Questions tagged [syntax]

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

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74 views

where to place indeterminate pronouns/determiners/adverbs in a sentence like “we've all been studying”

In the sentence "we've also all been studying" are the "also" (in Spanish is categorized as adverb of affirmation) and "all" (in Spanish is categorized as indeterminate pronoun or determinant) being ...
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1answer
722 views

Participal clause vs perfect participle

I'm often confused the participle clause used in English grammar. He broke his leg and he went home. (= Having broken his leg, he went home.) He had broken his leg and he went home. (= Having broken ...
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1answer
80 views

Does the sentence “what do you like to do?” have a direct object?

In japanese the sentence "what do you like to do?" has the word what succeeded by the particle "o" which marks direct objects, meaning for japaneses "what" is the direct object of this sentence. Is ...
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1answer
156 views

Using “is” contraction for common nouns

I found this question in a grammar textbook while studying for an exam. This is the sentence: “Whatever the justifications/justification’s for your attitude…” Circle the correct answer. The correct ...
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1answer
105 views

I do not know what we call this part of sentence: “to be deceiving”

For example: It is like to be deceiving the whole nation. Inside above sentence, what do we say the part "to be deceiving"? Does it have any specific name? As I know about this: Is there ...
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1answer
2k views

Why is the -ing form used after 'therefore' in this example (“[…] therefore reducing emissions.”)?

I can't understand why the writer used -ing form of verb in my example after conjunctive adverb "therefore". However, I know that 'therefore', 'however', 'hence', 'nevertheless', .. are conjunctive ...
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1answer
1k views

“The fact of its being” Grammar [duplicate]

"The fact of its being so rare a flower ought to have made it easier to trace the source of this particular specimen, but in practice it was an impossible task." I just found this sentence reading a ...
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1answer
49 views

Visual Deconstruction of Sentence Wanted

In the halcyon days of English learning in Japan, dating back as far as the Meiji Era, it used to be that, unlike recently, when, alas, much emphasis has been placed blindly on practical ...
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1answer
1k views

“My name Pablo it's said” - What is the subject?

What is the subject in the sentence "My name Pablo it's said" I have a confusion about if this sentence is correct in English and if so what's the subject. How is it analyzed syntactically?
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743 views

I am teaching him English

I teach him English. I teaching him English. I am teaching him English. Are these sentences above grammatically correct?
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2answers
57 views

Word order: “Why don't you ask him to come with your family on a camping trip.”

I've just come across the following sentence in an ESL textbook: Why don't you ask him to come with your family on a camping trip. I've got the feeling that this is syntactically incorrect and ...
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1answer
81 views

What is the this part of the sentence called?

The sentence is: We apologise for the destruction of your property by our workers. What would the "by our workers" part be called? It seems similar to the passive sentence structure where "by our ...
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109 views

Is the sentence “Don't you cry” correct?

Is the sentence "Don't you cry" (or don't you speak, don't you cry etc.) is correct? For me, as ELL, it looks weird to see pronoun (in this case "you") in such sentence - as an order rather than a ...
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726 views

“in which” in a sentence

In the bellow sentence, I think the second "in" is redundant and should be erased. Because the first "in" belongs to "involved" and the second one is an error. ... suggest ways in which some risks ...
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2answers
4k views

I hate mushrooms. How can you agree?

The verb "hate" sometimes is cofusing. If we form a tag question, for instance, we consider it to be negative, because it's negative semantically and that fact influences grammar. We say He hates ...
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1answer
2k views

however before an adjective

What is the part of speech of the 'experienced' in the following text? Can you please explain the grammatical structure of the sentence that contains this word? Market research is a vital part of ...
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1answer
73 views

Why can “more alert and ready to learn” be placed at the end of the sentence?

I am having a difficulty parsing the following sentence extracted from a Cambridge IELTS reading passage. It has been noted by teachers that children engaging in active travel arrive at school ...
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1answer
3k views

“Whether it is” — Is this right?

