Results 1 to 8 of 8
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Vietnam
      • Current Location:
      • Vietnam

    • Join Date: Apr 2012
    • Posts: 28
    #1

    omission of verbs to be

    Hi all,

    I've been wondering if we ever omit verbs to be in English. In the song "The Rose", there is a line that goes "I say love, it is a flower, and you its only seed". Shouldn't it be" you ARE it's only seed"?
    I Googled many times and there seems to be no one finds it strange or wrong.
    Perhaps it's like, "you" (indicating the person the word YOU refers to) "it's only seed"?
    Or perhaps the word "ARE" could be omitted in cases like this? If it's true, could you please explain how and when we can omit them?

    Thank you so much in advance. : )

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 24,983
    #2

    Re: omission of verbs to be

    It is not uncommon to omit the verb "to be" in a sentence. It don't know a rule that covers this.

  2. Raymott's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 24,091
    #3

    Re: omission of verbs to be

    It's not 'be' left out. It's 'say'.
    I say love, it is a flower, and you say its only seed". No, it's not strange. 1) It's a song. 2) It's an ellipsis.

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 19,218
    #4

    Re: omission of verbs to be

    I don't agree with the way Ray parsed that. I have always understood it to be "I say that you are the only seed that can be the "flower" that is my love. I love only you."
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 57,888
    #5

    Re: omission of verbs to be

    Quote Originally Posted by Steven Mai View Post
    I Googled many times and there seems to be no one finds it strange or wrong.
    Songs are songs, not grammatical exercises. No one finds these things strange because the requirements of tune and rhythm often cause songwriters to do things to the language that would sound odd in other cases. In the same line of the song it says I say love, it is a flower, which would be marked wrong in a test because the word it is unnecessary as we have the noun. But it probably sounds better with it there. Don't look too hard for grammatical precision or great precision with meaning in songs- grammarians don't usually write songs. Don't be surprised if words are omitted, added unnecessarily, or even to find lines that on closer analysis mean the exact opposite of what the writer intended- songs abound in these features. Mind you, the omission of the verb be here is common enough outside songs too.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Apr 2009
    • Posts: 12,310
    #6

    Re: omission of verbs to be

    Not to mention the entire metaphor fails cause roses don't grow from seeds.

  4. MikeNewYork's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 24,983
    #7

    Re: omission of verbs to be

    Some roses can grow from seeds, but it is difficult.

  5. Raymott's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 24,091
    #8

    Re: omission of verbs to be

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    I don't agree with the way Ray parsed that. I have always understood it to be "I say that you are the only seed that can be the "flower" that is my love. I love only you."
    Yes, I can see how that might be right. In retrospect, my reading requires, "it's".

Similar Threads

  1. omission
    By Nazmul Hassan in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 19-Jul-2015, 08:54
  2. [Grammar] omission
    By kartik153 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 23-Jun-2011, 18:36
  3. [Grammar] Question about omission (I don't know if it's even called omission)
    By HaraKiriBlade in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 29-Oct-2009, 13:56
  4. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 05-Feb-2009, 16:00
  5. Omission
    By Unregistered in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 30-Apr-2008, 10:42

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •