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a. They objected to my being given a second chance, but not to his being given a second chance.

Can you omit the second verb phrase being given a second chance as in (b)?

b. They objected to my being given a second chance, but not to his.

If so, is this a case of ellipsis?

If not, why not?

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    Using the ACC-ing structure is highly formal and stylised, and I'd say the parallelling becomes too awkward. I'd restructure here. 'They objected when the employee was given a second chance, but were less critical when the intern was treated similarly.' Commented Apr 9, 2020 at 14:10
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    BTW, how many interns are there? And why is possessive being used at all?
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Apr 9, 2020 at 14:40
  • @EdwinAshworth How about using 'my' and 'his'?
    – listeneva
    Commented Apr 10, 2020 at 3:01
  • @HotLicks I wanted to know if the possessive is merely being used as a determiner, in which case the ellipsis should work, or if it's being used as something else.
    – listeneva
    Commented Apr 10, 2020 at 3:35
  • Even "They objected to my being given a second chance, but not to his being given a second chance" sounds off ... petty at the best, ridiculously stuffy at worst. "They objected to my being given a second chance, but not to his" would have Orwell turning in his grave. Commented Apr 10, 2020 at 16:27

1 Answer 1

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I would. But, I would also remove the comma after "chance", since there aren't two independent clauses.

It's verbal phrase ellipsis.

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  • I don't think being given a second chance is a noun or noun phrase. It's a verb phrase headed by being. So I don't understand how it could be a case of noun ellipsis. If you know any example of this kind of ellipsis, please let me know.
    – listeneva
    Commented Mar 26, 2020 at 2:31
  • I don't think the comma is wrong. If you search "but not to the" in Google News, you'll see many start with a comma: google.com/…
    – listeneva
    Commented Mar 26, 2020 at 2:43
  • Confused gerund with verbal noun. But it's this: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verb_phrase_ellipsis. It seems you already knew the answer.
    – SUM1
    Commented Apr 9, 2020 at 13:38

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