I came across the following sentence when I looked up the meaning of "low-ball".

The low-ball is a persuasion and selling technique in which an item or service is offered at a lower price than is actually intended to be charged, after which the price is raised to increase profit.

Can I omit the "is" and say "at a lower price than actually intended"?

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  • 1
    If you do that, I'd also omit to be charged. – Jason Bassford Jul 18 '18 at 4:10
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    @JasonBassford - you run the risk of it being interpreted as a mistake. I listed it for $10 when but I intended to list it for $100. (In general though, I tend to associate low-ball with offers to buy rather than offers to sell. If I list my car for $40,000.00 and some calls up and offers me $20k he's trying to low-ball me. ) – Jim Jul 18 '18 at 4:32
  • You can and why would you want to, please? How would that be helpful? – Robbie Goodwin Jul 30 '18 at 17:36

Actually, if the same verb can work in both the independent and subordinate clause, it is permissible and quite common to omit the verb. This is called an elliptical clause. Here are a couple examples with the implied verb in parentheses:

Bill is taller than I (am).

And this example has an adverb and a past participle, but only an implied verb:

Indeed, "L'Ormindo" is among those works that are more often heard about than (are) actually heard.


‘Actually’ is an adverb. ‘Is’ is a verb. The definition of an adverb is ‘a word that modifies a verb, adjective, another adverb, determiner, noun phrase, clause, or sentence.’ I don’t see how you could remove the verb and keep the adverb, since it is modifying the verb ‘is’ in the sentence.

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    Not really. "Is" is a helper verb in this case, and "actually" is modifying "intended", so the helper verb can be removed without destroying the sentence, but it would sound odd to the ear. – lux Jul 18 '18 at 6:11
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    @lux If this were English Language Learners you could expand your comment into an answer. I am voting to migrate the question there. – Kris Jul 18 '18 at 6:20

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