I know that in English there can't be a sentence without a predicate. So we use these ''To Be'' verbs to make a valid sentence. But I wonder why we use them even if the predicate is a verb?

What is the real difference between ''They eating'' and ''They are eating''?

  • Where have you seen "they eating"?
    – Lambie
    Apr 23, 2018 at 13:12

1 Answer 1


"Are eating" is the present progressive tense (third person plural) of the verb 'eat', and is also the predicate of the sentence. They: subject, are eating: predicate.



  • Thank you for your response. I might to know why just ''eating'' can't be the predicate and need the ''are'' verb.
    – Abcd
    Apr 23, 2018 at 12:29
  • The present present progressive tense is formed by am/is/are and the -ing form of the verb. "They eating" would be nonsense. Apr 23, 2018 at 12:31
  • Note that they eating is "nonsense", but them eating could be a valid noun phrase. Compare I don't like chocolate and I don't like them eating, for example. Apr 23, 2018 at 12:35

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