Questions tagged [syntax]

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

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2
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1answer
87 views

What is the referent point here in this sentence?

Still, I should advise you by all means to go and visit Menelaus, who has lately come off a voyage among such distant peoples as no man could ever hope to get back from, when the winds had once ...
4
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1answer
1k views

Past simple or past perfect in a subordinate clause

Could you please have a look at this paragraph: Last Friday I arranged to meet my boyfriend at a restaurant. I arrived first and because it was pouring with rain, I went inside. After an hour ...
5
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1answer
426 views

When dependent clauses require commas, when do they allow them, and when are they definitely incorrect?

I've been writing in English for many years, but there are certain recurring issues that come up in my writing, which I can't seem to resolve permanently. Primarily I have a problem with punctuation. ...
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2answers
94 views

What is the construction of this sentence?

It is to an exceeding degree dependent not on how happy you were overall, but on how much delight you took in just a couple of things, how rosy and comforting your reflection will be on your school ...
3
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1answer
87 views

Is this 'that' placed right?

Then I noticed a small plate of complimentary marshmallows near Chloe’s elbow and it suddenly seemed clear that I didn’t love Chloe so much as marshmallow her. What it was about a marshmallow that ...
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2answers
669 views

reported questions (direct)

We all know that the aim of the reported speech is to repeat what was exactly said. When the question begins with a question word (which, who, why, ...) we start our clause with it. Here are my ...
3
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1answer
105 views

Is this an archaic grammatical point?

You have a secret which I, not curious about, have never paid any attention to. This example should be like this in modern English. "You have a secret which I, not curious about it, have never ...
4
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4answers
972 views

Is the meaning of “as much philosophical as it is scientific” the same without “much”?

I saw this sentence in an article in the New Yorker: The question is as much philosophical as it is scientific, since the answer depends on how these terms get defined. I came up with my own ...
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2answers
100 views

Would you help me with using present perfect? [closed]

Would you tell me what is the difference between sentences of A and B? If what you want to talk about is the nice feeling of being finished buying a new car—"It's done! I have bought a new car! ...
1
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1answer
87 views

What is the structure and meaning of this sentence?

[Discussing the word dis-eate in Macbeth, amended by various editors to disseat, disease, disseizes and defeat. ] . . . you may say that Shakespeare actually intended, by putting down something a ...
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2answers
6k views

"each one having/has its own advantages and disadvantages"

Consider followings: In recent years some new models have been proposed, each one has its own advantages and disadvantages. In recent years some new models have been proposed, each one having ...
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2answers
2k views

I know who my friend is / who is my friend

I know who my friend is. I know who is my friend. Could you tell me what is the difference between these?
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1answer
226 views

What function does "just red" have?

If you have steak you can eat it rare; medium-rare (cooked a bit longer and just red in the middle)... What is the role of "red" in this sentence? Is it a noun or an adjective? What function does ...
1
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1answer
711 views

Help me parse this sentence

Do you know what he is pretending that the broom is? The that-clause within the what-clause is confusing me. Is this a grammatical sentence?
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1answer
10k views

What is a different way to say "I choose this because..."

I am writing supplementary applications for universities and they are asking for extracurricular activities I have done as well as a description for each. In the description, I am talking about why I ...
1
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1answer
88 views

Participle phrase order in the sentence

In the phrase below, the last participle phrase looks attached to "pets" or rather to "cats and dogs". What would be your first opinion? Sam liked pets, including cats and dogs, encountered in the ...
5
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1answer
2k views

the structure "like for somebody to do something"

I ran into this in the novel The Old Man and the Sea, “I do not like for him to waken me. It is as though I were inferior.” What has happened in the first sentence "I do not like for him to waken ...
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2answers
334 views

Parsing a complex sentence

Here is the past and all its inhabitants miraculously sealed as in a magic tank; all we have to do is to look and to listen and to look and soon the little figures—for they are rather under life size—...
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2answers
27k views

"as ... as" or "so ... as" for comparison?

I read in a book that for comparison, as ... as is used for affirmative statements, and so ... as is used to for negative statements. For example: He is as tall as his brother. He is not so tall as ...
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2answers
37k views

Questions with "whether"

Sorry for such a basic question, but I don't know how to google it. How to correctly ask questions with whether? Questions like these: Whether she made it blue or green? Whether she made it ...
7
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2answers
29k views

"if you want to" vs "if you want" - in the end of a sentence

I saw this sentence: But you can use this also, if you want to! I'm just wondering, what is the difference from this: But you can use this also, if you want! When and why should I attach to?
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1answer
2k views

Passive voice with must or have to

I have the sentence. Criteria are initialized a default value I would like to improve the sentence. Criteria must are initialized a default value Can I write this?
3
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2answers
270 views

Can I omit the second “is” in “is… and is…”?

What is the correct syntax: This column is a primary key and null. or This column is a primary key and is null. Should I write is again?
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3answers
2k views

When should I use the word 'that' between parts of sentences?

What is the correct syntax: I'm quite sure that your record was successfully created Or I'm quite sure your record was successfully created
0
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1answer
74 views

Is "this way" the subject?

The pain in Harry's head was so bad he fell to his knees. It took a minute or two to pass. When he looked up, the figure had gone. A centaur was standing over him, not Ronan or Bane; this one looked ...
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2answers
9k views

Different syntax, different meaning: "application field" & "field application"?

