Can subject be omitted in common speech and informal text?

Ahamari
#1
Hi,
I've found many people say things like:
"I did the test pretty well. I will be very happy if it's highly graded. Hope that."
Is it fine to say this way? (It should have been "I hope that"). Do native English speakers sometimes say this way?
And in the "Eyes on me" song, it starts with:
"Whenever sang my song, on that stage, on my own..."
The subject should have been I but it was omitted.
If possible, when can we omit the subject like this?
 
  • Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    #2
    Hi Rejelx. In your first example, a seperate sentence saying "Hope that." doesn't make any sense to me at all. In fact, I've never once heard this construction until reading your post.

    I also wonder if you simply didn't hear the word "I" in the song sentence.

    In answer to your question... no, native-English-speakers don't speak this way.
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    USA English
    #3
    Welcome to the forum, Rejelx.

    The subject of commands ("you") is usually omitted, but other subjects generally are not. I is somewhat exceptional because it is such a very short word, just a vowel, so sometimes it gets passed over in speech:

    (I) hope to see you tomorrow.
    (I'll) see you soon.

    This does not always work as smoothly in writing because it can create ambiguities:

    I did pretty well on the test. I will be happy if it gets a high grade. I hope it does.

    Without the I, we could be saying "Please hope it does" or "Let's hope it does", a mild command instead of a statement.

    I am not familiar with the "Eyes on me" song, but the way you have written it does not make sense to me.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    #4
    I disagree with Dimcl.

    In colloquial speech/writing, we often omit the subject pronoun. You''ll find many examples in WRF:)
     
    Ahamari
    #5
    Thank you for your replies,
    About the "Eyes on me" song, I am not wrong. Take a look:
    anysonglyrics dot com/lyrics/f/fayewong/eyes.htm

    Thank to your replies, I now know it's recommended NOT to say this way.
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    USA English
    #7
    "Hope so" is common, but I couldn't make it fit the original context unless someone else were saying it as a rejoinder.

    Those lyrics really don't add up. Perhaps the songwriter imagined it to be another way to say "Whenever singing my song, ...".
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    #8
    Sorry. I didn't see the lyrics. I don't think they add up either, but lyrics can play fast and loose with the language. I was thinking about the:

    "I did the test pretty well. I will be very happy if it's highly graded. Hope so."

    I would re-word it as:

    "Did pretty well on the test. Think I'll get a good grade. Hope so!"

    I can imagine this in a note to a friend or an instant message, but not in anything more formal.
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    #9
    And in the "Eyes on me" song, it starts with:
    "Whenever sang my song, on that stage, on my own..."
    The song "Eyes on Me" is sung by Faye Wong, a Chinese singer who is popular also popular in other Asian countries, including Japan. (Source: Wiki article.)

    As previous posters have pointed out, native speakers of English do occasionally omit the subject in speech, but they follow different rules. In particular, they would not omit the subject in this position: Whenever I sang my song....

    (All the versions of the lyrics that I found on the internet do omit "I", as the original poster says.)
     
    Canadian English
    #10
    Sorry. I didn't see the lyrics. I don't think they add up either, but lyrics can play fast and loose with the language. I was thinking about the:

    "I did the test pretty well. I will be very happy if it's highly graded. Hope so."

    I would re-word it as:

    "Did pretty well on the test. Think I'll get a good grade. Hope so!"

    I can imagine this in a note to a friend or an instant message, but not in anything more formal.
    I've never heard the exact phrase, but I have heard True that.

    Ex. Cheese is awesome
    True that.
    Its understandable to me but I would never say it.
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    #11
    I've never heard the exact phrase, but I have heard True that.

    Ex. Cheese is awesome
    True that.
    Its understandable to me but I would never say it.
    This is a good point. I have heard this too. However, I would write it with a comma: "True, that".

    This is because I understand "True, that" to be equivalent to "True, that is," with "is" dropped off the end. "True, that is" is an acceptable variation of the word order of "That is true".

