The subject and the object are changed around, so I think it is passive voice. If the sentence is correct, then is this correct:

The engineer to fix the problem is Arnold.

  • Your headline example is active, not passive, as is your second example. Both of them are straightforward examples of sentences with predicative complements ("Neil Armstrong" and "Arnold") in their specifying sense. What makes you think they are passive constructions? – BillJ Feb 7 '16 at 20:48
  • @BillJ It was a guess. Is there a word for this type of sentence? A sentence that is changed around from how it is supposed to be? – alex98 Feb 7 '16 at 20:52
  • @ alex98 Oh, I see. Certainly, the subject and complement are reversible in each of your examples. It's a matter of personal choice which you choose for which function, though subjects do tend to get more prominence of course. – BillJ Feb 7 '16 at 21:05
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    I think the term you are looking for is latinate construction (or absolute construction) but the examples you give are a special case. The verb "to be" here expresses equality so both word orders make sense as in: "Bruce Wayne is Batman" and "Batman is Bruce Wayne". – Hugh Meyers Feb 7 '16 at 23:16
  • @BillJ quite right. I expressed myself poorly. What I was trying to say was that the term he wanted might be absolute construction but that the examples he gave are not that for the reasons you explained. – Hugh Meyers Feb 8 '16 at 8:31

The cited sentence has no object! Its parts are:
subject "The first man to land on the moon"
verb "was"
and PREDICATE NOMINATIVE "Neil Armstrong."

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There is no such thing as a passive copula. Since the subject and its complement (what you called the object) are both definite, the two sets are identical (not nested, like 'a cat is a mammal'); therefore it makes no difference which comes first, except for nuance.

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The logic subject is Neil Armstrong: Neil Armstrong was the first person to land on the moon. By postponing this subject at the end of the sentence you give Neil Armstrong a very strong emphasis and the sentence evokes interest. In such sentences with the subject in end position the place of subject and subject complement are switched.

Added: The sentence can be seen as answer of: Who was the first man to land on the moon. You could answer: Neil Armstrong / It was Neil Armstrong / The first man to land on the moon was Neil Armstrong.

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    Not really. See the comments to the question. Or think of the sentence as the response to a question. If I ask: "Who is Neil Armstrong?" You might answer: "Neil Armstrong was the first person to land on the moon." Nothing unusual about that. If I ask: "Who got to the moon first?" Then the answer might be: "The first person to land on the moon was Neil Armstrong." Again, perfectly normal. The sentence says that the two things are the same. The order just changes which side of the equality is emphasized. – Hugh Meyers Feb 8 '16 at 8:46
  • It's a simple declarative sentence. "The first person..." is a specific identity -- something to be "defined". "Neil Armstrong" is the "definition" being declared. If the order is inverted you're leaving out a whole bunch of things that Neil Armstrong is, so reversing the order would only make sense if the context limited Armstrong's characteristics to first moon landings somehow. – Hot Licks Feb 8 '16 at 23:36
  • "The person you need to talk to is Frank Smith." What's the subject?? – Hot Licks Feb 8 '16 at 23:39

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