Lisa used to be shy and have few friends.

Lisa used to be shy and had few friends.

In the first example, and conects two infinitives to be and to have.

I think, in the second example, it is better to add the subject she to it.

Lisa used to be shy and she had few friends.

Is it neccessary to add she to the second example?

  • Explicitly re-stating the subject by adding she before had in the second example is syntactically no different to explicitly repeating the infinitive marker in the first example: ...and to have few friends (which could in principle be even more fully expanded to ...and she used to have few friends). In both cases the highlighted elements are optional. Apr 10, 2022 at 14:52

1 Answer 1


No, it is not. All three sentences are perfectly good.

I can't find any clear difference in meaning among them

  • 2
    "All three sentences are perfectly good"—except that the last one, at least, should have a comma before "and," since "and" is joining two independent clauses in that sentence. Apr 10, 2022 at 15:55
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    @BrianMcCutchon Is that some kind of reliable rule? I pulled books off the nearest shelf at random, and it was easy to find examples of the rule being broken by respected writers such as Graham Greene, Arundhati Roy, Daphne du Maurier, C L R James, Kazuo Ishiguro, and Iain Banks. (For what it's worth, I couldn't quickly find any counterexamples in a couple of books by Colin Dexter and by Philip Pullman.) Apr 10, 2022 at 18:03
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    @JamesMartin There's this: writing.wisc.edu/handbook/grammarpunct/coordconj/…, but also this: google.com/amp/s/palimpsestediting.com/…, so maybe it's not such a hard rule. Apr 10, 2022 at 20:14

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