Is it possible to use the verb "decide" as follows? I've seen some cases recently, for example:

"I'm decided I'm voting Republican".

I've never seen it used this way before. Is it grammatically correct?

  • That's not present tense. That's decided being used as a predicate adjective. – Peter Shor Feb 5 '12 at 22:17
  • @PeterShor thanks. Feel free to rephrase the question. – prasopes Feb 5 '12 at 22:23
  • I've rephrased it to remove all mention of "present tense". – Peter Shor Feb 5 '12 at 22:26

"I'm decided I'm voting Republican" is a version of "I have decided I'm voting Republican. It is a correct usage of the word. Perhaps not very common, maybe even a regionalism, but still within the standard.

"We are agreed"and "we have agreed" are similar structures. It goes back to the "competition" between the verbs "to be" and "to have" as the auxiliaries of choice in the English language. In some cases, this struggle remains undecided. So, language users are free to choose from co-existing standards.

BTW, "decided" in your example is in the past participle, "am", of course is present tense. Here it is used to render the statement passive in the simple present tense. As in, for example, "He is taken ill." Contrast this with, "He has taken ill." (The present perfect simple.)

  • I'm decided I'm voting Republican

is not an example of the verb decide in present tense.

Rather, it's an example of the present tense of the predicate adjective (be) decided, which can take a that complement, just like decide, the verb it's derived from.

This is in distinction to I have decided that S. That's the present tense of have decided, which is the Perfect construction of the verb decide.

  • 3
    But unlike "sure", I don't find it grammatical to omit the "that". so the given sentence is not grammatical for me. If I read it, I would assume a colon had been omitted: "I'm decided: I'm voting Republican", where the second sentence amplifies the first. – Colin Fine Feb 5 '12 at 22:28
  • I concur with @ColinFine; if that indeed is the construction the author intends, a conjunction (or, in this case, a disjunction) is required, even if it's only a comma. – StoneyB Aug 14 '12 at 21:26
  • Right. So you'd supply it and go on, with appropriate notations about what kind of punctuation to expect later on. The strategy of expecting others to use the same punctuation rules as oneself has few pure adherents. People just aren't aware (the way, say, teachers are) of the vast cline of competence in Anglophone literacy and the vaster array of individual punctuation "rules" used by literate Anglophones. – John Lawler Jan 12 '13 at 17:43

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