Don't be ashamed. It was cute, like a shy teenager.

I'm not very sure if this is a grammatical mistake, but I think the correct version would look like this:

Don't be ashamed. It was cute, you were/acted like a shy teenager.

Is this a common mistake/omission in speech (by native English speakers)?

  • 4
    Yes, it's common. So common, in fact, that it would be excessive to call it "ungrammatical", or a "mistake". – FumbleFingers Apr 25 '15 at 14:32
  • @FF Bet you vote Descriptive. – Edwin Ashworth Apr 25 '15 at 15:10
  • 1
    I would interpret it as "it was cute- [just] like a shy teenager [is cute" Nothing ungrammatical there. – Jim Apr 25 '15 at 17:01
  • @Edwin: Usually, but not always. (For example, I would of voted "ungrammatical" if we were talking about this current sentence! :) – FumbleFingers Apr 25 '15 at 17:29
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    I would interpret it as "It was cute. [It was] like a shy teenager." Nothing "ungrammatical" about it -- using the same subject & verb for a list of adjective/adverbal phrases is perfectly legitimate. – Hot Licks Apr 25 '15 at 18:11

This is not an ungrammatical expression. The sentence is a combination of the phrases "It was cute" and "It was like a shy teenager".

One could consider this a case of unclear pronoun reference, which would generally be considered more of a stylistic than grammatical error.

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