The majority of the work is done by me.
The majority of the work has done by me.

In general conversation if I want to say someone that I did the major work in the project.

Which of the above sentence would be correct? and what is the difference in the meaning if I say "is done by me." or "has done by me."

  • "has done by me" is not correct; choose "was done by me" or "has been done by me". – Christophe Strobbe Dec 12 '17 at 17:32

The passive of the verb to do:

Most of the work is done by me. [right, present tense]

Most of the work has done by me. [wrong]

Most of the work was done by me. [simple past, the work is finished] OR

Most of the work has been done by me. [present perfect, you started to do the work in the past and continue to do it now]

Trick, just for you: the simple past and present prefect are basically the same idea in Spanish. :)

Please note: The majority of is used for people. For work, we would say most of the work.

  • I want to upvote your answer, Lambie, but I don't understand the distinction you are making in the final note. I don't see anything wrong with saying "the majority of the work." – joiedevivre Dec 12 '17 at 18:28
  • I am saying that in good writing, majority refers to people. The majority of my friends are nice. Not: the majority of my work is interesting. Most of my work is interesting. – Lambie Dec 12 '17 at 18:54
  • "Majority" very often legitimately refers to things other than people. She received a majority of the votes. The majority of the peaches we bought were rotten. It's also completely acceptable to say, "Most of my friends are nice." There's a slight difference in meaning. "Most" usually means a very large proportion or almost all. "The majority" simply means more than half. For that reason, it's usually used with countable nouns, though. – joiedevivre Dec 12 '17 at 19:18
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    I just realized why I have that opinion. The majority of [countable noun]. not: the majority of [uncountable noun]. You wouldn't say: I drank the majority of the coffee, would you?? So, the majority of the jobs is OK. But the majority of the work, no. Only countable nouns with majority. – Lambie Dec 12 '17 at 19:36
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    I think countable vs. uncountable is a better rule of thumb for this than people vs. objects, but you can still use it with uncountable nouns in some contexts. In the OP's context, I might say "I did the majority of the work on the project." That implies that even though work is uncountable, there was a limited amount of work required to complete the project, and I did more than half of it. In your coffee example, if the coffee is gone, and I drank more than half of it, but others were drinking it, too, I might say that I drank the majority of it. – joiedevivre Dec 12 '17 at 19:51

The correct verb to use here is "is", however, the form you've given isn't the correct tense - it should be something like "was", "is being", or "will be", depending on when the work occurs.

If the work is completed (which I suspect you want, since you're comparing it to "has"), you would use the past tense, "was done by me".

(other types of past tense would be acceptable, such as "has been done by me" - but note that the main verb is still "is", inflected as "been"!)

If the work is ongoing, you could use the present progressive, "is being done by me".

If you're talking about future work, you would use the future tense, "will be done by me".

In the simple present tense, as you've given, it sounds unnatural in this sentence - a little bit like you're stating a simple teamwork decision as a profound mathematical fact. There are cases where you might do this, but it would require a larger context to sound natural.

  • The verb is actually the verb to do. – Lambie Dec 12 '17 at 17:40
  • @Lambie That's the verb in the... subordinate clause, if I'm remembering my terminology. Right? I intended to refer to the sentence's main verb. Perhaps I should reword? Or maybe I'm mixing up passive voice vs. descriptive properties. – Ethan Kaminski Dec 12 '17 at 17:47
  • I disagree slightly with this answer. "I do most of the work" and "I am doing most of the work" both refer to the present state. Both the simple present or the present continuous are idiomatic. There is, however, at least a hint in "I am doing most of the work" that this state may be temporary. – Jeff Morrow Dec 12 '17 at 17:59
  • @EthanKaminski The first part of your answer is a bit confusing. Yes, the sentence's main verb. It's the verb form (tense) that is the point of the discussion, right? – Lambie Dec 12 '17 at 18:56
  • Yeah, other answers look to have done a better/clearer job explaining "has" vs. "is", I think. – Ethan Kaminski Dec 13 '17 at 14:56

You are mixing up how the auxiliary verbs "be" and "have" work.

A formation involving some form of "be" plus the past participle of a verb (or some form of "have" plus "been" plus the past participle of a verb) puts the verb in the passive voice. That means the subject of the sentence is acted upon by the verb rather than performing the act. So "The majority of the work is done by me" is perfectly correct and means exactly the same thing as "I do the majority of the work."

A formation involving some form of "have" and just the past participle of a verb leaves the verb in the active voice (but changes the aspect of the verb). "The majority of the work has done by me" is grammatical in form, but means that the work did something to me, which is not at all what you mean. In fact, it is nonsense. So it is incorrect.

At the risk of some over-simplification, if and only if some form of "be" is in the verb phrase along with a past participle, you are dealing with a passive construction.

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