Questions tagged [syntax]

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

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Which one of the following sentences is syntactically correct?

I have 2 sentences and I can't decide which one is syntactically correct: "If you want to leave a comment all exam participants will see, click here" "If you want to leave a comment for ...
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Which is correct: “A that involves neither X, Y nor Z” or “A that does neither involve X, Y nor Z” or both?

I wonder which is correct in the standard varities of English: "A problem that involves neither you, (nor) me, nor him" or "A problem that does neither involve you, (nor) me, nor him&...
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1answer
1k views

“Her this behavior” vs “this behavior of her”

Suppose a girl did something wrong that showed us her real face. Now if I want to say that I don't like her behavior, how do I say? I don't like her this behavior I don't like this behavior of her. ...
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33 views

What could speaker mean by asking “Oh, it is, is it?”

I found this in English syntax textbook. What could speaker mean by using "is it" instead of "isn't" The whole example goes like this: My advice to you is to wait. Unfortunately, ...
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18 views

Adverb inversion with an adjective

It is designed especially for dogs. Can 'for' qualify 'especially,' but not 'designed'? That is, can the preposition phrase modifies adverb in this case? Thank you in advance.
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the right way of connecting the if-clause with other clauses

What's the right way of connecting the if-clause with other clauses in a complex sentence? Should I just use a comma?: If there are still some issues that haven’t not been dealt with over one month, ...
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45 views

Is “The Department of Culture and Sports” the subject of this sentence?

My friend and I have recently got a lingering debate on defining the subject of a contracted clause below: The Department of Culture and Sports called on male civil servants at the department to wear ...
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1answer
27 views

Grammar: as vs like

I'm an English learer. I have a little question. Is it correct to say that sometimes the words "as" and "like" have the same meaning in the colloquial English? Instead of saying &...
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1answer
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“X rode Y to school” - is this grammatically correct?

This question is based on https://www.learncbse.in/ncert-solutions-for-class-2-english-chapter-2. To summarize, Haldi is a girl who got lift from Smiley (a giraffe) to her school. Now, is the ...
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2answers
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Why “He was made to pay” and not “he was made pay”?

I understand that after the verb MAKE, the verb that follows should be written without TO, Example: "They made him pay all the money" however, why it sound so correct to me: "He was ...
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71 views

Doubt in Subject verb agreement

I have a doubt in the following question: Shakespeare is one of the greatest dramatists that ____ ever lived. I want to know what will complete the sentence.
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1answer
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Do Relative pronouns and Relative Adverbs have the same function in a sentence?

Consider the following sentences: This is the house that Jack built. This is the place where he was assaulted. In the above sentences, why is "that" in 1 a relative pronoun and "where&...
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“take himself on out of the agent’s office at a rapid hike”

This line from Stephen King's 1408 reads like it is fraught with grammar issues and non-idiomatic usages. While Mike was still in the hospital, a man named Olin—the manager of the goddamned hotel, if ...
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Taking this point into account/ taking into account this point

I have read in many dictionaries that taking something into account is the rule for constructing expressions that contain this one. However, in some cases I have seen that taking into account ...
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1answer
20 views

How to use multiple Modals?

Yesterday I was reading an article and I came across a sentence with two modals and I have never seen two modals together. The military might can curb the terrorist group. Can anybody explain how to ...
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38 views

How can adjective be a object of preposition?

A student asked the teacher. "How can adjective be a object of preposition? Such as 'for sure', 'in general'." The three teachers' answers to this are as follows. teacher A: "You can ...
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2answers
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What composes the parallel structure with 'measured' in the sentence?

Is it valued or set? I have read again and again, but I am not sure either of them is better than the other. Does the comma(,) preceding or function as a guide? This is particularly true for people ...
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1answer
80 views

Should there be a conjunction in “There are two bowls, each one obviously designed for a dog.”?

Is this sentence grammatical? There are two bowls, each one obviously designed for a dog. Since I don't see a conjunction between two clauses, it looks like a run-on sentence to me. Maybe you can ...
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4answers
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“as would a calm dog whose yard…”

I'm reading the novel "The Circle" these days. However, there is a sentence making me curious. "When she opened her eyes she saw a harbor seal, twenty feet in front of her, staring at ...
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29 views

Hesitate to do hesitate about doing

Is there any difference in meaning between these two sentences? She hesitated to accept the job Or She hesitated about accepting the job. In Merriam Webster's Dictionary the word hesitate has two ...
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3answers
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“He alleges another £1m had gone on material purchases based on projections of Arcadia orders he was told were coming down the line.”

He alleges another £1m had gone on material purchases based on projections of Arcadia orders he was told were coming down the line. This sentence look like a simple sentence. But here uses, more than ...
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Is it okay to start a sentence or a clause with “a few times”?

Is it okay to start a sentence or a clause with "a few times" or should I rather move it to the end of it? For example should I say: A few times I had her stand at the wall, but she never took ...
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1answer
21 views

Either look or looking

Is the following sentence wrong? He had lost a ring in the sand and I help him search for it but it was like a look for a needle in a haystack. To me it sounds very awkward, though "look" means "...
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Is “they had already ten children” wrong?

The following example is from the Longman Dictionary of Common Errors. It marks the first as wrong and the latter two as correct. ✗ They had already ten children and didn't want any more. ✔ ...
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21 views

Is this a subjective complement or an adverbial clause of comparison?

