My sentence:

What makes a sound a short vowel?

And I want to know that what is the text 'makes a sound', is it a phrase?

  • 2
    "what" is a "pronoun" representing the (unknown) thing that makes a sound a short vowel. Feb 12 at 10:58

1 Answer 1


Make is a verb (active, transitive, present tense), "a sound" is its object, and "a short vowel" is an object complement which describes the end result.

The non-question form is "It makes a sound a short vowel".

"Make" here has the meaning "characterize", "form the essential being of" or "cause to be". So it could be rephrased as "What causes a sound to be a short vowel?", "What makes a sound be a short vowel?" or "What characterizes a sound as being a short vowel?"

You can also use "make" in other similar way to refer to transforming an object or to recognizing an aspect of an object, e.g. "What makes a tool useful?" "What makes a dog a good pet?" Or even "What makes a man a man?"

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