Questions tagged [syntax]

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

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25 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
31 views

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
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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
2k views

“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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23 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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20 views

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
18 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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1answer
15 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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1answer
59 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
61 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
40 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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1answer
87 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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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
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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
24 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
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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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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
31 views

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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1answer
527 views

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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1answer
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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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1answer
34 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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1answer
202 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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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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212 views

Specifier, adjunct, or complement? how to know? syntax

How can I know if an embedded clause is a Specifier, an adjunct, or a complement? For example, in a sentence like: One notion that nobody has mentioned yet was proposed during the conference. Can ...
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1answer
174 views

“4 hours each session” or “each session will last for 4 hours”

Which one is clearer and grammatically correct? The course will commence on December 2 every Mondays and Wednesday, 4 hours each session, for 4 weeks The course will be scheduled every Mondays ...
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2answers
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He left her a widow

He left her a widow. I think this sentence is ambiguous. The possible meanings are: 1. He died and she became a widow. 2. He kept a widow in her care. Could you please analyze the sentences and ...
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2answers
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You must have mended your shoes

Your shoes are shining: You must have mended your shoes. You must have your shoes mended. This was the question given in an examination. Most students and some teachers found the ...
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2answers
55 views

Not all language tests are of the same kind

Not all language tests are of the same kind. All language tests are not of the same kind I think both the sentences mean the same thing though they are syntactically different. What is the part ...
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Identifying parts of a sentence

I just answered a question on stack overflow : https://stackoverflow.com/questions/57920126/how-to-make-sense-of-this-scala-stacktrace/57920452#57920452 In my answer, I used the terms "subject verb ...
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2answers
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John could drive the car

John could drive the car. The car could be driven by John The second sentence is the passive form of the first sentence. But I have read in a book for teaching methodology that the two sentences ...
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Is 'pair of dress' more correct than 'dress'? [closed]

Is 'pair of dress' more correct than 'dress'? Is it syntactically correct if I say 'I donated 20 pairs of dresses'?
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2answers
231 views

Is a subject required for a grammatically correct sentence?

In particular I'm interested in the sentence: Meet with friends and family. It is a sentence in the 'interests and hobbies' section of a resume, so it can be deduced who the subject is. Is the ...
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1answer
155 views

The Passive Auxillary

The company is being taxed The company has been taxed The company has been being taxed These are three examples listed in a book on syntax. In the first one, the book suggests that "is" is ...
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1answer
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Using singular vs. plural objects in a prepositional phrase

What are the grammatical differences between: He's good at driving cars. and: He's good at driving a car. Are there any differences in correctness or meaning, or times when you should use one ...
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1answer
63 views

How to use “there is” after “there is no reason for”?

Consider the sentence: There is nothing after the credits. How do I add that after "There is no reason for"? There is no reason for there being anything after the credits. There is no ...
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Shouldn’t “if pleasure be happiness” be written “if pleasure would be happiness”?

Why is there a simple form “be” after the subject in the following sentence? Isn't it that it should be like 'if pleasure would be happiness'? My courtiers called me the Happy Prince, and happy ...
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Sentence structure in interrogative sentences

Which of the following sentence structure is correct? (1)Do you know where I can find some shoes? (2) Do you know where can I find some shoes?
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Help understanding the structure of this sentence (Typical orienting reactions include *the following the arteries* to the brain…)

Typical orienting reactions include the following the arteries to the brain grow wider allowing more blood to reach it, the heart slows down and arteries to the large muscles become narrower so as to ...

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