Questions tagged [what-clefts]

Questions concerning wh-clefts (pseudo clefts), the reasons they are used, agreement with plural-form delayed semantic subject.

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Is the sentence "What I need to do is sweeping them off" grammatically correct?

I think "What I need to do is sweeping them off" should be What I need to do is (to) sweep them off" Can "sweeping" be allowed to be used? or grammatically wrong and never be ...
HanJe Bae's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
93 views

What are the rules of copular "to be" tense in pseudo-cleft sentences?

What are the rules for the tense usage of copular "to be" in pseudo-cleft sentences? I have several examples: What I didn't like was the end of the movie. --> was What changed his mind ...
Lyubov Berezina's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
5k views

“What I saw was…” vs “What I saw were…”

Someone says I need to use "was", someone says to use "were". Which one is correct? What I saw were a driver and an attendant. or What I saw was a driver and an attendant.
math's user avatar
  • 201
1 vote
2 answers
2k views

Usage of: "What is certain is that...." common English?

Can you confirm the following expression is used in common and formal cases? "What is certain is that..." As a native German, studying academic English, it sounds slightly strange. May I ask ...
FrankMK's user avatar
  • 747
2 votes
2 answers
115 views

Verb Agreement in English Wh-Clefts: 'What differentiates A from B is/are ...'

Question one: Which of the following sentences are grammatically correct? 1) What differentiate apples from oranges are their colors and sizes. 2) What differentiates apples from oranges is their ...
rasul's user avatar
  • 391
8 votes
2 answers
815 views

Pseudo-cleft sentences with the verbs of perception

I know we must use bare infinitives with these verbs in the Active. e.g. I saw a lady cross the street. There are other verbs with which we are supposed to use a bare infinitive in the Active. e.g. ...
Aharon M. Vertmont 's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
776 views

What I've done is [past participle or bare infinitive]

What I've done is plant an idea in your head. What I've done is chosen the products of several investment companies with proven track records. I was wondering why the bare infinitive sounds right in ...
CDM's user avatar
  • 3,854
14 votes
8 answers
3k views

"What I'm doing is watching TV." — Why does it have to be the gerund-participle ('watching')?

What I do is watch TV. What I did was watch TV. What I had done was watch TV. ... But, What I am doing is watching TV. The only possible form of watch in the last sentence is ...
Færd's user avatar
  • 4,173
3 votes
1 answer
17k views

Is this sentence correct? "What I want to do is read this book."

"What I want to do is read this book." Is it correct? Or, can I say: "What I want to do is to read this book." "What I want to do is reading this book." Are all of the three sentences correct?
roast_soul's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
9k views

Singular or plural verb after "what"

Which sentence is more grammatically correct? He is being tried on what look like trumped-up charges. He is being tried on what looks like trumped-up charges.
james's user avatar
  • 719
1 vote
2 answers
9k views

"What I have to do is" + verb inf [duplicate]

I'm confused about the following examples, and I'm pretty sure I've seen both of them in books and white papers. What I have to do is find her. What I have to do is to find her. What I would like to ...
Thuan's user avatar
  • 913
6 votes
2 answers
692 views

Is this an inversion? If so, why would you use an inversion in this case?

Here's a quote from a CNN transcript, wherein a consumer psychologist says the following: "What is relatively new are shoppers turning on other shoppers." If "what is relatively new" were the subject,...
JK2's user avatar
  • 6,573