Questions tagged [sentence-structure]

A complete sentence contains at least a subject and a verb, with all of the words being used in the sentence arranged in such a way that they express a complete thought.

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11answers
14k views

Explain why “Who is she playing the piano?” is incorrect

A teacher asked me this question and I am having a hard time finding a simple way to explain it for her to share with her students. I`m looking for the easiest way to explain it to her because she ...
30
votes
6answers
14k views

“I often buy fruits when I go to the supermarket” – illogical?

I am an English assistant and I often hear my non-native students say: I often buy fruits when I go to the supermarket. I think it is wrong logically because "go" means "to move or travel from ...
22
votes
6answers
6k views

One of my friend's OR friends' wife? (My friend has only one wife)

Anita is Neil's wife. Neil is one of my friends. Now, how do I refer to Anita? Think that I'm telling someone who does not know the couple. One of my friend's wife OR One of my friends' wife ...
18
votes
5answers
3k views

Grammar behind “Whatever what is is is what I want.”

Here is the poem: Prayer, by Galway Kinnell Whatever happens. Whatever what is is is what I want. Only that. But that. I came across this poem as an interesting example of English grammar ...
15
votes
5answers
30k views

“How is this called” vs “What is this called”?

Which of the following is more suitable as a title for a picture with an arrow toward a part of the body's anatomy? How is this called? What is this called? I need this for a picture of a ...
14
votes
4answers
10k views

Why can't we say “**What job** are you?” instead of “What is your job?” to ask one's job?

We can add something to "what" to specify what we are asking, for example "What color is the flower?". But I am wondering why we can't say "What job are you?" instead of "What is your job?" to ask one'...
13
votes
3answers
11k views

Which is the correct English out of the following sentences. I gave her your number. or I gave your number to her

Which is the correct English out of the following sentences? I gave her your number. I gave your number to her. Please explain me the better ways to form the above sentence.
12
votes
7answers
19k views

English native speaker vs. Native English speaker

Which of the following options is the correct or the acceptable? "He is an English native speaker" or "He is a native English speaker".
12
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2answers
2k views

How to reinterpret this complex sentence that starts with “A person who agrees to serve as a mediator…”?

A person who agrees to serve as a mediator between two warring factions at the request of both abandons by so agreeing the right to take sides later. Does this sentence mean: A person who ...
11
votes
2answers
500 views

He got a vote 80% that of Emmanuel Macron’s

I was reading The Economist and found this sentence whose grammar I'm not familiar with. Indeed, in the first round he got a vote 80% that of Emmanuel Macron’s. I was wondering how that of works ...
11
votes
5answers
4k views

'At the battle' or 'in the battle'? Why? [duplicate]

Here is a source in which I read the following para: That made her the 40th monarch in a royal line that traces its origin back to Norman King William the Conqueror who claimed the throne in 1066 ...
10
votes
4answers
5k views

When you're having a cat nap and a bad car accident happens

Imagine yourself in a road where the driver is your friend and your are sitting in assistant seat. You feel a bit tired and are catching some Z's. Suddenly a car accident happens and you notice it, ...
10
votes
7answers
2k views

When you want to ask someone to maintain their class

Please imagine that you take a friend (a guy) to meet a group of your friends at a party. The group and the guy are have never met one another and know nothing about one another. The guy starts ...
10
votes
4answers
5k views

Can “Wow!” be a sentence?

The question is clear. Can "Wow!" be a sentence? Imagine a hypothetical context where I'd utter something like this: Wow! What an amazing idea! I should think about a way to push this fix. We see ...
10
votes
8answers
2k views

Which word does the adverb 'usually' modify in 'In stories the witch is usually a homely woman'?

In the sentence In stories the witch is usually a homely woman which word does the adverb usually modify?
9
votes
2answers
2k views

Meaning: “Angular is what HTML **would have been had it been** designed for applications”

I was reading the Angular.js documentation when I saw this: Angular is what HTML would have been had it been designed for applications. I've never seen a construction like this and I can't get ...
9
votes
5answers
567 views

Is 'after 20 years sober' correct in 'In 2006, after 20 years sober, he checked himself into rehab for alcoholism'?

