This thing has been bugging me for so long. My question is - should I use can twice in THIS compound sentence.

"On our website, you can buy stuff online and can also request delivery anywhere in the US".

Some people don't use the second can, so I was wondering whether I have been doing it wrong the whole time?

  • You can include it, and you can omit it. Mar 21, 2018 at 0:44
  • Also, incidentally, the request delivery is meaningless unless you buy something, so perhaps a better version would be you can buy stuff online and then request delivery …. Mar 21, 2018 at 5:41

1 Answer 1


Repeating words in cases where other methods exist to express your meaning usually indicates that you are not aware of those other methods; it gives away the fact that this is not your first language.

So, while it's not wrong, there is a more elegant way to express it through the use of the word "both":

On our website, you can both buy stuff online and request delivery anywhere in the US.

If you've noticed, this takes care not only of the second "can" but also of the word "also".

Incidentally, it also turns a (halfways) compound sentence into a non-compound one, because there is really no need for a second "main" verb. The sentence becomes simpler and more streamlined (which is always preferred).

Above, I've said that your sentence is "halfways" compound because there is only one subject, which is also a bit unnatural for English. English leans more toward full "subject+verb" sets. With those parts of the sentence connected by "and", there is really no need for repetition.

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