Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I'd like to say that I still have some things left to be done.

The first thing that comes to mind (probably due to my native tongue, Hebrew):

What is left to do, is to clean up the mess.

But it sounds bad, and I'm sure it's incorrect. The following sounds a bit better to me (although I feel it's probably wrong):

  • What's left, is to clean up the mess.
  • What remains to be done, is to clean up the mess.

Are any of the above correct? Is there a better way to say it?

share|improve this question
2  
All of your sentences are grammatically correct. A native speaker might phrase it as: "All that's left is to clean up the mess." unless someone asked, "What's left?" to which they might answer, "What's left is to clean up the mess." –  Jim Sep 6 '12 at 4:20
    
Unless you can say what it is that makes you think "it sounds bad, and I'm sure it's incorrect," we can offer no comment. –  Kris Sep 6 '12 at 7:30
1  
The only difference between #1 and #2 is the change from "what is" to "what's" – which won't affect whether or not the sentence grammatically correct, or even make a difference in determining which one is "better." One other way to say it might be, "The only thing left is to clean up the mess." –  J.R. Sep 6 '12 at 9:35
1  
Not only is "What is left, is X" grammatical, but also “What they are is X” and even “The thing is, is that…”. –  RegDwigнt Sep 6 '12 at 10:00
1  
What is left is to just say thank you for your help! :) –  Eran Medan Sep 6 '12 at 14:15
show 2 more comments

2 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

The best way of saying it is probably "What's left to do is to clean up the mess" or "All that is left is to clean up the mess."

By adding the "to do" the sentence is given a context which is more useful and grammatically stronger.

By taking away the "," in the second sentence, makes the sentence flow better.

share|improve this answer
1  
I don't see the need for a comma either. –  Kris Sep 7 '12 at 6:28
    
sorry, I overlooked that! edited the answer :) –  fasheikh Sep 7 '12 at 8:12
add comment

What is left is to clean up the mess

What's left is to clean up the mess

What remains to be done is to clean up the mess

are all correct but should be written without the comma.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.