QUESTION With reference to multiple phrases as subjects, and subject/verb agreement, which is the correct verb in the sentence below?Reading his work and analyzing his report take/takes all my time.Takes "sounds" better, but I can find no rule to support ever using a singular verb with two subjects!
SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Long Beach, California Thu, Nov 18, 1999 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE I think it's possible to go either way with this sentence, but as I read it, the two things reading his work and analyzing his report are really one effort, one project, and we're looking for a singular verb, "takes." Sometimes one plus one makes one.
QUESTION What is a restrictive modifier and a nonrestrictive modifier?
Please help as soon as possible... thank you profusely. you are a life saver.
SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Winter Park, Florida Thu, Nov 18, 1999 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE I dislike those terms "restrictive" and "nonrestrictive." Those words might describe underwear nicely, but not parts of a sentence. Think of their near equivalents: essential and nonessential. A restrictive or essential modifier is something that cannot be removed from a sentence without changing the meaning of the sentence. For instance, in "The painting done by my brother won first prize," the phrase "done by my brother" is essential to the meaning of the sentence. If you take it out, I won't know what painting you're talking about. On the other hand, "The big painting by the doorway, which was done by my brother, won first prize," the nonrestrictive or nonessential clause "which was done by my brother" can be removed from the sentence (it's "added information"), and I'll still know what painting you have in mind. I hope that helps.
QUESTION Hello, I have reviewed your grammar guide and am still confused as to whether the below sentence is a fragment, lacks parallel parts, choppy, has a misplaced part. None of these seem to apply to this sentence."Learning to fly is challenging and a thrill."(This sentence can not be changed) thanks for your assistance! SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Beaverton, Oregon Fri, Nov 19, 1999 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE You're saying two things about "learning to fly." Try to put those two things into parallel or similar form either a noun or a modifier will do: "a challenge and a thrill" or "challengint and thrilling." But you don't want to mix the noun and the modifier form when you can avoid it so neatly.
QUESTION When looking in the dictionary I found that the word "anything" can be used as a noun, a pronoun, or an adverb. The explanations were quite confusing.
I am trying to decide how the word is used in the sentence, "I hope he doesn't break anything." Is anything used as a pronoun or a noun? Can you please explain this for me?
I have the same problem with words such as yesterday, tonight, and tomorrow. (noun or adverb?) Could you give me some examples showing the words as adverbs and showing them as nouns?
SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Ringoes, New Jersey Mon, Nov 22, 1999 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE Anything is being used as an indefinite pronoun in that sentence. I don't know how to use anything as an adverb perhaps in conjunction with "but," as in "This car is anything but cheap"? When we say "Let's do it tomorrow," the word "tomorrow" is modifying the verb, "do." When we say "Tomorrow is supposed to be beautiful," the same word is acting as a noun.
QUESTION I would like information on determining if a relative clause has a zero relative. Please send the definition for a zero relative and if possible some examples. Also, would it have a function? Thank you. SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Newhall, California Tue, Nov 23, 1999 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE The "zero relative pronoun" (the absence of a relative pronoun where one might otherwise exist) plays a role in sentences such as "The house thatwe lived in for forty years was destroyed by the tornado." When the relative pronoun is not the subject of the relative clause (as it is, say, in "We wondered who would do the dishes.") the option exists of having no relative pronoun at all. Quirk and Greenbaum give these examples: The boy whomwe met . . . The table which/thatwe admire . . . The boy whom/thatthe dog ran towards . . . The table which/thatthe boy crawled under . . . In the sentence "John is not the man thathe was," Quirk and Greenbaum point to "one of the most favoured uses of zero: i.e., when the pronoun is object or complement, the subject is pronominal, and the relative clause is short."
The relative clause continues to function in the same way it would function if it had a relative pronoun. (I'm afraid I don't understand that part of your question.)
Authority: A University Grammar of English by Randolph Quirk and Sidney Greenbaum. Longman Group: Essex, England. 1993. 381. Used with permission.
