(Or something more Star Wars-y. Sorry, I’m a different kind of nerd.)
You have to be careful out there with posts on the interwebs about grammar. Case in point: this Medium post that showed up when we were doing a search in class. It ties in to some of my recent posts. The post is called “Yes, Yoda’s Grammar is Technically Correct” and overall it’s correct. Yoda’s grammar is fine (if a bit stilted). The grammar in this post though… not so much.
Continue reading “Watch your grammar, young padawan” →
Ok, the title of this post is a bit misleading. Google doesn’t “know” anything. It just grabs some text from a website and puts it up top to give people an answer to their question. The problem here is that the answer they give you is wrong. Because the website that Google uses is wrong. But there’s more than that. The answer that Google gives has been called a “massive overgeneralization” by Huddleston and Pullum. And if that’s not bad enough, all of the results in the Google search give you the exact same incorrect answer. What the what?
Continue reading “Google doesn’t know what a subject is” →
Here’s some advice on grammar that I’ve seen a lot, both online and in print: the notion that the subject is the person or thing that is the “doer” of the verb in a sentence. Turned around a bit, this advice is given as a way to find the subject in a sentence. Just figure out who or what is doing the action in the sentence et voila! You’ve found the subject.
But this is wrong. Let’s find out why.
Continue reading “The subject is not (always) the “doer” in a sentence” →
What is the subject of this sentence:
With great power must also come great responsibility!
It’s either with great power or great responsibility.
Think about it again. Are you sure of your choice? Did you change your mind?
I asked Twitter and was surprised at the results.
I’m in the minority here. In my opinion, the subject is with great power. Let me explain. *Thwip* Continue reading “The grammar of “With great power must also come great responsibility”” →
Hey, remember when I wrote about the YUNiversity and their crazy ideas on what a subject is? Remember how they said the subject of sentence is ALWAYS a noun? Well, they’re not the only ones in crazy grammar town. Grammarly also likes to play fast and loose with grammatical subjects. Check it:
First off, not every sentence needs a subject. Most do, but not all. For example, imperative sentences do not have subjects because the subject is often implied:
Just do it.
Don’t worry, be happy.
Get to the choppaaaaaaaa!
What’s a little crazy is that Grammarly uses an imperative sentence as an example to show that nouns can act as objects. Do they think that Give is the subject of their example sentence? (Narrator’s voice: It’s not. The sentence doesn’t have a subject.)
Second, like I said in the YUNiversity post, the subject of a sentence in English is not always a noun. It often is, but not always. The following can act as the subject in English:
Dummy it – It’s hot.
Unstressed/existential there – There’s plenty of time.
Prepositional phrase – Up in the front will suit me fine.
Adverb phrase – Gently does it.
Adjective phrase – The comic told some funny jokes.
All types of clauses – That he failed his driving test surprised everybody.; What Grammarly wrote online shocked me.
The rest of the info on the Grammarly blog post is pretty good, so that’s nice. I don’t know if Grammarly is copying stuff off of YUNiversity or if it’s the other way around. But somebody is cheating off somebody.