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    #1

    adverb+adjective+noun

    I noticed that English language is not consistent in that. My problem is where to put 'a' when I want to create such a phrase?
    These are what I heard:
    quite a big family
    a quite usual way
    too big a family
    a too big world (this sounds strange to me, but I virtually heard it).

    Concluding, it seems it can be anywhere in general but not in particular cases. So my question is: are there any rules? It's not much of a problem for me, I generally know how to deal with this in the situations that I come across. But I'm simply curious what the linguistics have to say about that.

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      • India
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    • Join Date: Mar 2008
    • Posts: 2,121
    #2

    Exclamation Re: adverb+adjective+noun

    Quote Originally Posted by mmasny View Post
    I noticed that English language is not consistent in that. My problem is where to put 'a' when I want to create such a phrase?
    These are what I heard:
    quite a big family
    a quite usual way
    too big a family
    a too big world (this sounds strange to me, but I virtually heard it).

    Concluding, it seems it can be anywhere in general but not in particular cases. So my question is: are there any rules? It's not much of a problem for me, I generally know how to deal with this in the situations that I come across. But I'm simply curious what the linguistics have to say about that.
    The two expression not underlined follow normal grammatical constructions while the underlined ones have deviations because they are idiomatic expressions. I do not think there is any rule for constructing an idiom which is generally a colloquial expression (also called a figure of speech) not readily analyzable from its grammatical construction or from the meaning of its component parts. Therefore, idioms are not considered part of the language, but part of the culture. One requires some amount of basic and fundamental knowledge, information, or experience, to use only within a culture, where conversational parties must possess common cultural references. Otherwise when a speaker uses an idiom, the listener might mistake its actual meaning, if he or she has not heard this figure of speech before.

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