Is it OK not to use a verb after "no matter" like in sentences 2 and 3?

1) No matter how hard your life is you need to go on.

2) No matter how hard your life you need to go on.

3) You need to go on no matter how hard your life

4) You need to go on no matter how hard your life is.

I know that using "no matter" without a verb is possible, for example,

No matter the outcome I will do it.

No matter the weather we will go there.

But it's not clear for me whether it's possible only in some set-phrases like "no matter weather" or it is possible also in sentences like sentences 2 and 3.

  • 1
    It does not sound grammatical (2 and 3). [No matter] [how] [clause] is required in sentences you typed here.
    – Maulik V
    Apr 7, 2014 at 11:30

3 Answers 3


There is nothing wrong with omitting the verb, generally speaking. Here are some more examples.

The game takes place every year, no matter how bad the weather.

She would stay true to her convictions no matter how high the price. (‘The Woman from Brazil’)

No matter how bad your situation, keep praising the Lord. (Facebook)

No matter how bad your day, you'll feel better after this. (caption for funny video)

Having the verb seems to make this structure easier to parse. The last example occurs with a wide variety of verbs: “No matter how bad your day is/was/gets/seems/is going...” But if the writer feels the need for brevity, no verb is also an option.

An alternative construction that works in a similar way is “Whatever...”

Whatever the weather, we’ll be together. (no verb)

Whatever it costs, we will send a man to Mars. (verb)

Edit: If “no matter how X” is followed by a pronoun instead of a noun, the verb cannot be omitted.

No matter how easy the task, he always gets it wrong.

He always gets the task wrong, no matter how easy it is.

*No matter how easy it, he always gets the task wrong.


As everybody already said "no matter" is followed by a clause, and a clause should have a verb.

For example -

  1. No matter how deep it's buried, the past, back it comes, like ghosts, really.

  2. No matter how sorry we may feel for ourselves at times, there are always people worse off than us.

  3. A cat has no concept of its own death and so it cannot anticipate it, no matter how ill it feels.

Well, that is not the end. There are other usage of "no matter how..." that doesn't take a clause the way I have just shown.

For example -

  1. A society which does not use toothbrushes, for instance, will be an unlikely target market for the introduction of toothpaste, no matter how cheap.

  2. There seems nothing at all strange about the Church, which paid the salaries of these men and expected them to serve it, considering the question of whether or not they should be able to engage in an activity which, no matter how acceptable, would have diverted them from their main task.

In these examples I read it this way "no matter", and then "how cheap" separately.

"No Matter" = Regardless of, or irrespective of.

In cases of clause follows "no matter", I read "no matter" and the following clause separately.


You have to use the verb, the sentence is not complete without it. Plus one should guess what verb you would have used to complete the sentence.

  • yes, that's what we call clause... a sentence with verb and a subject at least..
    – Maulik V
    Apr 7, 2014 at 11:58
  • What about "no matter the outcome/whether"? Why is it not a must to add a verb after them?
    – user1425
    Apr 7, 2014 at 12:00
  • "No matter the outcome" is the short of " the outcome does not matter"
    – user5267
    Apr 7, 2014 at 12:09
  • I understand. My point is there are some cases where such a usage finds its way, so to speak.
    – user1425
    Apr 7, 2014 at 15:04

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