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I found this sentence:

First step is to decide what is the type and nature of job you are looking for.

(Source.)

I was expecting the second "is" to be at the end of the sentence instead of where it is.

Could anyone explain me this? Thanks!

  • 1
    Either way is fine. Could you add why you think it is wrong? – user3169 Aug 7 '16 at 19:51
  • I thought the verb (second "is") always had to be after subject in affirmative sentences. – user39929 Aug 7 '16 at 20:24
  • Think of it as: The first step is to decide (what is the type and nature of job you are looking for). Say the phrase with a pause after "decide" and it might make better sense. – user3169 Aug 7 '16 at 20:32
  • @user39929 - In English, although there is no rule prohibiting a writer from ending a sentence with "is," most writers make an effort to avoid doing so. This is a stylistic choice, because for some reason, sentences which end with is "sound wrong" to some readers (and listeners.) – P. E. Dant Aug 8 '16 at 0:33
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I think that the sentence may just lack some punctuation:

First step is to decide: what is the type and nature of job you are looking for?

It might be that the author doesn't speak English fluently. The sentence has other errors, too:

  • It's missing a definite article before first: "The first step is..."

  • It's missing a definite article before job: "...the type and nature of the job you are looking for"

There are other places in the article where the author omitted words or punctuation where I wouldn't consider it correct for words or punctuation to be omitted.

The author's phrasing isn't the best. I wouldn't expect the sentence to be written this way in a formal or professional document, but it probably wouldn't be too out of place in an informal conversation (where it is common for native speakers to knowingly make mistakes or use phrasings not used in formal English).

I would use one of the following phrasings:

The first step is to decide what the type and nature of the job you are looking for is.

The first step is to decide the type and nature of the job you are looking for.

Contracting you are to you're is optional. Some people might pester you about finishing a sentence with a preposition, but they should be ignored.

  • ...ignored to some extent. I'd rather not encourage "What are you looking at?" or "That is the thing I'm in support of." – Chowzen Aug 7 '16 at 22:29
  • @LMS The missing the before job is not an error. It results from the omission of the article after "type of." This is perfectly common and acceptable, as in "What is the type and nature of job are you looking for?" – P. E. Dant Aug 8 '16 at 0:40
  • @Chowzen - That game is over, I'm afraid, and you are kicking field goals by moonlight. – P. E. Dant Aug 8 '16 at 4:43
  • @P.E.Dant I didn't say that we should hang those who hang prepositions, but I still feel that some sentences that end with them sound low, debased. In my writing I often use phrases like my examples, but usually only when directly quoting a character. Outside of quotes I will rearrange my sentence to sound (to my ear) better: "That is the thing that I support." Let's not encourage people to tack prepositions onto every sentence, willy nilly, just because it's not something that we'll get in trouble for. That's the point that I'm getting at. – Chowzen Aug 8 '16 at 13:23
  • @Chowzen All true. My point, though, is that things like What are you looking at? now sound just fine to the average English speaker (AES): neither low, nor debased, nor inferior in any way, stylistically or otherwise. In fact, the phrasing that you or I might find "better" now "sounds" affected to that AES, just as any use (even the proper use) of the objective case of the pronoun who now does. The time has long passed when our encouragement or discouragement might have made any difference. Thus field goals my moonlight. – P. E. Dant Aug 8 '16 at 18:46

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