How do I reverse this sentence? Civil rights fighters would be good examples.

Expert Answers

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The way to reverse this sentence is to say "Good examples would be civil rights fighters." Still better would be "A good example would be civil rights fighters." Really, your collection of civil rights fighters comprise just one example. 

The verb "to be" is the only verb that allows you to do a reversal like this. Any other verb would destroy the sentence's intended meaning. When we use "to be," it acts as an equal sign in the sentence, so that whatever is one one side equals what is on the other side. This is what allows us to perform this reversal and maintain meaning, as in the examples:

The teacher will be Mrs. Smith.

Mrs. Smith will be the teacher.

The CEO was John Doe.

John Doe was the CEO.

Even when the predicate includes something other than a predicate nominative, it still works, albeit sometimes awkwardly. 

The teacher will be here at 8:00 am.

Here will be the teacher, at 8:00 am. 

The parents are very tired.

Very tired are the parents. 

The second example for each set is not the way most people will speak or write English, but neither violates any grammar rules.

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