Consider the sentence:

Our son, John, is 15 and our daughter, Mary, 11.

Is it grammatical? I have read such omission of the linking verb (especially is) in a sentence with a compound subject. I wanted to know if the linking verb attaches to both the subjects. Is the above preferred to the more straightforward (and grammatical) construction:

Our son, John, is 15 and our daughter, Mary, is 11.


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    I haven't downvoted, but I think the downvoter probably wanted you to ask your question on English Language Learners. Jan 18, 2021 at 15:48
  • I see. I think we are all learning this great language, aren't we? And one were to go by answers to this question, it hardly feels like a question not appropriate for this SE. Jan 18, 2021 at 17:35
  • And why use -1 to indicate a probable move to another SE? Is that what meta SE asks us to do? If true, that's quite unfortunate, @DecapitatedSoul! (I know you are just helping and you are not the downvoter; but this makes me sad :-( ). Jan 19, 2021 at 2:25
  • I've counteracted the downvote. Downvotes just mean that someone disagrees with your question. Jan 19, 2021 at 4:28
  • Casting a bare downvote (the one without any justification) is easy, just click on the arrow! That ease, I believe, makes people -- even seasoned SEers -- sloppy. It also promotes speculation among others. Some people take it personally (like what I may be perceived as doing here). Maybe SE should abandon casting bare downvotes. If, on the other hand, any justification is provided, the downvote could be accepted. I know, all of this might be already discussed somewhere ... Jan 19, 2021 at 11:19

1 Answer 1


Our son, John, is 15 and our daughter, Mary, __ 11.

Yes: it's grammatical.

This is called 'gapped coordination' (or 'gapping'), which occurs when the middle part of a non-initial coordinate is omitted but recoverable from the corresponding part of the first coordinate.

The gap marked __ is understood by reference to the first coordinate, in this case "is".

I prefer the version without gapping, especially in speech, but usage varies.

Edit: Here's a link to Wiki's article on gapping link


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