A couple of ministers had to resign too, among them Interior Minister Fouchet.

I don't know what type of rule is used to delete needed "was" in this sentence. My opinion is that "was" should be used like this.

A couple of ministers had to resign too, (and) among them was Interior Minister Fouchet.

Can someone tell me what rule is used to delete "was"? For example, be deletion, appositive, whiz deletion or etc?

  • 2
    You do realize that was is not deleted because of a rule, but that a rule may be formulated because this deletion happens? – oerkelens Aug 8 '15 at 22:08
  • 1
    How 'bout was deletion? ;-) – Jim Aug 8 '15 at 22:12
  • 2
    The latter phrase is parenthetical to "ministers". – Hot Licks Aug 8 '15 at 22:19
  • 1
    I think it's a slightly weird usage. If something/someone is among a number of similar things/people, that implies at least three, to my mind. So I would never say Mars has two moons, among them Phobos, for example. I can only accept the cited usage if I assume a couple is being used loosely to mean a few [probably only two or three]. – FumbleFingers Aug 8 '15 at 22:53
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    @FumbleFingers I would not assume that this sentence indicates that exactly two ministers had to resign. Actually, if there were exactly two, I would expect the exact number to be mentioned. I read "a couple" here as "more than two, and less than any substantial number of the cabinet". – oerkelens Aug 8 '15 at 23:09

There is a parenthetical involved here, and the internal grammar of parentheticals is often far more relaxed than within sentences proper.

[Several] ministers had to resign too, among them Interior Minister Fouchet.

A more logical ordering, clearly showing the parenthetical (subclass additional non-essential information) is:

[Several] ministers, among them Interior Minister Fouchet, had to resign too.

The length of the parenthetical is no doubt the reason why it is considered acceptable to postpose it: 'among them Bob Todd' would be less amenable to postposition. It appears illogical, but is acceptable.


A couple of ministers had to resign too, among them Interior Minister Fouchet.

I read it thus:

A couple of ministers had to resign too. Among them, Interior Minister Fouchet had to resign.

I don't see an implied 'was'.

  • But all of them had to resign, so it feels strange to single out Fouchet as having had to resign. It makes makes more sense to indicate that Fouchet was one of the ministers that had to resign, which means he was among the minsters that had to resign. – oerkelens Aug 8 '15 at 22:27
  • Then it is two independent clauses combined together rather than a parenthetical phrase as Hot Licks suggested? – mercyplease Aug 8 '15 at 22:27
  • @oerkelens - The whole sentence is pretty awful anyway. Using 'among' with 'a couple' just sounds wrong. I think the whole thing needs to be rewritten. Unfortunately we aren't given that choice. – chasly - supports Monica Aug 8 '15 at 22:36
  • @mercyplease - I would say that I am agreeing with HotLicks (and disagreeing with oerkelens). The parenthetical version makes it clear that the verb is not 'was'. – chasly - supports Monica Aug 8 '15 at 22:40
  • What happens to chasly's parsing if we negate the statement? A couple of ministers had to resign too, Interior Minister Fouchet not among them. – TRomano Aug 8 '15 at 22:47

This sentence would undoubtably warrant the usage of a semi-colon. Semi-colons are often used to replace a conjunction. You would be right in using a comma and then 'and', and a semi-colon can be used to replace this connective. So, you're sentence will be:

A couple of ministers had to resign, too; among them, interior Minister Fouchet.

You'll notice I added a comma before 'Interior'. This is simply for clarity. Spoken, this sentence would be read with a natural pause and so a comma is needed.

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