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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8
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3answers
7k views

Is it “5–6 weeks are a lot of time” or “5–6 weeks is a lot of time”?

I was just copyediting somebody's answer on another SE site and my native English speaker Sprachgefühl told me I had to correct the grammar of one sentence: ... 5–6 weeks are a lot of time ... by ...
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6answers
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Can “be” be used with the modal verb “do”?

These two sentences are both valid I write this sentence. I do write this sentence. Are these both valid? I am writing this sentence. I do be writing this sentence.
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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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1answer
13k views

It is I who am at fault? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “It is they who lied” or “it is them who lied?” What rules make “Remember me, who am your friend” grammatical? Which one of these is correct? It is I who am at fault. ...
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3answers
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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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2answers
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Does English allow a zero copula in subordinate clauses?

In a casual search of the web, I found a few indications English does not allow zero copulas (https://linguistics.stackexchange.com/a/1468). However, I frequently see sentences with subordinate ...
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5answers
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More than 1000 gallons of paint is/are sold each day [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Plural/singular verb agreement with units Does modifying a collective noun with a number make the subject plural? Can anyone help me determine the correct verb in this ...
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5answers
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Is there any other way you can “wax” as you do when you “wax philosophical”?

The wax in the phrase "wax philosophical" is a pretty strange bird. Its wax is obviously not the ordinary definition of wax, which my dictionary summarizes as an "oily, water-resistant substance", a ...
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4answers
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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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3answers
549 views

Where did the “art” in “Our Father who art in Heaven” go?

What happened to the art in "Our Father who art in Heaven"? And why is it art, and not is?
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3answers
869 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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“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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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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2answers
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Omitting the last “to” in “All {I need to / have to / must} do is (to?) do something” [duplicate]

I remember I learned a structure like the one that this post’s title mentions: All I {need to do | have to do | must do} is do something. But is it correct to use "to do something" after the "is" ...
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7answers
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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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1answer
178 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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3answers
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What are all the words that make up a complete list of linking verbs in English?

What are all the words that make up a complete list of linking verbs in English? My English teacher from what I can remember listed them as follows, am I missing any? is • am • are • was • were • be ...
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5answers
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Double Copula or “double is” in professional/technical writing

I am proofreading a professional, technical text written by someone else. In the text, I encountered, "But, the reality is is a..." My intuition says that this should be rewritten as, "But, the ...
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2answers
54 views

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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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 ...
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2answers
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Non verbal predicates in English

Is a non-verbal predicate a synonymous term for "nominal predicate"? And moreover, do non-verbal predicates only appear with linking verbs or can also appear in other types of constructions? I ...
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1answer
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Possessive pronouns vs possessive determiners

If my understanding is correct, the possessive personal pronouns (which are mine, thine, yours, his, hers, its, ours, and theirs) are used in place of nouns, whereas the possessive determiners (which ...
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7answers
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Which is correct: “If it were I” or “If it were me”?

I'm fairly sure it's the former, but it sounds even more stilted than the usual cases in which "I" is less common, but more correct.
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2answers
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Omitting “is”, like in “I think it strange”

What is the grammar behind the construction "I think it strange/necessary that ...", and when can and cannot this apparent omission of the copula be used? Do we always need the "that" clause? Also, ...
6
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2answers
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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 ...
2
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1answer
483 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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2answers
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“sunk” or “sunken”?

The boat lies half-sunken in the bay. Sunken is an adjective, right? But in the previous sentence, it seems to be acting as adverb modifying lies. Should the sentence be: The boat lies ...
4
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3answers
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Use 'got' instead of 'was'? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why is “to get” sometimes used where “to be” could be used? Sometimes I hear people say things like this: I just got robbed. (Personally I would rather say 'I was robbed' ...
2
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1answer
649 views

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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2answers
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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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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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3answers
777 views

Is “is” an auxiliary verb in the sentence “John is working now”?

John is working now. Is the verb 'is' in this example an auxiliary verb?