The piece of news from the Huffington Post reads... In 2006, after 20 years sober, he checked himself into rehab for alcoholism. He opened up about his struggles with addiction to alcohol and ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

Which of the revisions of “Yesterday I went to the wedding of a daughter of my husband's brother.” is grammatically correct?

My friend asked me to rephrase this sentence. Yesterday I went to the wedding of a daughter of my husband's brother. I came up with these: a.) Yesterday I went to my husband's brother's ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the meaning of “The next day, Wednesday, saw Robert become more frustrated”?

Consider the below sentence (source) The next day, Wednesday, saw Robert become more frustrated. I can understand the structure of the sentence. I guess it is a kind of deletion. Am I right?
8
votes
3answers
5k views

The subject of an interrogative sentence

What is unusual about Angkor Wat? What is the real subject of this sentence?
8
votes
4answers
1k views

“Some things are better left unsaid.” — What are the grammatical functions of 'better', 'left' and 'unsaid'?

Some things are better left unsaid. This is the way I understand the sentence: [Some [things]] = subject [better] = predicative complement [left [unsaid]] = predicative adjunct 1 [unsaid] = ...
8
votes
1answer
157 views

Should an infinitive be treated as a subject or object?

Should an infinitive be treated as a subject or object? For example, in 'I want to know it', is the 'to know' subjective or objective?
7
votes
2answers
62k views

What did you say / said?

What is the correct sentence : What did you say? or What did you said? The second sentence seems correct, but I am not certain.
7
votes
3answers
4k views

“Should I” or “I should”?

Should I give it to you or I should keep it with myself? Should I give it to you or should I keep it with myself? Which one is correct? Or which one is better?
7
votes
2answers
5k views

Explain the verb tense in “All that glitters is not gold”

I am confused by the maxim All that glitters is not gold. May I know why the word is is used there? In my known according the English grammar glitters is plural, So after plural we add verb+s. As ...
7
votes
2answers
11k views

Have you been drinking? vs Have you drunk?

What's the difference? One day, I returned from dinner with my coworkers. Before I came home, I drank several beers. When I entered the living room, my wife asked me: Have you been drinking? ...
7
votes
2answers
175 views

What does this phrase mean: “the way writing does for me”?

"You know," I ventured, "when I saw you perform, I got the feeling that singing lets you jump over the fences of your life the way writing does for me." Please notice the end of that sentence. How ...
7
votes
1answer
254 views

Inverted word order in question like sub-sentence

What is the name of a structure that usually contains "how" or "what" and inverted word order but is not a question? Example: "Our goal is to investigate until we know how it was done".
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Can there be a “handwritten paper”?

Yesterday, someone slipped this sloppily handwritten scrap of paper under my door. which (without the adverbs and fancy adjectives) essentially conveys this idea: Someone gave me a handwritten ...
6
votes
3answers
326 views

Which two clauses should be compounded in this sentence?

He asked a lot of questions which were none of his business and generally managed to annoy everybody. Which one is right, and why ? I'm an English learner and it's refer from a book. It's just ...
6
votes
4answers
816 views

Using “nakedly” instead of “with nothing on”

I need to know whether it is possible to substitute the following bold part with the adveb "nakedly" in a manner that it doesn't change the meaning and doesn't make it ambiguous: She went to ...
6
votes
1answer
602 views

How to parse “As for the philosophical content explicitly picks over in the film’s dialogue”?

I can't parse the first clause of this sentence. As for the philosophical content explicitly picks over in the film’s dialogue, it’s something for the viewer to digest, but it all seems a little ...
6
votes
2answers
3k views

Should I write “If…, I would” or “If…, I will”?

