3

This sentence looks incomplete to me.

She looked at me smugly as she did everyone.

I'm not sure why a preposition is missing. Shouldn't it be She looked at me smugly as she did at everyone? Is smugly in the right place in the sentence?

3
  • 2
    It sounds acceptable to me, but it's like the "at" has been removed. It's definitely fine to include the "at." Smugly could be in several different places in the sentence, where it is is fine.
    – Justin
    Commented Aug 10, 2021 at 17:30
  • 2
    It's fine. The optional at has been elided. Smugly is in exactly the right place. Commented Aug 10, 2021 at 18:29
  • 1
    "look at" isn't really analogous to, say, "bark at". Compare the dubious *She barked at me as she did everyone, or *She threw the ball to me as she did everyone. It's the fact that "look at" functions as a unit that it can be replaced in whole by "did". Commented Aug 10, 2021 at 19:14

1 Answer 1

1

The sentence is correct as is.

Here, "as" is similar to a pronoun, except that rather than representing a noun, it represents the adverb "smugly". Likewise, "did" here is similar to a pronoun, but represents the verbal phrase "look at". This comes out as: "...smugly she looked at everyone", so all meaning is preserved, and the grammar still works.

It could be improved with a comma: "She looked at me smugly, as she did everyone", which removes the possible (unfortunate) interpretation of "...while she did everyone". The sentence would also be even easier to parse correctly with an additional "at": "She looked at me smugly, as she did at everyone."

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .