There seems (to be) a ...

JungKim

Senior Member
Korean
In this US News article, 'there seems a pretty good chance...' doesn't have 'to be' after 'seems':

My Twitter briefly lit up yesterday when a new Fox News Channel poll came out showing that Ohio Gov. John Kasich has pulled ahead of former reality TV star Donald Trump in his home state primary, which will occur on Tuesday.

And judging by polling trends there seems a pretty good chance that Kasich may well pass Tuesday's existential test.
Is 'to be' here optional?
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    I'd prefer to see "to be" in that sentence, but I understand the sentence without "to be". I'd call "to be" something like "optional but desirable."
     

    JungKim

    Senior Member
    Korean
    Thanks, owlman.
    What about something like 'There seems to be a problem in your computer.'
    It this 'to be' also optional but desirable?
    Or is it mandatory? If it's mandatory, what do you think makes the difference between the OP and this one?
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    I'd call it optional, JK. There is no language authority who makes laws about English usage in the U.S.

    I generally hear "to be" in similar sentences from fluent English-speakers in my part of the world. I use "to be" in similar sentences.

    You might have sensed my reluctance to assert that "to be" is mandatory. Who the hell am I to declare what is mandatory in another person's speech or writing?:cool:
     
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