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I'm wondering: is it necessary to repeat the subject - or the verb - of a sentence in subordinate clauses introduced by words such as "but" or "like"? Are the following sentences equally correct?

a) Flight attendants share 22 things they'd love to tell passengers but can't.

b) Elizabeth Warren is the US president we need, but can’t have.

c) We thought she'd know the answer to this question, but she didn't.

d) She thinks I'm jealous, but - surprise, surprise! - I'm not.

e) Over time people started to get older, things didn't pan out like they were supposed to.

f) As much as I used to, nowadays I don't go to gigs that often.

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    You are correct. Ellipses like the one in "Flight attendants share 22 things they'd love to tell passengers but can't (tell them)" are common in idiomatic English. Oct 27, 2016 at 7:06
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    Something is missing in (e); should it be “Over time, as people started”? Nov 2, 2016 at 2:01
  • Interestingly, (b) is the only one in which I'd accept adding or removing the subject of the last verb. It's hard to articulate why I would not tolerate a second they in (a). In (c,d) the implied subject would be that of the main clause, clearly wrong. Nov 2, 2016 at 2:04
  • f) is unidiomatic because of the pleonasm: "as much as I used to....that often". Nowadays I don't go to gigs that often. Nowadays I don't go to gigs as much as I used to.
    – TimR
    Dec 14, 2016 at 14:25
  • c) is a cuckoo in the nest. It doesn't follow the pattern since the subject is "We" not "she". The first "she" heads a content clause, complement of "thought".
    – TimR
    Dec 14, 2016 at 14:27

1 Answer 1

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Item (e) contains a comma splice, which is generally (but not universally) considered incorrect. It could be removed by adding "as":

Over time, as people started to get older, things didn't pan out like they were supposed to.

Item (f) sounds a little odd. In contrast to the previous case, I would fix it by removing "as":

Much as I used to, nowadays I don't go to gigs that often.

The other sentences are all fine.

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