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Questions tagged [syntax]

This tag is for questions regarding the arrangement of words and phrases to create well-formed sentences in the English language.

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3 votes
3 answers
188 views

Correct place of adjectival clause

A few stars are known which are hardly bigger than the earth, but most of them are so large that hundreds of thousands of Earth's can be packed inside each and leave room to spare. Usually, an ...
Abid's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
35 views

Two questions about "America the Beautiful"

suorce: "America the Beautiful" 1 O beautiful for pilgrim feet Whose stern impassioned stress A thoroughfare for freedom beat Across the wilderness. I can't understand the whose-clause (i....
Zhang Jian's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
51 views

Cormac McCarthy and syntax

He walks through the narrow streets of the port. The air smells of salt and newsawn lumber. At night whores call to him from the dark like souls in want. A week and he is on the move again, a few ...
Егор Галыкин's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
58 views

A strange usage of 'of'

The word “language-game” is used here to emphasize the fact that the speaking of language is part of an activity, or of a form of life. The right understanding of the construction 'the speaking of ...
Егор Галыкин's user avatar
14 votes
8 answers
3k views

Confusing use of "if" in "Advanced Grammar in Use"

I'm currently leafing through Advanced Grammar in Use by Martin Hewings and on page 18 there is a unit (unit 9) describing the difference between "will" and "be going to". Among ...
Phantomstein's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
665 views

meaning of the sentence—It's easier to act your way into a new way of thinking, than think your way into a new way of acting.?

It's easier to act your way into a new way of thinking, than think your way into a new way of acting. What is the meaning of the sentence especially "act"? Is it a transitive verb?
Sam's user avatar
  • 1,925
8 votes
2 answers
833 views

What shade of meaning is the word "proper" supposed to add to the sentence?

From Bram Stoker's "Dracula": At the very beginning of the seventeenth century it underwent a siege of three weeks and lost 13,000 people, the casualties of war proper being assisted by ...
Fallen Empire's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
64 views

"I sat in the kitchen sipping my coffee" AND "… and I was sipping my coffee"

"I sat in the kitchen sipping my coffee" "I sat in the kitchen and I was sipping my coffee" These two sentences are the same meaning, but what type of grammar are between these ...
Dinh Nguyen's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
81 views

BBC presenter: "Some interesting thoughts there." --- What is the function of "THERE" in this sentence?

This is from BBC, where people are talking about weight loss, and an expert's opinions are also broadcast. They listen to her, and after the expert finishes, the presenter says: "Some interesting ...
Yunus's user avatar
  • 7,411
1 vote
0 answers
26 views

I have a question regarding the subordinate conjunction

If the conjunction "that" is removed from the noun clause, Is it still a complex sentence? Because some people said that subordinate conjunction "that" is optional.
Siti Julyarahti's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
39 views

Bored or a bored person

a. He is bored. b. He is a bored person. Is it correct to use a noun with past participle when used an adjective? For example, The tired singer is not singing a new song. How to use past participle ...
Abid's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
48 views

Are there any limitations on the adverb usages(The only way to do it is very, very slowly.)?

The characteristic function of AdvPs is to modify the verb. In general they are adjuncts, but we have noted that they qualify as complements with the few verbs like treat where they are obligatory. ...
Mr. Wang's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
59 views

Understanding the meaning of "under which"

What is the meaning of "under which" in this context. What does "which" refer to? LESSOR represents and warrants to LESSEE that; The Deed of Conditional Sale is in force and ...
English Learner's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
36 views

"Movement like an eagle/lightning/etc."

Can "like" be used as in "movement like an eagle/lightning/etc"? I'm wondering because even though I searched, I could get sayings like (he saw his) movement like an eagle (seeing ...
user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
41 views

I didn't have enough time, however, I read the book till the end

This sentence is from an exercise ('use "However' to join the sentences : 'I didn't have enough time. I read the book till the end.'): ' I didn't have enough time, however, I read the book till ...
Didyougo's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
2k views

Is it correct to use both "wish" and "start" in "We wish you a very safe and healthy start to 2024"?

