Subject + v-ing at the beginning of a sentence

4

1

A: I will help you to get your girlfriend out of jail.

B: That makes him very happy and says this: "My dreams are coming true. You and me saving my lady together. "

I saw this dialogue in a tv-series. The punctuation was as is. I wonder if the marked phrase is a full sentence?


Are this versions acceptable?

1- My dreams are coming true, you and me saving my lady together.

2- My dreams are coming true, which is you and me saving my lady together.

3- My dreams are coming true, with you and me saving my lady together.

Talha Özden

Posted 2019-06-26T07:46:31.693

Reputation: 1 490

Non finite verbs such as infinitives, participles, gerunds cannot form complete sentences. – Lucian Sava – 2019-06-26T08:02:45.463

@Smock Thank you. Could you explain to me that how that phrase defines the main clause? The phrase is "You and me saving my lady together." – Talha Özden – 2019-06-26T08:32:25.477

B has had dreams about you(A) and me(B) saving my lady together – Smock – 2019-06-26T08:42:56.193

@Smock So that phrase is used to give extra information about the subject of the main clause? When I want to give extra information about the subject of the main clause, can I just use this form (main clause + semicolon or comma + participles) ? Would that be okay? – Talha Özden – 2019-06-26T08:54:38.750

If you really wanted to rewrite it as a proper sentence, I would put My dreams, of you and me saving my lady together, are coming true (but possibly idiomatic, and doesn't necessarily lend itself to the spoken word) – Smock – 2019-06-26T09:04:21.957

4

@Smock - Technically, semicolons are used when two independent clauses sentences are joined in a single sentence – not the case here. A colon could work, perhaps. My dreams are coming true: you and me saving my lady together.

– J.R. – 2019-06-26T10:30:34.143

Just because something is a sentence fragment rather than a complete sentence, that doesn't mean it isn't stylistically acceptable, idiomatic, or (depending on your definition of the term) grammatical. – Jason Bassford – 2019-06-26T19:22:50.377

Answers

9

The marked phrase is a sentence fragment. You shouldn't be troubled to find it in a script, as it happens frequently in speech. People don't always speak in complete sentences. (Know what I mean?)

The simplest fix would be to simply add a predicate to the fragment, making it a complete sentence:

My dreams are coming true. You and me are saving my lady together.

This might work if that's what the person actually said. However, if we were concerned about full sentences, we might also be concerned with proper pronouns; a more correct version would be:

My dreams are coming true. You and I are saving my lady together.

Using a colon would be another approach. One website explains that colons can be used to introduce a noun or noun phrase, or an explanation.

My dreams are coming true: you and me are saving my lady together.

However, I don't think this constitutes an improvement. I still think the best option is the way it was orignally written. You often see sentence fragments punctuated as complete sentences in dialogue. Here's one example from Tolkien's The Hobbit:

"Don't tell me that I can eat a dwarf-ridden pony and not know it! You'll come to a bad end, if you go with such friends. Thief Barrel-rider. I don't mind if you go back and tell them so from me."

J.R.

Posted 2019-06-26T07:46:31.693

Reputation: 108 123

When you add the predicate, you need to change the subject to "You and I". – Barmar – 2019-06-26T19:32:33.597

@Barmar - Good call! I've edited my answer. – J.R. – 2019-06-26T20:30:28.597