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Is this sentence grammatically correct? I mean, can I omit the verb in the second part after the colon?

Differently from other works, they consider all information usually available in social media collections: both user-provided information such as textual content (titles, descriptions and tags) and automatic generated content (creation time and geo-coordinates).

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You mean "generated"? –  Alenanno Apr 12 '11 at 8:40
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3 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

The part after the colon is a subordinate clause in this case, so it's fine for it not to have a verb. There are a couple of other problems, however.

  • "Differently from other works" - as others have noted, this is awkward at the beginning of a sentence (and unnecessarily wordy elsewhere in a sentence). Try "Unlike" instead.
  • "they consider" - I assume the previous text gives a referent for "they"?
  • "automatic generated content" - since automatic modifies generated, not content, it needs to be an adverb, not an adjective; and because the phrase "automatically generated" is being used as a single adjective modifying "content", it needs a hyphen: automatically-generated content.

Rewrite:

Unlike other works, they consider all information usually available in social media collections: both user-provided information such as textual content (titles, descriptions, and tags) and automatically-generated content (creation time and geo-coordinates).

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The sentence is not correct, but this has nothing to do with missing a verb after the colons. The colon introduces a list, so naturally needs no verb.

However, the first part of the sentence is, if not actually grammatically incorrect, at least clumsy. You probably want something like:

Unlike other works...
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3  
Or perhaps "In contrast to other works...". I don't think "differently from" is strictly wrong, but I definitely agree it is unidiomatic and sounds clumsy. –  psmears Apr 12 '11 at 10:08
    
Ah yes, "in contrast" is definitely better. –  Daniel Roseman Apr 12 '11 at 10:31
    
Or: "Differing from other works..." –  MrHen Apr 12 '11 at 17:19
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The sentence is grammatically incorrect. In addition, there are several non-grammar-related edits that you should consider.

Differently from other works,

This sounds awkward. You should move the adverb closer to the verb "consider".

You could change "differently from other works" to "unlike other works", but don't put it in the front of the sentence. If you write "Unlike other works" in front, then it would be a dangling modifier, in which "they" would mean a work "unlike other works".

What "other works"? This phrase is vague.

they consider

Who are "they"?

Why would "they" consider?

If this is an excerpt from a paragraph, then the paragraph should answer these questions. Alternatively, it is better and clearer to include a noun instead of a pronoun.

both / such as

You can use either. Do not use both words at the same time. It unnecessarily makes your sentence more complex.

titles, descriptions and tags

I must have serial commas in my sentences, but that is your choice. Titles, descriptions, and tags.

automatic generated content

automatically generated content

The revised sentence would be:

[They] consider, differently from other works, all information usually available in social-media collections: user-provided information, such as textual content (titles, descriptions, and tags), and automatically generated content (creation time and geo-coordinates).

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You offer some good advice. But plural "information"? I'd say "both types of information". And "they" might be clear from context. And "differently" still sounds a bit off. I also think a hyphen is needed in "social media". –  Cerberus Apr 12 '11 at 12:28
    
Although I did not mention it, I agree that the "differently" phrase still sounds weird after the revision, but I included it anyway if the OP really insists on keeping it. Hmm, I did not notice the hyphen and plural "information". Thanks. How about "in both social-media collections of user-provided information"? Unfortunately, this changes the meaning, and your "types of" suggestion adds a double "of", perhaps a stylistic issue. A simple Google search reveals that the unhyphenated "social media collection" is the most common, however. –  XP1 Apr 12 '11 at 13:29
    
Moving the colon changes the meaning of the sentence. You are presuming that both the textual content and the auto-generated content are user-provided. This isn't necessarily true, and I rather suspect the OP meant what he or she wrote. –  user1579 Apr 12 '11 at 13:44
    
@Rhodri, thanks. The original text should have included commas: "user-provided information, such as textual content (titles, descriptions and tags), and automatically generated content (creation time and geo-coordinates)". The "content" and parentheses parallelism are misleading. –  XP1 Apr 12 '11 at 14:56
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