I have, and always will trust you.

Do you read this as

I have trusted you and I always will trust you

The following is suggested by another member on SE:

I have, and always will... trust you.

I'm trying to express that I have always trusted and hopefully will always trust you.

Seems redundant. Any suggestions?

  • Of course, there's also: "I have (always) trusted you, and (I) always will." – F.E. May 30 '14 at 19:15
  • This is actually quite an interesting question! :) -- There's some syntactic stuff possibly involved: delayed right constituent coordination, and ellipsis involving an auxiliary verb ("will/have"). – F.E. May 30 '14 at 19:25

First, you're right; this is a violation of the Conjunction Reduction rule.
Will and have take different verb forms: will trust (infinitive) but have trusted (participle).

Conjunction Reduction requires that they be identical.

  • I can and will deliver it = I can deliver it and I will deliver it (identical infinitives)
    (can and will are both modal auxiliaries and therefore both take infinitives.)

So how come people say it, then? The answer is interesting. It seems to be a memory phenomenon. Consider the following set:

  • I have and will do it. (terrible)
  • I have and always will do it. (less so)
  • I have, and, as far as I know, always will do it. (much less so)

.. and in speech, strong intonation and stress can render these still less ungrammatical,
to the point where one hears things like this fairly frequently.

There is an aphorism in syntax called "Zwicky's Law" that goes like this:

The more irrelevant garbage you put into an ungrammatical sentence, the better it sounds.

People have limited memory space for real-time parsing and analysis, and get distracted easily.
So when they're waiting for an infinitive and some parenthetical remark distracts them,
they may lose the pointer to the infinitive and accept a participle because it's correct with have.

But it's not appropriate in writing, because it's additional distraction for the attentive reader,
and reading what some people write is hard enough without having to load a debugger, too.

  • I have trusted you and always will. Is it necessary to repeat the verb? Also, people seem to want to shift the always to the first verb.... – Lambie Apr 8 '18 at 16:12

To my ear (and according to rules of grammar as well, of course) it doesn't work if the clauses don't work independently. That is, since you can't say "I have trust you" (it should be "I have trusted you"), you can't say "I have, and always will, trust you".

How about "You have, and always will have, my trust"?

I think the repeated words add emphasis and rhythm, but if you're just trying to express the idea succinctly, you could try

"You have my permanent trust"

"You have my trust, always."


I have, and always will trust you.

I interpret this as "I have trusted you, and I always will".

It's a bad tense shift within a parallel construction, but a common one.

I wouldn't recommend you use it in formal writing. I wouldn't say you should worry about saying it either. If you are writing fiction, it's the sort of deliberate slip that would be perfectly appropriate in dialogue or where you are writing close to a characters thoughts: It breaks the rules enough to sound more realistic than if you stuck to them perfectly, while not breaking them so much as to hinder understanding.

So, definitely against most formal rules, but definitely also something you'd find examples of too.

The following is suggested by another member on SE: "I have, and always will... trust you."

With the actual ellipsis (...) in there? That's just horrible. It doesn't improve anything (it has the same problem as the first), it introduces a new error in using ellipsis when there's nothing elided, and it looks ugly.

I'd be a bit worried if I received this in a note. What's meant to go in the gap of the ellipsis? Am I just dealing with one of those lunatics that writes random emails to lists peppered with ellipses that are either passive-aggressive (and I'll be blamed later for not filling them in the "right" way) or extremely paranoid (and my not making the same unhealthy mental leaps between one side of the ellipsis and the next is taken as evidence that I'm on the side of whatever "them" they are paranoid about). Oh dear god, and one of these people says they trust me … for now. I'm going to have to watch my back for the next bit.

I'm trying to express that I have always trusted and hopefully will always trust you.

Eh, well the "hopefully" is a bit of a weakening there, but otherwise you seem to be on the right track:

I have always trusted and will always trust you.

Or just:

I have always trusted and always will.

There's a bit more emphasis to be found in the variant:

I have always trusted and always will trust you.

Putting the always on will emphasises the will and what it promises for the future.

Separate sentences are also good, for even more emphasis:

I have always trusted you. I always will trust you.

Perhaps this sounds just a little too emphatic now though (protesting too much).

If it's not actually you (you're writing dialogue) I'd go with the first technically-incorrect unless these are words from the mouth of someone particularly precise. Otherwise any of the other suggestions, or reword again "you have my trust, and always have", etc.

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