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I received an email from a client who is a native English speaker. At the end of his message, he wrote, :If there are any follow-up questions we are happy to address."

This sounds weird to me. Shouldn't he say "we are happy to address them"? Is it a thing in modern English that we can drop the object after "address" in these cases?

Thanks for much for your help.

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    Abbreviated speech is common in emails. Address is a transitive verb, so it needs an object. – Juhasz Feb 7 at 14:12
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While technically not correct grammar

happy to address

is a common enough colloquialism that it wouldn't sound weird or unusual to a native speaker.

It's perfectly fine for casual conversation or email exchanges.

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I must say that that example does seem to be quite jarring and weird to me (native speaker). It certainly sounds incorrect. A good way to phrase it would be:

If there are any follow-up questions, we would be happy to address them.

Or

We would be happy to address any follow up questions you have.

Or

We will now address any follow-up questions.

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"Address", as a verb, is transitive. However, there are plenty of cases in everyday usage where the object of a transitive verb is implicit. I guess that could be the case here, but I find the example you give jarring. I would know what they meant, of course, but it reads like they got distracted and forgot to finish the sentence.

I'm a native British English speaker; the reaction of other dialect speakers may be different.

  • I'm American and I find it really strange as well. I agree with what you said 100%. – BrainDefenestration Feb 8 at 6:31

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