Questions tagged [omissibility]

For questions about leaving out words or punctuation marks and how such omissions affect the meaning of clauses or sentences.

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Is it correct “many to emotional reunions with family and friends.”

Below is excerpted from the BBC News: Travellers touched down at Auckland Airport on Monday, many to emotional reunions with family and friends. It seems wrong to me, though I know it must be an ...
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Omitting a pronoun from a cleft sentence

I believe this is a cleft sentence: It was 10:18 ᴀᴍ when it happened. However, I cannot explain why the pronoun when can’t be removed when you rewrite that sentence into this one: When it (=the ...
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1 answer
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Is "why" implied after "explain" in this context? [closed]

Suppose that we asked to "explain the trend" in the following graph: Would it be appropriate to just describe the trend (i.e. something along the lines of "it first increases, and then ...
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0 votes
2 answers
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“The difficulty is we need” vs. “The difficulty is ᴛʜᴀᴛ we need”

Is there a right or wrong answer in the following construction? Am I missing a more elegant way to say this? The main difficulty in the hiring process is we need a fluent French speaker that also ...
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0 votes
3 answers
43 views

Is "personal usage requires the user provision the device" correct? The bare infinitive v the to-infinitive

I've come across this sentence in a piece of technical documentation: Disabling personal usage requires the user provision the device as a fully managed device. In my opinion this sentence is ...
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1 vote
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57 views

Could "being" be omitted in "spend time (being) someone"?

I came across a sentence in Maugham's The Moon and Sixpence that I don't quite comprehend: They may spend their whole lives aliens among their kindred, and remain aloof among the only scenes they ...
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1 answer
45 views

The "-ing" form of a verb and indefinite article [closed]

If celebrities visit public places, such as malls and bars, people will crowd them demanding for a picture or autograph. 1: Why did the writer use the "-ing" form of the verb "demand&...
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1 vote
2 answers
498 views

"They are" or "that they are"? [duplicate]

It's clear they are honest. vs. It's clear that they are honest. Is there a difference? Is one more correct than the other?
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'Ordered' + object + past participle

Fowler's Dictionary of Modern English Usage, page 852 reads The construction ordered + object + past participle (often expressed in the passive) is first recorded in 1781 in AmE ( These things were ...
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Is the sentence "we don't need to be what they want us to" correct without the "be" in the end?

The formal way to say the sentence would be "we don't need to be what they want us to be", but would it be acceptable and understandable in colloquial language (eg in a song) to say "we ...
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Comparing/Contrasting Adjectives with/without "the" and "one"

In terms of American English, I'm considering the following 3 options of comparing/contrasting adjectives. Are all of these okay? The red dress is better than blue. The red dress is better than the ...
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Adjective-Denoted Nationalities without "the"

I came across the following in the Wall Street Journal, as part of the main story (not the headline), ... Swiss voted narrowly against more hunting, by 52% to 48% ... ... Last year, Swiss voted on ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Omis­si­bil­ity of the defi­n­ite ar­ti­cle “the” be­fore at­tribu­tive mod­i­fiers of per­sonal names in Amer­i­can English

Are both in­clu­sion and omis­sion of the defi­n­ite ar­ti­cle the be­fore per­sonal names that have at­tribu­tive mod­i­fiers (nom­i­nal or ad­jec­ti­val or both) con­sid­ered gram­mat­i­cal in Amer­i­...
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When is the omission of relative pronouns acceptable? [duplicate]

So I learned that I tend to forget and unconsciously omit relative pronouns from my sentences, because apart from the fact that the meaning of some clauses without them remain clear and obvious, I ...
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Could articles be omitted in descriptions of art?

Compiling brief descriptions of art objects, is it okay to make do mostly without articles? For instance (about an old coin), Eagle under crown; shield featuring Moscow’s coat-of-arms on eagle’s ...
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1 answer
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omitting auxiliaries and articles in logs [closed]

Is it a widespread practice in logbooks and in written accounts of events in general to omit articles and auxiliaries? E.g.: "Message received. Information read. Crew instructed. Complaints ...
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1 answer
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Dropping "when" in an adverbial clause renders this sentence ungrammatical?

