Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Examples:

  1. Data can be imported to and exported from the application.
  2. Data can be imported and exported from the application.
  3. Data can be imported to the application and exported from it.

  1. The manager defined the products that should be added to and removed from the store.
  2. The manager defined the products that should be added and removed from the store.
  3. The manager defined the products that should be added to the store and removed from it.

I assume that the third sentence is correct in my examples. My question is whether the two other sentences are correct.

share|improve this question
add comment

2 Answers 2

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Examples #1 is correct in both sections, and are examples of basic parallelism. However, example #2 is wrong is both sections.

The basic test is if you can deconstruct your parallelism into two grammatical sentences without adding new words:

Example #1 works

Data can be imported to and exported from the application.

deconstructs to

Data can be imported to the application. Data can be exported from the application.

Example #2 is awkward

Data can be imported and exported from the application.

deconstructs to

Data can be imported from the application.
Data can be exported from the application.

Note the "import from" wordage above. This is awkward because the idiom here is "import to the application" or "export from the application". Even worse is the idea of adding something "from" a store.

share|improve this answer
add comment

In both examples, (1) is also an accepted structure, although it is usually written with commas or dashes:

Data can be imported to, and exported from, the application.

share|improve this answer
    
I would only use commas or dashes if the second verb–preposition pair is to be read as a parenthetical remark or an afterthought. I see no reason to add punctuation otherwise. –  Janus Bahs Jacquet Dec 11 '13 at 1:03
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.