Validity of `[subject] let [verb] [object]`

I’m writing my statement of purpose for grad school, but used a sentence that I’m not sure is grammatical.

I inevitably decided on electrical engineering, but never let die my love of language.

I’m a bit confused as to the validity of mechanics of [subject] let [verb] [object]

Is this OK?


It is grammatical, if somewhat flowery. The reason it is acceptable is that the noun phrase my love of language is relatively long. If you tried it with a short noun phrase, for example a pronoun, it would be considered ungrammatical:

  • *I never let die it.
  • I never let die the passion I had for ballroom dancing.

This phenomenon is called heavy noun phrase shift. It allows us to move long noun phrases from their normal position in the verb phrase and put them at the end of the clause.

Source : Link , Question Author : erip , Answer Author : Araucaria – Not here any more.

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