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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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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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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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“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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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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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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“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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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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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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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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“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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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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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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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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“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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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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“…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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“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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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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“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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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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“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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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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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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“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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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“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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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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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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“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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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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“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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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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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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“The Japanese are a hard-working people.” Is this grammatically correct? [closed]

I came across this statement. Is this correct? I am specifically confused at the part where "a" comes after "are".
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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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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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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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“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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“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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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"...