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Hi, Emotion: smile

  1. My friends are what make/makes me happy.
  2. What make/makes me happy are my friends.


  3. According to some grammar rules it should be make, plural verb in both cases. Anyway I find a lot of people that use a singular verb (also George W. Bush during a speech).

    Personally, I think a singular verb sounds better. But grammarians say a plural verb should be used instead and I think that doesn't make much sense... for example, I can't say "What are in the box", and that's why I don't like a plural verb in my examples.

    "What makes you happy?" --- "My friends" ----- "So your friends are what makes you happy, and what makes you happy are your friends"

    All your opinions will be appreciated. Thank you in advance. Emotion: wink

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Comments  
singular "makes" definitely sounds better to me. I think this is because "what" is closest to the verb and is perceived as singular.

However "make" is also acceptable.

also see
http://www.EnglishForward.com/English/IsAreStrangeSentences/dcczc/Post.htm
Yeah, thanks Alienvoord.

I surfed the Net quite a lot in search of some examples, and it seems there's no rules for that. This is what I got from the Net:

  • What make/makes me happy are my friends --- It seems makes (i.e. singular verbs) is the most used.
  • My friends are what make/makes me happy --- It seems both are used the same way. Personally, I think it depends on whether we consider "friends" as a whole or as separate people.


  • So I think we could say both "Football and girls are what makes me feel better" (the thing that makes me feel better), and "Football and girls are what make me feel better" (the things that make me feel better).

    If anybody want to give their opinion, I'll appreciate that.

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I agree with Alienvoord (and I think he gave you the rule: the proximity).
And the literature search I made only confirms my opinion in the above:

Confidence by James, Henry - Chapter 16
But I was n't ready for her till then, and what makes me so happy now is to know that I have come to my present way of feeling by experience. ...

T. Tembarom by Burnett, Frances Hodgson - Chapter 24
What makes me mad is to think of the fellows that didn't get busy and marry her thirty-five years ago." "Were there--er--many of 'em?" the duke inquired. ...

The Beast in the Jungle by James, Henry - Chapter 4 "What makes me sure is that I see in your face and feel here, in this air and amid these appearances, that you're out of it. You've ...
Life's Handicap by Kipling, Rudyard - Chapter 29 'What makes me killing-mad is his wanting us to do what the *** did thirty years gone. That an' his pig's cheek in saying that other ...

no are's there.



  1. What's the Price of a Prince? In Wax, $175

    ... 'But what makes me happy is that now people will be ...

    October 29, 2000 - By SUSAN SAULNY (NYT) - New York and Region - News - 873 words
  2. CRISIS IN THE BALKANS: HOMECOMING; Refugees Find Nothing Left of Former Life but Cinders

    ... one thing that makes me happy is that my family is O.K. ...

    June 17, 1999 - By JOHN KIFNER (NYT) - World - News - 646 words
  3. TIME INC. TO ABANDON ITS TV-CABLE MAGAZINE

    ... ''What makes me happy is the good hold we have ...

    September 16, 1983 - By SANDRA SALMANS (NYT) - News - 761 words
  4. Braves Defeat Mets, 6-4; Sharp Outing for Niekro

    ... ''What makes me happy is the new playoff formula, ...

    August 21, 1981 - By PARTON KEESE, Special to the New York Times (NYT) - Sports - News - 744 words
these from
http://www.nytimes.com
where:
Your search for "makes me happy are" in all fields returned 0 results.
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  1. My friends are what make/makes me happy.
  2. What make/makes me happy are my friends.


  3. I'll repeat my post first

    What can mean the thing which or the things which, thus, these are correct

    • What you need is to know why.
    • What you need is your kids to be healthy.
    • What you need is a small room.
    • What you need are a small car and a big garage.
    • What you need are these notes and a good eraser.


    • In this context you can use all as well

      • All you need is to know why.
      • All you need is your kids to be healthy.
      • All you need is a small room.
      • All you need are a small car and a big garage.
      • All you need are these notes and a good eraser.


      • However for a stylistic reason you can switch

        All you need is a small car and a big garage.

        but, I think, this is, even that way, not correct

        What you need are your kids to be healthy.

        However in your samples you have to decided what what stands for

        • My friends are what make/makes me happy.
        The things/persons that make me happy are…

        My friends are those who make me happy.

        what = those who

        Maybe, just maybe this is possible as well but then your friends are a thing, which is not nice.Emotion: smile

        what = the thing that

        My friends is the thing that makes me happy.

        in the next example

        • What make/makes me happy are my friends.
        This is the case that might be possible either with are or is (but read ahead). Is is maybe more strict and are is what is preferred by some people.

        what = the thing that

        • What makes me happy are my friends.
        • The thing that makes me happy are my friends


        • Unfortunately, this is wrong because you can't give to what both plural and singular. (It is used by someone with maybe the following explanation: it is not what that is subject but the subject is what makes me happy. However, the girl that makes me happy are from Brazil nobody would accept.)

          However

          what = the things that

          • What make me happy are my friends.
          • The things/persons that make me happy are my friends.


          • However, this last one is so rarely used that I am surprised.

            It is, nevertheless, possible to conclude from the context.

            Her dogs make her happy. What make me happy are my friends.

            The most used version is, believe it or not, it was a surprise for me as well:

            What makes me happy is my friends.

            but this only confirms that this analyzes was good.

Hi guys, thanks for your opinions Emotion: smile

Anyway now I think it's time for a native speaker reply. If nobody relpys, this is what I'll say:

  • What makes me happy are my friends.

  • My friends are what makes me feel happy. (also make)
I have alredy said something more in my previous post.
(Damn login) Hi guys, thanks for your opinions Emotion: smile

Anyway now I think it's time for a native speaker reply. If nobody relpies, this is what I'll say:

  • What makes me feel happy are my friends.
  • My friends are what makes me feel happy. (also make)


  • I have already said something more in my previous post.
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