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134 votes

Syntactical problem? Musk's tweet "I Am Become Meme, Destroyer Of Shorts"

It is a parody of I am become death, the destroyer of worlds. Constructions such as "I am come", "He is become X" were used in English several centuries ago but are now obsolete in ...
Kate Bunting's user avatar
  • 56.3k
62 votes
Accepted

Syntactical problem? Musk's tweet "I Am Become Meme, Destroyer Of Shorts"

"I am become" is an archaic perfect (= "I have become"). Here Elon Musk's phrase parodies a quote by Oppenheimer. Background to Parodic Reference Robert Oppenheimer was an ...
rjpond's user avatar
  • 23.1k
32 votes
Accepted

I hate mushrooms. How can you agree?

You use the form, not the negative meaning. Me too So do I. Either of these would be acceptable. Also He hates mushrooms, doesn't he? You would normally say this when you thought he ...
Kevin's user avatar
  • 8,034
28 votes

The grammar of "Stop Asian hate"

The difference between "Stop Asian hate" and "Stop white terrorism" isn't one of grammar, it's one of semantics. "Stop Asian hate" and "Stop white terrorism" ...
R.M.'s user avatar
  • 932
25 votes
Accepted

Grammar behind "Whatever what is is is what I want."

Whatever happens. Whatever what is is is what I want. Only that. But that. Whatever "what is" is, is what I want. (Second cup of coffee to the rescue.) Although is appears three times ...
TimR's user avatar
  • 128k
24 votes

The grammar of "Stop Asian hate"

If you drive in the UK, you'll see road signs that have one word on them - STOP - and this is perfectly acceptable. English learners are sometimes taught as a "rule" that a simple sentence ...
Astralbee's user avatar
  • 105k
21 votes
Accepted

“as would a calm dog whose yard…”

When she opened her eyes she saw a harbor seal, twenty feet in front of her, staring at her as would a calm dog whose yard she'd walked into. There's nothing missing from the basic construction. Your ...
BillJ's user avatar
  • 17.1k
21 votes

Syntactical problem? Musk's tweet "I Am Become Meme, Destroyer Of Shorts"

Also, another question is what does "destroyer of shorts" mean? TLDR: Elon does not like people who short sell stocks (aka "shorts" or "shorters") and is happy to ...
eps's user avatar
  • 880
20 votes
Accepted

Is it correct to use both "wish" and "start" in "We wish you a very safe and healthy start to 2024"?

"start" is a noun in this sentence. It is modified by the adjective phrase "very safe and healthy" to form a noun phrase "a very safe and healthy start", and this NP is ...
James K's user avatar
  • 226k
19 votes

Confusing use of "if" in "Advanced Grammar in Use"

Good observation! There are actually a few uses of "if": The canonical case is that whether something happens or is true depends on a condition: "If it rains, you'll get wet." The ...
nschneid's user avatar
  • 5,137
15 votes
Accepted

"Her this behavior" vs "this behavior of her"

You should omit 'this' in the first sentence I don't like her behavior but that would be about her behavior in general. I don't like this behavior of hers. (note the extra 's' at the end – it's a ...
Glorfindel's user avatar
  • 14.8k
14 votes
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What shade of meaning is the word "proper" supposed to add to the sentence?

Some other dictionaries give a longer explanation. For example: "You can add proper after a word to indicate that you are referring to the central and most important part of a place, event, or ...
ghostarbeiter's user avatar
13 votes

“as would a calm dog whose yard…”

The seal was staring [in the same way] as a calm dog would [stare] when she had just walked into its yard. You are expected to 'understand' the missing words, which have been left out to make the ...
Kate Bunting's user avatar
  • 56.3k
13 votes

The grammar of "Stop Asian hate"

This isn't a matter of grammar, but of context. Grammatically it is ambiguous, and could mean either "stop hatred directed at Asian people" or "stop hatred perpetrated by Asian people&...
Especially Lime's user avatar
13 votes
Accepted

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

"How many days was the tour" is the only option there that is correct. I'd still definitely prefer to use "how long was the tour". Edit: as Jack said, option 2 "How many days ...
Riolku's user avatar
  • 957
13 votes

What does "though somewhat dated, as, to a greater extent, are those..from the same decade" mean in this sentence?

