1

”OK, I'll tell you the story,” he inhaled deeply, as if his tale would take all of his energy. “It started ...”

So the full version would be something like:

”OK, I'll tell you the story,” he inhaled deeply, as if telling his tale would take all of his energy. “It started ...”

Is it still understandable/grammatical if I omit the verb in this case?

2
  • OK, he sighed, before jumping into the water, as though the swim across the pool was going to take all of his energy. Nov 19 '14 at 13:50
  • 2
    "Telling" is not a verb but a quasi-noun, a gerund. The subject of the verb "would take" must be some kind of noun phrase, or a clause that acts as the noun phrase, e.g. That he had seen the movie twice already made him reluctant to sit through it yet again. Nov 19 '14 at 13:56
2

Yes, the first is understandable. However, the verb of the sentence is "take", not "telling" because "his tale" is the subject. "His tale" is what would take his energy.

You must log in to answer this question.

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