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Substitution and Ellipsis

1 What is substitution and what is ellipsis

Using substitution and ellipses

Substitution is a process that we use to avoid repeating certain words in a sentence. Substitution can be used to replace a noun, a verb or even a phrase.
For example, have a look at this phrase:
'I offered him a cup of coffee. He didn't want a cup of coffee.'
In this case, it is possible to substitute the second 'cup of coffee' with 'one'.
The sentence therefore reads:
'I offered him a cup of coffee. He didn't want one'.
This latter sentence flows better and communicates the message more quickly.
An example of substitution for a verb is as follows:
Full sentence: 'Did you see him?' 'Yes, I saw him'.
Sentence with substitution: 'Did you see him?' 'Yes, I did'.

An example of substitution for a phrase is as follows:
Full sentence: 'Do you want some help? If you want some help, I'll come over.'
Sentence with substitution: 'Do you want some help? If so, I'll come over'.

Ellipsis means that we simply omit the repeated words from our speech or text because the meaning is understood without it. We can use ellipsis with both nouns and verbs.
For example, have a look at this phrase:
'Ann liked the red shoes and I liked the blue shoes'.

If you use ellipsis you can omit the second 'shoes' completely.
The sentence therefore reads:
'Ann liked the red shoes and I liked the blue'.

It is clear from the meaning that 'blue' refers to shoes.
It is even possible to say '
Ann liked the red shoes and I the blue'
,
thereby omitting both the second verb and the second noun.
2 Respond to the sentence using a substitute form. There may be more then one correct answer.
  1. A: I'm going to Italy in June.
    B:
  2. A: I've got two older sisters.
    B: _________
  3. A: Would you like to come to dinner?
    B:
  4. A: I'm not sure I can help her.
    B: _________
  5. I think your dad's really great.
    B: _________
  6. I don't like her new boyfriend.
    B: _________
3

In the following sentences, decide the words which are usually omitted


  1. Mark bought a coat and Lynn bought a hat and gloves.
  2. If you need any money, I've got some money
  3. I don't know if John has gone, but I think he has gone
  4. Has she been running? No, she has been cycling.
  5. He'll come soon but I don't know exactly when he'll come

@username - Your comments please

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