If there's a situation where I can speak either English or Arabic, I would choose English. I know that I can break this sentence down to smaller and simpler sentences like "In some situations, I have ...
6
votes
4answers
10k views

Using “Had Born” in English sentences

Can I Use “Had Born” in English sentence to express past perfect i.e. past of past? 1) He had born when I reached to the Hospital. 2) This is where I had born. 3) Your father came to hospital ...
6
votes
2answers
26k views

100 USD/US$ Over USD/US$ 100

Whilst it's too common in my (and other languages?) to speak (and at times even to write) my currency with construction number + currency name; now, is it, by any means, possible to write/speak that ...
6
votes
3answers
662 views

“Yes” in the middle of the sentence

Here follows a passage from Jeffery Deaver's Copycat short story: "Relax, Wallace. Investigations take time. Sit back, take your jacket off. Enjoy our wonderful coffee." Wallace glanced at the ...
6
votes
1answer
552 views

What do these sentences mean?

They criticized my plans to become a musician. Does this sentence mean the same as They criticized my plans about becoming a musician.? Or, does the sentence mean that they want to become a musician?...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

Do you have a suggestion ( as to ) which book I should buy?

I am confused sometimes if I should add " about/ as to" before wh words, sometimes not. Which one do you think correct is? Do you have a suggestion about/ as to which book I should buy ? Do ...
6
votes
2answers
108 views

Adjective + Pronoun - what kind of sentence structure is that?

I was teaching English to my daughter and stuck up with this structure. Adjective + pronoun Say, Poor him! She said that there is no preposition between the adjective and pronoun like 'Shame ...
6
votes
4answers
243 views

What is the sentence structure of the sentence?

At that time I had a much-petted, much-abused doll, which I afterward named Nancy. She was, alas, the helpless victim of my outbursts of temper and of affection, so that she became much the worse ...
5
votes
6answers
6k views

Alternative ways of saying “…, right?”

What are some alternative ways of confirming a point, situation, etc. apart from saying “…, right?” at the end of a sentence to make it a question? (e.g. You are going tomorrow on the 11:30 flight, ...
5
votes
2answers
976 views

Could you please tell me if the second she in this sentence sounds natural or redundant? [closed]

Could you please explain to me if the second she in this sentence sounds natural or redundant and the reason behind your answer: She gets a sparkle in her eyes when she looks at you.
5
votes
5answers
545 views

“Vague to convey my meaning” or “too vague to convey my meaning”

I wrote: It seems my words were too vague to convey my meaning. What if I write it as: It seems my words were vague to convey my meaning. Is it yet correct? What's their difference?
5
votes
4answers
1k views

Your bread will be buttered on both sides

Imagine a person who's been looking for a better hierarchical position in the organization where he works in order to obtain more salary! The day comes and he achieves his favorite position! His ...
5
votes
3answers
31k views

“I invite you for / to coffee” is correct?

If I'm inviting a person to drink coffe with me, then can I say "I invite you for / to coffe" or should I add a noun or a verb such as "I invite you for drinking coffee" / "I invite you to drink ...
5
votes
3answers
237 views

How does the word “screaming” modify the verb phrase “come out”?

I cannot see a certain syntactic structure of the sentence: "The parents come out barefoot and screaming, ready to buy ice-cream." How does the word "screaming" modify the verb phrase "come out"(...
5
votes
2answers
74 views

Using how in a list of points

How should I structure the clauses of the list of point in such a sentence: A system requires at least two kinds of information: i) how is A related to B; ii) how is C related to D. For example, is ...
5
votes
1answer
6k views

Does “how weight is it” equal to “What weight is it”?

Does "how weight is it" equal to "What weight is it"? When I want to ask about something (e.g. egg) what is its weight, I have other options such as: "How weight is it" "What weight is it" ...
5
votes
1answer
3k views

How to give my telephone number?

Some one asked me for my telephone number, but I am confused about what the correct response should be: You can call me at XXX or You can reach me at XXX. Can anyone explain the difference ...
4
votes
5answers
1k views

'A decapitated head' from the Huffington Post sounds strange to me

The headlines on the Huffington Post reads Grandfather Of Australian Boy Pictured Holding 'DECAPITATED' Head In Syria Tells Of Shock Decapitated? It's used as an adjective here. That seems strange ...