General Question

f4a's avatar

Whats the rule in grammar?

Asked by f4a (601points) June 10th, 2009

this must be the easiest grammar rule. but i need to be sure.
where do you place the word yet?
sample sentence:
Is the movie “GI JOE” showing in NYC yet? or
Is the movie “GI JOE” showing yet in NYC?

whats the rule? how do you clasify the word ‘yet’? is it the same as ‘often’ and ‘always’ etc?

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46 Answers

shrubbery's avatar

As far as I know, technically you’re not supposed to finish a sentence with that kind of word, I can’t remember what it’s called, sorry. Like you’re supposed to say “On which ground is our team playing?” Instead of “Which ground is our team playing on?”. So I guess, technically you’re supposed to say “Is the movie GI Joe showing yet in NYC?” but I think that it’s probably an out dated rule and more commonly people finish sentences with words like “yet” and “on” so you would be correct in saying “Is the movie GI Joe showing in NYC yet?”

PapaLeo's avatar

I’m no grammarian, but I believe the modifier needs to be as close as possible to the noun you’re modifying. In other words: it depends on what you want to say.

In your first sentence (“Is the movie “GI JOE” showing in NYC yet?”), the emphasis is on NYC, implying that there are a number of films you might want to see in NYC, and are asking if “GI Joe” is one of them.

In your second sentence (“Is the movie “GI JOE” showing yet in NYC?”), your emphasis is on the movie. Implying that you know that “GI Joe” has been showing elsewhere, and your query is to whether or not it is also in NYC.

PapaLeo's avatar

@shrubbery I read an article a few weeks ago that referred to this “rule.” You are correct in saying that it is “outdated.” Apparently it was created by erstwhile grammarians who wanted to emphasize the Latin roots of English. Apparently this so-called “dangling participle” violates all rules of Latin, so was seen as to be “incorrect” and “impure.” What this argument fails to recognize is that English has its roots in a variety of languages, and is mostly Germanic in nature, not Latin.

MacBean's avatar

I think these day, most of the time the “rule” in grammar is “If you’re consistent and the other person understands you, it’s fine.” At least, that’s the impression I’m getting after a year or so of listening to Grammar Girl.

Harp's avatar

“Yet” is used here as an adverb modifying the verb “showing”. The applicable rule is that the adverb should never be placed between the verb and its object, which in this case is the prepostional phrase “in NYC”. So “Is GI Joe showing in NYC yet?” would be the correct formulation.

f4a's avatar

@Harp isn’t not the object in the sentence is GI joe, not the prepostional phrase “in NYC”? therefore the word yet wouldn’t be in the middle of the verb, showing, and the object? so “Is GI Joe showing yet in NYC?” still correct?

DarkScribe's avatar

Is the movie “GI JOE” showing in NYC yet? or

This is fine.

Is the movie “GI JOE” showing yet in NYC?

The problem here is that in earlier times this usage could mean is the movie still showing in New York City? – though not many would regard it in that manner. (Aside from Shakespeare fans.)

Harp's avatar

I got a couple of things wrong in that answer. “Showing” is a present participle, not a verb. The participle phrase “showing in NYC” modifies “GI Joe”. I shouldn’t do grammar at 5:30 AM.

qualitycontrol's avatar

the Spanish word for “yet” and “still” is the same word. fun fact.

Harp's avatar

Let me try to redeem myself now that I’ve had a cup of coffee.

Think of it this way: The participle phrase “showing in NYC” acts as an adjective in this sentence, modifying “GI Joe”. These three words together serve the same function as the single word “ready” in the following sentence: “Is dinner ready yet?”

The adverb “yet” in both of these sentences modifies the verb “is”. If you say “Is GI Joe showing yet in NYC?”, you’ve buried “yet” in the adjective, which is describing the noun, not the verb.

Darwin's avatar

Personally, I would just check the New Yorker movie listings to see if it is playing.

f4a's avatar

the movie has nothing to do with it or when it is showing, its only an example. its the sentence structure that im after.

Darwin's avatar

@fish4answers I know. I was just using my Fluther sense of humor.

CMaz's avatar

I love when you all talk (write) dirty!

Strauss's avatar

“Yet” is used as an adverb, but the placement depends on whether it is modifying the verb phrase “is showing” (present perfect tense), or the prepositional phrase “in New York

DarkScribe's avatar

@Yetanotheruser _

Yet” is used as an adverb,

Yet is also a conjunction.

