I feel very confused at this question. It may be split into 2 questions. A. Must a transitive verb always be follow by an object? B. If NO is the answer to Q A. , then under what circumstances the object can be omitted?

The example is, Wait a moment, I am going to correct it and update it. I doubt if it can be rephrased as "Wait a moment, I am going to correct and update it. See I am in a dilemma; I believe an object must go after am transitive verb so I think the second one is wrong; I try to find a simpler way to express and the second one sounds all right to me and I feel like it.

In short, I want to know whether it is grammatically correct to say "Wait a moment, I am going to correct and update it." I think the object of "it" has been omitted after "correct". Longman dictionary says both verbs of "correct" and "update" are transitive.

1 Answer 1


Your example is correct. Both verbs are indeed transitive, and require objects. But it is both grammatical and common to omit the first object when it is the same as the second object (e.g. I am going to correct it and update it). This is called ellipsis.

In your example (I am going to correct and update it), it functions as both objects.

The circumstances under which this is permissible are simple: the two coordinating verbs (i.e. connected with a coordinating conjunction, such as and in "correct and update") must both be transitive and have the same object.

I fried and ate the fish.
Would you rather wash or dry the dishes?

  • 1
    Note that it's also permissible with other words that take objects (i.e., prepositions): “He called and wrote to his mother”, “He sent letters to and got letters from his mother”, etc. Commented May 28, 2014 at 6:25
  • I would rather wash and eat the fish will thoroughly confuse the reader. Think over.
    – Kris
    Commented May 28, 2014 at 9:25
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    @ Janus Bhs Jacquet The additional example shows other usage. That means even the two verbs are not equivalent, or rather a transitive verb and an intransitive verb with proposition, the ellipsis can also be applied. The word of write here is used as an intransitive verb. Commented May 29, 2014 at 3:19

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