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Should I repeat the main verb after every auxiliary verb or can I simply skip it after the first or second auxiliary verb and use it after the last auxiliary verb in a sentence? For example, can I say ”Have you ever(I've skipped the main verb ”fall” here) or would you ever fall in love with someone you met on the internet?”

  • This is one of the cases where neither option feels right to a native speaker (at least, to this native speaker), and whatever rule you may have found in a grammar book is something that somebody made up because they think there should be rules. – Colin Fine Jun 2 at 15:53
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[Have you ever] or [would you ever] fall in love with someone you met on the internet?

Strictly speaking this is unacceptable because "fall in love ..." cannot satisfy the complement requirements of both bracketed coordinates.

"Have you ever" requires a past participle complement ("Have you ever fallen in love ...?"), whereas "would you ever" requires an infinitival one ("Would you ever fall in love ...?").

Nevertheless, you are likely to hear this kind of sentence spoken, and many people wouldn't even notice the error. What this teaches us is that ungrammaticality is gradient, and humans are amazingly tolerant of slight departures from full grammaticality.

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You need not repeat the main verb after every auxiliary verb, you can skip it after the first or second auxiliary verb and use it after the last auxiliary verb in a sentence only when the main verbs have the same forms.

”Have you ever fallen or would you ever fall in love with someone you met on the internet?”

Here, we can't skip the first main verb because the two main verbs have different forms : 'fallen' & 'fall'.

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Information you can use

Same tense of a verb:

Have you ever traveled or been to Hungary? [OK, have traveled, have been: no need to repeat have, the auxiliary]

Two different tenses:

Have you ever traveled or would you ever travel to Hungary? [OK, have traveled BUT would travel, two different helping verbs. have traveled and would travel must be used]

Two different present tenses:

  • Am I making myself clear and do I make myself clear in general around here? [two different tenses taking two different forms]

Rule: Follow the verb form: if the forms are different, you need to show that.

  • Do you ever speak or write English? [same form: present perfect, no repetition
  • Have you ever spoken English or would you ever speak it? [different forms: present perfect and conditional, you have to use the forms.]
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