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XiaoDeng
parallel structures with preposition Example 1: He did not have the luxury of moving from place to place, of closing a bathroom door behind him, spraying some air freshener when he left. of + something ...of moving... of closing... (without of) spraying... Example 2: He was eating mostly liquid supplements. He was taking food through a straw. I still shopped every week and walked in with bags (food) to show him, but it was more for the look on his face than anything else. for +something for the look on his face (without for) anything else Thanks to Gary, and Gadnning's help on Italki, I'm aware that for the structure, more for A than B, it's okay to omit the 'for'. But for parallel structures with preposition(I'm not sure this is the right term to describe it, since there could be more than two parts of  a similar structure in a sentence, as is shown in Example 1) , in what case it makes sense to omit the preposition in that sentence?
Sep 20, 2019 6:14 AM
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Answers · 2
I think there is no simple answer to what you're asking. The basic grammar rule about repeating or omitting certain elements can't cover all the myriad cases that arise in practice. It takes a good sense of the flow of ideas and rhythm of the phrase to write it the optimal way - i.e. it has more to do with good writing skills than grammar rules in my opinion. For your first example, I think there are only two sub-phrases enumerated, not three as you seem to think. I take the sentence like A below rather than B. A. He did not have the luxury [of moving from place to place], [of closing a bathroom door behind him, spraying some air freshener when he left[. B. He did not have the luxury [of moving from place to place], [of closing a bathroom door behind him], [(of) spraying some air freshener when he left[. Spraying air freshener when leaving a bathroom seems to be a common thing, while doing so "when he left" sounds odd if it is by itself because "when he left" doesn't make much sense. So if I am right, it is a case of "of xxx" being repeated with a comma separation. "or" is often added before the second "of", but it can also work without it giving a different feel.
September 20, 2019
XiaoDeng
Language Skills
Chinese (Other), English
Learning Language
English