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The use of ellipsis in sentences

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The use of ellipsis in sentences [#permalink]

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11 Sep 2007, 12:05
People, please, help with the question:
What parts can we ommit in a sentence (ellipsis) so that it still be correct (I mean when ellipsis is applicable in a sentence)? Please, good examples would be of great help!!!
If you have any questions
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17 Sep 2007, 05:56
There are a number of instances were ellipsis can be used. It is generally used in speech.

Omission in a comparative clause
Jane works harder than her sister does.

Omission words in coordination
Jane ordered an ice cream and jill (ordered) a fruit juice

Some

Some of the tea is chinese and some (it is ) indian

Any

Have you seen any of the passangers?
No, I haven't seen any (of them) yet?

Of Pronouns

most of the boys
most boys

I saw your post in another thread regarding the ommisson of words.

Maybe we can add to this to get a better picture of how it works on the GMAT
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Joined: 13 Mar 2007
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Location: Russia, Moscow
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17 Sep 2007, 06:55
Thanks

I have also found the following at:
http://www.fortunecity.com/bally/durrus ... amind.html

d. Ellipsis
In English, words can sometimes be omitted from a sentence without changing the meaning of the sentence. The words which are omitted are said to be "understood". This type of short form is usually referred to as ellipsis.

Short answers are one kind of ellipsis. For instance, in the example:
Can you speak Spanish? Yes, I can.
the short answer Yes, I can, means Yes, I can speak Spanish. The words speak Spanish are understood.

Another kind of ellipsis uses the words and so, followed by the verb or first auxiliary, followed by the subject.

For instance, the sentence:
He can speak Spanish, and I can speak Spanish too.
would normally be shortened to:
He can speak Spanish, and so can I.

Other examples of this type of ellipsis are given below. The verbs and auxiliaries are underlined.

Without Ellipsis: She is tired, and I am tired too.
With Ellipsis: She is tired, and so am I.

Without Ellipsis: They like ice cream, and we like ice cream too.
With Ellipsis: They like ice cream, and so do we.

Without Ellipsis: He wrote a letter, and I wrote a letter too.
With Ellipsis: He wrote a letter, and so did I.

Without Ellipsis: You had worked all night, and I had worked all night too.

Without Ellipsis: You should get more sleep, and we should get more sleep too.
With Ellipsis: You should get more sleep, and so should we.

As illustrated above, the rules for forming the construction with and so are similar to the rules for forming tag questions and short answers. Thus, in the case of the Simple Present and Simple Past of the verb to be, the verb itself is used; in the case of the Simple Present and Simple Past of verbs other than the verb to be, the auxiliary to do is used; and in the case of all other tenses and conjugations, the first auxiliary is used.

v. The use of ellipsis
In comparisons using the comparative form of an adjective, the second half of the comparison is often omitted completely, when it is considered obvious what is meant. In each of the following examples, the part of the comparison which might normally be omitted is enclosed in square brackets.
e.g. Things could get worse [than they are now].
I do not want to walk much further [than this].
Would you like more milk [than you already have]?

iv. The use of ellipsis
When the superlative forms of adjectives are employed to make comparisons, ellipsis is commonly used in the second part of the comparisons. The following are examples of the use of ellipsis in this type of comparison.
e.g. She is the best doctor I know.
This is the worst thing that could have happened.

These two sentences could also be written as follows. The words which would usually be omitted are enclosed in square brackets.
e.g. She is the best doctor [of all the doctors that] I know.
This is the worst thing [of all the things] that could have happened.

It should be noted that the noun following the superlative form of an adjective is often omitted, when it is obvious what is meant. This is illustrated in the following examples.
e.g. That star is the brightest.

These sentences could also be written as follows. The nouns which would usually be omitted are enclosed in square brackets.
e.g. That star is the brightest [star].

b. The use of ellipsis
The construction as followed by an adjective, followed by as, can also be combined with longer phrases and clauses, as illustrated in the following examples.
e.g. New York is as distant from San Francisco as Boston is from London.
Music is as important to Cora as literature is to her brother.

In the first example, the distance of New York from San Francisco is being compared to the distance of Boston from London. In the second example, the importance of music to Cora is being compared to the importance of literature to her brother.

The preceding examples illustrate the use of ellipsis. The sentences could also be written as follows. The words which would usually be omitted are enclosed in square brackets.
e.g. New York is as distant from San Francisco as Boston is [distant] from London.
Music is as important to Cora as literature is [important] to her brother.
In such sentences, the adjective in the second part of the sentence is usually omitted, in order to make the sentence less awkward.

Ellipsis is also commonly used following a noun representing the second thing being compared. For instance, in the following sentences, the final verbs are omitted.
e.g. He is as tall as his brother.
I am as good a swimmer as her sisters.

These sentences could also be written:
e.g. He is as tall as his brother is.
I am as good a swimmer as her sisters are.

In informal English, the final verb is usually not omitted following a personal pronoun representing the second thing being compared.
e.g. I am as tall as he is.
She is as good a swimmer as I am.

However, in formal English, the final verb following a personal pronoun representing the second thing being compared is sometimes omitted.
e.g. I am as tall as he.
She is as good a swimmer as I.

ii. Ellipsis
Ellipsis is often employed in comparisons using adverbs. For instance, in the second half of such comparisons, instead of repeating the verb, the first auxiliary may be used, or the verb may be omitted entirely. In the following examples, the words which would usually be omitted are enclosed in square brackets.
e.g. I can run as fast as you can [run].
He moves as slowly as a snail [moves].
Her eyes shone as brightly as stars [shine].
17 Sep 2007, 06:55
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