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SOURCE ANNA KARENINA

  • ,and they were fond of one another as friends who have come together in early youth often are, in spite of the difference in their characters and tastes.

What is the purpose of "are" in this text?

  • as friends who have come together in early youth often are (fond of one another)—it's called ellipsis – Michael Login Aug 26 '17 at 21:07
  • Why "are" is used instead of were? @MvLog – Bavyan Yaldo Aug 26 '17 at 21:14
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    cos it's a general statement – Michael Login Aug 26 '17 at 21:17
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(the way) early youth often are

is just a statement about the state of society at that time. It is only used as a reference to the main dialog.
It might make more sense written this way:

they were fond of one another as friends who have come together in the way that early youth often are

where are means the way they act.

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