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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“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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218 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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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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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 your ...
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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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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 ...
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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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“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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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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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 ...
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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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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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“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. It is me ...
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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.

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