could/can vs does

yakor

Senior Member
Russian
Hello.
Which verb should be used?
-You could say it to him, not she does(did).
-You could say it to him, not she could.
-You could/can come in, not she could.
-You could/can come in, not she does.
-You could/can come in, but she didn't/doesn't.
-You could/can come in, but she could't/can't.
 
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Most of those sentences make no sense.

    You can come in, but she can’t. :tick::thumbsup:
    You could come in, but she couldn’t. :tick: (but even this needs the right context)
     

    yakor

    Senior Member
    Russian
    Most of those sentences make no sense.
    Is it because of choosing the wrong verb at the end? (does and did)
    -You could say it to him, not she could.
    Or do you mean that not she is wrong? And it has to be(
    -You could say it to him, but she couldn't.
    The same thing with other auxiliary verbs.
    -You should tell it to him, not she. (is it ok not to use the auxiliary verb at the end of the sentence at all?)
     
    Last edited:

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Not she is simply not used in a construction of that kind. I don’t know where you got that idea. It’s very odd.

    You can come in, but she can’t.
    Only you can come in, not her.

    You could tell him but she can’t/mustn’t.
    You could tell him, but not her. (idiomatic but ambiguous!)
     

    yakor

    Senior Member
    Russian
    I wonder if is it possible to use "not she" somewhere else?
    Only you can come in, not her........
    ..........
    She can't come in. I thought that "not she" could be used too, except "not her"
    You could tell him, but not her. (idiomatic but ambiguous!)
    It means "you couldn't tell her" It is clear.
    I mean "You could tell him, but she couldn't tell him." (You could tell him, not she.)
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    In practice, there are various constructions where a subject pronoun is technically correct but simply not idiomatic. Usage has changed, and it’s natural to use an object pronoun instead. I’m sure there’s lots of debate (and disagreement) about this in old threads.

    Who drew this picture?
    It was I. / It was she. — correct but no one would actually say that (sweeping generalisation, but largely true :D)
    It was me. / It was her. — normal English usage
     

    yakor

    Senior Member
    Russian
    It was me. / It was her. — normal English usage
    but that is why you have deal with ambiguous cases.
    -You could tell him, but not her. (idiomatic but ambiguous!)
    If it was
    -You could tell him, but not she.
    you wouldn't.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    This is the ambiguity in that case. It could be taken to mean either of these things:
    You could tell him, but she couldn’t [tell him].
    You could tell him, but you couldn’t tell her.
     

    yakor

    Senior Member
    Russian
    This is the ambiguity in that case. It could be taken to mean either of these things:
    You could tell him, but she couldn’t [tell him].
    You could tell him, but you couldn’t tell her.
    Do you mean the case "You could tell him, but not her." ?
    I mean "You could tell him, but not she." that could only mean that she couldn't tell him.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Yes, the subject pronoun (she) can only be used one way. But that version of the sentence is most unlikely in modern-day English. No one talks like that. If you wanted to use the subject pronoun, you’d rephrase it: You could tell him, but she couldn’t.
     
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