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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3answers
102 views

Can he be an object pronoun?

I understand that a sentence can have more than one subject, but I don't understand the grammatical role of he in the question below and which verb he is performing if he is also a subject. Who is ...
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Can we ever use “that” and “who” right next to each other?

I’ve learned that we can use that to provide more information for abstract nouns, such as problem, belief, etc. I don’t quite understand what that means, though, so let me try it out. For example, ...
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Is “to be” in “to be or not to be” used as a linking verb with no nominal nor adjectival predicate?

Is "to be" in "to be or not to be" used as a linking verb with no nominal nor adjectival predicate? Is it grammatically correct, and if so what rules govern that omission?
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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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Linking verb vs unchanged adverb

Page 21 of Garner's fourth edition reads One must analyze the sentence rather than memorize a list of common linking verbs. Often unexpected candidates serve as linking verbs—e.g.: • “The rule sweeps ...
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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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Who do you think is I/me/you in the picture?

Do you think it's correct to use the verb to be this way in these sentences? 1 Who do you think is me in the picture? 2 Who do you think is you in the picture? 3 How can I recognize who is you in ...
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Adjectives After Nouns

I have a sentence. There was a dramatic decrease of sales in November. Is it alright to change it to: The decrease of sales in November was dramatic. Or In November, the decrease of sales was ...
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Can 's be used to mean was? [duplicate]

Can 's be used as a contraction of was? For example, can "maybe she's born that way" mean "maybe she was born that way"?
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Which of these two sentences are correct, or are they both wrong? [closed]

...so that they all turn into failures, not that they don't already are. ...so that they all turn into failures, not that they aren't already.
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Singular or plural of 'type' [duplicate]

I have the following two sentences: In Germany, the most common type are air-water heat pumps, followed by brine-water heat pumps. In this thesis three type(s) of optimization approaches are ...
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What kind of complementation for “be regarded”?

I'm trying to find where the passive form "be regarded" belongs in terms of transitivity. In the sentence: Only a minority of countries would be regarded as part of the third world. Is the verb would ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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“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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2answers
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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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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 “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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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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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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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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“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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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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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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“…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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“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 is to ...
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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. It is me ...
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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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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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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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684 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
190 views

“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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391 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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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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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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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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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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158 views

“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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“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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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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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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“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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1answer
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“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 ...