0

In the statement:

Exports are a virtue and imports are a vice

Would it be okay to omit the second "are"? Thus becoming:

Exports are a virtue and imports a vice

If it was grammatically incorrect, I wonder if it is still appropriate to omit the verb in a formal setting. I feel like the latter way of phrasing the sentence rolls off the tongue better.

  • Actually, it's the main (linking or copulative) verb. – Gustavson Mar 19 at 9:53
  • 1
    "... if it is still appropriate to omit the verb in a formal setting" -- yes, and preferable. If still unconvinced, include a comma after imports for clarity. HTH. – Kris Mar 19 at 10:34
  • 1
    Yes, you can omit the auxiliary "are". But I much prefer to retain it, especially in formal contexts. – BillJ Mar 19 at 10:37
1

Yes. V-deletion is quite common, especially with conjunctive clauses.

Consider:

(1) I like milk and bread

(2) Someone will be happy and generous.

Closer to your example:

(3) My dog is a canine and my cat a feline.

That being said, since 'imports' is a verbal noun, it is best to retain the verb. The ambiguity of 'imports' - the ambiguity between a NP reading and a VP reading - makes parsing quite difficult. Syntactically, the issue is that 'imports' might be read as a present verb whose argument is the clause preceding the conjunction: 'exports (which are virtuous) import (x)'. So best keep the verb.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.