Professor: Now when I mention the terms "boom and bust", what does that bring to mind?

Student: The dot-com crash of the 90s.

Professor: OK. The boom in the late 1990s when all those new Internet companies sprang up and were then sold for huge amounts of money.

from TOFEL TPO6 Listening

This is a part of a lecture in an economics class.

The subject is 'The boom', but I can't find a verb. why?

Can I use this sentence in writing? Or is it only used in speaking?


1 Answer 1


The "sentence" in question is grammatically just a noun phrase with no verb attached to it.

In this context, however, it's correct, just as a noun or noun phrase is in this context:

Alice: Where are we going for lunch?
Bob: The Mexican place where the servers wear wrestling masks. Alice: The same place we went yesterday.

Here, Alice asks a question, and the next two lines of dialogue are just noun phrases, not sentences, because in a dialogue, a noun phrase is a grammatically correct answer to a wh-question.

This is almost only used in speaking. A writer who uses this style creates a conversational tone, usually with an imagined reader.

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