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This time you put the big rocks in the bucket first, followed by pebbles.

I know the meaning of this sentence, but I don't know the structure of this sentence because of "followed by."

How can I rephrase this sentence to explain?

What's omitted between "first" and "followed by" ?

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Actually it's just a way of saying that one thing happens/comes after the other thing. So this sentence can be rephrased as, "This time you put the big rock in the bucket first, 'and then' the pebbles."

  • There's also an implicit parallelism: "This time you put the big rock in the bucket, and then [you put] the pebbles [in the bucket]." – Acccumulation Jun 14 '18 at 15:40
  • While I'm aware of that, I think both of our sentences are grammatically correct. – Purich W. Jun 14 '18 at 16:10

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