1

I have the following set of compound sentences:

She is a doctorate in physics, a soccer player, and a pianist.

She is a doctorate in physics and is a soccer player and a pianist.

She is a doctorate in physics, is a soccer player, and is a pianist.

The first one is being objected by Grammarly as an incorrect construction since the article a's are missing verbs (be verb here) after the commas. This has been corrected in the second sentence. However, repeating a common verb in a sentence appears ugly and cumbersome to me. Is there a pretty way of writing the same?

By the way, Grammarly does not object against any of these:

She is a soccer player and a pianist.

She is a soccer player and pianist.

She is a soccer player, pianist, and graduate. [a is common as well as is]

If I use

She is a doctorate in physics, soccer player, and pianist.

Grammarly cautions: 'Incomplete Sentences'.

What part of the grammar book do I need to keep in mind to build a correct compound sentence?

4
  • Hello, hbaromega. People are referred to as doctors if they have a doctorate [degree]. Apr 6, 2023 at 10:53
  • 1
    None of your examples are compound sentences. They are either a coordination of NPs or VPs, e.g. "She is [a doctorate in physics], [a soccer player], and [a pianist]. / She [is a doctorate in physics], [is a soccer player], and [is a pianist], though the latter coordination is not at all natural.
    – BillJ
    Apr 6, 2023 at 11:15
  • 2
    It seems to me as if Grammarly's algorithms are picking up the sentence as "She is a doctorate in physics, a doctorate in soccer player, and a doctorate in pianist." This is probably caused by the misuse of "doctorate".
    – user81561
    Apr 6, 2023 at 11:34
  • She has a doctorate in physics. Doctorates are degrees, people have them. Apr 6, 2023 at 15:11

2 Answers 2

3

People are referred to as doctors if they have a doctorate [degree]. I'll amend the example sentences:

  • She is a Doctor of Physics, a soccer player, and a pianist.

This is grammatically fine; omission of the verb (and subject) after the first occurrence is normal in such sentences. Predictable elements can be and often are omitted. 'He is an officer and a gentleman' is a well known example using the copula (be).

  • She is a Doctor of Physics[,] and is a soccer player[,] and a pianist.

Subject, then subject and copula, deleted. I actually prefer this version (equally grammatical), especially with the optional comma after the first list item, because academic achievement and possibly leisure activities are pretty distinct.

  • She is a Doctor of Physics, is a soccer player, and is a pianist.

Also grammatical. Here, only the subject is deleted. It sounds rather starchy, staccato, but could be used to add emphasis. But I'd say a better way to do this would be to use three complete independent clauses (and I'd choose commas, and the 'and' before the last clause, to link them).

2

[1] She is [a doctorate in physics], [a soccer player], and [a pianist].

[2] She [is a doctorate in physics] and [is [a soccer player] and [a pianist]].

[3] She [is a doctorate in physics], [is a soccer player], and [is a pianist].

[4] She is [a soccer player] and [a pianist].

[5] She is a [soccer player] and [pianist].

[6] She is a [doctorate in physics], [soccer player], and [pianist].

Preliminary point: these are not compound sentences with some element omitted, but coordinate constructions with various types of coordinate. The coordinates (bracketed) consist of:

[1] three noun phrases. [2] two verb phrases, the latter containing a further coordination of two nominals. [3] three verb phrases. [4] two noun phrases. [5] two nominals. [6] three nominals.

They are all acceptable except [2] and [3] which are somewhat unnatural.

You must log in to answer this question.