In the sentence

I find Area 51 interesting because there is so little information about it.

Shall I add 'to be' before 'interesting'?

  • 3
    The to be is completely unnecessary as it doesn't really add any useful meaning. It's best to leave it out and just go for the construction find...interesting.
    – Vlammuh
    Jul 29, 2015 at 13:16
  • What about ' I find ... particularly interesting'? Will it sound more smooth if I say ' I find... to be particularly intersting'?
    – Rescy_
    Jul 29, 2015 at 13:24
  • 1
    Again, the to be is unnecessary. You could simply say 'I find ... particularly interesting.', which sounds more idiomatic.
    – Vlammuh
    Jul 29, 2015 at 13:25
  • 2
    Unnecessary, but you may say "find it to be....". It is idiomatic.
    – TimR
    Jul 29, 2015 at 13:28
  • 1
    I think it to be a "subjunctive" construction, which native speakers in general increasingly tend to avoid - they're much more likely to say they think it is subjunctive (if they know what "subjunctive" means, and if they agree with me! :) Or discard the "helper" verb completely, since it's usually not required. Jul 29, 2015 at 16:20

2 Answers 2


The following sentences are from MW Learners Dictionary:

  1. I found him (to be) a sensible man.

  2. Students often find this book (to be) useful.

The Dictionary has put the "to be" in parenthesis, which indicates that it's optional to use the "to be".

So you can either put "to be" in front of the adjective interesting in the OP's sentence or leave it out, without any difference in meaning. However, the structure of a sentence with the verb find + object + adjective is more common than that of find + object + to be + adjective.


"To be" or not "to be", that is the question. . .

They are both grammatically acceptable. The use of the phrase "to be" in this case sounds more formal and a little archaic, which is probably why I prefer it, but the construction without "to be" is far more common, at least in American English.

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