Is the sentence correct "Programs are now can be deleted" ? The question is about verb "are", is it needed here? And if not, is it still acceptable to use it?

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    It would be very unusual to use the phrase can be deleted adjectivally in this way (as you might say Programs are now fully tested, for example). Standard phrasing would be [This / these / your / etc.] programs can now be deleted. Note that for a cut-down style "status message" it would be perfectly normal not to start with a determiner (i.e. - "newspaper headlinese" style), but it's not normal to do this in ordinary conversational contexts. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Sep 27 '16 at 15:15
  • Originally, it was meant to be an entry in change log: Defines are now can be set using configuration window. I've tried to replace it with something less specific in my question. – Goldseeker Sep 27 '16 at 15:31
  • Well, I have a programming background, so I know what Defines are now can be set using configuration window is supposed to mean. English it ain't, but it would be quite difficult to convey the full meaning in syntactically valid English without using a lot more words. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Sep 27 '16 at 15:35
  • I believe i could have used Defines are now configurable using "configuration window" or something like that and spared myself lots of time researching this issue %) – Goldseeker Sep 27 '16 at 19:02
  • I used to call them hard-coded parameters, for the benefit of non-coders. But just Enhanced configurability would do for a "change log", unless you want to specify what new adjustments are now possible (in which case you may as well say why users might want to change the previously hard-coded default). – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Sep 27 '16 at 23:17

No and no. The three acceptable versions of these sentences are as follows:

The programs now can be run.

The programs now can be deleted.

The programs are now able to be run/deleted.

The use of "are" is neither needed nor grammatical unless connected with another word; in the last example, for instance, "are able" followed by the infinitive "to be."

You can say,

The programs are elegant/well designed/functioning properly,

but not,

*The programs are can be [anything].

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  • The thing is i do not know where did i pick up this form, but it is googleable, for example: sunywcc.edu/cms/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/… (rather large pdf be careful) contains it (search for "can now be", second occurance). I do understand what is wrong with that, but i don't understand why such usage can be easily encountered( i can provide dozens of links) – Goldseeker Sep 27 '16 at 15:23
  • Yes, but not "are can now be." As you correctly pointed out, the problem is with the use of "are," not "can now be," right? – Mark Hubbard Sep 27 '16 at 15:36
  • In the pdf i've linked there is a sentence: Non high school graduates who meet the required ‘Ability to Benefit’ placement test scores and are admitted into the College’s 24-credit GED program are now can be considered matriculated and are eligible to apply for federal and state financial aid. As you can see it is basicaly the same construction i've used in my question: "... Graduates ... are now can be considered ..." Please, don't think i'm just being bitter because i'm wrong, i just want to understand the issue better. – Goldseeker Sep 27 '16 at 17:36
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    @Goldseeker The example you cite looks like a pure error—the writer started out to say one thing (either are or now can be) then decided on the other, but rather than properly replacing the old construction just accidentally added the new one. It may also be that this kind of construction (are + present tense verb that doesn't need it) is attractive to some non-native speakers. There is a famous example, All your base are belong to us, which became an internet sensation partly because it sounds so wrong to native English speakers (but apparently made sense to the translator). – 1006a Sep 27 '16 at 17:56
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    @Goldseeker To my ear (native speaker of American English), it is the same—equally wrong, and a construction that no native speaker would use. Other examples would be "they are need to X" or "you are look good." In both cases, the are is wrong. The correct forms, respectively, would be "they need to X" and either "you look good" or "you are looking good." One other possibility: I googled "is now can be" and several of the first examples should be parsed like [where X is now] [can be...] or [where X is] [now can be] rather than [X] [is now can be]. – 1006a Sep 27 '16 at 18:54

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