Used To

 He is used to the heat.

He is used to being the underdog.

He used to come here often.

He used to be a boxer.

The rake used to aerate the soil

The rake is used to aerate the soil.

The rake used to aerate the soil was stolen.                         The rake (that was) used to aerate the soil …

The rake used to be used to aerate the soil.

Making “used to” into a wordgroup immediately will lead to a lot of grief. One possible way is to have patterns of acceptance, so it is checked for the right meaning  – something like

Person  IsWasVerbAuxiliary         used to                 NounPhrase

Person  IsWasVerbAuxiliary         used to                 ParticipialPhrase

Something          used to                 BaseForm

Something          IsWasVerbAuxiliary         used to                 BaseForm

Something          (that was)            used to                 Baseform            NounPhrase       VerbPhrase

Something          used to                 PassiveVerbPhrase         

The different meanings are hung on the limbs of a MEANING1, and require validation against other objects in the sentence before proceeding.

Some objects in the pattern are beyond the current object, so if the words before the possible wordgroup succeed, a decision can’t be made until all the objects in the patterns are determined – we have to wait to find out if the words really do form a wordgroup, or the only option is LiteralUse.

There are 150 wordgroups where LiteralUse is a possibility (and that number is probably low), so worth getting right.

But what do we return if we search for parents of “used to”?

We could have “searchable structure”, meaning without more information (a string of words), we cannot know.

Are there any single words we should be using this technique on – that is, rather than returning various POS, we check whether they are feasible in the sentence first?

He switched the light on and left the room. “on” can’t be a preposition. Wouldn’t help with “He switched on the light”.

It sounds like “turn on” can do with two variants – one with preposition and one with adverb – “he turned on the light”, “he turned on them”.

Others – “he fell down”, “he fell down the well”, “the soldiers fell in”, “the stock fell in value”.

Orion Design Note


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