Should I use a hyphen with a latin phrase that modifies an adjective that modifies a noun?

I understand that Latin phrases are not normally hyphenated. I also understand that adjective-modifying adverbs normally do receive a hyphen (despite this parenthetically invoked exception). So, which is most correct? Option A: There is no ex ante profitable strategy. Option B: There is no ex ante-profitable strategy. Option C: There is no ex-ante-profitable strategy. I … Read more

Do you use a subject pronoun or object pronoun before the ing-word in an absolute construction?

For example: The Pope became the anointed leader of kings and emperors, they becoming his subjects. -or- The Pope became the anointed leader of kings and emperors, them becoming his subjects. On one hand, I can see it being the subject pronoun “they” because it appears that “they” is the subject of a form of … Read more

Is the word solvent in “solvent mixture” used as a noun or an adjective?

when I say a solvent mixture in chemistry, I found several references that say both “solvents mixture” and “solvent mixture”. I wonder if the word solvent is modifying as a noun or an adjective. If noun, “solvents mixture” sound more grammatical as a mixture consists of more than one types of solvent. If adjective, “solvent … Read more

What part of speech is “almost” when applied to an adjective?

If I say that “the box is almost flat” what part of speech is “almost”? I can’t say “the box is almost”, so it does not appear to be an adjective itself. It seems to be a word that modifies the adjective “flat”. I note that the online definitions say it is an adjective and … Read more

On using a modifier with a (comma-separated) list

I have a couple of related questions, one of which is a concrete question and the other of which is more general/abstract. My first question is in regards to the following sentence, which was taken from a government poster (USPS Poster 7): Photographs for news purposes may be taken in entrances, lobbies, foyers, corridors, or … Read more

What is the nature of, and syntactic distinction between, modifier and complement?

I am struggling to understand the syntactic relevance of the distinction between complement and modifier in theories such as the one presented in the Cambridge Grammar of the English Language by Huddleston and Pullum (henceforth CaGel). Specifically, I’d like to know (i) Is there a concise, precise definition of each of these functions, saying exactly … Read more

What part of speech is the word hair in ‘hair spray’?

Consider the following sentence as an example. I used some hair spray. What part of speech is hair? Intuitively, I want to say it’s an adjective modifying spray since hair spray is two separate words and not a compound noun. Hair spray however, as paired nouns, is something that we’ve decided to call a thing … Read more

What’s the FUNCTIONAL difference between a supplement and an adjunct/modifier?

I’m trying to understand the difference between supplements and adjuncts/modifiers. In my search for enlightenment, I’ve come across a number of entries and posts, of which I think this one summarises the issue most clearly. However, nowhere have I found a clear explanation as to what the actual functional difference is. In fact, it seems … Read more

Problems of Use of Participle in Academic Writing: “When considering” VS “When considered”

I have questions about the participle phrase in academic writing which are related to the dangling modifiers of 3 cases. Could you explain me more the appropriate use of sentences with the participle group with 3 cases given? Thank you. Case No.1: 1.1. When considering the environmental context, identified species conform to principles of optimal … Read more

“Reasons for…” or “Reasons that…”

While taking a PSAT practice test, I was told by the answer key that the underlined sentence below is grammatically correct and does not need to be changed. In my experience “reasons,” when used in this context, is usually followed by the phrase “as to why bees are vanishing” “for why it is that bees … Read more