Ellipsis

English grammar questions, answered by Alan

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Lone
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Ellipsis

Post by Lone »

Dear Alan,

I found the below example sentence in a dictionary:
She remained silent, for her heart was heavy and her spirits low.

I understand that the verb were was omitted after spirits (The original sentence should be: She remained silent, for her heart was heavy and her spirits were low). But isn't it wrong to omit the verb 'were' here? I thought ellipsis could only be made when both her heart and her spirits shared the same verb (were), which is not the case here.

Thanks!

Lone
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Alan
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Re: Ellipsis

Post by Alan »

No, that is not the case.
The number and person of an ellipted verb are determined by that of the subject.
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