Questions tagged [syntax]

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

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17 views

"some of them" + noun vs adjective

It seems to me that the following sentence is correct: "There were many competitors, some of them very experienced." Is the following sentence also correct? "He loved many songs, some ...
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18 views

"The two others": same as "the other two"?

If there are three books, are the following sentences both correct? Equivalent? Roughly as commonly used? 1/ This book is better than the other two 2/ This book is better than the two others
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1answer
21 views

Which one of these sentences is correct/more idiomatic?

So, I'm not sure which one of these sentences is more grammatically correct. The last one had just been sold before I got there. The last one had been sold just before I got there. I'm 99% sure both ...
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23 views

Is that statement correct? "Your schedule is final when there is without WL courses."

In my university registration system, I found this statement and I am concerned if it's a correct statement. Your schedule is final when there is without WL courses. I think it's not correct because ...
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1answer
22 views

Can "work experience" be plural?

When I have worked for multiple jobs, and I use "work experience," is it plural? For example, my education and work experience make me a great candidate for the job.
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2answers
51 views

What does this BE mean in this sentence? [duplicate]

When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death. I don't know why there's a be there, anyone can help me with that? Does it have anything to do with the verb order? ...
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1answer
55 views

Is “The Tigris is the river we are investigating” grammatical?

I saw the following sentence in formal writing: The Tigris is the river we are investigating. (Please don't change the sentence to "We are investigating the Tigris river" or etc..) ...
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1answer
50 views

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing

As I understand it, the first phrase is common. I'm afraid, I don't understand why is necessary the second "for" here (in bold). I think "to" is necessary here because "good ...
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3answers
1k views

Is it correct to say "how-many-day a tour was it"?

How-many-day a tour was it? How many days was the tour? How many days of tour were you on? How-many-day tour of Cambridge were you on? Are the above sentences grammatically correct? I understand ...
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2answers
88 views

Is "on one's period" (menstruating) grammatically correct?

It's very common to hear women say "I'm on my period" or "I'm having my period". Can somebody please confirm to me as to whether these two phrases are grammatically correct, and if ...
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35 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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33 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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23 views

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
82 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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32 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
74 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
35 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
45 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
19 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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1answer
69 views

Can an English sentence exist without the subject?

In the bold sentence below, I can't find the subject, and I think it's not a inverted sentence. I don't know if it's right? Particularly relevant to the present work is the recent paper of Verdun et ...
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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
28 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
60 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
51 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
52 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
180 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
31 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
44 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
44 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
59 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
161 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
30 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
96 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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