Please consider these sentences side by side: When walking in a dark alley, you should be cautious. When walking in a dark alley, be cautious. Walking in a dark alley, be cautious. Walking in a dark ...
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1 answer
491 views

Have difficulty/difficulties (in) doing something

What is syntactically the -ing-phrase in both the versions with and without the preposition? For example in He has trouble [in] keeping things in perspective right now. Secondly, does the latter ...
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1 answer
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Why in "think about/of" and "talk about" the "of" and "about" sometimes are omitted?

I sometimes see, more often of late, that in sentences like this: There're less known but high performing currencies: think of Georgian Larry, Armenian Dram. "of" or "about" get ...
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1 answer
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Is it correct to omit "be" verbs and conjunctions when reporting a sentence? [duplicate]

Can you say "Actor dead aged 44" instead of elaborately saying "Actor dies at age 44"?
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When two "be" verbs are used in one sentence, should the second be omitted?

For example He is a teenager and [is] from South Sudan. Is it necessary to delete the second "is" in parentheses?
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2 votes
2 answers
174 views

Do I need to repeat a verb in a second clause?

He will not only pass the exam but will also excel in sports. He will not only pass the exam but also excel in sports. Which one is correct?
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2 answers
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Omitting pronouns in conditional clauses

I have a dispute with an acquaintance over this sentence: If [you're] looking for aliases that will be displayed in the help message, see the link above. ("you're" is omitted) I'm pretty ...
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1 vote
1 answer
85 views

omission of semantic subject

Toni Morrison began writing when she was in college, but she did not produce anything good enough to publish for many years. Her troubled marriage, divorce, and life as a single mother made it even ...
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3 answers
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"The place I was born" vs. "The place I was born in"

This is the place where I was born. [1] I can omit where & keep the antecedent place : This is the place I was born. [1a] I can omit the antecedent place and keep the relative word where : ...
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0 votes
1 answer
43 views

Omission of subject in tensed clause

I know the subject can be omitted in untensed clauses. But I've encountered with the following: You spent more money than was intended to be spent. Here, 'than' seems to be functioning like a ...
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0 votes
1 answer
80 views

Go fun the world - is it correct?

I want to know if 9Gag slogan "Go fun the world" is correct or not. I know that it is ok to say "Let's go have fun" but the slogan above misses "have". Is it ok? One more - is "word" addressee there? ...
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How do I omit part of part of a legal definition with an ellipsis?

I need to contract the below sentence (it was legalese that I have simplified) to just present (b), but need to indicate that (b) is not the only condition: Ending on the earlier of (a) [occurrence]...
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12 votes
3 answers
922 views

What’s the long form corresponding to the short form “English Language & Usage”?

Am I right that ①English Lan­guage & Usage is the short form ei­ther for ②English Lan­guage & Its Usage or else for ③English Lan­guage & The Usage of It, rather than for ④English Lan­guage ...
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1 vote
1 answer
189 views

When can I omit the auxiliary verb in Past Perfect...?

I've come across two examples of past-perfect in the textbook and was wondering if someone could please explain why the latter sentences still use 'had' and why it shouldn't be omitted: 1) When I ...
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1 vote
0 answers
233 views

Omitting Relative Pronoun and verb "be" [duplicate]

Could someone please explain, why the pronoun and the verb "be" are omitted in the following sentence? "it allows communication even for people far away from each other" Shouldn't this sentence be "...
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5 votes
2 answers
376 views

What do you call the sentence structure of “The X-er __, the Y-er __”?

Is there a term for a sentence in the form of "The ___, the ___"? For example: The quieter you become, the more you are able to hear. Further, is this a proper sentence? Is there an implied verb?...
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4 votes
2 answers
187 views

Omission of "is" in "She thought the study of Latin a waste of time."

In The Elements of Style, the authors give this example: She thought the study of Latin a waste of time. I cannot understand why the verb is has been omitted. Should not this sentence be as: ...
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9 votes
2 answers
765 views

If it isn't [someone's name]!

