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I baked some pancakes and served them to the guests.

This sentence has two verbs "bake and serve" that take the same object "pancakes".

Is it possible to simplify the above sentence as follows?:

I baked and served some pancakes to the guests.

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  • 4
    Not an answer to the question, but I don't think you usually bake pancakes - that implies you cook them in an oven. You usually make or cook pancakes. (I could be wrong, though - there may be such a food as an oven-baked pancake.)
    – Mixolydian
    Commented Feb 11, 2019 at 17:03
  • @Mixolydian - Actually, there is, but your point is a good one – most pancakes are not baked.
    – J.R.
    Commented Feb 11, 2019 at 20:17

2 Answers 2

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Your second sentence would be understood, but it's a poor example of parallelism.

I baked and served some pancakes to the guests.

In essence, it means this:

✘ I (baked some pancakes to the guests) and (served some pancakes to the guests).

The expanded sentence is ungrammatical because you cannot cannot bake some pancakes to the guests, you can only bake some pancakes for the guests.


A short version of the original sentence that's grammatical is:

✔ I baked and served some pancakes.

This is fine because you are not using a preposition that is only correct when applied to one of two expanded grammatical structures.

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You can definitely shorten it to the latter sentence. I can't recall the last time I used a similar sentence, but if I were you I probably would've used the first sentence in speech but the second one if I were writing about it.

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