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Questions tagged [syntax]

This tag is for questions regarding the rules for the formation of sentences.

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1answer
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Is it correct that we use “be” instead of “do” after “would”?

for example in the following sentence she can not do any useful thing. She wouldn’t be any help, would she? Is it true that we can not use "do" after "would"?
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1answer
36 views

Grammar of the Openings in Fairy Tales [duplicate]

Which is better in terms of grammar and why, I wonder? Once upon a time lived King and Queen... Once upon a time there lived King and Queen...
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1answer
16 views

to watch me play - what rules are here

Here is an excerpt from The Art of Learning: More and more fans came to my tournaments to watch me play and get autographs. My questions is should not it be: either More and more fans came to my ...
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2answers
47 views

Not repeating the negation for the second clause

On world building meta I came across this sentence: Now I truly believe that those that ask in this manner are not actually lazy and just expect us to do their work for them. How is this sentence ...
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2answers
26 views

Syntax of “There they all were, talking about homework and Quidditch and who knew what other rubbish”

Hermione ripped open the newspaper and began to read the report inside while Harry looked around the Great Hall. He could not understand why his fellow students were not looking scared or at least ...
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1answer
150 views

The meaning of the “at the of”

In the following article by The Telegraph: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/2387900/New-man-at-the-of-IMG.html I stumbled upon the following phrase (in the title of the article): "New man at the of ...
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1answer
15 views

Subject complement or prepositonal object

In this sentence: " This is an adventure to me" /an adventure to me/ is the subject complement. I'd like to know the function of " to me" . Is it a post modifier of " adventure"? Or is it a prep. ...
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1answer
24 views

What structure is that - “They are getting more and more applicants wanting to join them”

In this structure: "They are getting more and more applicants wanting to join them". What is that? Is it the participle? Is it the "get sb doing" clause?
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2answers
53 views

The grammar of “be buried”

What is the grammar of "be buried" in the following sentences?: The graves have all been found under the houses, right under the floors. And it may be this burial custom that explains why the ...
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1answer
50 views

The relation between direct and indirect speech

‘Mary, I want to take you out to dinner,’ he had lied, to break the frost. I would like to know what is the syntactic relation between the direct and indirect speech - whether there is any kind of ...
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1answer
157 views

What is name of structure Being + v3

I went to the hospital and I saw a patient being treated last night. What kind of sentence it is being treated in the above sentence.
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2answers
39 views

Have got usage question

Consider this: We have got to go back - Luke Skywalker in Star Wars V I don't think it is actually present perfect usage but certainly used like that syntactically. It is more like simple ...
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0answers
34 views

How can I formulate this sentences correctly?

How can I formulate this sentences correct? Singular We do have an employee which is call John Doe. We do have an employee which is called John Doe. Plural We do have employees, ...
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0answers
36 views

What sentence pattern is this?

I like living in the country. Is it Subject - Verb - Object - Adverbial of place OR Subject - Verb - Object - Postmodification of living realized by a prepositional phrase? Thanks.
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2answers
45 views

The grammar of “struck dumb, sprouting feelers” in this sentence

Harry was pointing the wand directly at Dudley's heart. Harry could feel fourteen years’ hatred of Dudley pounding in his veins—what wouldn't he give to strike now, to jinx Dudley so thoroughly he'd ...
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3answers
66 views

What clause element is this please?

When she got into the car at five, ready for the fifteen-mile drive across London, it wouldn't start. What does this stretch of language represent? Is it an adverbial?
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2answers
47 views

Can somebody explain the grammar of this sentence?

"Looking at the first and second stages of the process, there are three ways of collecting data." I saw this sentence in an IELTS diagram report but im not sure of the grammar. Do we have a reduced ...
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2answers
474 views

How to understand “…you like it the shape it is”

Fred and George looked at each other. Then Fred said abruptly, “I've told you before, Ron, keep your nose out if you like it the shape it is. Can't see why you would, but -” I don't know how to ...
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1answer
20 views

Structure of “need something back”

What is the structure of the following sentence? I need my history book back. What is the grammatical role of the word "back"?
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1answer
25 views

What is the grammatical role of the word “either” in the following sentence?

What is the grammatical role of "either" in the following sentence: Nevertheless, a goal is seldom destroyed by a delay, so don't destroy your positive attitude, either.
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2answers
35 views

Should grammar be tweaked to fit in a fixed phrasing?

Problem 1 The same can be applied with larger units in the article, be it sentences or paragraphs. Should the nouns after "be it" must be singular? Because the phrase is "it", then I guess they ...
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1answer
57 views

How to identify a matrix clause (a clause with an embedded subordinate clause)?

I am trying to understand matrix clauses. Today at the lecture, two sentences were discussed, of which one contains a matrix clause and one does not. I'm going to post them here: He knew ...
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3answers
44 views

Repetition of a proper noun in journalism

In a recent article about a youtuber named Felix Kjellberg (also known as Pewdiepie), I came across this sentence: In Kjellberg's most recent edition of Pew News, a semi-satirical series where ...
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2answers
47 views

“at least for” is considered under what syntactical feature? [closed]

It was love at first sight, at least for the wide-eyed young teen Elizabeth
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1answer
28 views

Do these three sentences have the same meaning?

