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  1. Phaedrus

    Parallelism: "The new software is inexpensive and user friendly, and can be . . ."

    Parallelism: "The new software is inexpensive and user friendly, and can be . . ." Greetings, I'm experimenting with using Reed-Kellogg diagrams to exhibit multi-level grammatical parallelism for ESL learners. I'd really like to know whether what I have drawn below is accurate in that...
  2. Phaedrus

    Rounding out Tufguy's "How Long Do You Weigh?" Thread

    Greetings, I just composed a lengthy, well-documented post that promptly vanished into thin air when I clicked "Submit New Thread," because my password had expired today and I was required to re-enter the new one I created. In the process, my post was lost, and I had neglected to save the text...
  3. Phaedrus

    Milton: ". . . / The first art wont his great authentic will /. . ."

    Greetings, This is a thread strictly for those members who enjoy mind-bending exercises in grammar. It is recommended only for native speakers, since the grammar of the sentence I wish to parse is archaic in certain essential respects, both grammatical and orthographical. It may be worthwhile...
  4. Phaedrus

    Using a noun before the infinitive (moved from Ask a Teacher)

    On parsing (3), the noun before the infinitive tells who is doing the action, so I'm afraid a simple "no" conceals possibilities worth knowing about. To be entitled to a "simple 'no,'" murat_turkey should have asked whether "suggest" can be complemented by an infinitival clause with an overt...
  5. Phaedrus

    Re: In other words consciousness is an illimitable power...

    Re: In other words consciousness is an illimitable power... It turns out I got inspired to attempt a Reed–Kellog-style diagram of the sentence. The attached image visually depicts what I described in my last post. With its exotic multitude of clauses, this sentence of Henry James's seems to me...
  6. Phaedrus

    Who does John think it is amusing that likes Jill?

    Greetings, It is well received that if one wishes to make a wh-question focused on the underlined element in a sentence like (a1) John said that Jack likes Jill. one can do so whether one includes that or not (a2) Who(m) did John say (that) Jack likes? whereas if one wishes to make a...
  7. Phaedrus

    possessive pronouns: an antecedent-interpretation issue

    Today I was reading through a beginning-level ESL short story with some learners and came upon this sentence: (1) His customers appreciate Nikos very much. In context, the intended meaning is that Nikos's customers appreciate him. My question is whether the intended meaning is possible...
  8. Phaedrus

    British English: A Free Online Corpus?

    Is there a free online corpus like COCA (the Corpus of Contemporary American English) but for British English? If anyone here knows of one, I'd be very grateful if you could tell me what it is and where one can find it online. I am currently doing some research for which corpus data about...
  9. Phaedrus

    to have used to

    (1a) He claims that he used to live there. (1b) He claims to have used to live there. (2a) It is believed that he used to live there. (2b) He is believed to have used to live there. I'm curious to know whether other native speakers of English besides myself are comfortable with judging the...
  10. Phaedrus

    "used to" with the past perfect

    I was wondering if my fellow native speakers find it acceptable for the past perfect to be used with used to: (1a) I used to smoke. (1b) ? In 1995, I had not used to smoke. (versus: In 1995, I did not use(d) to smoke. / In 1995, it was not the case that I used to smoke.) (2a) He said, "I used...
  11. Phaedrus

    I played (the) clarinet.

    Greetings! I used to play clarinet. I played the clarinet in orchestras. But I don't play piano. I have never played the piano. Do British speakers find the first and third sentences above to be intolerable, just as Americans find "He is in hospital" intolerable? Thank you, Phaedrus P.S...
  12. Phaedrus

    tense & mood: "would rather that . . . when . . ."

    Which is correct? In both sentence trios, both the training and the being here are to be interpreted as future: "he" hasn't been trained yet, and isn't yet here. 1a) I would rather that he WAS trained when he WAS here. 1b) I would rather that he WERE trained when he WAS here. 1c) I would...
  13. Phaedrus

    a question worth (my?) asking

    In the following sentences, the subject of the main verb is semantically the direct object of the -ing verb following "worth" (or, in the case of [3], it's the object of the preposition in the "worth" portion). I'm investigating whether my fellow native speakers think it's OK to add an...
  14. Phaedrus

    worth / worthwhile

    (1a) This is worth doing. (1b) This is worthwhile doing. (1c) This is worthwhile to do. (2a) This is worth thinking about. (2b) This is worthwhile thinking about. (2c) This is worthwhile to think about. Which of the above sentences are correct? If you think all of them are, do you prefer some...
  15. Phaedrus

    "as"-clauses: possible negation issue

    Greetings, Do any of you hear an acceptability difference between the (a) sentences and the (b) sentences below? (1a) He likes chocolate, as does she. (1b) He doesn't like chocolate, as does she. (2a) Tom is going, as is Bill. (2b) Tom isn't going, as is Bill. I assume all of you find the...
  16. Phaedrus

    topicalization with "go + V-ing"

    (1a) He went fishing. (1b) Fishing he went. (2a) She has gone shopping. (2b) Shopping she has gone. (3a) I will go surfing. (3b) Surfing I will go. Are both sentences of each pair acceptable? Thank you.
  17. Phaedrus

    eating, climbing, and digging

    Are the following questions clear? I.e., can you tell what type of information is being sought in each? (1) What did you use to eat? (2) What did you use to climb? (3) What did you use to dig? Thank you!
  18. Phaedrus

    [Grammar] passivizing sentences with "try to"

    Are the (b) sentences below grammatical? We can take or leave the by-phrases. (1a) He tried to help her. (1b) She was tried to be helped by him. (2a) They were trying to solve the problem. (2b) The problem was being tried to be solved by them. (3a) Many people have tried to climb this...
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