Is this sentence grammatically correct: "The mall is constructing".?

I know that we use "The mall is being constructed" in passive, but I want to know that can I write "The mall is constructing". Is this sentence grammatically correct?

  • 2
    The mall is constructing is ungrammatical, because the verb construct is transitive. The mall is constructing what? (leaving alone the face that the mall is not something that can construct anything). – Armen Ծիրունյան Oct 10 '14 at 13:00
  • 1
    It used to be grammatical to say that; 200 or less years ago many English speakers would say things like The bridge is building. Of course, they wouldn't know what to say about a mall back then, and constructing would sound pretty highfalutin. Nowadays, however, we either use a fixed phrase under construction or a passive is being constructed. – John Lawler Oct 10 '14 at 15:30
  • This should not have been closed as proofreading, because the asker did identify a specific source of concern in the text (i.e., use of the verb constructing in active voice). – phenry Oct 10 '14 at 21:04
  • 1
    I knew I'd come across the intransitive usage before. In 'The Elements of Mechanics' [1832] by James Renwick is 'At the present moment a bridge is constructing over the Dee at Chester, in England, whose span is 200 feet.' [No, I didn't buy a copy of the original when it was printed.] – Edwin Ashworth Oct 10 '14 at 21:48

Its grammatically correct in a technical sense, I suppose. However it is almost certainly not what you are trying to say.

The verb "constructing" means that the subject is doing the constructing. Malls themselves are buildings, and to my knowledge can't really be said to actively do much of anything on their own, other than perhaps sell stuff or quash the human spirit.

If you mean that some people (perhaps employed by the owners of the mall) are in the process of building it, the typical phrase to use would be "The mall is under construction".


The mall is "under-construction".

The meaning of the verb...construct is to build up, create, design, put together, or manufacture.

From what you have stated, it appears as if the subject, "the mall", is constructing itself.

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