In my email, there is this sentence: We wish you a very safe and healthy start to 2024. Start here is a verb, and wish is a verb too, but there isn't a conjunction word between them. So how to ...
Y. zeng's user avatar
  • 1,253
0 votes
3 answers
88 views

Which (if any) of these three alternative sentence constructions is most understandable for use in function documentation comments? [closed]

I'm writing documentation (i.e. code comments) for a JavaScript function with multiple parameters. In specifying the purposes of each of the parameters, I have encountered some difficulty in making ...
Quack E. Duck's user avatar
7 votes
4 answers
720 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
0 votes
1 answer
44 views

Understanding omission of prepositions

Sometimes making complex sentences it is difficult to understand what part of the sentence the word or group of words belongs to. For an example: And its court for the trial of impeachments and ...
Vasar's user avatar
  • 5
1 vote
1 answer
21 views

What part of the sentence is this called [closed]

Can you explain whether the following that I'm going to write in the body section is considered the subject or not? If not, what is it considered? My favourite place
Lara van Riesen's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
50 views

What nomenclature would contemporary descriptive grammar use to describe an "afterthought" lacking an explicit verb at the end of a sentence?

Jack has a lot of money—more than he needs. How would contemporary descriptive grammar analyze more than he needs there? Would "more than he needs" be analyzed as a supplemental noun phrase?...
TimR's user avatar
  • 128k
1 vote
1 answer
91 views

"Best"—adverb or adjective (in the sentence)

The medicine is best taken after meals. I think it's an adverb modifying verb, but it can be an adjective after the copula.
Sam's user avatar
  • 1,925
2 votes
1 answer
27 views

What does "for" mean in the second-to-last verse of the last stanza of Eric Bogle's "The Green Fields of France"?

The song "The Green Fields of France", written by Eric Bogle, ends with: For young Willie McBride, it* all happened again, and again and again and again and again. *war, the song is about ...
FlatAssembler's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
73 views

Can adverbs act as subject complements?

Example: He is here. Or She is there. I have been taught that subject complements are adjectives, nouns, pronouns or phrases of them, but in the above example the adverb 'here' is describing the ...
Daniel Alemu's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
78 views

How is it grammatical to say "for the time being"? Shouldn't we say "for the being time"? "Being" is an adjective, and adjectives go before the noun

How is it grammatical to say "for the time being"? Shouldn't we say "for the being time"? "Being" is an adjective (a participle of the verb "to be", and ...
FlatAssembler's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
197 views

How does the phrase "to fall sway to [something]" work synctactically?

I was reading an article and came across that phrase referring to a writer who "fell sway to influences." I understood what it was saying (give way to, fall prey to, etc.), especially after ...
James Campbell's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
88 views

Is the use of the conjunction " While" at the beginning of this sentence correct? While hearing the bad news, l told everybody in the village

Is it correct to use the conjunction "While" at the beginning of the following sentence? While hearing the bad news, l told everybody in the village. I think "While" is not correct,...
Mo Ali's user avatar
  • 33
1 vote
1 answer
54 views

What is a English noun without determiner?

I read a sentence today: The Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) uses a retransmission timer to ensure data delivery in the absence of any feedback from the remote data receiver. I saw in the ... of ...
kokomi's user avatar
  • 147
3 votes
1 answer
35 views

Syntactic similarity as a requirement for an admissible coordination

On page 229 in A Student’s Introduction to English Grammar, I found myself new to the rule that requires both coordinates to be relativised if the first one is [14] They attended the dinner but they ...
AN24's user avatar
  • 184
0 votes
1 answer
38 views

'...give us it.' [Can a pronoun as a direct object be placed at the very end of a sentence?]

Can a pronoun as a direct object be placed at the very end of a sentence? As in '...she was saying herself. Emails obtained. Just through honesty? Thrown(?through) and being given out? Because we have ...
tes389's user avatar
  • 95
0 votes
1 answer
186 views

Are ‘up’ and ‘down’ prepositions or adverbs in "walk up" and "fall down"?

What's the function of "up" and "down" in mentioned examples? We walked up the hill to the house. Be careful, don't fall down the stair. Preposition or adverb?
Kaveh Behnia 's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
88 views

Why, in one simple sentence, there are two verbs?

Jerry kicked the door open. 1st verb-kick 2nd verb-open Why there are two verbs?
Sam's user avatar
  • 1,925
2 votes
1 answer
95 views

Is "I heard old war drums beat." from the Eric Bogle's song "Welcome Home" grammatical?

In the Eric Bogle's anti-war song "Welcome Home" (about the Vietnam War) there is a line "I heard old war drums beat.". Is it grammatical or is it licentia poetica? I think I ...
FlatAssembler's user avatar
-1 votes
2 answers
112 views

Is the sentence " We are more or less the same age." Syntactically correct?

