The Problem with “and am” in Writing

There’s nothing wrong with it – it’s grammatically correct – but every time I write or read it, it feels wrong.

I am talking about the phrase “and am”. For example:

I am looking for some peace and quiet and am at the end of my rope.

The aforementioned sentence is correct, but the juxtaposition of the conjunction (and) and the auxiliary verb (am) is jarring. It just sounds wrong.

Every other instance of ‘am’, grammatically, must proceed ‘I’. This is why I believe it seems jarring. However, repeating a pronoun in the same clause is unnecessary and considered bad form.

I am looking for some peace and quiet and I am at the end of my rope.”

Although it fixes the “and am” conundrum, the extra pronoun disrupts the flow of the sentence and makes it feel clunky.

The only way to avoid using “and am” is to include both a noun and a subsequent pronoun.

Bob is looking for some peace and quiet and he is at the end of his rope.

And even if we were to remove the pronoun, the sentence would still flow perfectly.

Bob is looking for some peace and quiet and is at the end of his rope.

You don’t have to avoid using “and am” (it’s correct and, hypocritically, I use it all the time!), but switching to the third person is one way you can avoid it if you choose to.

-James-

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