Of course we can always say "the sun is up", but is it acceptable to say "the sun is risen" just as we use verb "to be" before other past participles like "she is gone"? Or should we say "the sun has risen"? Does it make any difference?


4 Answers 4


There are examples of is risen in both North American and British writing, but they are rare and almost always refer to Jesus. Nevertheless, it is very occasionally used for the sun or moon.


Well, I'd have to say it depends on what you want to say with your word usage. If you mean it to sound almost poetic? 'The sun is risen' fits right in. So if say this is for a poem, or used in a context where it is meant to sound almost romantic, it fits just fine.

"Consider what your words say, not just what the words mean."


"The sun has risen" sounds more natural than "..sun is risen"

In this mode not all verbs will agree with "has".


"the man has fallen", good, but "the man is fallen" behaves like an adjective, the man is what? A fallen man.

In this form, the verb "fallen" is added to a noun kinda of lije a gerund.

Another example:

"the company has risen to the challenge.." this form "has risen to..." is common but

"the company is risen to the challenge" sounds off and I think it's plainly wrong.

  • 2
    Please add sources to your answer
    – Helmar
    Aug 15, 2016 at 18:05
  • I merely wrote based on personal knowledge. Does this mean every answer has to have a source? Aug 15, 2016 at 18:37
  • 3
    Have a look at the help center for information about good answers.
    – Helmar
    Aug 15, 2016 at 18:53

Using is over has in general is a sop thrown to King James Bible English. If you do not intend to make that reference, avoid it.

  • It's perfectly acceptable 19th century English; you're 250 years off. See Google Ngram (although I admit it was also used in the King James Bible). Aug 27, 2014 at 0:00
  • And yet we do not consciously use it to refer to Victorian English. We use it to refer to things within our common experience. Such is the nature of references. Aug 27, 2014 at 0:01
  • Google Ngram will never tell me why I say things the way that I do. Numbers simply cannot answer the question 'why'. Nor can they address anything properly covered by the modal verb 'should'. Aug 27, 2014 at 0:05

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