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121 votes
Accepted

How to understand "I had two try"

There are a couple of things about this sentence which make it tricky, but I don't think it's outside the range of what would be considered normal for spoken English (remember it's a quote of what a ...
Peter Green's user avatar
  • 1,691
46 votes

Parsing “have a limited release the product”

The smallest change to something that makes sense is to insert "of" giving We'll have a limited release of the product and let this region serve as a guinea pig. In this case "limited&...
Peter's user avatar
  • 7,547
45 votes
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Understanding "Conformity is a virtue, creativity suspect, humor forbidden, and voice mute"

Conformity is a virtue, creativity suspect, humor forbidden, and voice mute. This isn't a list describing "conformity", it is a list of things about legal writing. Conformity is a virtue. Creativity ...
ColleenV's user avatar
  • 12k
35 votes
Accepted

Parsing "I was in the soup now good."

This is the voice of Capt Washburn speaking about his situation in 1946. He is an old sailor, with a strong dialect. This isn't standard English. The word "good" is an adverb in the ...
James K's user avatar
  • 226k
29 votes

Parsing "I was in the soup now good."

"In the soup" is an expression meaning "in trouble or a bad situation", "good" here is an intensifier, trying to convey just how bad the situation is. informal + old-...
SoronelHaetir's user avatar
23 votes

In the sentence "The table was set for lunch" is "set" a verb or an adjective?

As is, there is not enough information to be able to tell, definitively. i.e. The answer depends on the context in which the sentence appears. If, for example, it were to be preceded by "I looked ...
Richard's user avatar
  • 516
19 votes
Accepted

What is the subject of “With great power comes great responsibility.”?

Your sentence looks like a saying, and it uses subject-verb inversion to give more impact. Sometimes you must use inverted word order to communicate the intended idea. Inverted word order occurs when ...
fev's user avatar
  • 9,555
18 votes
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Is "life is too short to count calories" grammatically wrong?

No, there's nothing wrong with it. There's no rule that a phrase like this has to have the same subject as the main clause or an explicit subject. You certainly could say, "Life is too short for ...
Jay's user avatar
  • 67.1k
17 votes

What is the subject of “With great power comes great responsibility.”?

Great responsibility is the subject. The sentence is written in inverted form to emphasise that if you have power you also have responsibility. In the little house lived an old man. Without sunshine, ...
Kate Bunting's user avatar
  • 56.3k
15 votes

Understanding "Conformity is a virtue, creativity suspect, humor forbidden, and voice mute"

It's an example of ellipsis (specifically, gapping). The author has chosen to remove the repeated word "is" from Conformity is a virtue, creativity is suspect, humor is forbidden, and voice is ...
David Richerby's user avatar
14 votes

How to parse "less than 60% based a turnout less than 75% "

I am a British English speaker. I think the person who posted the online petition just accidentally made some grammar mistakes because they created a petition in a hurry, and the website offered no ...
William Smith's user avatar
13 votes
Accepted

How to parse "less than 60% based a turnout less than 75% "

In fact it needs to read "based on" (or "based upon"; see comments). As you indicated that you expected, base on is a phrasal verb here. It is a multi-word item which has a meaning like using in X is ...
Jim Reynolds's user avatar
  • 9,997
13 votes
Accepted

How to parse "As for the philosophical content explicitly picks over in the film’s dialogue"?

My understanding is that picks should be changed to picked. As for the philosophical content explicitly picked over in the film’s dialogue, it’s something for the viewer to digest. Now it sounds ...
Robert W.'s user avatar
  • 582
13 votes

Parsing “have a limited release the product”

We'll have a limited release the product and let this region serve as a guinea pig. This is an error. Notice that examples such as this are usually discovered by computer search of thousands of ...
chasly - supports Monica's user avatar
12 votes
Accepted

He got a vote 80% that of Emmanuel Macron’s

In this phrase, 'that' is being used as a pronoun, standing in for the noun 'the vote'. So perhaps it could be read as: Indeed, in the first round he got a vote 80% of the vote of Emmanuel Macron's....
Johnny's user avatar
  • 934
12 votes
Accepted

Parsing “have a limited release the product”

The phrase "limited release the product" is such bad construction that the reader has to guess at the meaning. It would work as "We'll have a limited release product" -- that is a ...
rcook's user avatar
  • 2,606
10 votes

How paradoxical that the world’s greatest chefs

A paradox is a situation, so the adverb "paradoxically" does not describe a person or a thing. In both of the examples you cite, the adjectives refer to the object or person. Look at another ...
Astralbee's user avatar
  • 105k
10 votes

Is "conspicuously missing" or "conspicuously" the subject of this sentence?

