The Elliptical Clause

The Elliptical Clause

Part of a clause may be left out when its meaning can be clearly understood from the context of the sentence. Such a clause is called an elliptical clause.

Most elliptical clauses are adverb clauses. In each of the adverb clauses in the following examples, the part given in brackets may be omitted because its meaning is clearly understood.

Leilana finished her research sooner than Marta [did].

While [he was] painting, Rembrandt concentrated completely on his work.


Often the meaning of an elliptical clause depends on the form of the pronoun in the clause.

Martine asked her more questions than I [asked her].

Martine asked her more questions than [she asked] me.