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    #1

    any rules for condensing sentences

    I had a post earlier about condensing sentences. I cannot find any rules in grammar books about this topic.
    I am not sure how to condense some sentences.

    For exmple,

    (1A) I know how to write novels better than I know how to cook.

    (1B) I know how to write novels better than how to cook.

    (2A) I want to be an artist more than I want to be a singer.

    (2B) I want to be an artist more than to be a singer.



    Because I am not a native English speaker, I cannot tell whether the (B) sentences are grammatically correct.

    Please explain any rules for condensing sentences in a grammatically correct way. Thanks a lot.

  1. probus's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: any rules for condensing sentences

    All four of your sentences are grammatically correct. To my ear the A's sound more natural than the B's.

    I don't know of any rules for condensing sentences.

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    #3

    Re: any rules for condensing sentences

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Hello, Brian:

    No, I do not have the answer. But I do have some ideas to share with you.


    1. In my opinion, perhaps "condense" is not the most appropriate word in your case.

    a. I believe that to condense a sentence is simply to state the same ideas in another (often shorter) way.

    i. For example, I might change "I know how to write novels better than I know to cook" to something like: "I am better at writing novels than at cooking" or "I write novels better than I cook."

    2. In my opinion, you are interested in something called ellipsis (missing words).

    a. I respectfully suggest that you google the word "ellipsis." You should be able to find tons of material on that subject.

    3. Speaking of ellipsis, it is my opinion that the ellipsis of your second sentence should be:

    "I want to be an artist more than a singer."



    James

  2. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: any rules for condensing sentences

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    "condense" is not the most appropriate word in your case.
    Can 'make it concise' be used instead?

    Not a teacher.

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    #5

    Re: any rules for condensing sentences

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****

    My dictionaries, Mr. Wai, agree with you that "condense" means "to make it concise."

    In my opinion, however, it seems that the OP is not interested in changing any words. He simply wants to omit some words. Thus, I feel that he should concentrate on "ellipsis" rather than on "condensation."



    James

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