There are two verbs in that sentence that have a subject. These are was and provided. Was is a little confusing because it's in a non-standard order. To be is a linking verb, so it can take an ...
SamBC's user avatar
  • 22.8k
9 votes

How to understand "I had two try"

With context being somewhat limited, it seems he is saying that he had (knew/met) two people who tried and paid him "with great gold coins the size of hubcaps ten minutes ago". The HAVE + NOUN PHRASE ...
Eddie Kal's user avatar
  • 18.9k
9 votes

Is "closed" an adverb or adjective in "pinch your nose closed"?

The word closed is an adjective, describing the state of your nose after pinching. The structure is called resultative: Wikipedia "resulative" "In linguistics, a resultative (...
Jack O'Flaherty's user avatar
9 votes

In the sentence "The table was set for lunch" is "set" a verb or an adjective?

A verb, a past participle and a passive construction seem to be a reasonable analysis. As a participle, we could ask for the active form and would get "Someone set the table for lunch." ...
James K's user avatar
  • 226k
8 votes

How to understand "I had two try"

I don't quite understand why the singular form of 'try' is being used It isn't. In that sentence, "try" is a verb. With verbs, the singular version ends in an 's' and the plural version does not (...
Brythan's user avatar
  • 444
7 votes

In the sentence "The table was set for lunch" is "set" a verb or an adjective?

Let's set the table for dinner. [i.e. put out forks, knives, spoons, glasses, plates, etc.] [A Mother says] I usually set the table for dinner but sometimes my kids do. It is set by them. [To father;] ...
Lambie's user avatar
  • 46.4k
6 votes

Understanding "Conformity is a virtue, creativity suspect, humor forbidden, and voice mute"

This is a rhetorical form called zeugma, where common elements are dropped . As David pointed out, the repeated "is" is dropped for effect. Zeugma is not exclusive to English. In 66 BC, Cicero said "...
Michael Lorton's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

How paradoxical that the world’s greatest chefs

You ask Why did the author use "that" after the adjective "paradoxical"? How paradoxical is an exclamation. Exclamations often have no explicit verb. The verb is implicit: {something} IS so ...
TimR's user avatar
  • 128k
6 votes

What is the subject of “With great power comes great responsibility.”?

As the other answers have pointed out, the normal word order would be, “Great responsibility comes with great power.” Inverting the word order doesn’t change the meaning, but makes the sentence sound ...
Davislor's user avatar
  • 8,491
6 votes
Accepted

What is "more carefully than I do" in "My wife drives more carefully than I do", grammatically?

Welcome to English Language Learners. In this sentence, the phrase, 'more carefully than I do', is an adverbial phrase. It can't be considered an adverbial clause because it doesn't have its own ...
dwilli's user avatar
  • 4,827
6 votes
Accepted

"At last, a women's magazine to explode the myth that thin equals beautiful." — Is it grammatical to build sentences without a predicator?

This isn't a "sentence". It is common for some utterances that are not clauses. For example "At last, The 1948 Show" was the title of a comedy (from the 1960s) Even if an ...
James K's user avatar
  • 226k
5 votes
Accepted

Parts of Speech of: come+ verbing

They are verbs, of course--present participles. Waving, for instance, takes a direct object, his hands. Syntactically they are (take a deep breath before you try to say this) subject-oriented ...
StoneyB on hiatus's user avatar
5 votes

Parsing "Moving Mountains"

"Moving mountains" is a common English expression, and it means the (figurative) action of moving a mountain. The origin, I believe, is biblical, although there may well be similar proverbs found in ...
Astralbee's user avatar
  • 105k

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