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I recently got an automated email from Twitter with the following subject (except with real user names):

username さん、username さん、username さんをご存じですか?

My question is about paired with ご存じですか. As I understand it, normally marks the direct object of a verb. Therefore, I expect it to be followed by a transitive verb; if there is no verb, I expect one to be implied. However, this sentence ends with a noun and copula instead, so I can't make grammatical sense of it.

I assume this phrase is grammatical, as I got it in an email that was likely to be proofread, and I can find plenty of uses online on websites that I think are likely to contain standard Japanese.

So how does it work grammatically? The only explanation I can come up with is that ご存じです is functioning as a transitive verb, like a polite/honorific form of 存じる. Is there a better explanation?

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「~~をお持ちです」「~~をお待ちです」「~~をお召し上がりです」「(こちらのお客様は)~~をご希望です。」「~~をご[所望]{しょもう}です。」「~~をご検討‌​(中)ですか?」「~~をご心配ですか?」などもあります~ – user1016 May 9 '13 at 21:51
up vote 7 down vote accepted

ご存じです is an irregular honorific form of the verb 知る. It functions exactly the same with respect to subjects, objects and so on.

More than that, there is a regular honorific form of verbs お+Vi+です (Vi is a -ます stem). For example, お聞きです from the verb 聞く. It also has an internal form noun+copula, but functions as a verb.

It seems like any predicate, be it verb, adjective, or noun+copula, can function like a verb, if there are some logical slots for subjects, objects or modifiers in its meaning,

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Thanks, I was trying to find an eloquent way to answer this topic, but couldn't form anything coherent. This is what I was going for. – istrasci May 8 '13 at 17:34

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