of, employ, esp. habitually.' nor 'To observe, practise, or engage in.' but IV. To accustom; to be ...


40

There's an old joke that goes like "A man walks into a psychiatrist's office. He's completely naked except that he's wrapped himself in Saran wrap. The psychiatrist takes one look at him and says 'well, I can clearly see your/you're nuts'."


35

The answer to the question “Why is dark an adverb in this sentence?” is that it is not one; that source is wrong. That’s because dark cannot ever be an adverb, let alone here. It’s just that color-words can behave somewhat curiously. We have various related questions about this curiosity, including this one. John Lawler’s suspicion about color words having ...


34

If you delete the most of all and rewrite it as a bulletted list, the problem becomes clear: We hope you will find our Qualifications to be: well-organized concise to exceed your expectations Your sentence treats well-organized, concise and to exceed your expectations as being in the same grammatical category. well-organized and concise ...


32

You do not want to end your sentence with for because you read "somewhere" that is improper. I will give you a place to read the opposite: There is nothing wrong with ending a sentence with for. This should solve your problem. On a general note: beware of any and all (restrictive) grammar and style advises that have accumulated over the years and that ...


31

"Making sure we are on the same page." would be even better than the options you mentioned. Although I don't think your suggestions would be misunderstood, what I have suggested is a more common way of saying it. See below. Reference


27

Your right to believe what you want is important. vs You're right to believe what you want is important.


27

In short: The supervisor's edit is ungrammatical because it uses two Determiners within the same immediate noun phrase. As shown below, this is ungrammatical in modern English: *the my car The full story: the slimy dinosaurs Noun phrases come in two chunks. They have a Determiner and a Head. In (1) above, the Determiner is the word the, and the Head is ...


25

This "Member FDIC" is simply the shortest way allowable by law for a banking institution to indicate its affiliation with that organization. According to the relevant regulation: 328.3(1) Optional short title and symbol. The short title "Member of FDIC" or "Member FDIC," or a reproduction of the symbol of the Corporation (as described in § 328.1(b)), ...


25

Ultimately the word "really" means the same in both cases, of adding strength or emphasis. If we swap "really" for "definitely" this becomes more clear: The first one is like "It definitely doesn't matter" (I am sure that it doesn't: certainty) and the second is like "It does not definitely matter" (I am not sure that it does: uncertainty)


23

I was gonna just make this a comment but I had too much to say, because this less pedantry and more "being obnoxious". "I technically said that the vegan cheese was in my underpants..." Have him point you to the place in the technical manual where it says that a prepositional phrase must always modify the thing it follows. What if you had left out "at ...


22

"I know your trouble." = "I understand the trouble you have." "I know you're trouble." = "I know that you are going to be a trouble (for me/us)."


22

The phrase English language and usage is an example of the syntactic phenomenon called Conjunction Reduction, which omits repeated lexical material in conjoined clauses. Thus, English language and usage is a reduction, by rule, of English language and English usage This is an ordinary kind of conjunction reduction; English need not be repeated. Note, ...


21

1.) He died a broken man. 2.) He died as a broken man. * Both are fine, are grammatical, and are standard English usage. In your two examples, the expressions "a broken man" are predicative and are functioning as predicative complements (PC). Here are some related examples: CGEL, page 261, [25]: He died young. The "young" in that example has a ...


21

These are six words that have been carefully selected to match grammatical rules while being incomprehensible to a human being. They are a puzzle that can be solved (as some of the answers show). Grammatical rules should reflect the reality of the language. The reality of the English language is that if the complexity of a sentence is too high, it cannot ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible