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He drank much whisky and when he was drunk always talked about the great masterpiece he was going to paint.

I think the sentence will be

He drank much whisky and always talked about the great masterpiece he was going to paint when he was drunk.

This sentence is from ''The Last Leaf'' by O.Henry. What is the subject of the verb ''talked about''? Is the sentence used ''wh-movement''?

2 Answers 2

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Yes, it is grammatically acceptable. Rather than wh-movement, I would call this an example of coordination, where rather than saying "he drank and he talked", we can simplify to "he drank and talked".

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I think the sentence just omitted the subject of 'talked about', he.

So, the sentence could be rephrased as

He drank much whisky and when he was drunk, he always talked about the great masterpiece he was going to paint.

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  • Can we omit subject in ''main clause''?
    – Aung Thu
    Oct 10, 2017 at 3:06
  • I think it's ok here because 'he' has already been mentioned couple of times.
    – dan
    Oct 10, 2017 at 6:01

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