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Sorry if I'm bad at explaining, I'm not a native speaker.

I had an interesting exchange with someone regarding a very particular sentence. Here goes:

For context; they are talking about an existing restaurant and are writing a short history paragraph about it.

The sentence: "The recipes have been passed down and become the recommended dishes".

I argued that in this particular context, it's not correct to use "and become" because you're talking about a certain event that has already passed; that is, when the recipes made it into the menu. So I argued that it had to be "and have become the recommended dishes" OR "and became the recommended dishes".

Their argument is that they can omit the second use of "have" before "become" because the entire sentence uses the same tense (present perfect).

I feel like their proposed sentence has an illogical meaning the way it is constructed, and changing it to "has become" or "became" are correct in this particular context.

Am I right or wrong here?

Thank you in advance.

  • I agree that the omission of 'have' before 'become' doesn't work here. The default expanded version of this deletion would be the unacceptable 'The recipes have been passed down and have been become the recommended dishes'. – Edwin Ashworth Jun 14 at 15:49
  • @EdwinAshworth. I think you are probably being excessively punctilious here. I believe the sense survives an elision of the second have. Admittedly one verb is in the passive and the other active of the same subject. But it doesn't offend my ear. – WS2 Jun 14 at 18:17
  • @WS2 I bet they don't obey the social distancing rules either. – Edwin Ashworth Jun 14 at 18:24
  • IMHO "The recipes have been passed down and become the recommended dishes" is poor English - even if you can argue it is grammatically acceptable - and would be far better phrased as "The recipes were passed down and became the recommended dishes". – Phil W Nov 11 at 17:17
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You say this:

So I argued that it had to be "and have become the recommended dishes."

But that's what the sentence already does say, you are just not parsing it correctly.

It's a combined version of two independent clauses:

  • The recipes have been passed down.
    The recipes have become the recommended dishes.
  • The recipes have been passed down, and the recipes have become the recommended dishes.
  • The recipes have been passed down and have become the recommended dishes.
  • The recipes have been passed down and become the recommended dishes.

In short, the phrase the recipes have, including the auxiliary verb, applies to both sections of the sentence. It's just that it's a shortened method of expressing it.

The following would be the incorrect version you're thinking of:

✘ The recipes have been passed down and the recipes become the recommended dishes.

Now, whether it's stylistically or idiomatically acceptable to omit the second have is a matter of opinion. At least as far as you're concerned, it seems that omitting it does lend itself to this kind of parsing difficulty. So, you're at least right in saying that it can be awkward.


This is similar to the following:

I struggled to pass the test and drive home.

It means:

I struggled to pass the test, and I struggled to drive home.
I struggled to pass the test and drive home.

It does not mean:

✘ I struggled to pass the test and I drive home.

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I argued that in this particular context, it's not correct to use "and become" because you're talking about a certain event that has already passed; that is, when the recipes made it into the menu.

But the sentence doesn't say "the recipes become the recommended dishes". It just says "become the recommended dishes". If you read the sentence literally, it says the recipes have been passed down. It also says become the recommended dishes. But that doesn't make sense. "become the recommended dishes" doesn't have a subject, so what follows "and" is not a valid clause.

The fact that you aren't objecting to the conjunction "and" linking a clause with a sentence fragment implies that you recognize that "the recipes"* is applied to both "have been passed down" and "become the recommended dishes". The word "have" is simply an extension of that principle: the entire phrase "the dishes have" is applied to "been passed down" and "become the recommended dishes".

*There is some degree of figure of speech here (metonymy, sort of), as the second subject is actually the food produced by the recipes, rather than the recipes themselves.

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