What is the difference between rebellion attempt and attempted rebellion?

I want to understand if there is any difference between “rebellion attempt” and “attempted rebellion”. The first is a noun-noun while the second is an adjective noun. I think both are ok, but I do know if one is preferable to the other. Also, to me both wordings carry the same meaning, is that so? … Read more

Using participial adjectives

Is this grammar just for regular verbs? Or we can use irregular verbs, too. Answer Oddly enough, irregular past participles have survived as adjectives long after the verb itself has become regular: a freshly mown lawn a newly sown field a poorly sewn dress spilt milk (only archaic in North America) So, obviously, English doesn’t … Read more

The intransitive “to fail” becomes the adjective “failed”

My native language is English. My second-best language used to be German (though you need not know German to answer, for my questions are about English), so I am now noticing what seems to be a weird pattern. In English, one can say either of these: The day has come. The day is come. In … Read more

In “Nobody was surprised at John being absent”, is “being” a present participle modifying “John” or a gerund whose subject is “John”?

Some time ago I learned the difference between a present participle and a gerund, so today I decided to pass any online test to make sure I understand it. I passed it having made only one mistake, which asked the difference between the two in this sentence: Nobody was surprised at John being absent. One … Read more

Is “He is risen” Correct?

This is not correct, right? Mixing present tense and past tense makes me think it is not correct but I see it so often on signs that I’m not even sure any more. Is there a specific reason why it’s often said like that or is it just consistently overlooked? Answer Given that this has … Read more

Word order of participial modifiers and proper nouns

This is a follow-up to this earlier question. I want to say that I met a person and they were drunk at the time. Which should I use: I saw intoxicated John. I saw the intoxicated John. I saw John intoxicated. I know I could say I saw John, who was intoxicated, but I want … Read more

verb or adjective in “The blue page is *stapled* to the red page”?

Consider the following sentence. The blue page is stapled to the red page. Although “stapled” is (apparently) past-tense, nonetheless the above sentence is clearly expressing something about the present. What gives? In particular, would it be wrong to label “stapled” as past-tense in that sentence? (note: Er, actually the OP’s question involves the difference between … Read more