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  1. #1
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    Default 'looks' - is or are?

    could you please give me the rule on 'looks' and the correct form of the verb 'be' - is it 'is' or 'are? i saw both variants on the internet, but 'are' appears more often

  2. #2
    philo2009 is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: 'looks' - is or are?

    'Looks' as a noun is only ever plural.

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    Default Re: 'looks' - is or are?

    Can you give an example of 'looks' with 'is' as found on the Internet?
    As a teacher, I'm sure you can't mean, "Looks is deceiving", so I'm intrigued.

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    Default Re: 'looks' - is or are?

    Thank you for your promp replies. Could you please quote the rule from some Grammar books with clear definiton?

    To David L. - that is what I found on the Internet with links:

    Example 1:
    Which of Brad Pitt's newest looks is best? at The Insider -
    ' Which of Brad Pitt's newest looks is best?

    Example 2:
    Gladiators - Looks Is Deceiving - SKY.fm Forums Board

    Gladiators - Looks Is Deceiving

    Example 3:
    YouTube - Gladiators - Looks Is Deceiving
    Gladiators - Looks Is Deceiving

  5. #5
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    Default Re: 'looks' - is or are?

    Which of Brad Pitt's newest looks is best?
    In colloquial speech, we often omit words for economy of speech, when it doesn't alter the meaning of the sentence.
    The full sentence would be:
    Which one of Brad Pitt's newest looks is best?
    The subject of the sentence is 'one', and takes the singular verb 'is'.

    So, "Have you been following Brad Pitt's latest hairstyles? Which one is best, do you think?/Which one do you think is the best?"

    'of Brad Pitt's newest looks' is a prepositional phrase.

    "Looks is deceiving" is a purposeful grammatical error - a kind of child-like 'mistake' because the person is uttering (I think) a proverb that borders on being a cliché. Whilst the speaker really means it - Looks can be deceiving/Don't judge a book by its cover - he also mocks the fact that he is coming out with/is actually using a cliché** by purposefully making a child-like mistake in grammar.

    ** to use clichés in one's speech is to seem prosaic (=commonplace), to lack style
    Last edited by David L.; 23-Feb-2009 at 17:17.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: 'looks' - is or are?

    David, you are superb!
    I was also thinking about 'which one of Pitt's looks...', but as I am not a native speaker I am not so sure. It's a pity I can't find any explanations in any of my grammar books - Michael Swan's 'Practical English Usage' or Raymond Murphy's 'English Grammar in Use' or others.

    I especially like the fact you are a British teacher, so kind and prompt. Thanks a lot!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: 'looks' - is or are?

    Ask away - you make it a pleasure.
    Last edited by David L.; 23-Feb-2009 at 18:51.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: 'looks' - is or are?

    Quote Originally Posted by philo2009 View Post
    'Looks' as a noun is only ever plural.
    it can be singular.
    "The movie star has a new look"

  9. #9
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    Default Re: 'looks' - is or are?

    'a look' means a style or fashion - The Italian designers unveiled their latest look - ; and the general appearance of someone or something - The tramp had the characteristic disheveled look to him.

    'looks' specifically refers to a person's facial appearance considered aesthetically

  10. #10
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    Default Re: 'looks' - is or are?

    David, I too always find your posts more than helpful. I'm sure that many people thank you for the time that you spend on this board.

    Regards, Kitosdad.

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