I was wondering about the difference between these two expressions is. application field (generic) field application (I think this is specialist jargon in engineering). Apparently they indicate the ...
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1answer
106 views

'is lying' vs 'lying"

I'm trying to figure how to reduce my use of words like 'is', 'are' and 'being'. A dog is lying on the floor. A dog lying on the floor. Why should I always write "A dog is lying"? I ...
5
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1answer
4k views

why does 'VERB+ing' come after 'to' in this context?

I am studying for the TOEFL iBT and I have this sample introduction to an independent writing section: Although some people prefer to work alone, I believe it is much better to work in teams. The ...
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1answer
655 views

It's a duty + infinitive Vs. It's a duty + gerund

In the sentence: It's a duty to take the bus to Barcelona, the most beautiful city in Spain. Shall I use the infinitive or the gerund after "duty"?
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3answers
1k views

On the Wednesdays of September Vs. On September Wednedays

Which is the correct one: On the Wednesdays of September, I used to go to the cinema with my dad. On September Wednesdays, I used to go to the cinema with my dad.
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1answer
96 views

"God is us" versus "God is we"

Which one is syntactically correct and why? God is us. God is we.
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2answers
493 views

reported speech--three different tenses?

I have a question regarding reported speech. I've seen three different tenses being used when in comes to reported speech and was wondering if any or all of these were grammatically correct. "He ...
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2answers
291 views

What does this noun phrase plus a clause mean?

My studies were meticulous and intense, although not particularly fruitful. At first, I planned to take a degree in psychiatry as many manqué talents do; but I was even more manqué than that; a ...
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2answers
6k views

Does "respectively" come before or after what it describes?

I have the following construction: If union and intersection of A and B sets are defined respectively as A U B :=(Va U Vb), A ^ B :=(Va ^ Vb), . Where Va and Vb are points within the each entity. ...
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1answer
700 views

Infinitive form Vs. -ing form after a value judgement

Which one of the following is correct and why? It'll be wonderful to see you again. It'll be wonderful seeing you again.
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3answers
955 views

"Whether or not" followed by two alternative words

But more than any specific piece, I love the feeling Gaultier collections (both RTW and HC) convey. They’re always lighthearted, upbeat and joyous. Whether or not one actually likes or dislikes the ...
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3answers
190 views

A question on a which-question

While asking a previous question I was not sure whether to conclude by asking "A" or "B": A. Which of the above definitions is the most accurate in describing ... B. Which of the ...
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3answers
5k views

"What it does is {VERB / to VERB / VERBing} ..."?

For these expressions What a paper shredder does is tearing the paper/tear the paper in small pieces which can be easily disposed. What he wants to do is to become/become a ballplayer. Which of ...
4
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2answers
133 views

what's the structure of the following sentence?

Hair production is the result of the cells of the hair follicle depositing layer after layer of protein into this tubular space. Can anyone help me parse the above sentence? Is "depositing layer ...
5
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2answers
1k views

Is it uncommon to end a sentence with a contraction?

I tried to persuade X to go, but I couldn't. I came across someone writing a sentence ending in a contraction, similar to the one above, and someone else saying that it's uncommon, and that "but I ...
6
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2answers
6k views

Starting a sentence with a preposition

Recently I've heard someone say "Off I go." At first it sounded a bit strange, then I've realized maybe it could be a saying. Or maybe not. So here it is my question: Are there any other sentences, or ...
3
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2answers
2k views

Hoping something for the future

When you want to say that you hope or expect that something happens to someone, but in some moment in the future, what sentence is the right one: I hope your holidays will be great. I hope that ...
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2answers
1k views

Does "It snowed hard Monday" require an "on"?

I came across an English learner writing It snowed hard Monday. After saying that it didn't snow on Friday and Saturday. It didn't quite feel right to me. I'd be okay with It snowed hard. or ...
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5answers
3k views

Is ending a sentence with a preposition acceptable?

When I learned English at school, I was taught that I should not end a sentence with a preposition. Is it correct to end a sentence with a preposition? To avoid starting a sentence with a ...
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2answers
2k views

"Make" meaning "force to do something"

As it is well known, among other meanings "make" means force someone to do something and searching on Google shows that the sentence "The boss made me work an extra day" is grammatical (68,500 hits). ...
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6answers
4k views

Should we not start sentences with "And" , "But" ,"So" and "Because"?

Personally, I use “but” and “so” to start sentences, but not “and” and “because”. Today I was talking to a friend of my brother on this matter, who is in 6th Grade. He takes tuition from a private ...
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2answers
275 views

Is this rule "If" specific?

When I was in High School, I read a rule, that was tricky, and I still remember. The rule is: If something has happened but we wish it happened the other way by using "if", we should change the was/...
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1answer
1k views

Tense used when describing the object of a past tense action

I want to join the following two sentences into one sentence, and I'm not sure what tense to use. I joined a site. The site is focused on learning English. Should I use present tense for ...
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3answers
2k views

"Despicable Me": can "me" be used in such a way?

We know a movie named Despicable Me. I guess it means "I am despicable". But can me be used in such a way? For example, can I further say unavoidable me to mean "I am unavoidable"? Are there other ...
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4answers
1k views

How should I construct a question from a sentence containing "used to"?

What is the question form of "She used to come here."? Is "Did she use to come here?" or "Used she to come here?" From my high school English classes, I remember I was taught it is "Used she to come ...

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