Questions tagged [copular-verbs]

A copula is “That part of a proposition which connects the subject and predicate; the present tense of the verb to be (with or without a negative) employed as a mere sign of predication.” It uses a linking verb to describe the subject, so is always either another noun or an adjective. Other verbs that can sometimes function as copulas include seem, appear, become, and remain, as well as the sense verbs look, sound, taste, smell, and feel.

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Is a copula a function word?

Most resources I have read state that verbs are content words (excluding helping verbs). I was just wondering whether copulas are considered content or function words. To me, a copula seems more like ...
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“Thanksgiving was in four days”: something sounds funny!

Can you tell me if this sentence is correct? Here it is, in context (bold emphasis added): ...mother and sister to let them know she was deploying. Thanksgiving was in four days, and Peyton had a ...
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How to parse the grammar of a sentence that appears to have two tensed verbs

This question came from a student of mine - he wanted to know how to parse the grammar of this sentence, which appears to be simple but clearly is not: Peter seems to have found his glasses. ...
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Using the Progressive Form of Be for a State of the Mind and Lately in Present Continuous

Firstly, is the following sentence correct? My brother is being unusually nervous lately. If correct, how is being nervous behavior? We usually use the progressive of be to describe a behavior or ...
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1answer
270 views

“This looks like him” or “This looks like he”? [duplicate]

Another, easier case question: Obviously, of the two variants This looks like him and This looks like he the first seems more naturally idiomatic. However, is it grammatically correct? I ...
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Is “what has been discussed are…” a grammatically correct sentence?

When concluding an essay, I wrote "what has been discussed are three major advantages of xxx". But I doubt if "what has been discussed is three major advantages of xxx" is more correct?
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Adverbs of location after be verb

We're upstairs. In this sentence, is upstairs a noun or an adverb? I think it's the latter because if it was a noun, the sentence is missing a preposition before upstairs. To my knowledge, in a SVC ...
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adverbs after linking verbs

They write we must use adjectives rather than adverbs after linking verbs. For example https://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/taste_2: Food can taste sweet like sugar. But here's ...
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Can a noun work as an adjective, and the adjective as a noun?

Hazel Eyes I found the following paragraph in the guycounseling.com blog article “Hazel Eyes: Learn Why People with Greenish Eye Color are Rare!”, containing the two words “hazel eyes”: Hazel eyes ...
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2answers
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“…I don't have money, but what I do have *are* a very particular set of skills.” Is this correct?

If you are looking for ransom I can tell you I don't have money, but what I do have are a very particular set of skills. I'm talking about that verb in italics, because I'm not sure if I'm an idiot ...
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Verb agreement in “It is you who has/have come” [duplicate]

Today I was playing the video game Assassin’s Creed Syndicate on my PC. In a mission where the player whose name is Evie Frye meets a guy, the guy says I thought Jacob was coming but that I am ...
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Which verb do I use in: “All you need in life is/are coffee and good grammar”? [duplicate]

Should I use 'is' or 'are' in the sentence below? All you need in life is/are coffee and good grammar. This question is different from Agreement in "[Singular Noun] Is/Are [Plural Noun]"...
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“Babies grow very quickly.” In this sentence is “grow” a copula or a lexical verb?

"Grow" is classified as a change-of-state copula but by definition, copulas may be followed by adjective phrases, noun phrases, or adverbial prepositional phrases. "Very quickly" is an intensifier (...
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335 views

How to use the verb “to be” with both singular and plural

I just wrote the following sentence: Saying "Walkers cheese and chive crisps" is up there with thinking mushy peas were guacamole. I am wondering whether I should or could have written: Saying ...
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To be scheduled: is “be” copula or passive auxiliary?

In: The patient was scheduled to receive medication daily. is "was": the main (copula) verb and "scheduled" its complement/object? Or the auxiliary of a passive voice verb group, where "scheduled"...
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992 views

The use of “whoever” or “whomever” in complex sentence

Should the following say whoever or whomever. And why? Each of us is free to pretend to be whoever/whomever we wish to be. This sentence needs an object, right?
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Agreement with copular verbs [duplicate]

I hope you do not find this question too silly, but I'm puzzled. "What I love the most is animals" sounds perfectly okay to me. But so does "Animals are what I love the most." Anything to say on ...
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Is the direct object of the verb “is” a noun, adjective, or either?

In the sentence fragment "The black dog" black is clearly in adjective. In the sentence "The dog is black" is black an adjective or a noun? More generally speaking, in sentences of the form "X is Y" ...
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1answer
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“Should have been us” or “Should have been we”?

I understand that "have been" is a form of the linking verb "to be", so it can only take a predicate nominative. But saying "It should've been us" sounds better.
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200 job losses is/are not a price worth paying [closed]

200 job losses is/are not a price worth paying Is the singular or plural form more appropriate here, considering job losses is plural and price is singular?
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9answers
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I am [who/whom] G-d made me

Please fill in the blank with the correct word and explain your choice. I am __ G-d made me. A. who B. whom Some people have suggested I elaborate on this question so here goes. The above was not ...
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“Stories are so much a part of our lives that many people seldom think about them.” : The use of 'so' and 'so much' as intensifiers

There are 176 hits in COCA for [be] so much a part of, including the title and: 1- It actually is so much a part of life. 2- Law is so much a part of me, I don't think I'll ever be able to let ...
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“What he is looking for are books” or “…is books”?

Which of the following is correct? What he is looking for are books written by Jane Austin. What he is looking for is books written by Jane Austin. Is it are to agree with the object books or ...
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“Being [he/him] is not easy.” Which is prescriptively “correct”?