The path was steep, yet I managed to climb it.

CMaz's avatar

Question, A E I O U are vowels. I grew up with them being the only 5. Sometimes Y.
Is Y truly a vowel?

DarkScribe's avatar

It is used in that fashion in French a lot, but I can’t see it as vowel in English.

il Y en a qui levent des gosses au fond des hlm
il Y en a qui roulent leurs bosses du brasil en ukraine
il Y en a qui font la noce du côt dangoulme
Et il y en a qui en peuvent plus de jouer les sex symbols
il Y en a qui vendent lamour au fond de leur bagnole

gailcalled's avatar

@DarkScribe,:Hybrid hymen, hymnal, hyacinth, pylorus,mycelium, cyanide?

-Are you being silly or Y a-t-il un “le him”?

morphail's avatar

@Harp you’re right that you can’t put the adverb between the verb and the object, as in “I threw the ball fast at the catcher.” But “show” in intransitive in this sentence; it has no object.

I don’t see what’s wrong with putting “yet” in either position, depending on the emphasis you want to convey.

@shrubbery You’re referring to the prescription against stranded prepositions, which doesn’t apply here.

Strauss's avatar

@DarkScribe, you are correct about “yet” being either a conjunction or an adverb, and your example is a good one, yet in this case, it is used as an adverb.

Harp's avatar

@gailcalled He means “HLM” (habitation à loyer modéré), a housing project.

DarkScribe's avatar

@gailcalled Hybrid hymen, hymnal, hyacinth, pylorus,mycelium, cyanide?

In English they are consonants, not vowels. (I didn’t make the rules.)

Are you being silly or Y a-t-il un “le him”?

It means “Low Rent Housing”.

Strauss's avatar

The rule is A, E, I, O U and sometimes Y when it acts like I.

In those words the “Y” sounds like an “I”, whether long or short. Another example is why.

Here’s a site that might help to explain it.

gailcalled's avatar

@DarkScribe: Are you sure about the “y” as consonant in the words I chose? Certainly, the “y” is pronounced as “i.”

Here’s one source that treats “y” as both consonant and vowel. It’s beyond me.

“Hymn” and “my” would be words w/o vowels according to your rule. Why is that?

@Harp @DarkScribe: I will start to enlarge the font.

morphail's avatar

Y sometimes represents a vowel sound, and sometimes represents a consonant sound. English has around 15 vowels, depending on the dialect.

“Is Y a consonant or a vowel?” is a meaningless question because it confuses orthography with pronunciation.

cwilbur's avatar

This thread makes me want to shred my Fowler and force-feed it to people.

Is the movie “GI JOE” showing in NYC yet?

Subject: the movie. “GI JOE” is a noun phrase in apposition to the subject.

You can read “is…showing” as either the present progressive tense, or you can read “is” as the verb and “showing” as a participle functioning as an adjective.

“in NYC” is a prepositional phrase functioning as an adverb, modifying either the verb “is showing” or the adjective “showing” depending on how you read that.

“yet” is an adverb, modifying either the adverbial phrase “in NYC.”

It’s usual to put the adverb as close as possible to what it modifies. So correct formulations would be:

“Is the movie ‘GI Joe’ showing in NYC yet?”
“Is the movie ‘GI Joe’ showing yet in NYC?”

This formulation:

“Is the movie ‘GI Joe’ yet showing in NYC?”

suggests that “yet” is modifying “showing,” which it really isn’t.

@DarkScribe: In English, Y can function both as a consonant and a vowel. You may not have made up the rules of grammar, but the “rule” that Y is not a vowel in English is nonsense, as shown by @gailcalled‘s examples.

DarkScribe's avatar

@gailcalled Are you sure about the “y” as consonant in the words I chose? Certainly, the “y” is pronounced as “

What I am sure about are the rules of English Grammar. All dictionaries list only the standard vowels, a,e,i,o,u,.

I agree that there could be a case for including Y as a vowel in some circumstances, but it certainly isn’t up to me.

DarkScribe's avatar

@cwilbur In English, Y can function both as a consonant and a vowel

Tell it to Oxford Press.

Strauss's avatar

@DarkScribe, I asked Oxford press “Is the letter y a vowel or a consonant?”
Here’s the answer from

“Yes, the letter Y is a vowel or a consonant!...”.

DarkScribe's avatar

@Yetanotheruser “Yes, the letter Y is a vowel or a consonant!...”.

