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  1. Hi! I've been trying to nail down my sentence structure, so that I know when a sentence doesn't work. So I have these two lines that are making me sad: 1- Being the boss made Jeff feel uneasy. [Being the boss]: Gerund phrase serving as subject. Made: Verb. Jeff: Direct Object. Now the problem for me is in [feel uneasy.] I've been searching for like an hour and can't decide what it is: Is it a verb phrase serving as subject complement? A verb phrase serving as an object complement? Is it modifying Jeff or Made? I mean what kind of phrase is it and what is function is it serving? In a sentence like this: I like making people happy. People is a noun serving as object and happy is an adjective serving as object complement. But the fact that [feel uneasy] has a verb makes me think it's something different. Second sentence is: 2- Tom's favorite tactic has been jabbering away to his constituents. Now, the website I've been reading (purdue) said that [Jabbering away to his constituents.] is a gerund phrase, which is no problem, but it also said this: jabbering away to (gerund) his constituents (direct object of action expressed in gerund) And that just makes me confused. Shouldn't it be: Jabbering: Gerund. Away: Adverb modifying Jabbering. [To his constituents]: Adverbial propositional phrase. [His constituents.]: Noun phrase serving as object of the preposition to? Hope you can help me. Thanks for reading.
  2. Salut! I'm probably more lazy than most, but I've always struggled with remembering vocabulary. I took French in high school and college, and have had an "on and off again" relationship with practicing ever since. There's always so many things I want to do, and French ends up taking a backseat. I'm a developer, so me and a few friends made a free chrome extension to fix this. It immerses you in French or Spanish vocabulary on any website you visit. It's a pretty cool way to pick up new words, and it's really subtle, so you can keep it on for months at a time - and stay up to date with your vocab forever! We'd love it if you gave it a shot and let us know how we could make it even better for language learners Check it out here! www.usefluent.co
  3. I often have questions about French usage that can't be solved by a dictionary, so I have been relying on Linguee quite a lot. For each word or phrase you can get a long list of real-world usages pulled from the Web. It covers many languages, though I can only vouch for the French content as I haven't used it for any other languages so far.
  4. We all know that language uses finite means to get infinite number of sentences. We can create sentences almost freely. Sometimes they don't make sense, true, but they still remain a possibility. However, language in general also has the property of recursion. By its definition "recursion" is the repetition of something. In language, things can be repeated almost infinitely. Take for example the following sentence: I am very tired. If I feel extremely tired, I might (instead of using the adverb phrase extremely) put another very in front of very tired as a premodification: I am very very tired. Grammatically, this is allowed even one hundred times. So sentence I am very very very very very very very very very tired. is perfectly grammatical, although it is not used simply because its not economical or practical. This is the example of recursion: the repetition of the adverb / adverb phrase very. One other way in which recursion is realised is via coordination. Consider the following: Mary was in school. If we wanted to name all the children who were in school, that would be allowed, so we might get a very very very long sentence (I just love recursion), for example: Mary and John and Jane and Joseph and George and Steve and Tina and Josh were in school. Coordination allows me to name as many children as I want. Same is with adjectives: I am tired and sleepy and frustrated... And finally, there is one more structure I can think of: embedding! Also known as : subordinate clauses. He says that I know that Mary thinks that John believes that .... So, this is recursion. I used the examples from English simply because we all understand it. However, recursion is present in other languages as well. The only reason why it doesn't function is the memory limitation. We forget what we'd wanted to say or we forget what we'd already named - things like that. Still, these sentences remain grammatical. We cannot call them ill-formed, merely impractical.
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