"It is I" follows a well-known prescriptivist rule This question is about prescriptive grammar. It’s a fairly well-known prescriptivist rule that “me, him, her, them” (in other words, pronouns in the ...
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What are the different senses of “a”? [closed]

Suppose we know that "terrorism is a serious crime". And that "you have to report terrorism". Can we say that "you have to report a serious crime"? I think that the bulleted statement is true. ...
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Required to repeat 'is' when specifying two attributions?

I am seeing that I often leave out copula when connecting two clauses. Like: A notation is fixed but the performance variable. I have the feeling this is a mistake coming from my German mother ...
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Alternative to “to be” in copulae that cannot be understood as defining

In particular in scientific writing, copulae using to be can not only be used to describe the properties of something but also to recapture a definition, to define something or to indicate complete ...
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Why should a copula link two noun phrases of the same case?

https://english.stackexchange.com/a/30392/50720 motivated this question: To quote from the clear explanation: The rule for what [Fowler] and others consider technically right is ... that "...
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Can a linking verb be transitive?

I found the following example on oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com. This is from the first entry of the verb feel. A pattern 'feel something' is given under this entry, while the verb 'feel' is listed as ...
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Why is “be” the only English verb that inflects for grammatical person, not just for grammatical number like all the rest of them?

Why do we say “I am a teacher” instead of “I is a teacher” considering that I is a singular pronoun not a plural pronoun? Don’t singulars always take -s forms? Why does be work differently?
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Not my cup of tea

Heard an English teacher claim that: "Dogs is not my cup of tea" is correct; whereas "Dogs are not my cup of tea" is incorrect. The explanation was that the verb form of 'to be' must agree with ...
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“lie quiet” vs “lie quietly”

Is it correct to say “I will lie quiet beneath his touch”? Shouldn’t it be “I will lie quietly beneath his touch”?
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“Her whole family IS/ARE biologists”? [duplicate]

I'm not sure whether to put is (number agreeing with the singular her whole family) or are (number agreeing with plural biologists) in this sentence: Her whole family is/are biologists. After some ...
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Can a singular or plural verb (“is” or “are”) be used when the subject is a coordination? [duplicate]

In the sentence: The dimensions and shape is/are a little different than the rest. Should I be using 'is' or 'are', or can either be used?
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504 views

“It is fun to be him/he.” Which is correct?

Would you use him or he in the following sentence? It is fun to be him/he. A teacher told me that you use the object form after the infinitive of to be. Is this true? I am a native English ...
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1answer
184 views

Verbal noun of pure copula - logical implications?

In her emendation of her earlier work on antilogism here, Christine Ladd-Franklin wrote ... That no human beings are immortal and no angels are mortal precludes any angels being human. [She then ...
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Does a complement phrase always follow a be verb? [closed]

Summary question Is there a formal name for the entire portion of a sentence that is connected to the copula?" Is it "complement"? Background Be verb can be followed by various things: a noun (He ...
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1answer
386 views

“I am X” vs. “X is me”

Is there a difference in grammaticality, meaning, or usage between the following two ways of phrasing the same statement? I am sure that I am the appropriate candidate for this position. – versus ...
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2answers
859 views

Sentence analysis (copula) [closed]

I am quite confused with this. Sentence is: His dog is his best friend. I would say that this is copula sentence, without object, and that HIS DOG is a subject. My friend is trying to persuade me ...
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“This is allowed”, is this passive voice?

This is allowed. Is the verb is a linking verb, or is this passive construction? Is there a difference? How does one tell?
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1answer
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“I feel it my duty” vs. “I feel it *IS* my duty” [duplicate]

Given these two choices: I feel it     my duty to [do something]. I feel it is my duty to [do something]. Which is preferred, and why? Background: I got confused when reading an article in The ...
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1answer
190 views

“was” or “were” when there is number mismatch between subject and predicative complement [duplicate]

I have a question about this sentence: The only thing he feared more than the wolves were the swirling buzzards. I believe it to be correct, but someone suggested that the "were" should be changed ...
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5answers
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We, he and I vs. us, him and me

The sentence is, Our Supervisor finally noticed that it was we, Kim and I, who always turn in our reports on time. Should it actually be you and me or you and I?
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3answers
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Difference between “The car is” and “The car is blue” in the word “is”

I, being a native English speaker, and having snoozed through some of my grammar lessons in elementary school, sometimes cannot express differences that I feel exist in certain grammatical constructs. ...
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“That was me” vs. “That was I” [duplicate]

When telling a story about myself from the past, I have found myself in an internal debate over whether the correct way to segue into the present is: That was me twelve years ago. Or: That was ...
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What is correct between the two sentences?

Consider these two versions: You can live peacefully without your wants, but your life can be miserable with all your wants within your reach. You can live peacefully without your wants, but ...
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Is this mixture of plural and singular legitimate?

But what is most important for our purposes is that these changes were the signal for the resumption of historical debate on a grand scale, of the kind that had been suspended or driven ...
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4answers
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What part of speech is “fun” in “Hiking is fun”?

Please consisder the sentence Hiking is fun. What is each word’s part of speech? Hiking = gerund is = verb fun = _____? I don’t know what fun is here. Is it an adverb that modifies the ...
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Which is grammatical, “the softness and sweetness [was/were] perfect”?

which is grammatically fine to use? The softness and sweetness of rice [was/were] perfect.
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Is “It must be him with whom you enjoy doing your assignments, not me” correct? [duplicate]

I’d like all of you to please consider the following sentence: It must be him with whom you enjoy doing your assignments, not me. I have known that after 'to be' verb pronouns words take the ...