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Is this statement constructed correctly?

So because of their compatibility they were able to work closely together as a strong team should

Particularly, is it OK for it to end in should? If not, what rule is it breaking?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Yes, it's perfectly grammatical. It's an example of ellipsis, in which the verb work is recoverable from the previous clause.

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The only 'rule' it is breaking is that of clarity: the one indispensable necessity in writing. Should do or should work are possibilities there, but they are not the same; should alone could be either. The construction has been around, and controversial, at least since the 1930s, when Winston cigarettes used the advertising line 'Tastes good like a cigarette should', and James Thurber suggested that they could follow it up with 'We still make cigarettes like we used to could'.

Language changes, of course, and many people no longer see anything wrong here; how you use or abuse the English language is, as always, up to you. Thurber again: "The written word will soon disappear and we'll no longer be able to read good prose like we used to could. This prospect does not gentle my thoughts or tranquil me toward the future."

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The elliptical use of should occurs long before the 1930s, although perhaps not in this form. –  Barrie England Jan 20 '13 at 16:04
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From Wikipedia it seems like the controversy was whether you should use "as" or "like", not ending a sentence with "should". –  Peter Shor Jan 20 '13 at 16:06

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