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    #1

    The omission of verb to be

    Dear Messrs,

    "I am a native of Taiwan and am very glad to see you here."
    In the above sentence can I omit "am" for clarity?
    Incidentally, in what situations that the verb to be/auxiliary verb has to be/needs not be repeated in a co-ordinated sentence.

    Thanks for your advice.

  1. bianca's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: The omission of verb to be

    Quote Originally Posted by albertino View Post
    Dear Messrs,

    "I am a native of Taiwan and am very glad to see you here."
    In the above sentence can I omit "am" for clarity?
    Incidentally, in what situations that the verb to be/auxiliary verb has to be/needs not be repeated in a co-ordinated sentence.

    Thanks for your advice.
    yes, in conversation. no, in writing.

    I am a native of Taiwan and I am very glad to see you here."
    ___________

    Omitting 'am' has little to do with clarity, as it does with the breeziness of conversation. It is no less intelligible when you have it, like in the sentence above.
    Last edited by bianca; 07-Jul-2007 at 21:14.

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    #3

    Re: The omission of verb to be

    I'm afraid I'd have to disagree with bianca somewhat. The omission of the second am is an example of ellipsis, a very common feature in English.

    It is true that, in formal writing, some types of ellipsis might be considered "improper."* But in my opinion, this example (dropping the second am) is not one of them.

    It can be omitted not due to any "breeziness of conversation" but rather the simple fact that the statement loses no meaning by its absence.**

    * For example, that can be omitted from the boy that I saw yesterday in speech but would be retained in more "formal" writing.


    ** You might notice I used ellipsis here again. I dropped the second due to:

    It can be omitted not due to "breeziness of conversation" but rather due to the simple fact that the statement loses no meaning by its absence

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