"I didn't ask about this", "I didn't ask this question", "I didn't ask this" - do these three versions have the same meaning amd are correct in a situation when I want to say that it wasn't me who ...
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3answers
101 views

Any problem with 'Who did open the door?' Justify please

Anyone seeing any problem with: Who did open the door? vs. Who opened the door? Do both convey same message?
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2answers
32 views

When does the plural have to be used for words for numbers like “millions”?

For example, I understand in English I have to say 100 million persons. But the word "millions" also exist. In Spanish I would have to use the plural for million in the first sentence. Then when the ...
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1answer
20 views

Can I place a restrictive relative clause before a noun that it modifies?

Can I place a restrictive relative clause before a noun that it modifies? For example, can I re-write the following sentence This is an adverb that is usually emphasized by being placed at the ...
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1answer
64 views

Does using two synonyms together always assert the meaning of the word?

Does using two synonyms together always assert the meaning of the word? I come across this a lot while reading. The skin was like faded parchment with an arrangement of puckers and wrinkles ...
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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 ...
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1answer
88 views

Why can't we use “almost” and “quite” together? (My textbook says we can't)

I came to know that "almost" and "quite" are not used together. But I don't get the reason why these two words can't be together. In my textbook, it's written that quite and almost both are adverbs ...
2
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1answer
61 views

The Color Purple

Is 'the color purple' a syntactically sound sentence? Or would 'the purple color' be a more standard version. I'm basing this on the fact that adjective-noun order seems a more acceptable syntax.
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1answer
193 views

This is often vs This often is

Is it correct to write This often is done for something. rather than This is often done for something.
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1answer
31 views

“Buffeted in squealing protest”

THE STAINS OF RUST SEEMED TO MAP BLOOD SEAS ON THE BLACK, pocked surface of Mock's Vane. A century old, it squatted on the point of an old pike that had been bolted to the outer top of the Hold's wall....
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2answers
2k views

Why so many verbs in this sentence in the published book?

There is a bird on the lawn that I think must be a nightingale come over on the Cunard or White Star Line. (The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, emphasis added) Isn't it better to write "there ...
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1answer
73 views

What do native speakers think of when they are speaking? [closed]

I know this question might seem somehow ridiculous to you or silly. You may ask me why don't answer these questions by thinking of what you do in your native language. The thing is that I didn't want ...
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1answer
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The usage of the “the”

Which of the following is grammatically correct: "Other cell products may depend on concentrations of ... ?" "Other cell products may depend on the concentrations of ... ?" If both are, is there ...
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2answers
73 views

“According to information obtained by the website 'Syrian correspondent' that a meeting…”

According to information obtained by the website "Syrian correspondent" that a meeting chaired by the head of air force intelligence, Major General "Jameel al-Hassan" on Friday, July 27 and included ...
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1answer
54 views

the Victorians believed characteristic of Catholicism

The Swallow's persistent evocation of Egypt and its exotic and imaginative landscape is also central to his link with Catholicism. His psychic connection to the warm climes of the Middle East seem to ...
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2answers
115 views

Is Master Yoda's english correct?

In the Star Wars film franchise, Master Yoda has a very peculiar english syntax. For example, instead of saying: The mind of a child is truly wonderful. You will not look as good when you ...
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1answer
436 views

Is it grammatically incorrect to say “I speak a bit German”?

Do they all mean the same? I speak a bit German I speak a little bit of German I speak German a bit. I speak some German. I speak a little German. I have been told 1 is incorrect. I am trying to ...
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1answer
424 views

Can “too” be in the middle of the sentence?

I was told in the past, that "too" (=also) unlike "also", should be in the end of the sentence only ("I want too to go there." or "I too went there"). Today I read an article in which they put "too" ...
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1answer
89 views

What type of construction is “In came I. I. Chundrigar…” where a preposition “in” is placed before the verb “came”?

In the red-marked line i.e. In came I.I. Chundrigar, a Bombay barrister, to join the Mad Hatter's dance. See preposition "In" is placed before verb "came". What types of syntax is it and what is ...
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2answers
201 views

“Bring me the phone” instated of saying “Bring the phone to me”

What's more natural for the native English speakers ear? "Bring me the phone please" "Bring the phone to me please" My doubt with the first sentence (bring me...) which can sounds a little ...
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2answers
33 views

To solve a complex problem, there is always a simple way which everyone can understand

The sentence is: To solve a complex problem, there is always a simple way which everyone can understand. Do you think that this sentence is grammatically OK? Why I am asking it is because I would ...
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1answer
41 views

some money to use for poor people [closed]

I have some money in my bank account to use for poor people. That's my sentence. The part at the end (to use for poor people) is intended to refer back to "some money". The intended meaning is: ...
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4answers
2k views

What is difference between “be known as” and “be known to”?

What is difference between "be known as" and "be known to"? I think the meanings are same. is there any difference in usage or syntax..?
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1answer
67 views

My English professors' opinions about infinitive clauses(to do smt..)

My English teachers(Canadian and British) said: "We usually use infinitive clauses in order to define nouns, however, it doesn't mean that they can never be separated from each other. ...
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0answers
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Some opportunities to get a better education exist

My English teachers said that changing the position of an infinitive may not change anything. Example, Some opportunities to get a better education exist. Some opportunities exist to get a better ...
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3answers
46 views

omitting “ourselves”

This sentence is from TOEFL. We all tended to take these places for granted, but I do not know what we would have done to entertain ourselves without them. (for the context, these places refers ...