Questions tagged [syntax]

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

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32 views

Time expression immediately after the subject?

I read the following in NY Times today, but the part on Monday doesn't sound right to me? On the other hand it seems wrong to question NY Times. The Biden administration on Monday is expected to ...
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32 views

How much time does it have to pass

Is 1 wrong? If so, why is it wrong? I think 2 is correct. 1 How much time does it have to pass before... something happens. 2 How much time has to pass before... something happens.
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Complex sentence without a dependent maker word?

To practice compound-complex sentences I write the following sentence: Two young people meet, finding that they are clicking with each other, and then they get married. I wonder if the first two ...
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2answers
59 views

A question about syntax

The houses visible above the walls were just burnt-out shells. What is the syntax of this sentence? Is there something omitted between "houses" and "visible"?
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1answer
16 views

In what situation we're allowed to put verb before a subject? [duplicate]

I read this in a novel: 'It's - it's true?' faltered Professor McGonagall. Why it's is it not "Professor McGonagall faltered" (Subject + verb)
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1answer
26 views

What's the animal that has the most frequent matings per day? [closed]

For a purpose of a riddle, I'm looking for a way to ask about the quantity or length in the following context and I find it a bit confusing: What's the animal that has the most frequent matings per ...
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31 views

“They will not give up on the bananas, until they'll be eaten by them or they will be spoiled.”

I'm always confused whether I have to double the pronoun and auxiliary verb or not, in cases like in the following one: "They will not give up on the bananas until they'll be eaten by them or ...
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15 views

embodiment (in)

is "embodiment" or "embody" ever construed with "in"? How is "in" used in this case? I would have expected a "by". the embodiment of the poetic voice ...
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1answer
67 views

Omitting “to be”: “I want left alone.” versus “I want to be left alone.”

I have been reading an internet serial for about a year, that is written by someone I believe to be a native or near-native English speaker (like myself), but I have noticed a recurring pattern of ...
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2answers
33 views

“He wants everyone back” - Is the word back an adverb

He wants everyone back. Is "back" an adverb? It doesn't modify the verb so has thrown me off a little.
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3answers
44 views

how to parse “ progress the enemy of a more modest open ended and sustainable effort”?

From The economist : But its objectives were often self defeating: an exercise in making pursuit of dramatic, unachievable progress the enemy of a more modest open ended and sustainable effort. How ...
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2answers
68 views

What is the difference between these two declarative content clauses?

The kids were told that 2 to the power of 3 is 8. The kids were told that President Joe Biden would visit their school. Both sentences use the same past tense in main clauses, but use different ...
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1answer
18 views

What role does the “that” clause play in a sentence?

It won't be any easier now that the pause in use of the Johnson&Johnson vaccine has sown fresh seeds of doubt. (From The Economist) Which type of clause is the bold one? I don't think it is the ...
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3answers
66 views

What is the grammatical structure of “I woke up tired”?

I woke up tired. I grew up rich. Can someone explain the position and functions of the adjectives tired, rich, poor in these sentences? Aren't adjectives supposed to always precede or succeed a noun ...
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1answer
25 views

“returned as a different man” or “ returned a different man”?

If he had fought in the First World War, he might have returned _____. Is it correct to insert " as a different man" or " a different man"? I suppose both are correct. "as a ...
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1answer
30 views

Is “but nonetheless” correct?

I've been seeing nonetheless used next to but. For example: "... smaller but nonetheless important research programs." (From Merriam Webster). There are possible risks, but nonetheless, we ...
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1answer
50 views

The more precisely - An Adverb Phrase? And its function?

I am reading Kane and Abel by Jeffrey Archer where I found the following sentence: He spat into the fire, the more precisely to express his opinion of the child's parentage. Is "the more ...
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1answer
103 views

“to find a friend to practice speaking with“ or ”finding a friend to practice speaking with"?

In the following conversation: --- Did you have any problems in your English study? --- Yes, _____ a friend to practice speaking with. Is it correct to fill in the blank with "to find” Or "...
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4answers
7k views

Syntactical problem? Musk's tweet “I Am Become Meme, Destroyer Of Shorts”

Here is a quote from Elon Musk's tweet: "I Am Become Meme, Destroyer Of Shorts" I have never come across such an expression as "be+ become." As far as my syntax knowledge goes, V+...
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1answer
25 views

structure of ‘worth of’

‎1. Is “billions of dollars worth of satellites”(without apostrophe of dollars) grammatically incorrect? In “billions of dollars’ worth of” Syntactically right below? [billions of dollars]’ worth of •...
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2answers
51 views

Open-Ended Questions + coordination

In a sentence like "What did John eat and Mary prepare?", the auxiliary verb "did" is "shared" between both conjuncts. My question is whether it is grammatical to use an ...
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2answers
90 views

How do you identify the grammatical construction of these sentences?

Robby is so perplexed not being told about the accident. Maudy always gets nervous when talking to strangers. Both sentences have a predicative adjective as a subject complement. My confusion is ...
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8answers
5k views

The grammar of “Stop Asian hate”

I have seen many people on the Internet from America sharing the sign “Stop Asian Hate”. I know they mean “Stop hate against Asian people”, but why don't they say “Stop anti-Asian hate”? I also see ...
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1answer
102 views

Is it correct to use continuous without the auxiliary verb “to be?”

I am working on a project, and I am faced with a sentence that I am unsure is correct. I can make it correct with proper punctuation, but it just made me curious to learn how to use such sentences ...
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1answer
30 views

How to use preposition “like” in a question?

