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I'm not sure if I need an 'it' in this sentence.

With 'it':

I believe that it has a great potential to propel the progress of computing and it can significantly change the way we interact with computers and other devices.

Without 'it':

I believe that it has a great potential to propel the progress of computing and can significantly change the way we interact with computers and other devices.

Do the two sentences sound the same? Do I need an 'it' or is it redundant?

Thanks for your time!

2 Answers 2

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Both are correct. In English, we call it Textual ellipsis. When we can easily understand everything in the sentence because of the surrounding text, we use textual ellipsis. For example, we know that certain verbs and adjectives can be followed by a that-clause, so if we see a clause without that after such verbs and adjectives, we assume that the writer or speaker wants us to understand the same meaning as a that-clause:

  • I knew [that] something terrible had happened.
  • Maureen was glad [that] we had called in to see her.
  • Are you afraid [that] you won’t get a job when you leave college?*

The same happens when we do not repeat words in clauses connected with and, but and or (coordinated clauses). We understand what the ‘missing’ items are:

  • We went for a walk and [we] took some lovely photographs.
  • He wrote to [everyone he could think of who might help] and [he] phoned everyone he could think of who might help.
  • I can remember his face but [I] can’t remember his name.
  • Do you want to stay in or [do you want to] go out tonight*?*

We can also leave out the complement of a verb when it is obvious what the complement is:

  • A: Why don’t they move to a bigger place?
  • B: They don’t want to [move to a bigger place]. They’re happy where they are.
  • A: Have more coffee.
  • B: I’d better not [have more coffee]. I won’t be able to sleep later.
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Definitely redundant, but not necessarily wrong. Usually you would repeat the pronoun if you had a new sentence.

I would personally switch "can" for "could" as well, if the 'it' being discussed isn't currently being used.

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  • Great! So, I'll remove it @Cris. Thanks for the 'could' suggestion too.
    – nikhil
    Sep 20, 2015 at 10:55

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