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"Let the rain come down."

This sentence is part of the song.

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  • Why do yoiu think it might not follow the rule? What do you think that it perhaps should be instead. note that song and verse often bend grammatical rules in service of brevity, striking imagery, meter and rhyme. what work have you done on this? Apr 21 '19 at 4:37
  • Im just asking, i thought it should be Let the rain comes down. Im just a new english learner. Pardon my stupidity Apr 21 '19 at 4:43
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    There is no stupidity here, i just weant to understand what you are thinkign so i know what to discuss in a response. Apr 21 '19 at 4:45
  • It's a special kind of imperative clause.
    – BillJ
    Apr 21 '19 at 6:53
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We say this:

The rain comes down.

But we also say this:

Let the rain come down.

The reason for this is that let is one of several causative verbs. The main causative verbs include make / force, have / get, let / allow, and help. These verbs function as auxiliary verbs.

When a causative verb is used, it is followed by a subject and another verb in its infinitive form (either with or without to). The infinitive form of a verb does not follow normal subject-verb agreement.


The general construction of sentences using causative verbs is as follows:

(Make / have / let) the rain come down.
(Force / get / allow) the rain to come down.

The causative verb help can be followed by either the complete infinitive or the bare infinivite:

Help the rain (to) come down.

It doesn't matter what the subject is, the verb at the end will not follow normal subject-verb agreement, but always be in its infinitive form.

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Let the rain come down

is a set phrase, almost an idiom. It is the standard form for this phrase. It does seem asa if "the rain" is a singular thing, an the verb form should be "comes". But remembeer that "Let X [do] Y" is in the imperitive. It is a command. If one said

The rain comes down in sheets today.

it is descriptive, and the normal pattern of agreement is used. Similarly:

The rain falls alike on the just and the unjust, likewise shines the sun.

(Matthew 5:45) shows agreement.

But consider

The elder said: "Go West, young man", and so he goes West, as he has been advised.

The order is "Go West", the descriptive phrase is "goes west".

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  • This has nothing to do with idioms or set phrases. Let is a causative verb that follows a particular grammatical rule. Apr 21 '19 at 5:13
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Let the rain come down.

I'd call this an idiomatic open let-imperative; "open" in the sense that it is not understood as a directive to the addressee(s) to allow or permit something. In that respect, it's only a peripheral member of the speech act category of directives.

Nevertheless, it has it common with the central directives in that it defines a future action and calls for it to be carried out.

Syntactically, it contains the catenative verb "let" with an NP object and a bare infinitival clause as second complement. The NP object "the rain" is direct object of "let", and the semantic (understood) subject of "come down".

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