(This has gotta be a duplicate, but I didn't quite manage to find anything...)

Is either of the following correct? If so, what is the general rule that makes the other one wrong?

  1. I have always—and will always—preferred chocolate over vanilla.

  2. I have always—and will always—prefer chocolate over vanilla.

I'm aware that I could just sidestep the whole issue with

I have always preferred—and will always prefer—chocolate over vanilla.

but that doesn't answer my question.


While I agree with Bread that his rewording is best, if you want a choice between your two versions I think #2 is preferable. It sounds better if the main verb agrees with the closest auxiliary, because it takes extra mental processing to refer back to the earlier part of the sentence.

When you write it down it seems like it should agree with the earlier version, because of the parenthetical nature of "and always will". But it just doesn't sound right to me.


"I have always preferred chocolate over vanilla, and always will."

Is better wording of the same sentence.

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