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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    Omission of auxiliary verb

    Hello!

    I cannot figure out the explanation for this sentence I read on a book:

    "What makes us who we are?"

    How come I don't need to use the auxiliary here and say "What does make us who we are?".

    Is it a mistake or there's a grammatical reason for not using the auxiliary? If so, how can I decide whether to use it or not?

    Thank you very much!

    Julia

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Omission of auxiliary verb

    "Makes" is an ordinary present tense use of the verb "make". It doesn't need an auxiliary verb.
    Last edited by MikeNewYork; 24-Sep-2015 at 10:08. Reason: typo

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    #3

    Re: Omission of auxiliary verb

    Julia, you read it in a book.

  3. tzfujimino's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Omission of auxiliary verb

    What makes us who we are?
    Who made dinner for us?
    How many people came to the party?

    Those parts in bold function as subjects.

    Compare:

    What do you do after school?
    Who did you make dinner for?
    How many people did you invite to the party?

    Now, those parts in bold function as objects.
    The underlined words ('you') are the subjects. You need to put do/does/did before them in these sentences.

    I hope my response will be helpful.


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    #5

    Re: Omission of auxiliary verb

    Tzfujimino is right- when the question word is the subjects of the question, we don't need to use the auxiliary verb in question.

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    #6

    Re: Omission of auxiliary verb

    Quote Originally Posted by juliaines View Post
    How can I decide whether to use it or not?


    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

    Juliaines: What makes us who we are?

    Mona: I think our parents make us what we are.

    Raul: I'm sorry, Mona, but I do not agree.

    Juliaines: Well then, Raul, if you do not agree with Mona, would you please tell me what does make us who we are?

    (Use "does" for emphasis.)

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