Whether it is the happy childhood memory they both possess or it is the intimate relationship derived from their elder generation, Tom and Clancy are intersected intimately. I am not sure whether ...
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2answers
2k views

Choose the incorrect word in the given sentence

1) I haven't some spare pen. a) some b) haven’t c) I d) spare The answer to this is given "some", i.e. "some" is considered to be wrong here. I think the use of "haven't" and "some" ...
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1answer
77 views

Is this regarded as an elliptical sentence? It strikes me as weird

My English teacher said this is not a complete sentence: I like white and yellow colours, so are my clothes. She completed my sentence with a few more words in red colour: I like white and ...
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2answers
63 views

Can I use 'absence' in this way?

We should take care of those students with frequent absence of fathers who are busy with working when they come back home late at night. In the sentence, I want to express two meanings: Those ...
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2answers
1k views

What is a modal verb, really?

Is "have to" a modal verb? tells us, in two conflicting answers, that it's either a modal verb or it's not a modal verb. Then I just realized that there are never any definitions provided for what a ...
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2answers
515 views

I would like to understand the term 'understood' as it is used in grammar

When I was an elementary school student in Montréal, we were taught that some words or phrases did not need to be spoken or written because they were 'understood'. Another OP on site asked a question ...
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1answer
63 views

Changing “It is strange that families adopt dogs but not a child.” into passive voice

When trying to convert this sentence into passive voice It is strange that families adopt dogs but not a child. I found two confusing answers as follows.. 1: It is strange that dogs but ...
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4answers
13k views

is it correct to say “today is rainy” or it is “today, it's rainy”?

I was looking for an answer to another question and I've found an answer on the italki website, which makes unclear about which is the right usage. Is it syntactically correct to say "today is rainy" ...
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1answer
213 views

Is grammatically and syntactically correct to use present continuous tense instead of using present perfect tense?

In our native language we use present participle tense instead of present perfect tense. Here are the some sentences which mean the same: 1) Why are you standing here? 2) why have you stood ...
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1answer
49 views

Can the word 'and' be removed in a sentence for the sake of simplicity?

In the sentence "She still faces situations that she fears are beyond her capabilities," if my grammatical sense serves me correctly, the conjunction 'and' should be interpolated between 'fears' and '...
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3k views

Is “have to” a modal verb?

I have heard people say that "have to" is a modal verb. Other people have told me it is not. Why exactly is "have to" a modal verb? Or why exactly is it not? I have also heard that it is a ...
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1answer
184 views

Why isn't “On the bottom of the MetroCard are three arrows” written “On the bottom of the MetroCard THERE are three arrows”?

Recently I found this sentence: On the bottom of the MetroCard are three arrows and little white letters that say "Insert this way/This side facing you." This sentence is correct, but I do not ...
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1answer
127 views

Is the sentence correct, “Language affects all over our society and culture.”

I wonder if the sentence below is correct. To my, a non-native English speaker's eye, the part in bold somehow looks weird. But I am not sure. Language affects all over our society and culture. ...
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2answers
189 views

Why do I need to use “to sing” in “I was expecting him to sing”?

1: I was expecting him to sing a song. 2: I was expecting him that he will sing a song. Is there any rule that states to put ' to ' after 'expecting someone' for something?
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2answers
861 views

which is the subject in the phrase “I always believed I was the only one who could make you happy.”

Which is the subject in the phrase "I always believed I was the only one who could make you happy."? Is it "I"? Is it "the only one"? or is it some other phrase or word?
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104 views

Noun phrase and verb after the whole sentence

Is it grammatical to say: "But overall the romantic comedies and action movies I like." https://youtu.be/Fdp_lHXj--Q?t=120 It seems like the noun phrase "I" and the verb "like" of the verb phrase ...
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1answer
2k views

“be + because ” sentence structure

I think maybe the following use of 'because' is different from the bold parts: Alice went shopping because she needed to buy bread. Because she needed to buy bread, Alice went shopping. In the ...
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1answer
8k views

How about going to the cinema tonight?

