According to the Oxford dictionary the word let is a verb.

I would like to know if it acts as verb in the following sentence:

Let's go to see him on Tuesday.

It seems to me that the main verb here is go. Does let also act as a verb? If so, how?

  • 1
    It is the imperative "let us". The speaker is suggesting that something should be done. Let's cross the street. It is complemented with a clause headed by the (bare, unmarked) infinitive form of the verb (e.g. go, cross). Nov 27 '17 at 23:38
  • Thank you for your answer. I am volunteering with a student who has to break up sentences in to its constituents (subjects, verbs, objects etc.) I understand why we use let in everyday speech, but what I cant understand is whether it is working as a verb in the sentence I gave. Any further suggestions are appreciated,
    – user242899
    Nov 27 '17 at 23:46
  • What do you think it is working as? Nov 28 '17 at 1:12
  • See Cambridge. One thing it does not state is that we can use the verb let of let's as the only verb in a sentence. This is because it is a conjugated verb, whereas the infinitive that usually follows it is not–thus grammatically let is the "main verb." Example... Person 1: Let's kiss. Person 2 Yes, let's. The infinitive kiss from Person 1's sentence is understood. Nov 28 '17 at 1:52
  • @Clare Completely wrong analysis, See my answer for the correct one
    – BillJ
    Dec 2 '17 at 8:35

Let's go to see him on Tuesday.

This is called a LET-imperative.

Yes, "let" is a verb, but it has been bleached of its normal meaning of "allow" and serves solely as a marker of this special type of imperative construction. It's a plain form (infinitive) verb, so it is not conjugated, of course. It's the verb following "let" that is understood with a 1st person plural subject.

You are right that the 'main' verb is "go". It's a catenative verb that has "us" as direct object followed by the infinitival clause "go to see him" as second complement


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.