Do these sentences mean the same? Is one preferable to the other?

  1. I think Ben is a robot. If he is, we should not talk to him anymore.

  2. I think Ben is a robot. If he is one, we should not talk to him anymore.

  • If think 2 would be more appropriate in a context where some/many people might be suspected of being a robot, perhaps because there are (known to be) a few robot-people around (one of those), like in a science fiction movie. 1 would seem more appropriate for current times. – We oath to creation May 16 '16 at 14:47
  • 1
    I think they're both acceptable, although "one" seems unneccessary and so I'd be tempted to remove it. – Max Williams Jun 1 '16 at 8:49

Both read well. I would use (1) in emails/chat, everyday use because it is shorter, more efficient and more lazy. I would use (2) in literature writing to clearly define meaning and ensure complete sentences, such as "I think Ben is a robot. If indeed Ben is a mechanical entity then perhaps we should stop interacting with him.

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