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Can you leave a subject following “as long as” out, keeping the verb followed alive?

  • I can read it aloud for you as long as it is in English.

  • So you can watch any movies as long as they have subtitles on?

And why is that? Are there any authoritative grammar rules to support the reason?


I searched up some grammar ideas about “as” but they only confuse me. I can’t even judge whether these are related or not.

  • 7
    No, you can't. I don't know why. – AndyT Jun 10 '19 at 10:52
  • 1
    In English you cannot do this. I am guessing in your own language you can do this. So this is yet another difference between the two languages. – GEdgar Jun 10 '19 at 11:40
  • Syntactically, as long as is pretty much interchangeable with if, where I think you can omit both subject and verb. I have no problem with I only watch foreign films if subtitled (reduced from if they are subtitled), but offhand I can't think of any similar contexts where that elided verb isn't a copula (= TO BE), or where only the subject is omitted. – FumbleFingers Jun 10 '19 at 11:45
  • @FumbleFingers not fully interchangeable: it sounds somewhat non-fluent to say "you can watch any movies as long as subtitles on" or "I can read it aloud for you as long as in English". – Chappo Hasn't Forgotten Monica Jun 10 '19 at 15:01
  • @Chappo: Like I said, pretty much (not fully) interchangeable. For example, I can (just about! :) live with My party next week will have a live band playing in the garden if not wet, but I couldn't be doing with as long as instead of if there. – FumbleFingers Jun 10 '19 at 15:22

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