Why isn’t the pronoun “it” placed after But?

10

THE SOURCE: NY times

Poland sent soldiers to fight alongside Americans in Iraq, but is nonetheless one of the few countries still hosting North Korean workers over Washington's objections.

Why doesn’t the preposition “it” get placed before "is"? To make it go like this:

But it is nonetheless...

Is it a kind of ellipsis?

user59167

Posted 2018-01-14T01:47:58.753

Reputation:

Also a country is "She", not "it". – stuart stevenson – 2018-01-15T00:07:23.527

2

@stuartstevenson this is increasingly not the case (and frankly sounds weird already) https://english.stackexchange.com/a/204219/31679 and https://english.stackexchange.com/questions/12632/is-it-a-good-practice-to-refer-to-countries-ships-etc-using-the-feminine-form

– michael – 2018-01-15T11:18:40.100

Answers

22

The two verb phrases sent soldiers... and is nonetheless... are conjoined by but and share the subject, Poland; parse it like this:

         sent soldiers ...
 Poland  but
         is nonetheless ...

Compare:

         went to bed 
   John  but
         could not sleep.

StoneyB on hiatus

Posted 2018-01-14T01:47:58.753

Reputation: 176 469

2Couldn’t we use the pronoun to make two independent clause? John went to bed, but he couldn’t sleep – None – 2018-01-14T02:54:35.573

20@StevanSlewa: They could. They didn't. – user2357112 supports Monica – 2018-01-14T03:57:20.733

1@user2357112 sorry, I didn’t understand what tried to imply? – None – 2018-01-14T09:03:42.570

1They could use the pronoun but they didn't use it (for whatever reason). – Drossel – 2018-01-14T10:25:04.397

11@StevanSlewa: That is, yes, they could use the pronoun, but they aren't required to. Leaving it out is also allowed. – T.J. Crowder – 2018-01-14T10:44:52.763

1Arguably, the comma should not have been used since but is joining two halves of a compound predicate, rather than introducing another clause in a compound sentence. – chepner – 2018-01-14T15:27:08.040

1

@StevanSlewa I'm wondering if the use of "but" is throwing you here. Most typically you'll see this construction with "and" as the conjunction: "The dog ran across the yard, jumped over the fence, and sprinted down the alley." (ref. -- This omission of the subject doesn't just work with "and". It works with other conjunctions like "but", too.

– R.M. – 2018-01-14T16:18:19.900

8

It probably makes more sense to treat this as a kind of parallelling, rather than ellipsis.

The two sentences are

Poland sent soldiers to fight alongside Americans in Iraq
Poland is nonetheless one of the few countries still hosting North Korean workers over Washington's objections.

Ellipsis and parallelling shorten a sentence by removing duplicated word sequences: in this case, the word Poland. An alternative way of shortening the sentence is to replace the second occurrence of Poland by it. The use of a pronoun is an alternative method of shortening the sentence, not a precursor to applying ellipsis or parallelling. The omitted word when the sentences are parallelled is therefore Poland, not it.

JavaLatte

Posted 2018-01-14T01:47:58.753

Reputation: 43 538

Why is that? It here gives the meaning of poland. So he wrote poland then would use “it” to refer to. How could it be paralleled? – None – 2018-01-14T02:25:15.533

3Ellipsis and paralleling shorten a sentence by omitting word sequences that match exactly: Poland/Poland, not Poland/it.. Using a pronoun instead of a noun is an alternative way of shortening a sentence, rather than an initial step towad ellipsis or parallelling. – JavaLatte – 2018-01-14T05:14:13.567

6

Yes, it's a kind of ellipsis for style. It doesn't change the meaning.

Other examples:

She was top of her high school class, but (she) isn't planning to go to college.

The computer can do many trillions of calculations per second, but (it) can't dream.

Andrew

Posted 2018-01-14T01:47:58.753

Reputation: 85 521