I am working on a localisation issue within a project, but I cannot figure out through any of my searches and reference texts if there is a particular set of rules surrounding the omission of articles and prepositions together within a sentence that applies to the example I am working on.

The following sentence is the example that has stumped me, from a tooltip on an ability:

Additional Effect: Increases damage you deal target by 10%

The rest of the work does not try to shorten things or omit large portions in order to have shorter sentences- so I cannot say that it was done with this intent. The 'target' is nonspecific and general since it is a description of how something can be used.

Something feels incorrect about the grammar used within it and I am not sure why. The omission of 'to the' before 'target' is where I am finding difficulty. Does this fall outside of standard omission rules?

  • 'Deal damage' sounds odd to me - I would say 'damage caused to target'. Commented Sep 7, 2022 at 7:28
  • I'd have written Increases damage dealt to target by 10% - same number of characters, but probably easier for most readers to parse (I had to read the original here twice before it made sense to me). Commented Sep 7, 2022 at 11:07
  • This is a special argot used and designed by technical experts. It follows its own rules about grammar. For instance, Additional Effect: Increases damage you deal target by 10% is not a sentence. Let them work it out. Commented Sep 7, 2022 at 15:40

2 Answers 2


I know not of any rules surrounding this but I can tell you that I would write it like this; “Increases damage dealt to target by 10%.”

  • 2
    Why do you think this version is correct? Commented Sep 7, 2022 at 3:23
  • 1
    Welcome to the site. Please read the help/guide to see what makes good answers and questions. Expression of your own opinion is insufficient; give reasons.
    – Anton
    Commented Sep 7, 2022 at 7:16
  • @KillingTime It sounds more natural, anyone can tell you that, therefore it is more correct.
    – Jack
    Commented Sep 21, 2022 at 16:00

There are precedents for such a construction. For example:

It deletes emails they send her (= It deletes emails that they send to her)

I play cards you deal me (= I play cards that you deal to me)

Mary and I enjoy music they play us (= Mary and I enjoy music that they play to us)

Hence you might argue:

It increases damage you deal target = (It increases damage that you deal to the target)

Nevertheless, as you say, your construction feels wrong to this native speaker. Perhaps it is because my valid examples above are all based on usage of personal pronouns or proper names of people, whereas your own is not.

I post this as tentative answer rather than comment in the hope others will find more examples and reasons to illuminate the problem.

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.