Shouldn't it be "what I can do is to argue/arguing that"? What I am taught is that the part following "is" should be a sentence or a gerund. I am really confused.


1 Answer 1


The original is correct. I'm not sure about the gerund rule you mention, but here's a way to analyze this. Consider the options - the original, plus the two you mention:

  1. What I can do is argue that...
  2. What I can do is to argue that...
  3. What I can do is to arguing that...

And notice that: a) they all have in common the following form:

What I can do is [something]

and b) that common form can be simplified to this alternative:

I can [something]

So we can check to see if rewriting each of them in that alternative form makes sense:

  1. I can argue that...
  2. I can to argue that...
  3. I can to arguing that...

It is much clearer now that options 2 and 3 are not correct. Of the three options, only the first -- i.e. the original -- is acceptable.

  • Oh~~~ I thought 'what I can do is' should be followed by 'doing' or 'to do' according to what I learned in the past. But I've seen it followed by 'do' in some anime a few days ago.
    – Michael
    Nov 11, 2022 at 6:24

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