Questions tagged [syntax]

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

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27 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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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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24 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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4answers
96 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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20 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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16 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
25 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
24 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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22 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
34 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
18 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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33 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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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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26 views

Why isn't present participle correct in “feeling both personal and cultural”?

In an ACT English test: Dismayed by the loss, ___ both personal and cultural, Santiago responded through his art. Why is "which felt" the accepted one for filling the blank while not "...
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1answer
35 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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1answer
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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14 views

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
29 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
12 views

“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
40 views

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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1answer
145 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
35 views

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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53 views

“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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2answers
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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
25 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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1answer
41 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
34 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
82 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
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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66 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
52 views

“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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0answers
26 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
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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1answer
62 views

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
27 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
67 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
238 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
58 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
290 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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1answer
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
24 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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2answers
38 views

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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63 views

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
76 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
39 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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1answer
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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