When creating longer sentences, I am apt to say something like

"I love it when he visits and am looking forward to his next one."

where I say "I ...", using a subject and verb, but then say "and am" without including the subject pronoun again. Is this acceptable in English? Are there any situations in which only mentioning the subject pronoun once at the beginning of sentence would be incorrect? The meaning does not seem unclear because of it, but saying "I" again sounds repetitive and unnatural.

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    The example is perhaps unfortunate, since 'visit' is used as a verb but then referenced as if it had been a noun. "I love it when he visits[,] and am looking forward to the next time." is grammatically quite acceptable. However, it sounds starchy, and more idiomatic (at least in the UK) would be: "I love it when he visits, and I'm looking forward to the next time." Oct 27, 2016 at 17:32
  • Sorry for my example! My English grammar is not very good. While not grammatical, when nouns like "visit" have verbs like "to visit" nearly meaning "to make a visit", it seems normal to me to refer to his making a visit as a noun. Thank you! Oct 27, 2016 at 17:42

2 Answers 2


The reason why

  • I love it when he visits and am looking forward to his next time

sounds starchy is that Conjunction Reduction is being called on to do too much.
Using a different metaphor, there are too many balls in the air to keep track of simply.

The full sentence, which is long but clear, is

  • I love it when he visits and I am looking forward to his next visit.

The only reason why one might want to shorten this sentence is to save syllables or letters. Though there's no reason why one can't substitute the indefinite pronoun one for the last word -- it doesn't help anything, but it doesn't hurt anything, either, and it's speaker's choice in situations like that.

  • I love it when he visits and I am looking forward to his next one.

So far so good. Another thing one can do is delete the repeated I via Conjunction Reduction, e.g,

  • I like salsa and I dislike mayonnaise ==> I like salsa and dislike mayonnaise.

However, there are two problems with deleting I via Conjunction Reduction in the example sentence. One of the problems is that it leaves an uncontracted am in the second clause; this can sometimes cause problems.

The bigger problem, however, is that when searching for the subject of am, the parser needs to rewind the sentence back to the first syllable to find the I that's been deleted; and there already is another, different, subject pronoun he in the clause when he visits that's closer than the I subject the parser is searching for, but doesn't agree with am.

Depending on how one's parser is designed, this may result in more work than should be necessary for the parser, which may be irritated enough to load the debugger and stop processing. The net savings in either syllables or letters is one; that's not much profit for all the processing work it causes. That's one of the features of starchy language -- it takes too much work for too little return.

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    You're a relevance theorist in disguise ... Jan 25, 2017 at 21:15
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    I figured out long ago that -- unlike all the other Gricean maxims -- the Relevance Maxim was not breakable by the speaker, because it was under control of the addressee, who would find relevance somewhere, if they were looking for it. Jan 25, 2017 at 22:18

What you've got is a compound predicate joined with and:

I love ... and am looking

instead of a compound sentence:

I love and I am looking

That's fine, except that you might end up with an ambiguous sentence. Consider

I loved it when he visited and looked forward to those visits.

Does that mean that you loved the visits and that you looked forward to them?

(I loved it when he visited) and ([I] looked forward to those visits)

Or does that means that you loved it when he looked forward to the visits?

I loved it when (he visited and [he] looked forward to those visits).

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