+0
Hi,
I have thought about this more than once... now it's time to ask, because I realized I am likely to make involuntary mistakes because of this. The question is simple, the answer might be complicated: when is it possible to leave out subjects, and what kind of subjects? I guess I need some examples, then I might try to infer a rule of thumb. Some examples of what I mean:

Trying to fix your car again? = Are you trying...
Been here for a while already. = I have been here....
Been trying for a while, but he's still stuck. = He's been trying... <--- ???
Sorry, was talking on the phone. = I was talking... <--- ???

Can anyone give me some examples? Thanks. Emotion: smile
1 2
Comments  
Hi Kooyeen:
Your examples are not complete sentences. Maybe it's Ok to say these in casual conversation, but they are not correct.
The one example that I can think of that is always correct is the imperative form, where the implied subject is "you".

Stand up straight!
Clean up your room.
AlpheccaStars Maybe it's Ok to say these in casual conversation, but they are not correct.
If something is ok to say in a particular context (register), it is correctin that context (register), by definition of a language. Emotion: wink I really like English, so I like to learn every aspect of it. And there are lots of complex features that no one ever teaches ESL learners... for example, "do" is sometimes left out in questions with "you", "Hey, you have a pencil? Thanks", but doesn't seem to be left out in all other cases. And that might even turn into "Hey, you got a pencil?" Emotion: smile
So, can anyone tell me something about leaving out subjects? Thanks.
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
Hi Kooyeen,

Slang and dialects are used all over the world. Some ways of talking are Ok in their own context (to the speakers), but that does not mean they are "correct Standard English". See the recent long posting on I'mma which gives some very vivid examples of non-standard English.
http://www.EnglishForward.com/English/Imma/bwxvb/post.htm

The examples you have given are all non-standard English. Are you looking for some more non-standard expressions, or standard English?
As you can notice on your first example: TRYING TO FIX YOUR CAR AGAIN? not only you leave out a Subject, but also a Verb. 'Cause in a formal speech it should be, ARE YOU TRYING TO FIX YOUR CAR AGAIN? And, I believe that the reason for that happening is the American style of speaking, I mean, in an informal way, Which is more common than you might think.
Verb_aTIMTRYING TO FIX YOUR CAR AGAIN?
To me, it is OK in casual conversation to say the above. However, strictly speaking, it is not grammatically correct.
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
Are you picking up a pattern?
The first president Bush was famous for omitting the subjects (especially first person) from his work.
Sometimes you just get sick of writing "I," perhaps from false modesty. I often think of Blaise Pascal, "Le moi est haissable," but I never could render it in English.

I'm sure you know the joke, "Have an accident??" (reply) "No thanks, I just had one."
Hi Avangi

In my country, which was once occupied by the British and which uses BrE, it is common to hear people say

Trying to fix your car again?

We were taught by British native teachers for many, many years.

As A Stars says "Maybe it's OK to say this in casual conversation." I agree with her. The only difference is she says 'Maybe ...'
Hi Yoong,
Perhaps the way the economy's going you'll all soon have new cars!

I don't know about those British teachers! Spare the rod and spoil the child??

Best wishes, - A.

PS I think A. Stars is of the female persuasion. Also, if I understood her correctly, native American. Not to mention, very sharp.

(Hey, you missed the "he"!) Okay, okay. I love this new liberalization of the edit window!
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Show more