My life's work gone

A: Worst case scenario, the NTSB lists me as the probable cause. That’s immediate retirement. No pension. My life’s work gone.
B: Okay, you’re scaring me now, Sully. What is going on?

Question: Is the sentence okay without “is” or “has” after the word “work”?
So you don’t say “my life’s work is gone”?

Thank you!!!

“is” sounds fine. Has seems a little weird. It kind of sounds like the lifes work walked away

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The reason there is no verb is that he isn’t describing an action, but just making a list of things that will happen. Imagine it like this, and it should be clearer:

“This is what would happen:
-immediate retirement
-no pension
-my life’s work gone”


Also, it’s describing a hypothetical, so really, “my life’s work would be gone”. But in informal speech, it is quite normal to miss out the verb in this sort of describing-the-consequences context.

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“My life’s work gone” is not necessarily short for “My life’s work is gone” or “has gone” or even “would be gone”. “Gone” is directly describing “my life’s work”. The whole phrase is a noun phrase, a phrase that acts like a noun. Another example would be
“This is a house built by English colonists.”
In this sentence, “a house built by English colonists” is a noun phrase. It is true that “The house was built by English colonists.” But, grammatically, you could not use this sentence in a list of other nouns/noun phrases.

So, we could slightly rewrite the movie line as “That’s immediate retirement, no pension, and my life’s work gone.” We have 3 noun phrases: “immediate retirement”, “no pension”, and “my life’s work gone”. The commas are replaced with periods, and the “and” is removed for emphasis.

It could be rephrased as “I would have immediate retirement and no pension. My life’s work would be gone.” But this doesn’t sound as dramatic.

Sorry if this got too technical and grammatical, but I just wanted to say that the use of the phrase “my life’s work gone” is completely grammatical. It is not informal or colloquial.

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