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    #1

    was/is what I did

    Which are correct:

    1-Stare at him is what I did.
    2-Staring at him is what I did.
    3-I stared at him is what I did.

    4-Stare at him was what I did.
    5-Staring at him was what I did.
    6-I stared at him was what I did.


    • Join Date: Aug 2009
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    #2

    Re: was/is what I did

    Quote Originally Posted by navi tasan View Post
    Which are correct:

    1-Stare at him is what I did.
    2-Staring at him is what I did.
    3-I stared at him is what I did.

    4-Stare at him was what I did.
    5-Staring at him was what I did.
    6-I stared at him was what I did.

    2 and 5 are correct.

    I think the others may be used in slangy or informal spoken English. They are really shortened forms of
    "Stare at him -- that's what I did."
    "I stared at him; that was what I did."

    I think it would be perfectly possible and not particularly remarkable to hear (in colloquial conversation)
    > "Stare at him's what I did."
    > "Stared at him's all I did."

    The speaker is making a noun out of "stare at" and using it as the subject of the sentence.

  1. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: was/is what I did

    Quote Originally Posted by navi tasan View Post
    Which are correct:

    1-Stare at him is what I did.
    2-Staring at him is what I did.
    3-I stared at him is what I did.

    4-Stare at him was what I did.
    5-Staring at him was what I did.
    6-I stared at him was what I did.
    I would say that 1, 2, 4, 5 are correct.
    1. What I did is stare at him. (transformed)
    A: I told you to stare at him!
    B: Stare at him is what I did!

    A: You were supposed to be staring at him!
    B: Staring at him was what I did! (or " ... what I was doing" is better in this case). 2. and 5. sound better in the progressive.

    You could also make a case for:
    7. Stared at him is what I did.
    8. Stared at him was what I did.

    A: C tells me you stared at him.
    B: Stared at him is indeed what I did.


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