The particular example I am thinking of here is: "This sounds like a noble pursuit." I was wondering if it would be grammatically correct to drop the like: hence, "this sounds a noble pursuit."

It sounds correct in my head and out loud (much to the confusion of my co-workers) but I don't think there's any grammatical precedent. Is it actually correct? If not, are there times when I can drop the 'like'? What would those times be?

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    The important thing is that this construction only occurs in complements of sense verbs (look, sound, feel, smell, taste, seem, for instance). Feb 11 '20 at 23:03
  • "This sounds a noble pursuit" sounds fine to me, though I might say "this seems a noble pursuit". (I speak Australian English, if it matters.)
    – nnnnnn
    Feb 12 '20 at 0:52
  • @nnnnnn John Lawler's comment above is relevant. "Seem" is another of his "sense verbs" which behaves in the same way as "sounds".
    – WS2
    Feb 12 '20 at 7:28
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    @JohnLawler Thanks John.
    – WS2
    Feb 12 '20 at 7:28
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    "I could say I did what I had to when I left you to go pirating, but it would taste a lie to say it wasn't what I wanted." - Bootstrap Bill Turner, Pirates of the Caribbean May 25 '20 at 17:10

While you might see "like" dropped in literary works (to sound more poetic?), you would never drop the "like" in regular, every-day spoken or written American English.

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