1

Why we should use "involve", and not "involves" in this example:

"So, what does this specialization involve?"

It seems to me that the verb should be in the form "involves" since it is refers to the noun "specialization":

"Verbs with a third-person singular noun or pronoun (he, she, boat, courage) as a subject ever have an added s on the end"

migrated from english.stackexchange.com Sep 7 '16 at 20:08

This question came from our site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts.

  • 2
    This seems like it would be better suited to English Language Learners SE. – BladorthinTheGrey Sep 7 '16 at 18:54
  • 10
    It's because of the presence of "does". The auxiliary verb "do" requires the verb that follows it to be an infinitival verb-form, and that is what "involve" is, an infinitive, not a tensed verb-form like "involves". – BillJ Sep 7 '16 at 19:01
  • 2
    +1 for observing the apparent contradiction and lucidly explaining what you did not understand. It's a complicated bit of English syntax. – Hot Licks Sep 7 '16 at 19:10
  • 1
    Yes, that is correct. – BillJ Sep 7 '16 at 19:39
  • 1
    It might help if you look at the 'un-fronted' version: "[So,] this specialization does involve what?" {'does involve' = 'involves'} – AmI Sep 7 '16 at 19:44
1

We use "involve" here instead of "involves" because there is an auxiliary verb as the main verb here (do/does). Auxiliary verbs typically take an infinitive or the bare infinitive (without the "to"), so we use "involve" with "does"

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.