(I'm not sure if the title is absolutely correct, so feel free to fix it)

Is it suitable to enumerate verbs without modal verb?


File already should be created and contain some data

in comparison to:

File already should be created and should contain some data


I'm not positive, but my reflexive feeling about this is that the modal in the first example would indeed apply to both "created" and "contain". The second sentence feels clunkier, but is logically unambiguous.

  • Yes, i think the same way. But some native language speaking habits take me into shortcuts as in the 1st phrase ;-) – zerkms Sep 21 '10 at 4:04
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    I agree. I would rewrite it slightly, though: 'The file should be created already and contain some data'. I've just moved already, but it seemed rather clumsy in that location. – J D OConal Sep 21 '10 at 4:42
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    If we are picking out our preferred position for already, then I think this is the position with the best flow: "The file should already be created and contain some data." :) – Kosmonaut Sep 21 '10 at 12:51

Yes, it's possible to do that - though the word order in the examples is incorrect. It should be:

File should already be created and contain some data.

  • Heh, you're completely right; I was so focused on the modal that I neglected to pay attention to the placement of "already." – MaxN Sep 21 '10 at 14:45
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    This sentence still hurts my eyes because it lacks an article. – Mr. Shiny and New 安宇 Sep 21 '10 at 18:18
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    @Mr. Shiny and New: It's contemporary telegraphese. Don't let it bother you unduly. – Jon Purdy Oct 4 '10 at 23:30

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