given the following sentence

I have a snake of which the head is white and (of which) the tail is black.

In this expression, can I omit the second (of which)? Or shouldn't I omit it?

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    I think omitting the second "of which" would improve the sentence. Other formulations seem even better. Consider the version using "with" in the answer from BladorthinTheGrey, and consider "I have a snake whose head is white and whose tail is black." – Andreas Blass Dec 12 '16 at 6:08

To answer your question: yes, you could omit the second of which and get away with it.

However, this sentence is not very good to start off with; usually, when describing attributes of an object, you use adjectives or the preposition with.

For instance:

I have a sneak with a white head and a black tail.


I have a white-headed and black-tailed sneak.

The first alternative—using with—is more idiomatic.

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  • 1
    Alternatively, one might use "I have a snake whose head is white and (whose) tail is black" or a combination like "I have a white-headed snake whose tail is black." – MorganFR Dec 14 '16 at 16:29

Yes, given that the conjunction "and" can be taken to subject the next phrase to the first "of which." And if the parentheses are original, they themselves are a clue because all that go between parentheses can always be dropped without harming the structure of a sentence (even though harming its meaning, as just in this parenthesized phrase!;).

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