Fall in love or falling in love?

The human brain is awesome.
It functions 24 hours a day from the day we are born
and only stops when we are taking an exam or fall in love.

Question: I’d like to know the last part “fall in love” is correct? Not falling in love?

I think the sentence should be "… it only stops when we are taking an exam or (we are) fall(ing) in love.
Since “we are” is left out, so fall in love becomes “falling in love”.
But I’m not sure if I am right.

Thank you!!!

Yeah, you are right. The poster is a bit awkward and I mostly agree with your modification (you’re just missing one word). I would say:

“…when we are taking an exam or when we are falling in love”

Another way of saying it with less words would be:

“…when we are taking an exam or falling in love” (since when we are is already implied)

Nice work on finding this one, it’s subtle!

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Thank you for the help, EdwinFinch. I get a little confidence from you, haha!!

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But when I saw the poster again, the words “fall in love” are bigger, so I was wondering if they were trying to emphasize that, maybe.

I would want to correct it to say, “and only stops functioning when we are taking an exam or when we fall in love.”


Yeah, the emphasis on the poster doesn’t have to change the sentence structure though.

They could have put “or when we are” instead of just “or” in small text above it and it would still have the same effect (but would be proper).

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I agree. I don’t know how grammarians explain this, but I relate it to the distributive property of algebra:

a⋅(x+y) = a⋅x + a⋅y.

In (English) grammar, if x and y are not of identical form, it is better style to express them as on the right side of the equation rather than with the more terse left side. Strunk and White probably explain this better without algebra. ))