Back to LanguageTool Homepage - Privacy - Imprint

Rule Editor - Exception Clause


I have been construction English rules for a while and I hope to post many of them soon. I think the Rule Editor in simple mode is a really great tool. However, I did not notice an exception clause that could be used to prevent false positives.

An example of this would be certain English words that should be located at the end of a sentence unless preceded by a form of the verb “to be”. An exception clause could be used to prevent false positives from occurring. The exception clause could have conditions such as [preceded by] and [followed by].

Please let me know what you think.



Can you give us an example in English please?


On Fr 19.04.2013, 06:54:19 you wrote:

However, I did not notice an exception clause that could be used to
prevent false positives.

I see… the thing is, we have to draw a line somewhere so the “simple
mode” doesn’t become a “complicated mode”. It would be great to have an
advanced mode that doesn’t require XML, but that is difficult to develop. Not
so much because programming it would be complicated, but getting a good
user interface seems hard.

If anybody wants to develop/design/plan such a tool, that’s very welcome.
No programming is required for that, just a well-thought out workflow.


Thanks Dnaber for the response. I understand the challenge of designing a complex user interface while also preserving simplicity of use. If I knew Java, I would take up the challenge.

Hi SafeTex,

Part of my reason for making this post is partially inspired by a post made by “patforkin”. Patforkin gave a number of examples including:

The child has gone to school alone every day.

I believe the correct version of this sentence should be:

Every day the child went to school alone.

In this case, the word “alone” should be at the end of the sentence. However, in the example below, the rule would be different:

She is alone all the time.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but the fact that “alone” is preceded by the present indicative form of the verb “to be” (in the third-person singular) changes things.

An exception handler would be great in this case.

I guess I will have to learn Java.

Hi Percy

I did comment on Patforkin’s idea and how difficult it would be to find incorrect sentences without getting loads of false alerts and not missing incorrect sentences either.

You want to spot ‘alone’ when it is not at the end of a sentence except after the verb ‘to be based’ on

‘She is alone all the time’.

Really, in your sentence, ‘alone’ IS at the end of the sentence (She is alone.) but you have added on an adverbial of time as you can do with almost any sentence.

I wonder if it is worth making an exception for the verb ‘to be’ therefore plus the fact that you have other sentences like

‘She likes to read alone in her bedroom’


Alone, you just can’t win.

where you don’t have the verb ‘to be’ but ‘alone’ is not at the end of a sentence

All this goes back to Patforkin’s surprise that ‘simple’ wrong sentences where not spotted by Language Tool.

As I said to him, it is very difficult to write rules for this type of word order phenomena in language.

I’m interested to see what you come up with

Best regards


Thanks for the follow-up SafeTex. It turns out that Microsoft Word does not catch these sequence errors either. So, I guess it’s safe to say that it may not be worth the effort to write an exception handler.

Thanks again.