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Hi,

A. That is what friends are for.
B. That is what are friends for.
C. That is what friends for are.
D. That is for what friends are.
E. That is for what are friends.

1. Which of the sentences above are correct?
2. Which is most natural?
3. Can I also say "Those are" instead of "That is"?
4. I think "Those are" refer to two or more purposes of friendship and "That is" refer to only one of the purposes of friendship. Would you agree? If not, what is the difference?
5. Can I also use 'is' instead of 'are' in the example sentences assuming there is only one purpose of friendship I'm thinking of?

Please advise. Thank you very much.
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AnonymousA. That is what friends are for.
B. That is what are friends for.
C. That is what friends for are.
D. That is for what friends are.
E. That is for what are friends.

1. Which of the sentences above are correct?
A only.
Anonymous3. Can I also say "Those are" instead of "That is"?
I don't see a natural way to do that. No.
Anonymous4. I think "Those are" refer to two or more purposes of friendship and "That is" refer to only one of the purposes of friendship.
You need to rephrase.

Those are the things that friends are for.
Those things are what friends are for.

Neither is very natural, though. If I were you, I would put aside any desire to use "those" in that context.
Anonymous5. Can I also use 'is' instead of 'are' in the example sentences
No. That would create the incorrect:

*That is what friends is for.

CJ
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Thank you, CJ.
CalifJimIf I were you, I would put aside any desire to use "those" in that context.
1. If "those" were to be avoided, do you think "That is" is possible to refer to more than one purpose or all purposes of friendship, but taken as a whole so "is" is used?
2. Is it the same as saying the following?

That is all what friends are for.

That all is what friends are for.
All of that is what friends are for.

3. By the way, are all of the above grammatically correct? and natural?
Anonymousdo you think "That is" is possible to refer to more than one purpose or all purposes of friendship, but taken as a whole so "is" is used?
Yes.

That is all what friends are for. Not correct.
That all is what friends are for. Correct, but not natural.
All of that is what friends are for. Correct, but not natural. Better than the previous one, though.

That's what friends are for is almost a fixed expression. There is very little you can change about it without making it sound unnatural to a native speaker.

CJ
Thank you so much for your explanations. Great help.
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Hello! I think you have missed the point here. The statement, "That's what friends are for," is grammatically incorrect due to the dangling preposition, in this instance ending the statement with "for." None of the four choices above is correct. Option A is widely used but is also incorrect. The correct grammar could be, "That's what friends do," or some variation on that theme. Thank you.

anonymousI think you have missed the point here. The statement, "That's what friends are for," is grammatically incorrect due to the dangling preposition, in this instance ending the statement with "for."

My goodness!!! What century are you from? Emotion: smile

Nobody has taken that so-called "rule" seriously for at least 100 years.

Many years ago teachers were still telling their students that they mustn't end their sentences with a preposition, long after no serious writer took that advice seriously.

CJ

"That's what friends are for," is grammatically incorrect due to the dangling preposition.

The sentence seems fine to me.

https://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/qanda/data/faq/topics/Prepositions/faq0003.html

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