I love it!

My dictionary unfortunately is not so vague. Neither the Oxford or the Macquarie – our standards for media work.

I just used your link and got this:

However, the consonant sound is not consistently represented in English spelling by any other letter, and perhaps for this reason Y tends traditionally to be counted among the consonants.

Jeruba's avatar

I see no problem with either placement. There is a subtle difference that has already been pointed out (= has been pointed out already). The construction with “yet” at the end sounds slightly more idiomatic and conversational to me, and the other more elegant and literary, but neither one is incorrect. I would put it down to the author’s or speaker’s style more than anything else.

The prepositional phrase “in NYC” contains the only object in either sentence.

cwilbur's avatar

@DarkScribe: the people at Oxford University Press are not so blindered as to ignore words like ‘hymn’ and ‘rhythm’ when formulating descriptive grammar rules. Perhaps you need to consult better reference materials?

DarkScribe's avatar

@cwilbur _the people at Oxford University Press are not so blindered as to ignore words like ‘hymn’ _

If I knew what “blindered” meant, I might know what you were trying to say. It isn’t in my Oxford.

cwilbur's avatar

@DarkScribe: Blinders are the things that you put on a horse’s eyes because it’s stupid and startles easily. Apparently several Flutherites wear them as well, possibly also because they are stupid and startle easily.

DarkScribe's avatar

@cwilbur Blinders are the things that you put on a horse’s eyes

I didn’t ask what blinders were, I am familiar with them, asked what “blindered” meant. Apparently it is just you trying to misuse a noun as an adjective.

Still your post made no sense. The Oxford exists, it has content, and you wishing as hard as you might doesn’t change any of that.

cwilbur's avatar

@DarkScribe: I’m sorry that my command of English—which allows people to use words as different parts of speech by applying certain transformations to them—is so advanced that it confuses you. You do understand words like “whiskered,” “blackened,” “clothed,” “beribboned,” no?

Perhaps this foolish adherence to misunderstood and misremembered rules is part of your problem. Y functions as a vowel, as is apparent in the words ‘hymn’ and ‘rhythm,’ and anyone who seriously claims otherwise is not paying attention.

CMaz's avatar

“Y functions as a vowel”
Back to my original question.
It is that it “functions” as one or is it one?

DarkScribe's avatar

@cwilbur You do understand words like “whiskered

Yes, no problem, when you use real words I have no difficulty with comprehension. If you learned a little about history and the realities of trade systems instead of getting hung up in nomenclature I might understand more of what you are attempting to say.

cwilbur's avatar

@ChazMaz: Define “vowel,” and see whether Y qualifies.

@DarkScribe: I am using real words, and you seem to have significant problems with comprehension. I’m afraid there is very little I can do to help you.

morphail's avatar

@ChazMaz A vowel is a speech sound characterized by an open vocal tract. By this definition, Y is not a vowel. Letters are not vowels or consonants, they just represent them.

cwilbur's avatar

@morphail: How do you explain ‘hymn’, then? You can have words spelled without vowels?

gailcalled's avatar

Yo, fish4answers: Y functions as both a consonant and a vowel, to answer the original question.

“Syzygy” is a common astronomical word;

“Aye aye” are nautical replies.

Here’s a long list of similar words

Google “Y as vowel.”

Both my little Webster and my big one say in part: English, a tongue-front semi-vowel glide when it begins a syllable, as in yes or beyond, or a high, front, lax vowel (i) as in myth, or the diphtong (long i) as in my.

That should satisfy the naysayers.

morphail's avatar

@cwilbur “hymn” contains a vowel that is represented with the letter Y.

My point was that letters are not vowels or consonants, because vowels and consonants are speech sounds and letters are marks on paper or screen. Two completely different things.

f4a's avatar

hmmmm.. theres tension here, to summarize the answers, what have we come up with?

@Harp needs coffee in the morning ;-) ; yet and still is the same in spanish, thanks for the fan fact ; asking y if its a vowel or not is totally a different topic.

Midnight_Blue's avatar

People seem to confusing vowel and consonant sounds with vowel and consonant letters. They are two different things. Sometimes a consonant letter can sound like a vowel, it doesn’t make it a vowel. We had this discussion with our English teacher when I was in High School in England. No matter how it sounds, if it isn’t one of the accepted vowel letters then it is a consonant. People with strong or unusual accents can make other consonants sound like vowels but it doesn’t change what they are.

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