We usually form wh-questions with wh- + an auxiliary verb (be, do or have) + subject + main verb or with wh- + a modal verb + subject + main verb ... When what, who, which or whose is the subject or ...
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2answers
38 views

A question about the structure of the part in bold in this sentence

Below is a sentence from an article on New York Times. A week before Michael T. Flynn resigned as national security adviser, a sealed proposal was hand-delivered to his office, outlining a way for ...
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1answer
3k views

'I am being loved by my mom.' is possible? [closed]

I want to know if it is possible to make a sentence like 'I am being loved by my mom.' If it is possible, What is the meaning you get when you see this sentence? Please, tell me.
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1answer
136 views

Can this sentence be thought like this?

"I was given the picture, drawn by Jane." Can the sentence above be accepted like this? "I was given the picture, and the picture was drawn by Jane."
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3answers
363 views

Can this sentence be like this?

I saw the sentence like this on the internet. I went to the kitchen, cooked for me. Can I understand the meaning of this sentence like this? I went to the kitchen and I cooked for me. Have I ...
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1answer
43 views

what is the “ordered” of “De Lima ordered arrested by RTC” in news headline [duplicate]

De Lima ordered arrested by RTC link From this answer I somewhat understand of Headlinese. However, I still don't understand ordered. I mean, I can understand was is omitted in following sentence. ...
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1answer
316 views

'It took them everything they had' versus 'It took everything they had'

This question is related to the idiom It took everything/all I had (within me) Is it grammatically sound to place a second object after the verb TAKE? To clarify what I mean, below is the sentence I ...
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1answer
7k views

Is the sentence “I now feel better” correct? [closed]

Is the sentence "I now feel better" correct? Shouldn't it be "Now I feel better"? Or are both of them correct?
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2answers
181 views

Is “This is the only mammal that can fly” an independent clause?

We were taught that an independent clause must have a complete thought/idea. This is the only mammal that can fly. How can "This is the only mammal" be treated as an independent clause? ...
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1answer
31 views

Subject or object

Take the sentence: I think you are an ass There are three nouns here, "I", "You" and "ass", and two verbs, "think" and "are". Clearly "I" is the subject and "ass" is the object, but I cannot ...
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4answers
3k views

Tense for something I did yesterday and also will be doing today

My boss just asked me which task I was working on yesterday, and which one I will be working on today. I wanted to reply that I was working on the same task, but the sentence structure seemed awkward ...
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0answers
141 views

'Drama is hard for me' - Grammar

What are the parts in this sentence? Drama is hard for me. My thoughts so far: "Drama" is the subject "Is" is the verb "Hard" is the predicate complement? "Me" is the indirect object? Not ...
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1answer
1k views

Is “I bought it because it costed …” an idiomatic and grammatical phrase?

I thought the phrase was common. Example sentence: Naomi bought the coffee because it costed ¥499, and she was obsessed with prime numbers. However, Google only yields 4 results. This makes me ...
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1answer
193 views

Why is this a dependent clause?

The sentence is: The thieves stole some of Beauval Zoo’s most valued members—seven golden lion tamarins and ten silvery marmosets. On khan academy they said that "seven golden lion tamarins and ...
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1answer
310 views

'For many people in the United States, undergoing a medical procedure can be a stressful, confusing, and sometimes overwhelming ordeal'

For many people in the United States, undergoing a medical procedure can be a stressful, confusing, and sometimes overwhelming ordeal. Is the following the correct way to describe the parts of this ...
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2answers
150 views

Is this a dangling sentence?

Below is a paragraph I've come across on BBC. Is the first sentence dangling? The paragraph is introduced earlier in the article as part of a section in which business leaders "share their plans or ...

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