Having a watch is essential for looking good and timeliness.

Disregarding the content of the above sentence, is it grammatically correct? To me it feels improper that "looking good" uses a verb, while "timeliness" uses a noun.

I'd rather see

Having a watch is essential for good looks and timeliness.


Having a watch is essential for looking good and being on time.

If it is indeed an error, does it have a name? How would you describe it?

  • 4
    The rule that eliminates unnecessary prepositions in conjoined phrases is called Conjunction Reduction. It requires that the structures be identical -- prepositions like for should both have similar objects if the second one is to be deleted. So the first sentence has a noun phrase and a gerund, which is not close enough, but the other ones have two noun phrases and two gerunds, which is fine. Mar 20, 2021 at 22:39
  • 2
    So we do not write “we are going out for a cup of tea and a while.”
    – Anton
    Mar 20, 2021 at 23:11

1 Answer 1


“Looking” is a gerund aka “acting noun.” The grammar is correct. Your suggestions are good, but that’s about style.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.