In Aquaman (2018) movie, Orb says to King Ricou, who is living under water:

You're a kingdom of bloated philosophers and flaccid poets whose waters have grown stagnant, and it sickens me.

Is the word "grown" required?

2 Answers 2


Yes, it is. "grown" is the main verb in the clause. The other verb in that clause, have, is an auxiliary verb used to construct the present perfect tense of grow.

whose waters have grown stagnant

As pointed by @bella-shan, the present perfect tense is used for actions or events that have been completed or have happened in a period of time up to now.

You can remove the verb grow and replace it by the verb be if you want to highlight the actual state of the waters.

whose water are stagnant

But it seems that the change is very relevant in that context, it implies that before, in the past, the waters were better than now, so you can't replace grow without losing meaning.

Also as @kiamlaluno has pointed

whose waters have stagnant

doesn't have any meaning.

stagnant is not a verb nor a noun, it's an adjective, it doesn't form a present perfect tense and waters can't have stagnant in the same sense that they can't have pretty or blue.

  • 1
    Yes, and without grown the phrase doesn't have any meaning (whose waters have stagnant).
    – apaderno
    Mar 20, 2019 at 12:31

Here, "grown stagnant" means that the waters were once fresh, but have gotten in this condition with the passage of time. Hence to show that passage of time the word "grown" is used.

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