We are more or less the same age. We are more or less of same age. Which one is correct, and a how a Noun describe someone,( I can't say They are blackness, I am humbleness etc.but how I can say like ...
Sam's user avatar
  • 1,925
0 votes
3 answers
58 views

How to analyze the structure of this sentence?

I heard this sentence from a speech: The number of people and even the percentage of the population both living in extreme poverty has really gone down over the past two centuries. (Yalecourses, &...
shepherd's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
65 views

With vs without Preposition rule?

The documents is sixteenth century.=The documents is from the sixteenth century. Why are both the sentences are same?? What is the syntax rule applied here?
Sam's user avatar
  • 1,925
1 vote
2 answers
95 views

Be verb+Noun(Used as an adjective)

I spotted it in a junk shop in Bridport, a roll-top desk. The man said it was early nineteenth century, and oak. I have a doubt regarding any grammar rules as to this "be+Noun"(using as ...
Sam's user avatar
  • 1,925
0 votes
1 answer
101 views

What does "humans do" in this sentence refers to?

I have a question. It's wrong for scientists to presume the environment other species sense in the same way humans do. What does "humans do" refer to? Is it "humans sense" or &...
nina's user avatar
  • 29
1 vote
0 answers
55 views

What's the syntax of "It's everything you've ever heard it is"? [closed]

Source: "Boardwalk Empire" Season 01 Episode 07 00:29:19 Mary Dittrich (the girlfriend of the photographer Robert Dittrich): Relax. It's not like he saw us together. Angela Darmody (the ...
Zhang Jian's user avatar
  • 1,073
0 votes
1 answer
43 views

Is this dialogue idiomatic: - How do you often cook potatoes? - Often I just bake them

Is this dialogue idiomatic: -- How do you often cook potatoes? -- Often I just bake them.
Ruralguy's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
51 views

Why are they grammatical, "those things a thought," "those a thought"?

OK, this is the way in which some things are unities - by being continuous or a whole. Other things, however, get to be unities by dint of the fact that the account of them is a single account. This ...
user476510's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
35 views

What is the The grammatical subject in the given sentences? [closed]

One comfort that she had under the Ordeal by General was more sustaining to her, and made her more grateful than to a less devoted and affectionate spirit, not habituated to her struggles and ...
anjan 's user avatar
  • 253
-1 votes
1 answer
269 views

Take oneself by the collar

Others can see the difficulty, but the boy must take himself by the collar and make himself cultivate a poise and calm that smothers the fidgets. What does "take oneself by the collar" mean?...
Abid's user avatar
  • 415
1 vote
1 answer
958 views

I'm a fan of yours vs I'm your fan [duplicate]

I'm a fan of yours vs I'm your fan Two friends meet at a bar. One says to the other who is a local musician with quite a few fans. I've never told you this but I'm actually your fan. How does it ...
ASDASD ASDASD's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
135 views

Parsing "Happiness makes up in height for what it lacks in length" [closed]

This is the title of a Robert Frost poem: Happiness makes up in height for what it lacks in length. I am having difficulties in understanding the correct interpretation.
Sam's user avatar
  • 1,925
-5 votes
1 answer
72 views

I am having difficulties in understanding the sentence, (Parse this sentence please.) [closed]

Nothing worth having comes easy...
Sam's user avatar
  • 1,925
0 votes
2 answers
65 views

Are these changes in this sentence syntactically acceptable?

Consider this example: I will pick you up at 11 in the morning. A simple sentence with a transitive phrasal verb 'pick up'. Now my question is: Can we say I will pick up you at 11 in the morning? ...
Kenny FürEver's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
118 views

How should I understand this usage of "for"

This latter fact could not simply be a conjunctive fact, combining a finite number of facts about the whiteness of each individual swan. For even if a is white, and b is white, and c is white, and so ...
Clean93's user avatar
  • 57
0 votes
1 answer
34 views

Meaning of the bolded texts

The vision is in effect a statement of strategic intent that serves to focus the energies of the organisation management towards the setting and achievement of specific goals and objectives. Its ...
Sam's user avatar
  • 1,925
1 vote
2 answers
623 views

Is this a complex or a compound sentence?

I learned there are 4 classifications of sentences. Simple, compound, complex and compound-complex sentences. I was thinking, what type is this sentence: Can we become friends if you don't mind?"...
hassan hazrat's user avatar

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