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    #1

    Deleting "to be" in a progressive sentence

    Hello there,

    see the sentence below:

    city folk drivin in a black limousine


    I asked a native speaker of English about is the sentence above equal with "city folk are driving in a black limousine"

    And she answered "yeah"

    for assuring I asked again are "you are coming" and "you coming" same ? and she replied yeah they are same.

    My question is, why do English speakers eliminate "to be" in progressive sentences ? and which subject of grammar is related to this category ?

    Thank you so much,

  1. Piscean's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Deleting "to be" in a progressive sentence

    We don't normally, except in newspaper headlines and photo captions.
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 24-Aug-2015 at 08:50. Reason: Fixed minor typo

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    #3

    Re: Deleting "to be" in a progressive sentence

    The first is not correct. It looks like a transcription of sub-standard English. Besides it's not a sentence as it stands. And you'd have to know the context to diagnose why it's expressed that way.

    "You coming" is not acceptable for "You are coming". However in question form, you might hear "You coming?" where the 'Are' is clipped off the beginning, or at least sounds like it is.

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    #4

    Re: Deleting "to be" in a progressive sentence

    As Piscean said, it sounds like a headline or title. As such, it would probably contain even fewer words and look like this:

    "City folk in black limousine"

    If it were part of a longer sentence, such as "I frequently see city folk driving in a black limousine", the omitted words would be "who are" after "folk". Note that "driving in a" is somewhat unnatural. People either "drive a car" or "travel/are in a car" (as passengers).

    I can see a man driving a red car.
    I can see several people in a green car.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #5

    Re: Deleting "to be" in a progressive sentence

    Except that the 'sentence' uses 'drivin', which is not consistent with a typical headline. It could be a line from a song.

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    #6

    Re: Deleting "to be" in a progressive sentence

    I didn't even notice that on the tiny screen on my phone. I agree - with "drivin'" it sounds like it's from song lyrics or similar.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #7

    Re: Deleting "to be" in a progressive sentence

    Yeah, I copied it from a song.

    Yeah, city folk drivin in a black limousine,
    a lotta sad goim thinkin' that's mighty keen.

    The native speaker which I mentioned her in my first post told me that "drivin" is a slang.[B]

    But I see many people eliminate "to be" in their sentences. For example they say : "How you doing" instead of "How are you doing". or "you doing something wrong" instead of "you are doing something wrong".

    Teacher Piscean said that we use this structure in the headlines. But I think English speakers use this structure a lot in spoken form.

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    #8

    Re: Deleting "to be" in a progressive sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by Lumia625 View Post
    But I see many people eliminate "to be" in their sentences. For example they say : "How you doing" instead of "How are you doing". or "you doing something wrong" instead of "you are doing something wrong".

    Teacher Piscean said that we use this structure in the headlines. But I think English speakers use this structure a lot in spoken form.
    'How you doing?' is quite common in informal conversation, but 'You doing something wrong' is not in most standard english varieties. I think sometimes you are missing a very weak 'are', which is actually there, You'd be more aware of it if the following verb began with a vowel, as ln 'You're asking the wrong person'.

    By the way, it's not normal to speak of people as 'Teacher X'. I'm just Piscean, not Teacher Piscean.
    Last edited by Piscean; 24-Aug-2015 at 11:32. Reason: typo

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    #9

    Re: Deleting "to be" in a progressive sentence

    Quote Originally Posted by Lumia625 View Post
    Yeah, I copied it from a song.
    It would have been helpful for us to have known this in post #1.

    In future threads, please tell us the context in which you find sentences you are asking about.

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    #10

    Re: Deleting "to be" in a progressive sentence

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

    Hello, Lumia:

    Yes, I believe that ellipsis (leaving out certain words) is very common, especially in ordinary conversations with family and friends. We think so fast that we simply don't include certain words that the listener can easily fill in. I have made up this dialogue.

    Mona: [Are] you coming to my party tomorrow?

    James: Sorry, [I] can't.

    Mona: why [can you] not [come]?

    James: [I'm] going to the big football game.

    Mona: Oh, [that is] right! By the way, where's your dad?

    James: [He's] washing the car outside.

    *****

    If I am not mistaken, "Joey" on that popular TV show "Friends" always greeted a newly introduced beautiful young lady with "How you doing?"
    Last edited by TheParser; 24-Aug-2015 at 12:59.

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