Grammar question that makes sense, but I dont know why

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jonathanschulz
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Grammar question that makes sense, but I dont know why

Post by jonathanschulz »

Good day all. I posted this in r/grammar as well but I found this reddit thread and thought maybe this would be a better place to post it.

This is my first post here, but Im lost in understanding how to explain two things that I was asked by a non-native English speaker friend. In my head the answers makes sense, but I dont know why. I tried Googling it by typing in the sentences, but dont get any real info as I also dont know exactly what im looking for termonology wise.

First- The mother insisted on her children __________ in the park after dark. Here its obviously "not playing" to me, but when asked why is it not "not to play" with a slightly different sentence rhythm I suddenly did not know why.

Second- The doctor always talks to me ______ a teacher talks to a child. Again here it is obviously "like" as it compares the two things. But they asked why not "similar as" as it also compares two things by saying they are the same. I know its wrong in my head (or gut) but for the life of me I cant figure out why.

I thought I would ask this thread as you are all knowledgable on the technicalities of this. so I would appreciate any and all assistance.
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Re: Grammar question that makes sense, but I dont know why

Post by Brave »

jonathanschulz wrote: Thu Apr 11, 2024 7:32 amFirst- The mother insisted on her children __________ in the park after dark. Here its obviously "not playing" to me, but when asked why is it not "not to play" with a slightly different sentence rhythm I suddenly did not know why.
The word "on" is a preposition. Prepositions are always followed by a noun (include pronoun or gerund which is a verb in noun form). Therefore "insist on doing" :ok: not "insist on to do" :nok: .

See https://www.englishclub.com/grammar/pre ... s-rule.php
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Re: Grammar question that makes sense, but I dont know why

Post by Brave »

jonathanschulz wrote: Thu Apr 11, 2024 7:32 amSecond- The doctor always talks to me ______ a teacher talks to a child. Again here it is obviously "like" as it compares the two things. But they asked why not "similar as" as it also compares two things by saying they are the same. I know its wrong in my head (or gut) but for the life of me I cant figure out why.
If using "similar" the correct and idiomatic construction is "similar to", so one could say:

The doctor always talks to me similar to the way a teacher talks to a child. :ok:

"similar as" is not standard BrE. Not sure what it is in AmE but I don't think it's possible.

"like" is the obvious choice, as you say.
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