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Below is the sentence in question, in which the same verb occurred twice with only one auxiliary between them:

Most particles passed straight through, but those that were deflected were deflected quite significantly.

I am not fond of repetitions. Could you suggest a set word/phrase I can use in place of the second 'deflected'? Something kind of like the adjectival pronoun 'that of', or a dummy verb.

Many thanks in advance.

5 Answers 5

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How about:

Most particles passed straight through, but those that did not were deflected quite significantly.

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What about reconstructing the sentence, as in:

Most particles passed straight through, except some that were deflected significantly.

This could work because your sentence implies all the particles that were deflected, were deflected significantly.

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Most particles passed straight through, but the minority that didn't were deflected quite significantly.

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  • A less unredundant echo of McCaverty's answer. Mar 7, 2017 at 18:36
  • less unredundant heh Mar 7, 2017 at 18:54
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There is nothing wrong with the original post -

Most particles passed straight through, but those that were deflected were deflected quite significantly -

except that the author is not happy with the repetition of 'deflected'. This 'fault' is easily remedied and the whole sentence made more concise -

Most particles passed straight through. A few were deflected quite significantly.

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  • As a user with 10k rep, you should know ELU is looking for answers with a bit of explanation behind them... This answer has come up on the LQP review.
    – Skooba
    Mar 8, 2017 at 13:35
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Here is my edit:

Most particles passed straight through, but those that were deflected at all did so quite significantly.

Even the insertion of 'at all' breaks up the sentence from the deflected-deflected crowd.

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  • 2
    That doesn’t work at all. Did so cannot be used as a dummy verb for a passive construction. Mar 7, 2017 at 16:56
  • @JanusBahsJacquet - You may be right, as you seem very sure. Mar 7, 2017 at 17:04
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    Just. “... But those that were deflected, were so quite significantly.”
    – Jim
    Mar 7, 2017 at 23:54

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