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Is there a rule for when one has to say to be a positive influence on... or to have a positive influence on...? For example,

The practice of singing songs is/has a positive influence on people.

2 Answers 2

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In your example sentence, using 'is' sounds very awkward to me. 'Has' seems much more natural.

I'm not sure if there's a rule, but in general, I'd recommend using 'is/was' when talking about people, for example:

His father was a positive influence on him.

And 'has/had' when talking about things or concepts:

The presence of his father had a positive influence in his life.

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One should be a good influence on others.

He had a good infuence on his peers.

In my opinion both are grammatically correct.

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    "In my opinion" is a bad start to an answer. Opinion-based answers aren't considered good quality. I'm not saying you're wrong. But include links to definitions/sources backing up your claim.
    – Tushar Raj
    May 2, 2015 at 11:42

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