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Consider the following sentence:

In my head, there is nothing more wonderful than [] understanding how someone else feels and [] choosing to [] take action to [] resolve it.

It contains multiple verb phrases whose subject is "gapped" (indicated by []), and must be inferred from context. Additionally, it contains an anaphor "it" whose antecedent must be inferred from context.

In such a sentence, is it difficult for the average reader to resolve all of the necessary relations? If not, then why, and how could it be rephrased?

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  • Replace "In my head" with "In my opinion" or "I think" or, even better, nothing at all: There is nothing more wonderful than understanding how someone else feels. OTOH, I have no idea what "and choosing to take action to resolve it" means, because there's no context that allows me to guess.
    – user21497
    Jan 24, 2013 at 1:04
  • See, for instance Equi-NP-Deletion for complement clauses, Conjunction Reduction for conjoined clauses, and Whiz Deletion for relative clauses. Jan 24, 2013 at 3:26

1 Answer 1

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Yes. It makes sense.
Readers will generally understand what you mean.
But you could beat it about a fair bit.

There is a degree of uncertainty there that will not be apparent to readers as they will not usually be seeking to analyse such statements in detail.
ie what do you actually find wonderful? Is it the choosing to act? Is it the understanding? Is it the integrated whole? As the phrase stands it means the whole, and that may well be what you mean to convey, but it may be the "call to action" that fires you up.

The expression "In my head" is OK enough - we know what you mean. But it's somewhat 'slang' or informal. Which may be entirely OK in the context. Or not. The term could be replaced by eg "To me" or "I thinK" or "I feel". These are not strictly synonymous, but some such phrase may be more formal or main stream or better serve your purpose. But "In my head" may be closest to what you really want to convey.

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