auxilliary verbs/ellipsis

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navi

Banned
armenian
Which are correct:

1-He said it won't get better but it does. (meaning: it does get better)
2-He said it won't get better but it is. (meaning: it is getting better)

3-He said it can't get better but it does. (meaning: it does get better) 4-He said it can't get better butit is. (meaning: it is getting better)

I always say the whole sentence and never shorten it, but I think I have heard sentences like these.
 
  • liliput

    Senior Member
    U.K. English
    I think the 1st and 2nd ones are more correct. Having said that I don't think the sentences make sense, it should be:
    He said it won't get better but it will.
    He said it can't get better but it can.
    He said it doesn't get better but it does.
     

    dwipper

    Senior Member
    U.S. English
    First, watch your tenses. Since "he" is saying something in the past, you probably want to use the past forms of won't (wouldn't) and can't (couldn't).

    1-He said it wouldn't get better but it does.
    2-He said it wouldn't get better but it is.

    3-He said it couldn't get better but it does.
    4-He said it couldn't get better but it is.

    I think you could make a case for any of these, but 2 and 3 sound better to my ear.
     

    kenny4528

    Senior Member
    Mandarin, Taiwan
    I think the 1st and 2nd ones are more correct. Having said that I don't think the sentences make sense, it should be:
    He said it won't get better but it will.
    He said it can't get better but it can.
    He said it doesn't get better but it does.
    I think you make a good point.:)
     

    liliput

    Senior Member
    U.K. English
    First, watch your tenses. Since "he" is saying something in the past, you probably want to use the past forms of won't (wouldn't) and can't (couldn't).

    1-He said it wouldn't get better but it does.
    2-He said it wouldn't get better but it is.

    3-He said it couldn't get better but it does.
    4-He said it couldn't get better but it is.

    I think you could make a case for any of these, but 2 and 3 sound better to my ear.
    And in these cases I would say;
    1. He said it wouldn't get better but it has (got better)/will (get better).
    2-He said it wouldn't, but it's getting better.

    3-He said it couldn't get better but it could do/can/has.
    4-He said it couldn't, but it's getting better.
     
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