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Are there sentences correct grammatically please? (I don't think so!)

They think that the way things are need to be changed.
Why do you think it strange?

I think they should be:
They think that the way things are, need to be changed. (a comma)
Why do you think it is strange? (a verb)

  • For the first one, I'd simply add an "s" (needs) because it's the way that needs to be changed, not the things. No commas are needed because "the way things are" is the subject, and "are" is the verb, and you do not use a comma between the subject and the verb. The second sentence is correct, and so is your suggestion. Consider "Do you think me strange!?" = "Do you think i'm strange!?" You might have been confused by the fact that "it" is the third person for both "I" and "me". – MorganFR Nov 30 '16 at 14:11
  • You don't need the comma. The subject of the subordinate clause is "the way things are __" and this must not be separated from the verb "need" by a comma. Gap represents "x way", which is the missing complement of "are". – BillJ Nov 30 '16 at 19:29
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The first sentence is incorrect, but the error does not lie in the pointing. The way things are is the subject of its clause; it is on any analysis singular, so it requires its verb to be inflected for third person singular:

. . . the way things are needs to be changed.

The second sentence is fine. Several verbs which express opinion or evaluation license two complements, an object (OBJ) and a secondary complement modifying the object (OC):

SUBJ VERB OBJ OC
I think him strange.
I consider him strange.
I deem him strange.
I judge him strange.
I adjudge him strange.
I believe him strange.
I count him strange.

This construction is in free variation with infinitival and content clauses; all three have exactly the same meaning:

Infinitival clause –
SUBJ VERB OBJ to be OC
I think him to be strange.

Content clause –
SUBJ VERB (that) OBJ {are/am/is} OC
I think (that) he is strange.


That is, you may parse it as a noun phrase headed by way or as a sort of periphrastic relative clause, with the way = how.

  • it is worth mentioning that "it" works as both forms of the pronoun for the third person. Therefore, the OP might have thought the second sentence was written like "I think he strange" instead of him, which would justify the addition of "is". – MorganFR Nov 30 '16 at 14:45
  • Can a subject ended by a verb to be(like are in this case). If that so, can I say "The way things are are causing more problem"? – user178049 Nov 30 '16 at 14:53
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    @user178049 It is indeed possible, even though "way" is still the subject of the noun phrase and it is singular, so it would be "The way things are is causing problems. – MorganFR Nov 30 '16 at 14:55
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    @user178049 No. What underlies the construction is two different propositions: Things are this way and This way is causing more problems. – StoneyB Nov 30 '16 at 14:57
  • There may be dialects in which the verb "to think" doesn't license any object complement and some others (like "to judge") license infinitives but not simple adjectives. – Gary Botnovcan Nov 30 '16 at 15:03

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