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Could this small passage be defective in some way:

book
KENT SAW Helen at each evening meal, but otherwise only the spotless kitchen remained as a clue that another person shared the house.

Could it be missing "with him" at the end?

So, dropping the word "with" from the end of:

Jeff is looking for a roommate to share the apartment WITH.

would not make a difference?

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closed as not a real question by jwpat7, Andrew Leach, simchona Mar 6 '13 at 8:56

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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We don't do literary criticism, and this is not a real, actual problem which you face in your own use of English. –  Andrew Leach Mar 6 '13 at 7:49

2 Answers 2

This is a stylistic choice in which "with him" is implied. Because the content strongly indicates that Kent is observing both the house in which he lives and the other person who is present, the reader knows that Helen shares the house with him, and it is unnecessary to include the phrase. The writer chose to leave out "with him" as a matter of grace and sophistication in the writing. I would be willing to bet that the contextual sentences accompanying this one make it even more clear that these two people share the house, and thereby make "with him" even less necessary.

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So, if I write "Jane shared Kate's house" instead of "Jane shared Kate's house with Kate", then it is still crystal-clear that Kate (owner) also lives in the house? –  user38813 Mar 6 '13 at 2:58
    
No, not at all. Your example can be interpreted in many ways, and does not necessarily imply that Kate lives there. The OP presents a sentence with much more content, from which more conclusions can be drawn. Interpretations can be incorrect, but stylistic choices often accept some ambiguity in favor of elegance of expression. –  John M. Landsberg Mar 6 '13 at 3:38
    
So, dropping the word "with" from the end of "Jeff is looking for a roommate to share the apartment WITH" would not make a difference? –  user38813 Mar 6 '13 at 6:40
    
Once again, you have created another example which is not syntactically equivalent. In this case, "with" is commonly used in this way, but it is not formally correct, and it is furthermore unnecessary. Dropping the WITH is not merely inconsequential; it is in fact highly recommended. However, in this sentence, "with him" at the end would work quite well, because it would add useful information which is not otherwise stated, and it is not stylistically unpleasant. –  John M. Landsberg Mar 6 '13 at 7:42

The phrase with him could be included but it is not necessary to convey the meaning.

The author might also have used

  • as a clue that another person occupied the house
  • as a clue that another person lived there
  • as a clue that he shared the house with another human being
  • as a clue that he did not live alone

Any of them would be correct but each carries a slightly different tone.

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So, dropping the word "with" from the end of "Jeff is looking for a roommate to share the apartment WITH" would not make a difference? –  user38813 Mar 6 '13 at 6:41
    
Dropping a terminal "with" will make a difference. It improves the sentence. And it does not change the meaning. –  Fortiter Mar 6 '13 at 11:43