"If it isn't [a name]!" can be used to show surprise when you bump into someone, but it is not a complete sentence. What is omitted (and understood) here? I'd appreciate your help.
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  • 1,883
0 votes
3 answers
125 views

What is the grammatical topic of this shortening technique?

Extracted from an English cloze test: .....these virtual selves exist in the same online spaces that many people use every day. And this is a new and unfamiliar phenomenon that some people might ...
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0 answers
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Can you omit only a subject following “as long as?”

Can you leave a subject following “as long as” out, keeping the verb followed alive? I can read it aloud for you as long as it is in English. So you can watch any movies as long as they have ...
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2 votes
1 answer
85 views

The "that" elimination problem

The sentence I marveled that you chuckled that I said "juxtaposition". suffers from "that" overload. We'd all agree. It's easy to slim either 'that'. Hence either I marveled you chuckled that I ...
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5 votes
1 answer
140 views

Since and for, where can they be omitted?

I’m well aware of the difference between ‘since’ and ‘for’. However I have a question. Imagine I say ‘I’ve been working on the essay since Saturday’ or ‘I’ve been working on the essay for two days’. ...
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0 votes
1 answer
105 views

commas/ omitting "which is"

In the passage below, shouldn't the writer have included which is before the word championed, since it is in a non-defining clause? In seeking to describe the origins of theater, one must rely ...
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3 votes
3 answers
268 views

Article before nouns in the appositive phrase?

Here are two examples: Nobody creates post-apocalyptic flicks better than George Miller, the director of the Mad Max series. Is the necessary before director, and can it be omitted? The business ...
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0 votes
1 answer
47 views

differentiate `to+verb` from `verb` in the context of a list

He gives wisdom and knowledge to enable his children to understand and see the invisible. He gives wisdom and knowledge to enable his children to understand and to see the invisible. Sometimes I ...
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1 vote
1 answer
924 views

How to omit lines when quoting a play

I am citing the play All My Sons in an essay I am writing. I don't want to have a lot of unnecessary content in my quotes and I am not too familiar with quoting plays, so I want to ask how I should ...
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2 votes
0 answers
668 views

What do we call the process of dropping the subject at the beginning of a sentence?

In casual conversation I've been noticing this more and more in my own speaking as well as others. The subject will be missing from the beginning of the sentence and instead it's inferred as the ...
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1 vote
1 answer
282 views

Do I need to include "the" for each item in a text sequence

Can anyone please tell me that which is more appealing: • My industrial collaborations at the national and the international levels. • My industrial collaborations at the national and international ...
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0 votes
1 answer
1k views

When can I omit the subject?

Can I omit the subject if it has been mentioned in a preceding sentence? For example, is the phrase inside the parentheses necessary in the below?: The sculpture A exhibits degradation at a ...
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0 votes
0 answers
59 views

Is it gramatically correct to omit the preposition "on" when talking about events occuring on a certain day? [duplicate]

I'm taking this online course on technical writing. It suggests that you can omit "on" from The meeting happened on Monday to turn it to The meeting happened Monday The second one seems wrong ...
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1 vote
2 answers
73 views

Can I omit the "is" in "a lower price than is actually intended to be charged"? [closed]

I came across the following sentence when I looked up the meaning of "low-ball". The low-ball is a persuasion and selling technique in which an item or service is offered at a lower price than is ...
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2 votes
0 answers
521 views

What do you think about "Sorry." as a complete sentence? or What are your thoughts on subject omission? [duplicate]

I've been poring over materials on Japanese (日本語) and found it common of them to contrast the language with English in saying that pronominal subjects can be —and typically are, as with 私は (Watashi ha,...
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1 vote
1 answer
84 views

Confusion in the usage of the conjunction word "that"

I read an article on the National Geographic website: In this sentence: We reach the water and I try to swim – but the water is so salty I just float on the surface. Cannot we use "that" ...
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1 vote
0 answers
69 views

Articles- Please remove card

Omission of articles is often, in my opinion, quite confusing, as they are often omitted in cases I'd find them needed. I know that some of it might just be for simplicity sake- teachers can't always ...
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