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In the example

  1. "He gave Tom a cycle and Jack a bike"

Is this a simple sentence or an elided (stripping) compound sentence which can be expanded to “He gave Tom a cycle and he gave Jack a bike.” Similarly, in the example:

  1. "He will do it on Monday and not Tuesday"

Will this be classified as a simple sentence or an elided compound (Not-stripping ellipsis) to expand to “He will do it on Monday and he will not do it on Tuesday.”

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    What's the difference between a cycle and a bike? May 14, 2020 at 10:49
  • These are simple sentences with compound direct/indirect objects and objects of a preposition.
    – Paul
    May 14, 2020 at 10:50
  • Aren't you trying to use Newtonian physics to describe nuclear fission? May 14, 2020 at 10:54
  • I'd treat them as layered coordinations constructions. I think this is much better than saying we have a coordination of VPs (or clauses), with ellipsis within the second coordinate.
    – BillJ
    May 14, 2020 at 11:21
  • For example, I'd analyse your first sentence as "He gave [Tom a cycle] [and Jack a bike]", where the bracketed expressions are constituents, NPs, with no ellipsis.
    – BillJ
    May 14, 2020 at 11:35

2 Answers 2

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Above is a tree of your first example: enter image description here

Your second example would be analysed the same way, with the coordinates being the two NPs "Monday" and "not Tuesday", serving as complement of the prep "on".

I think this is much better than saying we have a coordination of VPs (or clauses), with ellipsis within the second coordinate.

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  • Thanks Bill for an elaborate answer. Grateful. If you could educate me as to "In what type of sentence/clause ,ellipsis is grammatically acceptable" ?
    – Sanjay
    May 15, 2020 at 7:04
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"He gave Tom a cycle and Jack a bike"

cycle = bicycle

bike = bicycle

[He gave Tom a rabbit]......and.........[..Jack a bike..]

[....main clause 1........] conjunction [main clause 2 ]

Clause 2 is missing its subject and verb, nevertheless they are implied: hence elision.

"He will do it on Monday and not Tuesday" =

"He will do it on Monday and not[, as previously stated/believed, on] Tuesday"

"on Monday and not[, as previously stated/believed, on] Tuesday" is a compound adverbial phrase, with and not[, as previously stated/believed, on] Tuesday being parenthetical.

Compare this with "He will do it on Monday but not Tuesday" = "He will do it on Monday but he will not do it on Tuesday."

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    OP is asking whether the elided sentence should as written be regarded as being simple or compound, not say 'ex-compound'. May 14, 2020 at 11:16
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    Yes Edwin, That is the sense of my asking. I read on Wikipedia (linguistics) about Ellipsis and that's why the doubt.
    – Sanjay
    May 14, 2020 at 12:42

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