    However, "Hope that" is not the same construction. It presents the problems that have been described above.
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    USA English
    #12
    "Did pretty well on the test. Think I'll get a good grade. Hope so!"
    Maybe it's just me, but the "Hope so" on the end just sounds out of sync to me after "I think ...". (Either I expect so or I hope so, but not hope after expect.)

    Here is a version with no I (or articles) at all:

    Did pretty well on test. Hope to get good grade.

    This is telegraphic language. When each letter cost money but no punctuation characters were available, a telegram might be coded as:

    DID PRETTY WELL ON TEST STOP HOPE TO GET GOOD GRADE STOP

    Quite understandable and natural, for a telegram. So yes, we do omit I as a subject when we need to be succinct, but not after whenever.
     

    pcplus

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    #13
    The song "Eyes on Me" is sung by Faye Wong, a Chinese singer who is popular also popular in other Asian countries, including Japan. (Source: Wiki article.)

    As previous posters have pointed out, native speakers of English do occasionally omit the subject in speech, but they follow different rules. In particular, they would not omit the subject in this position: Whenever I sang my song....

    (All the versions of the lyrics that I found on the internet do omit "I", as the original poster says.)
    Yes, that's the explanation, she's a Chinese singer, and it could be that he has commited a mistake!! Sometimes even native speakers could make mistakes.

    This is what I've come up with, although I'm not totally sure, please may it be checked

    Another thing is informal speech perfectly done in that kind of register and with no mistakes:

    Normally the subject which is dropped is always in the case of "I",
    Ex. "Don't wanna be an American idiot..."

    or "we" when it's clear: "don't want to be champions right now",
    (it) in that case:"took me a long time to record that song", and: (he/she) "likes to eat cheese hamburgers"

    The other subject pronoums are not ommited never, I'm afraid, in informal speech, besides acronyms like (brb) "I'll".
     

    Beowulff

    New Member
    Russian
    #15
    My question concerns compound sentences with similar subject.
    Is it right to say:
    "I performed my tasks notably ahead of schedule and was able to undertake extras",
    or "I" shouldn't be omitted in the second part of the sentence?
    Thanks
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    USA English
    #17
    My question concerns compound sentences with similar subject.
    Is it right to say:
    "I performed my tasks notably ahead of schedule and was able to undertake extras",
    or "I" shouldn't be omitted in the second part of the sentence?
    Thanks
    This is not a compound sentence (sentence with multiple coordinated clauses) but a simple sentence with a compound predicate. The subject is I and the rest of the sentence is the compound predicate. The compound predicate has two parts, coordinated by and.

    Nothing is being omitted, and this sentence structure is suitable for both formal and informal contexts.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    #18
    Hi,
    I've found many people say things like:
    "I did the test pretty well. I will be very happy if it's highly graded. Hope that."
    Is it fine to say this way? (It should have been "I hope that"). Do native English speakers sometimes say this way?
    In some languages, the verb form is unique to the subject, and therefore it is not essential to use the subject. The English verb form is much the same throughout its declension, and therefore requires the subject.

    It is possible, in English, to omit the subject in the second clause where the action is continued by the same person(s): "He climbed onto the wall and [he] jumped down." "The boy and his father went into the woods but [they] collected no mushrooms."

    In a simple sentence, the subject must be there otherwise it is incomprehensible: "Shot him." :confused: Who shot him? I, you, they, he, she, it, we?
     
    Last edited:

    Beowulff

    New Member
    Russian
    #19
    This is not a compound sentence (sentence with multiple coordinated clauses) but a simple sentence with a compound predicate. The subject is I and the rest of the sentence is the compound predicate. The compound predicate has two parts, coordinated by and.

    Nothing is being omitted, and this sentence structure is suitable for both formal and informal contexts.
    Thanks a lot!
     
    Top