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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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33 votes
6 answers
16k 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 ...
Tom's user avatar
  • 24.4k
22 votes
6 answers
9k 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 ...
Maulik V's user avatar
  • 66.2k
18 votes
5 answers
67k 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 ...
Virtuous Legend's user avatar
18 votes
7 answers
41k 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".
Virtuous Legend's user avatar
18 votes
5 answers
4k 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 ...
Jay A. Little's user avatar
14 votes
4 answers
11k 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'...
August's user avatar
  • 1,411
13 votes
9 answers
4k views

Is the word "here" unnecessary in this sentence: "Hi, Bob the Canadian here"?

The following is the first sentence from a native speaker's video on Youtube about leaning English. He says: "Hi, Bob the Canadian here, let's learn English at the grocery store." He is ...
Yunus's user avatar
  • 7,561
13 votes
5 answers
4k views

Why do commit title sentences start with an infinitive without to?

I am a developer and I am not native English speaker. When I see commits I can't understand why titles for them start with infinitive without to. For example from Spring commits Add missing runtime ...
A9FB987FEC983024D87B987ABE8FF8's user avatar
12 votes
2 answers
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 ...
JoZ's user avatar
  • 379
12 votes
1 answer
2k views

What does this sentence on BBC means: ""All baa myself: Is this Britain's loneliest sheep?"

All baa myself: Is this Britain's loneliest sheep? BBC - Britain's loneliest sheep What does "All baa myself" mean? I couldn't quite understand it.
Yunus's user avatar
  • 7,561
11 votes
4 answers
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, ...
A-friend's user avatar
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11 votes
7 answers
3k 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 ...
A-friend's user avatar
  • 14.3k
11 votes
4 answers
14k 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 ...
M.A.R.'s user avatar
  • 7,351
11 votes
1 answer
3k views

"Oh, cough on me, why don't you?": Does this sentence mean the person is angry or is making a suggestion to do it more?

This is from an interview with a celebrity at her home when she is actually spending time with family. 73 questions with Kim (see:1:46-1:55) At one point, where she is with her children and talking to ...
Yunus's user avatar
  • 7,561
11 votes
3 answers
2k views

"Enter string theory to rectify the problem." Where is the subject of the sentence?

The standard model, however, failed to explain gravity. Enter string theory to rectify the problem. (From an ACT test) As the bold sentence above, it throws me off when I see a verb lead a sentence: ...
HypnoticBuggyWraithVirileBevy's user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
533 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 ...
Jasmine Kuo's user avatar
  • 1,463
10 votes
5 answers
3k views

Can "too" occur in a negative sentence? "That effort too came to nothing"

The following sentence is from the BBC web site Trapped That effort too came to nothing. We were taught in English classes that too can be used in positive sentences, and either in negative sentences. ...
Yunus's user avatar
  • 7,561
10 votes
8 answers
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?
user41869's user avatar
  • 101
10 votes
5 answers
11k 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 ...
Rucheer M's user avatar
  • 3,840
9 votes
2 answers
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 ...
Alejandro Veltri's user avatar
9 votes
3 answers
3k views

"I don't like it when it is rainy." VS "I don't like it raining."

I hear this structure quite often: "I don't like it when it is rainy." But, I find it too wordy and somewhat difficult for us non-native speakers. So, instead, I wonder if can simply say: &...
Yunus's user avatar
  • 7,561
9 votes
3 answers
3k views

Girl found alive in France murders car, say what?

An answer introduced me to the concept of crash blossoms. In the linked examples there is one I cannot process: Girl found alive in France murders car —BBC News, September 2012 The explanation ...
WoJ's user avatar
  • 805
9 votes
1 answer
435 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?
박용현's user avatar
  • 3,329
8 votes
6 answers
5k views

When can we skip 'if'?

I was walking on the web and came across this question: What do you say we get out of here? It's seems to me a tad slangy. I don't quite follow the structure of this sentence. It's like something is ...
Eva's user avatar
  • 193
8 votes
2 answers
5k 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 ...
Marah's user avatar
  • 305
8 votes
4 answers
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?
Cardinal's user avatar
  • 6,015
8 votes
3 answers
2k views

"This kind of particles" or "These kind of particles"

I want to start a sentence with "This kind of particles" but I'm not sure whether this expression is correct. There is only one kind (silicate) of particles that I'm talking about, but there ...
Soller's user avatar
  • 81
8 votes
6 answers
3k views

"....in 10 days" or ".....after 10 days."

The text is from BBC web site: "....Under the measures, Austrians will be asked to work from home, non-essential shops will close, and schools will remain open for children who require face-to-...
Yunus's user avatar
  • 7,561
8 votes
3 answers
19k 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?
user70587's user avatar
8 votes
5 answers
667 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 ...
Maulik V's user avatar
  • 66.2k
8 votes
2 answers
57k 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 ...
Maulik V's user avatar
  • 66.2k
7 votes
2 answers
115k 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.
Anoracx's user avatar
  • 189
7 votes
3 answers
6k views

The subject of an interrogative sentence

What is unusual about Angkor Wat? What is the real subject of this sentence?
yethu's user avatar
  • 849
7 votes
2 answers
7k 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 ...
Chinmay235's user avatar
7 votes
4 answers
725 views

How does the sentence 'Who did Tom say saw him?' work?

I understand the meaning but not the sentence formation/syntax. In my mother tongue this would make no sense. I would rather say: Who according to Tom saw him? Perhaps the following will help to ...
kyadere's user avatar
  • 156
7 votes
4 answers
2k 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] = ...
Færd's user avatar
  • 1,980
7 votes
2 answers
26k 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? ...
Steve Kim's user avatar
  • 359
7 votes
1 answer
336 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".
daniel.sedlacek's user avatar
6 votes
6 answers
13k 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, ...
user avatar
6 votes
4 answers
2k views

Is this structure idiomatic: "I seem to remember...." to mean you only remember a little

"I seem to remember that the park adjacent to my school was humongous." This is a sentence of a native speaker when he was talking about how things have changed compared to when he was ...
Yunus's user avatar
  • 7,561
6 votes
2 answers
1k views

Questioning with how in the middle of sentence

Which of the sentences below are correct? And I know Congress has been engaged with some of these companies to look at how can you get more revenue back into local news. And I know Congress has been ...
User122's user avatar
  • 135
6 votes
3 answers
3k 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 ...
Soha Farhin Pine's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
354 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 ...
MonKong's user avatar
  • 115
6 votes
2 answers
534 views

"He asked me to use my bathroom."

He asked me to use my bathroom. In this sentence I thought someone want to use my bathroom and ask for permission. I mean the act will be committed by “he”. He asked me to take his sister to school. ...
Foreign student's user avatar
6 votes
4 answers
883 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 ...
A-friend's user avatar
  • 14.3k
6 votes
2 answers
1k views

The sentence structure "it is because of... that..."

I read the following sentence: Indeed, it was precisely because of its futuristic storyline that Star Trek was able to address many of the contemporary social problems that other programs shunned. I ...
HypnoticBuggyWraithVirileBevy's user avatar
6 votes
4 answers
2k views

If "to get married" is passive, what would be the active form of this: "She got married by the priest."

"To get married" has the structure of a passive sentence, but it also is being used as an active verb (e.g I got married last year). Now, look at this sentence: The passive sentence: "...
Yunus's user avatar
  • 7,561
6 votes
2 answers
13k 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 ...
Michael George's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
640 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 ...
user avatar
6 votes
4 answers
30k 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 ...
user4084's user avatar
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