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Maintain a faster walking speed than is natural for you.

(This sentence is quoted from the book "Thinking, fast and slow", p. 22., by Daniel Kahneman.)

  • Is what is omitted in "than (what) is natural for you."?

  • Is this kind of omission common in English?

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    Hello, Jin, notice that you have duplicated the verb "is" in your first question. The second "is" is not necessary.
    – RubioRic
    Aug 14, 2019 at 6:41
  • Hello Rubio. I got your point but this is the quoted sentence from the book I mentioned above. I changed nothing in this sentence.
    – Jin
    Aug 14, 2019 at 7:17
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    "Is what is omitted in "than (what) is natural for you."?" should be "Is what omitted in "than (what) is natural for you."?" Notice that I have removed the second "is"
    – RubioRic
    Aug 14, 2019 at 7:26
  • Oh I got it. Thanks. And I'm sorry I misunderstood.
    – Jin
    Aug 14, 2019 at 9:19

1 Answer 1

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It is normal to omit words from a sentence, and not change its meaning.
The general term for this is ellipsis, which has two definitions:

  • A series of three dots indicating words deliberately omitted from a quotation.

  • The omission of words that are understood and thus unnecessary.

The second definition applies here, and the full sentence can be

Maintain a faster walking speed than what is natural for you.

Maintain a faster walking speed than the speed that is natural for you.

It is common to omit words from a sentence and still retain its meaning.

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