Omission of subject and/or verb

 

(1a) I have more power than power can be obtained.
= I have more power than can be obtained.

(1b) I have had more power than I have obtained the power.

= I have had more power than I have obtained.
= I have had more power than obtained.

For example #1, you can only omit the word “power” because power has been used before. When you omit the word “power”, we can still understand that you mean “power can be obtained”.  However, you cannot omit “can be” because the verb is not consistent with the previous verb.

 

For example #1b, you can omit “I have” because the subject and verb are consistent with the previous subject and verb.

 

By the way, #1a and #1b have different meanings.

 

More examples:

 

(2a) I have more money than money is needed
= I have more money than is needed.

(2b) I have had more money than I have needed the money.

= I have had more money than I have needed.
= I have had more money than needed.

 

(3a) She is taller than taller can be.

= She is taller than can be.

 

(3b) She is taller than she can be

= She is taller than can be.

 

(4) John should take a look at the resumes and should determine whether an extension of the job posting is needed.

= John should take a look at the resumes and determine whether an extension of the job posting is needed.

 

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