Often sentences or parts of sentences are combined with verbs or pronoun + verb. However, they don't describe something of the content of the text, they just help to bring the parts or sentences in some kind of a relation (am I right?).


Trees are green. This means they are plants.
Trees are green, meaning they are plants.
Trees are green, that shows that trees are plants.

What is the name for this type of grammar? Is that a special type of a conjunction? Or is it somehow connected to adjuncts?

  • You've got three very different sentences there. I don't expect anyone would give them the same label.
    – curiousdannii
    Commented Feb 21, 2015 at 4:12
  • @curiousdannii Hm … I see … a label for just one of the examples would also help already a lot.
    – DooDo
    Commented Feb 21, 2015 at 7:23

1 Answer 1


Logicians make the distinction between "use" and "mention", following Quine in Word and Object (though I don't know that Quine was the first). You can mention language examples, without necessarily intending to convey what would ordinarily be conveyed by saying/writing them. In your example, "Trees are green" is both used (since it is asserted), then mentioned, when a comment is made made about the linguistic expression "trees are green". Quine gave a famous example: "Tiny was so-called because of his size", where "Tiny" is used to refer to an individual, and mentioned, when a linguistic comment is made about the appropriateness of this name.

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