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A TOEFL book claims that I'm not allowed to write like this, for example the conjunction "and" :

I still have leftovers on the table and am cooking it later.

Why is it incorrect? Does that mean I also can't say like this:

She has beautiful eyes but gone blind after the crash.

I'm trying to unite these clauses:

  • She has beautiful eyes.

  • She has gone blind after the crash.

So far, I always presume that I won't need the second has, so in my view, it's fine if I leave it out. Putting aside another unnatural construction if there's any, is that united sentence correct grammatically?

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  • Preliminary point: your last example should be: "She went blind after the crash".
    – BillJ
    Feb 7 at 10:58
  • The book example is odd in several ways. Leftovers is plural, so it should be them. Presumably they are left over from a cooked meal (though it might be salad), so I would expect something like_...and I'm going to make something with them later_ (use the leftover food to add to a new dish). Feb 7 at 11:18
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    The term for your second example is "syllepsis" which is generally used only in comic contexts.,
    – Mary
    Feb 8 at 0:47

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No, I would say that you cannot use your example like that. The reasons are:

  1. The correct sentence is “she went blind after the crash”
  2. The “has” means two different things in the two clauses you are trying to unite.

To expound more on the second point, in your first clause, “has“ means that she has, or possesses, beautiful eyes. In the second clause, “has gone” is part of a tense; it indicates a point in time. So they do not mean the same thing in both scenarios and thus can’t really be properly “united.”

The TOEFL example is a little odd, to be sure. It doesn’t really make sense as a sentence. I honestly don’t have the exact academic explanation for why it doesn’t work, but I can tell you that idiomatically, the sentence sounds a bit ambiguous and doesn’t flow well. Let me try to explain. The first half of the sentence reads:

I still have leftovers on the table and

The “and” could lead in many different directions.

A. ”And” might lead to another clause referring back to the leftovers, like “I want to finish them before buying more.”

B. “And” might also refer to something else you have, such as “food my mom sent me in the fridge”.

C. “And” could also lead to another related but separate idea, such as “we can’t afford to eat out, anyway.”

You might then say, in scenario A, why can’t you say…

I still have leftovers on the table and want to finish them before buying more

And the answer is that you probably could, but it is best to clarify who exactly “wants” to do what. That is, you want to reemphasize who the speaker is. This is especially true in situations like scenario C, in which you’re introducing a new idea. I believe that the book example would fall under scenario C. When introducing a new idea, the subject may or may not have changed (in my example, the new subject is “we” instead of “I”), so it’s best to clarify.

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