Is the below sentence correct? I feel be (is) verb is missing.

Why this moralising conclusion?

  • Where do you think be could go in that sentence?
    – nnnnnn
    Jun 8 '16 at 10:30
  • @nnnnnn So are you saying that quoted sentence is correct?
    – ARYF
    Jun 8 '16 at 10:34
  • Yes. I think it is fine as is, but also I don't know how to change it to include be in a way that makes sense. You said you think it is missing, but where would it go?
    – nnnnnn
    Jun 8 '16 at 10:37
  • Can I change this to "Why is this moralising conclusion?" Does its meaning change?
    – ARYF
    Jun 8 '16 at 10:40
  • 2
    No, it doesn't make sense like that. You could possibly say "Why is the conclusion moralising like this?" or something like that, but it works much better the original way.
    – nnnnnn
    Jun 8 '16 at 11:19

There is a common informal saying in spoken English with the same structure:

Why the long face?

Which is something you would ask someone who doesn't seem to feel so well. This is a way to say "What's the matter?" "What's wrong?". This funny discussion on the BBC website should enlighten you about that one: BBC.co.uk.

In a spoken discussion with friends or acquaintances, you could use such a structure. You could also say:

What's with this moralising conclusion?

Dictionary.com - What's with.

In a more formal discussion, you'd prefer using a full appropriate question:

Why would you end on this moralising conclusion?

Or something along these lines.

  • Can I change this to "Why is this moralising conclusion?"
    – ARYF
    Jun 8 '16 at 10:38
  • @ARYF - No, because English sentence structure doesn't work that way. When you ask about the existence of X, you can't say "Why is X?" You would have to say, "Why is there X?" or "Why does X exist?" Also, as MadWard points out, this is an idiomatic construction that doesn't use a verb; it's just "Why <noun-phrase>?"
    – stangdon
    Jun 8 '16 at 14:31
  • But you could say "Why is this a moralizing conclusion?"
    – user3169
    Jun 8 '16 at 15:37
  • 1
    @user3169: Not really the same meaning.
    – MadWard
    Jun 9 '16 at 8:31

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