"Who is Lisa friends with?" or "Who are Lisa friends with?"


Is it correct to ask

Who is Lisa friends with?

or should it be

Who are Lisa friends with?


Posted 2014-10-08T05:59:15.083




The subject of the sentence is Lisa. Since that is singular, there is no reason to have a plural verb.

So the correct version is:

Who is Lisa friends with?

You can see the logic in this in the answer to the question:

Lisa is friends with Alice and Bob.

Note that you can also be friends with one person:

Lisa is friends with Bob.

Although you can put that also as:

Lisa and Bob are friends.

Not that in that last sentence, the subject is Lisa and Bob, which is plural.


Posted 2014-10-08T05:59:15.083

Reputation: 24 925


So here we have a question with 'is' being the working verb. This is a transitive verb with both a subject and an object. The subject is the thing that is doing the verb. In this question, Lisa 'is'. Lisa is the one being something, she is doing the verb, and is thus the subject. On the other hand, 'friends' is the object. 'Friends' is what Lisa is being.

In English, the verb is conjugated for the subject, so here because the subject (Lisa) is singular, third person, we use the singular third person verb conjugation: 'is'. 'Are' is the plural third person as in 'They are'.

So the correct form is "Who is Lisa friends with?".


Posted 2014-10-08T05:59:15.083



Who is Lisa friends with? is the correct one.


Posted 2014-10-08T05:59:15.083

Reputation: 101

Welcome to ELU. While this provides the right solution, answers are generally expected to include some justification for (what is currently) mere opinion. – Andrew Leach – 2014-10-08T07:28:10.870


"Who is Lisa friends with?" is the correct form. Look at this question from its answer...
Lisa is friends with Jack and Jill.

"Who are Lisa friends with?" is incorrect. The answer to this question cannot be...
Lisa are friends with Jack and Jill.

Let us change your question slightly: "Who are the English friends with?" Now we have a different situation and the question is correct because we can say...
The English are friends with the French people.

Bniedem Malti

Posted 2014-10-08T05:59:15.083



  • Who are Lisa's friends?

    The pronoun who substitutes the names of her friends. The possessive apostrophe indicates who is the possessor, and the noun friends tells us what or who is possessed. Hence you would have the following affirmative sentence.

Darren, Mark, Judy and Maria are friends of Lisa
Darren, Mark, Judy and Maria are Lisa's friends

  • Who is Lisa friends with?

    This structure is different from the above, here be friends with is an idiom or a fixed phrase. To be friends with someone means to have a person as a friend. You can also make friends with someone. Lisa is singular and the verb must agree with the subject. Therefore, if we modify the earlier affirmative sentence we obtain

Lisa is friends with Darren, Mark, Judy and Maria
Darren, Mark, Judy and Maria are friends with Lisa

When Darren, Mark, Judy and Maria is the subject, the verb is in plural.

The Free Dictionary says

  1. 'be friends with' If someone is your friend, you can say that you are friends with them.

    • You used to be good friends with him, didn't you?
    • I also became friends with Melanie.

Mari-Lou A

Posted 2014-10-08T05:59:15.083

Reputation: 19 962