is "is" wrong?

Status
Not open for further replies.

bhagona

Member
Joined
May 12, 2010
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Hindi
Home Country
India
Current Location
India
Hello,
I have a little doubt regarding usage of "is"
when we use to ask a question, lets say I call my friend and ask,

1) Is you Brother is at home?
2) Is your Brother at home?

Is anything wrong in the first sentence? If yes, then WHY?

Regards.
 

ianhood

Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2010
Member Type
Other
Native Language
English
Home Country
England
Current Location
New Zealand
Your second sentence is quite correct, except that "brother" does not need a capital B. The first sentence is wrong because (1) "you" should be "your" (2) "brother" does not need a capital B and (3) the word "is" has been repeated unnecessarily.
 

bhagona

Member
Joined
May 12, 2010
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Hindi
Home Country
India
Current Location
India
Your second sentence is quite correct, except that "brother" does not need a capital B. The first sentence is wrong because (1) "you" should be "your" (2) "brother" does not need a capital B and (3) the word "is" has been repeated unnecessarily.

Thank you, ianhood.
Though my question was only about that unnecessary use of "is", but why should'nt we write brother with cap. "B"? isn't a noun?
And would repetation be the only reason, that makes the sentece incorrect? Waiting........................:-?:-?:-?
 

emsr2d2

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 28, 2009
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
UK
Thank you, ianhood.
Though my question was only about that unnecessary use of "is", but why shouldn't we write brother with cap. "B"? Isn't it a noun?
And would repetition be the only reason that [STRIKE]makes[/STRIKE] the sentence is incorrect? Waiting........................:-?:-?:-?

The word "brother" is a noun, but it's a common noun, not a proper noun. We don't capitalise common nouns. You would only capitalise "Brother" if it was the person's title (ie he is a Brother in a religious order).

As you were told, there were 3 errors in Sentence 1: you should be your, brother needs no capital and the word "is" was repeated.

The correct sentence is:

Is your brother at home?
 

hanky

Key Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2008
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
Vietnamese
Home Country
Vietnam
Current Location
Vietnam
Hello,
I have a little doubt regarding usage of "is"
when we use to ask a question, lets say I call my friend and ask,

1) Is you Brother is at home?
2) Is your Brother at home?

Is anything wrong in the first sentence? If yes, then WHY?

Regards.

I am not a teacher nor a native English speaker.

Both of them are not good to me, it's better to write

1) Is "you Brother is home" right/true/correct? (well this one is grammatical but not a good sentence to use in conversations)
2) Is your Brother home?

In daily conversations I would promptly ask:

Your brother is home, no?
Or Your brother is home, isn't he?
JMHO.
 
Last edited:

Barb_D

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 12, 2007
Member Type
Other
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
Hi Hanky,
You could say "Your brother is home, isn't he?" to confirm your belief that he is.

A: I hate being home alone.
B: Alone? Your brother is home, isn't he?
A: Yes, but he's in his room listening to his music and it's the same as being alone.

If you were simply calling on the phone, "Hi Maria. It's John. Is your brother home?"
 

BobK

Harmless drudge
Staff member
Joined
Jul 29, 2006
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
UK
...
In daily conversations I would promptly ask:

Your bother is home, no?
...

When teaching languages (well, most European ones anyway) it's common for teachers to start with this form ([indicative] + , + [negative particle], with rising intonation) to avoid changes in word order (etc - object pronouns are often an issue). But it's not the first choice - as Barb said - in everyday speech in English (in fact I can remember it being used in theatre/film/TV as an indicator of 'foreignness').

b
 
Last edited:

hanky

Key Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2008
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
Vietnamese
Home Country
Vietnam
Current Location
Vietnam
When teaching languages (well, most European ones anyway) it's common for teachers to start with this form ([indicative] + , + [negative particle], with rising intonation) to avoid changes in word order (etc - object pronouns are often an issue). But it's not the first choice - as Barb said - in everyday speech in English.

b

Yes, I know. But this is the first thing comes out when I speak. Another question that I usually make is indirect one, e.g., I wonder if your brother is home or not? Does this sound awkward? I rarely ask "Is your brother home?"
 
Last edited:

emsr2d2

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 28, 2009
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
UK
Yes, I know. But this is the first thing comes out when I speak. Another question that I usually make is indirect one, e.g., I wonder if your bother is home or not? Does this sound awkward? I rarely ask "Is your bother home?"

