Why is this sentence grammatically correct?


I know it is, but I need help explaining why...


She’d abandoned her partying days a long time ago, but she’d finally succumbed last night and drunk more glasses of wine than she should have.  


Thank you!

drink drank drunk correct why asked Sep 04 '13 at 19:20 MM New member

2 answers


There are a thousand things for me to analyze to say why it is correct, so I will just break down the sentence like I would with my kids.


"She" = subject

"had abandoned" = Past Perfect Verb Group

had abandoned what?

"her partying days" = Direct Object

"partying = Participle describing 'days'

"a long time ago" is used adverbially to say when she 'abandoned'


, but = a coordinating conjunction used to combine independent clauses to form a compound sentence


"she" = repetitive subject (will talk about this later)

"had finally succumbed" = Past Perfect Verb Group (agrees with previous verb group)

"last night" = adverbially to say when she 'succumbed'

"drunk" = compound predicate (archaic terminology)

drank what?

"more glasses" = Direct Object

"of wine" = prepositional phrase modifying glasses showing what they were filled with


"than she should have." = Adverb Clause used to modify Adjective 'more'

"than" = subordinator

"she" = subject

"should have" = verb group predicate (past tense)



You have two independent clauses, both using past-perfect verb groups, correctly joined by a coordinating conjunction.

You have an adverb clause correctly used to clarify the value of the adjective "more"


What I don't like:

I see two problems with saying this sentence "has no mistakes":

1) "drunk" is archaic and should be "drank"

2) I personally disagree with making a compound sentence using the SAME SUBJECT--this is poor formatting, though it can be permitted.

What you should have done instead was form a compound predicate in one independent clause:

"She had abandoned..., but she had finally succumbed..." (Compound Sentence)

should be...

"She had abandoned... but had finally succumbed..." (Simple Sentence, Compound Predicate)

link comment edited Sep 04 '13 at 22:30 Aaron Prejean Expert

Do we really need to use the second Past Perfect Verb Group? (she had finally succumbed)

In combination with "last night" I would expect to see the Simple Past (but she finally succumbed last night), same as with "drank more glasses of wine".

To me it sounds wrong to use the PPVG the second time, unless something else followed, describing what happened next (she had finally succumbed last night when her husband walked into the bar)

But maybe it's right and I'm wrong.

Pray tell.

link comment edited Apr 07 '14 at 17:19 Peter Valk Contributor

Your answer

Write at least 20 characters

Have a question about English grammar, style or vocabulary use? Ask now to get help from Grammarly experts for FREE.