I wonder if I can omit the parenthesized part here?

Extraordinary success is achieved by working on commissions one after the other rather than (by doing all of them) simultaneously.

  • Could you please explain how it is possible to carry out a SERIES of steps or actions "simultaneously"?
    – Tuffy
    Apr 16, 2023 at 12:09
  • "How" is not explained in the context. The writing passage is about achieving extraordinary success compared to a domino effect.
    – runner
    Apr 16, 2023 at 14:35

1 Answer 1


It's common, probably preferred, to delete (omit) the second by-string or gerund-participial clause and just have the second adverbial (adverb, phrase ...) after 'rather than' in such sentences.

An example licensing this occurs in AHD's definition of arpeggio:

  • Sense 1. The sounding of the tones of a chord in rapid succession rather than simultaneously.


  • The sounding of the tones of a chord in rapid succession rather than the sounding of them/the tones of a chord simultaneously.

Another example:

  • So it's often worth taking a breath and then doing something quickly rather than hastily.

[University of Toronto; Faculty of Law] [retrievable: [doing it]]

The related

  • We can cause disaster by doing something hastily rather than quickly.

is of the same form as the sentence in question. [retrievable: [by doing it]]

As always with deletions, care must be taken to avoid ambiguous resulting sentences, or those with changed meanings ... and anything sounding ludicrous.

  • Thank you very much for your precise explanations and examples. It is very considerate of you to take references from various sources. It helped a lot.
    – runner
    Apr 16, 2023 at 14:40

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