Ruslan
Can I use verb "is" followed by a modal? How old a tree is can be determined by counting the growth rings present in the trunk of the tree examined. In my opinion it should be How old a tree can be determined by counting the growth rings present in the trunk of the tree examined. I'm not sure.
Feb 10, 2016 12:22 AM
Answers · 1
You must have the word "is," because the clause "how old a tree is" is a noun-phrase. In this case, it takes the position of the subject. The entire phrase "how old a tree is" should be thought of as a single unit. If you wanted to rephrase it, you could simple say "The age of a tree," but in the former phrase, you cannot remove the verb "is." Without the verb in that case, it's not a complete thought.
February 10, 2016
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Ruslan
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