7

His son was smart and his daughter intelligent.

His son was smart and his daughter was intelligent.

This website has been shut down and its name turned over by court order.

This website has been shut down and its name has been turned over by court order.

I often see the first kind of sentences in both the examples used very often. Aren't these sentences should be like the second statements of these examples?

  • 1
    Coincidentally, my first language also allows to skip those 2nd verbs, so I never found it odd that English does it as well. It feels like a good way to avoid repetition. – Eternal21 Apr 14 '17 at 11:52
12

His son was smart and his daughter ___ intelligent.

This website has been shut down and its name ___ turned over by court order.

This is called ‘gapped coordination’ (or just ‘gapping’).

The middle part of a non-initial coordinate can be omitted, if it is recoverable from the corresponding part of the initial coordinate, called the antecedent. The gap normally includes the verb, as in your examples.

The gap marked ‘___’ is understood by reference to the first coordinate, in these cases "was" and "has been".

  • 1
    It's complicated by the fact that the form of the verb can change. For example, "His son was smart and his daughters intelligent." – TonyK Apr 14 '17 at 12:43
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    @TonyK Which goes to show that the repetition need not be exact, since agreement features are irrelevant. The basic counterpart of your example would have were, not was in the second coordinate. – BillJ Apr 14 '17 at 13:10
  • 2
    Yes, that is my point. – TonyK Apr 14 '17 at 13:34
11

These sentences are examples of ellipsis, where text that is duplicated in two clauses is omitted from the second clause. They are both perfectly correct.

The particular type in these example is called gapping. With gapping, the omitted text usually includes a finite verb.

John can play the guitar, and Mary the violin
John can play the guitar, and Mary can play the violin

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