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The original sentence is:

I have eaten and always will eat food.

If you cut out the first eaten, is the sentence still grammatical?:

I have and always will eat food.

How about:

I have, and always will, eaten food.

Is this sentence grammatical? If not, why not?

marked as duplicate by user140086, BladorthinTheGrey, kiamlaluno, jimm101, NVZ Jan 2 '17 at 18:18

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It is fine as-is, though it may sound more natural to say, "I always have and always will eat ..."

This sentence is similar in purpose to the consequent of a zero-conditional. (If/when X happens, then Y happens.)

The purpose of the zero-conditional is to describe real situations which are always true. The sentence being constructed here is doing just that. In a zero-conditional, the verbs in both parts are in the simple present. So, in this case, I think formatting the verb in only the simple present is acceptable because it matches what an English speaker would recognize as the consequent of a zero-conditional.

If omitting 'eaten' is bothersome, the sentence could be reworded as a true zero-conditional, "When I eat, I eat food."

  • 1
    Why do you think it's fine? Please elaborate, and speak specifically to what the user is asking. Please see the help page about writing a good answer. – Katherine Lockwood Jan 2 '17 at 2:54
  • 3
    The question has nothing to do with conditionals. The OP wants to know whether it's OK to elide the perfect form of the verb in a compound predicate leaving only the plain form of that verb. Obviously this is fine in It has and always will cost one dollar, since the perfect and plain form of cost coincide. This isn't so for eat. – deadrat Jan 2 '17 at 3:56
  • I get your point, but consider the purpose of the consequent in a zero-conditional, it is intended to state real situations that have been true in the past, are true now, and will be true in the future. This sentence is doing precisely that. Because this sentence performs the function of the consequent in a zero-conditional, we can use that familiar verb form here and go with the simple present only. Or better yet, get rid of have: 'I always did, and always will eat food.' – J. Elek Jan 2 '17 at 4:24

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