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  1. Is all you do is sit here?
  2. Do all you do is sit here?

Which of the two is correct? From my opinion it's the first one but it's still awkward. However, the second one also seems to make sense.

  • None! What all you do is sit here? – Maulik V Jan 12 '18 at 7:10
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    @MaulikV That's actually not the right answer either. – snailcar Jan 12 '18 at 7:22
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    How can you have two main verbs in a single sentence? Is he is here? Would that make any sense to you? – Michael Rybkin Jan 12 '18 at 7:22
  • I was thinking from the point of view of the declarative sentence: "Sit here is all you do" so we get "All you do is sit here?" as an exclamative interrogative sentence. But I need a clear interrogative sentence. – SovereignSun Jan 12 '18 at 7:28
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    How about this one: Is sitting here all you do? – Michael Rybkin Jan 12 '18 at 7:37
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The short answer is that the first seems grammatical whereas the second is definitely not.

"All that you do is to sit here" or "All you do is sit here" are perfectly acceptable declarative sentences. Making them interrogative while retaining the infinitive does seem to lead to a doubled verb as in "Is all that you do is to sit here" or "Is all you do is sit here." The only way to make sense of the doubled verb is to assume an ellipsis such as "Is it true that all you do is to sit there."

I agree that the interrogatives so formed with the doubled verb sound awkward (or at least colloquial). That awkwardness can be avoided by using a participle instead of an infinitive.

"Is sitting here all that you do" or "Is sitting here all you do" sound better to me, but that is esthetics, not grammar.

  • Alright. In that case then, the subject of the sentence is actually all and not all you do. What do you know. – Michael Rybkin Jan 12 '18 at 7:41
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    @Monster I am not sure I follow that comment, but I made some edits to clarify my original answer, which did not address the doubled verb. Perhaps you were commenting on the unrevised answer. I think that "all [that] you do" is the subject of the second "is." – Jeff Morrow Jan 12 '18 at 7:47
  • Related discussion: ell.stackexchange.com/questions/35426/… – snailcar Jan 12 '18 at 17:05
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The correct way of forming the question is

Is all you do sit here?

This follows naturally from the statement form

All you do is sit here

by the standard question-forming process of inverting the verb ("is") and the subject ("all you do").

The result sounds rather clumsy, though, so I'd recommend either rephrasing (say, as "Is sitting here all you do?"), or adding a word between "do" and "sit" - for example,

Is all you do just sit here?

Adding the extra word gives a more natural rhythm to the sentence, which is probably why some people want to insert "is", but to me at least that's ungrammatical due to repeating the main verb "is".

  • Is all you do sit here? is definitely not valid English – Jason Jan 12 '18 at 19:31
  • @Jason: Do you have a source to back that up? – psmears Jan 12 '18 at 20:41
  • Yes, native English speaker. You are definitely missing a verb. – Jason Jan 12 '18 at 22:49
  • @Jason the verb is "sit" – SovereignSun Jan 13 '18 at 4:43
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    @Jason: That's not really good enough - I'm a native English speaker myself, and I (and all the others I've asked) find "Is all you do sit there" perfectly grammatical (if a little clunky). There's no verb missing - the main verb is "Is". I'm interested - which of the following do you believe are correct/incorrect? (1) All you do is sit here. (2) Is all you do is sit here? (3) Is all you do just sit here? (4) Your name is Jason. (5) Is your name Jason? (6) Is your name is Jason? (7) All you need is here. (8) Is all you need here? (9) Is all you need is here? – psmears Jan 13 '18 at 7:29
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I would say:

Do you just sit here?

or

Is sitting here all you do?

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