I uttered the phrase "Possibly the more possible possibility." and wondered whether or not there was a verb in it, and therefore, whether or not it was actually a sentence at all?

Did I mean "It is possibly the more possible possibility." and, therfore, the verb is "is" or "to be"?

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    General Reference - obviously there's no verb, any more than there would be if OP had gone for some less ludicrous rephrasing such as "Perhaps the more plausible possibility". The concept of "a sentence" is too vague to address anyway, but OP might think the label applied better if his "noun phrase" were preceded by "This scenario is..." Jul 18, 2012 at 22:02
  • The copula is the verb, grasshopper.
    – Robusto
    Jul 18, 2012 at 22:10
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    Only you can tell us what you meant.
    – user16269
    Jul 19, 2012 at 6:26
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    I'm quite offended that this question has been closed as too basic. What is basic for you, might not be basic to someone else. I'm a Mathematician and software developer; English is not my primary concern in life. This question has been answered very well below and I learnt something. Jul 19, 2012 at 11:49
  • Hi Alex, as per the faq, this site is for "linguists, etymologists, and (serious) English language enthusiasts". If English isn't of particular concern to you, maybe this isn't the site you're looking for. Jul 19, 2012 at 15:33

1 Answer 1


It is implying "It is..." and I would call it a sentence if the context surrounding it made the subject obvious. Written English has lots of sentences with implied subjects, but not very many with implied verbs.

Imperative sentences (like "Go away.") often imply the subject (in this case "You").

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    Or Thank you, which has an implied I. Another term for this is ellipsis.
    – Daniel
    Jul 19, 2012 at 2:17
  • @Danielδ: Though one can certainly analyze it this way, I don't think there is necessarily an implied 'I'. What about 'thanks.' or 'yes' or 'hello'? They stand on their own.
    – Mitch
    Jul 19, 2012 at 17:43

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