Jack's various essays from the 1950's are still readable, though somewhat dated, as, to a greater extent, are those by Neville Braybrooke and Christopher Hollis from the same decade. Jack's essays ...
ColleenV's user avatar
  • 12k
12 votes

Grammar behind "Whatever what is is is what I want."

Grammatically, this can be summed up neatly by some ungrammatical use of parentheses: (Whatever (what is) is) is what I want. Each phrase in parentheses is a noun phrase and can be substituted by ...
Gregory Higley's user avatar
12 votes

Syntactical problem? Musk's tweet "I Am Become Meme, Destroyer Of Shorts"

I think Musk is referring to a quote made famous by Robert Oppenheimer. Upon witnessing the detonation of the first atomic bomb, Oppenheimer recalled a line from the Hindu sacred text "Bhagavad-...
Andrew's user avatar
  • 131
12 votes

Confusing use of "if" in "Advanced Grammar in Use"

See my comment on What type of conditional clause is this?. Yes, often these "if" constructions omit and imply extra words, like "I'm going to open a bottle of lemonade, [and you can ...
Andy Bonner's user avatar
  • 13.8k
11 votes

Entry Was Gained

There are (at least) four reasons to use a passive construction. One, because you don't know who or what performed the action. "Entry into the house was gained through the basement." Perhaps we don't ...
Jay's user avatar
  • 67.1k
11 votes

Confusing use of "if" in "Advanced Grammar in Use"

Compare: She's not dating anyone at the moment, if you were wondering whether to ask her to the dance. She's not dating anyone at the moment, in case you were wondering whether to ask her to the ...
TimR's user avatar
  • 128k
10 votes
Accepted

Why so many verbs in this sentence in the published book?

'come' here is not a finite verb, but a past participle used as an adjective modifying 'nightingale'. The original sentence could be expanded as: There's a bird on the lawn that I think must be a ...
Paul Dexter's user avatar
  • 2,216
10 votes
Accepted

How to understand "…you like it the shape it is"

It is syntactically analogous to the way it is. I like it the way it is. That is, "as it is (now)". If you like the present shape of your nose, butt out. Would you like some more milk to cool ...
TimR's user avatar
  • 128k
9 votes

Is "have to" a modal verb?

Have to is not a modal verb, it is not even an auxiliary verb. In the have to structure have is a main verb: Examples: Declarative sentence: I [do] have to go Questions: Do I have to go? ...
Lucian Sava's user avatar
  • 11.5k
9 votes

Why so many verbs in this sentence in the published book?

In this case come is not a finite verb but a participle. If you want to paraphrase the clause it heads as a relative clause you should cast it in the perfect construction: . . . a nightingale ...
StoneyB on hiatus's user avatar
9 votes
Accepted

What does "though somewhat dated, as, to a greater extent, are those..from the same decade" mean in this sentence?

Jack's various essays from the 1950's are still readable, though somewhat dated, as, to a greater extent, are those by Neville Braybrooke and Christopher Hollis from the same decade. Parse 1: Jack's ...
Lambie's user avatar
  • 46.4k
9 votes
Accepted

Why, in one simple sentence, there are two verbs?

In this case, open isn't a verb, it's an adjective. "The door is open" is like "the door is green", it's describing the state of the door, not an action. "Jerry kicked the ...
Darth Pseudonym's user avatar
8 votes

What is the subject in the sentence "Rice is being cooked by Mary"?

I thought that the subject is that which acts, and the object is that which is acted upon. This is often true in an active-voice sentence, but not in a passive-voice sentence. That which acts/is ...
StoneyB on hiatus's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

Is "I bought it because it costed ..." an idiomatic and grammatical phrase?

The reason you found so few results is most likely because cost is an irregular verb. The past simple (and the past participle, too) of cost is still cost, so the correct phrase would be: Naomi ...
Tobey's user avatar
  • 674
8 votes

Confusing use of "if" in "Advanced Grammar in Use"

Some people take issue with this usage, since strictly speaking, the grammar is nonsense. The kind of logical link you'd expect between the two clauses just doesn't exist. Nevertheless, it's used and ...
the-baby-is-you's user avatar

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