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"I love fruits but I am allergic to strawberries"

"They have bought a house in Manchester but they still haven't sold their house in London"

Does it really need to use "I am" & "they" after "but" in the above examples?

Can we leave the "I am" and "they" in the above examples and say,

"I love fruits but allergic to strawberries"

"They have bought a house in Manchester but still haven't sold their house in London"

I want to know the grammar rules behind this, that when we can leave the subject or subject+verb after "but".

This doubt really came to my mind when I was writing something like this

"I don't sleep at night but in the morning"

I left the words "I sleep" after "but" in the above example.

Should that be -

"I don't sleep at night but I sleep in the morning"

But it looks redundant to me.

Please help me with this.

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You can avoid repeating the Subject after But.

Coordinating conjunctions (such as 'But', 'And') are defined as:
Conjunctions placed between words, phrases, clauses, or sentences of equal rank.

When the Subject in a sentence is same for two verbs, then, using 'But' would make a Compound Verb, and its fine not to repeat the subject in such cases.

Therefore, your sentence can be written as:

I don't sleep at night but in the morning.

(Edit- answered the ques asked in the comment section):

Since the verb is one and the same it can be omitted alongwith the subject (after using the coordinating conjunction).

But in cases where the verb is different, it cannot be omitted. For example:

I came late but was excused.

For further insight, you can have a look at this: https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/233741/do-i-have-to-repeat-the-same-subject-after-and-when-introducing-a-new-verb

The below mentioned link would give you the understanding of when to use a Comma before But, in such cases: https://www.grammarly.com/blog/comma/ (13th Point)

  • Thanks for the answer and links. That really helped me. But I have one more question, should that be "I don't sleep at night, but *sleep in the morning"* or "I don't sleep at night, but in the morning". And also, why did you use comma before the "but"? To me "in the morning" is a dependent clause and you shouldn't use comma before "but", right? – Raj 33 Jan 18 '18 at 5:37
  • Found this question valid enough, so have included it in the main answer itself. – Haritdeep Singh Jan 18 '18 at 6:32
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    I may confess this that 'commas' are something which confuse me. :p You were right about not inserting a comma there. Thanks for correcting. :p – Haritdeep Singh Jan 18 '18 at 6:33
  • What about this question - should that be "I don't sleep at night, but *sleep in the morning"* or "I don't sleep at night, but in the morning". I'm little confused here. As you mentioned in your answer, the verb "sleep" is same in both the first and second phrase, so I can leave the second one and say "but in the morning" right? – Raj 33 Jan 18 '18 at 6:38
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    Ya, you can omit the verb if its same. Sentence can be written as: I dont sleep at night but in the morning. – Haritdeep Singh Jan 18 '18 at 6:41
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You don't add a comma before but in "I don't sleep at night but in the morning". But you should add a comma before but in "I don't sleep at night, but I sleep in the morning." The first one is a Compound Verb, and the second one is a clause. You need the comma before coordinating conjunctions + clause. You should not use a comma for the compound verb.

"I don't sleep at night but in the morning" is better than "I don't sleep at night, but I sleep in the morning." Because the former is more concise.

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