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Since I like staying up until late at night, waking up late, and generally [I] am more of a nocturnal type of person…

Is the I in the square brackets necessary, or can it be omitted? Personally, I feel like it sounds better when left out, but some people told me otherwise. Please clear up the confusion, thanks!

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Ellipsis of the second "I" is just fine, but I like X,Y, and Z leads the reader expect a third thing you like after the and. You need to forestall this interpretation by writing I like X and Y, and generally am Z. –  StoneyB Sep 23 '12 at 21:24

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

The sentence is wrong on a more basic level. After the 'since', relevant 'things I like' are listed, but the list requires A, B & C not A, B & - oops:

Since I like (staying up until late at night), (waking up late), and *(generally [I] am more of a nocturnal type of person…

With

Since I like staying up until late at night and waking up late, and generally [I] am more of a nocturnal type of person,

we now have the structure Since I (D + D') and (E):

Since I (like staying up until late at night and waking up late), and ({generally} [I] am more of a nocturnal type of person),

so the second I is incorrect.

Semantically, as E is a restatement of D, and would be better replaced by in fact.

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Or, as StoneyB said, you could replace the comma after night with 'and'. –  TimLymington Sep 23 '12 at 21:45

In speech, in a conversation -- in real language, where these problems mostly don't arise, or are corrected on the spot when they do -- you would automatically contract I am to I'm, which is not really the same word as I (doesn't rhyme, includes a verb, etc), and therefore doesn't trigger those mental "good manner" detectors that make repetition of I sound, um, ... less than "better" to many of us.

Then you say something about somebody else, or you ask a question and get an answer and get the floor back. Either way, you clear the pronoun buffer. Then you can say I again.

Moral: Written lists of your personal attributes are probably best not submitted for publication.

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