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    • Join Date: Nov 2009
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    #1

    Cool Unnecessary 'is"?

    Greetings!
    Last week a student asked me the difference between the following two sentences:

    I see a bird eating an apple.
    I see a bird is eating an apple.

    Grammatically, both look ok to me. Subject is "I" and object is a "bird."

    But something's niggling me. Are both correct? Does the extra "is" in the second sentence change its meaning in any way? If not, then what guidance should I give to the student?

    (He had previously been told the first sentence was incorrect and the second correct.)

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    #2

    Re: Unnecessary 'is"?

    both are correct

  1. Raymott's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Unnecessary 'is"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kellawally View Post
    Greetings!
    Last week a student asked me the difference between the following two sentences:

    I see a bird eating an apple.
    I see a bird is eating an apple.

    Grammatically, both look ok to me. Subject is "I" and object is a "bird."

    But something's niggling me. Are both correct? Does the extra "is" in the second sentence change its meaning in any way? If not, then what guidance should I give to the student?

    (He had previously been told the first sentence was incorrect and the second correct.)
    They're both correct, and they don't mean the same.

    1. "I see a bird eating an apple" has a different meaning from:
    2. "I see (that) a bird is eating an apple."
    The object complement here is "(that) a bird is eating an apple."
    Not to be confused with:
    3. "I see a bird that is eating an apple."

    This analogue has an obviously different meaning.
    4. I hear you being rude.
    5. I hear (that) you were being rude.

    [It uses 'were' rather than 'is', otherwise you have the same structure. The second sentences have a reduced clause]

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