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65

To expand on Henry's answer: "The powers that be" is a set phrase quoted from Romans 13:1. Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. In that context, it means "the temporal powers that indisputably do exist in the world," so we can rule out explanations that call on the ...


47

"The powers that be" is a set phrase drawn from early translations of the Bible into English (Tyndale, Geneva, KJV etc.), in particular Romans 13:1. So its grammar (subjunctive) reflects the usage of the time, and even then might have been slightly archaic.


24

1.) Which one is you? 2.) Which one are you? Which is correct? * Both are "correct". They just have different subjects. . LONG ANSWER VERSION: Let's identify the subject of each interrogative clause, by using the verb's number as the indicator: 1.a) Which one is you? 2.a) Which one are you? Notice that there is formal subject-verb agreement ...


22

Professor Geoffrey Pullum has this to say: Myth: Expressions like "It was me" and "She was taller than him" are incorrect; the correct forms are "It was I" and "She was taller than he." Pullum responds: The forms with nominative pronouns sound ridiculously stuffy today. In present-day English, the copular verb takes accusative pronoun ...


17

It is indeed old, and can be found in Beowulf: Wa bið þæm þe sceal þurh sliðne nið sawle bescufan in fyres fæþm, frofre ne wenan, wihte gewendan; wel bið þæm þe mot æfter deaðdæge drihten secean ond to fæder fæþmum freoðo wilnian. Woe be to him who through severe affliction thrust his soul into the fire’s embrace, hope not for relief, or to change at ...


14

It explains in this book that while "believe him to be" is a phrase commonly used in English (as is "consider him to be"), "think him to be" is not, and, further, that there is no apparent logic for why this should be so. So the correct answer is (b), but if you're learning English as a second language, you shouldn't feel bad for not getting this right.


13

The vast majority of native speakers do not say *I think him to be about 50. This isn't some arbitrary idiomatic quirk, as has been suggested elsewhere - it's a subtle distinction based on the precise range of meanings covered by words such as think, believe, assume, judge, know, etc., and the implications of (pro)noun with "to be" + adjective constructions ...


12

It's correct either way. English has lost its case system almost completely. This makes it hard even for native speakers to decide between subject case (nominative) and object case (formerly accusative/dative). A long time ago – far too long ago to be directly relevant today –, English still had a 'proper' case system and the copula be was followed by ...


11

There is my biscuit. My biscuit is there. There is one biscuit left. (1) and (2) are locatives, and there is a locative adverb indicating the location of the biscuit. The structure is identical, but (1) is transformed from (2). Locative sentences can do that: My sister is over there, by the weeping willow. Over there, by the weeping willow, is my ...


10

Use is because you're talking about a single period of time with a range-based duration. There are extensive discussions of the subtleties of Collective Nouns and Mass Nouns on Wikipedia that explain from a technical perspective why some seemingly plural things are treated as singular grammatically.


10

Forgetting for a moment about the technicalities of whether it is a subject or an object, if you use the rule of thumb of trying he/him it is clear that it should be "he is entitled" not "him is entitled". As such it should be "who".


10

Sentence 3: Existential Subjects: Words, Phrases and Functions [A Comparison of Sentences and analysis of Sentences 1 & 2 forthcoming] There's one biscuit left. So now the burning question is: What is the subject of this existential sentence? This isn't as easy as it looks. If we want to answer this question we need to really understand what a ...


9

The answer to the question 'Who's there?' is 'It's me.' 'It is I' would normally be heard only when something else follows it, and then only in rather formal contexts, as in 'It is I who have done all the work, so it is I who should get the compensation.'


8

This is allowed. Is the verb "is" a linking verb, or is this passive construction? Is there a difference? How does one tell? Let's directly address your question, which is asking: How is the verb "is" being used in that example sentence? For the OP's example, this boils down to whether to treat the word "allowed" as a verb or as an adjective. If ...


8

This answer ignores the physics implied by the sentences and focuses only on the English content. In linguistics, ellipsis (from the Greek: ἔλλειψις, élleipsis, "omission") or elliptical construction refers to the omission, from a clause, of one or more words that are nevertheless understood in the context of the remaining elements. - wikipedia ...


7

"Is" is a verb of being, also called a "copula". copula |ˈkäpyələ| noun Logic & Grammar a connecting word, in particular a form of the verb be connecting a subject and complement.


7

An illustrative example taken from Halliday, An Introduction to Functional Grammar, (2004) You're taking part in a play; but I don’t know whether you are hero or villain. Here is our conversation: Which are you? — Which am I? Oh, I’m the villain. (Subject:I, Complement:the villain) Next you show me a photograph of the cast all made up; the ...


7

The phrase "the powers that be" doesn't employ the subjunctive mood. The phrase comes from the New Testament (Romans 13:1) and uses be instead of are as an archaic alternative to the present indicative tense, not as an expression of the present subjunctive mood. This is explained explicitly in regard to this very phrase in the following Wikipedia article: ...


6

The British National Corpus (BNC) has 4258 cites for sentences ending in "is", and the Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA) has 32950. SPOKEN FICTION MAGAZINE NEWSPAPER ACADEMIC BNC 808 1600 302 303 315 COCA 13627 8607 4806 4119 1791 In other words: no, there is no such ...


6

The verb be has a complex history, being a hodgepodge porridge of three entirely different original verbs, with some forms of one lost to suppletion by forms of another. Another familiar verb with suppletive forms is go and went, where the past of wend replaced that of go. Back to be. The singular am had two competing plurals, one of which earon, aron ...


5

You use the singular because it's a quantity of time. From this website Quantities or measurements of time, money, distance, weight usually take singular verbs. It's not just restricted to time, money, distance and weight; Fifty milliamps is enough to kill a man. Three G is enough to make a pilot black out.


5

"It is me," is more common, and correct. However, "It is I who am here," is also correct, and "who am here" can be left off and implied, making "It is I," also correct.


5

SHORT ANSWER: No. LONG ANSWER: A grammatical Object is a noun (phrase) which “receives the action” of a verb: either a Direct Object (which undergoes the action) or an Indirect Object (which receives the Direct Object or benefits from the action). The verb BE, however, does not take objects of either sort. It is not an ordinary verb, ...


5

To be certainly can, because it has its existential meaning, as well as its copulative meaning. To painfully be, not to painfully be. I find it interesting though that while this suggests more motive for the dilemma than the original it weakens it not just in ruining the scansion (it's not like I thought I could improve on Shakespeare) but because the ...


5

My inclination is to say they're both correct since in either case your intended meaning is unambiguous. My ultra-descriptivist streak aside, however, I would think that the second is prescriptively more "correct," since you're using your first person pronoun as a predicate nominative.


5

Here is my understanding of the way they are supposed to be used: The difference is between the present subjunctive (also called the mandative subjunctive) and the past subjective (also called the irrealis). The company would rather (that) each employee be provided with an ID card. This is the mandative subjunctive, generally used for orders and ...


5

First of all, in both responses the word "think" is left out and understood. In other words it would be "I am thinking" or "I do think." Do is often added to a verb for emphasis and also stands in for a verb that is omitted. In this case it is doing both. These are two different forms of present tense. "I do (think)" is simple present tense, which describes ...


4

Please advise, but Grammar Girl opines that the problem here is 'false attraction to a predicate noun'. I excerpt the fundaments: Although this problem may seem complicated, it’s really not. It’s as simple as this: the verb agrees with the subject (2)***, not the predicate noun. - See more at: http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/verbs-...


4

I think him to be about 50 I think he is about 50. Number one sounds artificial and forced, while number two sounds natural and normal. From a conventional usage standpoint, I'd select the latter.


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