QUESTION What is a synecdoche? Please give me a couple of sentences, examples of, etc. Thanks. SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Palm Beach, Florida Tue, Nov 23, 1999 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE A synecdoche is a figure of speech in which a part of something is used to suggest the whole of something. The example you'll always find in books is "fifty sails," by which the writer clearly means "fifty sailing vessels." If you're familiar with the expression "walked the boards," you know that it refers to actors on stage so that the material the stage is made of stands for the stage itself. When the captain calls out "All hands on deck!" he probably wants the whole sailor, not just his/her hands.
See, also University of Victoria's Literary Terms.
QUESTION When you assign a name to identify a classroom of children, is the group name singular or plural? For example, if a pre-school classroom fof children has been named "The Butterflies", is it proper to use "is" or "are" in a sentence. (eg . "The Butterflies" are/is the best class. Or "The Butterflies" are/is assigned to room 123. SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Canton, Massachusetts Tue, Nov 23, 1999 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE I suggest you consult the sports pages for guidance. We would say "The Yankees are the best team in baseball," right, even though we're talking about one organization of people. I'd go with the plural.
QUESTION In a sentence such as "Reynolds football team members met yesterday," when Reynolds is the name of a school and serves as an adjective describing which football team members, an apostrophe should not follow the s in Reynolds, right? How about "Jane Thomas hugs are famous in this state"? Should an apostrophe follow the s in Thomas if Jane Thomas serves as an adjective instead of a possessive? SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Clemmons, North Carolina Tue, Nov 23, 1999 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE It is possible to go either way with this construction. In the sentence for the football team, I think it's clear that "Reynolds" is acting as an attributive noun and the possessive s is not necessary. It's not inconceivable, however, that one could write about Reynolds' football team, as a team that belongs to or represents this particular town. Do the hugs belong to Jane Thomas? Yes, they do, so you can obviously use the apostrophe" with "Jane Thomas's hugs." On the other hand, in a rather humorous way, you can modify the word "hugs" by saying these are unique and justly famous hugs: they're "Jane Thomas hugs."
QUESTION What is the dot above the lower case I (i) called? I know it has a name. Thanks! SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Monongahela, Pennsylvania Tue, Nov 23, 1999 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE I'll leave an e-mail icon here in case someone else can find the answer to this question. I suspect you'll have to consult an extensive chronicle of the history of typography to find the answer or a textbook on the art and science of typography.
[Maggie Secara sent in this helpful response.]
I'm sure you'll get a better answer, but I believe the answer is not in typography but in calligraphy. Medieval monks were using a scribal hand in which all the upright strokes were very much the same. Written close together, a word like "minumum" could look like nothing but a series of connected identical strokes. The dot above the i (and when it came into use, the j) would set that letter apart, and give the eye a place to rest and sort out what the word should be.
At least that's my understanding.
QUESTION This is dumb. My spell checker doesn't like my word "wrang", as in the past tense of "wring", as in to wring out a wet cloth. It's starting to look wrong no matter what I do. I've lost my "ear" in this one.
So please, is it wring/wrang/wrung, or wring/wrung/wrung?
Here's the context:"She whipped off her headcloth and dragged it through the stream. As she wrang it out..."Help?
SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Woodland Hills, California Tue, Nov 23, 1999 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE No, she "wrung it out." I don't know why it doesn't follow "ring-rang-rung" or "sing-sang-sung," but I guess that's why they call them irregular verbs.
QUESTION In this sentence:At-risk students confidence and academic status would be negatively impacted by the change in the grading system.Where does the apostrophe go? (in the word "students" - is it "students'" or "student's"?) SOURCE OF QUESTION & DATE OF RESPONSE Lake Charles, Louisiana Wed, Nov 24, 1999 GRAMMAR'S RESPONSE The word student needs to be pluralized first and then turned into an apostrophe students'. The sentence will still be hard to read, though, and some writers really dislike the word "impact" being used in that way. We can also avoid the passive construction by rewriting it as "The change in the grading system will have a negative impact on the confidence and academic status of at-risk students."
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