3

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?

6
  • 2
    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
  • 1
    @JohnLawler Thanks John.
    – WS2
    Feb 12 '20 at 7:28
  • 2
    "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
1

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.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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