Want to sound more natural? Can you miss out words in the sentence to sound like a real native? Test what you know about ellipsis.


When speaking informally, we usually miss words out. This is called ellipsis and we use them when the meaning is totally clear without the words we aren’t using.

We can use ellipsis in the following situations.

After andbut and or

We don’t have to repeat the subject after the linkers andbut and or

We met him and [we] went to to the restaurant to discuss after.

I like to play sport or [I] do some cleaning on the weekend.

We can also miss out the verb be in the second clause.

She is going to Italy and [she’s] flying with BA.

Words like, such as beforeafterbecausewhen and while must contain a subject.

We watch TV after we have dinner.
We watch TV after have dinner.

After to

You don’t have to repeat what someone else has said, you can finish after ‘to’.

A: Have you seen the new Star Wars movie yet?
B: No, I wanted to [watch the movie], but I haven’t had time yet.

I work a lot because I have to [work a lot].

After auxiliaries and modals

You can also remove some parts of a phrase after auxiliaries or models like, had, has, could, would

I wouldn’t speak to him, but his friends might [speak to him].

I asked him if he had been to the office and he said he had [been to the office].

Leaving out subject pronouns

If it is clear what is being spoken about, we can leave out subject pronouns

[It/That] Looks good!

[It] Would have been nice.

Leaving out subjects and auxiliary verbs

We can also leave out the subject and the verb when speaking informally.

[Do you] Want to go to the mall?

[Have you] Got any sugar?

Leaving out auxiliary verbs

Or we can just leave out the verbs, behave and do.

[Are] You going to Jack’s party?

[Have] You been there?

[Does] She does that all the time?

[Will] You give me a ring?

Note that this doesn’t work with I or it.

Have I given you an idea?
I given you an idea?

I haven’t watched the series yet, but I would like ___.

We all sat down together and ____ a plan.

____ interesting!

____ watching a film tonight?

Your grade is: __

Join classes today and

put some of your new grammar into action