In this phrase, is necessary the use of "I" twice?

I can do it by myself and I believe that will be no problem

Could be:

I can do it by myself and believe that will be no problem

It looks like that changes the meaning

Thanks! :)

  • We should have many duplicates of this question on our site. You should be able to use the site search AND verify the answer to your question there
    – tchrist
    Commented Jan 8, 2018 at 13:51

1 Answer 1


You may grammatically omit a repeated subject. Here is an example: "These ... followed their mercenary calling and took their wages and are dead." We have one subject, "these" for three verbs, "followed," "took," and "are."

Thus, your two sentences are both grammatical. The problem is that the first verb in each sentence has a modal, "can." In your first sentence, it is quite clear that the first verb refers to your potential to "do it" and the second verb refers to your actual belief that there will be no problem. "Can" applies only to the first verb. The second sentence probably intends the same meaning and will most likely be interpreted that way, but it is slightly ambiguous. It could mean that you have the potential to "do it" and have the potential to persuade yourself that there will be no problem. Whether what is to be understood implicitly with respect to the second verb is "I" or "I can" is not clear. There is a different flavor to "I can believe" than to "I believe."

In short, omitting words may be grammatical in certain circumstances, but it may create ambiguity.

  • i.e. The second sentence could mean the same as the first sentence, but it could also mean, "I can do it by myself and can believe that will be no problem". Most people will understand it to mean the same as the first sentence.
    – Readin
    Commented Jan 11, 2018 at 6:04
  • @Readin.I agree and said the same thing in my answer. But why say something that can be misinterpreted if you can eliminate all ambiguity with one extra phoneme. Commented Jan 11, 2018 at 6:09
  • Your answer was indeed correct which is why I upvoted your answer and added my text as a comment rather than a separate answer. But I thought with all the details you included it might be too much for the person who had asked the question. This is a learner's forum and I think it is important to try to answer in a way that a person who asks the question would understand. Based on the question and the level of English in the question I thought a short simple answer was called for.
    – Readin
    Commented Jan 11, 2018 at 6:14
  • 1
    @Readin Good point. I shall keep it in mind for future answers. Given how often posters are referred to older posts, I try to answer fully. Maybe the way to go is to open and close with the basic answer and put refinements in the middle. Something to think about. Thank you. Commented Jan 11, 2018 at 6:22

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