Which one is correct: What was the weather like in Toronto?" or "What was the weather in Toronto like?"
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1answer
30 views

Do not stop and stop not

What is the difference between these two versions? Arise, awake, and stop not until the goal is reached. Arise, awake, and do not stop until the goal is reached. Which one is better?
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24 views

Is this sentence syntactically correct?

It's in your hands for that statement not to be true. Are there any syntax errors with it? Can it be improved?
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2answers
926 views

How to understand “They were not looking at you funny”?

A quote from the movie The Guardians of the Galaxy vol 2: They were not looking at you funny. How to explain the syntactic construction of this sentence? Why does the speaker put funny at the end? I ...
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1answer
43 views

“It…that” sentence structure

I have one question!. It's obvious through the photographs the journalist brings back from the field that he shows the situation he witnessed. It looks like weird! Do we need to start "He shows ...
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16 views

want (to V) or want to (V)?

want / to V want to / V ? If I say slowly "I want to speak English well." Do I have to stop like: I want / to speak / English / well. or Do I have to stop like: I want to / speak / English ...
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1answer
21 views

He is going to take after his father

He is going to take after his father. "He is going" is a present progressive. As a non-native speaker, I came to put a question to look into the flow/image of meaning in a native speaker's ...
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1answer
37 views

Can “Don't be sad” start a sentence followed by a comma?

Example sentence: Don't be sad, everything will turn out fine. I've seen "Don't worry" used like this, so I think it's not ungrammatical. But part of me, sees "Don't be sad" as a ...
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1answer
50 views

Why is the determiner after the verb in “We were both tired” and “We have both seen the movie”?

There are two sentences to determiner below: We were both tired. We have both seen the movie. What I know is that the determiner is used in front of noun or pronoun, but the sentences of examples ...
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32 views

The sentence that starts as imperative one and ends in passive voice

There is a following passage in the technical manual I'm working on: To replace invalid characters, complete the following steps: ... ... ... The problem is that writing the steps themselves in the ...
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4answers
158 views

Prepositional Phrases used as Noun Phrases?

The country’s Supreme Court ruled last year that the ban was illegal, and gave the Knesset, or parliament, until March 1st to amend the law to allow gay couples to commission surrogacies domestically. ...
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1answer
28 views

For- Infinitival RC vs Purpose Adjunct

Here are the instructions for you to follow. The verb «follow» directly related to the Headword «instructions»; for- subordinator introducers one more subject in the sentence –You – it seems to be a ...
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1answer
69 views

There’s no one but + Verb

I came across this exercise: There’s no one ... wishes peace. A. who B. that C. but At first, I was confused with “who” and “that” as I thought both of them were correct, but then the answer turned ...
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1answer
33 views

In “run out of food by night” is “by night” part of the “out of food” PP?

In the sentence: run out of food by night. “out of food” will be one single PP. “by night” will also be a PP, but will it be part of VP or will it be inside the "out of food" PP?
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16 views

Tree diagram for PSG

In the sentence: .... to lend me his car in need. what will be the tree diagram for this part. I am confused for the part "in need"? will it be part of NP(his car) or part of VP(lend)?
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1answer
25 views

using “after” + Past Simple + Present Perfect

Is it okay to use "after" with Past Simple in the subordinate clause and then Present Perfect in the main clause? For example: After Marry married John, Jack has been very reticent about ...
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5answers
123 views

What's the problem with “Colonization hundreds of years ago is held accountable for such situation”?

I wrote the following sentence. Colonization hundreds of years ago is held accountable for such situation. I think I have used "hundreds of years ago" as a modifier of "colonization&...
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21 views

What type are these two sentences with imperative clauses

Quotes are from The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway Remember, no matter how little you want to, that you must eat him in the morning. Remember, he said to himself. I thought the second one ...
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1answer
54 views

Difference: “the product being sold” and “the product sold”

The commercial is focused on the embarrassment that someone can experience when the product being sold isn’t used. Is it correct or is there any difference if I use delete "being" from the ...
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1answer
29 views

to whom I talked only once

Below is a sentence I wrote. Not sure if the relative clause here is natural. It's rude to call a girl with whom I had only one talk by her pet name. I wonder if it will be better to use a verb here....
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1answer
37 views

go on an exchange program to US

Last year, he went on a foreign exchange program to the US. I am quite confident that the sentence above is perfectly natural as I found several similar sentences in the COCA(Corpus of contemporary ...
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26 views

“be vigilant that +SVO,” what grammatica part does the “that clause” play?

When leading hiking tours, for example, guides must be vigilant that groups don’t trample native plants or disturb wild animals. I understand the sentence semantically, but the thing is I am not able ...
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1answer
39 views

independent clause, subject + past participle+…?

Massive boulders, shipped from as far away as the Northwest Territories, echo the curvaceous form of the museum building, its rough-hewn limestone surface meant to recall a cliff face sculptured by ...
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1answer
29 views

Is the word “as” a preposition in the sentence “He ran as though his life depended on it”?

Is the word "as" a preposition in the sentence "He ran as though his life depended on it"? I'm 99% sure that it's not, due to the verb "depended". I just want to be 100% ...
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23 views

The usage of “preposition+noun”

Under the siege was the hardest time. Through the long hard slog was depressing. Through the wood is the nearest way. I’ll give you until the next morning. Are those sentences natural? I’m wondering ...
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1answer
121 views

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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