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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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“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 ...
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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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“Appear” followed by a verb: Necessarily a copula (linking verb)?

I’m wondering how I can structurally determine when a verb is being used as a copula and when it is not. Specifically, is the verb “appear” followed by a verb NECESSARILY a copula (i.e., linking verb)?...
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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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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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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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A weird usage of “were” instead of “was” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “Was” or “were” in subjunctive clauses “If I was” or “If I were”. Which is more common, and which is correct? Why have the ...
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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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Future simple passive and phrases like “you do know that, don't you?”

I've just written a question and only after I'd done that did I think about if it's even correct: I hope all the scheduled payments will be sent this night, won't be they? What confuses me is that ...
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2answers
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“I am I”, “I am myself”, or “I am me”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When is it correct to use “yourself” and “myself” (versus “you” and “me”)? According to Google Ngram, "I am myself" is more common that "I am I", but which is correct? Also, ...
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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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1answer
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“Is” with singular and plural nouns

I came across the sentence My biggest grievance is grammar mistakes. I'd be inclined to write it as My biggest grievance is with grammar mistakes. or Grammar mistakes are my biggest ...
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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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Is “the benefits of this will much more” correct? [closed]

Is this sentence correct? The benefits of this will much more or it should be like this: The benefits of this will be much more
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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, ...
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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' ...
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Pronoun after verb “to be” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Who wants ice-cream? Which is correct to say: “It's me” or “It's I”? “This is her” or “This is she” I'm reading a book and I found a sentence which made me have some doubts. ...
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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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Is “is” an auxiliary verb in the sentence “My mum's bag is blue”? [duplicate]

My mum's bag is blue. Is is an auxiliary verb in that sentence? If not, what is it? Is “is” an auxiliary verb in the sentence “John is working now”? was suggested as a possible duplicate, but that ...
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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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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?
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Could “are he” be correct?

I was just trying to formulate a sentence in an email, and wanted to reference a third person, inquiring as to which of something that person was referring in the forwarded mail message. Is it: "...
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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.