Two sentences to be considered are:

  1. It's not bad if you rob but are not robbed.
  1. It's not bad if you rob but not be robbed.

To me, they both mean the same and the latter one seems a bit more formal.

What's the opinion of a native speaker?

Thanks in advance.


The structures before and after coordinators such as and and but need to be grammatically the same. In your example, rob is a finite verb phrase, so the second coordinate needs to be the finite verb phrase are not robbed. It cannot be the non-finite not be robbed.

If the coordination were in the scope of another auxiliary, eg a modal, both sides would be non-finite, eg:

if you could rob and not be robbed.

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