0

Here is an excerpt from a story.

Mary: I was pregnant.

Doctor: You are still. Your fetus is safe.

(Mary met with an accident and was admitted to a hospital.)

1
  • 1
    You are still [pregnant]. Compare: Have you eaten? -- Yes, I have. – Tᴚoɯɐuo May 7 '18 at 19:28
7

It has a subject and a verb and conveys a complete thought; it is a complete sentence. However, "You still are" sounds better.

1
  • 2
    "You are still" is more dramatic, probably too dramatic for the context. – Andrew May 7 '18 at 18:21
0

I'm not sure what you mean by "a complete sentence." Plenty of sentences shorter than that one can stand on their own, given the right context. For example, Mary may have been in a doctor's office a few months prior, and the conversation may have gone like this:

Mary: Am I pregnant?

Doctor: Yes.

Then, later that afternoon:

Mary: I am pregnant.

Mary's mother: Congratulations!

According to Wikipedia:

A sentence is a set of words that in principle tells a complete thought (although it may make little sense taken in isolation out of context); thus it may be a simple phrase, but it conveys enough meaning to imply a clause, even if it is not explicit. For example, "Two" as a sentence (in answer to the question "How many were there?") implies the clause "There were two". Typically a sentence contains a subject and predicate. A sentence can also be defined purely in orthographic terms, as a group of words starting with a capital letter and ending in a full stop.

(emphasis added)

If "Two" can be a sentence, so can "You are still" – but I'm curious why it matters in this case.

0

Mary: I was pregnant. Doctor: You are still. [pregnant implied]

Please note: "You are still." is a sentence by itself but without the context provided by Mary, it would mean: "You are not moving".

It is not necessary to repeat the word pregnant.

There are other adverbs that function like this:

Mary: He was planning to be a sailor.

John: He already is [a sailor].

Basically, you can have an entire conversation in English without repeating the main verb:

And adverbs can often be added to a verb tag without repeating the full idea.

Mary: I wouldn't want to go if you're going to stay out so late.

Patty: You wouldn't?

Mary: No, I probably wouldn't. But you can, if you want to.

Patty: Well, I will for sure.

[That's just a made up example. These kinds of exchanges are very, very ordinary in English and can sometimes go on and on. My example may not be the best, but it shows the idea.]

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.