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I have two sentences which are almost similar: 1) We can say that the annals literally teem with biased descriptions of escaping hostile rulers or entire communities. and 2) We can say that the annals literally teem with biased descriptions of escaping hostile rulers or of entire communities. My question is whether it is necessary to repeat "of" (in bold here).

closed as off-topic by FumbleFingers, michael_timofeev, Nathaniel, tchrist, Roaring Fish Nov 29 '15 at 8:52

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    Pedantic side note: In English, we either say "similar" or "almost the same," but not "almost similar." – pyobum Nov 27 '15 at 12:56
  • Side issue: the word 'literally' is utterly superfluous here. – Marv Mills Nov 27 '15 at 13:50
  • Why is it "Off-topic"? It's a perfectly valid question covering a topic that is frequently asked by students. I say leave it alone! – BillJ Nov 29 '15 at 10:05
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It's a free choice.

Omitting the second of yields a coordination of two NPs as complement to the first of preposition:

[1] The annals literally teem with biased descriptions of [escaping hostile rulers] or [entire communities].

Include the second of and instead you have a coordination of two PPs as complement to the NP biased descriptions:

[2] The annals literally teem with biased descriptions [of escaping hostile rulers] or [of entire communities].

[2] is of course the logical equivalent of [1].

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"We can say that" is unnecessary and a little confusing. Who are "we"? "Literally teem" is simply incorrect. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/teem

A more clear and straightforward sentence might read as follows: "The annals are full of biased descriptions of escaping hostile rulers and of entire communities that have fled."

  • Mark Hubbard. You're off-topic.That was not what the OP asked. They asked about the use of the prep "of", specifically "My question is whether it is necessary to repeat "of". In any case, you should not recast a sentence without knowing the full context. – BillJ Nov 27 '15 at 15:42

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