He is as clever as I am. Is 'As clever as I am' an adverbial clause of comparison functioning as an adverbial adjunct, or is it the subjective complement to the verb 'is'? If the last case is true, ...
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62 views

Does “comprehend” mean “understand” or “include” in this long sentence?

I really couldn't decide on the meaning of "comprehend" in this sentence. Does it mean "understand" or "include/comprise/encompass", or something else? Could anyone help please? Many thanks. He ...
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1answer
77 views

Subject-operator inversion

If a sentence begins with a negative or semi-negative word / phrase, it causes subject-operator inversion : "In no other way can the matter be explained." "Hardly had I seen Sam when he ...
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1answer
41 views

Does “something is denied to me” basically equals “something is denied me” in this sentence?

“I wish I could say anything to comfort you,” replied Elizabeth, “but it is wholly out of my power. You must feel it, and the usual satisfaction of preaching patience to a sufferer is denied me, ...
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166 views

Dozen, hundred, thousand vs dozens, hundreds, thousands

I have read that dozen, hundred, thousand etc. have no -s and of when they are used after a numerical, a few or several : Three dozen eggs. A few hundred times, Several thousand years. But with some ...
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48 views

I can't explain why the adverb 'so' is wrong in this context

"Hi, I hope you are doing well in this so strange situation." As an adverb of degree, it should work, but I have never heard this and it sounds wrong. Is there a reason?
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2answers
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Can I place “fright” before another noun, for example “the fright movie”?

I got this question from my social media and nobody has answered for a month. The original question. Rearrange the sentence : scary / fright / part /He /the /with / shook / movie /during / of / ...
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1answer
19 views

Can 'in depth' ever be a noun?

In the 'Introduction' to James Thurber's 'My Life and Hard Times,' I came across this sentence: 'He gained in depth and skill as he went along, of course.' I don't get how 'in depth' is used here. ...
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Where is the verb of subject Senators

Senators demanding a full debate over government spying and civil liberties objected, and lawmakers simply ran out of time. What is the verb of subject "senators"?
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What does “not the less so" mean in this very complicated sentence?

I am extremely puzzled by the use and meaning of "not the less so" in this sentence. Does "so" refer to "resigned"? Could anyone help me with it please? Many thanks! The context is that Collins' ...
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2answers
44 views

Using 3rd person “s” with relative pronouns

My question is about adding S to the third person in questions starting by WH or any other type of word not only by do or does. for instance, which of the following sentences are correct? Is there ...
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1answer
36 views

Need clarity regarding Third-person-singular conjugation in a sentence

I am having troubles understanding whether I should add an "S" at the end of a verb or not. The sentence is: "We are a human company that, through design and engineering, develop automation solutions....
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31 views

Position of which and what at the rear of sentences

I have four sentences below, showing the different locations of “what, which” in a sentence. What is the right of innocent passage, and in which part of the oceans does it apply? What is the ...
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1answer
60 views

Complex WH-questions: grammaticality and long-distance movement

The more I'm reading about syntax, the more I'm starting to doubt my ability to judge the grammaticality of English sentences correctly... so I need some help with that. I'm a non-native speaker of ...
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27 views

interjection: Fool that I am!

How do you analyze the following phrase? What kind of movement or other operation is involved? Fool that I am! I'd appreciate your help.
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2answers
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Combine five sentences into one

There is nothing better than strolling in the park, seeing playing kids and hearing birds’ chirping. Is this sentence grammatically, syntactically meaningful sentence? I want to say that, I stroll ...
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32 views

What clause elements has this sentence? (That doesn't sound like him.)

I've been struggling to analyse this sentence in terms of its clause elements. "That doesn't sound like him." What I mean by the clause elements are the following: verb, subject, object, subject ...
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Mathematics equation

Two fives make (or makes) ten. Two fives are ten. What's the matter here? When we use the verb "make" both singular and plural are possible to use and when we use the verb "are", only singular ...
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About “The comparative, the comparative” expression

In my school days, I was taught the English sentence structure, "The comparative + Subject + Verb, the comparative + Subject + Verb." In a certain software help document, I saw a sentence, "The lower ...
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Sentences without subjects and objects

I believe that a sentence in English must have a subject. (It does not necessarily have an object as for intransitive verbs.) A sentence without a subject is also possible as in an imperative sentence....
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Man, it's not easy to decide

I'd love to hear your opinions. Please tell me which one is correct or incorrect. the original sentence: You all must have played this game at least once. You don't have to take specific context into ...
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35 views

How can you parse the syntax of the sentence?

The sentence I need to parse: "Had" is the Past Tense of the verb to "have". I can see that "Had" is the subject. But what part of the sentence is the predicate? Am I right thinking that "Past" ...
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18 views

Which of the following is correct and what is the difference in meaning among them?

Could someone please help me with the following sentences? Which ones are correct and why and what is the difference in meaning among them? 1) I'm amazed how can he be so insensitive? 2) I'm amazed ...
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Use of “that” or “the” with the title “option A”

Context: I volunteer with a student who is taking the CELPIP exam in Canada. In this exam they give a survey with two options (option A and option B). The student has to choose an option and say why ...
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251 views

“write using a black pen” Is the usage correct?

Hi. I have a question regarding the following two sentences: A: Please write using a black pen when providing further information under this section. B: Please review the document using the latest ...
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37 views

Constituency tests — is a phrase like this a constituent?

When we have a sentence with a strange syntactic position, how do we know if a phrase is a constituent? For example, "The two shortest of the books" Is [of the books] a constituent? I tried ...

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