It's regularly the first thing that comes out if it's a direct translation of one's native language!

So, if you knocked on the door of your friend's house and his sister answered the door, would you actually say "I wonder if your brother is home or not"? That isn't even a question, it's simply a statement! It also takes a lot more words than you actually need if what you want to know is "Is your brother home?"

Note - spelling of brother. You have typed "bother" in the last couple of posts.
 

BobK

Harmless drudge
Staff member
Joined
Jul 29, 2006
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
UK
Yes, I know. But this is the first thing comes out when I speak. Another question that I usually make is indirect one, e.g., I wonder if your brother is home or not? Does this sound awkward? I rarely ask "Is your brother home?"
'I wonder if...' is fine - doesn't sound at all awkward.

b
 

mmasny

Key Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2009
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Polish
Home Country
Poland
Current Location
Poland
Isn't 'Your brother's home?' also a way of saying that? I hear those quite often on American shows. I mean questions without inversion, only with the right intonation.
 

corum

Banned
Joined
Feb 8, 2010
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
Hungarian
Home Country
Hungary
Current Location
Hungary
Hello,
I have a little doubt regarding usage of "is"
when we use to ask a question, lets say I call my friend and ask,

1) Is you Brother is at home?
2) Is your Brother at home?

Is anything wrong in the first sentence? If yes, then WHY?

Regards.

The problem with #1 is that 'is' has already been raised out of the inflectional node into the C node. There is a constraint on I-to-C movement to the effect that no refilling of I is possible. The first sentence does not respect the aforesaid rule.
 

Barb_D

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 12, 2007
Member Type
Other
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
The problem with #1 is that 'is' has already been raised out of the inflectional node into the C node. There is a constraint on I-to-C movement to the effect that no refilling of I is possible. The first sentence does not respect the aforesaid rule.

Huh??
 

BobK

Harmless drudge
Staff member
Joined
Jul 29, 2006
Member Type
English Teacher
Native Language
English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
UK
Isn't 'Your brother's home?' also a way of saying that? I hear those quite often on American shows. I mean questions without inversion, only with the right intonation.
It's 'Is your brother home' - not possessive. It is not a question about ownership (which would be 'Is it your brother's home?' [in which home is a noun]; it is a question about his whereabouts ('[at] home'), in which 'home' functions as an adverb. Another way of asking is 'Is your brother in?'

b
 

TheParser

VIP Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2009
Member Type
Other
Native Language
English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
Isn't 'Your brother's home?' also a way of saying that? I hear those quite often on American shows. I mean questions without inversion, only with the right intonation.

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

Hello, Mmasny.

(1) I believe that you are correct about rising intonation and even
deleting verbs and prepositions.

(2) You go to visit a friend. His sister opens the door.

You just ask, "Your brother home?" = Is your brother at home?

(3) A friend takes you to a beautiful house. You look around

in wonderment at how beautiful it is, and then ask, "Your

brother's home?" = Is this your brother's home?

(4) Other examples:

(a) You speak Spanish? = Do you speak Spanish?

(b) He's already here?!!! = Is he already here?

(c) He won yesterday?!!! = Did he win the election yesterday?

(5) Of course, it goes without saying that this type of question

is only appropriate in informal conversation.

***** Thank you *****
 

mmasny

Key Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2009
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
Polish
Home Country
Poland
Current Location
Poland
(1) I believe that you are correct about rising intonation and even
deleting verbs and prepositions.

(2) You go to visit a friend. His sister opens the door.

You just ask, "Your brother home?" = Is your brother at home?

(3) A friend takes you to a beautiful house. You look around

in wonderment at how beautiful it is, and then ask, "Your

brother's home?" = Is this your brother's home?
Thank you for your answer. So we can't say, 'Your brother's home?' meaning, 'Is your brother at home?'
 

Allen165

Key Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2009
Member Type
Student or Learner
Native Language
English
Home Country
Canada
Current Location
Switzerland
'I wonder if...' is fine - doesn't sound at all awkward.

b

Really? Wouldn't you say "I'm wondering if" instead of "I wonder if"?
 

TheParser

VIP Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2009
Member Type
Other
Native Language
English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
Thank you for your answer. So we can't say, 'Your brother's home?' meaning, 'Is your brother at home?'

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

Hello, Mmasny.

(1) You're right.

(2) Your brother is home?/ Your brother's home?/ Your brother home?

***** Thank you *****
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top