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  1. #1
    vil is offline VIP Member
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    Default validity of a grammar rule

    Dear teachers,

    Would you be kind enough to tell me in the end whether the following sentence is right or wrong? It is from an BBC’s article.

    “Police are questioning two people in relation to the bush fires in southern Australia that have killed at least 181 people and (have) left 5,000 homeless.“

    The present sentence in my humble opinion is also a real evidence that I was right omitting the auxiliary “have” before the second similar verb in the the sentence “2. We have received your letter of the 8th January and (have) sent it to our clients for their consideration.” from one my proceeding post where I proclaimed a grammar rule concerning the matter in question. To my mind, my sentence is analogous to the mentioned above.

    Thank you for your efforts.

    Regards,

    V.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: validity of a grammar rule

    "We have received your letter of the 8th January and (have) forwarded it to our clients for their consideration.”

    It is not so much a Rule of Grammar, as accepted practice for the sake of brevity: the second "have" is 'understood'.

  3. #3
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    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: validity of a grammar rule

    Quote Originally Posted by vil View Post
    Dear teachers,

    Would you be kind enough to tell me in the end whether the following sentence is right or wrong? It is from an BBC’s article.

    “Police are questioning two people in relation to the bush fires in southern Australia that have killed at least 181 people and (have) left 5,000 homeless.“

    V.
    The sentence is correct, with or without the second "have".
    But why do you want to be told in the end?

  4. #4
    abaka is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: validity of a grammar rule

    Vil, since I was one of the people who suggested to you in the other thread (well, Bhaisahab caught it first ) that you leave the "have" in, may I remind you I said very clearly that the question was one of STYLE, not grammar.

    The separation between the verbs in the report you quote is shorter than in your sentence about the business correspondence: not merely in the number of words, but also in the way the stresses distribute.

    "have killed at least 181 people and left 5000 homeless."

    "have received your letter of the 8th January and have sent it to our clients."

    In terms of grammar, the "rule", if you want to pile up rule upon rule, is that the repeated auxiliary verb can be omitted at will.

    In terms of good style, the fundamental idea is that a good written sentence must always, at all times, without exception, sound natural when read out loud. Good writing is first and foremost good speech.

    Of course that leaves much room to disagree on the details.

    For a very good complex speaking style, may I suggest the campaign speeches of Barack Obama, despite their rhetorical flourishes and appeals to empty sentiment. They really should be listened to, not read. If you are more interested in British English, perhaps someone else might care to recommend something.
    Last edited by abaka; 12-Feb-2009 at 20:13. Reason: credit should be given properly

  5. #5
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: validity of a grammar rule

    “2. We have received your letter of the 8th January and (have) sent it to our clients for their consideration.” From one of my previous posts in which I claimed a grammar rule concerning the matter in question. To my mind, my sentence is analogous to that mentioned above.

    As I said in my response to that post my preference is to leave it in.

  6. #6
    susiedqq is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: validity of a grammar rule

    We have received your letter, sent it back, ordered the correct item, billed your company, paid the shipping, and concluded the entire incident.

    (all understood "have" verbs)

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