1

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.

2
  • 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

3

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.

Retrievable:

  • 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.

1
  • 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

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.