3

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)?

9
  • 4
    Yes, it's common. So common, in fact, that it would be excessive to call it "ungrammatical", or a "mistake". Apr 25, 2015 at 14:32
  • @FF Bet you vote Descriptive. Apr 25, 2015 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, 2015 at 17:01
  • @Edwin: Usually, but not always. (For example, I would of voted "ungrammatical" if we were talking about this current sentence! :) Apr 25, 2015 at 17:29
  • 1
    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, 2015 at 18:11

1 Answer 1

5

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.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.